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Board Meeting

Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 3:30pm
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via video conference and teleconference. The public may view and listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 12:30 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2021.
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Board Meeting

Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 2:30pm
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference. The public may listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, 2021.
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Press Release

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 2:48pm
Previous Participants in Innovative Optics, Photonics, and Imaging Competition Commit to Growing Their Business in Rochester's Downtown Innovation Zone NYS Funded Competition Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that two previous participants in the state-funded Luminate NY competition have committed to creating nearly 120 jobs in the city of Rochester's Downtown Innovation Zone. SunDensity, which originated from MIT and was awarded the top prize of $1 million in round three of the optics, photonics, and imaging competition in 2020, will create close to 60 jobs as it establishes its pilot, high-tech manufacturing operations in Rochester. Round two $250,000 winner Circle Optics, founded originally in NYC in 2017, will also create approximately 60 jobs at the repurposed Sibley Square building downtown. Round two winner, Ovitz, has already established its headquarters in Rochester, and the competitions' inaugural winner, Double Helix Optics, has actively leveraged the optics infrastructure in the Finger Lakes region by partnering with Rochester optics firms to develop and manufacture new products.  To date, the 40 companies in the Luminate portfolio have created 100 jobs within the region. "As we work to build back even better all across the state, we are seeing that our ongoing investments in advanced technologies are more than paying off," Governor Cuomo said. "These strategic investments have already positioned Rochester as a global leader in the optics, photonics and imaging industries and put a spotlight on all this flourishing region has to offer. The Luminate NY competition supports our efforts to move the Finger Lakes forward by attracting even more innovative companies, creating more jobs and spurring economic growth into the future." "Luminate NY continues to build upon Rochester and the Finger Lakes legacy for innovation in optics, photonics and imaging," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The announcements by SunDensity and Circle Optics demonstrate their commitment to the Rochester area, and shows our investments are helping to grow the high-tech industry, creating good-paying jobs and boosting the region's economy." The Luminate NY accelerator is based in Rochester and selects ten promising companies each year to participate in its six-month program. During this time, companies are provided with comprehensive training and resources to advance their technologies and businesses. Round four is currently underway with the finals event planned for this fall. The accelerator competition requires that the winners commit to establishing operations in Rochester for at least 18 months. Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 2:00pm
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference. The public may listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 4:30 pm on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
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Press Release

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 3:03pm
Park Improvements Include New Year-Round Pavilion, New Bath House, Ice Rink and Splash Pad Governor's Downtown Revitalization Initiative Funds Key Catalytic Projects to Revitalize Watkins Glen Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of $5.3 million in renovations at Clute Park in Watkins Glen, a project funded through the Schuyler County village's $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award in 2017. Improvements include new gathering spaces and recreational features such as a year-round pavilion, a bath house with amenities, a winter ice rink and a summer splash pad.  "As we build back New York better than it was, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is empowering local communities to reimagine their downtown areas as hubs of economic opportunity that benefit the entire region," Governor Cuomo said. "Our investment in Clute Park will provide Watkins Glen with yet another attraction to bolster tourism and spur economic growth for generations to come." "Watkins Glen is a New York State gem and we are further transforming the community into a great place for families, businesses and tourists to work and play," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Our Downtown Revitalization Initiative provides new gathering spaces and recreational opportunities that will not only benefit the Watkins Glen community, but also boost businesses, create jobs and draw visitors to the Southern Tier region for generations to come."  As part of the improvements at Clute Park, the new year-round pavilion has space for a future café and the new bath house includes outdoor showers. The new spaces are all ADA accessible. The village received several state grants to fund this $5.3 million project, with the Department of State providing roughly $2.6 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding and more than $2.1 million in Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grants from the Environmental Protection Fund. The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation also provided a $415,000 grant for the project.  Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Monday, June 21, 2021 - 6:02pm
The USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN) Board of Directors met today and approved a measure that will advance the Rainbow Centre Mall Adaptive Reuse Phase II, a key development project in downtown Niagara Falls. The board authorized USAN to enter into a contract amendment with Marvel Architects, PLLC, for consultant services. Marvel has been working to provide design and engineering services to repurpose the remaining space in the former Rainbow Centre Mall into a high-density, mixed-use development. The project will restore pedestrian access through the center of the building and add services, such as retail, restaurant and tourist amenities, on the ground-level. This $3.99 million contract modification will allow Marvel, which completed the conceptual design and scoping in July 2020, to begin final design of the project.  “With our partner Marvel working on final designs, the City and USAN are taking the necessary steps to reimagine the remaining square footage in the former Rainbow Centre Mall and support the revitalization of the tourism industry in downtown Niagara Falls,” said USAN Chairwoman Francine Delmonte.  “Once completed, this long- dormant property will support greater public access and walkability, create commercial opportunities and entice visitors and residents to downtown.” “We appreciate the innovation and initiative to take already existing spaces and transforming it for new business and economic opportunity in the City for both our residents and tourists to enjoy,” said City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino. Marvel is one of the world’s leading adaptive reuse architectural practices and has completed many adaptive reuse/historic projects of various scales. Its holistic design practice includes an urban design unit, which helps them to envision a project’s impact at the neighborhood, district and even regional scale. The company’s primary goal is activation: creating sites that are vital, walkable, multi-modal, and that serve a mix of audiences and groups. In December 2019, USAN and the City of Niagara Falls announced plans to undertake the adaptive reuse of the remaining mall space as a Civic Improvement Project. Guided by the recommendations of a panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute, the project will establish greater public access and walkability, create commercial opportunities, and modernize parking resources to support new and existing businesses at and near the mall site. These modifications will create up to 200,000 square feet of available space that could be repurposed for uses that would benefit downtown Niagara Falls, including attractions or other entertainment venues or partnerships with the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, such as an expansion of programming. USAN and the City have signed a project term sheet that allows USAN to procure and retain, at its expense, consultants necessary to develop plans and specifications necessary for construction of the project. USAN and the city will later select a construction manager for the project. The USAN Board of Directors also approved two other items: Approval of transfer of a USAN-owned building at 466 Third Street to Cataract Development Corporation as part of a full rehabilitation of the building into a mixed-use development with five apartment units and two commercial storefronts. The project will add value to the Third Street Business District, create new jobs and provide new residential opportunities. Adoption of the 2021 guidelines for the use, awarding, monitoring and reporting of procurement contracts. Contracts entered into by the corporation that exceed $150,000 will require approval by the directors.  About USA Niagara Development Corporation USAN, a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corporation, is solely dedicated to the support and promotion of economic development initiatives in Niagara Falls by leveraging private investment and encouraging growth and renewal of the tourism industry in the City of Niagara Falls.  For more information, visit https://esd.ny.gov/usa-niagara-development-corporation-6. Contact: Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313 Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313
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Blog Post

Monday, June 21, 2021 - 3:33pm
In the past year, New York State has developed a number of programs to help small businesses weather the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—and that help continues with an $800 million Small Business Recovery Grant Program, announced on May 25, for small and micro businesses, and small for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations. The program is part of $3.5 billion in assistance for renters and small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. “The economic devastation caused by COVID-19 was far reaching, but especially harmful to small and micro businesses, which are the backbone of the state's economy,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “The Small Business Recovery Grant Program will provide much-needed relief to small businesses, arts organizations and cultural institutions that suffered economic hardship during the pandemic and is the latest step in our continued efforts to rebuild New York's economy stronger, smarter and better than ever before.” Here are program highlights, with links to more detailed information: Recovery information hub: Information about pandemic-related business assistance and resources, including program applications and details, is featured on ESD’s website at: NYSBusinessRecovery.ny.gov. The page, translatable in 12 languages (in addition to English), features a fillable form that allows businesses to answer a set of questions to determine which Pandemic Business Recovery Initiative programs, including state and federal programs, they might be eligible for. Program applications: Applications for the Small Business Recovery Grant Program were accepted starting June 10. More than 330,000 small and micro businesses are potentially eligible for the program, including 57% of New York State’s certified MWBEs.  Flexible grants for eligible small businesses of up to $50,000 can be used for operating and other business expenses incurred during the pandemic. Help in navigating applications: A statewide network of service providers is available to work directly with micro and small businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations to help navigate and secure COVID-related financial assistance and grants available through state and federal programs. The ESD board approved $10 million in technical assistance grants to support network services, including one-on-one counseling, that will also be offered in multiple languages to eliminate barriers to information access. Rental assistance: New Yorkers behind on their rent, due to financial hardship caused by the pandemic, can also apply to the $2.7 billion New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which began accepting applications on June 1. The program, administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), is expected to serve between 170,000 and 200,000 eligible households.
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Board Meeting

Monday, June 21, 2021 - 11:00am
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference. The public may listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 4:30 pm on Friday, June 18, 2021.
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Board Meeting

Friday, June 18, 2021 - 2:00pm
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference. The public may listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 4:30 pm on Thursday, June 17, 2021.
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