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Aerospace manufacturer establishes new operations and creates 100 jobs in the Hudson Valley
Pratt & Whitney, a leading designer, manufacturer and servicer of engine and propulsion systems, announced that it will invest approximately $140 million to establish new operations in the Town of Wallkill, Orange County. The company will fit out an existing 71,500-square-foot facility to expand its manufacturing and services operations and create 100 new jobs, as well as retain 95 existing jobs at Advanced Coating Technology (ACT) – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pratt & Whitney already operating in the area.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are seeing companies with a global presence – like Pratt & Whitney – choose the Empire State as the place they want to do business,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “ESD is proud to support Pratt & Whitney’s exciting project and we look forward to a continued partnership that will create new jobs for New Yorkers.”
Among many factors, Pratt & Whitney chose the Wallkill location for the project due to the area’s skilled workforce, close proximity to its existing ACT operation, and an attractive incentive package from the State of New York, including a $900,000 capital grant and up to $1.6M in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, both of which are directly tied to job-creation and investment commitments.
Additional benefits Pratt & Whitney may receive include: potential energy efficiency grants from NYSERDA, an electric delivery rate discount of 20 percent for five years from Orange & Rockland Utilities, lower cost electricity under Governor Cuomo’s ReCharge NY power program, and a potential sales tax abatement from the Orange County IDA. Also, in order to enhance the area to make the site more attractive, the Town of Wallkill advanced the repair of drainage and paving systems on the project site.
The transformed facility will perform a new, proprietary engine blade coating process that gives new engines added life, less wear and better efficiencies – a potential game-changer for the industry.
Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations that designs, manufactures, services and supports aircraft engines, auxiliary and ground power units, and small turbojet propulsion products. Its aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation (especially commercial airlines) and military aviation. The company, which was founded in 1925, has been a pioneer in the industry and was involved in most major advances in both military and commercial aviation.
“Pratt & Whitney is making significant investments in our global manufacturing network as we enter a period of growth,” said Joe Sylvestro, vice president, Manufacturing Operations at Pratt & Whitney. “This expansion of thermal barrier coatings in New York is an example of our effort to expand our capabilities and capacity while also improving the robustness of our manufacturing network. All of these elements will enable us to deliver on our customer commitments.”
“For me, the Allegany Entrepreneurial Assistance Program was an essential tool in building my business,” says Lisa Clark-Shay, co-owner of East Wind Landscape Nursery LLC in Belmont, NY.
Ms. Clark-Shay is just one of the thousands of people who have benefited from the business support offered by New York’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP). The 24 EAP Centers across New York State provide free or low-cost services to new and aspiring entrepreneurs who have questions about how to start, sustain and/or grow a business venture.
Ms. Clark-Shay received valuable support in developing her business plan through EAP’s Business Training Camp. Since her participation in the program, East Wind Landscape Nursery has been able to hire additional employees and experienced a gross sales increase of approximately $250,000.
EAP services include a 60-hour entrepreneurship training course and intensive technical assistance support to help new entrepreneurs complete business plans and develop a viable business. Entrepreneurs can also learn skills including market development, financial management, cash-flow management, growth management and how to access credit and capital.
EAP courses and one-on-one counseling help strengthen hundreds of small businesses annually. In 2012-13, EAP Centers provided 17,425 hours of one-on-one counseling and helped their clients create more than 347 business plans. In the same year, start-up businesses that utilized EAP services saw their sales increase from $4 million a year to more than $6 million a year.
The vast majority of EAP participating businesses are micro-enterprises — small businesses with fewer than five employees that operate from a storefront, a small office or even a home. These micro-businesses generally do not have access to commercial bank loans, yet can often benefit from a loan under $25,000.
EAP staff have years of business experience and professional training, and use their expertise to help companies access capital, and increase their visibility and sales. For example, staff at the Hunts Point Economic Development Corporation EAP recently helped a family-run business create a marketing plan and secure a $200,000 line of credit from a local bank.
EAP Centers operate in tandem with not-for-profit corporations, community colleges and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to increase the success of businesses owned and operated by minorities, women, dislocated workers and individuals with special needs. This focus on new businesses owned by minorities and women has expanded economic opportunity throughout the state by revitalizing distressed communities, strengthening small businesses and increasing employment opportunities for local residents.
For more information about Entrepreneurial Assistance Programs and to find your local EAP Center visit http://www.empire.state.ny.us/BusinessPrograms/EAP.html.
NYS tourism promoted at Super Bowl, Winter Carnival and Empire State Games
February was a hot month for encouraging tourism all across New York State, with major events in New York providing cost-efficient opportunities to promote the state’s amazing tourism assets to tens of thousands of visitors.
As part of the 2014 Super Bowl, ESD’s Division of Tourism took to Super Bowl Boulevard at Broadway between 34th & 47th Streets from Jan. 29 – Feb. 1. The NY/NJ Host Committee Area was an exciting celebration featuring the Join the Huddle Tour with interactive football activities for fans of all ages, and the I LOVE NY Video Park, a dynamic multi-sensory video journey through New York State. Staff members from various New York State tourism partners were on hand to interact with visitors and answer questions about travel in New York State.
Visitors were also encouraged to pick up a special I LOVE NY Ski Ticket, redeemable for discounts at ski areas throughout New York State. By tagging Instagrams of their ski tickets with #WeSkiNY, lucky winners received prizes including a pair of lift tickets at Whiteface Lake Placid, Gore Mountain Ski Resort or Belleayre Mountain Ski Center. Through EscapeMaker, I LOVE NEW YORK also offered a Super Bowl sweepstakes featuring lift tickets and rentals at Hunter, Windham, Whiteface and Catamount ski areas, along with a grand prize of a 2013-2014 ISKINY Gold Pass, redeemable for one lift ticket per day at all Ski Areas of New York (SANY) member ski resorts.
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, rated the second best winter carnival in the world by National Geographic Traveler, celebrated its 117th Anniversary from Jan. 31 through Feb. 9. The carnival featured an amazing ice palace and winter sports, including snowshoeing, Nordic and alpine ski races, ice skating races, hockey games, “arctic” mini-golf, and even a fun run. I LOVE NEW YORK provided promotional support through social media throughout the event. Also, an on-site I LOVE NY Warming Area by the Ice Palace featured Adirondack and ski themed furniture, a Maple House and NYS maple and cider products. Attendees at the Winter Carnival Parade could also stop by an I LOVE NEW YORK station to pick up mini-flags and cheers sticks to help celebrate as parade marchers and floats passed through.
Not far away, New York State’s finest amateur athletes gathered in Lake Placid February 6th through 9th for the 2014 Empire State Winter Games which, for 34 years, have brought together over 1,000 athletes from across the state to compete in a variety of winter sports. Featured sports included cross country and alpine skiing, biathlon, figure skating, women’s ice hockey, ski jumping, bobsled, skeleton and luge. I LOVE NEW YORK provided social media promotion prior to and during the games, and also helped attendees at the Opening Ceremonies cheer on athletes with I LOVE NEW YORK flags and cheer sticks. Attendees at the first ever Empire Sports Fest were able to try out various winter sports themselves and catch Sochi Olympic Coverage on a Jumbotron that also featured I LOVE NEW YORK and START-UP NY ads.
ESD related happenings around New York State that you can be a part of:
Make sure to check out ESD’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/EmpireStateDevelopment) and LinkedIn Company Page (http://www.linkedin.com/company/empire-state-development), and follow us on Twitter (@EmpireStateDev) for the most up to date events.
A closer look at one of New York’s Regional Economic Development Councils
New York’s Southern Tier contains two metropolitan areas — Binghamton and Elmira, a number of small cities, and extensive rural areas that border Pennsylvania. With industry clusters like manufacturing, flight simulation, defense, distribution and insurance, the region is home to internationally known employers such as Corning, Ardagh Metal Packaging USA, DeMets Candy Company, Raymond Corporation, BAE Systems, Frito-Lay and Dresser-Rand.
As part of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, which divided the state into ten regions to provide local stakeholders with the tools and resources to grow the economy and create jobs in the region, the state has awarded more than $222 million to the Southern Tier REDC, including nearly $50 million for 58 projects in 2011. Just over two years later, 95 percent of the projects in the Southern Tier supported by Round 1 REDC awards are either completed or on track for a timely completion.
One of those projects is happening at Norwich Pharmaceuticals, which was awarded $2 million from ESD to support a nearly $40 million expansion that includes a new laboratory and equipment. This project will make the company an even stronger competitor in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and has the potential to create and retain 361 good paying jobs. The expansion is well underway and the company is already starting to look for New Yorkers to fill the new positions.
In the first round, the Southern Tier REDC developed three funds targeted at key regional industries and needs: the Shovel Ready, Community Revitalization and Rural Initiative. These funds have been modeled by other REDCs around the state as a way to provide low-interest loans to small businesses to push projects over the goal line and create new local jobs.
“Many of these businesses are struggling and we’re trying to give them some help,” co-chairman of the STREDC, Harvey Stenger, recently stated in an interview.
In Tompkins County, The Piggery in Ithaca received a $300,000 low-interest loan from the Rural Initiative fund to help with building renovations, and the family-owned butcher shop is almost finished and will add 10 new jobs. While over in Greene, Chenango County, the Sherwood Inn, received a $325,000 loan for renovations to the historic facility, which is leading to 30 new jobs.
These are just a few highlights of the economic activity happening across the eight-county Southern Tier region, which is keeping the momentum going in 2014 after being awarded $81.3 million in Round 3 of the REDC competition.
Considered as having one of the best plans in the state in 2012, the Southern Tier REDC is building on its success by supporting projects that expand health care programs, grow job training resources and boost tourism in the region.
Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding in Round III include:
“Transforming the Economy” is one of the key planks in his 2014 agenda
Earlier this month, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered his 2014 State of the State Address and outlined a sweeping agenda which builds on the economic success of the last three years to change the direction of New York State: reducing spending below inflation and personal income growth for the first time in 40 years, transforming a $10 billion deficit into a $2 billion surplus, reducing unemployment in all ten regions of the state, creating nearly 400,000 new private sector jobs (the highest job creation in the state’s history), improving the state’s credit standing with all three rating agencies, and increasing exports by 15%.
The governor’s agenda for 2014 continues this progress, including measures to control spending while cutting taxes to create jobs and make the state more affordable for families, expanding successful economic policies and rebuilding infrastructure. Proposed initiatives to continue New York’s successful job growth strategy include:
Tax relief: Rather than using the $2 billion projected revenue to increase spending, Governor Cuomo proposed to cut taxes for New Yorkers and businesses to provide taxpayers relief and grow the economy. These includes measures to:
Creation of a joint executive-legislative commission to reduce regulatory barriers on business.
Expedite power transmission projects to update the state’s antiquated infrastructure and facilitate excess power in upstate New York entering the downstate region where demand is greatest, while utilizing existing transmission corridors or burying lines along existing state-owned rights of way such as waterways and highways to preserve the quality of life in local communities.
Launch a fourth round of Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) awards to create jobs and attract international investment.
Launch “Global NY” to link START-UP NY and the REDC initiatives and attract international investment and jobs to upstate New York, as well as host a Global NY International Business Conference.
Continue to attract visitors upstate and outdoors through measures like:
Encourage targeted investment through a second round of key industry summits, including a new Upstate-Downstate Food-to-Table Agriculture Summit.
Create the NY Genomic Medicine Network, a partnership that will link the medical community in New York City with the University at Buffalo’s computational infrastructure and biomedical research expertise to develop upstate New York as a national center for genomic medicine research and jobs.
Modernize our airports, the gateways to New York, by assuming management responsibility for construction at JFK and LaGuardia airports from the Port Authority to ensure these critical transportation hubs are modernized efficiently and quickly.
Expand the successful NY Youth Works Program for inner city young people by increasing the size of the program from $6 to $10 million for each of the next four years, incentivizing employee retention with additional tax benefits, and providing training funds to employers through the existing Job Linkage Program.
Continue to expand opportunities for Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE), increasing the number of MWBE certified firms by an additional 2,000.
Promote and grow businesses owned by disabled veterans by establishing a 5% goal in the awarding of state contracts to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Governor Cuomo’s address received an enthusiastic response from the business community.
Heather Bricetti, President & CEO of the Business Council of New York State said, “There is much for business in New York to be encouraged about in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address. His continued emphasis on holding growth in overall state spending to under 2 percent is for another year is welcomed news. The Business Council applauds the Governor’s tax relief proposals that will provide more than $2 billion in savings to New York employers and residents. This is big news for the state’s economy, especially upstate, as these tax cuts will provide broad-based business tax relief, and support key business sectors across New York.”
Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said, “The governor’s plan will fundamentally improve the business climate in our state and is perhaps the most important single action the state could take to encourage job creation and economic growth.”
Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership: “Governor Cuomo’s focus on reducing our tax burden with START-UP NY and the Tax Commission should be commended. We are especially pleased with the Governor’s plan for a reduction of corporate tax rate for manufacturing to zero and the previously mentioned phase out of the 18A energy assessment, which has been a longstanding priority for Buffalo Niagara’s business community.”
More information on the State of the State, including a transcript of the address, is available at governor.ny.gov/2014/building-on-success.
Advances around workers comp and employment of young workers
Recent steps taken by New York State will ensure that businesses have an affordable and secure way to pay compensation claims to their injured workers, and provide new tax incentives to hire local at-risk youth.
In December, New York State sold $370 million in bonds to support small businesses and employers who faced challenges in paying compensation claims. Now, thanks to Governor Cuomo’s recently announced 2013 Business Relief Act, close to 10,000 businesses and their workers will benefit from the bond sales.
The Business Relief Act allows the Workers’ Compensation Board to utilize bond proceeds to buy insurance that will help employers pay workers’ compensation claims. The funds will allow businesses to repay the Workers’ Compensation Board for the cost of the insurance over a period of ten years under favorable terms. The insurance does not relieve employers of liability, but it does create a clear and lower-cost mechanism for them to meet their obligations toward their injured and ill employees.
“Through the 2013 Business Relief Act, the state is providing a practical and affordable way for thousands of businesses to meet their responsibilities so that injured workers can receive the compensation they deserve,” Governor Cuomo said. “Employees who are hurt on the job are rightfully entitled to their workers’ compensation benefits, and the bonds issued by the state will provide financial assistance for employers to meet those needs. We are pleased to work side by side with the business and labor communities so that all New Yorkers are covered.”
New York businesses were also buoyed by new legislation that enacts changes to the New York Youth Works tax credit. Since 2012, the program has provided a tax break for businesses employing local at-risk youth between the ages of 16-24 years old. The latest update went into effect last month and reduces the number of hours youth are required to work per week from 20 to 10, allowing students to devote more time to schoolwork and enabling businesses to continue creating and maintaining jobs through participation in the program. Both the state’s business community and youth in the labor force supported modifications to the tax program, citing the 20-hour a week threshold as too high for full time students.
Studies have demonstrated that employed youth perform better in school, gain critical job skills and are more likely to graduate from high school and college than their peers. The reduction in weekly hours enables students who are enrolled full time in high school or college to better balance work and academics, while also allowing businesses to continue their participation in this program. The reduction in required hours also means that businesses may be able to hire additional part-time youth workers, further chipping away at the high rate of unemployment among this age group.
Environmental Services Unit seeks to spark business growth and create jobs while protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment
Empire State Development does more than just work to grow the economy in New York State; its Environmental Services Unit administers programs that provide financial and technical assistance to businesses that want to have a positive impact on our natural environment as they grow.
For example, the Environmental Investment Program (EIP) provides grants to small businesses seeking to improve their economic competitiveness through enhanced environmental performance and efficient use of natural resources with pollution prevention, waste reduction, recycling and sustainable product development. To date, 400 small businesses have received grants totaling over $61 million and leveraging close to $192 million in private investment.
Under the EIP, grants are provided for three purposes: as capital to offset the cost of new machinery and equipment; to secure technical assistance that helps businesses identify sustainable practices; and to spur research and development to help bring an environmental technology or product from prototype to commercialization. Applications are accepted through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application process on an annual cycle.
One successful EIP grant was awarded to a research and development team who perfected a process for mixing agricultural waste and paper mill sludge with mushrooms to make biodegradable packaging material that can be molded into various shapes. The product has been commercialized and the company has grown from 2 to 53 employees in just a short period of time.
The Environmental Services Unit also administers the Small Business Environmental Ombudsman Program (SBEO). The program was created under the Clean Air Act to provide small business owners with free, confidential assistance to understand and comply with environmental regulatory requirements.
SBEO also advocates on behalf of businesses and business sectors in cases where regulatory requirements or enforcement provisions present undue hardship to the operation of the business, and may adversely impact the New York economy. Working closely with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), SBEO performs outreach services, handles complaints, and serves as a resource for small business while EFC provides technical and compliance assistance.
Further information on programs available through ESD’s Environmental Services Unit is available at esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/EIP.html.
Oscars, Golden Globes and SAG Awards all recognize New York-based productions
As the major Film / TV awards season heats up, New York State is coming on strong. Projects filmed in New York, or that had post-production services done here in the Empire State, fared well as nominees were announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Screen Actors Guild.
For example, when the nominees were announced for the 2014 Academy Awards, Wolf of Wall Street scored five Oscar nominations and Inside Llewyn Davis scored two. Both movies were filmed in New York and participated in the New York State Film Production Tax Credit Program. Blue Jasmine, a participant in the New York State Post Production Credit Program, received three nominations. Combined, these three films created almost 7,600 jobs for New Yorkers and contributed approximately $122 million to the New York economy.
Ten New York-based productions received 17 nominations for the 2014 Golden Globe Annual Awards, while six New York-based productions earned 11 nominations for 2014 SAG Awards. Both television and feature films were among the New York-based productions, all of which participate in the state’s highly successful Film Tax Credit program. Phil Spector, Blue Jasmine and Nurse Jackie earned both Golden Globe and SAG Awards nominations, while Inside Llewyn Davis and The Good Wife led the Empire State by earning three Golden Globe nominations each, as did The Butler by earning three SAG nominations.
Governor Cuomo congratulated all the New York nominees and celebrated movies filmed and posted in New York State, saying, “New York’s media and entertainment industry – as a result of our newly expanded New York State Film Production Tax Credit Program – is experiencing its most active and productive period in history, creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars. I want to encourage future filmmakers to build upon the success of the last few years and expand job opportunities by bringing even more productions to our great state.”
For more information on the nominees and the NYS Film Production Tax Credit Program, read the NYS Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development’s (MPTV) monthly newsletter here.
ESD related happenings around New York State that you can participate in
Business and Economic Development Activities & Resources:
Travel & Tourism Events:
Make sure to check out ESD’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/EmpireStateDevelopment) and LinkedIn Company Page (http://www.linkedin.com/company/empire-state-development), and follow us on Twitter (@EmpireStateDev) for the most up to date events.
Web help available around the clock
In an effort to better connect small and medium sized manufacturing companies to the state’s technology resources and spur the growth of manufacturers, New York State launched FuzeHub. This new collaborative platform developed in partnership between Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR) and the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) allows companies to get the help and business expertise they need on a 24/7 basis by submitting their requests online at www.fuzehub.com.
A core team of technical and manufacturing professionals work with the companies through live, one-on-one discussions to identify business challenges and provide targeted connections to the state’s experts and resources, including the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, universities, economic development organizations and other state programs.
“The FuzeHub initiative builds on the state’s work to create a business environment that allows manufacturers to thrive in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “FuzeHub brings together all of our leading technology resources under one umbrella allowing companies to quickly and easily access critical expertise and resources…This initiative will stimulate innovation, spur job creation and grow companies across the state.”
Governor Cuomo announced the federally funded web-based platform – developed by a New York State start-up company, Rock the Deadline – in November. Since its inception, FuzeHub has reported several early successes in working with manufacturers throughout New York State. Click here to see some examples.
In addition, the FuzeHub initiative includes Solutions Forum events, which are hands-on, half-day workshops held across New York to match small and medium sized manufacturers with the state’s technology and business resources.
Roundtable discussions for local filmmakers — coming soon to a community near you
A new spin on the classic question and answer seminar, the NYS Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development (NYS MPTV) has begun an innovative new program that removes microphones and podiums and replaces them with a conference table for a group of 15-20 filmmakers, students and industry stakeholders with a range of experience and a host of questions about shooting in New York State. Add in the knowledgeable team from NYS MPTV and you have a lively, informative, interactive and highly productive workshop known as the New York Loves Film Road Show.
After a successful pilot program at the Woodstock Film Festival in October, staff from NYS MPTV kicked off a workshop tour covering all ten regions of New York State. In the month of October, groups of local filmmakers and industry stakeholders convened in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse; in November they also gathered at CUNY and The African American Women in Cinema Film Festival in Manhattan, Albany, Canton, Potsdam and Newburgh for open discussion between those in the know and those who want to know. These sessions allow filmmakers to learn about shooting in New York State in an open and relaxed environment where every question can receive proper attention.
Workshop attendees have ranged from veteran producers with multiple features to their credit to novices wondering how to get started. Some groups included film students, crew people and even a local entertainment attorney who wanted to keep up with the latest developments in his area. The discussions have been energetic, covering a variety of questions and issues of interest to the regional film communities. In addition to questions drilling down into the specifics of the New York State Tax credit and how it can help indies get their projects made, topics included how the state and local film offices can help with location scouting, working with government properties and authorities, and finding local crew and support services. There was a lot of sharing of first hand experiences and advice, all of which helped reinforce the sense of a strongly collaborative and vibrant film community in the respective regions across the state.
Owen Shapiro, Artistic Director of the Syracuse International Film Festival, put it this way: “I saw an interesting thing happen at the workshop this afternoon. Filmmakers with different areas of interest and levels of experience came to learn about the New York State film tax credit and found themselves with an additional valuable take away,” he said. “They discovered that there were other filmmakers in their area with whom they could commiserate and creatively brainstorm and they all exchanged contact information after an extremely engaged dialogue that ran well past the allotted hour. So the workshop not only illustrated the level of commitment and support from the state but kick-started valuable new connections for this community.”
Indie producer John Cocca of Rochester said: “This workshop was really helpful because we not only got to talk through Governor Cuomo’s enhancement of the film tax credits, but it was a gathering of local Rochester filmmakers sharing information on things like where to get a fire truck or how to write a deal memo. It was a really collaborative exchange and I would recommend going to one of these workshops to anyone making films or thinking about making a film in New York State. Such an informal setting allowed for a very productive discussion.”
The NYS MPTV plans to continue with the workshop series into 2014, reaching out to filmmakers, students and industry supporters across the state to continue the dialogue and spread the word about all that New York State has to offer.
To request a workshop in your area, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A note from ESD President and CEO Kenneth Adams
This time of year invites reflection, and in doing so, here at Empire State Development we draw hope and inspiration from the encouraging signals around us that New York State is heading in the right direction in terms of new business investment, job creation and economic growth.
Our state’s progress is getting noticed nationally. Just recently, New York City was named the most competitive city in North America and third in the world by Site Selection magazine and IBM location services. Not too long ago, CNBC.com named Buffalo the 2nd best city to relocate to in America.
Our ESD metrics for 2013 are equally positive: As of November, we have more private sector jobs in New York State than at any time in the state’s history. Since Governor Cuomo took office, ESD has contributed to that growth by committing more than $1 billion in tax credits, grants and loans in support of 697 projects leveraging $10 billion of private or other local co-investment. If they are all fully realized by their sponsors, these projects will result in the retention and creation of more than 180,000 jobs across the state.
Just before Thanksgiving, I was able to join Governor Cuomo’s Strategic Implementation Assessment Team on its statewide tour where we received updates on the priority projects and strategic plans of the ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs). I saw first-hand the exciting progress being made by the Councils — from cranes in the sky in downtown Buffalo, to innovative new companies making medical breakthroughs in the Southern Tier, to high tech research and development and advanced manufacturing on Long Island. This progress will continue thanks to $716 million of REDC awards announced this month for 824 vital economic development projects all across the state.
The latest news on attracting and retaining businesses was Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s decision to manufacture its silicone hydrogel contact lenses in Rochester, rather than in Ireland as originally planned. Its investment in the Bausch & Lomb manufacturing facility will pump more than $100 million into the local economy, save jobs for 1,050 current employees and create 100 new jobs. ESD helped secure the commitment through a $5.8 million capital grant and up to $6.2 million in tax credits with our Excelsior Jobs Program. “The governor’s office has been instrumental in creating a strong package that provided Valeant with incentives to grow manufacturing lines in Rochester,” Valeant chairman and CEO Michael Pearson said.
The momentum carrying us into the New Year is exciting. I wish you and your loved ones a Happy Holiday season, and invite you to get ready for more news in 2014 about New York’s continued growth as a great place to work and live, and an especially competitive, attractive and supportive place for new business investment and job creation.
State funds create jobs by easing access to capital
New York State’s main street, everyday small businesses have a great tool to help them grow. ESD’s Small Business Revolving Loan Fund is a $50 million program designed to create economic activity by providing greater access to capital for small businesses which often have difficulty accessing regular credit markets. The program is already responsible for having created or retained over 6,000 jobs across the state.
$25 million in state funds have been appropriated to leverage at least $25 million in private matching funds for this program. Small businesses can either apply for micro-loans with a principal amount of $25,000 or less, or regular loans with a principal amount over $25,000. The state will contribute as much as $125,000 for up to half of a loan, with the other half being matched by other lending sources. Nineteen community development financial institutions and other community-based lending organizations operating in all regions of the state have been selected to participate in providing loans.
The Revolving Loan Fund is already seeing strong interest and great success. To date, 3,321 NYS small businesses have received loans totaling $61,704,745, with 3,128 of those companies being MWBEs.
Thanks to these loans:
Interested small businesses can find out more about the Revolving Loan Fund at http://esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/SBRLF.html.
State conferences and grants bolster local tourism efforts
In addition to providing a wide range of services to current and potential travelers, ESD’s Division of Tourism works behind the scenes supporting the tourism industry and our local tourism partners in their work to attract visitors to their regions, counties, cities and attractions.
A recent example of the Division of Tourism’s outreach to the travel industry was the Outdoor and Heritage Travel Conference, held November 19 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. As a result of Path Through History — Governor Cuomo’s tourism initiative to market New York State to heritage travelers — the division has been receiving requests from sites and local tourism promotion agencies for technical assistance around their marketing of historic and cultural assets. Likewise, operators in the outdoor tourism industry have been seeking help on marketing their attractions, especially as that segment received additional visibility this year with the Governor’s Adirondack Challenge whitewater rafting race.
The daylong Outdoor and Heritage Travel Conference gave hundreds of tourism professionals a unique educational opportunity to gain usable and practical information about heritage and outdoor tourism from internationally recognized experts, as well as learn about best practices from around the nation. In early survey results, attendees used adjectives like “informative” “timely” and “useful” to describe the conference, its workshops and its networking opportunities.
Also this month, more than $83 million in economic development grants were awarded by New York State to fund tourism-related projects across the state through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. These tourism-related grants bolster local efforts to utilize tourism as a driver of local economies and create jobs through the state’s $61.3 billion tourism industry. This round of awards will not only support infrastructure improvements for tourism assets and local and regional marketing initiatives, but also contains a variety of new development projects, many of which are multi-regional collaborations.