What is the Empire State Development Grant?
In 2019, $150 million of capital grant funding was made available to Empire State Development (ESD) from the Regional Council Capital Fund. This grant provides funds annually for regional and local economic development across New York State.
ESD grant funding is available for capital-based economic development projects intended to create or retain jobs; prevent, reduce or eliminate unemployment and underemployment; and/or increase business or economic activity in a community or Region.
Grant funding will be allocated among the ten regions, each represented by a Regional Council, based on each Regional Council ‘s development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan. Funding will be allocated to projects, including priority projects identified by the Regional Councils, identified as significant, regionally supported and capable of stimulating economic investment.
Eligible applicants include: for profit businesses, not-for-profit corporations, business improvement districts, local development corporations, public benefit corporations, economic development organizations, research and academic institutions, incubators, technology parks, municipalities, countries, regional planning councils, tourist attractions, and community facilities.
Generally, applicants should not apply for, nor will be considered for, more than twenty percent (20%) financing for any particular project based on the eligible total project cost. ESD requires that the Applicant contribute a minimum of ten percent (10%) total project cost in the form of equity contributed after Applicant’s acceptance of ESD’s incentive proposal.
Applicants must complete and submit a Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for review by ESD and the Regional Council for the region in which the proposed project is located. The last grant cycle closed on July 26, 2019.
How Funding May Be Used
Funds may be used for:
Examples of Projects utilizing ESD grant funds
ESD grant funds have been used to help fund a wide range of innovative projects around New York State.
For example, in 2018, City Harbor LLC was awarded a $1,355,018 ESD grant for construction/renovation to help develop a multi-phase waterfront redevelopment project at the Southern Tip of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca. The Project will include new housing, a restaurant, seawall construction, new boat slips, broadened marina functions, connections to trails and a medical office building.
Additionally, in 2018, Damiani Wine Cellars was awarded three ESD grants, for 1) $200,000 for construction and renovation, 2) $34,000 for equipment and machinery, and 3) $324,400 for property acquisition. These funds are being used to grow three area wineries (Damiani, Osmote, and Nine-Four Wineries), allowing them to increase production and storage of cased goods. The property acquired for the project will be conditioned and planted to high-value grapes, which will be sold to Finger Lakes wineries.
For more information about the ESD grant, or for inquiries related to its potential benefits or how to apply, please contact Frances Kabat, Esq. or Mindy L. Zoghlin, Esq. at The Zoghlin Group, PLLC.
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