ABC’s of economic development organizations

When you think about WNY economic development it’s a real alphabet soup – BNP, BNE, ECIDA, BUDC, IDA, ESD, WTC and that’s just the beginning.

On Oct. 28th, Erie County Legislator Ed Rath organized an Economic Development Forum and invited community leaders to participate.

The forum successfully showed people “who does what” and how we work collaboratively to advance our community. While it may seem confusing from the outside, the economic development partners in this region have been working together and collaboratively to assure that there is “no wrong door.”  There is no duplication of services, but there are a few concentric circles of interest and we all make sure to concierge businesses to navigate the system.

Ed prepared a cheat sheet (listed in alphabetical order) for those attending which I thought readers of this blog might find useful:

Economic development forum2
Economic Development Forum 2

Amherst Industrial Development Agency (AIDA): The Town of Amherst Comprehensive Master Plan is the basis for the Amherst IDA mission statement/purpose. As the community continues to grow, traditional economic development focused on technology and industrial park development has been supplemented by redevelopment activities in older neighborhoods.

AIDA exists to promote investment, economic diversity, employment opportunities and to broaden the tax base of the Town of Amherst in order to reduce the tax burden on homeowners, while helping to maintain and enhance a quality living environment.

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE): Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) provides comprehensive economic development assistance to new and existing companies doing business in the eight counties of Western New York.

Their services run that gamut from demographic research and development information to tax incentives to site identification, and include business attraction and professional consultation on business locations, regional collaboration, marketing and public relations.

Buffalo Niagara Partnership (BNP): The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the region’s private sector economic development organization and regional chamber of commerce, representing nearly 2,000 members and a quarter of a million employees in the Buffalo Niagara region.

The Partnership’s work has three main focuses: advocacy, business development and convening. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara.

Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA): The mission of the Erie County IDA is to provide the resources that encourage investment, innovation and international trade in order to create a successful business climate that improves the quality of life for the residents of the region.

EDICA can deliver business incentives, tax exemptions, bonds, facility/brownfield development, financial assistance, loans, venture capital, international trade assistance, referrals and resources, transportation and infrastructure financing. Similarly, ECIDA offers lease and tax abatements, as well as assistance with projects from $5,000 to $500 million.

Empire State Development (ESD): Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing state economy, encourage business investment and job creation, and support diverse, prosperous local economics across New York State through the efficient use of loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance.

With an office in Buffalo, ESD’s Western New York Regional Office supports economic activity in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara countries and serves as the lead agency managing the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) and Buffalo Billion. It also administers programs such as Start-Up NY, Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and Western New York Power Proceeds Allocations.

economic dev forum2
Left to right: Steven Weathers, Thomas Kucharski, Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Mike Ball, Erin Cole and Ed Rath [Credit: Ed Rath]

Visit Buffalo Niagara (VBN): Visit Buffalo Niagara sells and markets our assets and attractions to visitors outside the Buffalo Niagara region as a convention, tourism and leisure destination for the economic benefit of the community.

VBN is Erie Country’s lead marketing organization for conventions, meetings, amateur sporting events, cultural and heritage tourism and consumer travel.

World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara (WTCBN): World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara is a member of the prestigious, global World Trade Center Association, which includes over 300 World Trade Centers in 90 countries. WTCBN helps local companies expand and grow their sales through international exports, using their global network and other international partners, both public and private.

WTCBN is a not-for-profit corporation with one mission – to help companies find success beyond their domestic markets.  WTCBN makes it easier for manufacturers, distributors and service organizations in the Western New York and Southern Ontario region to promote international trade.

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