MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT:
NEW ROUND OF BUSINESS FUNDING KICKED OFF THIS MONTH
In 2011, Governor Cuomo created ten Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for regions across the state. These councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from across business, academia, local government and non-governmental agencies. I was appointed by the Governor to the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council when it was created, and re-appointed for a second term last year.
Our first responsibility was to create a Regional Plan. Western New York's 2011 strategic plan, "A Strategy for Prosperity," leverages the region's strategic advantages in key industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, bi-national logistics, energy, health and life sciences, higher education, professional services and tourism. The plan focuses on strategies that promote smart growth, prepare our workforce and foster a culture of entrepreneurs.
Requests for funding are facilitated with the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). The deadline for applications is 4PM on Friday, July 29, 2016. The Council is seeking applications that not only reflect the priorities that are most important to address Western New York's opportunities and challenges, but will also create, retain or fill jobs; maximize a return on investment; and are ready for implementation. Applicants are encouraged to review the strategic plan and annual progress reports at regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/western-new-york. Information sessions will be held June 15th at 3PM at the Kenan Center in Lockport and June 20th at 10:30AM at the Conference Center in Niagara Falls. You may also call Mo Sumbundu at 846-8347 for more information.
Last year, the Amherst Chamber of Commerce hosted an information session, if interest is high, we will organize another for this round of funding. Email me at email@example.com if interested.
Funding via the Regional Economic Development Councils is a phenomenal opportunity for projects - large and small. I had the opportunity to travel to Albany with officials from Empire State Development last year to present our 'plan' and was impressed with the diversity of initiatives we included. The project selection process is solely based on the value of the project and its integration with our regional strategy. As a project scorer, I can attest to the fact that a great deal of deliberation goes into selected projects for funding that have sustainable value to our region's prosperity.