2021 has been both a challenging and exciting year for Economic Development in Chemung County. Like many other communities, as the most stringent Covid restrictions were lifted it was left to face rising residential prices and one of the most formidable labor markets in recent memory. Some industries have thrived through these difficulties, others continue to push their way through.
Local companies that include Hardinge, The Hilliard Company, Howell Packaging, United Dividers, and Carbide USA all initiated expansions in 2021. STEG is excited about their efforts, and those of the many other companies that continue to show their commitment to growing in our community.
The Town of Big Flats launched its new 90-day, expedited development approval process and authorized over 440,000 sq ft worth of development projects that include GEM Energy, LLC's solar project, a stamp manufacturer and a handful of market rate, multi-unit residential projects. The Village of Horsehead's HOST facility also began gearing up for major changes. Downtown Elmira will soon have a WellNow Urgent Care and several mixed use residential projects continue to take shape there as well.
Small business grants were provided to qualifying small businesses through the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, which concluded in 2021. Downtown Grind, The People's Place, Craft Farm, RYE, WMC North and Meg's Cheeseboards all received financial assistance to help them expand. Several NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects in the City of Elmira are also wrapping up including Clemens Square, Lake Street Bridge and the city parking garage improvements.
We leave 2021 with gratitude and warm memories of the many contributions Tara Cofone brought to STEG, and with renewed commitment and determination to help Chemung County and its business community grow in prosperity. We wish you a very happy and healthy new year!