- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York’s 10 regional economic development councils have reported awarding nearly $4 billion in business and community funding since they were established in 2011.

Commissioner Howard Zemsky tells legislators that funding is for more than 4,100 projects and has resulted in commitments for retaining or creating 200,000 jobs.

Testifying at a budget hearing, Zemsky says Empire State Development posts detailed regional data about awards, but no simple calculation of jobs per money spent, which some lawmakers want.

He says many awards aren’t made to businesses. Others include community and waterfront development funding.

The $4 billion includes low-cost financing, loans and grants.

Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, is questioning how job creation and retention jumped from about 15,000 reported for 2013 to 200,000.

Zemsky says 200,000 is an estimate.

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