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Groundbreaking tax-free program introduced to domestic and international business leaders
On October 22, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo formally launched START-UP NY, the game-changing initiative to create tax-free zones that will attract and grow new businesses across New York State. The governor was joined by Leslie Whatley, newly appointed Executive Vice President for START-UP NY, and John J. Mack, Senior Advisor and former CEO and Chairman of the Board at Morgan Stanley, as well as more than 300 international and domestic business, high-tech industry, academic and community leaders for the launch in New York City.
Business and community leaders join Governor Cuomo at the START-UP NY launch in New York City.
START-UP NY seeks to accelerate entrepreneurialism and job creation across the state on a large scale, with a particular focus on Upstate New York. The State University of New York campus system, along with other college communities, serves as the framework of the START-UP NY program to attract high-tech and other start-ups, venture capital, new business and investments from across the world. Under the program, businesses have the opportunity to operate completely tax-free for ten years on eligible campuses and spaces. Businesses will partner with the higher education institutions in the SUNY system as well as other universities and be able to access industry experts and advanced research laboratories.
“Hundreds of business leaders and CEOs from around the globe have come together for the official launch of START-UP NY to take advantage of the most ambitious economic development program in New York State’s recent history,” Governor Cuomo said. “In a tax free environment, no one can match what New York has to offer. Businesses that are looking to startup or expand, and most importantly create jobs, should look no further. We are leveraging our world-class SUNY system and prestigious private universities to partner with new businesses, providing direct access to advanced research, development resources, experts in high-tech and other industries and all with zero taxes for ten whole years. With an opportunity like that, it’s no wonder that companies are lining up for the launch of START-UP NY.”
Governor Cuomo also introduced new leaders who, along with ESD President and CEO Kenneth Adams, will be bringing their business expertise to help guide the START-UP NY program. Leslie Whatley, former Global Head of Corporate Real Estate at Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, will serve as Executive Vice President, working with Empire State Development and other public and private entities and organizations in managing all aspects of the program. John J. Mack will serve as Economic Development Advisor to the State of New York and Special Advisor to the Board of ESD. In his two roles, Mr. Mack will advise the governor and ESD on various economic development programs and issues, including START-UP NY, to help grow New York’s economy and make the state a more attractive place for businesses.
Businesses can visit www.startup-ny.com to learn more about the program, find answers to frequently asked questions and search for eligible space.
Perseverance pays off (and tastes great too!) for Rockaways business
Last month, Governor Cuomo announced that the Madelaine Chocolate Company, a privately-held manufacturer of foiled seasonal and everyday chocolates, officially reopened its factory in the Rockaways after suffering devastating losses in the wake of Superstorm Sandy only one year ago, thanks in part to tax credits awarded through Empire State Development.
Madelaine Chocolate Company officials cut the ribbon to their refurbished facility
Madelaine sustained more than $50 million in losses to its facilities, infrastructure and equipment caused by storm surge, forcing it to close its doors. The company was the largest employer in the Rockways and employed more than 315 full-time employees before the storm. It has since spent more than $10 million in clean-up and repairs that were necessary before any production could resume.
Superstorm Sandy devastated Madelaine’s manufacturing facility
ESD is providing $6.9 million in Jobs Retention tax credits for the retention of 317 jobs. The company has already rehired 120 employees, has four of its 14 production lines back up and running, and hopes to return to full capacity and rehire all of its workers within the next year.
“Many local businesses like the Madelaine Chocolate Company suffered terrible losses in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York State is proud to assist Madelaine, and I congratulate them on reopening their doors to employees and customers. The company’s resilience through the storm demonstrates what we can accomplish and overcome when we work together in support of our communities.”
Ready to reopen for business, just one year later
“Madelaine celebrated its grand re-opening on October 22nd, one year after being devastated by Superstorm Sandy, providing a testament to the unwavering support we’ve received from our dedicated staff and community. We are so very proud of them and are thrilled to be back,” said Jorge Farber, CEO of the Madelaine Chocolate Company.
Established in 1949 by Holocaust survivors and brothers-in-law Henry Kaye and Jack Gold, Madelaine Chocolate Company is a third-generation, family-owned and operated business. At its peak, Madelaine was producing 20 million pounds of its chocolates annually. Its chocolate could be found worldwide, with product now available in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. It continues to rebuild on the road to recovery.
“The reopening of the Madelaine Chocolate Company, just one year after being devastated by Superstorm Sandy, is a testament to the strength and resilience of this family-owned company and its dedication to their New York roots,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams.
Progress Tour made in preparation for upcoming REDC awards
This year’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) statewide assessment tour kicked off in October with the Western New York REDC. The tour continues throughout the month of November as the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team travels the Empire State to get a firsthand view of each region’s priority projects and strategic plans as the councils compete for funding in the third round of the REDC process.
The Assessment Team recently toured projects in the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Long Island, New York City, North Country and Southern Tier, to see the impact they’re having on the region. It also received presentations on the progress each region’s council has made over the last year. Visits to the Mohawk Valley and Mid-Hudson regions will complete the statewide tour.
Governor Cuomo and the Assessment Team kick off the Economic Development Progress Tour in Buffalo
“The Regional Councils have transformed the way the state invests in job creation and economic development from a top-down process to one that empowers local business, academic and community leaders to decide what is best for their own regions,” Governor Cuomo said. “More than two years ago, we charged each council to develop a strategic plan for job creation based on their region’s unique strengths and assets, and we are already seeing the results with projects creating new jobs all across the state. This tour will enable the state assessment team to see firsthand the progress as well as the new jobs and opportunities that have been made over the past years.”
The Assessment Team includes Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales; Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox; Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito; President and CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corp. Matthew J. Driscoll; Commissioner and President of the Civil Service Commission Jerry Boone; Chair of the Tourism Advisory Council Cristyne Nicholas; and President and CEO of the New York Power Authority Gil Quinones.
Following the completion of the tour, the Regional Council competition awards will be made in early December based on the progress the Councils have made in implementing their strategies and the evolution of their strategic plans. Prior to the statewide progress tour, each council submitted to the state on September 24 its two-year progress report, which details the council’s achievements in implementing its five year strategic plan.
Statewide, the first two rounds of the Regional Council initiative included $1.5 billion in investments to support more than 1,400 economic and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans that are creating or helping retain an estimated 75,000 jobs.
Features TV advertising, MTA discounts, commemorative MetroCards and more
In late October, New York State launched a “Come See the Comeback” tourism campaign to promote tourism in communities recovering from Superstorm Sandy, highlighting the progress these communities have made in rebuilding after the storm and showing that they are ready to welcome visitors once again. The campaign partners with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) by highlighting discounts and promotions on the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road to promote travel to these areas. Governor Cuomo unveiled television ads that feature recovering communities and new MetroCards designed with the “I Love NY” logo. Subway trains on the Grand Central-Times Square shuttle were also covered for the first time ever with “I Love NY” advertising, both inside and out.
ESD President and CEO Kenneth Adams, Governor Cuomo’s Chief of Staff Josh Vlasto, Tourism Advisory Council Chair Cristyne Nicholas, and MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast at the Grand Central - Times Square shuttle
“Nearly one year after Superstorm Sandy, our ‘Come See the Comeback’ campaign captures the spirit of New Yorkers who in the face of any challenge will work together to come back better than before,” Governor Cuomo said. “Superstorm Sandy caused terrible destruction in communities in Long Island, New York City and the Hudson Valley, closing down local businesses and damaging popular parks and beaches. But in the last 12 months, many of these communities have rebuilt better than before and their doors are once again open for business. We want New Yorkers and visitors to come see the progress that these communities have made and breathe new life into the local tourism industry.”
The campaign features four television ads that will be aired all across the state: an overall “anthem” ad (http://youtu.be/QVYxOg9GVeM) and ads focusing on Long Island (http://youtu.be/qqElgDpVpqM), New York City (http://youtu.be/xYdsK1vJh5c) and Upstate (http://youtu.be/MkqNlRvh-DE).
Six new commemorative MetroCards have been designed with the “I Love NY” logo and different messages urging commuters to see New York’s comeback by visiting a recovering community such as Staten Island, Coney Island, Howard Beach, the Rockaways, Long Beach or Long Island by riding the MTA.
NYC subway train wrapped with I LOVE NY advertising
The MTA is also offering various promotions and discounts to encourage commuters to experience destinations and activities like: Coney Island; New York City Historic Trust Homes; St. Luke’s Chamber Music concerts at The Morgan Library & Museum or the Brooklyn Museum; golf and more in Montauk Village; Port Jefferson and its annual Christmastime Dickens Festival; the Arches at Deer Park; Thunder Ridge Ski Area; Hudson Valley cultural escapes like Dia:Beacon, Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, Katonah Art Museum and the Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack; and Hudson Valley hotels and inns – from the historic to the luxurious - like Mohonk Mountain House, the Ritz-Carlton and the 1850 House Inn & Tavern.
The tourism campaign is fully funded by the state’s tourism budget with no additional cost to the MTA or straphangers.
For more information about these discount rail and admission packages, click “Deals & Getaways” at mta.info/mnr. Visit the Tourist Information banner at www.mta.info to begin planning a trip with the MTA, and for more information on tourism in New York, visit www.iloveny.com.
Loan fund to supplement community fundraising efforts to modernize North Country movie theaters
As the deadline looms when all Hollywood studios will cease distributing films in their traditional celluloid format, $400,000 in funding is being made available through Empire State Development for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council Digital Film Conversion Loan Fund to help small theaters in the North Country convert projection equipment to digital technologies. The short-term loan fund will be administered by the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) and be an added resource for theaters, in addition to the community fundraising efforts already underway.
These small movie theaters are important contributors to the health and vitality of Main Streets in towns and villages across the North Country. With funds reassigned from a previously identified 2012 priority, the Digital Film Conversion Loan Fund will help bridge the funding gap so theaters can convert to digital before 35mm film is no longer available.
“Across the Adirondacks, movie theaters have been struggling to take on costly upgrade projects to stay in business,” Governor Cuomo said. “Faced with this reality, businesses and community leaders came together through the regional council initiative to create the Digital Film Conversion Loan Fund, which will help small-town cinemas in the North Country modernize their equipment and remain competitive. This is another example of how public-private partnerships are helping to promote economic growth in communities across the state.”
To supplement the loan fund, the Adirondack Film Society and the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) have led fundraising efforts to save ten theaters in the region through its “Go Digital or Go Dark” campaign, with a community based campaign as well as outreach to major donors. In just two months, its efforts have brought in enough funds to save three local theaters. As remaining funds are raised and upgrade projects are completed, DANC will relend funds to businesses across the region for start-up or expansion projects.
“This project has demonstrated, yet again, the strength of our North Country communities as they have rallied to save their main street theaters,” said Kate Fish, Executive Director of ANCA. “This loan fund will help theaters bridge the gap between funds raised and the total cost of conversion. The ‘Go Digital or Go Dark’ campaign is a true testament to the strength of grassroots efforts and community spirit in the North Country. ANCA has been gratified by the level of support that we see across the region for this project and by the state’s investment in the form of this loan fund.”
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A note from ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams
As the autumn leaves continue to fall, we here at Empire State Development (ESD) are able to get a clearer picture of the economic development activity that has occurred up through this summer. The numbers tell the story of a record year for economic development across New York State.
Just through the first nine months of 2013, ESD has secured signed agreements for 286 projects. We have committed over $300 million in incentives through Regional Council awards and programs like our Excelsior Jobs Program, which issues tax credits to new or expanding businesses. These investments leveraged another $3.9 billion of additional investment by both private and public sources. The result will be the creation or retention of almost 83,000 jobs at a cost of only $4,000 of state investment per job. This is a much stronger return than in other states, where costs can reach as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars per job.
Even these impressive numbers are just the beginning of the story of economic development in New York over this summer:
The efforts are showing results. The New York State economy added 22,700 private sector jobs in August for a growth rate of 0.3%, compared to a national growth rate of 0.1%. New York State’s private sector job count rose to an all-time high of 7,459,600, and unemployment statewide was one full point lower than a year ago in August 2012. New York remains just one of nine states to have regained all of the private sector jobs lost during the recession.
We are well positioned to carry the year’s economic momentum into the fall with the gearing up of the START-UP NY program, a game changing economic initiative that creates 100% tax free areas for qualified businesses that partner with SUNY, CUNY and private university campuses all across the state.
Clearly, there is further to go. Unemployment is still higher than it should be, and job growth is not yet geographically even. But New Yorkers can feel heartened that jobs are being created at a record pace throughout the state as the result of smart and efficient public investments, made in partnership with private sector companies proud to call New York State home. As Governor Cuomo likes to say, it’s a new New York.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on October 3 that NOHMs Technologies Inc. is locating its pilot nanoscale battery materials manufacturing facility at Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester. The project is receiving $1.5 million from the governor’s Regional Economic Development Councils initiative, and is expected to create more than 100 new full-time scientific, technical, operations and manufacturing jobs in the next three years. The project is expected to be completed in February 2014, and will convert 8,000-square feet of excess office and lab space into a research, development and advanced manufacturing facility for lithium sulfur battery materials and battery cell prototypes.
“Today’s announcement that NOHMs Technologies Inc. will locate and build a cutting edge manufacturing facility at Eastman Business Park is proof that the Regional Economic Development Councils are delivering results for our communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project will help establish Rochester as a hub for research, development and advanced manufacturing in the clean energy industry, while creating more than 100 permanent good-paying jobs in the city. As we continue efforts to jumpstart the Upstate economy, this project will help the Finger Lakes grow and attract other high-tech companies to the region.”
As part of the project, NOHMs, which stands for Nanoscale Organic Hybrid Materials, is partnering with the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) and its BEST Test and Commercialization Center, also located at Eastman Business Park. The Finger Lakes REDC has identified the creation of a cluster of cleantech businesses at the EBP as its top regional economic development resource, and the NOHMs announcement is now the second involving an energy storage company with plans to locate to the Park.
In July, Governor Cuomo announced a $23 million private-public investment toward the creation of the BEST Center. Under a partnership agreement with NY-BEST, DNV KEMA Energy and Sustainability, a Netherlands-based energy consulting company, will invest in the Center and move its energy storage testing capabilities from Pennsylvania to Rochester. The BEST Center was a key reason NOHMs chose EBP for their research and manufacturing operations. The Center provides access to testing and prototyping equipment to help energy storage manufacturers accelerate the development and commercialization of new technologies and products.
NOHMs will be working to commercialize its light-weight electrode and electrolyte materials, which will supply more than twice the energy at half the cost of battery materials currently used in mobile devices, electric vehicles, and military and stationary grid storage products, according to NOHMs.
NOHMs Technologies CEO Nathan Ball said, “Rochester is a natural fit for a materials company transitioning to manufacturing development because of the 100-plus year history of advanced materials innovation and manufacturing. Governor Cuomo, the Finger Lakes Regional Council, and state organizations like NYSERDA, ESD and NY-BEST are investing aggressively in advanced manufacturing infrastructure and businesses that are developing tomorrow’s technology-driven products. We are happy to be a part of the excitement and growth in this sector in this region, and the resources and facilities that are available to us in Rochester and at Eastman Business Park will enable us to be successful in a very competitive high-risk, high-rewards industry.”
“We are excited that NOHMS is joining us at Eastman Business Park, to continue building upon a unique innovation ecosystem that has been in existence here for the past 100 years,” stated Michael Alt, director of Eastman Business Park. “Together with NY-BEST, EBP is fast becoming a New York State hub for clean energy technology
Continues the legacy of changing people’s lives
On October 3rd & 4th, New York State’s Third Annual MWBE (Minority and Women Business Enterprises) Forum was held at the Empire State Convention Center in Albany. This gathering of MWBE firms, NYS agency & authority purchasing officers and prime contractors is the largest such forum connecting MWBE firms across the state with real business opportunities, training workshops, networking and other free capacity building resources available throughout the state.
This year, over 1,800 attendees participated, including more than 900 MWBE and DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) firms. Keynote speaker Don Peebles, a Minority business owner and industry leader, gave a powerful and inspiring opening address. The forum opening as well as every other workshop over the two day conference was standing room only.
For example, New York’s top prime contractors held a workshop telling MWBEs first-hand exactly what key criteria they use to evaluate their subcontractors and sub-consultants. In addition, the first NYS Business Builder Boot Camp was launched, where firms could meet with ESD certification, business development and small business finance program staff. The firms were also able to find other NYS Resource Partners to assist them in certifying and re-certifying, updating their business profiles, developing marketing plans, learning to write winning RFP responses, accessing capital programs and navigating the state procurement process.
Many MWBE firms have expressed that attending the NYS MWBE forums has changed their lives. For example, one WBE firm that attended last year from North Country was struggling with revenue. The owner says that because she attended last year’s forum, her revenue has quadrupled. We have already heard of some potentially successful connections made at this year’s forum and we look forward to following up on their future success.
City of Light, revitalized with life
With cranes in the air and shovels in the ground on numerous private sector investment projects, there is positive change happening all over Western New York thanks to the strategic leadership and work of Governor Cuomo and the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC). Unprecedented collaboration among the area’s community, business, higher education and government leaders is driving the region’s renewed efforts for economic recovery and prosperity.
Governor Cuomo has committed a historic $1 billion investment in the Buffalo area economy to create thousands of jobs and spur $5 billion in new investment and economic activity over several years. This funding isn’t going to be used as a single silver bullet; it will help set up a comprehensive and diverse portfolio of investments that collectively will drive the future of Buffalo’s economic recovery.
Plans for the future are laid out in the WNYREDC’s Strategic Plan. It identifies three fundamental opportunities to create a more dynamic and sustainable economy for the region and its citizens: job readiness, smart growth and entrepreneurship. The strategy also puts forth ways to capitalize on opportunities in eight economic sectors where Western New York has advantages to build on: advanced manufacturing, agriculture, bi-national logistics, energy, health and life sciences, higher education, professional services and tourism.
During the past 18 months alone, ESD has committed $58 million in state investment and induced $630 million of private sector investment, creating more than 2,150 jobs and retaining more than 6,500 employees. The Western New York region has seen many successes:
The WNYREDC will continue to play a key role in deciding how state funding is used to support the expansion of local companies and how to target the attraction of new businesses across the country and around the globe to come to Buffalo. The Western New York region is clearly on the move and the best is yet to come.
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ESD incentives help fast growing, innovative advertising firm to expand and create 154 jobs
In July, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the global creative and strategic agency Droga5 will relocate to Lower Manhattan, where it will expand operations and create up to 154 new jobs by the end of 2017. The world class, award winning ad firm is one of the fastest growing businesses in New York City and joins the more than 390 companies that have relocated to Lower Manhattan since 2005, further demonstrating the resiliency and ongoing diversification of Lower Manhattan’s economy.
“This is another example of how the country’s leading tech, media and advertising companies are choosing New York State as the place to bring and expand their business,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am pleased to welcome Droga5 to Lower Manhattan, which is resilient and revitalizing after the economic downturn and extreme weather events of the past. New York has proven itself to be a magnet for creative firms and minds, and this fast-growing company is a testament to the reality that the state is a haven for private sector growth.”
Founded in New York in 2006, Droga5 boasts internationally know clients like The Coca-Cola Company, American Express, Motorola, Mondelez International, Prudential, Spotify and UNICEF. The firm signed a 15-year lease at 120 Wall Street to occupy five floors totaling 92,000 square feet, relocating from its current NoHo location. In order to encourage the move, Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) jointly offered the company World Trade Center Job Creation & Retention Program funds (JCRP) to help facilitate the creation of 154 new jobs.
“The state’s support for this global, creative company will create new jobs and support the ongoing diversification of Lower Manhattan’s economy,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “We welcome Droga5 to their new home and look forward to their continued expansion and success.”
“In just seven years, Droga5 has grown from a scrappy agency of five based out of a borrowed space on Broadway to a global network of nearly 325 doing game-changing work for blue chip clients,” said Andrew Essex, Vice Chairman of Droga5. “The time has come for our real estate to match the scale of our ambitions, and 120 Wall Street and the surrounding community of industry leaders in technology and media offer exactly that. We thank all of the partners involved, including Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and their teams at ESD and NYCEDC, for supporting our growth and expansion Downtown.”
Droga5 plans to move into the Silverstein Properties-owned building in Lower Manhattan in early 2014.