Empire State Development Blog

Find the latest news on economic development in New York State

We feature stories of innovative businesses that are making New York their home, plus offer updates on economic activity and development from around the state.

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Press Release

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - 3:18pm
First Batch of Approved Awards Include 74 Shovel-Ready Projects Full List of Awardees Thus Far Available Here Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that more than $68 million has been awarded to support 74 projects across New York State through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Round XII included core capital grant and tax-credit funding from Empire State Development, which was made available on a continuous and competitive basis to support the immediate needs of communities. Funding will support impactful projects that align with each region's strategic goals. The application for Empire State Development Grant funds remains open, and applications are being reviewed on an on-going basis until funds are exhausted. Applicants with strong, shovel-ready projects that align with the state and region's economic development priorities can apply through the Consolidated Funding Application. "Through the Regional Economic Development Councils, we continue to make strategic investments across New York that align with each community's top priorities," Governor Hochul said. "I'm proud to announce this next round of awards that were recommended by stakeholders who live and work in the regions they represent. This investment will help bring more opportunity for New Yorkers, spur economic development, and fuel the future success of communities across our state." "New York State continues to invest in projects that will generate new investments and spark economic growth to further support our post-pandemic recovery," said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils. "Our bottom-up approach to economic development — one that is inclusive, collaborative, and regionally-focused — is working, and I've seen the results first-hand in communities across the state. This latest group of awards will further those efforts by supporting shovel-ready projects that will grow our state and regional economies more quickly." Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The Regional Councils continue be a strong economic driver for our state's economy. These awards represent projects that showcase each region's strengths and will go a long way to transform the local economies across the state." Read the full press release here.  
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Press Release

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - 1:29pm
Supporting Local Businesses Saturday, November 26, and Year-Round Strengthens Communities and Boosts Local Economies Watch Department of Labor Small Business Saturday PSA Here Empire State Development Suite of Small Business Programs Available Here Governor Kathy Hochul today alongside Empire State Development, and the Departments of Labor, Taxation and Finance, and Agriculture and Markets encouraged all New Yorkers to support their local small businesses on "Small Business Saturday" November 26, 2022. Small businesses make up 98 percent of New York State's economy and generate millions of jobs throughout the Empire State, and by choosing to shop locally Saturday, and every day, New Yorkers are investing in their neighborhoods, strengthening their communities, and keeping tax dollars within New York State. "Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for all New Yorkers to play a role in strengthening our economy, creating vibrant neighborhoods, and keeping communities connected," Governor Hochul said. "New York's small businesses are the core of our economy, and because this community was among the hardest hit at the height of the pandemic, my administration has been squarely focused on its recovery. I encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of all that these businesses have to offer and shop locally this Saturday." Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Every time you visit your favorite restaurant or gift shop and buy something new, you are supporting a local small business. Small businesses are the fabric of our communities and when they thrive, we all thrive. ESD has continued to offer support to our small and micro businesses through many programs during the pandemic and beyond but we cannot do it alone—the support of everyday customers is integral, and we encourage New Yorkers to shop your local small businesses this Saturday, and every day." New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "Small businesses are the cornerstones of communities. By shopping at these businesses, we are supporting families, jobs, and New York State's diverse economy. I encourage New Yorkers to shop small and shop often this Small Business Saturday and throughout the entire holiday season." Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Amanda Hiller said, "Small businesses were hit hard during the pandemic and are only now beginning to recover. To aid that process, the state has a full array of business tax credits and incentives. I urge small business owners to explore these credits and incentives on our website. I also encourage New Yorkers to shop small this weekend and throughout the year." State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York is home to more than 33,000 family farms that produce world-class food and beverages products. Our hardworking farmers take great pride in feeding their neighbors and fellow New Yorkers, and are truly vital to our state. This holiday season, I encourage you to give thanks for the delicious meals and thoughtful gifts you share with family and shop local to support your community's producers." Small Business Saturday celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners and invites shoppers to visit local stores at the beginning of the busy holiday shopping season. The small business sector is a major contributor to the foundation of New York's economy, employing more than 40 percent of New York's private sector workforce. Today, New York State has more than 549,000 small business firms, employing more than three million people. Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 2:53pm
Long-neglected historic buildings on Niagara Street to get a second life USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN) and Savarino Companies, a Buffalo-based construction, development and property management firm, have completed the restoration and redevelopment of the historic Tugby-Lennon block at 320-324 Niagara Street in Niagara Falls. The block consists of three attached historic structures located in the heart of Niagara Falls, steps from the Seneca Niagara Casino, the developing Third Street neighborhood and just minutes from Niagara Falls State Park. View photos here and here. “USAN, under Governor Hochul’s leadership, is working to facilitate economic development that creates a vibrant downtown for both visitors and residents,” said USAN President Anthony Vilardo.  “These buildings are among the few surviving structures of the dense, mixed-use commercial-residential environment that once characterized Niagara Street. We commend Savarino Companies for recognizing the block’s historic importance and for completing this mixed-use rehabilitation project.” “We pursued this project because we share a vision with the City of Niagara Falls, Niagara County and Empire State Development of a charming, mixed-use, walkable downtown that enhances the tourism experience and improves quality of life for Niagara Falls residents,” said Savarino Companies Vice President of Development Courtney Samuels-Cox.  “Savarino Companies is grateful to have contributed to the advancement of this vision through the redevelopment of the Tugby-Lennon.” “The opening of the Tugby-Lennon Block continues the progress we are working on in our downtown district,” said City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino.  “While the added market rate apartments contribute to our steady growth of downtown residences, we are extremely pleased to see Daredevil Records in the building’s commercial space. This is the growth in our commercial corridor that is vital to our downtown.” The $3.5 million restoration of three mixed-use, three-story buildings, totaling 12,531 square feet, includes capital improvements, facade improvements and interior renovations—creating 4,177 total square feet of first-floor commercial/retail space. The project also includes renovations of 10 market-rate apartments on the buildings’ second and third floors. The buildings represent an important contribution to the late-19th and early-20th century urban architecture, commercial history and community development of downtown Niagara Falls. Daredevil Records will be Tugby-Lennon’s first commercial tenant. Daredevil will operate a retro record store and listening lounge in new storefront space at 324 Niagara Street. Fans of all music genres can purchase vintage recordings and also stay and listen to their favorite music on various throw-back devices such as cassette and record players – all while enjoying beer, wine and other food and refreshments. For more information, visit https://daredevilrecords.com/. Savarino reports that the two remaining storefront commercial spaces at 320 and 322 Niagara Street are completed and move-in ready for other tenants who may take advantage of the highly visible street front space. These adjoining 1,500-square-foot spaces feature original exposed brick walls, plentiful storefront windows, and an exterior front patio.  For commercial leasing inquiries, please contact: Kylie Gordon, Development Operations Manager, Savarino Companies, at [email protected] The upper-floor market-rate apartments feature 10 one- and two-bedroom apartments with original cedar floors, exposed brick walls and in-unit washers and dryers. For residential leasing inquiries, please visit https://tugby-lennon.com. The USAN Board awarded a $145,000 Niagara Economic Development Fund (NEDF) grant to Savarino for the Tugby-Lennon project. The project also received Federal/New York State Historic Tax Credits, a $155,000 Niagara County Industrial Development Agency (NCIDA) tourism grant, a $100,000 National Grid grant and a $40,000 NFC Development Corporation grant. The USAN Board of Directors also met today and approved the following items: Authorization to enter into a contract, not to exceed $2.1 million, with Practice for Architecture Urbanism DPC (PAU) for architectural and engineering services related to the Niagara Fall Heritage Gateways project.  The project includes the construction of several public infrastructure projects that will spur new development on USAN’s properties. These “Heritage Gateways”—four in total—will form the foundation for a downtown-wide heritage path and strengthen connections between downtown and Niagara Falls State Park. Authorization to enter into an administrative agreement with the NFC Development Corporation for a Niagara Falls Small Business Property Improvement Program. The Program includes $3 million to foster revitalization of traditional mixed-use business districts by providing funds to small business and property owners for commercial improvements such as facade restoration and other mixed-use building upgrades.  More details about the program and how to apply will be forthcoming. About USA Niagara Development Corporation USAN, a subsidiary of Empire State Development, 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: Laura Magee (USAN) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313 Courtney Samuels-Cox (Savarino) | [email protected]
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Board Meeting

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 11:00am
With videoconferencing to: Empire State Development, 633 Third Avenue, 36th Floor Conference Room, New York, NY 10017 This meeting is open to the public. Webcasting of the meeting is available by clicking the link below. Due to building procedures, those wishing to attend at any of these locations must RSVP by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 21, 2022. RSVP press line (800) 260 -7313; RSVP public line (212 803- 3772. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 4:30 pm on Friday, November 18, 2022. All comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the Directors prior to the meeting and posted online.
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Report

Friday, November 18, 2022 - 3:45pm
The Excelsior Jobs Program provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in targeted industries in order to encourage businesses to expand in and relocate to New York while maintaining strict accountability standards to guarantee that businesses deliver on job and investment commitments. Below please find the quarterly program report for the third quarter of 2022, ending 9/30/2022. 9/30/2022: EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM - Quarterly Report CHART A - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Admitted To Program CHART B - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2011 & 2012 CHART C - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2013 CHART D - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2014 CHART E - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2015 CHART F - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2016 CHART G - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2017 CHART H - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2018 CHART I - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2019 CHART J - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2020 CHART K - EXCELSIOR JOBS PROGRAM QUARTERLY REPORT - Businesses Issued Credits- Tax Year 2021
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Report

Friday, November 18, 2022 - 3:27pm
The Empire State Jobs Retention Program was created to provide financial incentives to retain strategic businesses and jobs that are at risk of leaving the state due to the impact on business operations from a natural disaster. Below please find charts A & B of the quarterly program report detailing businesses admitted to the program and credits issued for the third quarter, ending 9/30/2022. Empire State Jobs Retention Program Quarterly Report - Chart A: Businesses Admitted To Program Empire State Jobs Retention Program Quarterly Report- Chart B: Credits Issued
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Blog Post

Friday, November 18, 2022 - 12:00pm
Ahead of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on Nov. 19, we’re spotlighting one of the six Entrepreneurs of the Year honored earlier this month at the Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EAC) 2022 Conference. Read the profile below to find out more about how the EACs can help women—and all New Yorkers—start and grow their businesses: esd.ny.gov/entrepreneurship-assistance-centers  In 2014, prompted by the scale of rebuilding needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Yolanda Valdes started her business, Empower Contracting Inc., a full-service general contracting firm offering project development and construction management services. She launched with only one employee and one contract and brought in $7,384 in revenue. Within that same year, she found out about the Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EAC) program at Suffolk County Community College (SCCC); two years later, inspired to become the best in what she realized was a male-dominated industry, Valdes began working with the EAC. In fall of 2019, she enrolled in a 60-hour entrepreneurial training program, where she tied for first place in the SCCC Business Plan Competition.  Fast forward to 2022: the Bay Shore-based business has expanded to six employees, and $1 million in revenues. Valdes credits her growth to the EAC at SCCC’s resources that helped her with business planning, funding and MWBE applications. The business is now MWBE-certified by New York State, New York City, Suffolk and Nassau counties, and also certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and SBA-8A business. Empower Contracting has secured 12 contracts in 2022, including its largest contract to-date with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).  Valdes explains that, while it is extremely difficult for woman-owned businesses to enter the male-dominated construction industry, they are well equipped to forge a formidable path. She says Empower Contracting is motivated by “building strong relationships with clients and a desire to do what is right,” and that its success is a result of an unwavering persistence to excellence, integrity, professionalism and innovation. More growth is ahead, as Valdes pivots the business to incorporate innovative and green energy-efficient solutions in construction. As an alumna of the EAC and Suffolk County Community College, Valdes also shows her support to the community by actively mentoring others, participating in EAC SCCC-sponsored MWBE panel discussions and webinars aimed at inspiring more local entrepreneurs.   
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Press Release

Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 11:51am
Australian Firm ProAgni Awarded $1 Million Grand Prize $3 Million in Prize Money Awarded to Eight Startups After Two-Day In-Person and Virtual Pitch Competition in Syracuse Funding for Competition Provided Through Upstate Revitalization Initiatives: CNY Rising, Finger Lakes Forward and Southern Tier Soaring - Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies View Photo of Winning Team Here Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that ProAgni of Lavington, Australia, has been named the $1 million grand prize winner of the Grow-NY business competition, a food and agriculture startup challenge focused on enhancing the emerging food, beverage, and agriculture innovation cluster in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier. Now in its fourth year, the program once again attracted exceptional startups and entrepreneurial talent from around the globe to compete in its business development accelerator and two-day pitch competition at the Grow-NY Summit.  ProAgni was one of eight finalists to take home prize money. The winning teams must commit to operating in the Central New York, Finger Lakes, or Southern Tier regions for at least one year, while providing Grow-NY with a small equity investment stake in their entity. Funding for the competition, which is administered by Cornell University's Center for Regional Economic Advancement, is provided through the state's Upstate Revitalization Initiative.  "Congratulations to all of the forward-thinking entrepreneurs that took part in the fourth round of the Grow-NY competition," Governor Hochul said. "This competition not only helps these companies continue to innovate, but it further supports New York State's regional economies by drawing even more worldwide attention to our globally renowned food and agriculture industry. As New York continues to remain on the cutting edge, I look forward to all future endeavors that today's winners will undertake throughout New York State."  ProAgni's ProTect is a revolutionary range of supplements and feeds for livestock that lowers methane emissions from sheep and cattle without the use of antibiotics, decreasing a producer's environmental footprint without increasing costs.  ProAgni CEO and Co-Founder Lachlan Campbell said, "We are honored to join the incredible roster of Grow-NY winners, and grateful to New York state, Grow-NY, and the Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture for their support. We're excited to expand our mission to revolutionize supplements and feeds for livestock that lower methane emissions into Upstate New York and the prize money will allow us to make an even greater impact. We've had an amazing experience throughout the program, from the guidance and connections our mentor Brad Goulthrope provided to the regional partners we were able to meet, to our competitors whose cutting-edge work and pitches were truly inspiring."   In all, 390 startups applied from 52 countries, including Singapore, Australia, and Sri Lanka. In the U.S., 25 states were represented, including 92 entries from New York. 38% of applicants included a female founder and a record 75% included a founder from an underrepresented minority group. The 20 finalists received dedicated mentorship from hand-selected regional business advisors leading up to the competition. Those selected as winners will now immediately get to work executing their business plans in New York state, leveraging the connections made and regional knowledge gained from the competition.  More than 1,2000 people registered for the fourth annual Grow-NY Summit. The 20 finalists gave highly-anticipated business pitches to a panel of six judges reflecting a depth and breadth of agriculture, food production, and venture development expertise, who listened to each pitch and asked probing questions, before deliberating to determine the top winners. The Summit culminated with the presentation of awards, where Trish Thomas, CEO and co-founder of 2021 Grow-NY $1 million grand prize winner Every Body Eat, announced the four $250,000 winners and Commissioner Richard Ball revealed the two $500,000 recipients, as well as the $1 million award winner.  Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Grow-NY has become one of New York's finest annual traditions, shining a spotlight on the many diverse, innovative, exciting agricultural and food businesses across the State. I thank Governor Hochul for her continued support of the Grow-NY competition and send my congratulations to all of the winners and participants this year. I look forward to seeing you create the technologies and jobs of the future, while continuing to provide a boost our local farmers."  Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 9:30am
With Video Conferencing to: CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity. 115 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202 The meeting is open to the public. The public may also view and listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Please Note: Due to building procedures, members of the public attending in-person at either location should please RSVP by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. Members of the press should please call (800) 260-7313; Members of the public should please call (212) 803-3772. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by Noon on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. All comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the Directors prior to the meeting and will posted online.
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Press Release

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - 3:22pm
Project at National Historic Site in Greene County will Support Regional Tourism Economy Rendering Available Here Empire State Development (ESD) today celebrated the groundbreaking of the $1.8 million Master Plan, with a new visitor center as its centerpiece, at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, located in the village of Catskill, Greene County. The new 1,800 square foot visitor center, to be named The Cole Center, will serve as a multi-purpose open concept space designed to improve visitor experience. It will include a gift shop, a café, and a public patio, and will host visitor orientation, events and creative activities. The Cole Center will incorporate high-efficiency heating and cooling pumps, with electricity sourced from regional solar. This project is being supported by a $360,000 ESD capital grant recommended by the Capital Regional Economic Development Council. Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said, “Thomas Cole dedicated his life to conservation while using his talents as an artist to capture the wonder of our natural surroundings, including the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. The Thomas Cole historic site is not only an essential component of our economy, but also serves as an important reminder that the beauty of our countryside is awe-inspiring, and its preservation is vital to the well-being of our environment.” Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Investing in regionally-significant industries that align with the strategic plans developed by our Regional Councils is a cornerstone of our  economic development efforts. This is especially true for tourism businesses, which were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. ESD is proud to support the establishment of the Cole Center at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and the growth of the regional tourism economy." “It is an honor to celebrate this milestone with Lt. Governor Delgado and Empire State Development,” said Elizabeth B. Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. “The support from Empire State Development has been critical in transforming this important place in American art into a world-class destination and community resource. In 2021, Lt Governor Delgado nominated the Thomas Cole Site for a National Medal and we were named one of 15 museum finalists across the entire country. A recent economic impact study found that the Thomas Cole Site has a $2.5 million value added impact on the county every year. The new building designed by Stephen Shadley is supremely elegant and fulfills a critical need to welcome and orient our growing audiences. We are so grateful to Stephen for donating his masterful design for this landmark project.” The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is an economic driver in the Capital Region, and the project will implement improvements and upgrades necessary to accommodate higher visitation, increase efficiencies and visitor safety, and improve climate conditions for historic preservation. The project also supports neighboring tourism assets including the Hudson River Skywalk and Olana State Historic Site. Over the twelve rounds of the Regional Economic Development Council Awards, New York State has awarded more than $1.8 million to support the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. The new Cole Center was designed pro bono by Stephen Shadley, a New York City-based architectural designer who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. The Cole Center is the first cultural building that Shadley has designed. It puts the natural setting and historic campus in the foreground of the new structure, which opens onto a new outdoor public patio through an expanse of 18-foot-high windows. Those windows embrace and reflect the dramatic view of the Catskill Mountains, and the Cole Center’s forest-green exterior allows it to recede into the landscape. The exterior design references and draws inspiration from Thomas Cole’s own 19th-century architectural designs, one of which – his 1846 New Studio – was previously reconstructed and is part of the historic campus now framed by the new building. The historic campus consists of the 1815 Main House, the 1839 Old Studio, the reconstructed 1846 New Studio, and the gardens and grounds against the backdrop of the Catskill Mountains. Capital REDC Co-Chairs Ruth Mahoney, Executive Vice President, President of Wealth Management and Regional President at NBT Bank and Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, University at Albany President, said, "The Thomas Cole Historic Site is key to the continued growth of the regional economy, not only showcasing the beauty of the Capital Region, but drawing thousands of visitors each year. These grants will provide upgrades that further support the region's tourism economy, and we are proud to offer our support." Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “As one of the Hudson River School of painters, Thomas Cole was an iconic figure in American art history who helped spark the environmental movement that showed the world the magnificent beauty of our region. This legacy lives on through the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, a major economic driver for our region that will be boosted significantly by the exciting addition of a visitor center. I thank Governor Hochul, Lt. Governor Delgado, and ESD for supporting this smart investment in elevating our profile as a destination for cultural tourism.” Assemblyman Chris Tague said, "I am very proud to see our great Catskill community breaking ground on the new and improved Thomas Cole National Historic Site. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site will continue to be a driver of tourism and economic development for the region. I am proud that state leaders recognized a need in our community, and delivered a $1.8 million dollar upgrade that will further spotlight the wonderful tourist aspects of our more rural communities. New York State is rich in Beauty, and improvements like the ones celebrated today will continue to drive tourism opportunities for the surrounding attractions such as the Hudson River and Skywalk and Olana State Historic Site."   Green County Deputy Administrator Warren Hart said, “Tourism is an important economic driver for Greene County. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site continues to grow in visitorship in part, because of the leadership and strong vision in support of the arts and the multiple benefits it brings to county residents and visitors alike.  The site also does an exceptional job at improving facilities and welcoming visitors to Greene County.” Additional significant support for the project is provided by the National Park Service, The Bay & Paul Foundations, Hudson River Valley Greenway, Nina Matis & Alan Gosule, Brown Foundation, Evelyn Trebilcock & Douglas Hammond, Christopher Buck & Dr. Hara Schwartz, Anne Miller & Stuart Breslow, the Warner Foundation, The Educational Foundation of America, Robert Miller & Kathy Klingenstein, The J. M. Kaplan Fund, Lisa Fox Martin, Kristin Gamble, Jimmy & Micaela Bulich, Alison Lankenau, Carolyn B. MacDonald, Betsy & Al Scott, Stainman Family Foundation, and many other generous individuals and foundations. About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is an international destination presenting the original home and studios of the artist and early environmentalist Thomas Cole (1801-1848). Cole founded the first major art movement of the United States, now known as the Hudson River School of landscape painting. Located on six acres in the Hudson Valley, the Site includes the 1815 Main House, Cole’s 1839 Old Studio, the reconstructed 1846 New Studio building, and panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains. It is a National Historic Landmark and an affiliated area of the National Park System. The Thomas Cole Site’s activities include guided and self-guided tours, special exhibitions of both 19th-century and contemporary art, print publications, lectures, extensive online programs, school programs, the Cole Fellowship, free community events, and innovative public programs such as the Hudson River School Art Trail—a map and website that enable people to visit the places in nature that Cole painted—and the Hudson River Skywalk, a new scenic walkway connecting the Thomas Cole Site with Frederic Church’s Olana over the Hudson River. The goal of all programs at the Thomas Cole Site is to enable visitors to find meaning and inspiration in the full historic context of Thomas Cole’s art and ideas. The themes that Cole explored in his art and writings—such as landscape preservation—are both historic and timely, providing the opportunity to connect to audiences with insights that are highly relevant to their own lives. The hours of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site vary by season. For details see: www.thomascole.org/visit. For photos of the event click here. Contact: Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (518) 414-1087 ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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