Upstate Coalition Unites Behind Governor Spitzer's Upstate Revitalization Fund

Press Release

Date: Feb. 6, 2008

More than 100 Community, Business, Labor and Agricultural Leaders Urge Legislature to Pass Governor's Upstate Revitalization Plan

Governor Eliot Spitzer today received endorsements for his proposed $1 billion Upstate Revitalization Fund from a broad-based community coalition of more than 100 business, labor, and agricultural organizations from throughout Upstate New York who traveled to the City of Binghamton to support the administration's plan.

The endorsements highlight the growing momentum, spearheaded by Sandy Parker of the Rochester Business Alliance, behind the Revitalization Fund. The proposed fund would infuse badly-needed capital into the Upstate economy and position the region as an engine for economic growth and opportunity. The group is calling on the State legislature to pass the Governor's fund as it is outlined in his Executive Budget proposal.

"I'm pleased that more than 100 of our Upstate leaders are coming together to back this effort to revitalize the Upstate economy," said Governor Spitzer. "We're at a critical moment in our state's history because so many of us agree that we must put our regional and political differences aside to help Upstate. We must go to everyone who cares about the future of Upstate - and the future of New York as a whole - and say, ‘join us,' to pass a budget that reflects these priorities."

The Governor's Upstate Revitalization Plan is designed to make the region more attractive to growing businesses and families by reducing the costs of doing business, making key investments in infrastructure, housing, transportation and parks, as well as initiatives to make more capital available to businesses. The Governor plans to work with the State Legislature pass a budget that builds a consensus around the need for action.

The Governor has proposed a variety of initiatives under the Fund, including $350 million for "Regional Blueprints" to provide capital for creating development-ready sites, industrial parks, establishing small business loan programs, and supporting cutting edge research and job creation.

Other proposals which would be part of the Upstate Revitalization Fund include:

- $115 million for an expanded "City by City" strategy to include new projects and smaller cities to tailor economic development investments to fit local needs and jumpstart local economies;
- $100 million dollars for Upstate housing and community development;
- $50 million for agricultural programs which form the bedrock of so many local economies throughout Upstate;
- $80 million to restore New York's state parks—a major asset when it comes to attracting business and creating livable communities;
- $130 million for a variety of transportation projects; and
- $175 million for initiatives including expanded access to Universal Broadband, venture capital investments, and job creation.