News Column

Governor Cuomo Announces $10 Million in Funding Approved for 19 Projects Across the State

July 21, 2014



ALBANY, N.Y., July 21 -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., issued the following news release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $10 million in funding for 19 projects in eight regions across the state has been approved by the Empire State Development (ESD) Board of Directors. These projects will create or retain approximately 325 jobs and leverage over $6 million in additional investments to support business growth and lay the groundwork for future economic growth and job creation.

"By funding these projects, we are growing regional economies and supporting local priorities in communities across the State," Governor Cuomo said. "These projects spur economic development from the ground-up, and they are helping to drive growth and attract new businesses in communities that need it most. From the North Country to the Southern Tier, we are working every day to create new opportunities for New Yorkers and help the State's businesses thrive."

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "The strategic investments we're making at Empire State Development are supporting major economic development projects and creating opportunities for New Yorkers. The funding approved by the Board will ensure that thriving industries such as tourism, agricultural production, manufacturing, and advanced technology continue to bring their business, and jobs, to New York State."

The ESD Board of Directors approved the following Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) award grants:

Value Added Agriculture Loan Fund (North Country Region - Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and Clinton Counties): $1,000,000

The Development Authority of the North Country (DANC), a New York State public benefit corporation that provides management, services and financing assistance in the North Country, will use a grant of up to $1,000,000 to establish a new regional revolving loan fund to develop agribusiness facilities in the North Country Region--the Value Added Agricultural Loan Fund. As part of the Governor's REDC initiative, DANC requested ESD assistance to help finance its agribusiness assistance program in underserved North Country communities. The revolving loan fund, which would not be possible without ESD assistance, will be available to new and existing business entities to develop tourism infrastructure, including lodging, restaurants, retail, recreation, arts and cultural venues. This is a North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) priority project, as it institutes a key NCREDC strategy by putting tools in place to attract private investment in agribusiness, which will drive demand to revitalize and diversify communities and create a climate that will allow agribusiness to develop and expand.

Challenge Industries (Southern Tier Region - Tompkins County): $300,000

Challenge Industries (CI), a vocational rehabilitation center, will use a grant of up to $300,000 to support the construction of a new food production facility that will serve as a central packaging and processing center for local farmers and producers, as well as provide rental space for producers. CI identified a need to assist local farms in Tompkins and the surrounding counties, where there are nearly 5,000 farms, most of which are small, family-owned operations. Local foods and produce do not often make it to major distribution channels due to logistics and economy of scale.

CI was awarded the ESD grant to develop a food production facility that will enable farmers to concentrate on production while the facility completes the processing, packaging, labeling, marketing, sales, order fulfillment and distribution - connecting the farmers and producers with customers in the area to sell local food. This project is consistent with the Southern Tier REDC's plan to revitalize the rural farm and forest based economy of the region. The project will enable CI to retain 115 jobs and create 38 new full-time jobs. In addition, approximately 65 seasonal jobs will be created annually and over 300 additional acres of farmland will be utilized for agricultural production.

The ESD Board of Directors approved the following Empire State Economic Development Fund and Economic Development Purposes Fund grants:

Thomas Mott Osborne Memorial Fund Capital - (New York City Region - Bronx County): $6,000,000

The Thomas Mott Osborne Memorial Fund, Inc., a community multiservice not-for-profit organization that has helped formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter society for more than 80 years, will use a grant of up to $6 million to support the redevelopment and reuse of the Fulton Correctional Facility. This will include structural and programmatic redesign, emergency and interim housing, workforce development services including job training and placement, and business development designed to support other social enterprises that help hire the formerly incarcerated. When completed, the former prison will be transformed into the Fulton Economic Development and Community Reentry Center.

The newly transformed Fulton Economic Development and Community Reentry Center will serve as a key element for the successful transitioning of ex-offenders. The project is consistent with the New York City REDC Strategic Plan to invest in infrastructure committed to transforming inner city neighborhoods, creating business opportunities, and job creation.

Advanced Tool- (Mohawk Valley Region - Oneida County): $200,000

Advanced Tool Inc., a manufacturer of cutting tools for the aerospace, defense, automotive, medical and electronics industries, will use grants totaling $200,000 to support the purchase of machinery and equipment and facility renovations as part of a business expansion involving job retention and creation at its facility in Marcy, Oneida County. Advanced Tool Inc. recognized a need to modernize its technology infrastructure in order to fulfill customer demand and increase capacity, but as the result of economic downturn, the company experienced setbacks in its sales and feared that ongoing economic inconsistency would lead to loss of jobs. To mitigate this problem, Advanced Tool envisioned an infrastructure improvement project that would upgrade its machinery and equipment as well as make renovations to its facility. In July 2012, Advanced Tool requested ESD's assistance to finance the nearly $1.5 million project which, without ESD's assistance, could not have moved forward. As a result of this project, Advanced Tool Inc. will retain nine jobs and create four new jobs.

Coast Professional (Livingston County - Finger Lakes Region): $90,000

Coast Professional, Inc., a company that provides third party collection services to financial services companies and higher education institutions, will use a grant of up to $90,000 to support construction and renovation as part of the company's facility expansion in Geneseo, Livingston County. Coast Professional is based in Louisiana and operates nationally, serving the financial services and higher education sectors with customers that include the U. S. Department of Education, colleges and universities across the country, and Sallie Mae. The company sought to expand its operations and considered California and New York. The company approached ESD for assistance to make its project more cost effective in New York State, and ESD offered a $90,000 capital grant. Without ESD's assistance, Coast Professional would not have chosen New York for this expansion. As a result of the project, Coat Professional will retain 103 existing jobs and create an additional 47 jobs. The company has already created 64 jobs.

Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber-Farnborough Air Show (Clinton County): $68,000

The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) will use a grant of up to $68,000 for a portion of the cost to attend and exhibit at the 2014 Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom, where it will assist New York State companies in marketing products and services internationally at the Air Show. The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce provides services such as strategic planning, tourism, business promotion and marketing, and its purpose is to sustain and build the North Country Regional economy by promoting business and providing services to companies in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and Northern Warren counties.

The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce developed an initiative to assist regional companies in the aerospace industry to market their products and services at international tradeshows. The Chamber and participating aerospace business firms lack sufficient resources to register and attend such international trade events with professional staff and appropriate exhibit space and professional display equipment. ESD has responded with a grant to assist the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce and participating aerospace firms to attend the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom and will enable them to market and compete for business opportunities at the international level and to help achieve regional economic development project benefitting the North Country region and participating aerospace and related firms. The project is consistent with the North Country Regional Plan to support existing New York State entities and to support initiatives for international trade.

The ESD Board of Directors approved the following New York Works Program and Economic Development Purposes Fund grants:

Market NY Grant Program - Regional Tourism Marketing Competition (Various Regions) - $2,423,196

In 2013, Round III of the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council competition included up to $10 million for Market NY, a program that supports regionally themed New York-focused projects. Market NY helps to bolster tourism growth by promoting tourism destinations, attractions and special events, and also provides funding for tourism facilities in New York State. The Market NY program and each funded proposal will work to support the Regional Councils' long term strategic plans for economic growth in the regions, as well as to attract visitors to New York State.

Funding is available for projects intended to create or retain jobs and increase tourism in a community or region. It is allocated among the state's ten regions, each represented by a regional council and based on each council's development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan that details a comprehensive vision for economic development and specific strategies to implement that vision. Grants are awarded to projects identified as significant, regionally supported and capable of stimulating economic investment through attraction of tourists to the dedicated area.

The ESD Board of Directors has approved $2,423,196, making these funds available to 13 Regional Marketing Tourism projects in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District and Long Island regions. Each grantee has identified and prioritized Regional Marketing Tourism projects that support the Regional Council's strategic plans for tourism and will coordinate with New York State's "I LOVE NEW YORK" tourism division to maximize the overall program impact statewide.

The following grants were approved:

* Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (North Country) - $1,086,750

* Finger Lakes Beer Trail Marketing & Tourism Associates, Inc. (Finger Lakes) - $198,000

* Long Island Art Alliance, Inc. (Long Island) - $150,000

* Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (Finger Lakes) - $200,000

* New York Golf Trail (Multiple Regions) - $150,000

* East End Arts & Humanity Council, Inc. (Long Island) - $162,000

* CNY Arts, Inc. (Central New York) - $100,000

* Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute (Mohawk Valley) - $18,000

* Proctors/Arts Center & Theatre of Schenectady, Inc. - $60,000

* Greene County Economic Development Tourism & Planning - $150,000

* Albany Institute of History & Art - $21, 519

* Steuben County Convention & Visitors Bureau - $44,217

* Finger Lakes Trail Conference - $82,710

For more information on these projects, please visit http://esd.ny.gov/PublicMeetings_Notices/ESD/07172014_ESD_BM.pdf.

The next meeting of the ESD Board of Directors will be in August.

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