Tag Archives: New York State

“Bridge to Success” loan program for minority and women contractors

Short-term loans are now available through participating lenders in the Bridge to Success loan program.  At least $20 million is available to expand access to short-term bridge loans for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). The program will provide qualified MWBEs with the short-term resources they need to participate in up to $1 billion in contracting opportunities with New York State.

“Small businesses are the engine of New York’s economy, but because of their size they have a harder time getting the capital they need to compete for state contracts,” Governor Cuomo said. “To encourage their full participation in rebuilding our economy, the Bridge to Success program will help more small businesses access short-term loans so they can do business with New York’s agencies and authorities. Supporting MWBEs is one more way we’re expanding economic opportunity for all New Yorkers.”

Empire State Development (ESD) is providing $2.73 million under the Bridge to Success program in loan loss reserves to five participating lenders who will make $20 million available in much needed, short-term, working capital loans to qualifying MWBEs. ESD’s support stimulates increased lending in this area and enables participating lenders to mitigate risk.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “By partnering with high capacity lenders around the state, we are dramatically increasing the lending opportunities for MWBEs looking to work with the State. Many banks are reluctant to provide credit to these firms given the short-term nature of their capital need and the size and experience of many of these companies, despite a good idea or track record. The Governor’s Bridge to Success Program levels the playing field and opens the door for businesses that face challenges using traditional funding sources.”

Loans made under the program will typically be under $200,000 with terms under two years. Funds will provide qualified MWBEs the bridge capital they need to hire staff, buy materials, or purchase equipment, giving them a better chance to secure and perform on the up to $1 billion that is currently available in State contracting opportunities. Click here to learn more.

Pay For Success finalists announced

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced finalists selected for the Pay for Success program — also known as “Social Impact Bonds” — designed to transform how government does business while serving vulnerable New Yorkers and providing additional resources for innovative social services programs.

Among the finalists selected was Business Council member Hillside Family of Agencies. Hillside Family of Agencies’ Intensive Community Asset Program (I-CAP) provides diversion alternatives to probation officers and family court judges for placement and detention of high-risk youth. The proposal plans to serve approximately 835 youth in Onondaga, Monroe and up to three additional counties.

Pay for Success projects are public-private partnerships where the state sets performance goals and private and philanthropic investors provide the funds for the program. The state repays investors based on the program’s performance, and only makes payments if the goals are achieved.

The 2013-14 New York state budget authorized the state to undertake Pay for Success initiatives in health care, child welfare, early childhood development and public safety. The I-CAP contract is among the first Pay for Success contracts in New York exclusively serving Upstate New York and focused on at-risk youth.

Fewer topics covered with Common Core

Although the Common Core standards rolling out in various states nationwide, including New York, may not be popular, if implemented properly, students will be learning fewer topics in a more in-depth manner.

Before Common Core, state math standards varied, now students will learn in a manner comparable to other countries that traditionally score better on standardized tests.

As the standards are implemented this fall, students will learn to apply skills, such as math, in a setting that facilitates critical thinking. For example, previously kindergarteners would memorize a list of numbers, now they will need to understand what the number represents.

The Business Council of New York State supports the Common Core standards, as they will provide student with skills needed in the workforce.

NYS Community Schools’ initiative

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the NYS Community Schools initiative, a new statewide program aimed at helping schools in distressed communities.

“NYS Community Schools will help give New York students and families a brighter future by transforming our public schools into community institutions that serve the needs of our neighborhoods,” Governor Cuomo said.

Under NYS Community Schools, approximately 30 schools will be selected in the first round to receive grants of up to $500,000 each over three years. These grants will go toward building community partnerships that deliver academic, health, extra-curricular and social services primarily in the school building.

CNBC ranks top states for business

CNBC released its ranking of Top States for Business. New York ranked 35th while South Dakota took the number one spot. States were compared based on competitiveness; receiving points for how frequently ranking categories were mentioned in state economic development marketing materials. So unlike other studies, this one ranks states on the criteria they use to sell themselves instead of the current economic climate.

New York category rankings (compared to other states):

Cost of Doing Business: 49

Economy: 14

Infrastructure: 42

Workforce: 45

Quality of Life: 22

Technology and Innovation: 1

Business Friendliness: 30

Education: 2

Cost of Living: 47

Access to Capital: 3

Read the full list of rankings on the CNBC website.

Land banks to fund revitalization

Last week, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that up to $20 million in funding would be available over a two year period to rebuild and restore neighborhoods. The funds will be drawn from last year’s $25 billion settlement with large banks. There will be eight land banks in different areas of the state focused on rehabilitating vacant and abandoned properties. Funding from the Attorney General’s office will be awarded in two rounds, which gives the office an opportunity to support land banks next year that may not be eligible this year.

Reported deal on Peace Bridge

Saying a deal could be announced soon, Canadian officials report they have reached an “agreement in principle’’ with New York State to resolve the Peace Bridge conflict. If everything proceeds according to plan, a deal could be announced sometime this week. The deal supposedly aims to ensure free flowing trade across the bridge, although final details are still being negotiated.

Got yogurt? New York certainly does


Yogurt business is booming in New York State

Melinda Miller of The Buffalo News did a good job of taking a look at how New York became the number one producer of yogurt in America, recently leap-frogging California for the top spot. Have we peaked? Hardly, explained Miller in her interesting report. By the way, did you know we are also the number one producer of cottage cheese?

Click here to read.

Senate bill would create ResultsNY.gov website

The New York State Senate recently passed legislation to create a new website, ResultsNY.gov, that would enable the public to review the performance of government programs to see how effectively agencies are spending tax dollars. People visiting the site could also submit their own suggestions and recommendations on how to stop government waste and reduce state spending. The initiative is patterned after the Federal Office of Management and Budget’s ExpectMore.gov website.

Read more about this initiative on the New York State Senate website.