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The Buffalo Billion Evolution

Sunset Downtown Buffalo, New YorkPhotographer: Douglas Levere

Sunset Downtown Buffalo, New YorkPhotographer: Douglas Levere

The change in Buffalo Niagara’s collective psyche and economy – a renewed optimism, cranes in the air, and growth of new and existing businesses – is not a figment of our imaginations.  The after-effect of the “Buffalo Billion” is tangible and much-deserved credit goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s investment in Western New York’s future.

From downstate all the way to Asia, Buffalo Niagara is benefiting from a renewed interest and greater appreciation of our assets.  Our affordable workforce, infrastructure, low-cost power, educational institutions and enviable location have been promoted by BNE since its inception 16 years ago.  The Buffalo Billion was the shot in the arm that our region needed, and where preparation met opportunity.  And the momentum it has created, the change in attitude from within and without, must be sustained. Thanks to thoughtful planning and execution, that is an attainable goal.

The involvement of local universities in the development of start-ups has the potential to retain and attract highly educated graduates and create jobs for some of the talented 25 – 34 year olds who left for greener pastures.  I don’t know a single parent who wouldn’t be pleased to have their kids come back, and now that is more than a pipedream.

Cooperation among counties, including IDAs and elected officials, is another positive outcome.  The BNE has been involved with and provided support for many of the Buffalo Billion’s initiatives, and we will continue to build on strategies such as smart growth, diversity, and workforce development, working cooperatively with nearby regions.

It’s no accident that Buffalo Niagara caught the Governor’s attention and earned his trust and investment. More than a decade of hard work, cooperation and thoughtful planning are paying off in dividends that can and will sustain this positive momentum and become of a model for the rest of the state to follow.

by Tom Kucharski, President & CEO