Last Thursday, the state announced how $2.25 billion will be distributed via the 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs), including $1.5 billion to be shared by the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central New York regions via the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.(URI).

The state has used the REDC process to distribute economic development funds since 2011.

The 2015 REDC Awards project list is here. The total amounts for the state’s Upstate regions are:

  • Central New York: $122.4 million for 93 projects and URI strategies
  • Finger Lakes: $120.1 million for 134 projects and URI strategies
  • Southern Tier: $117 million for 100 projects and URI strategies
  • Mohawk Valley: $100.3 million for 92 projects
  • Capital Region: $98.1 million for 114 projects
  • North Country: $85.1 million for 82 projects
  • Western New York: $83.9 million for 125 projects

Unshackle Upstate commends the Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier and Central New York on each being awarded $500 million over the next five years in URI. These are critical investment in Upstate’s future.  For decades, Albany failed to make significant investments in Upstate and our economy suffered as a result. We’re pleased that Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have recognized this problem and are taking action to address it.

But we cannot forget the most important thing that Albany can do to help the Upstate economy is to focus on improving the state’s overall business climate so every region of Upstate can continue to build on recent successes.