A broad-based community coalition of more than 100 business, labor and agricultural organizations from throughout Upstate New York has endorsed the proposed $1-billion Upstate Revitalization Fund. 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. The Plan reduces 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 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 for Upstate housing and community development;
- $50 million for agricultural programs that 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.