The fourth round of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council awards is officially under way, with up to $750 million in funding available for the state’s 10 regions.
Applications will be made available Wednesday for businesses, municipalities and not-for-profits to request state aid for economic development projects, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. The deadline for applications is June 16.
“The regional councils are working and we plan to continue that success with the fourth round this year,” he said in a statement. “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.”
Last year, the Capital Region was a top performer in the competition, taking home nearly $83 million for 85 proposed projects. The Capital Region Economic Development Council received 330 applications for projects in the area.
The $750 million will be allocated in two ways: $530 million in awards will be distributed through the standard application process and $220 million will be distributed through a competition by the regions based on their individual plans. Of the $220 million, $150 million will be awarded in blocks of $25 million in capital funds and $70 million in the form of Excelsior Tax Credits.
In the first two years of the competition, the Capital Region received the smallest funding amount, a combined $113 million. Adding in the third year, the Capital Region received a total of $196 million for 272 projects.
This year’s regional council awards will focus on projects that will impact the entire region as well as those that encourage economic growth and job creation. Another big focus this year will be attracting global investments and identifying export strategies.
Projects in each region are also expected to promote veterans’ participation in the workforce through creation of a Veterans Work Group to identify employers that require veterans’ military skills and experiences.
Some projects submitted as part of the regional council awards should also aim to support the NY Rising Community Reconstruction program, which is working to provide aid to communities affected by tropical storms Irene and Lee and Superstorm Sandy. Irene and Lee significantly impacted Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie counties in 2011.
“New York’s economy is on a comeback in large part because we have adopted a grass-roots approach to economic development that is creating jobs and growing new industries across our state,” Cuomo said in a statement.
More than $2 billion in investments over the past three rounds are supporting 2,200 projects and 100,000 jobs statewide, according to the governor’s office.