Our mission statement

The mission of Empire State Development is to promote a vigorous and growing state economy, encourage business investment and job creation, and support diverse, prosperous local economies across New York State through the efficient use of loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance.

Empire State Development (ESD) is the economic development arm for New York State. ESD is focused on strengthening New York State’s innovation-based economy through partnerships with our acclaimed universities, promoting entrepreneurialism through the development of incubators, next-generation manufacturing and technology hubs across the state and providing hands-on technical and financial assistance to help big and small businesses meet their goals. With so much support for business, New York’s vibrant economy continues to grow.


Empire State Development’s roots trace to the Division of Commerce, created by the state legislature in 1941, and the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), which the legislature created in 1968. Over the years, many departments and divisions were created to handle the challenges of the state. Then, in 1995, in an effort to reduce the size of government and improve efficiency, the operational efforts of the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the UDC were consolidated; doing business as the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC).

ESD headquarters have been established in Albany, Buffalo and New York City, along with a network of 10 regional offices around New York State – working seamlessly to ensure that New York’s economic development strategy benefits the entire state.

In January 2015, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated Howard Zemsky to serve as President & CEO of Empire State Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development. Mr. Zemsky was confirmed by the Senate on March 30, 2015.

Explore our regions

Each of New York's 10 distinct regions presents unique opportunities for business. See what these areas of the state have to offer.

View by industry

New York is home to innovative companies from a diverse mix of industries. See how businesses like yours are thriving here.

General information

Empire State Development is the umbrella organization for New York’s two principal economic development financing entities: The New York State Urban Development Corporation and the New York Job Development Authority. In an effort to increase efficiency and enhance the delivery of initiatives, these two agencies have worked together seamlessly since 1995. Their singular mission is the facilitation of business growth and job creation across New York State. See the links below for more general information, policies and guidelines.

Performance Measures

  • Customers served: number and types (private, public, not-for-profit); size of entity by number of employees; MWBE status
  • Financing provided and leveraged: amounts of ESD support, other public support, private investment
  • Jobs projected to be retained and created
  • Regional and industry breakdowns of assistance, jobs retained and created, and leveraged investment
  • Capital investment made in New York State (both total and private leveraged with public assistance)