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At the Cayuga Economic Development Agency, we research and teach, listen and mentor, promote and connect. CEDA is the one-stop organization that provides assistance to start and grow businesses in Cayuga County. There are a variety of incentives and benefits available on the local, regional, state and federal levels. From writing a business plan and accessing the city or county’s revolving loan funds, to navigating the various state and federal programs, CEDA guides businesses through the entire process.

In this article, I have listed some developments you may have already noticed, or can look forward to this year. Some of the larger, more transformative projects have been in the works for years, and CEDA’s relationship will carry on as these businesses continue to develop. I hope these stories will spark ideas of how CEDA might help other businesses start up or grow:

• Scott and Michelle DeLap utilized CEDA’s services to gather information about available properties, local loan programs and other resources when opening Next Chapter Brewpub in Genesee Center.

• With tax incentives from the Auburn Industrial Development Authority, the Holiday Inn completed major renovations and opened its new restaurant, Burger Theory.

• In 2016, the E. John Gavras Center was awarded a grant from Empire State Development to incentivize the upgrades needed at its North Street facility to expand and improve child care services. The center will be celebrating the completion of this project with a grand opening this spring.

• When The Good Shepherds Brewing Co. needed a new location, CEDA provided information about available spaces and gave business plan assistance. We continue to inform the brewery about programs for which it's eligible, and other incentives it can utilize for the next phase of the project.

• The Muldrow Group, which provides services to automotive dealerships, received assistance with its business plan and guidance when exploring the various funding options. The group was successful in obtaining a loan from the city of Auburn’s Small Business Assistance Program to purchase equipment and expand the business.

 KyleCroft Development received tax incentives from AIDA to redevelop the Nolan block, which is currently underway, to create a mixed-use space for commercial and residential tenants. The first commercial tenant, Octane Social House, has also been working with CEDA and has secured a loan from the city of Auburn’s Small Business Assistance Program.

 Copper John, a manufacturer of archery accessories, received an ESD grant in 2017 to purchase new production equipment and to reconfigure its manufacturing facility. This project is currently underway and will allow the company to re-shore some of its production and expand its capability and capacity.

• In the village of Aurora, the latest construction project is happening at the former Shakelton Funeral Home, where the Inns of Aurora have utilized tax incentives from the Cayuga County Industrial Development Agency to restore the house and create its fifth inn.

• Auburn Public Theater was awarded an ESD grant in 2017 to incentivize its expansion plans to add a café and renovate the basement. The theater has already begun construction and is lining up the last pieces of funding to move the project toward completion later this year.

• Prison City Pub & Brewery worked with CEDA to secure an ESD grant in 2017 and identify available sites, local tax incentives and loan funds, and upcoming programs for which it may be eligible. The brewery's expansion project will begin construction this year.

• Last month, Keith Titus Corporation (Page Trucking), received an ESD grant to expand its facility with a training center, as well as a health and wellness center for traveling drivers. This award will also help the company purchase additional equipment to expand operations. In addition to the state application process, CEDA has been assisting with workforce development needs.

• Also awarded in the last round of state funding was Volpi Manufacturing USA, a maker of optoelectronic modules for the medical industry. Located in Auburn’s Tech Park, Volpi will be renovating a portion of its existing facility to improve its processes and expand its capabilities.

• In Aurelius, Cayuga Veterinary Services has worked with CEDA to secure tax incentives from the Cayuga County IDA to build a new facility that will allow it to hire additional staff and provide more services to clients. This project is currently under construction and will be completed later this year.

 DuMond Ag, in the town of Fleming, was awarded an ESD grant in 2017 to construct a soybean processing facility. CEDA has provided assistance with its business plan and the Consolidated Funding Application process, made business-to-business connections, and continues to identify other relevant resources. With the necessary permits in place, this project is underway.

• Aurora Ale & Lager Co. received help with its business plan and secured a loan from the Cayuga County Development Corporation to purchase additional equipment and expand its brewing capacity in the town of Ledyard.

Each one of these businesses has unique needs, and CEDA is there to assist them on their pathways to success. Even more projects are underway as the Local Planning Committee works through the process of investing the $10 million Auburn won in the third round of the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. We also expect to see more projects happening in Auburn’s northwest census tract, which is the only opportunity zone in Cayuga County. This new program was created to spur economic development in designated areas by providing tax benefits to investors.

One day in the future, we will be able to see the results of how these individual projects cumulatively shaped the revitalization that is happening now. If any of these stories sparked an idea for you, please contact us at CEDA at (315) 252-3500. CEDA’s specialists are great resources and our services are always free and confidential.

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Maureen Riester is a SCORE mentor and the Cayuga Economic Development Agency's business development specialist, focusing on bringing new business to Auburn and Cayuga County. She can be contacted at mriester@cayugaeda.org or (315) 252-3500.

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