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CEO FOCUS: Applications for State Regional Council Funding Now Open

By Robert Simpson


The Central New York region has had remarkable success through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) process, receiving the most funding to date out of all 10 council regions. By aligning critical projects to a clear vision for our region, this initiative has transformed our skylines and downtown districts and allowed businesses across the community to expand and create thousands of new jobs.

I strongly encourage those considering an expansion project to review the application and funding opportunities and submit a consolidated funding application (CFA) by the July 30, 2021, deadline ( In this round, the CNY REDC will develop strategies and prioritize those projects that support our community’s continued recovery following the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Again, this year, more than $750 million in state economic-development resources will be distributed in Round 11 of the REDC awards. This includes up to $150 million in capital grants and $75 million in Excelsior tax credits for projects across the state identified as regional priorities. Additionally, more than $525 million, from 30 state programs, is available through this process, and participating agencies will review and potentially provide funding to projects that did not specifically apply to those programs.

Additionally, one downtown in each of the state’s 10 regions will be awarded $10 million in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), to execute downtown strategic-investment plans that support the community’s vision for revitalization. Auburn, Cortland, Fulton, and Oswego’s downtowns were prior DRI recipients.

Members can get an overview of the state’s funding opportunities available in this year’s CFA process and learn about changes to the program during CenterState CEO’s CFA Funding Forum: Understanding the NYS Grant Program, which we will host with Dan Kolinski, deputy director at Empire State Development in Central New York, on May 27 at 9 a.m. You can register for this free event at

Should you have any specific questions about the application process, please contact Andrew Fish, CenterState CEO’s senior VP of business development, at      

Robert M. Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York. This article is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on May 13.

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