1. The Laws of New York
  2. Unconsolidated Laws
  3. Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68


Section 16-E Regional economic development partnership program

Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68 (UDA)

(1) For the purposes of this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

  (a) "Business development project". A project involving an industrial, manufacturing, commercial, research and development, high technology, tourism, agricultural or service company.

  (b) "Business infrastructure project". A project involving an industrial, manufacturing, commercial, research and development, high technology, tourism, agricultural or service company which shall include, but not be limited to, basic systems and facilities on public or privately owned property including drainage systems, sewer systems, access roads, sidewalks, docks, wharves, water supply systems, and site clearance, preparation, improvements, and demolition.

  (c) "Child care assistance project". A project for the establishment, expansion, and development of licensed not-for-profit child day care centers which serve the needs of small and medium-sized commercial, industrial, service and other small and medium-sized businesses, health-related businesses and degree-granting institutions of higher education.

  (d) "Infrastructure investment project". A project consisting solely of site preparation, clearance and demolition on property owned by a municipality, local development corporation, urban renewal agency or industrial development agency designated by a municipality.

  (e) "Infrastructure planning projects" shall mean projects consisting solely of planning, including the preparation of schematic designs and preliminary environmental assessments for a business infrastructure project or an infrastructure investment project.

  (f) "Skills training assistance". A project related to the provision of firm-specific or industry-specific employee retraining, skills upgrading, and productivity enhancement, including assessment and training related to the implementation of high-performance work organization strategies.

  (g) "Tourism destination". A location or facility which is likely to attract a significant number of visitors from outside the region.

  (h) "Revolving loan fund account grants" shall include: (i) grants to provide the local match for federally funded community-based loan funds; (ii) grants to capitalize and recapitalize regional revolving loan trust fund accounts pursuant to section sixteen-a of this act; and (iii) grants to recapitalize minority and women revolving loan trust fund accounts established pursuant to section sixteen-c of this act.

  (2) Loans and grants. The corporation may make loans and grants for regional strategic planning, business development projects, business infrastructure and infrastructure investment projects, skills training assistance projects, economic development assistance projects, and child care assistance projects, that create or retain permanent private-sector jobs. Such projects and programs except as specifically provided herein:

  (a) Must be consistent with a regional strategic plan for economic development, as coordinated by the chairman of the corporation and approved by the director of the budget, with copies filed with the speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of the senate;

  (b) Must create or retain substantial permanent private-sector jobs in the case of business development loans and business infrastructure projects, or in the case of a child care assistance project the corporation determines that the child day care center will improve or maintain the productivity of the sponsoring company or companies;

  (c) Must be reasonably likely to be completed within the time and cost estimates presented in the proposal; and

  (d) Must be unable to obtain sufficient funding on reasonable terms from other public or private sources to permit the project to proceed without the requested assistance; and

  (3) Ineligible projects. Ineligible projects shall include retail businesses, overnight lodging facilities, debt refinancing, or the relocation of a business from one municipality within the state to another municipality, provided, however, that such a project shall not be deemed ineligible if all municipalities from which such business will be relocated are notified in writing of the corporation's approval of such funding and the chief executive officers of the municipalities do not object to the corporation in writing within a period of twenty days of receipt of the notification.

  (4) Nonapplication to certain grants and projects. Section ten and subdivision two of section sixteen of this act shall not apply to grants and projects funded pursuant to the provisions of this section.

  (5) Business development project loans. (a) Business development project loans made by the corporation:

  (i) may be for working capital, the purchase or leasing of equipment and machinery, land acquisition, and the acquisition, renovation or construction of facilities;

  (ii) shall not exceed one-third of the total project cost or five hundred thousand dollars, whichever is less; and

  (iii) shall be at interest rates that are necessary to make the project feasible, as determined by the corporation.

  (b) Notwithstanding section five of this act, no more than twenty percent of the funds available for business development projects shall be grants limited to:

  (i) interest subsidies to reduce costs of financing projects that demonstrate an inability to occur without subsidy, which shall not exceed one-third of project cost or four hundred thousand dollars, whichever is less; and

  (ii) feasibility studies of the transfer of ownership to local interests of a company which shall not exceed forty thousand dollars.

  (c) The corporation may make loans or grants for business development projects in economically distressed areas and in other areas; provided, however, that in the case of other areas, the project furthers:

  (i) business development by women, minorities, or unemployed persons;

  (ii) modernization and productivity improvements by eligible firms;

  (iii) diversification of the economic base of a community;

  (iv) creation of substantial, permanent private-sector jobs, including jobs for dislocated workers, public assistance recipients, disadvantaged youth, or long-term unemployed persons;

  (v) retention of jobs involving companies at imminent risk of reducing employment;

  (vi) prevention of the loss of a primary employer which will have a major adverse impact on the economic condition of a community; or

  (vii) furthers the development of a tourism destination.

  (6) Business infrastructure projects. (a) The corporation may make loans and grants to businesses, municipalities, industrial development agencies and local, county or regional development corporations designated by local governments for specific business infrastructure projects directly related and essential to specific business developments.

  (b) Grants and loans for infrastructure projects may be made in areas encompassed by empire zones established pursuant to article eighteen-b of the general municipal law and in other areas, except that in the case of other areas, a project loan or grant for a business infrastructure project must be for one of the purposes authorized for business development projects in such areas pursuant to paragraph (c) of subdivision five of this section, and shall be available only where there is a firm commitment by a company to carry out a related business development to create or retain substantial permanent private-sector jobs.

  (c) Assistance for business infrastructure projects shall not exceed forty-nine percent of the total project cost or seven hundred fifty thousand dollars, whichever is less. Loans for such projects shall be at interest rates determined by the corporation, that are necessary to make the project feasible.

  (d) No more than fifty percent of funds available from the corporation for any infrastructure project not located in an empire zone, and no more than sixty percent of the funds available from the corporation for any infrastructure project located in an empire zone shall be disbursed as a grant.

  (7) Infrastructure investment projects. Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of subdivision two of this section, grants may be made by the corporation for up to four hundred thousand dollars or eighty percent of the total project cost, whichever is less, for infrastructure investment projects which:

  (a) Meet highly distressed area criteria as defined in article eighteen-b of the general municipal law;

  (b) Are part of an economic development or urban renewal plan to attract, retain or permit the expansion of an industrial, manufacturing, research and development, high-technology, tourism, service, food processing or distribution company; and

  (c) Are located in areas that are zoned industrial or commercial.

  (8) Infrastructure planning projects. The corporation may make infrastructure planning project grants in an amount not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars or fifty percent of project costs, whichever is less, for the purpose of conducting preliminary planning on business infrastructure development and infrastructure investment projects that meet the criteria set forth in subdivisions six and seven of this section.

  (9) Tourism destination projects. (a) The corporation may make business development and business infrastructure loans and grants for tourism destination projects. Such projects must:

  (i) involve the development of a recreational, educational, cultural or historical facility;

  (ii) significantly contribute to the development of a tourism destination; and

  (iii) either (A) involve construction of a new facility that will encourage investment in an area where a shortage of tourism-related facilities, attractions or services has deterred business growth and where the proposed facility would significantly increase overall business activity and the marketability of the location as a tourism destination; or (B) improve an existing recreational, educational, or cultural or historical facility where the proposed improvement would significantly increase overall business activity and the marketability of the location as a tourism destination.

  (b) The corporation may make grants involving the regional marketing of tourism destinations, including commercial tourism destination areas, where an increase of visitors to such areas will contribute to the stability and economic viability of the area.

  (c) Preference shall be given to tourism destination projects which attract a significant number of visitors from outside the state, provided, however, that funding priority shall be given to tourism destination projects in distressed areas of the state.

  (d) No assistance shall be provided pursuant to this subdivision to finance a tourism destination project consisting solely of overnight lodging facilities or retail businesses. Provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall prohibit the corporation from providing assistance to a tourism destination project which includes such facilities or businesses.

  (10) Economic development assistance grants. (a) The corporation shall, within available appropriations, award grants or enter into contracts for services to eligible entities and organizations as set forth in this subdivision on a competitive basis and in response to requests for proposals issued by the corporation. Grants shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars per project. An applicant shall be permitted to apply for support in more than one project area listed under paragraph (c) of this subdivision, provided, however, that the sum total of the grant received under this subdivision by any one applicant for more than one project approved under paragraph (c) of this subdivision shall not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars. No application for industrial effectiveness on global export and marketing assistance shall be approved by the corporation unless it is first approved by the department of economic development.

  (b) The corporation shall enter into no more than one contract or make more than one grant per year per application under this subdivision regardless of the number of projects for which an applicant has applied and for which funding has been approved. In the case of applications for multiple projects to be conducted by a single applicant, the corporation may, at its discretion, provide a grant or enter into a contract for services with the applicant for some or all of the projects for which an applicant has applied.

  (c) Not-for-profit corporations, business improvement districts and regional and community development organizations shall be eligible to apply for support under this subdivision to operate a program or programs of business and economic development services to stabilize, retain or revitalize existing businesses, and to assist small and new businesses, including, but not limited to assistance to individual businesses or business sectors in project areas, including, but not limited to:

  (i) the preparation of strategic plans for the economic development of the region;

  (ii) analysis of industrial sectors;

  (iii) productivity assistance to mature industries;

  (iv) assistance in marketing and promoting regional business clusters;

  (v) export assistance;

  (vi) management and procurement assistance to small business, including minority- and women-owned businesses;

  (vii) regional marketing of state economic development programs to areas underserved in those programs;

  (viii) assistance in the training of community and economic development staff to assist communities to build capacity to engage in economic development;

  (ix) assistance to expand the capacity of existing entities administering minority and women revolving loan funds to deliver services;

  (x) feasibility studies for the establishment of business improvement districts and for initial eligible organizational costs; and

  (xi) grants for the establishment and operation of neighborhood-based small business service centers.

  (d) In awarding grants or contracts pursuant to this subdivision, preference shall be given to programs that:

  (i) are located in distressed areas;

  (ii) meet a substantial regional need;

  (iii) complement local programs or provide services not readily available from units of local government or the private sector;

  (iv) provide a local match; or

  (v) foster small business and minority business development.

  (11) Skills training projects. (a) Funds may be available for expenditure related to the provision of skills training assistance when utilized in conjunction with other public or private development funds for the purposes of the prevention of worker dislocation or the creation of new employment opportunities.

  (b) To the extent that training expenditures involve classroom or on-the-job training, all funding by the corporation shall be in the form of grants or contracts with employers matching fifty percent of the cost of training.

  (c) Allowable training expenditures may include expenses for classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

  (d) No skills training assistance shall be provided by the corporation unless and until the department of economic development has reviewed and approved each project.

  (e) For those projects funded pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision, the corporation shall submit to the governor, the speaker of the assembly, the temporary president of the senate, and the chair of the commission on skills development and vocational education a report of the training assistance provided by such projects to be submitted not later than September first of each year. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the training activity provided, evidence of linkages with other publicly funded training programs, specification of outcomes achieved including number of job placements, jobs retained, jobs created, or a measure of productivity improvement, the types of businesses served by size and sector, and funds provided for the construction/renovation of facilities or purchase of equipment for training purposes.

  (12) Child care assistance projects. (a) The corporation shall provide financing for child care assistance projects for the establishment, expansion and development of not-for-profit child day care centers which serve the needs of small and medium-sized commercial, industrial, service and other small and medium-sized businesses, and of health-related businesses and degree-granting institutions of higher education. Such financing may consist of grants for the establishment of licensed, not-for-profit child day care centers developed in conjunction with small and medium-sized businesses, health-related businesses and degree-granting institutions of higher education. Such grants shall not exceed forty percent of the total project cost, may be in amounts up to one hundred thousand dollars and may be used for general project development costs, including, but not limited to:

  (i) studies to assess the feasibility of, or preliminary planning for, the development of child day care centers sponsored by a not-for-profit provider or a consortia of firms;

  (ii) the acquisition, design, construction, improvement or renovation of the child day care center; and

  (iii) the purchase of permanently installed machinery and equipment necessary to establish or expand a child day care center.

  (b) Loans for costs associated with the development or expansion of child day care centers to a not-for-profit child care provider, or a small or medium-sized business, consortia of such firms or health-related business or degree-granting institution of higher education that has contracted with a not-for-profit child care provider to supply child care services, provided, however, that:

  (i) such loans may be used for the acquisition, design, construction, improvement or renovation of a child day care center at the project site and/or for the purchase of permanently installed machinery and equipment in connection therewith, or for the provision of working capital to such center; and

  (ii) the corporation shall determine the terms and interest rates of such loans, except that no loan shall exceed fifty percent of the total project cost, or two hundred fifty thousand dollars, whichever is less, provided that the total amount given to any individual child care project shall not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

  (c) Financing for child care assistance projects authorized pursuant to this subdivision, shall only be made upon a determination by the corporation that such center will improve or maintain the productivity of the sponsoring company or companies. Such loans and grants shall only be made for child care centers where adequate day care facilities are not available for employees of businesses within the area of the proposed center. Such centers shall:

  (i) demonstrate an ability to obtain, from the appropriate governmental agencies, all necessary approvals and licenses required to operate the center; and

  (ii) demonstrate an ability to prevent access by children to any equipment in such centers which could be injurious to their health or safety.

  (d) The corporation shall work closely with the New York state job development authority, the New York state department of economic development, the New York state department of social services, child care resource and referral centers, and other sources offering assistance for child care in the state in order to assure coordination of services.

  (13) Regional loan fund account grants. Assistance from this program may be provided for grants of up to five hundred thousand dollars to capitalize, and up to two hundred thousand dollars to recapitalize, regional revolving loan trust fund accounts established pursuant to section sixteen-a of this act and up to two hundred thousand dollars to recapitalize minority and women revolving loan trust fund accounts established pursuant to section sixteen-c of this act; and up to two hundred thousand dollars to provide the local match for appropriately federally-financed community-based loan funds.

  (14) Determination of economic distress. (a) The corporation shall develop and consider criteria for determining economic distress within the areas of the state. Factors to be considered in determining economic distress shall include:

  (i) unemployment rate;

  (ii) rate of employment change;

  (iii) percentages and numbers of low-income persons;

  (iv) per capita income and per capita real property wealth; and

  (v) such other indicators of distress as the corporation shall determine.

  (b) Economically distressed areas shall also include parts of municipalities otherwise not qualifying, which meet unemployment, income and other criteria established by the corporation.

  (15) Application. (a) The corporation shall develop and use a standard project application form. Project applications shall be completed, reviewed and evaluated by the regional economic development councils established pursuant to this section, pursuant to eligibility requirements and criteria promulgated by the corporation pursuant to this section. Such applications shall be submitted to the corporation with recommendations for the project ranked in priority order; provided, however, that an applicant may make an application directly to the corporation for approval. Upon such direct application, the applicable regional economic development council shall review the application and shall make a recommendation within twenty days of receipt of such application. The corporation may act on any such application twenty days after the receipt of such application by the regional council.

  (b) The corporation shall expedite the processing of approved loans and grant awards with the objectives of simplifying the administrative process and making prompt and timely payments to recipients and simplify procedures by which approved applications are processed.

  (16) Regional economic development assistance revolving loan account. Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, the corporation shall establish within its treasury a regional economic development assistance revolving loan account, shall pay into such account any moneys which may be made available to the corporation for this purpose from any source including, but not limited to, moneys appropriated by the state and any income earned by, or increment to, the account due to the investment thereof, or any repayment of principal and interest on loans made by the corporation for projects authorized pursuant to this section. The amounts deposited in the regional economic development assistance revolving loan account may not be interchanged with any other account. All loans disbursed by the corporation shall be repaid into such account and such repayments shall be available to the corporation for relending and up to one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars of such repayments shall be available for the co-location of staff of the corporation in the regional offices of the department of economic development, expediting project disbursement or outreach in highly distressed areas.

  (17) Approval cycle. The corporation shall approve project loans or grants made under this section on at least a four-month cycle.

  (18) Priority. In approving loans or grants authorized pursuant to the provisions of this section, the corporation shall give priority consideration to whether a project is located in an area of economic distress. Other factors to be considered by the corporation shall include:

  (a) The number of jobs created or retained;

  (b) The number of jobs created for persons eligible for benefits under the provisions of the job training partnership act (P.L. 97-3400)(29 U.S.C.A. § 801 et seq.);

  (c) The priority accorded the proposed project by the regional economic development council;

  (d) The participation of minority- and women-owned businesses;

  (e) The impact of the project on the employment and economic condition of the community;

  (f) The cost per job created or retained based on total project cost;

  (g) The amount of private investment leveraged;

  (h) The level of local public support; and

  (i) The likelihood of accomplishing the project in a timely fashion.

  In the event that the corporation does not follow the priorities of a regional economic development council, it shall make a finding, in writing, as to why the council priority was not followed.

  (19) Preference. For any positions opened as a result of business development project loans, entities assisted shall first consider persons eligible to participate in federal job training partnership act programs (P.L. 97-3400) (29 U.S.C.A. §801 et. seq.) who shall be referred to the business by administrative entities of service delivery areas created pursuant to such act by the job service division of the department of labor.

  (20) Regional economic development council. Beginning April first, nineteen hundred ninety-five, there shall be established within each economic development region of the state, pursuant to section two hundred thirty of the economic development law, a regional economic development council.

  (a) Appointments to a regional economic development council shall be made according to the following provisions:

  (i) Except as provided in subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph, in regions composed of two or more counties, the chief executive officer of each county within such region shall each appoint one representative to serve on the regional economic development council; and the mayor or other chief executive of each city within the region whose population exceeds fifty thousand, shall each appoint one member to serve on the regional economic development council; except that for regions that do not contain a city of at least fifty thousand inhabitants, the mayor or other chief executive of the municipality with the largest population shall make such appointment.

  (ii) In the case of regions composed of two or fewer counties, the chief executive officer of each county within a region shall each appoint three representatives to serve on the regional economic development council; and the mayor or other chief executive of the two largest towns within each county shall each appoint one member to serve on the regional economic development council.

  (iii) In the case of cities of one million or more constituting an economic development region, six appointments to the regional economic development council shall be made by the mayor, and one appointment each shall be made by the chief executive officer of any county within such city, who shall represent the county.

  (iv) The governor shall make a number of appointments in each region equal to the total number of appointments made pursuant to subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of this paragraph, as appropriate; provided however, that of the appointments made by the governor in each region, one shall be the director of the regional office of the department of economic development; one shall be the regional representative of the New York state job development authority, and one shall be a regional office representative of the corporation. In addition, the governor shall appoint the chair of each regional economic development council.

  (b) Each individual appointed to a regional economic development council shall serve for a term of four years but shall serve for no longer than two consecutive terms.

  (c) The chair of a regional economic development council shall serve as chair for a single term of four years only.

  (d) Representatives appointed pursuant to this section may be removed for cause by the appointing authority.

  (e) Any vacancy on a regional economic development council shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

  (21) Reports. The chairman of the corporation shall submit to the director of the budget, the speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of the senate an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program prepared by an entity independent of the corporation. The corporation shall select the program evaluator through a request for proposal process. Such evaluation shall determine whether the assistance provided has enhanced the economic conditions of assisted businesses or projects, and shall make recommendations for improvements which would make the program more effective. Such evaluation shall be submitted by September first, nineteen hundred ninety-six.

  (22) Co-location of services. The commissioner of economic development, in consultation with the New York state science and technology foundation, the New York state urban development corporation, the New York state job development authority, the state university of New York and the city university of New York shall develop and implement a plan and schedule for the co-location of services provided by such agencies in each economic development region throughout the state. Such plan and schedule shall provide that at least one employee of each agency providing such services shall be located at each co-located regional office in New York state on at least a regularly scheduled part time basis. The commissioner of economic development shall report to the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the chairpersons of the fiscal committees of the senate and assembly, and the governor on the plan and schedule required pursuant to this act by December thirty-first, nineteen hundred ninety-four.