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Western New York Regional Economic Development Council to Hold CFA Technical Assistance Conference

Chautauqua County meeting will help businesses and community stakeholders apply for state funding
(March 04, 2015)

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council to Hold CFA Technical Assistance Conference

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) will hold a Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Technical Conference from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11 at the Chautauqua Suites Hotel and Expo Center, 215 West Lake Road in Mayville. Stakeholders from Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties with community development projects and businesses that wish to apply for state funding through the next round of the CFA are invited to attend. Potential projects may include community and waterfront revitalization, strategic planning, infrastructure, parks, trails, historic preservation, arts and cultural projects. Interested participants should RSVP by Tuesday, March 10 at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/march-2015-wny-redc-consolidated-funding-conference-rsvp.

“Our goal for this technical assistance conference is to help people identify potential projects that align with our economic development strategy and then answer questions about the funding application process,” said Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Jeff Belt. “Governor Cuomo created the Consolidated Funding Application in order to make it easier and more fair for all project sponsors. The central purpose of his Regional Council idea is that we provide a strategic framework so that economic development projects will play together, fostering a virtuous cycle of improving prosperity for all regions and people in Western New York.”

“Chautauqua County has had an excellent track record of obtaining significant grant awards through the CFA process,” said Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan. “I strongly encourage all grant seekers to attend this informational session in order to understand the best fit and greatest potential for successful project funding.”

The goal of the event is to increase participation and the rate of success in the next round of the CFA by connecting and engaging state agency funders with potential applicants earlier in the year.

The technical assistance conference will bring together interested applicants, members of the WNY REDC, New York State Agency Resource Team, county officials and prior CFA awardees for an interactive program intended to provide attendees with an increased awareness and understanding of potential funding opportunities, details regarding the requirements for community development projects, and guidance for increasing their odds of procuring funding in the next round of the CFA. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss project ideas, needs, and ask questions directly with state agency funding representatives, while developing relationships and collecting a range of information about possible sources of assistance.

Attendees will receive a brief overview of the CFA process and regional strategies from ESD representatives, along with tips on how to craft grant applications to be successful. They will then have the opportunity to visit a series of stations, similar to a gallery walk, whereby state agency representatives and past awardees will be on hand to share information about their funding programs and guidelines, high-priority focus areas, eligibility criteria, and project readiness requirements. Most importantly, attendees will have the opportunity to present project ideas and ask questions directly with state agency officials. Concurrently, past awardees will be available to share their experiences and tips for a successful application, and will be available to answer questions from attendees.

Successful projects will be those that are ready for implementation and align with the Western New York region’s 2011 strategic plan, “A Strategy for Prosperity,” which focuses on economic enablers that promote smart growth, prepare the workforce, and foster a culture of entrepreneurship. Successful projects will also leverage these principles to accelerate key industry sectors which include advanced manufacturing, agriculture, bi-national logistics, energy, health & life sciences, higher education, professional services and tourism.

In the first four rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Western New York region was awarded $273.5 million in state support for 306 projects across its five counties. In just the last year, the WNYREDC also recommended and ESD awarded $24 million in Excelsior awards for 24 different companies that are expected to leverage $181 million in private sector investment, leading to the creation or retention of more than 5,200 jobs. This is in addition to the great strides being made in Western New York through the “Buffalo Billion.”

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After four rounds of the REDC process, nearly $3 billion has been awarded to more than 3,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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: https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.

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