Development chief touts expansion projects

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New York State has backed 42 percent more business expansion projects in the first six months of 2013 than in the same period a year ago, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's economic development czar said Thursday.

Kenneth Adams, president of Empire State Development Corp., said his agency aided 228 companies and development projects between Jan. 1 and June 30, compared with 160 in the first six months of 2012.

This year's projects received $240 million in state tax credits and grants, and together they will create and retain 58,000 jobs statewide, he said. Last year's projects secured $313 million and 45,000 jobs. In each six-month period, the state aid was matched by $2 billion in private money.

Adams said the increased activity was another sign that New York's economy is rebounding from the recession. He also said Cuomo's regional economic development councils have identified worthy business expansions and building projects that might not have come to Albany's attention a few years ago.

"This is really driven by the regional councils," Adams said in an interview. "They are running at full tilt."

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Of the 228 projects since Jan. 1, 161 were recommended by the 10 councils, including the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. The state aid equals $4,100 per job. And the projects are located in 55 of the state's 62 counties.

Empire State Development reported its highest volume of deals ever for a calendar year in 2012.

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