North Country Regional Economic Development Council readies for competition at 'round three' launch in Albany
Monday, May 20, 2013 - 11:46 am

The co-chairs for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) have told Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the seven-county region is “punching above our past weight and supporting one another on almost a daily basis.”

Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and Tony Collins, president of Clarkson University, were in Albany May 15 for the launch of the third round of the governor’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

The co-chairs presented a progress update on the council’s activities since winning recognition as a “Top Performer” for its plan progress report in Round Two, according to a news release from Empire State Development, a state agency.

“The North Country is already attracting and nurturing entrepreneurial pioneers to innovative clusters as supported in our regional plan,” said Collins. “Through broad public participation and the networks we have developed across the region through this process, we are well positioned for a proposal to further leverage our assets through the Governor’s Innovation Hot Spots initiative being launched in round three.

“By bringing our region’s higher education and manufacturing sectors together to incubate high-tech innovation, coupled with unparalleled access to world-class recreation, we can further attract private investment, new business and jobs to the region,” said Collins.

In Round Three of the REDC competition, $760 million in state funding and tax incentives will be awarded: $220 million ($150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits) for the council competition and $540 million for state supported programs through a new Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process. Five regions identified as “top performers” will receive $25 million each and the remaining will compete for the balance of $25 million. Each region is also eligible for up to $10 million in tax credits.

The NCREDC, which is composed of St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Lewis counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York state that serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the various regions.

The NCREDC was named a “Top Performer” in 2012 on the heels of its Strategic Plan being named a “Best Plan Awardee” in 2011.

One hundred fifty-two projects across the region have been awarded a total of $193.4 million in state support through the initiative in the statewide competition.

The plan and priority projects can be found at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.