Press-Republican

May 1, 2014

Fourth statewide funding competition launched


Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — The competition for a share of up to $750 million in Regional Economic Development Council funding and incentives is underway.

This round of consolidated funding applications has opened.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s economy is on the comeback trail because each region can now decide what projects it wants to make a priority.

“The regional councils are working, and we plan to continue that success with the fourth round this year,” he said in a press release.

“I look forward to seeing the new projects that the regions come up with as we continue to grow our economy and put New Yorkers back to work.”

PARTNERSHIP LAUDED

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas, co-chair of the North Country Council, welcomed the fourth round, as the North Country has garnered the highest total through the first three rounds: $274.7 million. 

“Everyone knows we have won the statewide competition three years in a row, the only region of the state to do so,” he said by email.

“But the reason for that is the unprecedented partnership which has come into being across the seven counties of the North Country, and that is continuing to serve our region well in so many ways as we collaborate and share support on important issues and projects.”

He cited examples such as the broadband initiatives in several areas of the region, the natural-gas conversion project at International Paper, assistance for Adirondack Meats in Ticonderoga and continued support for the Strand Theatre in Plattsburgh.

Additional support enabled expansion of Bombardier Transportation, which helped it land more than $41 billion in new contracts.

There was also support for the collaboration between Trudeau Institute and Clarkson University to help promote the biotech cluster in the Saranac Lake area.

DIVIDED

This year’s competition is split into two parts.

The five regions that were named top performers in 2013 will compete for two awards of $25 million in capital funds each, and the five that were not will compete for three awards of $25 million each.

The remaining $25 million will be shared by the five other regions. Each region is also eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract business and create jobs.

INTERNATIONAL LINK

This year’s competition includes new initiatives such as Global NY, which is intended to attract international investment and jobs to Upstate New York.

Each council is asked to develop and implement global marketing and export strategies.

Douglas said that could be a bonus for the North Country.

“This year’s emphasis on international business through the governor’s Global NY initiative couldn’t be more of a match for the most internationally committed region in upstate New York,” he said.

VETERANS

There is also a call to increase veteran participation in the workforce.

Each council is asked to create a Veterans Work Group to promote its participation in funding applications and encourage other applicants to increase opportunities for employment of veterans.

LEARN MORE

Find the 2014 Regional Economic Development Council guidebook and list of available resources at: regionalcouncils.ny.gov. 

The deadline for Consolidate Funding Applications is 4 p.m. Friday, June 16. 

For applicants, the Consolidate Funding Application is available at http://tinyurl.com/kg5kz7a.