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Press Release

Friday, November 29, 2019 - 11:02am
Empire State Development and the New York State Departments of Labor, Taxation and Finance, and Agriculture and Markets today encouraged all New Yorkers to support their local small businesses on Small Business Saturday, which falls this year on November 30. By choosing to shop locally Saturday, and every day, New Yorkers are investing in their neighborhoods, strengthening their communities, and keeping tax dollars within the Empire State. Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “New York’s small businesses are the backbone of the state’s economy, supporting millions of jobs, communities and families here every year. We are proud to devote substantial state support to ensuring that small businesses can thrive everywhere, but we cannot do it alone—the support of everyday customers is integral, and we encourage New Yorkers to shop at their local small businesses this Saturday and every day.” State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Small businesses keep our downtowns vital and relevant, and truly provide the heartbeat of our local communities. Support your local small business owner this Saturday and every day because shopping small can have a big impact.” Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Schmidt said, “Celebrating Small Business Saturday by shopping local is a great tribute to our state’s entrepreneurs as they showcase their talent and ingenuity. To help small businesses flourish and further propel New York State’s economy, we provide a variety of incentives to make starting, growing, or expanding easy and affordable. I encourage all small business owners to visit our Business incentives webpage to learn more about the valuable benefits available.” State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to support local growers, farmers, processors and beverage-makers. We encourage holiday shoppers to consider choosing New York State’s top-notch craft beverages, fresh wholesome foods and wide-array of wood products when they are out looking for the perfect holiday decorations, gifts and holiday party supplies. Whether it’s an NYS Grown & Certified Christmas tree, a bottle of Finger Lakes Riesling, or Taste NY jellies and jams, New York-produced goods are a cut above the rest and a great way to support our neighboring businesses.” 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, accounting for 98 percent of all businesses in the state and employing more than 52 percent of New York’s private sector workforce. Today, New York State has more than 523,000 small business proprietors, employing more than 4 million people. NYS Support for Small Business Whether a business is starting up or looking to expand, Empire State Development (ESD) and its Small Business Division can provide assistance through an array of programs and initiatives designed to support small business growth and help entrepreneurs maximize their opportunities for success. ESD offers loans, financing, tax credits and incentives to qualifying businesses at all stages, including those designated as Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). For more information, visit ESD’s website at www.esd.ny.gov or https://esd.ny.gov/doing-business-ny/small-business-hub. The New York State Department of Labor offers a multitude of no-cost services for businesses of all sizes, including 140,000 job postings on Governor Cuomo’s Jobs Express website, access to tens of thousands of qualified candidates in our talent pool, career fairs and customized recruitments, and even Human Resources consultation services. More than 20,000 businesses each year work with DOL to list their jobs, find the right candidates, access hiring and training incentives, obtain business tax credits and incentives, get help with one-on-one labor law and safety and health compliance services, and find layoff aversion resources. For more information, visit: https://www.labor.ny.gov/business. New York State offers dozens of beneficial tax breaks to help smooth the path and reduce the cost of launching a thriving business. Small businesses can access a variety of resources and programs anytime at the Tax Department’s dedicated Business incentives webpage, a one-stop shop for details about tax credits and incentives for a variety of enterprises in various industries—from farming and agriculture to research and development to manufacturing. Businesses may also qualify for dozens of job credits and incentives for hiring and training local workers, or for tax credits and exemptions intended to encourage property improvements. The Tax Department’s website, www.tax.ny.gov, offers businesses and their representatives a convenient way to meet their tax obligations. The Online Services for businesses webpage provides efficient ways to make payments, view filing information, or otherwise interact with the Tax Department. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets supports New York’s over 33,000 farms, 700 farmers markets and farm stands and thousands of small agribusinesses across the State through its various programs. The NYS Grown & Certified program markets local growers and producers participating in safe food handling and environmental sustainability programs, helping them better compete in the marketplace. The Taste NY program showcases New York food and beverage businesses at large public events, and at Taste NY stores, the State’s Welcome Centers, displays and concessions at more than 70 locations across New York. In addition, the Department’s Divisions assist small agri-businesses and farmers by providing a variety of support services that enhance their business, increasing productivity, profitability and competitiveness. Contact: ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313 Labor Press Office | [email protected] | (518) 457-5519
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Blog Post

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 1:57pm
New York’s foliage isn’t the only thing getting attention this fall.  Our economy is just as vibrant, with plans for a $1 billion, 600-job silicon-carbide wafer fabrication facility, the completion of a 50-mile drone corridor, developing the state’s cybersecurity sector and support for advance cancer research, autumn has been a season of innovation in New York State. These are just a few of the many ways New York is the state of the future: Hiring is underway and construction plans are on schedule for Cree Inc.’s $1 billion 200mm silicon carbide wafer (SiC) fabrication facility, the Mohawk Valley Fab. In September, Governor Cuomo announced a public-private partnership with Cree, a global leader in silicon carbide (SiC) technology, for creation of the state-of-the-art facility. The facility will produce power electronics chips to meet the needs of industry, and with anticipated demand from the electric vehicle market. The company has committed to create more than 600 full-time jobs. Cree is currently leasing space on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Albany using equipment purchased as part of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (PEMC) – in October, Cree and the New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology, Engineering and Science (NY CREATES) successfully completed the first silicon carbide test wafers at the Albany campus. The Cree partnership includes workforce development across the SUNY system to prepare New Yorkers for 21st century jobs. It's official: New York State is home to the nation’s first 50-mile drone corridor, stretching from Central New York to the Mohawk Valley. Governor Cuomo announced the corridor’s completion earlier this month. The corridor is the country’s most advanced and will allow companies to test UAS-related products and unmanned traffic management (UTM) technologies for uses in a wide range of industries from forest management to film. The Nov. 12 drone announcement coincided with news of an expansion of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden, home to new startups, to the UAS-focused GENIUS NY business accelerator competition and anchor of the Syracuse City Center Innovation hub. New York State continues to build a tech talent pipeline for its key industries, including a growing homeland and cybersecurity sector. On Nov. 12, the Governor announced the opening of the Cybersecurity Innovation and Research Center at Hofstra University. The $1.35 million center, with $200,000 in state support, features top tech and simulation software allowing students to react to realistic cyberattacks. The Hofstra center is the latest in a series of cybersecurity-focused programs and initiatives recently announced across the state. Last month marked the opening of the Center for Therapeutics Research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, one of the country’s top research institutions and home to groundbreaking discoveries for more than a century. The facility, which opened on Oct. 30 and is supported by a $25 million state grant, will research advanced therapies for genetic diseases, with a focus on cancer research and is expected to draw the world’s leading scientists to advance that research, adding to the strength of Long Island’s thriving biotech industry.  In October, the New York State Innovation Summit in Rochester brought together companies and entrepreneurs to showcase and discover the new technologies that are supporting innovation and driving business growth in New York State. ESD’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and FuzeHub, a statewide nonprofit that helps manufacturers become more competitive, hosted the Oct. 7-8 event, which coincides with the NYSTAR annual meeting. Attendees learned about growing their businesses in New York State, about the capabilities defining the next generation of technology and manufacturing and about the state’s critical innovation assets and expertise. Also on the agenda: a NYSTAR video highlighting those assets. 
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Blog Post

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 1:48pm
Fifty students and recent graduates from colleges across New York State were invited to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on Nov. 7-8 for the fourth installment of PITCHNY℠, a two-day career development workshop that connects aspiring content creators with entertainment experts to hone their storytelling skills and learn how to break into the Film and Television industry. Hosted by the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development with NBCUniversal and new partner Tribeca Film Institute, PITCHNY℠ is focused on promoting diversity in the entertainment industry both by highlighting diverse content and increasing opportunity for aspiring young filmmakers, producers, directors and writers from diverse backgrounds. The participants submitted applications which pitched several creative concepts highlighting themes of diversity. The 50 participants, from around New York State, received a stipend to attend the event and represented both public and private universities, including: Barnard College, Brooklyn College, City College of New York, The College of Saint Rose, Columbia University, CUNY Baruch College, Fashion Institute of Technology, Fordham University, Hofstra University, Hunter College, Ithaca College, LaGuardia Community College, Long Island University Brooklyn, Marist College, The New School, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Sarah Lawrence College, Schenectady County Community College, St. John’s University, SUNY Buffalo State, SUNY Empire State College, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Purchase, University at Buffalo and Syracuse University. The first day of PITCHNY℠ included an educational presentation and pitch practicing workshop led by Tribeca Film Institute, inside Saturday Night Live’s legendary Studio 8H home at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and studio tours lead by NBC pages. Participants were then joined by industry professionals, past participants of the event, and representatives from the Governor’s Office, NBCUniversal and Tribeca Film Institute for an evening welcome reception. Day two featured informational panels, roundtable discussions and a one-on-one “speed dating” pitch session with entertainment experts. The morning kicked off with a panel on “The Changing Media Landscape” featuring new media industry trends with experts from YouTube Space New York, Jax Media and NBC Entertainment, who provided students with insight into the innovative and evolving content creation and distribution structure. A “Get Your Story Heard” panel featured award-winning Actor/Producer/Writer/Directors Otoja Abit and Melissa Haizlip, who provided advice and personal anecdotes to teach students how to advance their stories and break into the industry. Participants were then paired with producers, writers, directors, developers and executives from Universal Content Productions, Tangerine Entertainment, America’s Rainbow Film Festival, Warner Horizon TV, DeFina Film Productions, Tribeca Film Festival, Topic Studios, Stockade Works, CBS Corporation, Edgeworx Studios, WBTV, HBO, Berlanti Productions, Int'l Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival, Red Crown Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Bushwick Film Festival. In these one-on-one sessions, students practiced their story pitches and received feedback and constructive criticism from industry leaders. The industry representatives simulated real-life pitching situations and gave students an opportunity to share their stories and enhance their storytelling skills. These “speed dating” pitch sessions also connected entertainment industry leaders with a rising generation of diverse content creators. Speakers featured during the two-day event included: Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler, Tribeca Enterprises CEO & Co-Founder Jane Rosenthal, NBCUniversal General Counsel & Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation Kimberley D. Harris and NBCUniversal Vice President Diversity & Inclusion Salvador Mendoza. Actor/Writer/Producer/Director Arturo Castro, known for his work in Comedy Central’s Alternatino and Broad City and Netflix’s hit series Narcos, joined the event to share his personal story and offer advice on how to entertain across all platforms. Actress Ebonée Noel, who plays analyst Kristen Chazal on CBS’s FBI, also joined to deliver remarks highlighting the importance of diverse content creators in the industry. New York State continues to lead the nation in the fight for social justice and embracing diversity by passing legislation to ensure LGBTQ rights and marriage equality, welcoming the immigrant community, launching a women’s equality agenda and fighting workplace discrimination. PITCHNY℠ builds on Governor Cuomo’s legacy of expanding opportunity, increasing diversity, promoting inclusion and standing up for all minority groups in New York State. Photos are available here.
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Blog Post

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 1:38pm
New York State continues to lead the empowerment of minority and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) at every level—with the utilization rate for MWBEs on New York State contracts rising to 29.13% during Fiscal Year 2018-19—once again the highest rate in the nation. Governor Cuomo announced the new number on Oct. 2, in conjunction with the annual MWBE Forum in Albany.  MWBEs won more than $2.93 billion in state contracts during the past fiscal year—adding to a total of more than $15.9 billion since 2011. The Forum, New York State’s largest annual business event for MWBEs, brings together business owners, community leaders, state officials and contractors’ representatives to discuss state contracting opportunities and learn about resources available to minority and women-owned firms. The event furthers Governor Cuomo’s efforts to create a level playing field for MWBEs and to increase their participation in New York State contracting. This year’s Forum, Leading the Nation, was held Oct. 2-3 and featured 49 workshops highlighting New York State’s best-in-the-nation efforts to assist small businesses and MWBEs across New York to learn about State contracting opportunities. Once again, the Forum served as a "one-stop shop" for MWBEs to learn about the state procurement process, receive technical assistance and acquire new skills to successfully expand into new market sectors to grow their businesses. This year’s Forum was attended by more than 2,200 businesses, state agencies and authorities and government officials. Throughout the event, attendees were able to visit with 190+ exhibitors; there were more than 800 one-on-one meetings between MWBEs, prime contractors, and state agencies, as well as more than 200 meetings with certification analysts. This year, attendees had the opportunity to learn about topics ranging from the re-authorization of Article 15-A, which provides statutory authority for the MWBE program, to financing assistance and information on major infrastructure projects. The Forum also highlighted new and expanding initiatives by Empire State Development’s Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development. This year, the Supply & Demand Utilization Initiative, which targets industries with low levels of MWBE utilization and availability, has been expanded to support MWBEs in: advertising and marketing, architecture, engineering, environmental services, financial services, insurance, legal services, medical and clinical services, real estate, communications, IT consulting, software development, medical, dental, and lab supplies, office equipment and furniture, and food and beverage. The initiative provides industry-specific assistance, including specialty webinars, technical services from strategic partners, and individualized outreach and networking days.  The Forum also recognized the relaunch of the MWBE Mentor Protégé Program, which matches prime contractor mentors with certified MWBE firms. The mentor firms guide MWBEs with hands-on technical knowledge and networking opportunities, so they can better access state contracting opportunities. The 2019 MWBE Forum built upon the investments New York State has made in its infrastructure and economic development initiatives and underscored new upcoming opportunities for MWBE firms—including those with some of the state’s top projects:  the Belmont Park Redevelopment; John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports Redevelopment; Vital Brooklyn Projects; and the MTA Capital Plan. This year’s Forum also highlighted the incredible work being done by NYS-certified MWBEs, with a first-time “Journey to Success” panel featuring three MWBE firms that all served as prime contractors on New York State contracts. This year’s gathering also featured a newly expanded MWBE-to-MWBE networking session to encourage the creation of new partnerships and strategic alliances. Four New York State MWBE businesses were recognized as Carey Gabay Excellence and Innovation awardees. This honor — named for Carey Gabay, who served as an Assistant Counsel to Governor Cuomo and as First Deputy Counsel for Empire State Development before he was tragically killed in September 2015 — celebrates New York-certified MWBEs for their entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to innovation and efforts to strengthen their communities, principles that Carey Gabay lived during his service to New York State. The 2019 Awardees for Entrepreneurial Spirit and Achievement as New York State-Certified MWBEs are: Laura Cueva, Interior Innovations Kirit Desai, Derive Technologies. LLC Mary Warren, Black Horse Group, LLC Edward O. Watts, Jr., Watts Architecture & Engineering, D.P.C. The governor’s vision to address the issue of underutilization of MWBEs was, and continues to be, based on common-sense economics—New York’s financial growth and stability is dependent upon the success of its small businesses and of its MWBEs. Governor Cuomo is dedicated to ensuring that MWBEs have access to the tools and resources necessary to win State contracts, build healthy communities and strengthen the economy.
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Blog Post

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 1:24pm
In business, and elsewhere, ideas are currency. In New York State, ideas create currency – in prize money of up to $1 million through ESD's business accelerator competitions, which support entrepreneurs and startups launching new companies across several Upstate regions. These competitions include diverse, cutting edge industries, such as agribusiness and cybersecurity, and generate ideas that can potentially revolutionize established fields, including mining and healthcare. Grow-NY:  A Geneva, N.Y.-based company, RealEats America, was announced on Nov. 13 as the first $1 million winner of the Grow-NY Business Competition, focused on growing innovation in food and agriculture in Central New York, the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions. Grow-NY winners commit to operating in those regions for at least one year. RealEats was one of 17 finalists out of nearly 200 food and agriculture startups that applied to the competition. Runners-up from Syracuse, Ithaca and Victor were awarded two $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes. The competition is being administered through Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. IDEA NY: Albany-based United Aircraft Technologies (UAT) was the winner of $200,000 in seed funding in the IDEA NY business accelerator competition. The company was awarded the funding at a demo day event on Nov. 13 at Griffiss Institute in Rome, where six teams from the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate Commercialization Academy pitched startup ideas across cyber security, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), big data and information systems. Runner-up and Syracuse-based PreVision Corp. won $100,000. The winners will work with UAT in a yearlong IDEA NY accelerator program at Griffiss, where they will receive the technical assistance needed to grow their businesses. 43North:  Buffalo-based 43North announced its sixth-round winners on Oct. 30, with St.Louis-based Strayos, using AI to improve efficiency and reduce costs in mining operations, winning the $1 million grand prize. Seven other winners—from Buffalo, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and New York City—received $500,000 each in investments. 43North companies receive free incubator space in Buffalo—and the seeds of the competition have taken solid root in the local economy. In July, Governor Cuomo announced that 43North companies have created more than 500 jobs in Western New York. And earlier in November, ACV Auctions – a Buffalo-based 43North portfolio company—became Buffalo’s first tech unicorn, with a valuation of more than $1.5 billion. 
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Press Release

Monday, November 25, 2019 - 1:12pm
Company to Create 118 New Jobs in East Fishkill Facility Facility Located on Former IBM Campus iPark Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the completion of Crepini’s new crepe manufacturing facility in East Fishkill, Dutchess County. The company, which makes several crepe varieties with different ingredients, will create 118 new jobs and retain 30 jobs. The new 50,000 square foot facility will increase the company’s capacity from 40 million crepes per year to 250 million crepes per year. Crepini is a New York State-certified Women-owned business (WBE). Its new facility is located in iPark, the former IBM campus in East Fishkill. Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “Crepini joins the many manufacturers choosing to stay and expand their operations in New York State, with a new facility that will increase the company’s output, create more than 100 new jobs and contribute to the Mid-Hudson region’s economic growth.” To encourage Crepini to stay and expand in New York State, Empire State Development offered up to $2.5 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, which are directly tied to job creation. The company is investing over $7.7 million in the new facility. The project included fit-up costs and the purchase of machinery and equipment to increase the company’s ability to make more product. Crepini CEO and Co-founder Paula Rimer said, “Crepini was founded in 2007 and is a family owned business. Our products, which are sold nationwide, are dairy-free and gluten-free and are first of its kind ‘zero net carbs - 8 calorie healthy egg and veggie based wraps’. Our success is a collaborative process of innovation, perseverance, risk taking, and being enthusiastic dreamers and very hard workers. On behalf of the entire Crepini family we all greatly appreciate NYS Empire State Development for helping Crepini in keeping NYS jobs and creating over 100 hundred new jobs as we grow up as a business in Dutchess County NY.” Crepini was founded in 2007 and is family-run. The company has won four Silver SOFI Awards. Its products, which are sold in over 4,000 stores throughout the United States, are dairy-free and gluten-free. 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 NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov. Contact: Adam Kilduff | [email protected] | (212) 803-3744 ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Friday, November 22, 2019 - 4:07pm
Up to $30 Million Available For Business Resiliency Projects in Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Wayne Counties Impacted by Historic Flooding Application Period Open Through January 31, 2020 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the application period for the Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program is now open to businesses and other organizations directly impacted by the historic flooding of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River earlier this year. The Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative Commission has made available up to $30 million to support resiliency-related capital improvement projects at affected businesses and other eligible organizations, which may qualify for reimbursement of up to 50% of project costs, with a maximum award of $200,000. "The historic flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River left unprecedented damage in its wake, and we have committed significant resources to help ensure impacted businesses can make repairs, recover and once again drive our regional economies forward," Governor Cuomo said. "As we continue to focus on regionally-significant rebuilding and resiliency efforts, it is critical to make this funding available to businesses as it will provide much needed support and financial relief and help all communities with their recovery efforts." Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 11:51am
Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) of Buffalo Selected Explore & More as Project of the Year Photos of the Museum are Available Here Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and Explore & More - The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children's Museum are proud to announce the museum, located at Canalside, has been selected as the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) of Buffalo 2019 Project of the Year. This prestigious Project of the Year award is bestowed upon one building per year following an extensive review and an on-site visit from BOMA judges.  BOMA is the leading trade association for commercial real estate professionals, supporting companies that help grow the Buffalo region by developing or renovating commercial buildings, creating jobs and servicing their tenants. “Receiving this distinction from the esteemed members of BOMA is a testament to the exceptional design and engaging exhibits at the new Explore & More museum,” said Robert Gioia, Chairman ECHDC. “The museum has become a vibrant magnet for visitors to Canalside, adding to the overall resurgence of the waterfront and the Queen City.” “We are thrilled to receive the Project of the Year award. This collaboration between ECHDC and Explore & More-The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum tells the story of Western New York through immersive and hands-on exhibits. The designers, fabricators, contractors and architects work is highlighted both inside and outside the museum.  We are extremely proud of the outcome,” said Michelle Urbanczyk, CEO-Explore & More. “BOMA is proud to honor Explore & More museum with the 2019 Project of The Year Award.  This development represents dynamic collaboration between public and private entities.  It is obvious how much careful thought went into how it would fit into the landscape of Canalside, and how the diverse exhibits represent so many aspects of what Buffalo stands for. It is truly a destination for local residents and families visiting Buffalo,” said Jennifer Aiple, Executive Director, BOMA Buffalo. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the completion of construction and dedication of the new $29 million Explore & More - The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children's Museum at Canalside in May of 2019.  The 43,000 square foot stand-alone building houses seven educational play zones, each offering hands-on activities and exhibits that tell the stories of Buffalo for children and families. Located at the corner of Commercial Street and Marine Drive, the museum was built on the terminus of the original Erie Canal, where replica canals and bridges have become year-round family and tourist destinations. Credit for the collaborative design of the museum goes to Fontense, Folts, Aubrecht & Ernst Architects, Foit-Albert Associates and Gyroscope. The core and shell of the building was constructed by LeChase Construction; Savarino Construction built out the interior of the museum. In addition to the play zones, the four-story brick museum houses a family-friendly café and party room overlooking the Canal Towpath, along with a Buffalo themed gift shop, private office space, a conference room, several additional exhibit spaces, activity studios and a rooftop terrace offering magnificent views of the city skyline. More information about Explore & More - The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children's Museum can be found at exploreandmore.org. About BOMA Buffalo BOMA Buffalo is a not-for-profit trade association providing an array of services to commercial property professionals including education, networking opportunities, benchmarking data, legislative and regulatory advocacy and professional development. Greater Buffalo BOMA’s membership consists of more than 125 real estate professionals including building owners, facility managers and developers, as well as companies that provide services and supplies to the industry.  Greater Buffalo BOMA is a federated chapter of BOMA International. Learn more at www.bomabuffalo.com About BOMA International The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 90 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types including nearly 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 1.7 million jobs and contributes $234.9 billion to the U.S. GDP. Its mission is to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence and knowledge. ​​ BOMA International is a primary source of information on building management and operations, development, leasing, building operating costs, energy consumption patterns, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics, technological developments and other industry trends. Learn more at www.boma.org. Contact: Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 Laura Magee (ECHDC) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239
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Press Release

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 9:46am
Family-friendly Season Opening Celebration planned for Friday evening Visit www.buffalowaterfront.com for skating hours, venue and event details See photos of The Ice at Canalside here Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and Be Our Guest, Ltd. will open The Ice at Canalside, presented by BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 3 p.m. A family-friendly Season Opening Celebration is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 22, starting at 5 p.m.  This season marks the return of Ice favorites, including skating, curling, ice bikes, ice bumper cars and more. New this year: six-person heated igloos available to rent. Skaters will also be able to warm up and get a snack at the new Explore & More-The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum Low Bridge Café, presented by M&T Bank. “Opening the Ice at Canalside is a special way to kick off the winter and holiday season each year,” said Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia.  “Skaters and rink side visitors can enjoy the festive atmosphere, the new Low Bridge Café and a wide variety of food and beverage choices. We encourage families to come make some holiday memories at Canalside.” The Ice, open since 2014 with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, provides visitors with a skating surface that is bigger than two NHL rinks, with three unique bridges and more than 20,000 square feet of pedestrian towpaths.  Friday’s Canalside Season Opening Celebration presented by Citizen’s Bank begins with the opening of Ice at Canalside at 1 p.m., followed by the start of festivities at 5 p.m.  Celebration highlights include: a DJ performance from 5 to 10 p.m.; Happy Hour at the Low Bridge Café from 5 to 7 p.m.; a visit from Santa Claus from 5 to 9 p.m.; “Snow Sisters” from Dream Is a Wish Entertainment from 6 to 9 p.m.; and fireworks at 7:15 p.m.  In addition, there will be BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York giveaways, free hot chocolate vouchers for the first 500 visitors, free hot dog vouchers for the first 100 visitors and an on-ice performance.  For more information on the Season Opening Celebration, visit www.buffalowaterfront.com. Once again, the Honda Winter Pavilion, located directly next to the Ice, is the main entrance point for skate rentals and admission.  It provides a warm, covered area where visitors can pay admission, rent skates, complete safety waivers and rent storage lockers. All guests entering the ice must complete an ice waiver, which can also be done ahead of time on www.buffalowaterfront.com. Curling—interested parties can reserve lane time at https://buffalowaterfront.com/events/curling)—is located next to Explore & More, as in years past, and the Ice Bumper Cars have a designated space underneath the Roswell Park Bridge of Hope. The Snack Shack at the Ice will serve as another of the food and beverage areas, featuring a menu with hot winter treats, movie theater candy and McCullagh coffee and hot chocolate. The new heated igloos, seating up to six people, are available to book at https://buffalowaterfront.com/activities/igloos-at-the-ice and include skating/rentals/hot beverages and food options. The Low Bridge Café at Explore & More will be open during the open skate hours from Nov. 20 to March 1, serving hot food and featuring happy hour specials. Returning programs this year include Skate Great Learn to Skate, GameOn Leagues, Healthy Buffalo Broomball, and the Community Skate program sponsored by The Skaters Edge Boutique, Sled Hockey Foundation. Curling is sponsored by Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and Bumper Cars is sponsored by West Herr Collision Centers. Other scheduled events include: a menorah lighting on Dec. 22; Gliding Stars on Feb. 8; Silent Disco on Jan 31, Feb. 7, 14 and 28; Fearless February Skate with BCBS on TBD; November Project workout on TBD; and Backyard Classic from Feb. 21-23. “As the official health plan of Canalside, BlueCross BlueShield is excited to kick off another fearless winter season,” said Julie R. Snyder, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.  “The Ice at Canalside has become a beloved tradition in Western New York and we’re looking forward to sharing this one-of-a-kind skating experience with our community again this year.” Visitors can take the NFTA Metro Rail to the Erie Canal Harbor Station stop; parking is available in adjacent parking ramps and lots. Hours of Operation: 3 to 7 p.m.: Wednesday/Thursday 1 to 10 p.m.: Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Sunday **Please note: Hours may change during school breaks and on holidays, as well as during inclement weather.  Visit Canalside’s website or Facebook, Instagram, and twitter accounts for the most up-to-date hours.** Rates: Ice Admission, Adult (13+): $6* Ice Admission, Child (6-12), Military: $4* Ice Admission, Child (5 and under): Free Skate Rental (sizes: youth 7-adult 14): $4* (**$5 during special holiday hours, Dec. 24-Jan.1, Feb. 14, Feb.18-24) Training walker: $2 Penguin Skate Aid: $6 Season Pass, Single: $59** Season Pass, Family of 4: $139** Curling: $10 per person weekdays, $15 per person weekends and holidays Ice Bumper Cars: $7 for 7 minutes Locker Rental - $1 *Show your BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York membership card for $1 off skate admission and $1 off skate rental. ** BlueCross BlueShield members will receive $10 off their INDIVIDUAL season pass, or $19 off their FAMILY season pass, with promo code. Members may go to your BlueCross BlueShield Discount Page to access code. About Canalside Canalside is a growing regional destination and entertainment district, situated on 21 historic acres along downtown Buffalo’s emerging waterfront on the Buffalo River. Canalside earns its name from its storied past, when the Erie Canal Harbor was built in 1825 as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. Until five years ago, the land was barren and inaccessible, but the area has been reclaimed by the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and developed with millions of dollars in public and private investment. With more than 1,000 yearly events and nearly 1 million annual visitors, Canalside is fast becoming the go-to place for in- and out-of-towners of all ages to learn, play and relax. Contact: Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 Laura Magee (ECHDC) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239
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