New York: A Business State of Mind

The Empire State boasts a global financial center, the nation’s most advanced high-tech hub and a bevy of business-friendly, scenic locations that offer an unsurpassed quality of life and easy access to a skilled workforce.

New York has the world’s eleventh largest economy and the largest regional economy in the U.S. The Empire State is headquarters for scores of companies and a place where businesses of all sizes can tap resources and a diversely talented and experienced workforce. It is the most powerful global hub of commerce, finance, culture, international affairs and entertainment and the state’s innovative, pro-growth financial incentives provide the ideal business climate for companies to thrive. New York is also a top location for international investment.

New York’s pro-business philosophy offers companies job-creating tax cuts and encourages emerging technology growth with tax incentives for research and development. Incentives include the Manufacturing Assistance Program (MAP), Build Now-NY, Federal Empowerment Zones and Investment Tax Credits.

A global leader in high technology, New York has invested more than $1 billion in this sector over the past seven years. The state is home to GlobalFoundries, one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the world and one of the largest private sector industrial investments in New York’s history. Incentives that help to attract high-tech companies include the Qualified Emerging Technology Employment Credit and Qualified Emerging Technology Company Capital Tax Credit.

To continue attracting new business, improve commerce, and revitalize local economies, New York has developed an arsenal of economic development initiatives, including the $120 million Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund and the $35 million Downstate Revitalization Fund, which provide funding to finance business investment, infrastructure upgrades and downtown redevelopment efforts. Both programs support projects that help provide a framework for future growth in Upstate and Downstate regions with stymied development. The programs will invest in projects that advance local development and small businesses.

New York is not just a state of mind; it is a trendsetter with a progressive outlook on economic development and an aggressive approach to conducting business. Here is a sampling of some choice locations you will want to consider in the Empire State.

Islip, NY: Leader on Long Island

The Town of Islip is located in southern Suffolk County, New York on the south shore of Long Island. The town consistently leads the Long Island region in business activity, as measured by its Industrial Development deals, SBA 504 loans and New York State Job Development Authority loans. Islip’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) was selected as an honoree for the 2009 Real Estate Awards as the IDA of the Year in Suffolk County. The honorees are selected by the editorial staff of Long Island Business News and are based on the impact of each project on the local economy.

The Islip IDA was recognized for helping bring several companies to the town, such as Blackman Plumbing, which has invested $25 million in a new corporate headquarters in Bayport and has employed over 160 people. Other success stories include the Perfume Center of America’s construction of a 165,000-square-foot facility in Ronkonkoma and U.S. Alliance Paper’s construction of an 80,000- square-foot facility, both of which have employed close to 100 workers each.

The town’s convenient location to the Long Island MacArthur Airport (LIMA) helps companies conduct business more effectively and efficiently. The airport is one of the fastest growing airports and is recognized as one of the top five regional airports in the United States. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently officially designated LIMA as a New York airport. For decades, the airport had been listed in the FAA’s quarterly directory of airport facilities as an airport serving Islip Town. The FAA’s 2011 quarterly directory now puts LIMA in the same category with New York’s Kennedy and LaGuardia airports.

Some incentives available for businesses include low-cost financing tools such as Tax-Exempt Industrial Revenue Bond Financing, NYS Job Development Authority, Federal SBA 504 Loans; tax abatements, exemptions, and credits through Islip’s Industrial Development Agency; grants such as NYS Industrial Effectiveness Program and NYS Environmental Investment Program; technical assistance including NYS Global Export Marketing Services, NYS Manufacturing Assistance Program, and energy conservation tools such as National Grid Energy Efficiency Program, LIPA Energy Efficiency Program, LIPA Commercial Construction Program and National Grid Cinderella Program.

Another valuable incentive program located next to MacArthur Airport is Islip’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). Companies can import certain types of merchandise into an FTZ without going through formal customs entry procedures or paying import duties. Islip’s FTZ #52 has 435,000 square feet of prime warehouse and office space located on fifty-two acres of land.

Islip has a strong food manufacturing and distribution industry and offers numerous state and local economic incentives that provide critical support to help companies build and grow their facilities. In 2008, the New York Office of Economic Development (OED) provided a grant to help Constance Food Group build a state-of-the-art green manufacturing facility. Constance supplies goods to all of the 7-Eleven convenience stores in Long Island, New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Westchester County—a big job requiring a lot of water. Red Castle Bakeries found its way to Islip in October 2007 after being displaced from its New York City home by an urban renewal project. Marco Minuto, Red Castle’s owner, says that Islip has provided Red Castle with an excellent workforce, customer base and access to major markets.

Furthermore, without Islip’s assistance, Silver Lake Cookies, a manufacturer in the multi-million-dollar baking business, might have located the company out of state. Islip’s OED has helped the company move to Islip in 1985, expand in 1999, and has played a crucial role in helping it stay competitive and be successful. Its customers include A&P, Grand Union, P&C, Sysco, Wal-Mart, and Costco.

J. Kings Food Service is the 11th largest independent distributor in the country, one of the largest in the state, and the largest on Long Island. The location in Islip has helped the company to leverage its market niche by working synergistically with other town-based businesses such as Jonathan Lord and Wenner Bread, companies that use J. Kings’ services to transport their food products.

Another company that has experienced great success in Islip is the Whitson’s Culinary Group, a family-owned dining services company that has grown beyond expectations. It has been so successful that it had to hire 100 new employees, doubling job-growth expectations. In June 2006, the company was designated the Town of Islip Empire Zone’s first Regionally Significant Project, which has helped the company obtain real property tax credits, wage credits, investment tax credits, sales tax abatement, and better LIPA rates. These incentives enabled the company to expand into a vacant lot across from its current location. The company is in the process of adding 50 jobs over three years.

For information on how your company can expand in Islip, visit

Operation Oswego County: Magnet for Business

In order to be competitive in today’s economic climate, Operation Oswego County (OOC) aggressively promotes the assets of Oswego County to attract new businesses.

However, at the heart of any sound economic development strategy is an equal effort to retain existing businesses by helping them reach their full potential. This is achieved through the many services provided by OOC including site selection assistance, coordination between industry and government, specialized research and technical assistance and financial packaging.

In 2010, Oswego County saw significant investment from existing businesses that expanded their operations utilizing assistance from OOC and its partnerships with the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and community development and banking organizations.

Over the past year, Fulton Thermal, in the town of Richland, began a $13.5 million 115,000 square foot expansion to include manufacturing of heat transfer equipment and high efficiency boilers in addition to a research and design center where the company will develop and test new alternative energy options. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-year and will create 50 jobs.

Huhtamaki once again expanded its operations in the city of Fulton by adding new state-of-the-art printing equipment. The company employs 650 and is the second largest manufacturing employer in the county.

In the healthcare arena, Oswego Health initiated the conversion of the former A. L. Lee Memorial Hospital in the city of Fulton into The Fulton Medical Center, and Oswego Hospital expanded and improved its emergency room complex in the city of Oswego.

Other business expansions include St. Onge Auto and Tavern on the Lock in the city of Fulton, Laser Transit in Lacona, Timberline Hardwood Floors in Volney, Bardy’s 4 Seasons Tire and Auto Repair in Sandy Creek, Stick’s Sportsbar Grill and Motel in New Haven, and Oswego Sub Shop, Davis Cleaning Services, St. Peter’s Outfitters, the expansion of the Social Security Administration office located at Hillside Commons and Mitchell’s Speedway Press in the city of Oswego. Also in the city of Oswego are ongoing renovations of Oswego Hamilton Homes for Phase II which will involve 59 more affordable housing units.

A number of new businesses also located throughout Oswego County including The Bake Shop Eatery in Mexico, Linde North America in Volney, Red Sun Fire Roasting Co. in the city of Oswego, Buttolph Lumber in Schroeppel and gun cleaning systems manufacturer Otis Technology who renovated an existing 20,000 square foot building in the Oswego County Industrial Park, also in Schroeppel, to serve as its new research and development facility. Additionally, in the city of Oswego, the Oswego Stevedore Warehouse is being renovated to house market rate apartments and commercial offices and Lakeside Artisans’ Cooperative was named the 2010 “Next Great Idea” Oswego County Business Competition winner and is a new business that plans to develop a unique retail showcase to promote local artwork and artisans’ crafts. The goal of Lakeside is to help retain the local artist population, attract others and contribute to Oswego County’s tourism industry.

A key project that is generating considerable excitement for the region’s future is Sunoco, now in full production of 100 million gallons of ethanol per year at Riverview Business Park in Volney. Future development at the facility includes the installation of an additional truck scale and ethanol loading station, a potential truck logistics project, its own firefighting operation, and other building and safety/environmental-oriented projects. The multi-million project has created 69 jobs and is the first ethanol facility for the Philadelphia-based company.

Looking forward, OOC will continue to help facilitate business growth in Oswego County through comprehensive services and financial packaging assistance using programs such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan program which offers accessible, fixed-rate, long term financing for land, buildings and equipment, as well as several loan programs through the IDA which can be used to finance real estate, machining and equipment, construction and other eligible soft costs.

The IDA was recently awarded $750,000 in funding through USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). The IRP provides funds to organizations such as the County of Oswego IDA to establish a revolving loan fund used to finance business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in rural communities. The revolving loan fund will be targeted to working capital, start-up costs, soft costs and equipment.

For more information on economic development services in Oswego County, call Operation Oswego County, a private, non-profit organization working to enhance and protect the economic climate of Oswego County, at 343-1545 or visit

Believe in Binghamton

As the economy continues to improve, Binghamton is the perfect choice for companies considering an expansion.

In Binghamton you, will have convenient access to more than 60 percent of the North American population including two of the most important metroplexes in the world: Boston-Washington in the United States and Toronto-Montreal in Canada. Binghamton is located along the critical Interstate 81 corridor between Syracuse and Scranton; close to major markets without the traffic and other headaches associated with larger population centers.

Binghamton businesses participate in one of the most creative economies in the United States. When it comes to patents per capita, industry clusters, and research capacity, Binghamton ranks up there with Cambridge, Austin, and San Jose. The city has strong clusters in aerospace, software, advanced manufacturing, communications, simulation and distribution. Binghamton is home to many household name companies including Lockheed Martin, Gannett, IBM, Frito Lay, L-3 Communications, Endicott Interconnect and BAE Systems.

Binghamton companies make stuff. Consider the people of McIntosh Laboratory. A hand-crafted manufacturer of world class luxury audio equipment, McIntosh has been in business in Binghamton since 1949. The company’s new iPhone and iPad app, released during the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has been downloaded thousands of times.

Last fall, the city welcomed Ardagh glass, a global manufacturer, to our corporate park in Conklin. The company believes in Greater Binghamton; it has invested $30 million in a 90,000 square foot state-of-the-art green facility. The plant has no impact on the local landfill and is LEED Certified. Ardagh has ambitious plans to expand and employ more than 150 in the coming years.

The Charles Street Business Park in Binghamton is a partnership among Empire State Development, the City of Binghamton, and the Broome County IDA. By creatively adapting a brownfield, it has developed into one of the premier technology business parks in the northeast. The 32-acre site is home to Emerson Network Power’s 40,000 square feet Binghamton headquarters. People from all over the world visit Emerson to learn about the latest technologies that protect and support business critical systems. Charles Street is in a Federal HUBZone creating many potential advantages for businesses that locate there.

A key regional asset is Binghamton University, a premier global public institution ranked by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as one of the best values in public colleges anywhere. The University features stellar academics, amazing research, and a strong international focus. The University’s growth has helped trigger new interest in downtown Binghamton. There are three major residential projects in the works that will bring more than 600 students downtown and enhance the redevelopment of one of the most historic and architecturally significant cities in the northeast.

In Greater Binghamton, quality of life means excellent schools, an opera and a symphony, strong minor league baseball and hockey, Division I athletics, and a fast-growing arts scene. According to U.S. News and World Report, Binghamton is among the most affordable places to retire in the United States. And we were thrilled when the Farmers Insurance Group named Binghamton the 8th safest place to live among communities its size in the United States.

Binghamton’s superb transportation system makes it possible to get to the Adirondacks, the Poconos, and the tremendous fly-fishing along the Delaware River in a matter of hours. We have some of the best golf courses in the northeast. And if you like winery tours and tastings we are a short distance from the Finger Lakes, one of the Wine Spectator’s emerging wine regions in the world.

With the cost of energy on the rise, Binghamton’s location, technology and quality of life make more sense than ever. For more on business in our region, visit the BCIDA’s website,, which includes a searchable property database, an interactive profile of the area, and links to incentives and programs.

Jefferson: Fastest Growing County

Jefferson County is located in the in North Central New York State. The County borders Lake Ontario on the west and the St. Lawrence River and Canada to the north. Running up the middle of Jefferson County is Interstate 81 connecting directly to Canada’s Highway 401 in the Province of Ontario via the Thousand Islands International Bridge System.

As New York State’s “Fastest Growing County” in 2010, Jefferson County’s estimated (revised in March 2010) population is 118,719 which indicates a 6.2% increase since the April 2000 census. The population is distributed among 22 towns, 20 incorporated villages, and one city. The City of Watertown, the county seat, is centrally located on the Black River, 11 miles east of Lake Ontario, 22 miles south of the S. Lawrence River, with no part of the County being over 28 miles away.

Located 9 miles east of Watertown is Fort Drum, home to more than 36,900 soldiers, family members and civilian employees of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and its supporting tenants. The largest Army installation in the Northeast, it is also a major training center for Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers.

Jefferson County’s economy has traditionally been resource based, providing many economic opportunities afforded by its water, agricultural and forest assets. Dairy farming, food processing and light manufacturing are major industries in the County. In addition, railroad equipment, industrial machinery and paper good manufacturing continue to be substantial contributors to the area’s economy.

Five counties in Northern New York have been named the “Energy Valley” of New York State by the state Senate. Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Oswego and Franklin counties were given the title based on the wide range of renewable and alternative energy production facilities in the area. Projects cited in these five counties included: a solid waste management facility’s methane gas-to-energy plant, two large wind farms, a wood chip burning biomass facility, hydroelectric facilities, and three nuclear reactors.

Within the past 10 years companies such as: Stream Global Services, Inc. (customer service call center), Roth Industries (manufacturer of hydronic radiant heating plumbing and storage systems), and most recently Morris Northstar Hatchery (egg hatchery) have moved into the area. Local corporate expansions include: CAR-FRESHNER, Timeless Frames, Renzi Brothers, and Great Lakes Cheese.

The City of Watertown is home to the New York State Regional Offices of the Departments of Transportation, and Environmental Conservation. State prisons are located in Cape Vincent and Town of Watertown.

Fort Drum is clearly the largest economic engine in the region, and one of the largest single employers in New York State. According to the Fort Drum Regional Economic Impact Model, over 24,000 individuals are directly or indirectly employed as a result of Fort Drum and its operations. The Model further estimates that over $774 million in regional payroll and $1.50 billion in annual gross economic output can be attributed to direct, indirect and induced impacts of the Fort.

Jefferson County is experiencing an unparalleled economic boom as a result of Fort Drum’s expansion. The resulting increase in new military residents has elevated the Fort’s economic significance in the County as well as providing area employers with an added workforce base from which to draw.

The Drum Country Business regional marketing initiative will be launched to the public this month at Jefferson Community College. The event marked the collaboration between the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization (FDRLO), Jefferson County Job Development Corporation, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, Lewis County Office of Economic Development and Planning, Development Authority of the North Country and National Grid to create a regional marketing initiative focused on creating and retaining jobs by promoting the workforce and proximity of the region to Fort Drum.

The Drum Country Business partnership stems from the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization’s economic development task force. The FDRLO commissioned a gap analysis that identified businesses and industries that would traditionally locate near military installations. The consultant’s recommendations for a direct marketing approach to these target industries led to the tri-county regional approach and Ady-Voltedge, Madison, WI, was hired to develop the materials and marketing plan for Drum Country Business.

The Drum Country Business marketing initiative is funded in part by the three county economic development agencies, the Development Authority of the North Country, and a legislative initiative from then-Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava with matching funds provided by National Grid.

The Jefferson County area offers a small-town atmosphere with metropolitan amenities and four seasons of fun. Lake Ontario is our western boundary, the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands our northern, and the Tug Hill Plateau our southern, resulting in a county where water sports and outdoor recreation flourish. Lake Placid, New York, Boston, and Philadelphia are within a few hours drive. Our close proximity to Canada makes international travel to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal a simple trek. The Watertown International Airport is serviced by Cape Air airlines with direct flights to Albany, NY, linking to both national and international airports.

There are numerous national retailers and restaurant chains, as well as many quaint shops and boutiques that can be found throughout Jefferson County. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a comedian at the Sackets Harbor Playhouse or a performance at the Clayton Opera House.

Healthcare needs are met by three area hospitals that combine to provide a complete range of services. Recent expansion projects have accommodated new technologies for improved medical and surgical diagnosis and treatment.

Jefferson County is home to 11 public school districts and 8 non-public schools. “Hands-on” learning for area high school students is provided by the Bohlen Technical Center. Continuing education programs for adults are offered in construction trades and mechanics, as well as business and health occupations. Jefferson Community College offers custom educational/training programs designed to meet the needs of area employers. Also, a complete range of undergraduate and graduate degrees are available through a consortium of State University of New York colleges and private institutions.

Housing prices in the county are affordable. The Median Price for a home in Jan-Feb 2010 was $139,522. The county’s growth has also resulted in the construction of new homes making it easy for families to locate the right home in the setting they desire.