Empire State Development news and press releases

See all the official press releases from Empire State Development.

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Public Notice

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 5:30pm
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Public Notice

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 4:30pm
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Board Meeting

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 10:00am
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 9:00 am on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
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Board Meeting

Monday, December 14, 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 9:00 am on Monday, December 14, 2020.
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Press Release

Friday, December 11, 2020 - 3:05pm
New E-Commerce Opportunities Available for Restaurants and Food Service Establishments Affected by COVID-19 Ritual and PayPal Commit $1 Million Towards Discounted Purchases for Customers of Participating New York Businesses on Ritual ONE Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the second phase of New York's Empire State Digital initiative to support the state's restaurants and food service industry affected by COVID-19 has launched. Beginning today and extending through April 2021, e-commerce company Ritual will offer its commission-free digital ordering platform Ritual ONE to New York's restaurants and food service businesses at no cost, for pickup and delivery. Additionally, PayPal has committed $1 million towards discounted purchases for customers of participating businesses on Ritual ONE in February 2021, at no expense to the businesses. This follows the Governor's extension of the moratorium on commercial evictions to support restaurants and small businesses. "New York State is a global food capital and its world-class chefs, servers and staff have been among the COVID-19 pandemic's hardest-hit workforce during this global pandemic. It's critical that while restrictions are in place on how bars and restaurants can operate in order to protect the public health, we also open new opportunities to counteract the economic strain they face," Governor Cuomo said. "This latest piece of New York's Empire State Digital initiative will give these establishments an opportunity to expand their online businesses free of charge, with an added incentive that will encourage customers to continue supporting their favorite restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops. Restaurants support New Yorkers, and New York will continue to do what we can do to help support them, but now more than ever, it's critical for the federal government to do its part too and provide real relief for this critical industry." Restaurants and food service businesses that join Ritual through the Empire State Digital initiative will be able to accept touch-free payments from customers using their PayPal and Venmo apps, and will not be subject to Ritual processing fees for a limited time. As part of this initiative, Ritual will waive its set-up, monthly subscription and credit-card processing fees. Terms and conditions apply. Businesses may opt out at any time without penalty. Platforms can be customized to match businesses' branding preferences and can be integrated for use with Instagram, Facebook and Google Ordering. More information is available here.   To help support food service establishments further, PayPal and Ritual have committed to invest $1 million to encourage customers to support their favorite local restaurants and eateries. Beginning in February, businesses enrolled in Ritual One can offer customers a discount on eligible purchases at up to three different store locations during the promotional period, to be reimbursed by PayPal and Ritual up to $1 million total.   Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "To help New York's businesses who are fighting to combat the adverse effects caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the State continues to look for new and creative ways to support these businesses while ensuring public health and safety. The second phase of Empire State Digital specifically targets our food service industry by providing to a free service to ensure a safe, contactless transaction as a means to help alleviate costs for these businesses."   Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 2:12pm
Public-Private Partnership Between Empire State Development, Start Small Think Big and the New York State Bar Association Will Provide Small Businesses and Landlords with Pro Bono Legal Assistance to Renegotiate Lease Terms in Wake of COVID-19 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership. Recognizing the economic impact of COVID-19, this program will provide small businesses and their landlords with informational resources and pro bono assistance to help both parties reach mutually-beneficial lease workout agreements. This service is available to all New York State small businesses and landlords, and participation is voluntary. Over the next year, the partnership has the capacity to serve thousands of small businesses statewide. "Small business are the backbone of any strong economy and it is critical that we work to find ways to support them during these difficult times," Governor Cuomo said. "The COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the economy has been nothing short of devastating, and through partnerships such as this, we can help to alleviate the burdens many business owners are facing. While a moratorium on commercial evictions is currently in place, this new public-private partnership will help provide an additional level of stability for small businesses and ensure they are able to play a role in helping build New York's economy back better than before."   As part of this program, Empire State Development is partnering with the New York State Bar Association and Start Small Think Big, a New York-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting small, under-resourced entrepreneurs with high-quality professional services. For this partnership, Start Small will be offering pro bono legal services from its network of more than 1,000 attorneys, to commercial tenants and landlords seeking lease amendments to cope with the impacts of COVID-19. The New York State Bar Association has served as the voice of the state's legal profession for more than 140 years and will support the recruitment and training of additional volunteer attorneys. The Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership website includes information on the lease renegotiation process and details the different types of lease workouts available to help small businesses cope with the financial impacts of COVID-19. Those interested in pro bono assistance to initiate a lease renegotiation are encouraged to review and complete the partnership's intake form. After completing the form, each small business will receive an email detailing an estimated timeline for placement with a volunteer attorney. Once matched, the volunteer attorney will email the applicant to schedule an appointment.  Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately created new and unforeseen economic challenges for small business owners and landlords across the state. Working together with Start Small Think Big and the New York State Bar Association to establish this partnership, our goal is to help commercial tenants and landlords reach mutually-beneficial agreements by engaging in productive discussions and taking advantage of the free legal assistance provided through this program." Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 12:00pm
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 p.m. on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.
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Press Release

Friday, December 4, 2020 - 2:29pm
Fund will Stabilize At-Risk Buildings for Commercial Use and Redevelopment Empire State Development (ESD), East Side Avenues, and Preservation Buffalo Niagara today announced that applications are available for funding dedicated to the stabilization of historic at-risk buildings on Buffalo’s East Side. The $5 million Commercial Building Stabilization Fund, part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, will help protect the fabric, density and character of the East Side – making sure that neighborhood buildings in need of preventative stabilization can be maintained for prospective mixed-use, retail, commercial or residential development. These restorations will also help to further increase the area’s commercial activity.  A total of $500,000 will be made available for this initial round, which is being administered by Preservation Buffalo Niagara.  Additional funding will be made available in future rounds, for a total of $5 million.  “The East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund is an important placemaking resource that invests in the preservation of historic neighborhood structures and encourages their future restoration,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “These community-strengthening measures are key to Buffalo’s continued resurgence.” “Across the City of Buffalo, we have seen the role that preservation has played in the health and opportunities of our neighborhoods,” said Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara.  “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to ensure that the East Side is not left out of the social and economic benefits afforded by a commitment to preservation of place.” The fund will increase opportunities for reuse of the stock of historic buildings located on Buffalo’s East Side. It ensures that the region’s unique history, beauty and sense of place are retained through its architecture, landscapes and urban design, and reverses the decades-long practice of demolishing building stock.  Grants of up to $50,000 will support seal-up efforts, such as roof patching and mothballing precautions, and more complicated structural issues that will help prevent crisis-level failures in the future or, even worse, additional emergency demolitions of the existing urban fabric.  The fund will ensure that viable buildings, regardless of code violations or structural deficiencies, are not torn down as a short-sighted “solution;” instead, these buildings will remain intact and made available for reuse. The program is open to owners of commercial and mixed-use structures that were built more than 50 years ago and meet additional program criteria as outlined in the program guidelines.  The full program guidelines and applications can be found at https://preservationbuffaloniagara.org/east-side-commercial-building-stabilization-fund/.  First-round funding award applications are due on or postmarked by Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.  For more information, contact Bridge Rauche at (716) 852-3300 or [email protected] East Side Avenues Co-Chair and M&T Bank Community Reinvestment Manager Brad Dossinger said, “Historic preservation is an important element of any economic development strategy—especially in a region rich with history and beauty like Buffalo. More than any other area of the city, the East Side has historic buildings in danger of demolition by neglect. By stabilizing and preserving historic buildings on Buffalo’s East Side, the Commercial Building Stabilization Fund will ensure the community’s unique history, beauty and sense of place are retained and can help serve as a building block for ongoing, community based economic development” 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 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.  Contact: Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313 Laura Magee (ESD) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 4:45pm
New York Pushes Toward Goal of Utilizing MWBEs for 30 Percent of State Contracting  More than $3 Billion in State Contracts was Awarded to MWBEs in Fiscal Year 2019-2020, and Over $19 Billion Since 2011  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the utilization rate for New York State's Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises on state contracts increased to 29.51 percent during the 2019-20 Fiscal Year - representing $3.14 billion in contracts - once again achieving the highest rate in the nation. The announcement was made in conjunction with New York State's 10th Annual MWBE Forum, held virtually this year due to COVID-19. The Forum brings together business owners, community leaders, state officials and contractors' representatives to discuss state contracting opportunities and resources available to MWBEs.  "New York's greatest strength is our diversity and we are committed to breaking down any barriers which have not only prevented us from reaching our full potential, but those that have allowed an uneven playing field to exist in the first place," Governor Cuomo said. "New York's nation-leading MWBE program shows just how impactful embracing our diversity can be, and if we are to recover from the economic hardships COVID-19 has placed at our doorstep, we must continue to make these types of strides which ensure everyone has an equal chance of helping New York build back better than ever."  "We are committed to providing critical resources for business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with each other, share best practices, and make sure they have the tools they need," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "As we continue to face challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to building back better and building businesses better to create opportunities, jobs and strengthen our economy. New York continues to be a leader in economic empowerment and contracting opportunities for MWBEs, with our MWBE utilization rate increasing closer to our nation-leading goal of 30 percent and awarding more contracts to support MWBEs and businesses across the state." Read the full press release here.
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