CCIDA/CREDC 2020 Totals
The following is a summation of the results of ALL programs administered through the CCIDA and CREDC in 2020:
Total Number of Businesses/Agencies/NFPs served:
Total Full-time Equivalent Permanent Jobs to be created over 3 Years:
Total Full-time Equivalent Jobs Retained:
Total Investment Approved/Committed in 2020:
CCIDA & CREDC 2020 Recap
As has been the case with most everyone, the pandemic created many challenges in 2020 and beyond, especially as it pertains to economic development. That being said, the pandemic also created opportunities that would not have otherwise existed.
In 2020, we turned lemons into lemonade! In fact, the CCIDA and CREDC had a banner year! Perhaps not in terms of the total number of new jobs created (although the numbers were good), but in terms of jobs retained and the total number of businesses, agencies, and not-for-profits served directly with financial incentives.
In total, the CCIDA and CREDC, working with its many partners, were successful in committing and/or leveraging just under $47 million in investment in the county in 2020.
Below is a detail of the work we did, in concert with our many partners, in 2020.
The Al-Tech Revolving Loan Fund and PILOT Incentive
The CCIDA approved just over a dozen typical incentive transactions in 2020, which resulted in a total investment approved/committed of $41.3 million (excluding Round 1 of the EDA Cares Act Loan program, the Emergency Working Capital Loan Program, and grants made via CREDC for the PPE program).
These transactions resulted in a total job creation over 3 years of just under 200 full-time equivalents, and the retention of just over 300 jobs.
Some of the projects approved by the CCIDA Board in 2020 included the following:
- ROM Ventures, LLC – Renovations and the purchase of equipment ($4.2 Million);
- Arktura, LLC – Purchase and equipping the former Acurite facility in Ellicott to manufacture architectural ceiling products ($7.3 Million);
- ECR Properties – Capital Investment in facility for equipment, repair, and upgrades to Dunkirk facility ($2.2 Million);
- Petri Baking – Purchase and equipping Silver Creek facility for the manufacture of soft cookies ($13 Million);
- Hy-Wit Corporation – Purchase of Cassadaga Kwik Fill and Denison Enterprises ($1.3 Million);
- Hanover PV, LLC – Construction of 5 MW AC Solar Farm in Silver Creek ($6.9 Million); and
- KGPHJ, LLC (Premier Precision Machining, LLC) – Acquisition, 7,000 SF expansion, and security system upgrades ($953,000).
Emergency Working Capital Loan Program
In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it was having on businesses throughout Chautauqua County, the CCIDA provided low-interest loans not exceeding $10,000 to businesses throughout Chautauqua County. This program was approved by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) before it was launched. This emergency funding, which originated from the Al-Tech Loan Fund, was used for working capital needs, and the normal application and securitization requirements were relaxed. A simple two-page application was developed, and the process was expedited so that businesses could access needed working capital quickly in order to keep paychecks flowing to working individuals and their families. While the funding was limited, we helped as many businesses as we could with as much funding as we could afford to carve out for this purpose.
While these emergency loans are to be paid back, they were interest-only for a minimum of three months, and leniency was exercised in terms of normal collateral requirements. In total, 24 Companies were lent $10,000 each for working capital purposes.
Some of these included: Merritt Estate Winery; Cleaners of Chautauqua; 3 C’s Catering; Falconer Hotel; Lost Recording Studio; and many others.
Personal Protective Equipment Matching Grant Program
The CCIDA Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Grant Program had two components. Component 1 involved a 50/50 matching grant program for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials needed by businesses (e.g., thermometers, face masks, face shields, tape, barriers, and other implements) to comply with the Governor’s workplace safety mandates.
The second component involved the provision of technical assistance services provided by JCC’s health experts in order to assist companies in developing safety plans that would identify what they needed to do in terms of the provision of PPE, in re-designing of their workplace layouts, in revising work schedules, etc., in order to protective their employees and customers.
Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC), the 501C3 arm of the CCIDA, was the recipient of donations toward the program from the Gebbie Foundation, the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, and the Rotary Club of Jamestown, that matched CREDC’s contribution. CREDC managed the program, which included public outreach/PR, application development and intake (a simple 1-pager), application review, dispersal of funds, tracking and managing compliance, etc.
All said, 34 companies and not-for-profits benefitted from this program, with a total of more than $24,000 in funding being disbursed. Some of the benefactors of the program included Bailey Manufacturing; Wells/Fieldbrook Foods; Rand Machine; DFT Communications; Chautauqua Woods Corporation; Chautauqua Lake Marina; Domus Fare; and many others.
CCIDA/EDA Cares Act Revolving Loan Fund
The CCIDA was awarded $10.5 Million in funding in the 3rd quarter of 2020 as part of the Federal Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Cares Act Stimulus funding, which was to be used for working capital, the purchase of equipment, and other defined purposes to keep their businesses viable. Just as with the Emergency Working Capital Loan Program, collateral requirements were relaxed and the interest rate was set at a low 2.44%.
The CCIDA was successful in approving 26 loans totaling $5.4 Million in the first round of approvals in October. Some of the benefactors of this program included Artone; Heritage Ministries; Pucci Carpet One Furniture & Bedding, Inc.; Bilicki Law Firm, PC; Big Inlet Brewing, Inc.; Shawbucks, Inc.; Cockaigne Resort, LLC; and many others.
Other Initiatives Undertaken by CCIDA/CREDC in 2020
- Started earnest search for suitable land for industrial park expansion – negotiated with landowner in northern Chautauqua County. Additional funding in the amount of $130,000 secured from County through capital projects fund;
- Inventoried all county brownfields, suspected brownfields, and/or properties within a BOA (over 400), working collaboratively with the municipalities and other stakeholders along with consultant (Prospect Hill);
- Worked with Invest Buffalo Niagara (IBN) to identify suitable development sites/buildings in Chautauqua County for their WNY Site Identification Initiative. Six are to be highlighted in Newmark Frank’s detailed report;
- Worked with Gebbie Foundation, City of Jamestown, BPU, RTPI, and other stakeholders, along with consultants (C&S/H. Sicherman) on Chadakoin River Strategic Business/Activation Plan;
- Worked with City of Dunkirk and other key stakeholders, along with consultant (Bergmann), on NRG Reuse Alternatives and Feasibility Study;
- Initiated eminent domain proceedings for Roberts Road access to Roberts Road Freezer, LLC and county-owned brownfield site;
- Initiated proactive Business Retention initiative with Business Development Managers;
- Revamped website to support and highlight COVID-19 news bulletins for businesses, and answered calls from hundreds of businesses to interpret state mandates related to the pandemic; and
- Worked with Empire State Brands to secure funding to undertake a feasibility study, and assisted them in securing a $2.2 Million state grant.
CCIDA & CREDC 2021 WORK PLAN
The following projects and initiatives are being pursued in 2021 by the CCIDA and CREDC:
- Revamp/Rethink CCIDA Website;
- Team with STW for Statebook (save $)
- Team with IBN for Atlas software
- Collaborate with CCPEG and Planning on website
- Fully Commit CCIDA/EDA RLF CARES Loan Fund;
- Purchase at Least 80 acres of Land to Expand Industrial Park(s);
- Investigate Pros and Cons of Instituting a Local Labor Policy;
- Complete NRG Reuse Study;
- Move forward with priority recommendation(s)
- Fully Consolidate Planning & Development/CCIDA locations;
- Complete Phase II of Brownfield Strategy & Implement Recommendations (including infrastructure needs);
- Update Computer Equipment;
- Implement MOU for Chautauqua Lake;
- Develop Airport Master Plan in-house;
- Implement New CRM System (Sales Force);
- Re-think Marketing Strategy – Collaborate with CCPEG, CCDPD, CCVB, and perhaps others;
- Package and Seek Funding for 16 CCPEG Projects;
- Find a Buyer for 26 E. Talcott Street;
- Finish/Implement Chadakoin River Strategic Business Plan and initiate the implementation process;
- Finish Eminent Domain Proceedings for Roberts Road Property and Secure Easement;
- Finish “Agriculture as Economic Development” Plan;
- Assist Empire State Brands in Launching Integrated Hops and Barley Processing Facility;
- Fully implement Proactive Business Retention Initiative;
- Work with County Stakeholders on Talent Attraction Initiative; and
- Continue providing articles for “Building Chautauqua” Article.
The CCIDA is an economic development organization authorized and empowered by the State of New York to make Chautauqua County a better place to work, live, visit, and conduct business. The organization facilitates development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the form of incentives – tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing – enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention for our businesses. For more information, visit www.ccida.com.
Just to be clear, none of this could have been possible without a total team effort of CCIDA, CREDC, and Department of Planning & Development staff and consultants. As far as I am concerned, Chautauqua County has the best economic development team in the state!
~ Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development/CCIDA CEO