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

Monday, October 19, 2020 - 3:00pm
ThermoAI Receives $1 Million Grand Prize and Will Expand Business in New York's Southern Tier Competition Advances Innovation to Lower Carbon Emissions in Support of New York's Nation-Leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $2.5 million in support to four winners of the 76West Clean Energy Business Competition to advance innovation to lower carbon emissions and spur economic growth in New York State. ThermoAI, a company from Montreal, Canada, received the top $1 million grand prize award for its cutting-edge technology, which reduces carbon emissions and increases energy efficiency, enabling the company to expand its business operations in the Southern Tier. This announcement supports Governor Cuomo's mandate for an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as directed in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and complements the "Southern Tier Soaring" strategy to create economic growth and community development in the region. "Investing in pioneering clean energy technologies is a critical piece of New York's aggressive strategy to combat climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create jobs in the process," Governor Cuomo said. "The 76West Competition creates compelling opportunities for companies from around the world to partner with us at the forefront of climate change strategies that tie innovation solutions with growth of the green economy in our state. We congratulate the winners, who will help us build a stronger, greener and more sustainable empire state for future generations." Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Friday, October 16, 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, October 15, 2020.
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Press Release

Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 5:00pm
Project Adds to Transformation of Revitalized Waterfront and Reflects the Ship Building History of the Site  See Photos of the Longshed Here Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of construction on the $5.1 million Longshed building on the northern end of the Central Wharf at Canalside in Buffalo. The two-story, gabled-roof wood structure reflects the Central Wharf site's history by incorporating elements from the Joy and Webster Storehouse located on the site in the early 1800s. The approximately 4,400-square-foot Longshed includes a main floor which stretches the length of the building, a smaller mezzanine level, public bathrooms, roll-up entry doors, and an exterior porch that overlooks the Canalside lawn. "This exciting project is just the latest positive economic development to advance at Canalside," Governor Cuomo said. "Western New Yorkers using Canalside as a retreat during these stressful times will appreciate a new attraction that adds to the overall transformation of the waterfront, while also celebrating the historic shipping industry that helped shape the Queen City." The wood-frame building will initially be used by staff and volunteers from the Buffalo Maritime Center to construct a replica of the 1825 Seneca Chief packet boat, which transported Governor DeWitt Clinton from Buffalo to New York City to mark the official opening of the Erie Canal. The packet boat project is expected to take about three years to complete. During that time, the public will be able to watch the boat being built and even volunteer to join the construction crew. Those wishing to volunteer should visit the Buffalo Maritime Center's website at https://buffalomaritimecenter.org/.  "Buffalo is experiencing a resurgence, but we are making an effort to preserve our history and tell our unique story with attractions like the Longshed," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The Erie Canal was instrumental in the growth of Buffalo and Western New York and continues to play a large role in its future as Canalside has become a year-round destination. We will continue to find ways to stimulate the local economy bringing tourists here as we build back better, smarter and stronger for the post-pandemic future."  Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 9:30am
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 4:30 pm on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.
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Press Release

Friday, October 9, 2020 - 2:00pm
Storied Company Cuts Ribbon On 15,000 square-foot Expansion at its Manufacturing Facility; Project Will Include the Creation of up to 33 New Jobs and Support Regional Anti-Poverty Efforts Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that meat manufacturer Zweigle’s, which specializes in hot dog and other “Old World” products, today cut the ribbon on an ongoing expansion project at the company’s storied Plymouth Avenue facility. This phase included the addition of 15,000 square-feet to the company’s advanced manufacturing plant. The entire project will allow the company to meet the growing demand in markets outside of New York State for its private label and co-packing business. Zweigle’s had considered moving this operation out of state but committed to staying in the region due to state support. The company has committed to hiring up to 33 new employees; at least 12 of those positions will be reserved for workers impacted by poverty; almost 60 jobs will be retained. Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “For more than 100 years, Zweigle’s has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the city of Rochester. The enduring growth of this family-owned business reflects our strategic investment in keeping renowned companies and their unparalleled products in New York State, where they can continue to thrive and create top-quality jobs.” Established in Rochester in 1880, Zweigle’s is a 140-year-old, fifth-generation family owned business which is now being run by the original founder’s great-great granddaughter. The company’s renowned products include chicken sausage. classic sausage, deli meats, grilled chicken, meatballs and of course its world-famous natural casing and skinless hot dogs. Zweigle’s CEO, Julie Camardo said, “We are proud to continue our 140-year legacy in the State of New York. With assistance from Empire State Development, we have completed Phase I of our expansion project which will allow us to provide new quality employment opportunities for residents in the City of Rochester and continue the growth we’ve experienced over the last five years. This project would not have been possible without help from ESD, Monroe County, the City of Rochester, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.” Phase one of the project included property acquisition, building demolition, renovations, new construction and the purchase of machinery and equipment. Zweigle’s plans to further invest in additional improvements to the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the City of Rochester over the next few years. ESD provided support for the expansion project with up to $600,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The agency is also providing $250,000 through the regional Upstate Revitalization Initiative; another $150,000 will come from a Capital Grant and the New York State Job Development Authority (JDA) assisted the project with $1.860 million. The total project cost was placed at close to $18.8 million. The City of Rochester, Monroe County, Rochester Gas & Electric and Greater Rochester Enterprise also assisted with this project. Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy and SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles said, “Zweigle’s is an incredibly important part of Rochester’s rich history and its future. An exciting component of today’s celebration is that the company, one of the city’s oldest employers, has committed to hiring people impacted by poverty-something that truly is at the heart of the regionally designed Finger Lakes Forward URI strategic plan.” State Senator Joe Robach said, "I am glad to see Zweigles - an icon in the Rochester community - continue to flourish and expand here.  I wish them many years of continued success."  State Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, “Zweigle’s is more than a Rochester institution, it is a worldwide phenomenon. Starting with sausages and expanding to a world-wide product line, for five generations Zweigle’s has provided more than jobs and dogs for our community, they have given us an identity. I applaud Julie Camardo, and her team for their commitment to our region and keeping Zweigle’s a viable operation in Rochester. Today’s announcement by the company and Eric Gertler and his team at Empire State Development shows that the Rochester area has a strong, diverse, and skilled workforce and is in an economic position to create and keep jobs for the future. I look forward to Zweigle’s continued operations and the addition of new jobs in the heart of Rochester.” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Monroe County residents and families have been enjoying Zweigle’s for generations, making it one of our region’s most iconic brands and products. But beyond hot dogs and sausages, Zweigle’s continued investment in our community has provided good paying jobs for countless hard working men and women and has helped bolster our local economy. I appreciate Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development’s investment in this project, which will ensure many more years of growth and success for Zweigle’s in Monroe County.” Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “I want to congratulate Julie Camardo and her team at Zweigle’s for completing this phase of their expansion and thank them their continued investment in our city. Zweigle’s has been one of Rochester’s most iconic brands and important employers for 140 years and their presence on North Plymouth Avenue is a point of neighborhood pride in Northwest Rochester and beyond. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for their support through Finger Lakes Forward to help us achieve our goals of creating more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens." Joe Rizzo, Manager of Economic Development at RG&E and NYSEG said, “Today is an exciting day not only for Zweigles, but for the entire Rochester community. As a long standing customer of RG&E in the City of Rochester, Zweigles’ decision to expand its facility will create a positive impact on our local economy for years to come. RG&E is proud to be a strategic partner in this initiative which has brought new capital investments and job growth, including opportunities for those impacted by poverty, to the Greater Rochester region. Through our economic development programs, RG&E provided support for business growth/productivity initiatives and new electric infrastructure for their new expansion. We wish the company continued success.”  Greater Rochester Enterprise President & CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, “Zweigle’s is a homegrown food manufacturer with deep roots in our community that has played an integral part in Rochester’s long history of innovation. Our region’s fully integrated supply chain and talented workforce helps Zweigle’s and more than 250 smart food and beverage manufacturers thrive in Rochester, NY.” For more information about Zweigle’s, visit https://zweigles.com/. Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward  Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $8.07 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here. ​   Contact: Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055 Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Board Meeting

Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 11:00am
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via web conference. The public may listen to the meeting by clicking the link below. Public comments may be sent to [email protected] by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 7.  
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Board Meeting

Monday, October 5, 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 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 2, 2020.
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Press Release

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 2:07pm
Empire State Development and Department of Financial Services connecting New York's small business community with global e-commerce enablers who will provide training, technology, business services, and marketing support First-In-The-Nation Effort Enables Small Business to Access New Customers, Bigger Markets and Better Opportunities Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Empire State Digital, a new initiative accelerating New York State-based small businesses' ability to grow their online presence through a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers, including Shopify, Square, Clearbanc, and Etsy.  The partners selected by Empire State Development to participate will offer specialized solutions such as education, free resources, marketing support, and discounted pricing that is unique to the needs of New York's small businesses. Options can be reviewed on Empire State Digital's website which includes additional services available to small businesses from Empire State Development's statewide resource partners, including hands-on assistance, training and counseling.  "This pandemic has been painful in so many ways and has forced us all to find innovative ways to forge ahead and adjust our daily lives and reimagine our economy," Governor Cuomo said. "By helping small businesses grow their digital presence, we're providing them the tools to be more competitive, resilient and successful - the very definition of New York Tough."   Globalization, the digital economy, and now COVID-19 have been enormously disruptive not only to individuals' ways of life and daily routines, but to everyday commerce. New York-based small businesses, which make up 98% of all businesses across the state, have a long legacy of seizing disruption as a competitive advantage and business opportunity. Empire State Digital is an invitation for those businesses to explore the benefits of expanding beyond their physical brick and mortar location to an online marketplace. Building a digital presence allows entrepreneurs and small business owners to reach their existing customer base, new markets and provides continuity of business at a time when social distancing is an essential public health priority.    Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, President and CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, "Small businesses are the backbone of New York State's economy.  The Empire State Digital initiative not only strengthens the economic resiliency of our state's small businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but also equips them with the tools and support needed to successfully compete in today's digital economy."   Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 9:30am
Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Orderof 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, September 30, 2020.
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Press Release

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 3:00pm
Federal Grant Will Be Used to Fund Educational Opportunities that Train New Yorkers for In-Demand Jobs, Support Entrepreneurs, and Help Small Businesses Recover  New York Was One of Only Eight States in the Nation to Receive a Grant and Was Awarded the Most Funding of All States Funding Announced as Part of New York State's Workforce Development Awareness Week  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that, during Workforce Development Awareness Week, New York State has been awarded an $18 million federal grant to fund educational opportunities that train New Yorkers for in-demand jobs, support entrepreneurs, and help small businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic. New York was one of just eight states to receive the funding - made available through the CARES Act - and received the most of any state that was awarded a grant.  "The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and as we continue to fight against this deadly virus, we must also respond to the economic devastation it has caused. With millions of Americans out of work, we must use every resource available to train New Yorkers to compete - and succeed - in this difficult economic situation," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "Our workforce is the bedrock of our economy, and I know that this funding will help bridge the gap between education and industry, allowing us to build back better by uplifting both individuals looking for jobs and small businesses across the state."   "We are making success accessible ensuring New Yorkers have the training and skills they need to seek new jobs and opportunities as we continue to battle this pandemic," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Our ongoing workforce development initiative is supporting efforts to improve the economic security of women, youth and other groups that face significant barriers by making job placement more inclusive and leaving no New Yorker behind. We are sending a clear message to New Yorkers that they will have the training and skills they need to succeed as we build back better, smarter and stronger for the future." Read the full press release here. 
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