Jan. 26, 2009: Economic Development
Progress in Oswego County
By L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, Executive Director, Operation
In 2008, the United States experienced one
of the worst downturns in its economy since the Great Depression.
The subprime mortgage crisis, rising debt levels, conflict in the
Middle East and government bailouts of the auto and banking industry
have all contributed to create a challenging climate for business
survival, let alone, success. However, despite the current grim
economic climate nationally, state-wide and locally with unemployment
escalating to nine percent, Oswego County continues to be bolstered
by significant small business development.
In fact, Operation Oswego County helped to
provide business and financial assistance for projects in 2008 that
when fully implemented, will invest over $120 million in Oswego
County, and will create and/or retain more than 800 jobs.
New businesses that located to the county
include Affordable Home Inventory, Barnett Forest Products in Scriba,
Branches Tree Service, FUEL and Wal-Mart in Fulton, Great Lakes
Recycling, Stability Fitness, the general surgery practice of Dr.
Allison Duggan and Tim Hortons in Oswego, Big Orange Radiator in
Central Square, Stewart’s Shops in Minetto, and Hart and Stone
country store and McGillicuddy Enterprises (bowling center and restaurant)
Long-standing businesses such as the Oswego
YMCA, Mitchell Printing and Mailing, and Oswego Sub Shop and Wiltsie
Construction in Oswego and Uniforms Etc. and Pathfinder Industries
in Fulton and Healthway in Pulaski all expanded their operations.
Additionally, developer Douglas Caster invested
$2 million to convert the former Goldberg’s Furniture store
in Fulton to Cayuga Street Condominiums. The 30,000 square foot
space now houses eight upscale condominiums, three commercial spaces
and a private parking garage.
The historic Oswego Library recently opened
its doors after a 10,000 square foot addition was built to the west
of the existing building. The County of Oswego IDA provided Civic
Facility Revenue Bonds to assist the renovation and expansion.
Although Northeast Biofuels (NEB) recently
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, I am confident that
the plant will be fully operational and resume ethanol production
in the near future. Brian Roach, plant manager of NEB, has noted
that bankruptcy protection was not due to fluxuations in the market,
but rather because the company needs sufficient time to address
plant design issues. In fact, Roach said that when NEB is back online,
it will become a leader in the ethanol market.
NEB is located in the 420-acre Riverview
Business Park (RBP) in the town of Volney which is being marketed
with an emphasis on renewable and innovative technologies. The park's
existing infrastructure is being retrofitted to create a network
of sustainable, renewable energy sources that could include woody
biomass gasification, agricultural waste to methane, solar, wind,
and geo-thermal. RBP and its development partners, including O'Brien
& Gere and Operation Oswego County will continue to actively
marketing the park, with a special focus on the agri-business sector
including the dairy, food processing and bottling/beverage industries.
In addition to affordable "green" energy, RBP offers transportation
assets including rail, interstate highway and access to the deep
water Port of Oswego.
Looking forward, OOC will continue to aggressively
attract business to Oswego County and help existing employers reach
their potential. However, because competition for investment and
jobs continues to be fierce, we must work hard to present the area
as a pro-business community, to expand and intensify marketing initiatives
and to develop and expand upon infrastructure needs which are absolutely
necessary and essential to be competitive in today's economic climate.
to 2009 Press Releases