Economic Development

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership plays a key role in the economic development process in the Western New York region. We work to give our members a “seat at the table” with government policy makers, community leaders, area colleges and universities, economic development agencies and other groups to promote and sustain the economic health of the region.

We can think of economic development in the Buffalo Niagara Region as having three legs – land, labor and capital. Like a three-legged stool, all three must work together in balance for the development process to work smoothly and properly for the benefit of businesses in the region.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership can assist companies in all three categories to help businesses increase their competitiveness and ability to thrive in our local economy, as well as nationally and internationally.


Land is the natural resource found within our region’s economy, a limited and fixed resource that calls for careful planning to ensure the best use for economic growth and sustainability. Examples of Partnership work as it relates to the land portion of economic development include:

  • Partnership Development Advisory Council – Serves to vet and recommend development and land use policy to the Partnership Board, and provide subject matter expertise on development issues and initiatives.
  • One Region Forward – The Partnership is a key partner in the effort to promote sustainable development in Erie and Niagara counties.
  • Buffalo Building Reuse Project(BBRP) – We are part of a public/private effort seeking to make downtown Buffalo more competitive for private investment.


Labor represents the human capital aspect of economic development. Human capital includes all able-bodied individuals capable of working in the area’s economy and providing various services to other individuals or businesses. The Partnership is involved in many initiatives aimed at improving our area’s human capital through training, education and other programs. Examples include:

  • Workforce Development – Building and maintaining a quality workforce has been a core component of the Partnership’s mission since its inception.
  • Business Vitals – Created to facilitate individual workforce development requests from Partnership members.
  • Buffalo Niagara 360 (BN360) – The Partnership’s young professionals program focused on networking, leadership development and community engagement.


Capital has two definitions as related to economic development. Capital can represent the monetary resources companies use to purchase land and other capital goods. Capital also represents the major physical assets that companies use when producing goods or services. These assets include buildings, production facilities, equipment and other similar items.

The Partnership assists area companies in a number of ways with issues related to capital, including assistance with grant writing for specific programs. Other examples related to capital include:

  • Unshackle Upstate – The Partnership participates in a bipartisan coalition focused on fixing state government, making it more accountable to NY’s taxpayers and creating a stronger region in which to do business.
  • Manufacturer’s Council – The Partnership seeks to develop and create tangible value for our manufacturing members through programming that connects industry peers. The Council provides services that support, promote and assist the advanced manufacturing sector’s growth and expansion in the Buffalo Niagara region.

Keeping a leg up in every category

The State of New York, the counties of Erie and Niagara, the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls and the surrounding towns and communities, all share a common goal of fostering economic development in the region. Thus, there are an incredible variety and range of available resources and dedicated organizations to assist companies and employers. The Partnership is here to help.

  • Partnership leadership serves on economic development boards including Buffalo Urban Development Corporation; Erie County Industrial Development Agency; Regional Economic Development Council; Visit Buffalo Niagara; and others
  • We communicate employer impacts of economic development policy decisions
  • We seek alignment of economic development policy at state, regional and local levels
  • We look to reduce duplication, red tape and waste in the economic development process
  • We act as the “go-to” source for information on economic development in the area
  • We promote the economic development vision and competitive advantages of the region as a whole
  • We serve as advocates for our members, keeping a watchful eye on potential negative aspects of economic development policy, while supporting the positive effects

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