All posts by pedc4usr

Putnam County: A Nature Lover’s Dream

May 22, 2018

Putnam County: A Nature Lover’s Dream

The Mid Hudson Valley is a jewel within the state of New York, known for its authentic country atmosphere immediately north of the most popular tourist destination of New York City. Hidden within is Putnam County, popular for its “Quality of Life” including atmosphere and recreation. In this series on Tourism in Putnam County, we will explore what makes Putnam such an attractive option for site selectors and developers looking to expand within or relocate to Putnam County.

According to a study done by Tourism Economics, Putnam County’s top 3 tourist attractions include Food/Beverage, Retail, and Recreation. These sectors illustrate the Farm-to-table movement, the trend toward the support of local craftspeople, and the popularity of outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking, and cycling (Source: Putnam County Visitor’s Bureau).

Tourism: Key to the “Quality of Life”

When considering a move or expansion within Putnam County, the “Quality of Life” factor is gaining to the top of the list. Companies want to bring their businesses and employees to a location that matches the company atmosphere; a healthy living brand would most likely not relocate to a neighborhood devoid of the opportunity to spend time outdoors or a city that only offers fast food restaurants.

When considering a new location “Quality of Life” encompasses factors such as: Walkability or Mass Transit access, Downtown amenities, Cost of Living (Housing),Broadband Infrastructure, to name a few.

Additionally, there are the cultural aspects of a location to consider. The diversity of the population (age, race, Gender), recreation options, and voting patterns are some the aspects an organization will seriously research before making their decision.

When it comes to these factors, Putnam has a lot to offer! Known for its hiking trails on the famous Appalachian mountain, Rail Trail bike paths, and restaurants with farm-to-market fresh food offerings Putnam is a well- rounded location to for a developing business (Source: NFK).

Interested in finding out how Putnam County is the right fit for your business? Call the Putnam EDC today at 845.808.1021 and find out how the EDC can work for you!

Solar Panels are perfect for Green Building jobs

The Benefits of Green Building

May 22, 2018

Going Green is going strong, with more support than ever being greener seems to be the new wave of the future. Every day more and more people are becoming green to try and combat the ever-looming reality of global warming. In order to fight this people are including aspects of eco-friendly solutions into their day-to-day lives, and even in their business practices.

What is Green Building?

Green building is a building project that is environmentally friendly, that is, it doesn’t disrupt the land, water, resources, and provides a healthy environment for all involved. To quote the Environmental Protection Agency “Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high-performance building.”

What are the benefits of Green Building?

There is one very apparent benefit to green building: it’s an environmentally friendly solution to building. The act of being environmentally friendly in itself is cost effective. Because you are building everything in the most efficient, conservative manner possible you are already saving money. Beyond that, you can reap tons of savings through efficient lighting and power use. You also can create a market for green products and services, which is an ever-growing niche. Furthermore, being environmentally friendly means you’re reducing water waste, conversing natural resources, improving local air and water quality, and protecting biodiversity in the local ecosystem.

This extends far past economic reasons; we must all chip in to help save the environment. Putnam County has some of the most beautiful and scenic trails in New York, when you choose to start a building project using green methods you’re actively choosing to conserve these beautiful trails.

NYSEG Approved Energy Efficient Light Bulb

NYSEG Energy Incentives

May 22, 2018

The New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG) is offering incentives for businesses to switch over to more efficient energy solutions. This program is open to any “nonresidential commercial, industrial, and institutional customers and municipalities that pay an electricity and/or natural as System Benefits Charge (SBC) or their utility bills. While this extends to businesses there’s also one for private households!

Commercial and Industrial rebate program

NYSEG is offering rebates that may coincide with what you already use for any energy-efficient projects. Beyond that, they also offer custom rebates if you use energy-saving upgrades that aren’t listed.

Lighting – Prescriptive Rebates

First and foremost is lighting, as most overheads come from energy consumption from lights. Most rebates offered by NYSEG for lighting is as simple as replacing fluorescent, halogen, or incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Any of the LED replacements must be ENERGY STAR® or DesignLights Consortium™ approved. This extends to most forms of light, from two-foot bulbs found in ceilings to exit signs.  However one of the more big-ticket items is Remote-Mounted Occupancy Sensors, which utilize passive infrared and/or ultrasonic technologies. No listed items require Rebate calculator.

Natural Gas Equipment – Prescriptive Rebates

As NYSEG is also a gas corporation, they also care about efficient gas consumption. Their guidelines for boilers are as follows:

  • Backup or standby heating equipment is not eligible.
  • Equipment must operate a minimum of 2,000 hours a year.
  • Eligible equipment must be rated and certified by Air Conditioning, Heating and
    Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), or be UL-listed.
  • Rebate Calculator is not required for these measures.

Controls, Thermostats, and Thermal Equalizers

Controls, thermostats and thermal equalizers also have their own guidelines that may coincide with what you already have installed:

  • Thermostat must communicate via Wi-Fi
  • Thermostat must be installed in a small commercial building and must be connected to each new, qualifying furnace or boiler and/or to each existing furnace or boiler
  • Thermostat must allow set point adjustment from anywhere via a remote application on a smart device such as phone or tablet.
  • Thermostat must include an outdoor air temperature algorithm with logic to operate primary heating and cooling systems.
  • Thermostats with additional functionality also qualify for this incentive if the above requirements are met.
  • Thermal Equalizer Units must be installed in a gas-heated space with ceiling height > 20 feet and must service a minimum of 1,000 square feet per unit.

Boiler Tune-Ups

Now even boiler Tune-Ups qualify for a rebate by NYSEG, however, these rebates are only available once per 24-month period. The general requirements for a Tune-Up rebate are:

  • Only natural gas-fired boilers under 1,600 MBH input are eligible
  • Process loads or space heating only.
  • Tune-up service must include:
  1. Cleaning of burners, combustion chamber, and burner nozzles.
  2. Adjusting airflow and reducing excessive stack temperatures.
  3. Adjusting burner and gas input.
  4. Inspection of venting, safety controls and adequacy of combustion air intake.
  5. Measuring combustion efficiency for High Fire before and after tune-up using a flue gas analyzer
  6. Burners must be adjusted to show an improvement in combustion efficiency.
  • Tune-up is to be performed by a qualified technician.

These three aren’t the only natural gas solutions that NYSEG is offering rebates for, for the full comprehensive list and guideline click here. No listed items require a Rebate calculator.

Electronic Non-Lighting Equipment ­– Prescriptive Rebates

Of course, not all electronic equipment is lighting, and that’s precisely why NYSEG also has rebates for non-lighting electronic equipment that’s energy efficient.

First, we have Unitary HVAC and the general requirements needed by NYSEG for you to get a rebate:

  • Eligible systems are electric heat pumps, unitary equipment (e.g., single packaged rooftop units) and split systems.
  • Eligible equipment must be rated and certified by Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), be UL-listed, and use minimum ozone-depleting refrigerant (e.g., HCFC or HFC).
  • Equipment efficiency (both EER and IEER) must be calculated in accordance with applicable AHRI Standard rating conditions.
  • Qualifying split systems must have both a new condenser and a new coil, both rated in accordance with applicable AHRI Standards, where the matched system performance (condenser and coil) meets or exceeds the minimum efficiency outlined in the table below.

HVAC Chillers

Now specifically for HVAC Chillers, they have their own list of criteria:

  • Only units that meet both Full Load and IPLV minimum requirements are eligible for rebates.
  • HVAC equipment using chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) as a refrigerant is not eligible for a rebate.
  • Air-cooled chiller efficiencies shall include condenser fan energy consumption.
  • For Water Cooled Centrifugal Chiller with factory mounted VFD, use IPLV to calculate the rebate.
  •  Efficiency ratings for Full Load or IPLV kW/ton must be calculated at AHRI standard rating conditions per AHRI Standard 550/590-98 including but not limited to the following:
  1. 44 degrees F; leaving chilled water; 2.4 gpm/ton.
  2. 95 degrees F; entering condenser air (air-cooled chillers only).
  3. 85 degrees F; entering condenser water (water-cooled chillers only); 3.0 gpm/ton

Chiller Tune-Ups

Much like the Tune-up rebates for boilers, HVAC Chiller Tune-Ups have their own general requirements:

  • Rebates are available once per 24-month period.
  • Only electric chillers are eligible.
  • The following steps are required to qualify as a chiller tune-up:
  1. Inspect and clean evaporator and condenser coils/tubes.
  2. Inspect and replace filters, belts, and contactors.
  3. Inspect cooling towers for buildup or scale.
  4. Inspect control operation and setpoints.
  5. Inspect crankcase heater operation.
  6. Inspect economizer functionality.

This is not a comprehensive list of all Non-Lighting Electric Equipment you can get a rebate on, so be sure to click here for the full list. No listed items require a Rebate calculator.

Custom Rebates

If your business, or other private institution, does not meet the criteria listed but does use energy-saving technologies NYSEG also offers rebates for those as well. If you visit this site and scroll down to “Custom Rebates” there are three links containing calculator so you can see how much you save! “If your project saves energy and it’s cost-effective, we’re interested!” They proudly exclaim on their website.

After you verify that your project is eligible and meets the requirements specified on the application forms you can download the appropriate application and complete each section. Then once you attach all required documentation you can submit the completed applications via fax or email. Afterwards NYSEG will follow up with you and you’ll be mailed a rebate 6 to 8 weeks after project completion and approval! Not only will energy efficient products save you money in the long run, but also NYSEG will pay you to use them!

These are not your grandfather’s manufacturing jobs!

April 18, 2018

“Meet the Makers” looks into what’s new in Mid-Hudson Valley manufacturing

Why are so many local manufacturers struggling to find the help they need?

The Mid-Hudson Valley region with its easy access to markets regionally, nationally and internationally and its exceptional quality of life is ideally positioned to nourish the continued growth of manufacturing. Manufactures here are presently offering a wealth of opportunity including excellent wages and benefits packages to skilled workers who can help them grow. The Council of Industry, National Association of Manufacturer’s look at national trends and figures reports that in 2014, the average U.S. manufacturing worker earned $79,586 annually, including pay and benefits.

What then is the reason behind so many job vacancies?

That’s one of the questions Jill Varricchio, president of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (Putnam County EDC) posed to the 76 registered manufacturing companies within her region at the end of 2017.

Their revealing answers prompted her to initiate a series of releases—Meet the Makers—to shed light on some of the findings. This first in the series focuses on Larry Fryer, president of Fryer Machines in Patterson, New York.

Housed in a 65,000 square-foot facility, Fryer Machines manufactures a diverse line of over 50 models of high quality machine tools. In addition to its standard line, Fryer also produces customized machines for a number of major companies in the aerospace and automotive markets.

According to Mr. Fryer, manufacturing has come a long way since workers lived near industrial centers and were paid minimum wages for sitting long hours on assembly lines. Yet this misconception prevails and is a major barrier to entry into today’s modern, advanced manufacturing field. Many individuals who possess or could develop the skills necessary to have a career in manufacturing often don’t apply because they don’t realize the sector has changed and/or they don’t fully understand what opportunities manufacturing now can offer them.

“Today’s workers are no longer “blue-collar,” he says. “Silver collar is more apt—somewhere between labor and “white-collar” management.” Many of the repetitive jobs that many people still associate with manufacturing are now accomplished by automated technology, he explains. In this digital age of manufacturing, the lion’s share of design and production are handled by computers. People who are creative and computer-savvy are typically first in line for the jobs available today and they’re highly recompensed for their skills.

The story of Mr. Fryer’s entry into and rise to prominence in the field sheds light on how quickly manufacturing technology has progressed. After completing his studies in electronic engineering, he sought a career as a recording engineer: music was his passion. But soon he discovered an affinity for a different kind of heavy metal: CNC machining captured his imagination. Like many successful start-ups from the 80’s, Fryer started his company in his garage at his home.

CNC Machining stands for Computer Numerical Control. As its name implies, it is a process that involves the use of computers to control machine tools. CNC machining makes it possible to pre-program the speed and position of machine tool functions and run them with software in repetitive, predictable cycles, all with little involvement from human operators. With these capabilities, the process has been adopted across all corners of the manufacturing sector and is especially vital in the areas of metal and plastic production.

Fryer incorporated new advancements into his company’s repertoire–from 3-axis machines that can move a part in two directions as the tool moves up and down to 5-axis capabilities that can rotate on two additional axes which helps the cutting tool approach the part from all directions. The process differs from another area of advanced manufacturing with vast potential for growth in the region–3-D printing. Simply put, 3D printing is a process that builds an object by adding materials layer by layer while a CNC machine removes material from a block to create the final product. “3D printing doesn’t maintain the same accuracy for our purposes. It isn’t as strong as what we require for the kind of metal production we do,” he adds.

He soon needed room to grow but the cost of doing business was prohibitive in his hometown in Westchester County. He secured a 10,000 square foot facility in nearby Putnam County. Putnam could serve as a hub to his growing distributorship while providing more affordable expansion possibilities to accommodate future grown. He quickly outgrew his new headquarters and moved to an even larger—40,000 square foot facility—also within the confines of Putnam. He has continued to expand that location to its current 65,000 square foot footprint.

Yesterday it was rarely possible to work in manufacturing and enjoy the quality of life a community like Putnam has to offer. Today, his highly skilled workforce has the earning potential to enjoy living in a family-oriented location filled with recreational opportunities.

Fryer Machines is a member of the Council of Industry of Southeastern New York, a 100-year-old not for profit of approximately 150 manufacturing firms with 50 or more employees. Harold King, executive vice president, says a smaller number of workers with expert skills can now produce what it took many to accomplish yesterday. Today’s skilled manufacturing force can command higher salaries and reap greater benefits than what was available a few generations ago and many diverse paths are open to pursue–from management and supervision to mechanical engineers, mechanics, computer programmers, designers and more. “There aren’t enough people ready to take advantage of the many opportunities available,” he says. King reports that “there are many existing and in-the-making initiatives that are geared to fill this growing need like apprenticeships that help people learn valuable skills while they earn a paycheck. There are also paid internships that can accelerate the placement of candidates with potential. But the demand for skilled workers is still far greater than the supply.”

So where does an employer like Larry Fryer look to find the manufacturing professionals he needs? In addition to high school graduates who have selected a technology tract, the company also seeks older individuals eager for a career change. “Most of our employees come to us at the age of 30 or over. Some can be in their 40’s and embarking on a new career. Veterans returning to civilian life are excellent candidates,” he says. But in spite of offering a solid living wage and providing a career in a dynamic field, it is still a challenge for manufacturers to secure the workforce they need. “The government needs to do more to help us open doors,” Fryer says.

Opening doors is quite literally part of Jill Varricchio’s job description. “Putnam already offers manufacturers an inventory of standing properties as well as ready-to-build sites,” she says. “We also have the quality of life that many skilled workers will find ideal along with a proximity to the centers they will want to visit–like New York City,” for example. “What we need to do now is spread the word about what manufacturing in general and our region in particular has to offer. We’re hoping that our Meet the Makers initiative will do exactly that.”

Contact Jill Varricchio for more information, 845 808 1021

The Importance of Franchising in Small Business

April 5, 2018

When mentioning franchises the first thing that pops into one’s mind is fast food chains. This isn’t always the case, however, there are plenty of types of franchises that exist beyond fast food chains. Beyond fast food franchises, there are also retailers, personal services, and janitorial services, to name a few.

The Economic Census releases detailed data on businesses and franchises every five years, with this year being a year they’re conducting in. Collected for the first time in the 2007 census the franchise questions will be covering over 300 different types of industries and measure such things as the number of franchisee and franchisor-owned businesses along with their total employment, annual payroll, and sales. These questions came about as a partnership between International Franchise Association (IFA) and the U.S. Census Bureau. This provides entrepreneurs with valuable data while also improve general data quality for these given industries.

What does the Data say?

After the 2012 Economic Census, there was a lot of revealing information that came forth. Some of the highlights were

An estimated 122,042 limited-service franchise restaurants make up approximately 54% of all fast-food restaurants in the United States, 70% of the sales of fast-food restaurants, and about 73% if the employment of fast-food restaurants,

  • About 63% of the 3,159 private mail centers in the United States franchises.
  • Approximately 53% of the 3,168 diet and weight reducing centers are franchises.
  • Even though only 3% of the 23,931 used car dealers in the United States are franchises, they make a whopping 24% of the sales in its industry and sees 17% of the total employment in the industry.
  • There are only 77 out of the 10,243 general warehousing and storage businesses that are franchises, but the average payroll for the employee is 114,598, which is 75,954 more than average for businesses in this industry.\

What does this mean?

Just looking at numbers doesn’t do much to explain the impact that franchising may have on your business. If you’re looking to start a business there are plenty of advantages you can benefit from by starting a franchised business. For example, since franchises will shoulder the responsibilities that otherwise would have to be taken care of by the corporate home office, you can leverage these efforts to reduce staffing. Beyond this franchising can be an alternative form of capital acquisition. Since the franchise provides the capital to open and operate a unit you can expand without risk of debt or the cost of equity.

Because of increasing reward in the inherent risk-reward of starting a business many local entrepreneurs are turning towards franchising for opening a business. While many franchises will offer capital for thing like opening a unit it is still on the franchisee to do a lot of the local work. This would include tasks such as scouting for a site, local market research, advertising, hiring processes, etc. Starting a business is a difficult task that involves calculating a seemingly endless amount of variables. If you live in Putnam County, New York and have questions pertaining to this contact us at https://putnamedc.org/contact-us/.

Shopping Local in Pike County

The Importance of Shopping Local

April 5, 2018

Shopping local is the cornerstone of any local economy. Shopping local helps small businesses grow and thrive. Not to mention it bolsters the community in which you live. Let’s take a look at some great reasons why shopping local is important:

1. It keeps your local economy thriving

When you spend money on a local business your buying into your city’s economy. A Chicago study showed that for every $100 spent at a local business $68 remained in the city, while only $43 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer remained in the city. Local businesses buy their supplies from other small business; it’s a huge network that plays into itself. This network can only work if you, the customer, buy their product. When you buy from a local business you’re not giving your money to a billionaire in California, you’re giving it to a neighbor, a friend.

2. It keeps your community unique

When visiting a town or city often times tourists search for unique places to shop at. Any town can have a Wal-Mart but there’s only one Village Bikes. When you decide to buy products from a local business instead of chain you’re actively keeping your community more unique, and you let it stand out from other communities.

3. Product Diversity

When you have several small businesses each offering their own niche then they can provide your community with a more diverse catalog of products. These businesses can also tailor themselves to best suit the community as a whole since they work directly with the customers. Large retailers have a “one size fits all” approach to stocking products, leaving it largely the same from area to area.

4. Customer service is more personal and hands-on

We’ve all been there before: calling up a 1-800 number, waiting on the phone for what seems like hours, just to talk to a robot about how your product didn’t meet your expectations. Unlike big businesses, smaller businesses have the time to work directly with the customer to make sure they’re getting the help they need. Often times when shopping at a local business you can talk directly with the owner at any point.

When you buy from your local shop you’re not just buying what you want, but you’re helping the economy. Your money is a seed that you’re planting into the community’s economy. Next time you go to buy groceries look to see if there’s a Farmer’s Market open. Next time you go to buy clothes check to see if your local clothing boutique has anything snazzy first. Instead of buying a coffee at a chain joint, go to your local café.  When you buy local, you support a neighbor, and also your community as a whole.

Putnam County's Earth Day

How to Stay Green this Earth Day

April 5, 2018

Putnam County is home to some very gorgeous scenery, especially hiking trails. It’s important to take care of the environment, and with Earth Day approaching there’s no better time to talk about it. Let’s take a look at some ways you can stay green and help keep Putnam County beautiful:

1. Don’t Litter

This may seem like common sense, but sometimes common sense isn’t so common. When you walk down a scenic trail you might notice plastic bottles on the sides. Not only is this an eyesore for avid hikers but it damages plant and animal life as well. If you’re planning on hiking, be sure to bring a backpack that you can throw your trash into instead of throwing it into the woods

2. Consider biking or walking

Biking or walking to your destination instead of driving serves a multitude of purposes. The most eco-friendly of these purposes is that you’re not releasing CO2 into the air. Cutting down on your fuel emissions also saves you money; the less you drive the less you spend on gas! Not only that, but exercise like biking has a lot of health benefits, like preventing obesity or heart disease.

3. Let the light in!

The sun is just about the brightest light source for a few hundred million miles. Instead of having light bulbs on during the day, open up your curtains and let the sun illuminate your home. Not only does this save you money on your electric bill, but also it helps prevent unneeded energy use which helps the environment.

4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

This popular tagline has been the motto of environmentalists for ages, and for good reason too. Reducing the amount of waste you produce helps cut costs in almost every area. People on average waste about 20 pounds of food and that adds up! Reusing old clothes, books, DVDs, etc. also helps the environment. Instead of companies having to print new books, you can just borrow copies from the library. While recycling helps the planet by reusing plastics and metals, it also helps you stay out of trouble with the law.

Take these steps to help keep Putnam County, and the world, more beautiful. If you’d like to learn more about how Putnam County stays green visit http://www.putnamcountyny.com/green-putnam/ They also have resources so you can find recycling centers near you!