FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2012
SCHUMER PUSHES FEDS TO BRING
FEDERAL DISASTER FUNDING TO
BROOME COUNTY- BU PARTNERSHIP TO
CREATE FIRST-EVER HIGH-TECH
INCUBATOR IN SOUTHERN TIER— IN
WAKE OF FLOOD DISASTER,
INVESTMENT WILL HELP DEVELOP NEW
HIGH-TECH COMPANIES, CREATE
AND SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF JOBS IN
Schumer, Who Led the Effort to Secure $200 Million for EDA Disaster Fund,
Urges the Federal Economic Development Administration to Support Broome County
IDA’s Application for $4 Million In Disaster Funding for First High-Tech Incubator in
Partnership Between County IDA, Local Govt., Binghamton Univ. & Broome CC Would
Advance Flood Recovery in Region By Creating Business-Friendly Facility for New High
Tech Companies -- $21 Million Public Sector Project Is Perfectly Aligned With EDA
Schumer: EDA Disaster Funding Would Help Grow and Support Hundreds of Jobs in
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to award $4 million in federal disaster funding to the Broome County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), in order to develop a shovel ready construction site for a 40,000 square foot high-tech business and technology incubator in downtown Binghamton. Last week, the IDA submitted a funding application for the project to the EDA federal disaster fund to support long-term economic recovery and job creation in New York's flood ravaged Southern Tier. This application was developed in response to the passage of a critical $200 million federal economic recovery package tied to storm disasters in 2011. Earlier this year, Schumer connected local Broome County officials with EDA representatives to begin a dialogue about this effort.
Schumer highlighted to the EDA that this project is a partnership between the local government, Binghamton University and Broome Community College, and aims to strengthen the greater Binghamton region’s economy as it transitions from disaster recovery to more advanced business development. Specifically, this economic redevelopment project, called “The Incubator,” would be a first of its kind facility in the region aimed at delivering affordable and specialized commercial space to help support, cultivate and grow high-tech companies in the Southern Tier. Schumer stated that the IDA’s proposal would have a massive economic impact on the region, by injecting a total of $21 million in public and private investment into the local economy and supporting the University's goal of commercializing local research into clean, high-tech jobs in the City's downtown.
“The bottom line is that the federal government should do everything it can to support Broome County’s innovative plans to create a first-ever business incubator in the region, that will help draw new companies to downtown Binghamton and create and support hundreds of jobs in the process,” said Schumer. “This partnership between the Broome County IDA, the local government and the area’s preeminent universities is exactly what the region needs to advance business development, and in light of the repeated devastation that the local economy has endured due to flooding, it is long-awaited and well-deserved. That is why I am calling on the Economic Development Administration to approve Broome County’s application for $4 million in disaster funding that will allow the Southern Tier to recover from Tropical Storm Lee and create hundreds of good-paying jobs in the technology sector.”
"We are pleased to be part of this community-based high technology incubator project,” said Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University. “Not only will it foster growth of University start-up companies made possible through the support of Senator Schumer, and other elected officials, but it will play an integral role in the resurgence of the downtown community devastated by the 2011 flood. The innovation and job creation that the incubator will generate is critical to the growth of the region’s entrepreneurial community and we are looking forward to being part of this exciting venture." "Creating jobs and promoting economic development has been my #1 priority since taking office in January," said County Executive Preston. "Our exciting new Job Creation Incubator will help us capitalize on the amazing technology that Binghamton University's faculty and students are creating. This will create new high-tech companies and new good-paying jobs. Thanks to Senator Schumer for his hard work and leadership fighting for these Federal funds to help make the Incubator a reality.
"Creating jobs and promoting economic development has been my #1 priority since taking office in January," said County Executive Preston. "Our exciting new Job Creation Incubator will help us capitalize on the amazing technology that Binghamton University's faculty and students are creating. This will create new high-tech companies and new good-paying jobs. Thanks to Senator Schumer for his hard work and leadership fighting for these Federal funds to help make the Incubator a reality."
In his letter to the EDA, Schumer highlighted that The Incubator project will provide a high-tech space for up to 12 companies focusing on research and development in energy, microelectronics, and healthcare in Binghamton- the first of its kind in the region. It will include specialized laboratories and other features associated with industry-based science and technology research, development and manufacturing. Incubator tenants will have the benefits of co-located resources, including on-site legal, accounting, banking and other service partners. Tenants will also have the opportunity to establish and maintain close contact with the research, development and educational initiatives being conducted at Binghamton University and Broome Community College. Opportunities include access to a university-based skilled workforce and university staff charged with relationship building between industry and academia; availability of university multi-user facilities; human resource matching programs such as internships and co-ops; and university technology transfer and commercialization offices. The private sector investment community will be encouraged to have a presence at the Incubator with the goal of mentoring incubating firms to the point of investment support. In addition, Broome County has committed to relocating its business incubator to the facility, which will catalyze additional opportunities for developing companies. The Incubator is projected to generate measurable economic impact for the region and is likely to have a regional economic impact of $21 million and create 229 jobs associated with construction. Within five years of completion, The Incubator expects to sustain an annual economic impact of $17 million associated with job creation, locate and foster 24 new companies with 120 total employees, employ up to five full time staff members, and will maintain two anchor tenants with an additional 28 employees.
Schumer has long supported the notion that strong research universities can facilitate the economic growth of their communities. He believes that the partnership between the Broome IDA and Binghamton University presents an opportunity for significant economic growth in the Southern Tier. Schumer has worked with Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger to rally support for a new Southern Tier technology incubator. Stenger describes “The Incubator” as “among the most cost-effective strategies for increasing the number of jobs in a community.” Projections estimate that the incubator will create 150 new jobs immediately, with many more to follow as the projects grows. The incubator is a self-sustaining project not only will create new businesses and therefore news jobs, but will also entice bright, young minds – like those of Binghamton University graduates – to start businesses in the Binghamton area.
Following Tropical Storm Lee, Schumer helped author provisions in the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations “mini-bus” legislation that designated $200 million in disaster relief to flood-hit areas, such as Binghamton and the Southern Tier. The funding was specifically designated to provide financial resources and technical assistance to help rebuild local economies, and provide grants to build new infrastructure, like basic utilities, research facilities, and businesses that foster economic development. Schumer has a history of partnering with the Broome County IDA and other entities to help the Binghamton area recover from the lingering effects of tropical storm Lee which hit the region last September. Schumer has already worked with the BCIDA to ensure that major corporations such as BAE kept a presence in New York’s Southern Tier in the wake of Tropical Storms Lee and Irene. Thanks to this effort the IDA has saved over 1,200 local jobs that might have moved elsewhere.
A copy of Sen. Schumer’s letter to the U.S. Economic Development Administration appears below:
Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Development
United States Economic Development Administration
Dear Acting Assistant Secretary Erksine:
I write today in support of an exciting and regionally significant project that upon completion will provide a unique entrepreneurial ecosystem for emerging high-technology companies. The Broome County Industrial Development Agency (BCIDA) with the support of Broome County Government and in collaboration with preeminent educational institutions like Binghamton University and Broome Community College is proposing to construct a high-technology incubator (The Incubator) in the City of Binghamton, located in New York’s Southern Tier. To accomplish this, the Binghamton University Foundation has formed a not-for-profit entity, The Southern Tier High Technology Incubator, Inc. which will construct, own and manage the Incubator and its associated programming on a site owned by the BCIDA in Binghamton’s urban core and leased to the new corporation.
This region, was already suffering from a declining economy when it was dealt another blow, with the occurrence of a major flooding event in September 2011, when Tropical Storm Lee barreled through the east coast. Sadly, the Southern Tier of New York, who five years earlier had experienced a severe hundred year flood, was not spared from its wrath. In Lee’s wake, the region, including the City of Binghamton in Broome County, sustained extensive damage, dislocation of over 20,000 Broome County residents, and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and destruction to residential, public and commercial property. As the waters receded and the extent of devastation becoming apparent, a Federal Disaster Declaration was announced on September 13, 2011 (FEMA-DR-4031, New York) and it is this “special needs” designation that conferred Economic Development Administration program eligibility for the targeted counties.
There is no question that the severe impacts of these two floods on a declining economy will have economic consequences for the region for some time to come. This community is a resilient one that strives to live up to its moniker as the “home of innovation” even in the face of a challenge. Upon witnessing the disastrous impact a singular event can have on the region’s economy, local stakeholders recognized the need to add to the economic diversity of the region, the opportunity to rebuild confidence in the heavily damaged urban core of the City of Binghamton, and The Incubator project was born. This project’s significance cannot be overstated as it marks one of the area’s largest collaborations, and investments.
Presently, the region is without a facility suited to cultivate, support and grow high-tech companies. The establishment of this type of infrastructure ensures the region will be well poised to capture and reap the benefits of investments at the state and federal level in a knowledge-based economy. To that end, The Incubator is not only being designed as a priority project to serve as a catalyst for rebuilding the economy of the region, but also to strengthen the region’s high-tech industry base, and foster retention of tech oriented businesses in the region. To meet these goals, the project will provide, high-tech infrastructure for up to 12 companies focusing on research and development in energy, microelectronics, and healthcare. It will include specialized laboratories and other features associated with industry-based science and technology research, development and manufacturing. Incubator tenants will have the benefits of co-located resources, including on-site legal, accounting, banking and other service partners. Tenants will also have the opportunity to establish and maintain close contact with the research, development and educational initiatives being conducted at Binghamton University and Broome Community College. Opportunities include access to a university-based skilled workforce and university staff charged with relationship building between industry and academia; availability of university multi-user facilities; human resource matching programs such as internships and co-ops; and university technology transfer and commercialization offices. The private sector investment community will be encouraged to have a presence at the Incubator with the goal of mentoring incubating firms to the point of investment support. In addition, Broome County has committed to relocating its business incubator to the facility, which will catalyze additional opportunities for developing companies.
This is a large project, with resources and investments from all levels of public sector. The scope of work consists of two Projects. The first, Project I, is to develop a shovel ready site ready for construction of a 40,000 sq ft high –technology Incubator. Here $1M from the Broome County IDA will leverage the $4M submission to the Economic Development Disaster Opportunity. Project II will be the construction phase and already has the commitment of local and regional economic development entities including $2M to be raised from private-sector partners and anchor tenants, with additional in-kind contributions from Binghamton University, Broome Community College and industry partners. Binghamton University is committed to the success of the Incubator and will accept responsibility for ongoing operational and maintenance costs as needed.
This is an ideal project that has pledged to generate measurable economic impact for the region and projects to have a regional economic impact of $21m and create 229 jobs associated with construction. Within 5 years of completion, The Incubator will sustain an annual economic impact of $17m associated with job creation, will have housed and generated 24 new companies with 120 total employee, will employ up to 5 full time staff members, and will maintain 2 anchor tenants with an additional 28 employee. I thank you for your attention to this matter.
Senator Charles E. Schumer