NORWICH – While local manufacturing in Chenango County has slowed, 2008 was a record year, according to Commerce Chenango officials, and some action on the economic development forefront is underway despite the nation’s lagging economy.
Commerce Chenango President Maureen Carpenter made those points clear during her annual report before the Chenango County Board of Supervisors on Monday. In addition, she presented an often-requested flow chart that depicted the organizations’ new structure and funding sources.
In 2008, Commerce Chenango assisted more than 90 existing businesses that resulted in the creation of and retention of 1,200 jobs. Of those, Carpenter highlighted Agro-Farma Inc. of New Berlin, Wagner Nineveh of Afton, and The Mid-York Press in Sherburne – all of which received funds in grants and/or loans available through Commerce Chenango.
Carpenter also pointed to several ongoing projects in Sherburne, where the newly formed Sherburne Local Development Corporation is creating its own business park and several existing employers are expanding. Development Chenango Corp. (a combination of the former Local Development Corp. and Area Corp.) helped to revise a Greater Norwich Empire Zone boundary that would include potential entities in the park and help with current businesses’ expansion plans.
Carpenter estimates that more than 200 new jobs may be created in Sherburne over the next five years.
The agency has also been working with Procter & Gamble employees, listing agents and prospects to help generate leads for the Town of Norwich property. Carpenter said one interested party is moving forward with plans to take over the Woods Corners facility.
“We hope they are. It could mean 250 jobs and and millions and millions in investment in Norwich,” she said.