Economist: Region On A Positive Path, Despite Potential Roadblocks

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Economic forecasters expect central New York to continue the slow but steady growth seen in the past few years. While that growth should continue, there are potential roadblocks keeping the region from reaching the robust growth found in other parts of the country. M&T Bank Regional Economist Gary Keith says the future of central New York’s economy hinges on the workforce. "It’s one thing to be able to put up buildings, and attract businesses, and retain businesses, but if they don’t have the right mix of labor to move forward, that’s just going to keep one foot on the break,” Keith said. Keith worries about the exodus of older workers retiring and taking their skills with them.

Centerstate CEO Encouraged By Economic Trends In Upstate New York

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Central New York economic development boosters are hoping some positive trends from 2017 continue this year. One that CenterState CEO director Rob Simpson expects to hold course in 2018 is a change in something that’s plagued the area for years: brain drain. "We have seen the latest census department estimates that the population 18-25 in central New York is actually growing at a more rapid rate than we’ve seen in recent memory," Simpson said. Simpson says more college-aged students are staying in the area in part because there are more job opportunities out there. He also cites a low cost of living that’s attractive for young people and suggests the improved qualities in upstate cities also has something to do with it.

Gillibrand Legislation Would Help Women And Minority Small Businesses Get Little Loans

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Rochester Monday announcing bipartisan legislation to expand the Small Business Administration’s microloan program, helping women and minority owned businesses succeed. The Microloan Modernization Act will strengthen the current program, Gillibrand said, by raising the total limit on outstanding loans from intermediary lenders, which would allow for more loans to be made. "The lending organizations aren’t making enough loans. And they’re not reaching enough entrepreneurs to actually reflect the population of incredibly diverse communities like the ones here in Rochester. And they’re not reaching enough women entrepreneurs."

Central New York At Top Winner In Regional Economic Development Council Awards

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Central New York was a big winner once again at this year’s Regional Economic Development Council awards, announced last week in Albany. The state will funnel more than $86 million to projects in five central New York counties. It includes things like $140,000 for a new park in East Syracuse and a half-million dollars for an expansion of the Apple Acres apple orchard in LaFayette. In all, incoming REDC co-chair Randy Wolken says there are 112 projects in line for state funding. “Central New York has been a top performer, this year receiving the most dollars of all the regions.

Finger Lakes Region To Share Nearly $64 Million In State Economic Development Funds

ROCHESTER (WXXI and Associated Press) Communities in New York state are splitting $755 million in state economic development funding. State officials announced the awards Wednesday at an event in Albany. The money will support hundreds of local economic development efforts, including job training, subsidies for expanding businesses and funding for community organizations. This year's big winners include central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Albany region, the mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island, which each received more than $80 million. The Finger Lakes got this lowest amount this time around, receiving the lowest amount at $63.9 million dollars.