Our mission statement

The mission of Empire State Development (“ESD”) 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.

To support our economic development mission, ESD:

  • Invests strategically in infrastructure, innovation, place-making and revitalization, tradable sectors and workforce development; 
  • Is transparent and responsive to the needs of diverse communities across the state through the active participation of the Regional Councils; 
  • Supports the retention and health of existing businesses, the retention of populations, and the development of new businesses and industries that will contribute to the development of the 21st century economy; 
  • Promotes equality of economic opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses (“MWBEs”); 
  • Provides early-stage support for new ventures, including the research and development of new technologies; and 
  • Strengthens New York State’s innovation-based economy through partnerships with our acclaimed universities, promoting entrepreneurialism through the development of incubators and next-generation manufacturing and technology hubs across the state.
     

History

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 and the types of assistance provided;
  • The number of jobs committed to be retained and created, and the amount of investment awarded and leveraged;
  • The number of jobs ultimately created or retained related to ESD assistance;
  • The number of jobs retained and created, and leveraged investment by region and industry; and
  • Utilization of certified MWBEs in ESD procurement.