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Owens breaks bread with Saranac Lake biz leaders

Congressman Bill Owens, at head, sits with Saranac Lake businessmen during a lunchtime meeting March 21.

Congressman Bill Owens, at head, sits with Saranac Lake businessmen during a lunchtime meeting March 21. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— As he winds down his tenure as NY-21 Congressman, Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) took some time Friday, March 21 to meet with Saranac Lake business owners and discuss the economic climate of the region.

Owens had a lunchtime conference with local employers where several topics came up, including the Hotel Saranac project, renovations to the town’s business park, the collaboration between St. Lawrence University and the Trudeau Institute and maple season, among others.

Owens also spoke about the diversity of the North Country businesses who work to attract people from the big cities to the south and north.

“What drives the economy in Clinton County is the Canadians,” Owens said. “I hear a lot of people from Quebec talking French when they are walking down the streets in Lake Placid, as well. How do we be more welcoming to both them and the New York City crowd?”

When it came to industry, Owens said there was a lot of potential with the partnership between Clarkson and Trudeau.

“There has to be ways to spin off the research work that will be part of this partnership into a commercialized product, which is something both entities need to do to sustain their futures,” he said. “The question that has to be answered is how you make the business park ready to receive someone?”

Owens said along with possible business expansion, there was a strong investment base locally.

“There are a lot of people who are sitting in Saranac Lake who are very smart investors,” he said.

Owens also visited several local businesses around the community during his visit.

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