Last week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched two major economic development programs - the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and Round V of the Regional Economic Development Councils - officially kicking off the 2015 competitions for $1.5 billion and up to $750 million in state economic development resources, respectfully.
"New York's Regional Councils have transformed our state's economy over the past four years - and we're going to continue that progress with the largest single investment in the program and an unprecedented focus on revitalizing Upstate," Governor Cuomo said. "Between the fifth round of the Regional Economic Development Council competition and the new $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative, we are helping communities across the state invest in their many unique assets and expand opportunities for growth from the ground up. I encourage every region to come together and put their best plans forward as we continue to create a brighter and more prosperous future for New York State."
This year, the 10 Regional Councils will once again compete for awards from up to $750 million in state economic development resources through Round V of the REDC competition. Additionally, through the new Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), seven regions - Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District, and Mid-Hudson - are eligible to compete for three $500 million awards, which will be disbursed at a rate of $100 million per year for five years.
The three Upstate winners of the URI will receive approximately $130 million each this year ($100 million in URI funding, and an estimated $30 million from Round V of the REDC competition). Aside from those regions, three regions will earn "Top Performer" distinction in the REDC competition and will receive approximately $105 million each. Finally, the remaining four regions will receive approximately $90 million each through the REDC competition - which is more than the average amount awarded to the top place finisher in prior years. This approach ensures that no region is a loser, while also maintaining the competitive nature that has worked so well to bring local business, academic, and community leaders together to develop long term, impressive economic visions for their regions.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils said, "The Governor's regional council initiative helps communities across the state put their best foot forward when it comes to attracting new growth and economic development - and with the new Upstate Revitalization Initiative offering extra support to select regions with greater needs, this year is certain to be our most exciting yet. As Chair, I am proud to be working with so many leaders in business, academia and beyond in order to invest in local priorities from the ground up and jumpstart each region's economy in the days ahead."
The Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) will open to applicants on May 1 with a deadline of July 31 at 4:00pm, allotting more time than past years for the Regional Councils to solicit and identify projects in their areas.