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Niagara County economic vision to be laid out

STAFF REPORTS

                                                                                                                           
LOCKPORT -- County lawmakers will be briefed on what Economic Development Committee Chairwoman Kathryn L. Lance, R-Wheatfield, calls a "robust agenda for economic growth as the U.S. economy takes on new signs of life" at tonight's meeting of the County Legislature.

"We are building a reputation as a business-friendly community, creating new business opportunities, bringing jobs and investment to Niagara County," Lance will tell colleagues—which, she will note, is "attracting attention to our great region."

Lance will highlight several key areas of economic development opportunity, including the launching of the Borderworx Logistics in the county's federally-designated Foreign Trade Zone last month. That effort involved significant collaboration with the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

"The Niagara County IDA provided the incentives necessary to attract Borderworx Logistics to the Vantage International Point industrial park and worked with them to reactivate 31 acres of the Foreign Trade Zone, or FTZ, which Borderworx will administer," Lance is expected to say.

The county will vigorously market the FTZ, according to Lance, by providing manufacturers with access to "financial incentives and technical assistance available through Global NY, as well as the numerous ways that a company can take advantage of...the FTZ to cut costs, improve cash flow, and expedite shipments."

Lance is also likely to focus on successes achieved through the county's Canadian Marketing campaign, which netted the county Bridgestone's 65,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in 2016. "This effort paid off with the creation of 89 new jobs and nearly $14 million in new plant and equipment," Lance said.

Lance will tonight announce that, doubling down on the efforts that led to the Bridgestone plant, the county will continue to aggressively seek companies that want to locate in Western New York, by continuing to participate in events like the Select USA conference held in Washington and a statewide marketing campaign.

Lance will also roll out several new initiatives, including an "Airport Business District Fiber Optic Network" and development of the Western New York First Response and Preparedness Center in the Town of Niagara.