Economic Development

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

The city of Rochester is taking steps to help local entrepreneurs get their businesses started and along with that, give an economic boost to the community.

The program utilizes a worldwide crowd funding effort called  Kiva, and it  relies on people all over the world, who lend money to startup businesses through the Internet.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Until recently, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, leader of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been the darling of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration.

But now, he’s one of the figures at the center of federal and state investigations into alleged pay-to-play schemes for economic development projects and is increasingly on the outs with the administration. 

The Finger Lakes Region has received one of the top three awards in the competition for state economic development money, part of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

That means the Finger Lakes region, including Rochester, will receive $500 million over five years. The announcement was made in Albany by Governor Andrew Cuomo and other officials.

Local leaders have been focusing on certain industry clusters for the plan they put together for the money, including optics, photonics & imaging; agriculture and food production; and next generation manufacturing.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO

Joined by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Buffalo officials spent Tuesday showing off some of the fruits of the so-called "Buffalo Billion" to delegates from seven Upstate New York regions, who hope they may soon join Buffalo in an economic renaissance boosted by big bucks from Albany.

The Upstate Revitalization Conference kicked off inside the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center with remarks from Hochul, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

IBM has selected Rochester as one of 16 winners for its Smarter Cities Challenge. This means Rochester is getting a team of people, from marketing executives to urban planners, to address a single issue: poverty. IBM values the consulting group at half a million dollars, and in the past they've helped cities revamp their transportation infrastructure, become more energy efficient, or update their communications systems.

Martin Laird is a program manager with IBM. He says members of their team will spend three weeks in the city.

Is the governor's START-UP NY program in trouble? Critics on both sides say it looks like a flop, but the governor says that's being unfairly hasty. Companies participating in the state's START-UP NY program created 76 jobs in 2014; the promise is more than 2,000. The governor says we're well on the way to achieving that number. So why are the critics so adamant that this program is a waste of tax dollars? What do economists say? We ask our panel:



Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and New York State Fair officials have Gov. Andrew Cuomo squarely in their corner as they advance plans to make dramatic changes at the fairgrounds in Geddes.  

Higher education is becoming a major economic driver in many areas, including here in Rochester, where the University of Rochester is now the largest employer (remember when Kodak was?). So what does this mean for economic growth across the country? What roles do higher education institutions play in communities. We discuss this with our guest, Laura Anglin, president of the Independent Commission on Colleges and Universities. 

John Hickey / Buffalo News

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is wasting no time preparing for Governor Cuomo's Upstate Economic Revitalization Competition.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Governor Cuomo invites Upstate New York regions to compete for $1.5 billion  in grants. As part of the Economic Revitalization Competition, three winning regions will be granted $500 million each.

Cuomo says the competition is an important aspect of the project.

"If I just gave you the money, you wouldn't do all the hard things you have to do to actually get the money. And the competition amongst yourselves -- I'm telling you -- brings up the performance of everybody."