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Press Release

Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 1:52pm
Governor and Senator's Intervention Ensures Continued Operations at Storied Factory and Creation and Retention of 245 Majority Union Jobs $7 Million Investment by New York State Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Kathy Hochul and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the completion of renowned clothier Tom James Company's acquisition of the 112-year-old former Hickey Freeman manufacturing facility which will proudly be recognized and branded as Rochester Tailored Clothing. Tom James will utilize the highly skilled workforce to produce tailored suits for other brands as well as its own clothing line at the North Clinton Avenue facility in the City of Rochester. As part of the acquisition, Tom James will retain 200 jobs previously at risk had the factory closed and has committed to growing employment on site to 245 net jobs over the next five years. "This agreement with the Tom James Company marks the start of a new chapter at the historic Hickey Freeman Building and will ensure that its legacy as an economic driver endures in Rochester," Governor Hochul said. "For more than a century, this facility has been Rochester's gateway to the world of fashion and an important source of stable, union jobs. Now, thanks to State investment and the support of the Majority Leader and partners at every level of government, Tom James will continue to make quality products and employ hundreds of workers in the heart of Rochester." Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said "It's official Rochester will continue its long tradition of making high quality suits, powered by our top notch union tailor workforce! This 112-year old factory is a Rochester institution - woven into the very fabric of the community - and that is why I've fought time and again to keep it in business whenever it faced challenges. Last month, after I had personally called the CEO to urge him to look at Rochester, I announced Tom James Company's plans to acquire this iconic factory, and today, I'm thrilled to announce that Tom James has officially closed on its purchase of this Rochester institution - not only providing stability for its 200 world-class union employees, but also adding additional jobs in the coming years. When I visited this Rochester facility a few years ago and walked the floor alongside the factory's hardworking employees, many of whom have worked there for decades, I committed to making sure their future was secure for years to come. Tom James Company, fueled by its own Workers United union workforce, has become an industry leader and is tailor-made to sew success now for Rochester's future. Now that the deal is officially closed, I'm excited to see what the future holds for this beloved Rochester factory and its hundreds of skilled Rochester union workers." Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "Rochester has long been home to a skilled workforce in the garment industry, and the storied history of the Hickey Freeman company inspires many with nearly 125 years of operations in the city. With the purchase of this factory by the Tom James Company, Rochester's days of Made-in-America suit manufacturing will live on. I'm grateful for the investment by Tom James to ensure that the region maintains quality, union jobs for nearly 200 workers at the North Clinton Ave. factory, and that the company intends to grow this workforce. This was a collective effort at all levels of government and local industry, and I am thankful for the efforts of Senator Schumer and Empire State Development to make this acquisition a reality." Schumer and Hochul announced Tom James's plans to acquire the Rochester factory earlier this summer. This official closing comes after a personal appeal to Tom James CEO Todd Browne from the Majority Leader after the factory was put up for sale earlier this year. Schumer called on the company to move forward with plans to take over the factory and provide stability and growth for this long-time Rochester facility. Governor Hochul also directed Empire State Development to engage Tom James in discussions around State funding sources available to support the acquisition. Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 12:15pm
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for ‘Splash’ Indoor Water Park Resort Marks Completion of Oswego’s Final DRI Project; Makes Oswego First DRI Community in the State to Complete All of its Projects New Water Park Will Create Jobs and Attract Visitors to Oswego’s Downtown, Adding to the Vibrancy and Revitalization Created by the DRI Completed DRI Includes Increased Housing in Downtown Oswego, Furthering Governor’s Ongoing Commitment to Making New York More Affordable See Before and After Photos of Oswego’s DRI Projects Here Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of Oswego’s final Downtown Revitalization Initiative project at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the “Splash” Indoor Water Park Resort. The completion of this project makes Oswego the first DRI community in the state to complete all of its DRI projects. “With this ribbon cutting ceremony for the Splash Indoor Water Park Resort, Oswego has completed a total of 10 projects to improve its downtown and become a model DRI community,” Governor Hochul said. “Oswego’s experience showcases the critical public and private partnerships needed to ensure the success of the program and spur economic development throughout the region. This success story can serve as an example for other communities as we look to the future of our DRI and NY Forward programs and continue working to build a better future for all New Yorkers.” New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “You can feel the energy, vibrancy and excitement created by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects when you visit Oswego. The city has masterfully chosen and integrated a variety of projects that exemplify the vision and goals of the DRI, laying the groundwork for much more investment to come as the revitalization process continues to unfold and serving as a shining example for other communities participating in this program. Congratulations to the City of Oswego on this significant accomplishment.” The Splash Indoor Water Park Resort is a four-season family destination that is connected to the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center overlooking the Oswego River/Canal, linking the project to the city’s cherished riverfront and its rich maritime history as the Port City. Splash builds on existing anchor developments and attractions in the downtown—many of which were funded by the DRI and other State programs—to strengthen the appeal of the downtown as a fun, family-friendly destination. The DRI provided $500,000 for the project, which was implemented by Shane Broadwell of the Broadwell Hospitality Group. Broadwell estimates that Splash will create 60-70 jobs in peak season. The water park will also support surrounding businesses by attracting more visitors to the area. Oswego received a $10 million DRI award in the first round of the program in 2016. The City’s Strategic Investment Plan focused on increasing downtown housing, expanding small businesses, and providing entertainment and dining options for all ages, while maximizing access to its treasured waterfront. To date, Oswego’s projects have created over 200 units of housing for households of all income levels, 12 commercial spaces and over 150 new full-time and part-time jobs. Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Tuesday, July 25, 2023 - 3:30pm
This meeting is open to the public. The public may listen to the meeting via webcast by clicking the link below. Due to 633 Third Avenue building procedures, those attending should please RSVP by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 24, 2023.  RSVP press line (800) 260-7313; RSVP public line (212) 803-3240. Members of the public may submit comments on the Agenda items in writing to [email protected] by 5:00 pm on Monday, July 24, 2023.
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Public Notice

Friday, July 21, 2023 - 2:00pm
View all grants to be presented at the batch virtual public hearing.
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Board Meeting

Friday, July 21, 2023 - 11:00am
The meeting is open to the public. The public may also view and listen to the meeting via webcast 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 Thursday, July 20, 2023. All comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the Directors prior to the meeting and posted online.
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Press Release

Thursday, July 20, 2023 - 1:57pm
Partnership With Mission-Driven Community Lenders Will Strengthen Small Businesses and Non-Profits Through Access to Capital and Support Services Expanded Eligibility Will Allow More Small Businesses to Qualify for Loans Interested Businesses Can Pre-Apply Here Traducción al español Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the New York Forward Loan Fund 2 program for qualifying small businesses and nonprofits. After expanding criteria for qualifications and with even greater resources allocated for the program, the enhanced fund represents an even bolder commitment to New York State’s small businesses. Qualified recipients with fewer than 100 employees and less than $5 million in gross annual revenue can apply for loans up to $150,000 with affordable, fixed-rate interest rates. Part of New York’s broader State Small Business Credit Initiative efforts led by Empire State Development, the fund will be in place for the next eight years and will focus on helping small businesses and nonprofits, particularly those in low-income and historically underbanked communities and rural areas access flexible working capital to cover a wide range of expenses, from payroll and marketing to facility renovations. Additionally, free support services from experts will work with businesses throughout the life of the loan. “New York’s small businesses are the lifeblood of our state’s economy and vital to growing and strengthening New York State,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “With expanded eligibility, this new and improved New York Forward Loan Fund will build on the success that the first fund achieved supporting small businesses during the pandemic and continue to help even more small businesses grow and thrive across the state." Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The New York Forward Loan Fund 2 was designed to be a stable, flexible resource for New York’s small business community across the state to access capital when they need it. This innovative program will match small businesses to strong, statewide CDFI lenders who can provide individualized service and technical assistance, especially for business owners who have credit needs that are too small for most banks.” The New York Forward Loan Fund was initially designed to provide hands on support and access to flexible, affordable credit to the smallest businesses across New York who lacked access to affordable credit options in response to COVID-19. New York State needed to create its own program to address inequities in distribution of funds and because smaller loans were not widely available in the market at affordable rates. The original fund processed over 1,700 loans and distributed $97 million in pandemic relief to small businesses and served as a life-line, especially for women and minority-owned companies. More than 50 percent of loan recipients had never applied for a business loan prior to the New York Forward Loan Fund. Read the full press release here.
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Board Meeting

Thursday, July 20, 2023 - 9:30am
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 should please RSVP by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. 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 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. All comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the Directors prior to the meeting and will posted online.
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Blog Post

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - 5:20pm
Commencement’s over; now what? Summer’s the time when recent college graduates are looking for must-haves – including well-paying jobs, dynamic downtowns, and ample nature to explore. More than just a stepping stone, they are searching for the best place to live, start and ground their careers.    Ranked highly among multiple outlets indexing ideal cities for new grads, Albany and the Capital Region are checking many of the boxes, blending professional opportunity that features all the perks of urban living with unparalleled outdoor beauty and recreation that are practically right next door.   Albany has become a chart-topping city for young professionals seeking relocation, featured in the Top 10 of Zillow’s Best U.S. Cities for Recent Grads  — based on rent-to-income ratio, average salary, job openings and number of people in their 20s. Ranked by homebuyer.com as the 11th best city for young adults and professionals and by WalletHub among the top 20 most educated cities in the country, Albany also is among the 25 Best Places to Live for Quality of Life, according to a recent U.S. News ranking.
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Press Release

Tuesday, July 18, 2023 - 4:58pm
RFP Places Strong Emphasis on Housing, With a Range of Unit Sizes and Affordability Levels Also Announces Progress Toward Redeveloping Livingston Correctional Facility as Livingston County Industrial Development Agency Secures Necessary Approvals for Land Transfer Aligns With Governor’s Ongoing Effort to Identify State-Owned Sites for Potential Residential Uses Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Empire State Development, in partnership with the Office of General Services and Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, has issued a Request for Proposals for the former Downstate Correctional Facility located in Fishkill, Dutchess County. This Request for Proposals advances recommendations made by the Prison Redevelopment Commission and builds on first-in-the-nation strategic efforts to reimagine former prison sites from an economic development focus as prison populations shrink and prisons close. The Request for Proposals is also a part of the Governor’s ongoing effort to identify state-owned sites for potential residential uses to increase the State’s housing supply in light of the housing crisis. “The formation of the Prison Redevelopment Commission, announced nearly one year ago, was the first comprehensive analysis in the United States for the reuse and redevelopment of New York’s closed facilities,” Governor Hochul said. “The Commission compiled thoughtful, realistic information and recommendations that considered input from both experts and community stakeholders, and we are hitting the ground running and taking major steps to move these recommendations forward in ways that will give impacted communities a voice on the future of these closed sites.” Governor Hochul also announced that Empire State Development has secured necessary approvals for the transfer of Livingston Correctional Facility to the Livingston County Industrial Development Agency, advancing another key recommendation from the Prison Redevelopment Commission’s 2022 Unlocking Opportunity report. Request for Proposals to Redevelop Downstate Correctional Facility The primary development objective for the redevelopment of the Downstate Correctional Facility is to maximize benefits to the surrounding community and region while prioritizing housing. Following the Governor’s directive and in accordance with recommendations from the Unlocking Opportunity report, the Request for Proposals (RFP) places a strong emphasis on housing in a mix of unit sizes and affordability ranges and makes up to $8 million in incentives available to eligible respondents to address remediation and demolition costs. View RFP here. Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Tuesday, July 18, 2023 - 2:57pm
Inaugural Shipment Includes Wines from World-Renowned Finger Lakes Region Partnership Represents Special Relationship Between New York and Puerto Rico and Growing Demand for New York State Wines Traducción al español Governor Kathy Hochul today announced an inaugural partnership that enables New York State wines to be sold in Puerto Rico for the very first time. The New York State Office of Trade and Tourism, distributor Serrallés Imports, and the legendary Steuben County-based Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery are making a selection of wines produced in the Finger Lakes region available in Puerto Rico for local purchase. This collaboration marks the first-ever introduction of New York wines into the growing Puerto Rico wine market and uncorks a new era of wine connoisseurship and cultural exchange. The new partnership was toasted today at a wine-tasting launch at the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism in San Juan, attended by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Richard Ball.  "Puerto Rico has shared so much of its culture, vibrancy, and creativity with New York, and our history and future are intrinsically intertwined," Governor Hochul said. "Now Puerto Rico will be able to enjoy what wine lovers across the world have long known - the best wines are made in New York. Cheers to this fantastic collaboration!"  Stemming from a shared vision of New York State Office of Trade and Tourism and Serrallés Imports, one of Puerto Rico's largest distributors, the State recognized the immense potential for promoting and celebrating New York wines. Partnering with Serrallés and Dr. Konstantin Frank, New York's most awarded winery, the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism was able to work through export requirements to bring Dr. Frank's wines into the market, and leverage Serrallés Imports extensive distribution network and wine and spirits industry expertise to ensure that New York-made wines are available to consumers and connoisseurs across Puerto Rico. The winery will be providing its Riesling varieties and Rosé for export. The State hopes to expand the selection of wines and wineries participating in this initiative in the future.   Empire State Development President CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "New York State wines are of the highest caliber in the world and I'm proud to join Governor Hochul in celebrating the export of Finger Lakes vintages to Puerto Rico for the first time. Thanks to the hard work of ESD's Office of Trade and Tourism, this partnership supports local production and will continue to enrich the vibrant, longstanding cultural exchange between New York and Puerto Rico, benefitting both our communities and economy." Read the full press release here.
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