June 12, 2009

Gillibrand Takes Action to Reauthorize Rochester Renewal Community Program to Revitalize Economy, Create Jobs

Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Enhancement Act Will Help Save and Create Jobs, Attract New Businesses, Increase Wages in Rochester

Washington, D.C. - As part of a broad agenda to create jobs and revitalize New York's economy, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced legislation this week to save and create jobs in Rochester. The Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Enhancement Act of 2009, sponsored by Senator Blanche Lincoln, would continue efforts to promote revitalization and economic development through 2015.

"Creating good-paying jobs right here in New York is my top priority," Senator Gillibrand said. "The Renewal Community Program has been critical for the revitalization of Rochester. During these tough economic times, we must provide the tools and resources our communities need to promote growth, create jobs, and attract businesses. This program is an essential part of our long term economic development efforts."

The Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community program attracts and retains businesses through tax and regulatory relief, social services, and community redevelopment. It was established through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help create new jobs, rebuild infrastructure and attract new businesses to communities that have experienced the worst of economic downturns.

Renewal Communities establish partnerships among federal, state and local governments, along with businesses and community organizations work to stimulate local economic development. Renewal Communities also benefit from a mix of federal tax incentives to help increase wages for workers and help attract new businesses.

Last year, 70 businesses in the Rochester Renewal Community received either technical or financial assistance, which leveraged over $27 million in public and private investments.

85 Allen, LLC., and 55 Railroad Street Associates both used Commercial Revitalization Deduction benefits to renovate vacant spaces to grow their businesses. GCI Communications has also used wage-based tax credits to create new jobs for Rochester.
However, the benefits of the Rochester Renewal Community are set to expire at the end of this year. Senator Gillibrand is working to pass the Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Enhancement Act of 2009, which would allow Rochester to continue these economic revitalization efforts.

Senator Gillibrand's number one priority is creating jobs and rebuilding New York's economy. Earlier this year, she helped pass President Obama's economic recovery plan, which will create or save over 200,000 jobs right here in New York, while laying the foundation for future economic growth with investments in infrastructure, health care technology, renewable energy and education.