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Wayne Post
  • Tour spotlights Wayne County's economic development opportunities

  • Taking a tour describing the economic development opportunities a portion of Wayne County has to offer proved a day well spent.



    The Wayne County Economic Development Day, held in June, brought 70 guests in two buses to take a tour through western communities including, Macedon, Palmyra and Newark.

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  • Taking a tour describing the economic development opportunities a portion of Wayne County has to offer proved a day well spent.
    The Wayne County Economic Development Day, held in June, brought 70 guests in two buses to take a tour through western communities including, Macedon, Palmyra and Newark. Wayne County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Peg Churchill teamed up with county Economic Development and Planning Department Director Bob McNary to find news way to the market the county as a whole. The idea of a bus tour was something McNary had done in the past when he worked in Pennsylvania. The concept’s intent was to increase awareness of economic development opportunities in the county by showing them to key people — people who encounter others looking for places to build, Churchill said. Invited guests included commercial and industrial real estate agents, bankers, lawyers, accountant, and other economic entities, to name a few. These people are called gatekeepers, Churchill said, due to their connections that can open doors to new business. McNary measures the day’s success by not only the interest that brought 70 people to the county for a 3-hour bus tour, but also by the calls from potential developers he has received since the tour.
    In planning the day, Churchill said they went out and drove the entire county to see what they could spotlight. It quickly became clear that touring all of Wayne County would take far too long, so they decided to break it down. This first 3-hour tour focused on western Wayne County with an aim toward industrial and commercial business opportunities. Churchill said they talked about urban development including Gananda, noted the historic houses and the variety of housing without the large price tag.
    “We were selling the town and villages,” Churchill said. “There’s a variety of reasons a business would want to locate here.”
    McNary said they tried to focus on the opportunities, as opposed to what they already had, although in showing available properties with the local amenities each community offers, they also shared the successes, like Garlock, IEC and Silver Hill Technology Park where Finger Lakes Community College is located. What makes Wayne County unique, he said, is that you can place a business in the county and employees can come from surrounding counties while still having easy access to the city. Other advantages, McNary noted included commutes with no traffic, employees can live in nice communities and the cost of doing business is less than in large cities.
    The day’s success has also prompted a second tour, this time in a different part of the county with a focus on agriculture and tourism.
    “It’s a different flavor than the first one,” Churchill said of the second tour still in the planning stages, “because we have different assets, but great assets.”
    Page 2 of 2 - McNary said they are still sorting out which gatekeepers to invite, but this time they plan to include people who can also act as ambassadors for the county, such as local supervisors. Invitations will go out to appropriate people across the region, state and even outside of New York. McNary said it is their hope to get people talking about Wayne County and what it has to offer.
    “It’s a marketing tour,” he said. “We’re trying to build business development. We hope these ‘site selectors’ will spread the word about these tours to draw more people to Wayne County.”
    The second tour is planned for the fall. To learn more about how to grow a business in Wayne County, call the IDA at 946-5917.
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