Governor Hochul announced the creation of the NY Forward program to invigorate and enliven downtowns in New York’s smaller and rural communities—the type of downtowns found in villages, hamlets and other small, neighborhood-scale municipal centers. NY Forward builds on the success of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) by adopting the same “Plan-then-Act” strategy as the DRI. The State has allocated $100 million for the first round of NY Forward. Each of the State’s ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) will have the option of recommending two communities for $4.5 million NY Forward awards or three communities one of which will receive $4.5 million and two will be awarded $2.25 million.
Communities submit applications to the REDCs. Each REDC nominates two or three communities to participate after a thorough evaluation of the downtown’s potential for transformation.
Selected communities will develop a Strategic Investment Plan that includes a vision for the downtown and a catalogue of transformative projects, based on community outreach and input. That plan forms the foundation for immediate and ongoing project implementation.
NY Forward awards will be used to implement the most transformative projects from the Strategic Investment Plan. Additional projects may be implemented through the CFA or other funding source.