June 12, 2009

Gillibrand Takes Action to Reauthorize Western New York Renewal Communities Program to Revitalize Economy, Create Jobs

Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Enhancement Act Will Help Save and Create Jobs, Attract New Businesses, Increase Wages for Buffalo, Jamestown, and Niagara

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 Western New York. 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 Western New York. 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.

The designated Renewal Communities for Western New York include Buffalo-Lackawanna, Jamestown and Niagara Falls - where partnerships among federal, state and local governments, along with businesses and community organizations have been put to work 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.  

In Buffalo, Riverwright Biofuels is using Renewal Community incentives in hopes of creating approximately 65 new jobs. Curtis Building is also working to create approximately 70 new jobs. And Martin Group is also working to use Renewal Community benefits to create jobs and grow their operations.

In Jamestown, International Ordinance is leveraging Renewal Community incentives to grow, as well as ParMed in Niagara Falls.

However, the benefits of the Renewal Communities of Western New York 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 Western New York 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.