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Downstate Business Leaders Endorse Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative

This week, New York State awarded over $64 million dollars to fund local projects that were recommended by Governor Cuomo’s NYC Regional Economic Development Council (REDC). This is the seventh round of funding awarded through a process where a council comprised of local business, labor, academic and civic leaders establishes regional priorities and helps evaluate applications for state funding. This round will support over 120 companies and nonprofit organizations to carry out economic and workforce development projects across the five boroughs.

The industry priority of the NYC REDC this year was life sciences. Two growing companies in this field that will receive capital and tax credits through the REDC process are Celmatix, a health company using genomics and big data to empower women’s fertility decisions, and Cresilon, which manufactures a plant-based gel to stop bleeding.

Awards will also support a number of workforce training programs that feature collaborative partnerships between employers, nonprofits and educational institutions. For example, City University of New York will receive funding for an IT Support Program that will prepare unemployed workers with training and industry credentials that qualify them for jobs in the rapidly growing tech sector. Historic Greenwood Cemetery will train youth for careers in stone masonry and construction.

B.Amsterdam, which operates one of Europe’s largest tech incubators, was granted nearly $2 million to support its plan to open a U.S. operation in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. B.NYC will be a tech accelerator for international entrepreneurs. A recent study by the Partnership for New York City found that tech is the most promising area to increase foreign direct investment in the city, creating new jobs and economic activity.

REDC funding for New York City’s priority projects will help close the skills gap, provide affordable space for the emerging tech companies, support neighborhood development and improve the region’s infrastructure, all of which are critical to ensuring that the city’s continued growth and prosperity are widely shared,” said Winston Fisher, Partner at Fisher Brothers and co-chair of the NYC Regional Economic Development Council.

“Life sciences investments from the REDC help strengthen an important and well-paying sector that plays an increasingly dominant role in the innovation economy. This additional state funding reinforces our efforts to effectively compete with other life science centers,” said Cheryl A. Moore, President & COO of the New York Genome Center and co-chair of the NYC Regional Economic Development Council.

“The REDC process offers a great opportunity to reflect local priorities in the state’s economic development program,”  said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City and a member of the NYC REDC. “Outreach by the REDC members has brought a greater diversity of funding applications, many from small businesses and NGOs that would never have otherwise gotten through the traditional funding process. The regional and more transparent approach to economic development through the REDC process has brought benefits well beyond the dollars awarded.”

Total REDC awards to New York City since 2010 total $465.2 million. Funded projects will result in more than $3.3 billion in private and other public investment.

Watch the video for more on projects that are transforming New York City. All of this year’s winners are listed here.