County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA)
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, and visit. We facilitate development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the forms of incentives – tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing – enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention by our businesses.
New Leadership is Elevating Chautauqua County
By: Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development, and Chief Executive Officer of the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency/Chautauqua Region Economic Development
This is an exciting moment in Chautauqua County’s history, and one that requires action in order to build off of the current economic momentum. Numerous exciting projects are underway which indicate that Chautauqua County is definitely moving in the right direction. We’ve all heard about, and are excited by, the recent opening of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron, the recently-announced plans by Wells (Fieldbrook Farms) to invest $87 Million
in plant upgrades, the soon-to-be opened Athenex Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility and Fieldbrook Freezer Facilities in Dunkirk, as well as Stannard’s new build in Mason Industrial Park; however, these tell only part of the story of the transformation that is occurring in Chautauqua County.
In my relatively short time as the Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and Chief Executive Officer of the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), I have been part of a team effectuating further positive change in the County that corresponds to the challenges and opportunities we face. County Executive Borrello’s “100 Businesses in 100 Days” initiative (and a follow-up survey), which I was privileged to be a member to in early 2018, revealed the needs of the business community. Many of these desires centered on finding responsible and appropriately trained would-be employees, as well as the need for additional financial incentives that aren’t strictly contingent on the
creation of additional jobs. The findings of this effort resulted in a multitude of economic development service providers, including the CCIDA and the Workforce Development Board, following up with key
businesses to provide information pertaining to available incentives and services. This initiative also led to the creation and wide distribution of a new recruitment/visitors brochure, which can be viewed at
Although I haven’t been in this position for an extended period of time, it has become abundantly clear that we need to create an atmosphere that is more inclusive of the multitude of economic development partners in the public and private sectors, and align our collective efforts so that
we’re responding to the immediate needs of businesses and collectively “singing from the same sheet of music.” The County’s economic development team (consisting of the County Executive’s Office, the
CCIDA, and the County Division of Economic Development) have been embarking on an initiative aimed at bringing our economic development stakeholders, including businesses, together to form an Alliance
that will help inform planning, policy, and programs in order to better support businesses and communities to address challenges and to take advantage of opportunities. Phase I of this initiative,
which is being guided by Camoin Associates, inventoried and interviewed existing economic development service providers and key stakeholders to determine their attitudes toward economic development in the County, ascertained their willingness to participate in an organized effort to
collaborate, investigated the economic development landscape, and ultimately made recommendations as to what this new economic development collaborative structure might look like. Phase II, which is
currently underway, involves the creation of the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth (the official name), and the identification of core competencies and areas primed for growth from a data
perspective which will ultimately result in a strategy for targeting the businesses that align with these growth areas. This will most certainly aide us in our efforts to take advantage of the positive momentum
currently afoot, and will further elevate Chautauqua County.
As previously stated, the County and CCIDA worked collaboratively to develop a new recruitment/ visitor’s brochure, which is part of the County’s marketing strategy, and included a website upgrade for the CCIDA and the creation of a new website for the Partnership for Economic Growth. We
recognize that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and are working hard to create a collaborative environment that better aligns our available resources and conveys to the outside world that we are poised to take on current challenges and future opportunities. At the same time, we are actively working to develop a strategy for attracting more people to Chautauqua County. It is our intent to communicate that Chautauqua County is a great place to live, work, establish a business, and visit.
As for the CCIDA, a number of adjustments regarding the way we carry out economic development are being advanced. As an example, we are looking to place more of an emphasis on businesses that are currently here, versus attracting new businesses. Additionally, we need to take advantage of our abundant supply of brownfields throughout the County, so we are working on a strategy for inventorying and marketing these sites. We are also actively pursuing efforts to expand our existing industrial parks through acquisitions, and are continuing to be more transparent, improving our
relationships with communities, and educating the public about the services we provide and what this means for communities.
We are excited about where we’re at as we continue to make improvements in the delivery of economic development services and incentives throughout the County and among a broad array of stakeholders.
Please contact me at 716-661-8900 if you wish to discuss anything having to do with economic development in Chautauqua County.