What does it take to thrive? This is a question we asked four years ago when we launched a new brand and vision for economic development in 2015. It’s hard to believe how quickly four years have gone, and how vastly our economy has changed in that time.
Just think, four years ago, there was no Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. Regional Distribution Center. No Koffman Southern Tier Incubator. No Broome County Regional Farmers Market. No Century Sunrise Redevelopment. No 50 Front Street Luxury Apartments or Ansco Lofts. These are a few of the projects we’ve been able to participate in and they are transforming our physical and economic landscape.
And as we present our Report to the Community this year, we find ourselves in another period of change, transition, and an eye on the future. This year, we will bid farewell to Kevin McLaughlin, who has served as our “fearless leader” since 2013. Under Kevin’s leadership, we took on major projects and assisted small start-ups. We expanded the role that “traditional” economic developers play and addressed challenges like workforce, housing and transportation. We innovated and changed with the economic climate but always remained constant on one thing: we love doing deals. Big or small, the more we can create new investment, the happier we are at what we do. “It’s as important to help ten small businesses add ten employees as it is to find one that will bring 100,” is something Kevin always said and we agree. In 2018 we supported projects that realized more than $85 million in new capital investments through our PILOT program and provided nearly $500,000 in loan financing and sales tax exemptions to growing local businesses.
We continued to facilitate the collaborative work of the Broome Talent Task Force and implemented many of the deliverables as identified in the Broome County Workforce & Talent Attraction Strategic Action Plan. We laid the foundation for much of the success we are now seeing in connecting individuals to quality jobs at all levels. Through our Good Life program, we continued to promote the outstanding quality of life and we are changing the narrative about Broome County.
So what does the future hold? We are excited to welcome in a new Executive Director, Stacey Duncan, and a dynamic new Board that will usher our organization into a bold new future. With this new leadership, we will create a strategy that will enable us to serve as the “connective tissue” to bring varied stakeholders together to revitalize downtowns and create new and dynamic development sites in all parts of the County. We will support developers and companies looking to locate, expand and grow in Broome. We will continue to facilitate the work of the Broome Talent Task Force and promote Broome County as the premier location for business investment and outstanding quality of life through our Good Life program.
It is an exciting time in Broome. The continued growth of Binghamton University’s Health Sciences campus will bring new opportunity to create a vibrant bio-pharma cluster. Our strong advanced transportation cluster make well-positioned to grow a prolific energy storage sector, leveraging research and development at BU’s smart energy facility and advancements in new technology. We are also excited about the emerging hemp industry, which will provide exciting opportunities to create a dynamic supply chain and attract innovative and global companies.
But most importantly, we will remain constant in our mission to attract and support new investment in Broome…and to do deals. We are very fortunate to do the work we do and we look forward to the future.
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African proverb
Download our 2019 Report to the Community here.
John M. Bernardo Stacey M. Duncan
Chairman of the Board Executive Director