A little more than a year after the Governor of New York promised a billion dollars to develop the Buffalo-Niagara region, plans to spend the money are coming into focus. YNN's Ryan Whalen reports the Regional Economic Development Council presented a comprehensive document Thursday outlining those plans.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — "We spent a good year working on the Buffalo Billion plan," said Howard Zemsky, Regional Economic Development Chairman.
The plan, released this month, outlines ways to create jobs and growth in cutting edge manufacturing, life sciences – specifically at Buffalo's Medical Campus – and tourism.
"We will be measured by our success, by the soundness of our strategy, how well we do in implementing and how many jobs we create," Zemsky said.
The council plans to kick off this year what it calls "the most ambitious business plan competition ever launched in the U.S." Ten winners from across the country would receive $500,000 in start-up capital to open up shop in Western New York.
"If we don't have a lot of start-up companies that speaks poorly to our prospects in the future."
There are also plans for a competition to select a team to redesign and develop three blocks of Niagara Falls surrounding the State Park.
"We have this tremendous draw international brand and we're going to work on really improving the experience and extending the stay of visitors in Western New York."
While the council reiterated this is a long-term plan, they say the ball is now rolling.
"I think this is going to be something like a snowball going down a hill. It's going to gather momentum and get bigger and bigger. It's exciting," said Lt. Governor Bob Duffy, (D).
"As the year unfold, you'll hear us announcing a whole number of milestones around implementation and also growth and investment," Zemsky said.
These are just a few of the initiatives in the more than 50-page investment plan the council hopes will reshape the economic landscape of the region.