III. Invest in Community Revitalization

For New York to maintain economic vitality, it must assure that communities throughout the State are centers of commercial growth.
  • State financial and technical assistance can be used to catalyze economic growth, but needs to be tailored to the unique needs of each community.
  • Local and regional economic development agencies must play an important role in this effort.
The Assembly Majority’s plan empowers communities to plan and implement locally and regionally developed revitalization strategies that range from promoting high tech jobs to street-scaping and large-scale commercial development.

It includes identifying and rehabilitating existing structures in downtown areas that would be suitable incubators and accelerators to grow and spin out new high-tech businesses, thereby attracting new business activity in the service industry and anchoring revitalizing efforts.

  1. CUNY/NYCIF Accelerator/Incubator Plan
    $11 million
CUNY/NYC Partnership will support four incubators and five accelerators located at or near CUNY campuses. Incubator facilities will be located at LaGuardia C.C. (Queens), College of Staten Island, Hostos College (Bronx) and Borough of Manhattan C.C. (Harlem).

Accelerators, which will house more developed companies, will be located at Borough of Manhattan C.C. (Harlem) –– Telemedia, Hunter College (Manhattan) –– Biotechnology, Baruch College (Manhattan) –– Financial Services, New York Technical College (Brooklyn) –– Telecommunications in partnership with Polytechnic University CAT, and City College (Manhattan) –– Software/Photonics in partnership with City College.

  1. SUNY Downstate Medical Center Advanced Biotechnology Incubator Facility
    $6.2 million
The SUNY Downstate Medical Center Advanced Biotechnology Incubator Facility will be a three-story, 35,000 sq. ft. building with capacity for future expansion. It will include a multi-functional laboratory with office space, modular designed laboratories, core support and conference space.
  1. Expanded Empire Zones
The Assembly Majority has led the way in shaping what is now regarded as the most important tool at the disposal of local economic developers. Our most recent initiative, transforming the old Economic Development Zones program into new, tax-free Empire Zones, has resulted in a flurry of economic activity throughout the existing 52 zones. The Assembly Majority’s plan for expanding this program includes:

  1. Authorize the Expansion of Each Empire Zone
At the request and upon the approval of local officials and governing bodies, all existing 52 Empire Zones would be authorized to expand up to an additional two square miles over a period of time. Initially, zones could add up to one-half square mile to existing boundaries. Subsequent expansions would be subject to an application process that would include a public hearing to elicit community response and an assessment of the performance of the zone to ensure that existing lands in the zone are used to avoid sprawl or random, unmanaged development.

To ensure that this valuable program retains its focus on job creation in distressed communities, the Assembly Majority’s plan would require that expanded areas be contiguous to the existing zone, be contained within the same unit of local government, and be connected to the same basic water, sewer, and utilities infrastructure. Expanded areas would also be required to make use of existing buildings and facilities and be accessible by public transportation to community residents who are the primary prospective employees of zone businesses.

  1. Designate 14 New Empire Zones
All 14 applicants for zone designation pursuant to Chapter 41 of Laws of 2000 would be designated as Empire Zones upon an official determination of the Empire Zones Designation Board that all 14 applicants meet the statutory requirements of the program.

After a three-year period of operation, a newly designated zone would be eligible for expansion pursuant to the terms of expansion established for the 52 original zones.

  1. Allow an Additional Year for Companies to Become Zone Businesses
Zone administrators would have six years to recruit companies to become certified zone businesses, rather than the five-year window currently in effect.
  1. Urban and Community Development Program
    $5 million

This important program provides support for a wide range of community development activities including urban and community development assistance grants, urban and community project development assistance, neighborhood and communities partnerships, and urban and community technical assistance.

All of these activities engage local governments, community developers and local businesses in economic partnerships that result in enhanced commercial development that benefit our distressed downtown areas.

  1. Minority and Women-Owned Business Development and Lending Program
    $5 million
This Assembly-initiated program provides vital financial and technical assistance to minority and women-owned business enterprises. It authorizes micro-loans, bonding assistance, contracting assistance, supports the federal Community Development Financial Institutions program, and provides for the participation of credit unions in the Excelsior Linked Deposits program.

  1. Minority Contractor Loan Loss Reserve Fund
    $1 million
Minority contractors typically have had difficulty finding traditional lending institutions that are willing to make loans for working capital. This is due in part to their locations in distressed communities where there has been a general reluctance to make meaningful investments. This program would capitalize a loan loss reserve fund to enable financial institutions to make risk-free loans to minority contractors.

  1. Downtown Development Initiative Fund
    $3.5 million
The Downtown Development Initiative Grant Program is designed to provide gap funding for downtown revitalization, stabilization and economic development projects.

The program, initiated by the Assembly last year, has been a catalyst for the revitalization of many downtown areas and has promoted economic activity in highly distressed communities.

The Assembly Majority’s plan would expand the program to include workforce initiatives and neighborhood-based marketing and promotional activities.

  1. Regional business marketing
    $5 million
The Executive proposes a highly centralized, one-size-fits-all approach to marketing the economic strengths of the State. Regional marketing, however, allows each region of the State to market their individual strengths and unique resources to the business community’s site selectors. This approach, championed by the Assembly since 1998, also allows regional entities to market the products manufactured by strategic industries.

Back   |   Next   |   Assembly Home Page