New York Announces Global NY Economic Development Initiative to Boost Exports and International Trade

New York State is launching an economic development initiative called Global NY aimed at making the state’s businesses more competitive internationally and attracting companies from around the globe to New York.

Gov. Cuomo at Global NY Summit

Gov. Cuomo at Global NY Summit (photo –

The announcement was made by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo during his address to the first Global NY Summit on World Trade and Investment held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.

As part of the initiative, the Empire State will create a $35 million global development fund and work in partnership with the federal Ex-Im Bank to help New York’s small- and medium-sized companies grow their exports.

Gov. Cuomo said in his speech that New York is going to be the first state in the nation that forms its own Ex-Im bank. The Governor said he worked with the Export-Import Bank as a federal official, and they finance both loans and grants for companies that want to develop the capacity to market overseas, as well as foreign companies that want to come to the United States.

Gov. Cuomo added that the initial $35 million capitalization for the global development fund will provide a real vehicle that can facilitate companies that want to make exactly this transaction.

The $35 million Fund will be used for three separate initiatives. Empire State Development Corporation, the official New York economic development agency, will dedicate $25 million for a lending program to help companies develop capacity to enter new markets.

ESDC will work together on this lending program with more than 20 private lenders in the state to leverage $50 million of additional overall small business lending.

The second initiative under the development fund will be a $10 million grant fund that will provide up to $25,000 to small- and medium-sized businesses to help them develop export capacity including for export marketing plans, market certification, website translation and product adaptation.

The third part of the development fund is an actual partnership with the federal Ex-Im Bank in order to connect creditworthy small businesses to export financing in the form of short-term loans of up to $500,000.

The Governor also noted that ESDC has a tremendous capacity for internationally global marketing, and they are very excited about the websites and online approaches.

The website for the initiative can be found at, which will function as a one-stop shop offering resources and information for both local and foreign businesses looking for business opportunities that can help grow jobs in New York.

The site explains how businesses can connect to programs such as START-UP NY and other New York economic development incentive programs. It offers information and links for the ten regional economic development councils, and contact information for NY State trade offices all over the world.

As part of the Global NY initiative, Gov. Cuomo also announced a series of overseas trade missions over the next couple of years. The first five trade missions will be to Mexico, Canada, China, Israel and Italy.


Los Angeles Economic Development Corp Report – High Tech in LA Supports 368,500 Jobs

A new report that reviews the high tech sector in Los Angeles finds that the sector employed more than 368,500 people in 2013, more than any other metro region in the nation.

Mayor Garcetti releases LAEDC High Tech in LA report

Mayor Garcetti releases LAEDC High Tech in LA report (photo –

The report was prepared by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s (LAEDC) Institute for Applied Economics, and funded with support from JPMorgan Chase.

Highlights from the High Tech in LA report:-

- The high tech sector in Los Angeles employs 368,500 people, accounting for nine percent of all employment and almost 17 percent of all payroll wages. If you factor in the indirect and induced jobs, the sector supports a total of 763,600 jobs;

- High tech jobs outside the high tech sector add up to 104,680;

- All these high tech jobs pay wages that are on average 70 percent higher than wages in other industries;

- The economic impact of high tech in LA is just as impressive, with $58.7 billion in labor income and a total of $108.3 billion contribution to the regional GDP;

- As for the tax impact, the report estimates that the high tech sector generated $21.8 billion in tax revenues last year, including local, state and federal taxes.

This is the first such report quantifying the high tech economy in Los Angeles prepared by the LAEDC Institute for Applied Economics. It spotlights the fact that Los Angeles County’s 368,600 high tech sector jobs exceeds the 313,300 high tech jobs in Santa Clara County aka Silicon Valley.

Not to mention the fact that it also tops Boston-Cambridge (361,400) and New York City (234,400).

The report was released as part of the kick-off of the inaugural Los Angeles Innovation Week to showcase LA’s high tech leadership.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a release that the Los Angeles tech industry is now as critical to the economy as the entertainment and manufacturing sectors, and Los Angeles is outperforming New York, Boston and Santa Clara County.

The Mayor added that in order to keep it this way, they will have to ensure that the workforce and students are prepared.

Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Bill Allen said that this watershed study puts the exclamation point on what they already knew anecdotally, but hadn’t yet quantified about Los Angeles’ high tech and innovation revolution.

The week-long schedule of events celebrating Los Angeles Innovation Week are being organized by the LAEDC, the City and County of Los Angeles, and other public and private sector partners across the region.

Read the full High Tech in LA report – Download (pdf)

Boeing Insourcing Parts Production for 777X to St. Louis, Missouri

Boeing (NYSE: BA) announced that it is bringing back production of parts for the 777X to the Boeing campus in St. Louis, MO.

Gov. Jay Nixon announcing Boeing 777x jobs for St. Louis, MO

Gov. Jay Nixon announcing Boeing 777x jobs for St. Louis, MO (photo –

Parts production for Boeing’s 777 program is currently outsourced to suppliers or done overseas.

The insourcing of 777X parts production to St. Louis requires Boeing to create 700 new jobs at their St. Louis campus, which has traditionally focused on Boeing’s military aircraft production contracts.

St. Louis is home to the Boeing Defense, Space and Security division, and the campus, supported by more than 600 suppliers and vendors across the state, employs more than 14,500 workers in the area.

Bringing production of parts for commercial aircraft to the St. Louis campus will therefore not only create more jobs and investment, but also diversifies the facility and better positions Missouri to compete for commercial projects in future.

The parts built in St. Louis will support the 777X work at the composite wing center in Everett, WA, which Boeing chose earlier this year as the home for both their 777X final assembly and the composite wing fabrication and assembly.

The composite wing center in Everett is currently under construction and will cover more than one million square feet of space.

The St. Louis composites facility will also be expanded by Boeing and will be able to start producing 777X parts by 2017.

Including these new 700 jobs for the 777X, Boeing has now announced plans to create up to 2,000 jobs in Missouri over the past 18 months. This includes 400 new IT jobs and 400 more research and technology jobs, along with another 500 jobs for service and support under the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor aircraft program.

Governor Jay Nixon said in a statement that Boeing’s decision to insource commercial work to St. Louis for the very first time marks a historic moment and a huge win for Missouri, Boeing’s workers and for the more than 600 Boeing suppliers and vendors around the state.

Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager, 777X program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said that a program of the size of 777X requires that they bring together all of the talent that Boeing has to offer.

Bob Ciesla, Boeing Military Aircraft Cross-Enterprise Design/Build vice president, said that this is a fantastic opportunity for Boeing St. Louis, and they are looking forward to being a partner on the 777X program.

North Carolina Economic Development Partnership Officially Open For Business

As of Oct 6, 2014, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has officially taken over economic development functions from the NC Department of Commerce.


EDPNC (photo –

The EDPNC was created as a non-profit corporation for consolidating and enhancing the state’s marketing and business recruitment functions.

Operating under a contract with the state, the new Partnership will oversee North Carolina efforts and programs ranging from economic development and international trade to film, tourism and sports development.

The NC Commerce Department retains control over state funding and decisions regarding awards of job creation incentive packages.

The EDPNC will use the state’s 10-year jobs plan as a roadmap. This jobs plan was created by the North Carolina Economic Development Board on behalf of Governor Pat McCrory.

The Governor said in a release announcing the partnership’s official launch that North Carolina is open for business, with a new office, new structure and a bold new approach on how they sell the state.

Gov. McCrory added that they will aggressively recruit businesses worldwide and help existing companies grow, creating jobs and opportunities across the state and competing more effectively for business growth.

EDPNC Chairman John Lassiter said this new structure gives them a competitive advantage because they’re enlisting public and private resources to help promote North Carolina’s assets.

Under the terms of the contract with the state as authorized through legislation (House Bill 1031), the EDPNC gets state funding subject to the new Partnership being able to raise a specific amount ($6 million in five years, including $750,000 in the first year and $1.25 million annually for the subsequent four years) of funding through private contributions.

Employees who worked at the NC Commerce Department on economic development functions are being transferred to the EDPNC. Already, the new organization has 34 employees who were previously working at the NC Commerce Department.

A five-member interim board is currently leading the Partnership until official board appointments are made. Thomas Looney, vice president and general manager of Lenovo North America, is one of the interim board members.

Looney said that the new Partnership enables North Carolina to aggressively compete with any state in the country by proactively communicating the tremendous value the state delivers.

North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker said they are delighted to work with the Partnership as they continue to reenergize North Carolina’s economic development efforts.



Rhode Island Gets Its First Culinary Business Incubator

Rhode Island’s first culinary business incubator is now open in the Town of Warren, RI. Hope & Main officially opened the 17,500-square-foot incubator with a ribbon cutting ceremony last week.

Hope & Main Culinary Incubator opening in Warren, RI

Hope & Main Culinary Incubator opening in Warren, RI (photo –

Both U.S. senators for Rhode Island Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse spoke at the opening ceremony, as did USDA Director of Community Programs Daniel R. Beaudette.

The Hope & Main incubator project has been largely funded by the USDA, which provided a $2.9 million loan under the Rural Development Community Facilities Loan program.

The incubator is housed in a historic 100-year old building on Main Street in Warren. The space has been converted into a state-of-the-art cooking workspace for food entrepreneurs in the region.

It includes three shared-use code complaint kitchens for commercial use, a gluten-free kitchen, an artisanal bakery, cold and dry storage facilities, more than 6,000 square feet of production space, and all kinds of equipment for supporting baking, catering and food processing businesses.

It also has a demonstration kitchen, meeting spaces and event space for community events. A weekly food market is going to be held on the premises to give the incubator’s food startups and other local producers a chance to introduce themselves and their culinary creations to the local community.

The non-profit incubator program offers Rhode Island’s food startups a chance to grow in their first two to three years without having to bear the cost of equipping their own commercial facilities. Apart from the fully-equipped workspace, members also benefit from extensive mentoring and an entrepreneurial environment where they can collaborate with food industry experts and peers.

This promising project has been in the works for a few years, and spent the last three years trying to secure funding. Hope & Main was finally able to buy the building from the Town of Warren in June 2013 and complete the $3.2 million renovation after raising $250,000 in private investment and securing the USDA loan.

The good news is that they now have their initial cohort of more than 30 culinary entrepreneurs who are growing their food businesses and early-stage startups from the incubator.

Members of the cohort such as catering companies, specialty food makers, food trucks (Acacia Cafe Food Truck & Kitchen), farmers (Agraria Farm; New Urban Farmers) and even a nutritionist (Nutritionally Sound, LLC) have already opened their businesses, all housed in the incubator at 691 Main Street.

Lisa J. Raiola, founder and president of Hope & Main, said that five years ago they had an idea for a building, but could only imagine who would use it. Now Hope & Main has evolved into the Rhode Island food economy’s center of gravity.

Raiola noted that not only have they created access to business opportunities for food entrepreneurs, but also built an integrated space dedicated to the food value chain from growing to production to sales.

Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet, KSBDC Team Up to Offer Procurement Assistance

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is lending a helping hand to the University of Kentucky Small Business Development Center’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center program.

Kentucky SBDC

Kentucky SBDC (photo –

The new Kentucky PTAC will provide procurement assistance services to businesses interested in applying for government contracts and selling their goods and services to local, state and federal governments.

At present, the center is operated entirely by the Kentucky SBDC (KSBDC) and provides free counseling and training, along with bid-match services, to small businesses exploring opportunities for government contracts.

The involvement of the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet allows the KSBDC to expand and enhance this service, according to KSBDC State Director Dr. Becky Naugle.

Dr. Naugle said in a release that they appreciate the Cabinet’s recognition of the vital role that small businesses play in the Commonwealth, and added that they believe this program can have a significant impact.

KSBDC has been assisting small businesses in Kentucky for three decades, and now has more than 15 service centers statewide. Their operations are co-sponsored through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and administered by the University of Kentucky in partnership with regional universities, community colleges and the private sector.

The services offered by KSBDC to the small business community include everything from one-on-one consultations to training workshops, loan packaging assistance, and market research.

In addition to the usual assistance for starting and growing small businesses, the KSBDC also offers specialty programs ranging from economic gardening to exports, tech startups, minority and women-owned businesses, and a veteran assistance program, among other things.

Apart from the state resources that will become available through the partnership with the Cabinet to expand the services offered through PTAC, the KSBDC also recently received $250,000 in federal funding, matched dollar-to-dollar in state and local funding.

All of this funding is being used by KSBDC to hire staff for offering counseling and training services to small businesses. These are functions previously offered to businesses by the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet.

Many small businesses are interested in pursuing government contracts, but find the process to be confusing and intimidating, noted Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes.

Sec. Hayes said that PTAC will help businesses solve the puzzle of government contracting, and added that the Cabinet is eager to partner with the KSBDC for providing even greater support to small businesses.

USDA Support For Cool Planet Renewable Fuels Bio-Refineries in Louisiana

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a $91 million conditional loan guarantee commitment for the construction of commercial bio-refineries by Cool Planet Energy Systems at the Port of Alexandria and two other locations in Louisiana.

Cool Planet bio fuels

Cool Planet bio fuels (photo –

This Port of Alexandria facility will be Cool Planet’s first commercial plant to be using renewable sources such as wood chips to produce high octane gasoline and other products that are chemically identical to fossil fuels.

The company announced the plan to establish three bio-refinery projects in Louisiana and broke ground on the first one at a 26-acre site at the Port of Alexandria earlier this in February. The second one will be located in Natchitoches, La. and the location for the third one hasn’t been finalized yet.

Cool Planet is investing $168 million in the three bio-refinery projects and will create a total of 72 new jobs. The investment in the Port of Alexandria project alone is $56 million, and Cool Planet is creating 24 new jobs for this project with an average annual wage of $59,600, plus benefits.

According to estimates provided by Louisiana Economic Development, the three facilities will support the creation of another 422 indirect jobs, adding up to a total job creation impact of 494 new jobs in Central Louisiana. Not to mention the hundreds of construction jobs that will be created while the three bio-refineries are being built.

Apart from 10 million tons of high-octane gasoline produced from renewable sources, the bio-refinery will also produce something called CoolTerra that acts as a soil amendment. This product enables significantly higher agricultural production and crop yields with much less water and fertilizer, while reducing the carbon emissions associated with crops.

This makes the Cool Planet bio-refinery a net carbon-negative operation, meaning that the project will actually result in the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Apart from VC fund North Bridge Venture Partners, other strategic investors in Denver-based Cool Planet Energy Systems include GE, Google Ventures, NRG Energy, BP, ConocoPhillips, and the Constellation division of Exelon.

The USDA’s support in the form of a loan guarantee will likewise speed up the commercialization of Cool Planet’s innovative production of renewable fuels.

Cool Planet CEO Howard Janzen said in a release that the umbrella of a consistent and supportive federal government policy is important to the initial commercialization of their technology. Janzen added that they expect this commercial plant to be the first of hundreds of plants their company will build across the United States.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said that the USDA’s support for renewable energy projects like this helps creates jobs in rural areas and leads to further expansion of the growing and increasingly significant bioeconomy, while promoting U.S. energy independence and reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases.

California Governor’s Office of Economic Development Launches Web Tool for EB5 Foreign Investors

GO-Biz, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, has launched a new web tool to assist foreign investors under the federal EB5 foreign investor visa program.

CA GO-Biz TEA Finder tool

CA GO-Biz TEA Finder tool

The web portal expedites the process of applying for Targeted Employment Area (TEA) certification, which in turn enables EB5 investors to qualify for the EB5 visa program.

Under this program, foreign investors who have invested or are in the process of investing at least $1 million into a new commercial enterprise that is creating at least 10 new jobs may apply for the EB5 visa.

Those investing at least $500,000 may also be eligible, as long as the location of the enterprise into which the investment is being made is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).

A TEA in this case could either be a rural area, or an urban area with high unemployment (150 percent of the national average) that is part of a metropolitan statistical area.

Before, applicants had to look up spreadsheets and various sites to find out whether a prospective site for establishing a job-creating project was located in a qualified TEA.

With the help of the new GO-Biz Tea Finder map-based GIS tool, all an EB5 applicant considering making a foreign investment in California has to do now is type in the address to find out if it falls within a census tract that is already a qualified TEA or can be qualified as one under state guidelines.

If the tool identifies your project as being located in a designated high unemployment census tract, then you can use it to directly request a certification letter for the same from the State. Use of the TEA Finder for this process will improve the response time from GO-Biz and creates more certainty for applicants.

GO-Biz Deputy Director for International Affairs and Business Development Brian Peck said in a release that California is the nation’s leader in attracting FDI, and the EB5 Visa program is an important component for increasing growth in jobs through FDI.

Peck added that GO-Biz is once again leading the nation by making it easier for new EB5 investment to enter the state by streamlining the state-related application process for new investors.

California Department of Technology Director Carlos Ramos said that providing innovative, efficient and reliable services in government is critical to California economic development and workforce solutions, and added that the TEA Finder portal brings real-time solutions to keep California moving forward.

Michigan Economic Development Incentives Announced for Projects Creating 568 New Jobs

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced approval of incentives by the Michigan Strategic Fund for 11 projects that will create a total of 568 new jobs while generating $97.4 million in private investment.

Job creation in Michigan

Job creation in Michigan (photo –

Four of the projects are business expansions that are receiving incentives under the Michigan Business Development (MBD) Program.

Harman Becker Automotive Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Harman International Industries, is consolidating operations currently dispersed in six different facilities into a single new complex in the City of Novi, MI. Harman is investing close to $45 million into this project, and will be creating 150 new jobs.

The company chose Novi for the consolidation over competing sites in California, Colorado and Illinois. Harman has been approved to receive an $800,000 performance-based grant under the MBD program, and the City of Novi is additionally supporting the project with a property tax abatement.

Specialty heater manufacturer Nexthermal Corp is getting a $250,000 MBD grant for a proposed expansion in the City of Battle Creek where the company plans to create 50 new jobs and invest $1.96 million.

Nexthermal chose Battle Creek and Michigan over competing sites in Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and overseas locations in India and China. The City of Battle Creek is additionally supporting the project with local incentives provided as an Industrial Facility Tax Exemption.

The other two expansions are by CDK Global, Inc. in downtown Detroit and by Sunrise Windows Ltd. in Bedford Township. Both companies are undertaking expansions that will create 100 jobs each. CDK Global is investing $3.6 million and is getting a $1 million MBD grant, while Sunrise is investing $5.1 million and getting a $350,000 MBD grant.

Apart from incentives for these four expansion projects, MSF approval was also announced for five projects under the Michigan Community Revitalization Program.

One of these five projects is a plan by Artspace Projects, Inc. to renovate three buildings in Dearborn, MI. The core of the project is a conversion of Dearborn City Hall into a mixed-use arts campus that includes 54 affordable working and living spaces designed for artists.

This development will also include studios, galleries and a creative entrepreneurship center that will provide support for the artists in the complex. The project will create four full-time jobs and generate $15.8 million in capital investment.

Artspace Projects, Inc. is getting a $1 million performance-based grant under the Michigan Community Revitalization Program. The City of Dearborn is supporting the project with a PILOT agreement valued at $1.3 million, plus a $400,000 loan and another $500,000 in HOME funding.

Since two of the buildings being renovated are historic buildings, federal assistance is being provided through federal historic tax credits and low-income housing tax credits. The project is also getting grants from the Ford Foundation and Severstal International.

Community revitalization grants were also approved for three other projects in Detroit and one more in Grand Rapids. The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was additionally approved to use local and state taxes valued at $346,180 for redeveloping a four-story building into 36 residential units and retail space.

The City of Sturgis was awarded $442,000 in CDBG funding to be used for providing job training for an expansion project by Sturgis Molded Products which is creating 50 new jobs.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney said in a release that these new investments show Michigan’s highly competitive business climate and talented workforce mean real opportunities for growing companies.

Tennessee Lands $100M Under Armour Distribution Center Project With 1500 Jobs

Sportswear and athletic apparel maker Under Armour, Inc. announced the selection of Mount Juliet, TN as the location for a large distribution center project that will serve as a hub for the company’s growth in the southeast.

Gov. Haslam announces Under Armour distribution center project in Mount Juliet, TN

Gov. Haslam announces Under Armour distribution center project in Mount Juliet, TN (photo –

As a start, Under Armour will invest $100 million to establish a one-million-square-foot distribution center and warehousing facility in Beckwith Farms, an industrial park development which already has several large distribution centers.

The project will bring 1,500 new jobs to Wilson County over the next five years. Furthermore, the company has retained the right to acquire another million square feet for the project for a planned second phase expansion after the scheduled completion of the first phase in early 2016.

Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced the project along with Under Armour executives and local leaders in Wilson County and Mount Juliet.

Gov. Haslam said in a release that they want to welcome Under Armour to Tennessee and thanked the company for choosing to invest and create 1,500 jobs in Wilson County.

The company already has two distribution centers, including one at their headquarters in Baltimore, MD and another one in Rialto, CA.

Under Armour’s site selection process for their new distribution center location in the southeast had narrowed down the choices to this site in the Nashville area, and two other sites in Atlanta, GA and Greenville, SC.

They ultimately chose Wilson County over the other two sites despite the higher cost because of the state’s workforce, transportation infrastructure and convenient access available from the site in Beckwith Farms, and because the Wilson County and Tennessee economic development teams were able to push through the massive project in about nine months as per the company’s unusually short time frame.

The Wilson County codename for the project (Project Fast Break) reflected the need to quickly offer an economic development package of incentives to Under Armour, along with other assistance required to secure the project and get it underway.

State incentives for the project have not been disclosed, but Wilson County has approved tax breaks that could be worth as much as $6 million over a seven-year period.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said the county is blessed to have attracted so many jobs for its citizens, and thanked all those who have made it happen.

Mount Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty likewise said they are very pleased that Under Armour chose Mount Juliet as its new location. The Mayor noted that Mount Juliet is consistently ranked as one of the most business-friendly cities in the state, and added that they believe Under Armour will have great success in Mount Juliet.

John Bradley, senior vice president of Economic Development, Tennessee Valley Authority, said they are proud to be partners with the State, Nashville Area Chamber, the Joint Economic Development Board of Wilson County, and officials of Mount Juliet and Wilson County in welcoming and supporting Under Armour as a major new employer in the Tennessee Valley.

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