Businesses in the Capital Region have submitted 211 project applications for state funding as part of this year’s statewide regional economic development council awards.
The Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council will release a list of priority projects — those it thinks most deserve funding — on Aug. 15, in advance of this year’s competition, which is expected to be in early October.
“We have been diligently looking at the applications and the scores for the projects will be reviewed on Thursday,” said Michael Tucker, a member of the council and head of the Center for Economic Growth. “We will conclude those scorings to submit to the state then.”
On Monday, the council held public input and information sessions at Proctors in Schenectady for applicants in the non-profit and arts, culture and tourism industries to discuss the process by which state aid is distributed and the needs of the region.
Throughout the day, about 100 people attended the sessions, which were split into two groups — a morning session focused on arts, culture and tourism and an afternoon session focused on foreign investment and veterans opportunities.
Following feedback from the public sessions, the council plans to submit to the governor’s office its strategic plan progress report, which will identify proposed projects in the region seeking funding through the competition.
This year marks the fourth round of regional council awards. The Capital Region is vying for a chunk of $750 million in funding available for the state’s 10 regions.
In the first two years of the competition, the Capital Region received the smallest funding amount, a combined $113 million. Last year, the region was a “top performer,” landing $83 million for 85 projects.
This year’s awards will focus on projects that aim to attract foreign investments and identify export strategies through Global NY, an initiative pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for New York’s businesses to better compete in the global market. Also, projects are expected to promote veterans’ participation in the workforce.
“This will increase export opportunities for companies in the region,” Tucker said. “Our exports were valued at over $5.7 billion in 2012. This represented a record 11 percent of our region’s output. So exports are definitely a growth driver that we need to continue to focus on.”