Economic Development



The Office of Economic Development (OED) is a client facing business and project development activity responsible for the development of business sites that provide the opportunity to improve the Erie County tax base through business retention, attraction, and expansion. These responsibilities are delivered through the following services provided by the OED:


Small Business Resources

Being a small business owner can be a daunting task, especially in the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately there are a multitude of resources available to help shepherd business owners through the storm. The Erie County Business Task Force has compiled a comprehensive list of small business service providers that can assist with access to capital, technical trainings, networking opportunities and more!

This PDF document can be found HERE.


Initiatives For A Smart Economy 

Initiatives For A Smart Economy 2.0 cover

Initiatives For A Smart Economy 2.0

The plan shares the goal of its predecessor—to identify those sectors of the regional economy Erie County can most influence and to further identify, in the form of individual initiatives, what specifically Erie County will do to propel those sectors forward.

The plan contains 71 initiatives across the following priority sectors:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Brownfields and Vacant Property Redevelopment
  • Infrastructure and Transportation
  • Municipal Smart Growth Initiatives
  • An Inclusive and Prepared Workforce
  • Agriculture
  • Bi-National Logistics and International Trade
  • Energy
  • Tourism
  • ECIDA Enhancement
  • Quality of Life
  • The Blue Economy

Initiatives for a Smart Economy 2.0 – Focus on Inclusion represents the Poloncarz administration’s deep commitment to a comprehensive, innovative approach to economic development that contributes to a more vibrant economy and creates shared opportunities for all.


Click here for Summer 2017 Town Hall Meeting schedule



i4se-cover Initiatives for a Smart Economy - Bi-Annual Report (January 2017)

Initiatives for a Smart Economy



    Initiatives for a Smart Economy





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Commercial Center Improvement Program
The Commercial Center Improvement Program (CCIP) is a 50/50 matching grant program for owners of businesses for the costs of exterior repairs made to their buildings. The objective of the program is to financially assist property owners of commercial businesses within Village and Hamlet areas of Countywide significance.  The program aims to improve the physical appearance of older commercial centers by providing a consistent treatment of exterior building improvements and to improve the quality of life for surrounding low/moderate income residential neighborhoods by enhancing the appearance of frequently visited retail structures.

The funding for the program is through the Erie County Community Development Consortium from the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and therefore program regulations apply. The business district  serviced must be in an income eligible area as defined by HUD. The service area is relegated to one specific hamlet or village center at a time. When work in one area is complete, the program will then move on to another CDBG-eligible business district.

Please contact Paul D’Orlando at (716) 858-2194 for questions about this program.

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Microenterprise Loan/Grant Funding
The Microenterprise Loan/Grant Fund provides a 60% low-interest loan / 40% grant to assist small businesses with start-up costs or the purchase of equipment. A microenterprise is a commercial business that has five or fewer full-time equivalent employees, one or more of which is the business owner. Business owners are subject to federal income eligibility requirements and the business must be located in one of the green-shaded Community Development Block Grant Communities as outlined below (effective April 2020):

2019-FederalFamilyIncomeEligibilityLimits         CDBG


For more information, please submit the interest form online or by mail.

 Microenterprise Funding Flyer 

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Business Liaison & Technical Assistance

EC_Business Assistance Directory-CoverThe Erie County Business Assistance Directory is a comprehensive compilation of business and government agencies, economic development service providers, transportation, planning and zoning information, and much more. The Directory is intended to assist businesspeople by providing a comprehensive guide to the local business and governmental landscape. The Directory will reduce the time needed to get information to start and operate a business here.

Along with inclusive alphabetical indexes for local agencies and individuals, the 2020 Business Assistance Directory has information on twenty-one potential areas of inquiry for interested business owners including utilities, workforce development resources, small business startup and technical assistance, engineering assistance and environmental resources, tourism, and more.

The Business Assistance Directory is current as of June 2020.

The Erie County Clerk's Office has additional resources for starting a business here.

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Business Retention & Expansion Program
The Office of Economic Development and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) Business Development team actively reach out to small and medium-size businesses in Erie County to understand their needs and provide tangible public sector programs that can positively affect their bottom line. All federal, state, and local agencies are resource partners in the effort so that a single contact can uncover all relevant economic development programs. The outreach effort is aligned with the target industry strategies developed by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Buffalo Niagara Enterprise. A common database maintained by the ECIDA ensures that business needs are fulfilled, and provides trend information useful for setting economic development policy.

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Land Development & Economic Development Planning Studies

Agribusiness Park Feasibility Study

The Office of Economic Development is currently undertaking an Agribusiness Park Feasibility Study. The County retained Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals as the consultant on the project. The purpose of the Study is to define sub sectors within the food processing sector to focus economic development attraction efforts.  As part of the study, industrial sites throughout the County will be assessed for the attributes (utilities, transportation, workforce, etc.) necessary to attract new companies within the designated industry sectors. This effort carries out initiative 3.41 “Agribusiness Park”  included in the County Executive’s Initiatives for a Smart Economy. The Study will be completed by July, 2016.

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Broadband Internet Feasibility Study

BroadbandStudyCoverThe Office of Economic Development solicited proposals from qualified consulting firms to undertake a Broadband Internet Feasibility Analysis. The work on this effort was initiated in March, 2016. 

The Analysis assesses existing infrastructure and examines potential methods of expanding broadband internet access to underserved markets within the County. This effort is initiative 4.10 “Pursue the Expansion of Broadband Internet Access” in the Initiatives for a Stronger Community report. ECC Technologies, Inc., a technology and communications consulting firm out of the Rochester area, conducted the feasibility study.

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Buffalo Niagara Convention Center


Funded through the use of Erie County General Obligation Bonds.

This project is the first step of the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center study process and is intended to provide information on programming, the role of the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, size and needs of a new or expanded center, concept designs and locational analysis. 
The study found that the Buffalo-Niagara region is not fulfilling its potential in the convention industry and that due to its physical constraints, the BNCC is “functionally obsolete” and does not have the capacity to attract most state, regional, and national convention events that would otherwise rotate to Buffalo. 

BNCC_Arch and Engineering Report - Cover

The Study assessed potential sites for a new Convention Center in Buffalo and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of each, identifying a site on Delaware Avenue directly across from the historic Statler Hotel on West Mohawk Street as the preferred site for a new Convention Center. The Delaware Avenue site gives our community the most value for the lowest investment. 

Public comment on the study is open until March 14, 2020.

Visit to review the reports


Business Park Report


Industrial Park Inventory Summary
Industrial Park Location Total Acres Available Acres

Shovel Ready Acres

Largest Single Parcel Available
Airborne Business Park Cheektowaga 61.5 40 40 35 +/-
Albright Court Lackawanna 8 4.8 4.8 4+/-
Amodori Site Lackawanna 11 6 6 5 +/-
Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park Buffalo 205 89 89 22 +/-
Camp Road Center Hamburg 75 75 75 75 +/-
Colvin Woods Business  Park Tonawanda 42 14 14 14 +/-
Commerce Green Industrial Park East Aurora 47 24 24 15 +/-
Crosspoint Business Park Amherst 200 44 44 10 +/-
Crossroads Industrial Park Hamburg 34.5 30 0 20 +/-
Eastport Commerce Center Lancaster 128 121 121 76 +/-
Eden Industrial Park Eden 40 33 10 33 +/-
Evans Industrial Park Evans 158 152 0 152 +/-
Grand Island Gateway Center Grand Island 144 144 0 144 +/-
Lake Erie Commerce Center Hamburg 136 68 17 68 +/-
Lakewinds (Bethlehem) Lackawanna 400 325 0 200 +/-
Lancaster Industrial Commerce Center Lancaster 68 11 11 11 +/-
Muir Woods Amherst 324 0 0 0 +/-
North America Center West Seneca 475 204.5 89 60 +/-
North Youngman Commerce Center Tonawanda 108.5 28.6 15 10 +/-
Quaker Center Orchard Park 177 29 29 16 +/-
Ravenwood Park North Hamburg 116 39 39 20 +/-
Riverbend Commerce Park Buffalo 241 80 0 80 +/-
Riverview Solar Technology Park Tonawanda 212 176 120 61 +/-
Spaulding Business Park City of Tonawanda 54 46 35 41 +/-
Sterling Park Orchard Park 98 20 20 11.5 +/-
Tri-County Industrial Park Sardinia 220 220 10 78 +/-
Walden Commerce Exchange Cheektowaga 55 38 29 33 +/-
Whiting Industrial Park Newstead 46 25 25 25 +/-
Youngs Road Site Amherst 48 48 0 48 +/-
  Total = 3,933 2,135 867 1,368



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Brownfield & Urban Redevelopment
The urban center and first ring suburbs are now victims of their earlier success in attracting industry and commerce to the Western New York area. Often these lands are dotted with urban blight or are considered brownfields, which means they may have some level of contamination. Brownfield sites range from abandoned gas stations to rail yards and former heavy industrial manufacturing plants. The OED brownfield services offers technical assistance and financing tools to encourage redevelopment of these sites. The OED will provide facilitation services among environmental agencies and the project's redevelopment team.

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Last updated: August 4, 2020 1:57pm