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Businesses, municipalities urged to explore development resources

The Chautauqua County Department of Planning & Development is asking interested businesses, organizations and municipalities to apply for grant funding for economic and community development projects through the 2021 state Consolidated Funding Application process.

In early May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched Round 11 of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Round 11 includes core capital and tax-credit funding that will be combined with a wide range of existing agency programs totaling approximately $750 million. The core funding includes $225 million in grants and tax credits to fund high-value regional priority projects. The state budget also provides more than $525 million in resources from state agencies to support community revitalization and business growth consistent with the existing REDC plans through the CFA process.

In order to be responsive to the immediate needs of the development community and as the state is making crucial investments to generate economic activity, the $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development will be made available to projects on a continuous and competitive basis this round.

An emphasis will be placed on project readiness and alignment with each region’s strategic plan. Additionally, projects within each region will also be eligible for a share of $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in the region. Projects from all 10 regions submitted through the CFA will be eligible for over $525 million in other state agency funds, which are available on a set timeline. Regional Economic Development Councils will review these projects and provide scores that reflect how well a project aligns with a region’s goals and strategies.

The consolidated funding application is now open to applicants. All applications must be submitted online, with most programs having an application deadline of July 30, 2021s at 4 p.m.

The consolidated funding application allows applicants to submit applications to access grant funding from more than 30 programs available from 10 state agencies. Eligible applicants include for-profit businesses, not-for-profit corporations, business improvement districts, local development corporations, economic development organizations, research and academic institutions, municipalities, counties, regional planning councils, tourist attractions and community facilities.

Submitted projects should align with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council’s regional strategic plan, “A Strategy for Prosperity in Western New York.” This plan strives to improve economic and community development in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties by improving job readiness, smart growth, and entrepreneurship. It also targets continued growth and opportunities in the advanced manufacturing, agriculture, bi-national logistics, energy, health and life sciences, higher education, professional services and tourism industry sectors.

While the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, Chautauqua Region Economic Development Agency and Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth are preparing applications for projects with county-wide impacts that align with the recently completed Economic Development Strategic Plan, businesses, municipalities, and local organizations are encouraged to explore the available resources for their individual projects.

Those interested in applying can contact Nate Aldrich, economic development coordinator, at aldrichn@chqgov.com with questions.

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