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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Public Notice

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 5:30pm
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Public Notice

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 5:30pm
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Public Notice

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 5:30pm
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Press Release

Thursday, September 3, 2020 - 4:00pm
More Than $1 Million Awarded to Aid 22 East Side Commercial Property Owners on Buffalo's East Side  Funding Will Be Used For Repairs, Expansions And Facility Enhancements That Strengthen Four Commercial Districts Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than $1 million has been awarded as part of the first round of grants being made through the East Side Commercial District Program, part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund. Twenty-two awardees will each receive up to $50,000 in funding for exterior and/or interior repairs to commercial properties located within four targeted commercial districts on Buffalo's East Side. See renderings of several properties here.    "We have made targeted and strategic investments in Buffalo, generating economic growth across the region," Governor Cuomo said. "The East Side Commercial District Program is part and parcel of our comprehensive approach, revitalizing neighborhoods and fueling the transformation of the city."   "Since the launch of the Buffalo Billion, we have made a commitment to ensure every neighborhood takes part in Buffalo's renaissance," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The East Side Commercial District Program is helping do just that by revitalizing and strengthening commercial corridors in Buffalo's East Side neighborhoods. For generations, we saw neglect and disinvestment in areas across the city, and these projects are improving quality of life and transforming communities as we build back better for the post-pandemic future."   Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "This funding couldn't come at a better time for these property and business owners who are dealing with the pandemic's financial fallout. Through the preservation of historic buildings and funding of capital improvements in four key East Side commercial corridors, the program will continue to expand opportunities for growth."   Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Monday, August 31, 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 5:00 pm on Friday, Agusut 28, 2020.
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Press Release

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 3:00pm
Redevelopment of "Sibley Square" Contains 280 Mixed-Income Apartments, Retail, Office, and Commercial Space Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a $30.3 million affordable housing development in downtown Rochester. The Liberty Lofts project, part of the Sibley Square redevelopment, consists of 104 affordable and workforce apartments. The larger redevelopment includes an additional 176 affordable and market rate apartments, plus retail, office and commercial spaces. WinnDevelopment, the development arm of the building's primary owner, WinnCompanies, is the developer for Sibley Square.  "The transformation of the historic Sibley Building serves as an anchor for downtown Rochester's renaissance and mirrors neighborhood's rebirth as well," Governor Cuomo said. "By investing in affordable housing, we are strengthening families and our communities in the Finger Lakes and beyond."  "We are committed to continuing to invest in our communities to help ensure growth and improve quality of life for all New Yorkers, and that includes creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Completion of the Liberty Lofts in the historic Sibley Building in Downtown Rochester is another sign of this commitment and that New York's better days are ahead. We are leading the way forward for a post-pandemic world by building back better, stronger and more inclusive than ever before."   Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 1:39pm
13 projects support workforce training, tourism, small business and community development initiatives in Western New York Empire State Development (ESD) and Verizon Media today announced the 2020 funding recipients for the Verizon Media Community Fund for Niagara County – Empire State Development. For the 2020 funding cycle, $506,766 was awarded to 13 projects.  Beginning in 2015, Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications, committed to granting up to $500,000 each year—through 2021—to community organizations in Lockport and the surrounding areas. “Our regional economic development strategy profoundly changed the trajectory of New York State and is delivering real results for communities in Western New York,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Verizon Media has made significant investments in Niagara County, and we have worked with them to ensure our investment at the Verizon facilities in Lockport results in economic development across the region. New York is building back better, stronger and smarter, and this year’s winners of the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund build on the success of previous investments - promoting job training, tourism, small businesses, and community development.​" “Verizon Media proudly continues to honor its commitment to Western New York through investments in organizations that drive the community forward,” said Verizon Media’s VP of Data Center Operations Paul Bonaro. “We are thrilled to recognize and give back to our neighbors that are driving local development and making Western New York a beautiful, safe, happy, and progressive community.”  “As we reopen the economy and build back better and stronger across New York State, this funding reflects the strong partnership between Verizon Media and Empire State Development,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “These projects will advance the region’s core enablers – smart growth, entrepreneurship and workforce development – and will benefit Niagara County by strengthening the regional economy and improving New Yorkers' quality of life.”   The Community Benefit Fund was created at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo as part of Verizon Media’s $170 million agreement with Empire State Development to establish a customer care center and expand its existing data center in Niagara County. The fund’s creation furthered the company’s initial 2010 commitment to Lockport. The community initiative is part of Verizon Media’s pledge to help drive economic development in Western New York, a regional tech hub for the company. The next round of annual funding will begin in the spring of 2021, with up to $500,000 available again through both the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County – Empire State Development and the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Lockport. Earlier this year, the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Lockport accelerated the original investment timeline and granted the first $250,000 portion to local nonprofit organizations in need during the global pandemic. Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County - Empire State Development Awarded Projects Downtown Niagara Falls Business Association Historical Placemaking Project - $18,500 grant Awardee: Downtown Niagara Falls Business AssociationDNFBA’s efforts to create a more walkable urban center, focusing on art and historical placemakers will continue with this funding. The project will include commemorative stones celebrating the Hydraulic Canal and two historic art murals. Connecting Tourists to Main Street Economy and Neighborhoods to Employment Opportunities - $79,616 grant Awardee: Green Options BuffaloGreen Options Buffalo’s project prioritizes a cohesive approach to connecting downtown Niagara Falls to neighborhoods and business districts through pedestrian and bicycle-friendly infrastructure and systems. Niagara County Community College Center for Advanced Computer Science - $35,000 grant Awardee: NCCC Foundation Inc.By transforming lab space into a robust Center for Advanced Computer Science, the center will have capability to support 20 state-of-the-art individual computer workstations as well as classroom instruction. WNYLC Small Business Legal Clinic - Expansion of Services into Niagara County - $70,000 grant Awardee: Western New York Law CenterNiagara Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will provide up to 12 drop-in legal clinics/small business legal services. The WNY Law Center’s Small Business Legal Clinic is a $238,000 project which covers Western New York and receives funding from several other sources, including the Wilson Foundation. The $70,000 expansion will offer Niagara County entrepreneurs assistance with the legal aspects of running a small business as well as supplemental content regarding COVID-19 requirements. Youngstown Community Boating - $60,000 grant Awardee: Youngstown Junior Sailing FoundationWaterfront access for adults and children through sailing lessons and sailboat, kayak and paddle boat rentals and support will be provided.  The Foundation has also agreed to offer the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club two scholarships per year over the next five years to its Junior Sailing Program. Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Lockport Awarded Projects FeedMore WNY COVID-19 Response in Niagara County - $20,000 grant Awardee: Food Bank of Western New York, Inc.FeedMore WNY operates a network of food banks in the region and will use this grant to support the Lockport community during this unprecedented and challenging time. Lockport Public Library Electronics for All Ages 2020 - $27,920 grant Awardee: Friends of the Lockport Public LibraryFunds will go toward a major upgrade to the internet access resources and workstations at the Lockport Public Library. Building Community Through Engagement and Education - $19,701 grant Awardee: Kenan CenterThis grant will ensure that the Lockport community has an accessible space to learn, engage others, expand their creativity, and to better understand the world around them through intentional programming aimed towards collaboration and skill building. This initiative aims to sustain the Kenan Center's Montessori Preschool, Youth Soccer, Youth Play-Cation Workshops and KidQuest Summer Youth Program. Lockport Little League - $20,000 grant Awardee: Lockport Little LeagueThe Lockport Little League will use this grant to construct new, ADA-compliant restrooms, and improve accessibility throughout the complex. The Dale Association Capacity Building Project - $50,000 grant Awardee: The Dale AssociationThe Dale Association will expand its Mental Health Services by TELE-HEALTH, enabling them to securely and effectively serve their clients remotely. Hospital Sustainability and Care Enhancement Grant - $73,791 grant Awardee: Eastern Niagara HospitalThe purpose of this grant is to sustain the organization's ongoing operational viability during this temporary period of restricted medical services, which has resulted in reduced volumes, as well as enhance the hospital's ability to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Cornerstone Arena Continues Strong - $15,337 grant Awardee: Lockport Ice Arena and Sports CenterThe grant will fund two major repair projects at the Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center. Hearts and Hands: Eastern Niagara Expansion - $16,900 grant Awardee: Hearts and Hands--Faith in Action, Inc.The capacity of Hearts and Hands program will increase.  The program helps older adults remain independent and connected by providing transportation services to those with few options.  About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). 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 Governor Cuomo’s 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. About Verizon Media Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., houses a trusted media ecosystem of premium brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch and HuffPost to help people stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact, while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. From XR experiences to advertising and content technology, Verizon Media is an incubator of innovation and is revolutionizing the next generation of content creation in a 5G world. Contact: Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239
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Board Meeting

Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 12:30pm
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 commentson the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
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Board Meeting

Thursday, August 20, 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, August 19, 2020.
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Public Notice

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - 5:30pm
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