Seneca Chamber, IDA join forces to create ‘strategic plan’ for economic growth

Seneca Co. IDA

There is going to be a significant, across the board effort made to empower and develop Seneca County.

That was the clear message from three key agencies involved in bolstering economic development.

On Monday, the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency and the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce announced the start of a joint strategic planning process to grow the local economy.

The project is intended to create a unified vision to help guide the county’s future economic development with respect to business, tourism, community and governmental interests.

These efforts will be assisted by the Seneca County Board of Supervisors, as well.

“I would like to thank both the IDA and the Chamber of Commerce for coming together to provide the type of collaborative leadership that will move our community forward in a meaningful way,” said Bob Shipley, Chairman of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors. “Seneca County needs a comprehensive economic development strategy that will help guide our efforts for the next decade. Working together, I am confident that such an approach will result in greater prosperity for all stakeholders.”

Tom Macinski, chairman of the IDA board, said the need for a joint strategic plan is more urgent in light of last month’s grand opening of the del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre.

The casino – one of the largest economic development projects and tourist attractions in the 14-county Finger Lakes Region – is on track to create 1,800 new jobs this year, making it the county’s largest employer.

The casino’s success will likely lead to new development along Route 414 and the nearby Route 318 Corridor, Macinski added.

“We need to ensure that Seneca County grows and develops in the way the community wants us to,” he said. “The best way to do that is by working together and engaging the public.”

Gene Pierce, board chairman of the Chamber, the county’s official tourism promotion agency (TPA), agreed that del Lago and other initiatives have the potential to elevate the area’s tourism profile and create significant opportunities for all businesses.

“The Chamber and its members want to ensure that our businesses and tourist attractions can leverage the tremendous potential that comes with being the northern gateway to the Finger Lakes Region,” Pierce said. “We look forward to working with our partners in developing a sound plan that helps position our community as a preferred destination to live, work and visit.”

IDA Executive Director Bob Aronson and Chamber President and CEO Jeff Shipley said the two organizations, in collaboration with County Manager John Sheppard, will start the process by seeking input from local businesses, community leaders and residents.

They expect to convene joint public meetings later this spring so residents throughout Seneca County can provide input for the strategic plan. The meetings are expected to be scheduled in the coming weeks.

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