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Ideas on an Economic Agenda

November 1, 2013 - Ernest Hohmeyer
The future of our economy is always a hot topic during election time.

In the spirit of that it is a fellow community member running for office, here are 5 ideas related to our economy. I am sure you the reader, as well as the candidates have certainly espoused other ideas. You can also offer suggestions or comments below. 5. Taxes & Regulations

NYS continues to one of the most highly taxed and regulated states in the Union. It is not just state mandates on local government but a world of business taxes and regulations. Perhaps we should focus them under a 3-prong strategy of continued community consolidation, regionalization and expanding the tax base. One way to do this may be…

4A. A Tri-lakes Economic Council

If we combined the resources of the Tri-lakes, and we really share a common economic identity, we would be the economic engine of the 6 million acre Adirondack Park. If we could overcome all of these municipal boundaries, we would become quite the model – perhaps for priority funding from the state. We seem to have the Governor’s interest in our area. We have a golden opportunity that will not last forever…

As one tool, is it worthwhile to consider a Tri-lakes Economic Council? The creation of Tourism Council of stakeholders involved with tourism was instrumental in creating a more coordinated approach as we heard from Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.

Could we do the same with a stakeholder economic council? Could we bring our multitude of local, county, regional and non-profit economic development organizations together?

4B. County Economic Council

Now go one step further: to consider a similar county economic council that has representatives from the local economic councils, that is then connected to the North Country Regional Economic Council. These councils share one…

3. Consolidated Economic Development Strategy

Our individual towns and villages in the Tri-lakes have their own ideas on recruiting jobs. Can we cull common themes for a Tri-lakes regional approach?

For example, there is an interest by Franklin County to update their economic strategy. These county strategies are sometimes required to secure funding. Is there a way to increase the linkages between local and county plans?

We have limited infrastructure, employment base, commercial or industrial space and resources to compete with other larger communities which surround us in the North Country. The reality is that a significant business development project in one community will need our other communities. Together as a region, by combining resources and assets we could become the “Adirondacks Business Capitol.”

The goal would be to establish a set of priorities that we agreed to locally, as a region and from a county perspective. Much of this by the way is the goal of these county plans; we may just need to formalize the linkages and communication that economic councils may offer. And then together we brought this to the North Country Economic Council for priority funding? To work well locally, we may need to…

2. Create A One-stop Shop

Locally, the tourism model has worked so far because it understood and agreed upon that ROOST is the lead agent in visitor promotion. Other organizations like the local chamber serve an important function for visitor information. However, the roles of these groups are understood.

Is it clear in terms of business assistance where we go to, who does what and how do they work together? Does this become even more confusing depending on what side of a municipal border you are talking about?

New businesses don’t care what locality they are in, they want choices and options and a clearly understood path to business start-up. Could we help to create these “open for business” by...

1. Business Development Marketing

We have so many beautiful business assets. This is just not our quality of life but business parks, downtowns and other commercial spaces. We heard about the importance of easily available visitor information, channels and packages from ROOST.

Should we consider the same effort for business recruitment? Can we also create business development “packages”?

In many cases we have little or no marketing information. As we do now for tourism, should we consider a similar “system” to attract jobs?

This would include similar targeting strategies, on-line and real-time information that is updated and monitored and a system of follow-up.

Like we have asked of the tourism folks, these efforts should be watched and graded to determine the return on investment.

What do you think? Other ideas, comments?


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