SEEC identified priority initiatives known as Business Retention & Expansion, Destination Building, Industry & Talent Attraction and defining Targeted Value Add Investments. Not only will the programs redefine our communities, the efforts will cultivate a County-wide economic development leadership Alliance representing municipalities, agencies, businesses and community investors. The Alliance works cooperatively to highlight local assets that will establish Schoharie County as integral to three different regional marketplaces (Mohawk Valley, Capital District MSA and Southern Tier Appalachian Region) and celebrate “points of light” in our communities.

SEEC Programs are grounded in the Schoharie Strategy: Shaping the Way Forward.

PRIORITY PROGRAMS OF 2021

Business Retention & Expansion

Schoharie County Digital Strategies, Direct to Business (D2B)
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted much of today’s shopping and consumer engagement to online platforms. Our goal is to power local businesses, enabling enterprises to upgrade to 21st century infrastructure and internal systems so they can become more resilient and support orders from the community and beyond, their storefront opened or closed.

SEEC, in cooperation with Schoharie County Office of Community Planning, is requesting a grant that would fund local business owners access to professional marketing agencies, digital strategist and technical specialists from around the region to learn, innovate, and further develop their online presence and e-commerce experience. The local Digital Strategies Initiative was conceived early 2021, after nationwide research and modeling best practices. D2B is one component of a four-level SEEC-driven, County-wide Digital Strategy to create access to: broadband infrastructure, innovation zones, innovations hubs and provide small business assistance.
-link to gravity form for digital marketing agencies
-link to gravity form for small businesses

Regional Independent Food Processing, What will it take?
Revisiting old reports and seeking new solutions, the Regional Independent Food Processing feasibility study is funded, in part, by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The initiative is based on the premise that consumer behavior pivots and supply chain weaknesses uncovered during the pandemic combine to create greater urgency in developing and supporting regional processing facilities. The project goal is to identify the resources needed to support independent dairy and food processing that provides more flexibility, better prices for farmers, more direct distribution to consumers and highlights local and regional sources of food supplies.

Sign-up to participate!

Destination Building. SEEC prioritizes the notion of “placemaking”, a core belief and guiding principle to advance economic and community development.

Schoharie County Eagle Trail
A destination building initiative, SEEC partnered with a nationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, Bill Combs Jr. to share stories and feature our scenic landscapes. The Schoharie County Eagle Trail is an accessible bird watching route designed to entertain and educate visitors on the flourishing eagle population in Schoharie County. While on the trail, visitors will be directed through the heart of Schoharie County, seeing the area’s stunning beauty, contributing to the local economy, and perhaps most importantly, becoming better informed on our nation’s crest and our community ties to Native heritage.

Join our Flock! Become a Friend of the Eagle Trail today for just $10 to receive periodic newsletters and invite-only Trail meetups with Trail Ambassador, Bill Combs Jr, nationally acclaimed wildlife photographer. Scan this QR code, or head to Donate (paypal.com) to become a Friend today!

Placemaking in the Historic Hamlet, Town of Jefferson

Safe Access to School & Hamlet Business District, CDBG Public Facilities $300,000 Grant Award
Walkability and connecting community institutions and the business district by foot, bike or car has proven to stimulate community and economic development. The Town of Jefferson, in collaboration with the Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corp (SEEC), submitted a $300,000 Public Facilities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) request on March 5, 2021, and proactively issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify an engineer of record. The grant award letter was received on May 18, 2021.

The awarded CDBG Public Facilities grant is slated to address traffic calming, accessibility, and storm water issues along Route 10 between the Jefferson Central School and the Town Green. Five engineering firms responded to the RFQ and will be eligible to assist the Town with long-term asset management planning.

The Parrott House Renovation, Village of Schoharie

The Main Street centerpiece, a boutique hotel with over 150 years of storied history, sat vacant for nearly a decade after devastating floods washed away its luster. Fortunately, new owners are ready to polish the jewel and return it to its former glory. A $2M renovation is underway funded, in part, by Empire State Development. The Village received numerous grant awards for building reinvestment. SEEC is assisting the private owners and Village take advantage of the grant funding.

Placemaking Innovation Challenge, Village of Sharon Springs
The USDA Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC) provides planning support, technical assistance, and training to encourage placemaking activities in rural communities. Funds can be used to help rural communities develop placemaking plans to boost broadband capacity and access, preserve cultural and historic structures, and support the development of transportation, housing, and recreational spaces. The Village, SEEC and the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District (MVEDD) are  working collaboratively to secure grant support that will launch the model initiative in Schoharie County.

Industry & Talent Attraction

Featured Opportunity Zone Investment, Towns of Cobleskill & Sharon Springs
The Opportunity Exchange (TOE) is a nation-wide platform connecting regions to investors of various development projects, our associates at Southern Tier 8 invited TOE to the table. The 8 county region has 19 federally-designated Opportunity Zones, areas offering tax incentives for transformative investments. SEEC is working along with the IDA and Schoharie County officials to list projects and featured real estate sites on the Opportunity Zone portal, for example: STEAM157 in Schoharie, Klinkhart Hall Arts Center in Sharon Springs, and Empire State Greenhouses proposed for Cobleskill. Investors nation-wide now have access to each project profile in addition to a community profile of Schoharie County.

Cooperative Investment, Shared Returns
Through CARES Act funding, MVEDD and Schoharie County Stakeholders are working cooperatively to develop marketable concepts and considering unique pubic-private investment models that will attract the shifting supply chain to viable sites. While 65 featured real estate sites are top of mind in the County along Interstate-88 and the State Route 7 corridor, more detailed market studies with MRB and Elan consultants will fine tune the effort and conceptualize site development. SEEC is on the leadership team directing the initiative.

SAVE THE DATE, MVEDD Brownfield Developers Summit
Holiday Inn, Johnstown, NY October 6 – 7, 2021

SUNY Cobleskill President Terenzio is slated to open the Summit representing her role as the Co-Chair of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council. And, SEEC Executive Director, Julie Pacatte is a panel discussion moderator for “Building Your Capital Stack: Funding Redevelopment” scheduled for October 6. Hear how to layer and leverage funding using financial and non-monetary incentives to make your project ‘pencil out’. Understanding your capital stack can not only help protect your investment but also assess your costs and returns. Presenting panelists will represent: Kearney Realty & Development, MV Edge and Hodgson-Russ LLP

The Mohawk Valley Developers Summit has been coordinated by the Center for Creative Land Recycling.