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Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County Economic Development Summits Held by Western New York Regional Economic Development Council

Events to Discuss Strategies and Programs for Encouraging the Success of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County Development Projects
(March 03, 2014)

Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County Economic Development Summits Held by Western New York Regional Economic Development Council

Jamestown and Olean, NY (March 3, 2014) - The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) recently held roundtable summits in Jamestown and Olean to discuss strategies and programs to assist Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties with regional economic development priorities. Participants were joined by members of the WNYREDC, elected officials, industry leaders, economic development partners and other invited members of the county communities for participatory roundtable discussions. The summits focused on learning more about the role of the WNYREDC, the New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, the components of a successful funding application, and ultimately how to cultivate an increase in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus projects that successfully receive state resources and support through the next round of the CFA funding process.

The events allowed Chautauqua and Cattaraugus stakeholders to identify priorities, including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, attracting young people, and workforce development.

“Governor Cuomo’s strategic plan for stimulating the economy and creating more jobs is dependent, in part, on a successful CFA process that encourages and attracts high impact projects that are ready for implementation by giving them the tools they need submit a viable application,” said Howard A. Zemsky, Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair and Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group. “We hope that these summits and others like it will help us cultivate more successful projects that align with our regional strategies, resulting in jobs for the residents, prosperity for our communities, and financial success for funding applicants.”

Vince Horrigan , Chautauqua County Executive, Western New York Regional Economic Council Member said, “The purpose of the summit is to put a game plan in place that will raise awareness and broaden the reach of the REDC. By helping funding applicants set and reach specific goals we will cultivate high quality applications for the next round of the Consolidated Funding Application. The roundtable discussions will also lead to a greater understanding of the needs of the county and REDC strategies.”

Participants in the recent sessions learned of a new early step in the CFA process being offered by the WNYREDC. The WNYREDC will now accept an optional Letter of Interest (LOI) from applicants interested in being considered as priority projects for the next round of the CFA. The purpose of the Letter of Interest is to begin the process of identifying priority projects earlier in the year while also allowing for more time to offer technical assistance to applicants before the CFA deadline in the summer. Anyone interested in submitting a Letter of Interest must complete a brief online form at:

Christina Orsi, Empire State Development Western New York Regional Director, who also serves as WNYREDC Executive Director, emphasized, “We believe the new Letter of Interest, now available on our WNYREDC website, is an important tool toward building success for funding applicants. The process of applying for funding can now begin with a simple optional letter of interest, which will trigger a sequence of steps that will allow applicants to work with state economic development professionals to receive technical assistance and encourage fruitful results.”

Crystal Abers, Catt County Director of Econ Dev, Planning and Tourism , designee on WNYREDC of Cattaraugus County legislative Chair said, “Today’s summit gave attendees the tools and direction they need to get their specific plans on track for receiving the funding and support necessary to succeed. There are exciting ideas and projects being fostered in the sectors of manufacturing, education, agriculture and finance. By improving each applicant’s opportunity for success in the funding process we are elevating the economy of the county. “

Economic Development summits will also be held in Niagara and Erie counties in the coming months.

About the WNY Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC): In 2011, Governor Cuomo created 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. A key component of Governor Cuomo's transformative approach to economic development, these councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop and implement strategic plans specifically tailored to their region's unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs and support economic growth. For more information on the WNY Regional Council, visit .

About the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA): As part of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to improve the state’s economic development model, the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) was created in 2011 to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA serves as the single entry point for access to NYS economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. For information on the NYS CFA process, please go to: