Find out what’s happening at Empire State Development

Get the latest on New York State’s development plans and projects. Find press releases, meeting notices, and stories about businesses finding success in New York State.

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Public Notice

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 5:30pm
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Public Notice

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 5:30pm
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Board Meeting

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 1:00pm
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 10:00 am on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
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Board Meeting

Friday, May 29, 2020 - 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 5:30 pm on Thursday, May 28, 2020.
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Board Meeting

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 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 the link below.
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Board Meeting

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 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 5:30 pm on Monday, May 25, 2020.
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Press Release

Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 8:27am
Program Will Target Small Businesses Focusing on MWBEs, Non-Profits, and Small Landlords That Did Not Receive Federal COVID-19 Assistance Nearly 20 Community and Financial Partners Have Committed Resources to Support Restarting New York State's Economy Empire State Development (ESD) and Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) today detailed the $100 million New York Forward Loan Fund announced today by Governor Cuomo, aimed at providing working capital loans to small businesses focusing on MWBEs, small landlords and non-profit organizations that did not receive funding from the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The fund will target those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including small businesses and non-profit organizations with 20 or fewer employees, and small landlords who own small multi-family rental portfolios. Eligible non-profits can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan at 2% fixed interest; while eligible small businesses and small landlords can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan with a 3% fixed interest rate. The maximum loan amount is $100,000. Loan funds can be used for working capital including payroll, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities, rent and supplies. Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we will rebuild the New York State economy stronger and smarter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York Forward Loan Fund will support this vision by providing vital financial support to small businesses – the lifeblood of local and regional economies – as well as non-profit groups that did not receive federal aid. Thanks to a strong public-private partnership with banks and foundations from across the State, we are able to help these organizations manage during these difficult times and prepare for the stronger, healthier New York of tomorrow." New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Governor Cuomo has been clear that the economic recovery from COVID-19 will require innovative approaches to help businesses and organizations across New York survive. By leveraging the resources of state agencies with private lenders and philanthropy, we have created a loan product specifically tailored to addresses the immediate needs of small businesses, small property owners and non-profit organizations that are facing a significant financial hardship due to this pandemic. At Homes and Community Renewal, we understand the outsized impact the economic downturn is having on renters in New York, but we also realize that small landlords are likewise struggling. Providing owners of small multi-family properties with financial relief is crucial at time when maintaining our housing stock takes on renewed importance.” The New York Forward Loan Fund works by enabling five Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to make loans to the target borrowers: Accion East, Community Preservation Corporation, National Development Council, Pursuit, and TruFund Financial Services. New York State is providing first loss capital to support a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will purchase locally originated loans, with foundations and philanthropies offering the next layer of loss capital. Banks, in the form of senior debt, will lend to the SPV. More than $100 million is expected to be available in the program, with 65% reserved for small businesses, 30% reserved for small landlords, and 5% reserved for nonprofit organizations.   Six banks have pledged support for the New York Forward Loan Fund: Apple Bank, BNB Bank, Evans Bank, M&T Bank, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. Additionally, the fund has received philanthropic commitments from the BlackRock Charitable Fund, Citi Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. New York State is home to nearly 487,000 small businesses that employ fewer than 20 people each, representing 91% of the state's small businesses. Applicants are required to prove they employ 20 or less full-time equivalent employees and have gross revenues of less than $3 million. The New York Forward Loan Fund will emphasize supporting minority- and women-owned businesses, and landlords who own small multi-family properties in low- and moderate-income communities, which have traditionally been underbanked or have difficulty accessing capital. Landlords of small multi-family properties have been particularly hard-hit in New York, as tenants impacted by the Coronavirus struggle to pay rent. These property owners, who have been excluded from both rounds of the federal Paycheck Protection Program, need access to short term capital to maintain their properties, pay their building and maintenance staff, and cover shortfalls in operating expenses. Stabilizing this housing stock is particularly critical while communities across New York State are required to shelter in place. Small landlords who own buildings with fewer than 50 units represent 72% of the total rental housing stock in New York State, with high concentrations in the outer boroughs of New York City, Long Island and in urban communities throughout each upstate region. The New York Forward Loan Fund is the latest program from ESD aimed at providing critical assistance to New York’s businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Additional initiatives launched by ESD include $7.5 million in grants to over 70 nonprofit organizations for technical assistance to small businesses, $400,000 in competition grant funding from the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership to accelerate production of personal protective equipment and respiratory care equipment, and $21 million in loan capital to four Community Development Financial Institutions to support U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program for small dollar loans. The New York Forward Loan Fund was established with support from Calvert Impact Capital, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is administering the SPV. Connect2Capital is hosting applications at www.nyloanfund.com. The application period will open on Tuesday, May 26, and more information is available online at www.esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans.   Contact: ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313 HCR Press Office | [email protected]  
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Press Release

Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 10:27am
The Waterfront is Open and Health and Safety Will Be the First Priority for Visitors See visual of new signage at Canalside and the Outer Harbor here Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and Be Our Guest are encouraging visitors to the Buffalo Waterfront to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. ECHDC and Be Our Guest recommendations incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases and encourage everyone to enjoy local recreation areas while, practicing social distancing and using common sense to protect themselves and others. “Canalside has become a destination location and is the catalyst for the rebirth of Buffalo’s historic waterfront,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “While in more traditional times we would be welcoming visitors from far and wide, we need to take precautions to protect ourselves and others during these unprecedented times. I applaud Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and Be Our Guest for taking these necessary steps to safeguard guests and help ensure we can still enjoy the beauty Buffalo’s waterfront has to offer. I encourage everyone to follow the safety guidelines, be physically distant from others, and wear a mask. It is up to all of us to stop the spread of this virus and continue on our path forward together.”​ “The Buffalo Waterfront is open for the public to enjoy, we are just asking visitors to be smart and follow social distancing rules while we work to keep our waterfront a safe and beautiful destination,” said Robert Gioia, ECHDC Board Chairman. “The success of the upcoming summer season is entirely dependent on our ability to enjoy the waterfront in a whole new way; without crowds, concerts or even sharing food at a table. But in these difficult times we promise there will still be much to enjoy—especially the water, the wildlife and the magnificent sunsets.” As ECHDC and Be Our Guest prepare for the summer season, several steps have been taken to ready the waterfront for visitors. An ongoing schedule for cleaning and sanitization has been put in place, including common areas and restrooms at both Canalside and the Outer Harbor. In addition, restrooms at Canalside will be temporarily limited to one user at a time. Most of the outdoor seating has been placed in storage, and any remaining seating has been spaced more than six feet apart. The beach at Canalside has been temporarily closed but the transient docks will be open. Both Clinton’s Dish at Canalside and the beer garden at Wilkeson Pointe will be available for takeout orders and food trucks will periodically be on site during busy weekends and holidays. In addition, many activities that people have grown to love at Canalside and the Outer Harbor will be available in an online format to allow for safe and responsible participation, including fitness classes and children’s programming. Buffalo Waterfront is also planning on-site programming that can be enjoyed while practicing social distancing, including scavenger hunts, the Creators on the Boardwalk Farmers Market at Canalside, and a Drive-In Movie Series at the Outer Harbor. A listing of all activities will be updated throughout the season, but the initial offerings and hours of operation can be found here. Although some larger events and festivals, such as the annual July 4 Celebration, will be cancelled this year to keep the community safe, other events will continue to be evaluated during the summer season based upon government guidelines and mandates. “Be Our Guest is hopeful there may be opportunities for future events and festivals to be programmed towards the end of summer into early fall, but in the meantime we will continue to offer safe and socially distant programming for our communities to enjoy at both Canalside and Outer Harbor this summer season,” said Kevin Parkinson, Vice President of Be Our Guest, Ltd.  “Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, or ride a bicycle on a waterfront site is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety when practicing social distancing.” Both kayak and water bike rentals will be available at Canalside, while kayak and SUP rentals at Wilkeson Pointe will be open in the coming weeks. Other site vendors, such as caricatures, bicycle rentals and boat tours and cruises, will remain temporarily closed until State and CDC guidelines allow them to resume. In addition, the Queen City Bike Ferry will be closed for the season. While crews are working hard to ready Canalside and the Outer Harbor for the summer, visitors also need to be aware of their responsibilities ahead of a very different, but always beautiful summer on the waterfront. New signage has been put in place to advise visitors about their responsibilities to safely enjoy the outdoors, including recommendations to wear face masks and stay at least 6 feet apart from others. Visitors should gather in small groups, ideally limited to immediate household members, and stay at home if they feel sick. If the Buffalo Waterfront appears crowded, visitors are advised to move to a different location, trail or park and/or consider a different time to visit. Hand wash and sanitizer stations will be available on site. The full guidelines can be found here. About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation The ECHDC is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State Governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor. As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor that is attracting critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. For more information on ECHDC, visit here.  About Be Our Guest, Ltd.  Be Our Guest, Ltd., a subsidiary of Rich Products Corporation, is an event and operations management team for both Canalside and the Outer Harbor on the Buffalo Waterfront. Be Our Guest is committed to the world class management and execution of daily programming and events at the waterfront. Working collaboratively with government and public partners, its mission is to provide the Western New York community with public access and creative programming that maximizes the unique spaces at both Canalside and the Outer Harbor. For more information, visit www.buffalowaterfront.com.     Contact: Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 Laura Magee (ECHDC) | [email protected] | (716) 374-4246 Paige Gress (Be Our Guest/Rich Entertainment Group) | [email protected] | (716) 430-9072 
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Board Meeting

Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 9:30am
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 Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
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