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Welcome to the Build Now-NY Program

Build Now-NY logo               New York Sites Are Ready for Business

Welcome to the Build Now-NY website! Here you will find information about the Shovel Ready Certification, the premier designation available through New York State’s innovative Build Now-NY Program, and about sites that have been the subject of considerable investment in making them ready for development.

Having an economic development site certified as a "Shovel Ready Site" means that the local developer has worked proactively with the State to address all major permitting issues, prior to a business expressing interest in the location. This advance work creates a site where construction can begin rapidly, once a prospective business decides to develop a facility there. By reducing the time it takes a company to begin construction of a new facility, New York State and its local partners are able to provide valuable savings to the business as well as job opportunities for local residents.


Shovel Ready Certification is administered by the Empire State Development (ESD). The program is an ongoing component of the Build Now-NY program, which was introduced in 1998 and has been helping local communities grow jobs ever since.  With a modest State expenditure, Build Now-NY has helped local communities attract substantial private-sector investment and create thousands of jobs for nearby residents.

Shovel Ready Certification is available to any site in New York State that is suitable for the type of development proposed, has proper zoning and infrastructure, has completed the appropriate surveys and studies, and has received the necessary permits and approvals. A more detailed checklist of required site attributes is available in the Shovel Ready Self Evaluation.

Whether you are an economic developer, a local government official, or a company looking to expand your operations, the Shovel Ready program has something to offer you:

  • An attractive incentive to lure companies to your site.
  • The ability to select the type of development most suited to your community and to develop local “buy in” before a project is announced.
  • The ability to substantially expedite any construction project.
  • Marketing assistance from Empire State Development.
  • Technical assistance and help with permitting issues.

For more specific information about the Shovel Ready program, visit the resources below:

Becoming Shovel Ready Certified 
Program Impact
List of Certified Sites
Map of Site Locations