BUSINESS RETENTION + EXPANSION (BRE)
The Saratoga Partnership will engage existing businesses, stakeholders, partners, and other economic development agencies in an all-inclusive, multi-year Business Retention and Expansion Campaign that will help the private sector secure new jobs and capital investment in Saratoga County.
Grant Award for #MaltaWorks Small Business Retention Campaign
We are excited to learn that the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership was awarded a $5,000 grant by the GlobalFoundries Fab 8 Globalfoundries / Town of Malta Foundation to support small businesses in Malta via the #MaltaWorks collaborative marketing effort to support retail and commercial businesses during the challenging winter months ahead of us. Our small business community will need all the support they can get during COVID-19 and the Saratoga Partnership is committed to working with Town of Malta Economic Development Committee and Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce on this exciting initiative. The Virtual Grant Award ceremony is December 16 at 4pm.
G+G Lighting of Halfmoon Accelerates Growth with Start-Up New York Program
The Saratoga Partnership is proud to have teamed up with the University at Albany to support the innovation and growth of G+G Industrial Lighting
of Halfmoon with the START-UP NY Program. G&G Industrial Lighting
plans to invest $2 million and create seven jobs over the next five years. The 20-person company will be moving into new space managed by the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, which is working with UAlbany on the project. G+G, founded by Jason Baright in 2011, began by specializing in waterproof LED lighting for the car wash industry. The company plans to use the partnership to expand into additional industrial markets, including new designs in food-processing and mass transit applications.
G+G's presence will provide internship and research opportunities for UAlbany students. Read more
about G+G Industrial Lighting
and START-UP NY here.
Business Retention Efforts
The Saratoga Partnership team continues to assist Saratoga County-based businesses with business retention and expansion challenges. Despite the economic impacts of COVID-19, we have been working with numerous entrepreneurs seeking to start new operations including restaurants, retail operations, and the expansion of light manufacturing. Demand for business planning services is increasing and we continue to refer clients to SCORE and the SBDC to assist with business plans that can be presented to banks, and also help existing businesses recasting financial projections and get access to needed capital.
Recently, staff toured a major employer in Saratoga County that operates a regional warehouse and logistics business. We met with the Vice President of Operations for a business retention interview and discuss workforce development challenges and the impact that COVID has had on operations. In the coming weeks, we will be meeting with additional warehouse and logistics businesses to discuss workforce needs and gaps in the supply chain.
The Saratoga Partnership has been essential in helping small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic having helped over 400 businesses since the beginning of March. We hosted a Q+A with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik on March 25 to discuss the business impact of COVID-19 which had 216 attendees. We also held a Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act Update and Loan Forgiveness webinar on June 24. That event, which featured Steve Bulger, Regional Administrator for the SBA, Michael O'Connell, Executive VP of Adirondack Trust Company, and Kevin Hedley, Partner at Hedley & Co., had 150 participants.
We also sent out two COVID-19 Business Impact Surveys. The survey was created in response to New York State requesting business impact data so that they could submit SBA Economic Industry Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration. we had 306 respondents for the Phase I survey sent out on March 18 and 64 respondents for the Phase II survey sent out on April 14.
After analyzing the survey responses, we were able to help small businesses apply for PPP loans, apply for forgiveness of those loans, and assist in supply chain problems they were having. With help from our efforts, Saratoga County had the most PPP loans approved (3,416) and had the most loans under $150,000 (2,956) in the Capital Region.
CDL Training and Testing
We are working with an organization looking to start a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Training and Testing Center. There is a nation-wide shortage of truck drivers which has only been worsened by the coronavirus.
Workforce Training Program to Expand Child Care in Saratoga and Warren Counties
We are working with the Saratoga County Employment & Training, Warren County Employment & Training, Brightside Up, and the Southern Adirondack Child Care Network to develop a workforce training program to increase the availability of childcare centers in Saratoga and Warren Counties. We are conducting two separate surveys to assess the marketplace for future child care needs. The surveys, which went out on 12/7/2020, so far have 105 responses for the family survey and 50 employer responses.
Whether you are a parent who currently has children in child care, are seeking care, or have used childcare in the past, please take a moment to complete this survey.
Albany CanCode Digital Literacy for Workforce and Strategic Partnerships
We are working with Albany CanCode, Veterans & Community Housing Coalition (VCHC), Wellsprings, and the Mechanicville Area Community Services Center to help market a digital literacy course. The course is designed to provide people with the opportunity to learn the basic computer skills necessary to be competitive in a job market that is increasingly relying on technology to operate. Students will learn basic computing skills such as file and folder structures, the Microsoft suite of products, productive web searches, the Google suite of products, and professional use of social media sites (i.e. LinkedIn) and communicating via email. Students will have opportunities to engage with local employers and work on resume critiques to help prepare them to join or rejoin the workforce. Click here for the Virtual Digital Literacy Form.
Skidmore Saratoga Consulting Partnership Fall Semester Project - Economic Impact of COVID and Solutions for Helping Business Community
The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership (SCPP) has partnered with the Skidmore-Saratoga Consulting Partnership (SSCP), a group of students that offer pro bono consulting services to local businesses in Saratoga. Students from SSCP created two surveys to learn more of what consumers want to see in Saratoga this winter and what action business owners have considered taking for the upcoming months. Their project included drawing inspiration from creative practices across the globe to show what COVID-19 precautions Saratoga Springs should implement to instill consumer confidence for in-person dining & shopping. SSCP proposed hosting a winter event or marketplace, creating virtual platforms to connect with consumers, or implementing workshop-style communication between business leaders.
Saratoga-Warren-Washington Workforce Development Board Update
Shelby Schneider attended the first meeting where the new Executive Director was introduced. Gretchen Steffan brings an excellent background and solid perspective that would support the board’s mission. Shelby also made a presentation about the child care surveys and childcare provider workforce training initiative.
Malta Business Community Alliance
Shelby Schneider participated in a meeting for the Malta Business Community Alliance (MBCA). MBCA is a volunteer-led committee of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County (CSSC), exclusively focusing on the Malta area. The CSSC is an affiliate of the Capital Region Chamber.
We had an introductory meeting with the Director of Government Affairs at Charter Communications. The meeting focused on broadband in the area and the importance of cable television, internet, telephone, and wireless services for economic development.
NEXT WAVE COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE
The Saratoga Partnership will create customized economic development plans for each individual town/village/city. The Next Wave Communities initiative is designed to broaden the economic base of each community and ensure their long-term prosperity by tailoring the economic development plans to each individual town/village/city's strengths, needs, and aspirations. Once we develop the plans in partnership with the communities, we will also have a rigorous plan of implementation to help fulfill their goals and objectives for future economic development.
EPA Brownfield Community-Wide Assessment Grant
We submitted our EPA Brownfield Assessment grant application for $300,000. The Community-wide Assessment grant provides funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach. This type of grant is appropriate when a specific site is not identified, and the applicant plans to spend grant funds on more than one brownfield site in the community.
Northern Towns Behan Program
We continue to work with the Northern Towns (Hadley, Day, Edinburg, and Corinth) and Behan Communications on the “It’s Time to Come Home” study aimed to attract talent, investment, and potential small business proprietors. We are waiting for the final report to be released soon.
Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages
We made a presentation about the Northern Towns project to the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages. We discussed how the Behan Communications on the “It’s Time to Come Home” study came about and how we are moving forward with local and regional economic development plans, as well as, a marketing program and federal grant applications, including the Northern Borders federal Grant
Next Wave Communities Ballston Spa
We have begun to implement the Next Wave Communities Ballston Spa Economic Development Plan. Meetings and planning activities have focused on updating zoning and the comprehensive plan, community branding initiatives, redevelopment of the former Angelica site, gateway beautification, connectivity with the Zim Smith Trail, workforce housing, and a process for starting a business improvement district. We have already brought numerous developers into the community for opportunities to redevelop underutilized or vacant properties.
NYS Homes and Community Renewal - Workforce Housing
We have been working with New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR) on different workforce housing initiatives and a NY Main Street program. We recently toured Ballston Spa with someone from NYSHCR and a workforce housing developer scouting sites for future projects and identified funding opportunities from NYSDHCR.
Ballston Spa Complete Streets
We were invited to partake in Ballston Spa's Complete Streets Workshops. The Village of Ballston Spa was awarded a Complete Streets grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC). Ballston Spa used our different economic development presentations to apply for the grant and the Complete Streets consultant has been using our Next Wave Communities economic development plan to help guide their work.
NYS Route 50 Corridor Enhancement Study
We attended a virtual public meeting to provide input for the NYS Route 50 Corridor enhancement Study. The purpose of the evening was for the engineering company to share preliminary concepts for corridor improvements and gather feedback from the community that will inform a preferred concept. Highlights of the community survey were also presented.
Next Wave Communities Galway
We are working with Supervisor Smith to schedule interviews with community stakeholders and schedule interviews with focus groups. We held Focus Groups in Ballston Spa and they became a critical part of the economic development planning process. We are also working with the Supervisor to connect them with Senior Housing developers.
Next Wave Communities Malta
We have conducted several interviews with members of the Town Board, Economic Development Committee, Comprehensive Plan Committee, and other key stakeholders. These interviews help create a robust economic development plan. We are also creating Focus Groups and actively working with the Malta Economic Development Committee on different strategies moving forward.
Scannell Properties Development
We have a meeting with the brokerage company and Scannell Development to discuss the project being proposed for the Luther Forest Technology Campus. It was announced that Scannell Properties out of Indianapolis is proposing a warehouse/logistics hub on 245 acres of property within LFTC. The development would straddle parts of Malta and Stillwater with tentative plans calling for more than 1 million square feet of construction that could bring more than 1,000 jobs to Saratoga County over the next five to six years. This proposal will most likely require a change in the PDD and allow for additional uses at LFTC.
Luther Forest Technology Campus 2.0 Development + Market Analysis
The Saratoga Partnership continues to participate in collaborative meetings to pursue a market study and site analysis of the Luther Forest Technology Campus (LFTC) and adjoining properties. We met with the market study and site analysis consultant and told him about the Scannell project. Without the 4th quarter payment from our services agreement with Saratoga County, the study is on hold until matching funds can be identified.
Town of Halfmoon Community Brochure
We have retained a graphic designer and are diligently working on the Town of Halfmoon – Open for Business brochure.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH STAKEHOLDERS
The Saratoga Partnership will build and expand relations with appointed and elected officials at the local, state, and federal government levels to enhance investments in Saratoga County. Part of this includes reaching out to the community and building strong relationships with our economic development partners in the public, private, not-for-profit, and academic sectors.
Capital Region Economic Development County Business Development Workgroup
Shelby Schneider was asked to serve on the Capital Region Economic Development Council's (CREDC) Business Development Workgroup. The Regional Council relies on multiple Workgroups consisting of industry leaders and experts focusing on various aspects of the economy in order to have a more comprehensive understanding of the Capital Region. The Council is relying on the Business Development Workgroup focusing on promoting businesses that enhance development of the Capital Region's tradable sectors, agriculture, small businesses, start-up businesses, business retention and expansion, new business attraction and its role in the Capital Region Economy and its COVID recover efforts. The expertise of this workgroup in conjunction with the information the Saratoga Partnership helped gather in the economic recovery surveys will help guide ESD's post-COVID recovery efforts and help shape economic development in the Capital Region going forward.
Invitation to Join Albany International Airport Master Plan’s Regional Advisory Committee
Shelby Schneider was invited to serve on the Albany International Airport’s Master Plan’s Regional Advisory Committee (RAC). The new Master Plan will be a vitally important guide to the airport’s capital improvement program for the next decade and beyond. The overall goal of the RAC is to provide insight and information to guide how the Airport can serve the growth of our regional economy. Shelby will be representing Saratoga County and will do extensive outreach to our employers and community leaders to ensure that the airport is serving the needs of Saratoga County businesses and residents.
Invitation to join Saratoga Hospital Communities of Excellence Advisory Committee
We have been invited by the Saratoga Community Health Center of Saratoga Hospital to join their three-year-long learning collaborative implementing the Baldridge framework within the Communities of Excellence. This framework will be used to bring sustainable results to those that live, work, and play within the community across the key focus areas of community performance (educational attainment, economic vitality, health status, and safety). The framework will promote collaboration across key sectors and align the efforts of the businesses, organizations, school systems, and governmental organizations community-wide to implement and sustain community change. We attended our first nationwide meeting which had other committees representing Ames, Iowa, Coral Gables, Florida, and the State of Delaware. Our next meeting is in January.
Protecting Our Civic Assets Meeting
Congresswoman Stefanik hosted a meeting with the Saratoga Partnership, Saratoga Hospital, SPAC, Skidmore, NYRA, the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, and YMCA. Stefanik gave an update on a federal relief package including creating state and local aid. She also talked about PPP forgiveness for loans under $150,000 to ease the burden of deductibility, additional funds for higher education, support for hospitals with Telehealth, and the Save Our Stages initiative. Stefanik reported on the CHIPS for America Bill which would support Globalfoundries and their manufacturing base here. She also said that the PPP package would include 501 (c)6 organizations. The hospital discussed COVID, their vaccination plan, and when the region would reach herd immunity. NYRA gave an update on the Saratoga racecourse and how they are prepping for a normal meet with fans in 2021. The Casino and Raceway stated they are doing well, but the 10 pm mandatory closing time has created significant debt. Skidmore reported they had no transmission on campus and only a total of 19 cases, 11 of which happened in the last week of the semester. SPAC is preparing for various scenarios and the outlook depends on the vaccine. It looks like we are moving back to a new normal.
Saratoga Springs City Center Parking Structure Ribbon Cutting
Shelby Schneider attended the ribbon cutting for the new Saratoga City Center Parking Garage. Ms. Schneider was on the City Center Authority Board for 6 years during the planning phase of the new facility.
We had a meeting with the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) on helping them with their new Women's Council that they are creating. The Women's Council will provide professional support for women in economic development.
SARATOGA PARTNERSHIP OPERATIONS
The following is an update on The Saratoga Partnership's activities to continue to provide operational transparency.
Saratoga County Budget Allocation
We presented the attached memo
to the Saratoga County Economic Development committee meeting on Wednesday, December 9. The memo attempts to clarify questions about overpayment of bed tax to the Saratoga Partnership and clarifies our request to Saratoga County for consideration at their full board meeting on Tuesday.
1 – SCPP appreciates the County’s willingness to consider and approve amending the 2020 budget resolution to allow the payment of $375,000 to the Partnership without recapture of amounts paid to SCPP above the 50% distribution of 2020 bed tax receipts. Through significant belt tightening and the receipt of grants and PPP funding, SCPP can continue operations and programming for the County and its communities through January 2021 without need to request the additional $125,000.
We understand that this consideration will entail an amendment to the 2020 budget legislation adopted in December 2019. We will ask our counsel to work with the County Attorney on any necessary contract amendment or perhaps a simple letter agreement between the County and SCPP to memorialize this approval.
2 – SCPP also appreciates the County’s willingness to consider and approve a 2021 budget allocation of $450,000 to the Saratoga Partnership to allow continued delivery of services to support the County’s efforts to sustain businesses and grow the local economy as we look to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. SCPP is requesting a minimum contract amount of $450,000 to be paid either in a lump sum or even quarterly payments in 2021 through a 6th Amendment to our marketing agreement. In recognition of the County’s willingness to provide this predictable and stable funding stream, and for the County’s willingness to reconcile the 2020 budget and contract without recapture, the Partnership is willing and able to waive any bed tax distribution amounts above $900,000 in total collections for 2021. This waiver could be contained in the 6th Amendment to the allow the County to simply retain those receipts if and once realized.
We understand that this proposal would be adopted as part of the 2021 budget legislation, which could include an approval for a marketing services contract amount of $450,000, subject to the contract containing a waiver of bed tax distribution amounts above $900,000 in total collections for 2021.
Thank you Wendy Liberatore at the Albany Times Union for giving us the time to talk about Economic Development in Saratoga County, and our efforts to stabilize the Saratoga County economy during this very challenging year. Almost every small business that we are here to support has needed to tighten their belts and pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Saratoga Partnership is no exception to this.
Click here to view the video of our interview
and learn more about our organization and how we are here to support the Saratoga County economy.
Letters of Support
PPP Loan Forgiveness
On November 19th, we were notified by Adirondack Trust Company that our PPP Loan was forgiven by the SBA in the amount of $81,803.61.
New York State Authorities Budget Office (ABO) Compliance
We uploaded our budget to the Authorities Budget Office (ABO) site before the deadline. We continue to be compliant with the ABO reporting requirements. The Saratoga Partnership continues to remain operationally transparent and subject to open meetings law.
Village of Ballston Spa and Saratoga Partnership Unveil Economic Development Plan, WGY News, 10.14.2020