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Economic Initiatives for 2014?

February 3, 2014 - Ernest Hohmeyer
I always thought community groups should announce their goals and priorities each year. Wouldn’t that make a cool reference guide for all of us? It might be an idea for someone to publish this once a year.

State of the Park

The New Year is a good time to set agendas and priorities. It is good to step back for a moment to hear the State of the Union or the State of the State.

Perhaps there should be something like the “State of the Adirondack Park” – now that would be interesting to hear all of those viewpoints.

Regional Agenda?

On a regional level, to get the conversation started, here a few economic initiatives we may wish to consider for 2014. Some of these ideas are old and some new.

Annual Community Agenda

This would be a community guide of organizations within the region, which lays out their purpose, goals and priorities for the year. This could range from the various community clubs to downtown groups. This may help us to understand what each is about and how we can support those efforts that interest us.

Regional Council of Governments

When they talk about the Adirondack Park, they like to lump all of us together. In many cases this makes sense in terms of our environment, small town nature and remoteness. In others it does not. It is amazing the level of cooperation among local governments that exists already.

But with some big projects in the wind as well as some that are on-going is it time to consider a more formal approach? As we discussed posted there are important regional assets that may benefit from a more organized approach. Would a more formalized municipal consortium catch the eye of the Governor who favors regionalization and consolidation?

A Regional Business Consortium

From marketing the area for jobs to assisting greater business-to-business networking across our different towns it may be time to create a regional business consortium.

The Tri-lakes is the hub of activity for Essex and Franklin Counties.

Can you imagine if a Tri-lakes business group weighed in on matters from county sales tax distribution to economic and tourism marketing? Would it help our local representatives if a regional business group voiced their support for their endeavors?

Adirondack Youth Entrepreneurship Program

We talk plenty about creating jobs. We also lament about the exodus of our youth. Our economy is made up of small business. As another way to keep our youth here, can entrepreneurship be another alternative?

There is a whole new world out there on youth entrepreneurial programs that can combine our educational institutions from schools to colleges with business, national foundations and government institutions like the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Perhaps a start would be during the national celebration Small Business Week in May with a round-table.

Event Summit

The region is rich in events. They are often hosted by volunteer community members. Budgets, volunteerism, marketing, hosting, and managing events may be similar issues many face. Perhaps an “Event Summit” that targets how to further assist event organizers in these areas may be a worthwhile regional initiative. Perhaps the Tourism Council can help to coordinate such an event – for events.

Regional Recreation Commission

We have many fine venues related to recreation. Many are operated by municipalities or individual organizations. An old idea that perhaps deserves a re-visit is a “regional recreation commission.”

Hospitality Training

This was something that was quite successful years ago that was done in spring before the summer season. The nature of tourism has changed dramatically in terms of what people expect. However, there are iconic pillars such as customer service that still reign supreme.

Perhaps this can also be part of Small Business Week in May.

These are some ideas for an economic agenda for 2014. What do you think and what are yours?


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