Council Will Drive Local Economic Development and Improve Business Climate Statewide
Dear Chamber Members,
I am proud to announce that I have been chosen to represent Niagara County on the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. These councils have been established to streamline economic development throughout the state. By creating ten councils that represent all of the counties throughout New York, the Governor is seeking to have a unified system of objectives in the way economic development is funded and supported in New York State. I am fortunate to be working with very talented people in the creation of a set of principals and ideas that will form the basis of future economic development in the region.
It is an honor to be serving on this council at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo. As the President and CEO of the Niagara USA Chamber, Niagara County’s leading advocacy organization, I believe the success of our advocacy is reflected in opportunites such as this.
Deanna Alterio Brennen
Western NY Regional Council to be Led by Satish Tripathi & Howard Zemsky
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched his Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, which will redesign the relationship between the state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs statewide. The Governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, local officials, business leaders, and community members to launch the Regional Council at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.
The Western New York Regional Council will be led by Satish K. Tripathi, President of University at Buffalo, and Howard A. Zemsky, the Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group, who will both serve as Regional Co-Chairs. The Regional Council will coordinate the economic development of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties.
“For too long, Albany has imposed one-size-fits-all economic development plans across the state, ignoring the unique assets and challenges of each region,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today, we are taking a new approach. With the Regional Councils, we will empower individual areas like Western New York to chart their own course for job creation and growth and we will send a clear message that New York is open for business.”
The Regional Councils represent a fundamental shift in the state’s approach to economic development, from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions’ unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.
Currently, New York State’s economic development efforts are managed through dozens of separate state and local agencies. The Regional Councils will now bring together stakeholders in every region of the state to serve as a coordinated point of contact for economic development. Each Regional Council will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and will be led by two Regional Co-Chairs from the business and academic community. Additional membership is comprised of local leaders from business, academia, labor, agriculture, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.
Each Regional Council will develop a plan for the development of their region. The state will work with the Regional Councils to align state resources and policies, eliminate unnecessary barriers to growth and prosperity, and streamline the delivery of government services and programs to help the Regional Councils carry out their plans for development.
Governor Cuomo has already made historic changes to the state’s economic development grant application process to support the Regional Councils. Through a new Consolidated Funding Application that combines resources from dozens of existing programs, the Regional Councils can now apply for $1 billion in state funding for projects they determine to be part of their regional strategy. Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said, “Governor Cuomo’s groundbreaking economic development strategy will put our state back on the right path.
Only by focusing on what our regions actually need can we take full advantage of our resources and keep businesses and jobs here in New York. The Regional Councils will enable every section of the state to prepare individualized economic plans and will make the regions the drivers of their own success.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “New York can no longer afford to have the worst business climate in the nation. The economic development strategies of Albany’s past have failed to solve the challenges we face today. Governor Cuomo’s Regional Councils create a more efficient business model that empowers individual regions to determine what is best for their own communities and incentivizes thoughtful economic policies through competition. I am excited to work with every region to maximize their potential and bring investment and jobs to New York State.”
Governor Cuomo created the Regional Councils through Executive Order. To learn more about the Regional Councils, please visit
10 Regional Economic Development Councils
Capital Region (Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington)
Central New York (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego)
Finger Lakes (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates)
Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk)
Mid-Hudson (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester)
Mohawk Valley (Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie)
New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond)
North Country (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence,)
Southern Tier (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins)
Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara)