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Our Economic Development team is here to help property owners, business and developers identify incentives, financial resources, and technical assistance and available properties. We’ve amassed a list of resources for those looking to start, expand, locate, or renovate a business in Downtown Syracuse, and we encourage you to contact our Economic Development professionals as they are invested in helping you achieve your vision. Our Economic Development services are always free and confidential.

If you are looking for property downtown for your business please visit our find a property page.

Business Resources and Technical Assistance

The first step to opening a business is to make a plan. The following organizations offer free or low-cost business planning and training services to help you build a solid foundation before launching your next venture.

Incentives and Financing

Tax Credits and Abatements:

  • Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits are available to qualifying historic properties undergoing substantial rehabilitation. The final dollar amount is based on the cost of the rehabilitation; in effect, 20% of the rehab costs will be borne by the federal government..
  • New York State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits provide an additional 20% of the qualified rehabilitation expenditures for income-producing properties that are already approved to receive the 20% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit. In effect, New York matches the Federal credit if properties are located in eligible Census tracts and the Part 2 and Part 3 state fees have been paid.
  • Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) provides incentives to larger projects in the form of Real Property Tax Abatement, Mortgage Recording Tax Exemption, Sales and Use Tax Exemption, Tax Exempt Bond Financing, and Taxable Bond Financing.
  • 485A Exemption authorizes a declining 12-year partial exemption from real property taxation for non-residential property converted to a mix of residential and commercial uses.  Apply for this program at the City of Syracuse Department of Business and Neighborhood Development.
  • Syracuse Local Development Corporation (SLDC) issues tax-exempt bonds for civic facility projects including colleges and universities, medical and research institutions, and other non-profit organizations in the City of Syracuse.
  • Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) provides sales, mortgage, and real property tax exemptions to qualified projects. Sales tax and property tax abatement are available to companies that are expanding in Onondaga County. OCIDA may assist project financing by issuing taxable and tax exempt bonds and by providing information on complementary financing such as fixed asset and working capital lending programs.

Low-Interest Loans:

  • Syracuse Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) Direct Loans can be used for the acquisition of land, buildings, or machinery equipment, or for rehabilitation of real property. The maximum loan amounts typically do not exceed $125,000.
  • The Greater Syracuse Business Development Corporation (GSBDC) provides non-conventional funding in the form of long-term loans with fixed interest rates and low down payments to small businesses throughout New York.
  • Connective Corridor Hospitality Enterprise Fund (CCHEF), administered by the GSBDC, is focused on stimulating the development of new and existing restaurants and retail enterprises in Downtown Syracuse, by providing financing as an alternative or enhancement to bank financing.
  • New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) provides loans to small businesses including start-up, early stage and mature businesses with a particular emphasis on minority- and women-owned businesses. NYBDC’s more creative underwriting processes may include multiple participations, SBA guarantees, flexible amortization and long-term payouts.
  • Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) administers a number of programs to support economic growth across the five-county CNY region. The Central New York Enterprise Development Fund (CNY EDF) is a regionally-based small business loan program used to finance real property improvements, capital equipment purchases, and permanent working capital (maximum loan amount $100,000). Programs within the CNY EDF include: the CNY Energy Efficiency Loan Program (CNY EELP), used to help finance energy performance improvement projects within non-residential or mixed-use buildings owned and operated by the borrower; and the CNY Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program, which targets businesses that produce value-added products from local raw materials, that serve a community’s basic needs, that provide essential business-to-business services, encourage tourism development, or that support the community’s rural identity. Loans may be used to acquire or improve real property, to purchase capital equipment or to fund permanent working capital needs (maximum loan amount $50,000).

Private Lenders in Downtown Syracuse:


  • National Grid – Shovel Ready Grant Programs offer several different funding opportunities ranging from building redevelopment, to Main Street revitalization, to utility infrastructure improvements, to energy efficient equipment installation.
  • NYSERDA’s Commercial Tenant Program helps cover the cost of engaging qualified consultants to identify energy saving opportunities and to plan the implementation of energy efficiency measures in leased office spaces. NYSERDA provides 100% funding for all eligible projects where the consultant’s technical assistance fees are equal to or less than $5,000.
  • Onondaga County Save the Rain/Green Improvement Fund (GIF) supports the development of green infrastructure and stormwater mitigation techniques on private property, such as green roofs, porous pavement, tree plantings, underground infiltration systems, planter boxes, and added green space. Check the program map for eligible areas in Downtown Syracuse.
  • New York Main Street Program provides financial resources to strengthen the economic vitality of the downtown neighborhoods. The Downtown Committee acts as a local grant administrator, identifying targeted areas in which building redevelopment and streetscape enhancement projects may qualify for reimbursement-based grants up to $100,000.
  • New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) serves as a single entry point for accessing up to $1 billion in economic development funding from: Empire State Development, NYS Canal Corporation, Energy Research and Development Authority, Environmental Facilities Corporation, Homes and Community Renewal, Department of Labor, Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Department of State, and Department of Transportation. NY State opens the CFA funding applications in late spring each year.