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The North Country Chamber of Commerce has, in collaboration with four other regional partners, issued an Adirondack Economic Agenda for 2024. The agenda is a collaborative effort of the Chamber, the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, the Adirondack Economic Development Corp., the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board and ROOST (Regional Office for Sustainable Tourism).

"The agenda focuses on practical steps that can support the future of the Adirondack economy in the key areas of Housing, Broadband/Cellular Access, Tourism Development, Economic & Business Development, and Constitutional Amendments," says Garry Douglas, Chamber President. "We all advocate on Adirondack issues, often together, but felt it would enhance our effectiveness on behalf of the Adirondack economy to coalesce around a practical agenda for the new year."

Douglas says the agenda is being shared broadly in Albany and the partners will be seeking meetings soon with the Governor's staff, State Legislative leaders, Adirondack State Legislators, and others to review and discuss the details.

“Workforce housing is one of the greatest challenges the Adirondack Park is currently facing. Providing meaningful, appropriately scaled housing through rehabilitation programs and incentives for new construction, working with communities and local non-profits, will help us address the housing crisis while reinvigorating our communities. “- Beth Gilles, Executive Director of the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board

"It is a critical moment in the discussions around Broadband and Cellular. The ConnectAll Office is proposing significant funding through the Municipal Infrastructure Program, which we should all strongly support right now! This funding has a quick time frame which is absolutely necessary for us to have open access middle mile fiber in place, to assure that we can utilize the BEAD funding and support Cell Service.", said William Farber, longtime Supervisor and Broadband/Cellular advocate. "The ConnectAll Office also needs our support, in that they have made improved Cellular their number TWO goal after Broadband and plan to hire a cellular point person to move the Cellular Taskforce Report forward. It is an exciting moment in time! We just need funding in the 2024/2025 State Budget to support ESD's focus on Cellular, and we will be on the road to real progress." - Bill Farber, Vice President of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages

"Tourism Development programming in the Adirondacks is an economic development engine that drives new revenues for business and new tax dollars to local, county and state governments. Lodging is the key.  State programs for lodging have had success in the past and ROOST supports properly scaled new lodging throughout the Park   New opportunities offered through the DRI and NY Forward programs offer more potential incentives to increase lodging investment.  All efforts for tourism development should be pursued including the rail line to Tupper Lake, the Blacks in the Adirondacks permanent exhibit at ADK Experience and continual support and growth of the successful Tourism Loan Fund." - James McKenna, President/CEO of ROOST

“As economic developers in the Adirondack region, we are excited about the great opportunities for our communities through business growth. Our forward-thinking state has provided strong incentive programs for community and economic development. There are challenges, however, for many of these programs at the scale of development that is typical in our rural region. Small and extremely small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities; the non-profit sector also plays a crucial role to quality of life in the Adirondacks.  These entities face serious obstacles to equitable access to state grant resources. The typical funding mechanisms, including grant caps at a minority portion of total project costs, reimbursement-based funding and delays in reimbursement often create untenable circumstances for small businesses or non-profits who are undertaking economic development activities. We advocate for higher grant proportions of project costs, quicker or less reimbursement-based grant funds, and a state-sponsored bridge loan for these projects in the Adirondacks. Without such changes, the small communities across our region are not able to fully access funding to maximize community reinvestment.” - Victoria Zinser Duley, Executive Director, Adirondack Economic Development Corporation (AEDC)

The North Country Chamber of Commerce is the largest business and economic development organization in northern New York, serving Clinton, Franklin, Essex, Hamilton, and northern Warren Counties, linking more than 4,000 employers. The agenda was developed over the last few months and was finalized at the Chamber's Annual Strategic Planning Retreat in Lake Placid on November 3rd.


>>2023 Adirondack Economic Agenda<<

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