Centerstate CEO

Central New York’s business and economic development agency is starting a new chamber of commerce for minority-run companies.

According to CenterState CEO, the black and Latino communities in New York have $170 billion in buying power. That’s why, it says, it’s forming the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance, the only one in the region.

The news was announced at CenterState’s annual meeting. Edward Cuello will lead the new Upstate MEA. He says its mission will be to harness the minority community’s business and buying power.

Rob Simpson heads CenterState CEO, the region's principal business development non-profit organization, and he also co-chairs the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.  In this episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher engages Simpson on the economic development debates currently circulating in the Syracuse region, and the prospects for recapturing economic vibrancy.

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  East meets West in a glass at Empire Brewing Company in downtown Syracuse. The new Two Dragon beer is the result of a Syracuse business delegation that visited China last year.

The new craft brew relies on Fu brick tea imported from China for its unique taste. It got rave reviews when it was introduced at Empire this week, with tasters describing it as smooth, but with a little edge of tea flavor.

Empire founder David Katleski says it actually makes sense to use tea in the brewing of beer.

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The business incubator that has helped spawn several businesses in downtown Syracuse is growing. The Tech Garden has had a waiting list for over two years at it's original space on Warren Street, so it's expanding -- by 18,000 square feet.

Tech Garden II, on the ground floor of AXA Tower II, opens up more opportunities for startups who can take advantage of the support and facilities offered at the Tech Garden. Dave Bulger is starting up a company called tuzag, something he says he couldn't have done without that support.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

There will be another competition for state economic development dollars, if the state legislature approves spending $1.5 billion for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed Upstate New York Economic Revitalization Competition. At least one Central New York Economic development official is ready for the challenge.

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Going in to 2015, there is more confidence in central New York’s economy to be found in an annual business survey.

Last year, there was only limited optimism among economists and business leaders for economic growth in the region. But CenterState CEO president Rob Simpson says he has much more confidence for 2015.

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It’s been a good year for Syracuse Hancock International Airport, according to it’s yearly report to the community. It added new concessions, a new airline and destinations, and improvements to the facility. But perhaps the biggest change came behind the scenes, as facility management was turned over to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority.

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Technological times have changed since the Tech Garden set up shop on Warren Street in Syracuse almost ten years ago.

Six months ago, the technical infrastructure at the Tech Garden was sadly lacking.

"The projection wasn’t widescreen, it wasn’t high-definition," said Seth Mulligan, Tech Garden Innovation Services vice president. "The Internet was crashing and it was slow.”

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued his publicity tour Monday on the recently passed state budget with a stop in Syracuse.

Cuomo, a Democrat, was a late edition to the agenda at the annual meeting of CenterState CEO, a business development group. About a thousand business owners and local leaders attended the luncheon at the OnCenter.

The governor praised CenterState CEO's president, Rob Simpson, and Onondaga County's "phenomenal" Executive, Joanie Mahoney.

Central New York’s major economic booster group is predicting the region’s economy this year will be more of the same, maybe a little bit better.

Businesses in central New York are only slightly bullish about economic growth in CenterState CEO’s annual economic survey.

The pro-business group teams up with M&T Bank to put out the forecast. The bank foresees the economy will grow slightly more than it did last year. The region has seen 17 straight quarters of growth.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Central New York business leaders are very supportive about the latest tax reform plan coming out of Albany, and are lobbying for implementation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2 billion tax relief proposal.

For CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson, January is usually a time he and other business leaders start playing defense; fending off budget proposals from Albany that include higher taxes and fees, and more government spending. But with the governor’s tax proposal on the table, it’s time to play offense.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

With help from the Brookings Institution, CenterState CEO is out with a new strategic plan to boost the central New York regional economy.

The plan was two years in the making as the Washington-based Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program picked Syracuse as one of the regions it would assist.

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Business leaders in central New York are re-launching efforts to expand their involvement in the export market.

The Central New York International Business Alliance has been around for almost a decade. It’s renewing its push to increase exports among companies in the region, or get them into the market altogether.

The alliance is an effort from CenterState CEO, a regional chamber of commerce of sorts.

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Correction: The authority planned to take over operations of the airport is a public benefit authority and not private.

Early next year control of day-to-day operations at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport will transfer from a city department to a private public benefit authority, a move city and airport officials say will mean benefits for travelers.

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Rob Simpson, head of the economic booster organization CenterState CEO, has called on state transportation planners and central New Yorkers to think bigger when it comes to making the decision about the future of the elevated portion of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse.

The 1.4 miles of elevated highway is beginning to crumble. Transportation planners are in the midst of a lengthy process to decide the final form of a redesigned I-81. Most debate has centered around rebuilding the viaduct through downtown or re-routing it around the city.

The debate polarized the community and lawmakers over the summer.

G.E. file photo

It was January 2012 when Democratic U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer stood in front of an empty building at the old General Electric site in Liverpool and said California-based chip maker APIC Corp. landing a Navy contract and then opening up a fabricator in the building was “all but a done deal."

But this week the senator admitted the contract was dead.

Upstate New York's economy will need to be in a near-constant state of reinvention if it wants to survive in the current environment, according to CenterState CEO, an economic booster organization based in Syracuse.

More collaboration is needed between the several efforts under way to revitalize upstate New York's "legacy cities," says a report released this week by a public affairs institute.

The main economic booster engine for central New York is predicting economic growth in the region in 2013 will look a lot like last year.

On September 4, the face of downtown Syracuse will change, as the long awaited CENTRO Transfer Center will open.

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It's no guarantee, but the college internship can often lead to a job offer after graduation.

Economic development officials in Syracuse are hoping that getting more college students involved in internships at local, small businesses can help reduce the "brain drain" of young, educated people leaving the region.

CenterState CEO, an economic development agency, is ramping up its Project ION - Internship Opportunity Network - for another school year.

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CenterState CEO, an economic booster engine for central New York, has set a goal of doubling exports for the region over the next five years.

The path to that goal includes help from the Brookings Institute's Metropolitan Policy Program. Brookings picked Syracuse last summer as one of four metro areas it would help increase its exports.

The plan was released Wednesday during CenterState's annual meeting. Along with Brookings, representatives from the US Export-Import Bank and the Commerce Department touted the potential of the region.

But central New York has a ways to go: Of the top 100 largest metro areas, Brookings found Syracuse ranked 72nd for export value in 2010.

CenterState CEO in Syracuse is trying to get more companies in Central New York to do business outside the area.  Syracuse is one of four metropolitan areas in the U-S that are working with the Brookings Institution to increase exports over the next five years.  As part of two initiatives, they are asking local business for data about their exports, and encouraging them to look at more business opportunities outside the area.  

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is continuing his efforts to land a chip fabrication plant in central New York. Monday he visited a potential site, just north of Syracuse, with the CEO of chipmaker APIC.

A chip fabrication plant at Electronics Park in Salina isn’t a done deal, but Sen. Schumer said it’s just a matter of all the pieces coming together at a press conference Monday. The biggest hurdle is APIC first signing a contract with the US Navy.

Sen. Charles Schumer is using some political muscle to try and land central New York a high-tech chip maker. But the deal is contingent on the company first getting a contract from a spending-conscious Defense Department.