Economic center looks at record year
PENN YAN--The Finger Lakes Economic Development Center held their annual meeting Friday, March 22 and reported some record-breaking results for county business development.
The meeting was held at the new 20,000 square foot facility built for Finger Lakes Premier Properties last year in the Horizon Business Park. Brian Zerges is the owner of Premier Properties.
Steve Griffin, chief executive officer for the Yates County economic group, reviewed some key highlights from 2018 and some significant news for 2019.
In 2018, Griffin said the economic development center reported these benchmarks:
• $7,571,869 in assets
• 105 business inquiries (a new record over the previous 75 record)
• 59 active loans for businesses in place
• 29 current payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) programs
• 87 new jobs were created for the year from the new businesses
In 2019, Griffin said the county will benefit from the state's $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) along with additional projects in the year that weren't included in the state DRI.
• 100 new jobs are already projected from the DRI projects alone
• More than $25 million in total is scheduled to be invested in Penn Yan from the DRI projects.
Griffin also recognized several local businesses for their achievements in 2018. Griffin congratulated KAN PAK for winning their parent company's (Golden State Foods) Chairman's Challenge award. That award was based on the Penn Yan plant exceeding their financial plan compared to the prior year along with community service participation and business growth plans for delivering high quality products.
Griffin presented the Community Award to Brian Zerges for his work in expanding Finger Lakes Premier Properties in Penn Yan. Griffin said Finger Lakes Premier Properties is now the largest vacation home business in the Finger Lakes and one of the largest in the northeast.
Griffin named the ReFIND Studio and Shop in Penn Yan as the recipient of the Welcome Award for a new business. Claudia Milroy and Carrie Van Valkenburg opened their shop with backgrounds in architecture, marketing, graphic design, exhibit design and event planning.
Griffin summed up his economic development presentation by saying, "I believe we will beat our numbers from last year in 2019 and we will beat those numbers in the year after. We are getting results in Yates County!"