The Seneca Falls Development Corporation (SFDC) announced today that it has completed its 2017 Findings Report following a meeting of interested community members.
Intended to foster a more traditional approach to economic development planning, the Findings Report provides a general overview of the statistics, conditions, opportunities, and influences relevant to Seneca Falls.
“It essentially shows us what we have to work with and where the trends are heading,” says SFDC Director, Greg Zellers. “Without it, it’s difficult to assess our situation and create a viable plan of action to address our current and future needs.”
The updated 2017 Findings Report combined significant sets of data from a wide range of resources, including:
- The Town and Village of Seneca Falls Comprehensive Plan
- Multiple interviews with regional economic development organizations, tourism professionals, university representatives, State economic development and labor officials, industry trade groups, and local business leaders.
- Extensive research relating to emerging technologies, innovative public-private partnerships, tourism enhancements, effective marketing techniques, demographics, population shifts, labor trends, and tax incentive programs.
- Case studies of successful revitalization efforts in similarly-affected towns and municipalities.
Rewriting the Findings Report was the first step in the SFDC’s goal of updating the Seneca Falls Economic Development Plan. To coincide with emerging residential trends and progressive shifts in the overall commercial climate, the 2017 Findings Report has been expanded to provide a more localized view of Seneca Falls.
“An updated plan is often required to be eligible for regional, state, and federal grants,” shared Zellers, “and the decision makers behind the programs we intend to pursue must see that the opportunities align with our existing plan. At present, our Town’s Economic Development Plan is ten years old and significantly behind the times, which is why we’ve made it a priority to get every component updated.”
Once completed, the updated Economic Development Plan will be the anchor behind efforts to pursue grant funding for a wide range of State- and Federally-funded projects, including infrastructure improvements, downtown revitalization initiatives, business attraction campaigns, site remediation programs, tourism marketing, regional partnerships, and improved quality of place.
As an excerpt from the 2017 Findings Report explained:
“The landscape of small town living has changed. Not only for residents, but for the commercial and industrial interests that help our town thrive. The purpose of this Findings Report isn’t to make suggestions or recommendations. It’s meant to provide a summary of details, data, and case studies so that planning can continue and ideas for growth can be formed.
Not all of the information provided herein is scientific. Nor is all the information rooted in statistics. Instead, it also includes concepts that have worked for small towns in similar situations, and actions that have helped reverse downward trends caused by industry abandonment.”
SFDC Chair, Joell Murney-Karsten, added “While the new plan will help guide the strategies, projects, and initiatives we pursue, change can’t happen without action. It’s time that we all become more aggressive in that pursuit. We need to embrace revitalization efforts and become empowered by the progressive history that once drove Seneca Falls to prominence. The Findings Report brings us one step closer to this end goal.”