SFDC continues working toward goals as 2017 moves forward

Seneca Falls is on the cusp of serious economic development, according to a progress report released by the Seneca Falls Development Corp.

Director Greg Zellers said in the update that boosting the Town’s visibility, commercial growth and area appeal through planning and implementation are crucial to overall success.

Zellers explained in the update that programs, projects, and outside interest would all play major roles in the future economic development in Seneca Falls.

Since its inception, the SFDC has addressed a number of points — including a 10-year-old economic development plan, which they say is out-of-date, and has minimal relevance in today’s business climate. The SFDC has been working in conjunction with the Town Council, community members, business leaders, and consultants to update each of the plan’s components.

A complete findings report is available at the Seneca Falls Development Corporation’s website here.

The Findings Report has been updated, which provides an overview of the Town’s immediate and surrounding influences, impacts, and status.

The Action Matrix is currently being updated through a series of community workshops, whereby residents and business owners alike can come together and contribute ideas, recommendations, and discussion. Community Workshop dates will resume in September and be posted on the SFDC website.

The team is also working to update the Comprehensive Plan, which will make it more-relevant and actionable.

The SFDC notes that once the components are updated — likely by the end of 2017 — the complete economic plan will be presented to Seneca Falls. That plan will contribute to the community being poised for success in the long-term.

“I think they’ve been doing a great job, and really working toward some great goals,” said Councilor Lou Ferrara, who has been a longtime supporter of the SFDC and their goals.

As those items have been worked on at monthly meetings, and by employees — a few visible changes have taken place in Seneca Falls. A new website has been developed by the SFDC, intended to draw businesses to the community.

The SFDC has assembled a downloadable document that showcases all available commercial real estate within Seneca Falls. Everything from Fall Street to the outlying areas. By combining listings from multiple sources, business owners can have a more streamlined view into what’s available. Updated on a monthly basis, the Seneca Falls Properties document is available to any business considering relocation, construction, or expansion within Seneca Falls.

In an effort to help bolster existing Seneca Falls businesses and strengthen our town from within, the SFDC will soon be unveiling a social media marketing program that will be available exclusively to Seneca Falls businesses at no charge.

This initiative coincides with the SFDC initiative to try and “attract” rather than “pull” businesses to our area. By assisting and strengthening the core businesses that already exist in Seneca Falls, we can better attract others through a position of support and encouragement.

Through a series of walkthrough instructional videos, worksheets, and guides, businesses will learn how to better navigate social media and use the channel to their benefit. From introductory level guidance on building exposure to high-level Facebook advertising and retargeting, the program will showcase something for everyone.

In mid-September of 2017, the SFDC will be launching a Facebook community built specifically for the exchange of ideas and updates between businesses, residents, and community leaders. Intended to help inform and facilitate economic development progress, the group will be open to all Seneca Falls residents and business owners.

Commenting on the progress to date, SFDC Director, Greg Zellers, said, “Looking down from a mile high, it may not seem like much has changed, but it’s important to remember that proper economic development starts with a strong foundation. Without it, efforts can collapse from their own weight. Our goal is to establish a stronger core for Seneca Falls as we work to draw others in, and this starts by streamlining processes, lowering the barrier of entry, and supporting our existing businesses.”

Zellers went on to say, “By improving municipal procedures and providing business owners with tangible assistance, we can better set the stage for expansion. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and I’m extremely pleased with what we’ve been able to accomplish in the nine months I’ve been active here. While mine is a part-time position, the health of Seneca Falls is a full-time concern. We all want to see Seneca Falls healthy again and that starts by strengthening its core.”

Rather than have Seneca Falls remain a footnote in the regional landscape, the goal is to become more visible, more vocal, and more viable. All of which relate to the SFDC’s primary objectives for sustained economic development.
The SFDC welcomes community input, ideas, and suggestions. Residents, business owners, and community leaders alike are invited to contact the SFDC via its website to start a dialogue and interact.

There are also plans in the works for high-end apartments and work along Van Cleef Lake. Longley-Jones Development has taken on revitalization and remodeling efforts at the former-Seneca Falls Hospital and former-Seneca Falls Municipal Building, according to SFDC.

5StarMedical is an emerging leader in medical device manufacturing and is in the process of relocating its headquarters, and ultimately, its manufacturing center, to Seneca Falls, too. With a spike in employment opportunities expected, their presence will help bring additional cutting-edge technology and industry to the area.

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