Interest in the region growing intensely

GLOVERSVILLE — The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth is seeing an increase in business interest in the county it hasn’t witnessed in years, officials said.

“We’re in play for four possible sites.” CRG President/CEO Ronald Peters told his board of directors Friday.

Peters said the interest can directly be tied to the CRG’s fresh and renewed messaging, marketing, contacts, and the agency getting to various events. He also said the CRG is getting more and more promotional information out to other states.

In his monthly report, he said there has been initial discussions with a possible large agricultural project. He said he talks with the principals every three weeks.

“We sent them some sites,” Peters said.

He also reported on ongoing discussions with a California company looking to possibly move a glove sewing operation to Fulton County. He said the CRG has space that the firm can rent.

“We’re still sort of massaging that,” Peters said.

Peters said the CRG is working with another company on a possible very large project. He said the CRG is competing for a company to build in Fulton County, working with a site selector. In other business inquiries, he said the CRG is working with the Empire State Development Corp. to build a project in Fulton County.

In response to a request for manufacturing site information from a site selector, Peters said the CRG sent a potential site for review.

“We’ve got a lot in the hopper,” he said. “You’ve got to be a players to get any kind of contacts.”

Elsewhere in Peters’ report:

∫ Peters noted the CRG’s previously successful $300,000 U.S. EPA Site Assessment Grant is “going forward.”

“They’re getting back to us with a lot of questions,” he said.

He said the CRG should have signed contracts for the grant by mid-October.

∫ The CRG’s first state Microenterprise Grant for small business loans is awaiting an approval letter from the state, Peters said. He said 25 businesses have already submitted applications for a piece of the grant.

“That’s a lot of people, a lot of businesses.” he said.

In reality, he said the program may only allow 13 to 15 grant awards, but it will all be a “good shot in the arm” nonetheless. He said an average of 20 to 25 jobs per business usually result from successful awards.

Peters also reported an application for a second Microenterprise Grant submission involving the COVID-19 pandemic will hopefully be into the state by next week.

“Our hope is the state will have enough to fund this second award,” he said.

∫ Peters said the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board contacted the CRG about a U.S. Economic Development Administration six-month program involving $2 million grants that Fulton County may want to be a part of. He said the CRG can be a “spoke” to outlying communities providing outreach with activities such as training, He said the program may be offered in October.

∫ Site assessment work has resulted in the CRG taking a look at a couple “megasites,” Peters said.

∫ A planning meeting for a six-county, upcoming Mohawk Valley Brownfields Develop Summit to be hosted by the CRG at the Johnstown Holiday is coming along, Peters said. There may be 125-150 people in attendance at the two-day summit, which may be attended by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

“It’s going to be a great event,” Peters said.

∫ Peters said his agency is in its “drawn down stage” for grant money received for renovations to the CRG’s 34 W. Fulton St. building. HE said it may take another three to four weeks to secure the full grant.

∫ The Job Development Authority is now making $166,000 available for agricultural lending.

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Peters said.

∫ He also reported the CRG is still looking at additional financial incentives for one of Fulton County’s “main manufacturers.”

By Patricia Older