North Country Garners Economic Development Award

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council was awarded $103.2 million for its Strategic Development Plan in Albany on December 8, 2011. The plan was chosen as one of four Best Plan Award winners for New York State’s new Open For Business efforts to reinvigorate economic development from the bottom up, a competitive economic strategy announced by Governor Cuomo earlier in the summer. Other Best Plan Awardee’s included Western New York, Central New York and Long Island.

Who is in the North Country Region? The seven counties in the North Country are Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton Jefferson Lewis, St. Lawrence

There are over 70 projects in the North Country Economic Development plan and the final proposal included 16 priority projects selected from 178 that were proposed in recent months.

The entire North Country Regional Economic Development Plan can be found online at Link to North Country Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan

For residents in Hamilton County, specifically Long Lake and Raquette Lake, priority projects identified include: Broadband Construction of 25 miles of fiber optic cable from Tupper Lake, Franklin County to Long Lake, Hamilton County. $596,000.

Hamilton County Microenterprise Assistance Program. $200,000

(What’s a microenterprise? Translation – Entrepreneurs. Let’s make the North Country the place to live and work and do business – FYI – we are angling to see this movement take hold in Long Lake!)

Vision: Attract and nurture entrepreneurial pioneers to cultivate innovative clusters in our rural communities, and catalyze the highest per capita rate of small business start-ups in the state.

Strategy: Foster development of small businesses and entrepreneurial activities that add value to local resources.

What does that even mean. As outlined by the NCREDC the Microenterprise Assistance Program is broken out into phases including:

Year 1:
• Establish a regional microenterprise grants and loans program that complements state resources;
• Foster entrepreneur-friendly communities by providing user-friendly information and resources on navigating local regulations in a variety of mediums (e.g., website); and
• Expand the Business Incubator program located in Potsdam to better support the entire region. (so it’s not just hiding up north!)

Implementing the Adirondack Economic Development Strategy. Hamilton County and the Adirondack Partnership will advance park-wide revitalization efforts and allow local communities to develop revitalization strategies in keeping with their community vision and goals. $250,000

What does that mean? From the NCEDC Strategic Plan… “Community Development. Vibrant communities are key assets in economic development and, therefore, assisting and encouraging North Country community development efforts is a vital component of the North Country Regional Council’s Strategic Plan. The extensive and inclusive process the Council has used to develop this Strategic Plan has already begun to forge the relationships and alliances that will be needed to ensure that North Country communities will be able to provide the services, infrastructure, and amenities that are essential to creating an appealing destination for tourists and site selectors as well as a high quality of life for its residents. There are many long term vital strategies that may not have projects associated with them at this time, but are key to supporting the economic growth of the North Country. As such these vital strategies each support many of our vision statements and goals.

Strategy 1. Recognize the importance of community planning in achieving the NCREDC’s Vision of tourism, housing, arts, culture and infrastructure improvements.

There’s a lot more where this came from. It’s only the beginning.

What does it say to Long Laker’s? We’re here and open for business and we can’t wait to see what’s around the corner!

Long Lake