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Economic Development Newsletter

March/April 2004:

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OOC Named One of Top 10 Economic Development Groups in United States

Operation Oswego County was named one of the top 10 economic development groups in the United States in 2003 by Site Selection, a magazine targeted to expansion planning decision-makers such as CEOs, corporate real estate executives, facility planners, human resource managers and consultants to corporations. The agency was also the sole awardee from New York State.

Site Selection, which is distributed internationally, is the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council, the world’s leading association of industrial asset management and corporate real estate executives, their suppliers and service providers, and economic developers.

The top groups were chosen based on four categories: new jobs, new jobs per 10,000 residents, new investment amount and new investment per 10,000 residents.

According to Site Selection, “The exclamation point for the year in this area just north of Syracuse was the creative solution devised to bring new activity to the former Nestle facility in Fulton which the company left in May 2003. By year’s end, details were being finalized by the Fulton Chocolate Company and the New York Chocolate and Confections Company…in the refurbishment of the facility. Providing further sustenance for the local economy is the new $3.6 million, 27,000 square foot plant operated by Empire Fresh-Cuts.”

“Operation Oswego County has a long history of providing excellent support services to local businesses. To be recognized by this prestigious publication demonstrates the success achieved by OOC’s economic development programs and policies. This is not just an honor for OOC, but for local businesses and the county as a whole,” said Senator James Wright, 48th District.

“We have had a number of recent economic successes in Oswego County and a lot of those successes can be attributed to the leadership of Operation Oswego County. I’m pleased that Operation Oswego County is getting recognition nationally for the excellent job that locally, we all know they do,” said Assemblyman William Barclay, 124th District.

“This recognition of economic development success in 2003 would not have been possible without the cooperation and support from our federal, state and local partners including the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency, Oswego County Workforce Development Board, Sen. James Wright, Assemblyman William Barclay, the Fulton Community Development Agency, the Oswego Community Development Office, the Oswego County Legislature, Empire State Development, Niagara Mohawk, SUNY Oswego and the United States Small Business Administration,” said L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, executive director of OOC. “We have been successful due to our tremendous team approach and by earning the confidence and trust of company leaders.”

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WiseBuys Department Store Opens in Pulaski

WiseBuys Stores, Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its new department store located in the former 59,600 square-foot Ames building in Pulaski. The Pulaski store is one of five stores in the North Country and is expected to create more than 60 jobs.

“WiseBuys was formed to proactively address the recent loss of Ames Department Stores throughout northern New York,” said WiseBuys Stores, Inc. founder Thomas Scozzafava. “Ames represented a vital retail destination in the larger, key shopping centers and filled an important role of providing a variety of affordably priced and much-needed merchandise. It is our goal to replace and expand on the concept of Ames.”

The store offers discounted and brand name merchandise such as clothing, footwear, domestics, home entertainment equipment, toys, hardware, furniture, appliances, sporting goods and housewares at every day low prices.

A Payless Shoe Source and a Radio Shack are also located in the store.

WiseBuys’ employees and management team will consist of northern New York residents. The department store’s warehouse and headquarters will also be located in northern New York.

The project received financial assistance from the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency (IDA), New York Business Development Corporation and Key Bank.

“Ames represented a vital retail destination and filled an important role in the Pulaski community. We are fortunate that WiseBuys realized the potential of the Pulaski location as a viable and profitable retail outlet,” said L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, executive director of Operation Oswego County.

“The project will not only create additional job opportunities, but will also have a positive economic impact on surrounding businesses and vendors in Pulaski.”

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Linked Deposit Program Enhanced

Empire State Development’s Linked Deposit Program (LDP), a public-private partnership that provides businesses with affordable capital based on bank loans at reduced interest rates, has been enhanced to allow two Linked Deposits concurrently.

The former guidelines limited businesses to one LDP which meant that if the company purchased equipment using the LDP, they had to wait 24 months before utilizing the program for additional equipment or facilities needed.

The enhancement will enable companies to have two LDPs up to a total of $1 million simultaneously, providing businesses further incentive to make additional investments.

Under LDP, eligible businesses can obtain loans from commercial banks, savings banks and savings and loan associations at an interest rate that is two or three percentage points lower than the prevailing rate.

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SBA Underwriter Fee Reduced

Effective in April, the fee charged by SBA 504 program underwriters was decreased from 0.50% to 0.40% for 20-year loans. This is a 20 % reduction that will directly impact all future borrowers for the 20-year debenture.

The National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) recognized underwriters Merrill Lynch and CS First Boston Corp. for agreeing to reduce their program fee.

According to NADCO, “through the hard work of these two firms in pricing and effectively marketing the 504 debentures, the program’s cost to borrowers has dropped substantially over the past several years.”

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OOC Business Assistance: Operation Oswego County offers an array of business assistance services to both new and expanding companies throughout Oswego County.

Creative Designs in Metal, a metal art business in Volney, will manufacture tables, wall hangings, fireplace inserts, signs and industrial machine parts and will specialize in plasma cutting art and fabrication work. The owner is a graduate of the Micro Enterprise Training Program and received financial assistance from Fulton Savings Bank and a Micro Enterprise loan through the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency.

Jake’s Automotive is a new automotive repair business in Oswego. The project will receive financial assistance from an SBA 504 loan through OOC, City of Oswego Community Development Office and Pathfinder Bank. The new business will create four new jobs.

Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc. will expand its Pulaski Health Center facility to improve the quality and accessibility of primary care, specialty services and dental services. NOCHSI currently employs 80 and served over 11,000 patients for a total of 37,000 annual visits last year. Funding for the project will be assisted by the IDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Winter Harbor, LLC will expand its heated boat storage and servicing business in Hastings to add a new 39,900 square foot building to be used for boat storage, painting and repairs. 28 jobs will be created. The project will receive financial assistance from an SBA 504 loan through OOC, Solvay Bank and the IDA.

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SBDC’s 20th Anniversary Commemorated with Open-House

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of New York State Small Business Development Centers providing entrepreneurs with high quality training and pro bono counseling, the SUNY Oswego Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted an open-house at Rich Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus in April.

New York State Senator James Wright received an appreciation award at the event for his continuing support of small business development and his efforts in establishing the SUNY Oswego SBDC.

For the past 20 years, the NYS/SBDC has provided direct business advisement to more than 210,000 businesses, helping them invest over $2.4 billion in the state’s economy. These businesses have in turn, created or retained over 100,000 jobs. Working with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State University of New York, the City University of New York and private colleges, the NYS/SBDC has created an electronically integrated network of 23 regional centers and 26 satellite offices around the state that offer easy access to information, assistance and training necessary to help entrepreneurs succeed in small business.

Locally, the SUNY Oswego SBDC provides a wide range of management and technical assistance such as business plan development, exploring funding options, business expansion, marketing and training, workshops and seminars.

Since May 2000, the SUNY Oswego SBDC has served 738 clients that resulted in more than $14 million in funding for businesses, 274 jobs created and 253 jobs retained.

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Thomas Sciacca, owner of JHL Supply in FultonJHL Supply recently relocated to a larger facility in Fulton to accommodate the expansion of its specialty tool and HVAC product line. The company was founded in 1956 by John H. Leavey, an inventor and entrepreneur who was commissioned to develop a pilot cleaning pressure pump for gas service workers in Syracuse. JHL Supply offers products from manufacturers such as Dwyer, Fieldpiece, Robinair, TPI, Maglite, Pelican and Leatherman. JHL Supply also operates, an online source for camping survival/preparedness and emergency supplies. Pictured in the warehouse of the new facility is owner Thomas Sciacca.


King Arthur's Suites in Oswego

King Arthur’s Suites, located above King Arthur’s Steakhouse and Brewery in Oswego, recently celebrated the opening of its fully furnished guest suites. Pictured at the ribbon cutting ceremony are, from top left, Danielle Hayden, Greater Oswego Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer Hill, Greater Oswego Chamber of Commerce executive director; Michelle Pauldine, suite coordinator; City of Oswego Mayor John Gosek; Anthony Pauldine, owner; L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, executive director of Operation Oswego County; Barbara Bateman, Oswego County National Bank; Candace Parry, chamber ambassador; and Chrystal Hoyt, Greater Oswego Chamber of Commerce.


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