Message from the Executive Director
Community and Economic Development: An Integrated Approach
Historically, the location decisions of businesses have been driven primarily by factors such as land costs, labor costs and access to materials and markets. Today, however, quality of life for employees is becoming an increasingly important factor as well.
As a matter of fact, some researchers describe great possibilities for a rural resurgence and believe that technological change, corporate restructuring, and the growing emphasis on quality of life is likely to lure businesses and workers back to our small cities and towns.
Consequently, there has never been a better time to engage in local economic revitalization efforts. Small towns across the country are investing in projects to revitalize downtown areas and improve livability for all residents – and Columbia County is no exception. From the City of Hudson, Germantown and Claverack to Hillsdale, Chatham and New Lebanon, individual community development groups continue to organize, revamp and expand.
CEDC actively supports the county’s community development groups by participating on local committees, offering technical support in areas such as grant writing assistance, group facilitation, connection to additional resources, promotion and marketing, and assistance with local and state government agencies.
To help further advance the work of the county’s community development efforts, CEDC will facilitate its second Economic Development Roundtable on Thursday, September 18th, at Columbia-Greene Community College. Community development leaders from across the county will come together for an opportunity to share economic development ideas, best practices, as well as identify their challenges and needs. The ultimate goal, whether at the city, town, or county level, is to meld community development and economic development to create a seamless cooperative effort that results in a thriving county-wide economy.
While grants, tax incentives, and other hard factors will always play a critical role in a location decision, quality of life is playing an ever-growing role in attracting the types of businesses Columbia County wants most.
As we move forward, CEDC will continue to take an integrated approach to community and economic development – building partnerships that will lead to a strong county-wide economy. This is an exciting time for Columbia County as new opportunities for growth continue to surface.
Thank you for your continued support!
Kenneth J. Flood