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Upstate ESD Chair Addresses North Country

PLATTSBURGH A well traveled Daniel Gundersen, who serves as Upstate Chair of the Empire State Development Corporation, visited Plattsburgh this week and addressed approximately 100 local business and agency representatives as well as government and elected officials.

Having traveled more than 22,000 miles across the upstate New York Region since taking office in February, Gundersen outlined his plan to Connect the Dots in the upstate area and champion the cause for economic growth.

Having served in a similar role in Pennsylvania prior to joining the Spitzer Administration, Gundersen drew comparisons between the two states in order to emphasize a new four- part strategy he hopes to utilize in the seven upstate regions.

They include:

Be Proactive and Responsive
Get in Front of prospective investors
Identify opportunities
Benchmark industry competitive position and target resources to mitigate identified weaknesses
Respond promptly, accurately and completely in all situations

Develop Investor-Focused Products
Align business program along Continuum of Growth
Reclaim brownfields and develop shovel ready sites
Support small business and entrepreneurship
Make public investment that yields private investment
Encourage university research and tech-based commercialization

Integrate Economic Development
Develop and adhere to Principles for Investment
Involve government agencies early and often
Align and support, community-based development
Market business, arts & culture and tourist-related assets

Build Global and Regional Networks
Develop regional networks with economic development professionals
Fully integrate local and regional partner organizations and business advocates
Build international networks to move NY products into faster growing markets around the globe and target overseas investors to increase direct investment.

Gundersen also addressed the states most visible economic development tool, the Empire Zones. Noting that the program had lost site of its purpose, Gundersen said, We recently mailed over 3,000 Empire Zone Businesses who havent met their stated goals. Were looking to see if we can help. Public dollars should not be viewed as a gratuity.

Synergies with Montreal and Canada, the emergence of the new Plattsburgh International Airport and the strategic plan already in place for region should provide our area with optimism toward the future.

After a short question and answer period, Gunderson was off to meet with local economic development officials and then tour the Bombardier plant.

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