Message from the Executive Director
To Our Neighbors and Friends in Columbia County:
I wanted to update the community on the status of an important project to ensure that one of Columbia’s County’s largest and most successful businesses continues to grow and invest in our local economy. As many of you know, working together with the State of New York’s Empire State Development and State Homes and Community agencies, we have put together a thoughtful package of incentives to allow a significant expansion of Ginsberg’s Foods – a successful family owned business based here in Columbia County for more than 100 years.
In return, Ginsberg’s expects to invest upwards of $30 million over the next decade or so – creating more than 50 permanent new jobs and protecting the jobs of the approximately 230 existing employees, and dozens more jobs in companies who transact with Ginsberg’s.
For decades, Ginsberg’s Foods has had a significant impact on the local economy. Through the jobs it provides, the money it spends in the county, and the taxes paid by the company, its employees, and its vendors – Ginsberg’s economic impact is $11.5 million every year.
As there has been some recent media attention and confusion around this very positive development, I wanted to clarify any misperceptions and address any concerns that may have been raised.
First, the primary mission of the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency and the Economic Development Corporation is job creation and retention, strengthening our tax base by promoting private sector investment, and assisting businesses to locate and expand within the County. That is exactly what we are doing here. The incentives being provided by the State and County are designed for exactly these types of situations and are highly competitive with the kinds of programs being offered by other states and communities with which we compete head-to-head every day. And like any good investment, they will generate a strong return to our communities.
Second, this is not a giveaway. In return for their funding incentives and the right to build on land that has been unused and generating no revenue for more than 20 years, Ginsberg’s has committed to investing an initial $11million dollars of their own which they expect would rise to approximately $30 million over time, all while keeping hundreds of existing jobs in Columbia County and creating another 50+ new jobs.
Finally, we need to carefully understand the reality that we face from competing states and regions. Hardly a day goes by where another state isn’t making an attempt to lure businesses from Columbia County and New York, and that was certainly true in this case. Ginsberg’s did not want to leave the home they have known for more than a century. But the reality is that in order for them to continue to grow, they need to prudently expand their facility or their entire business is at risk. They wanted to do it here, plain and simple, and we have been working side by side with Ginsberg’s to help them do just that. In closing, let me say that I hear all the time how government in New York State doesn’t do enough to create an environment for businesses to invest in future growth and jobs in our state.
That’s why I’m particularly gratified to see so many layers of our state and local communities come together to support this particular project. From Governor Cuomo to the County and local towns, everyone has recognized the opportunity to create a unique partnership that will secure one of our anchor employers while capturing significant new investment in our community. It’s exactly the kind of win-win that will showcase New York State and Columbia County as great places to invest. I look forward to keeping you informed as this important project continues to progress.
Kenneth J. Flood, Executive Director
Columbia Economic Development Corporation