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Dan Hust | Democrat

This Coach USA bus was sporting a new wraparound advertisement for Sullivan County just outside Bethel Woods yesterday. Inside, county officials were heralding the efforts of the ad’s originator, the new Economic Development Corporation.

EDC unveils website,
projects, ads and aid

By Dan Hust
BETHEL — November 30, 2010 — With a shiny new website projected on Bethel Woods’ enormous screen, Sullivan County leaders touted the newly-created Economic Development Corporation (EDC) yesterday.
“I think people are going to come to understand that ‘together works,’” Legislature Chair Jonathan Rouis told the small crowd of officials and media.
Formed by the county government earlier this year, the EDC includes the county and its Partnership for Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Development Agency, Center for Workforce Development, Visitors Association and private-business representatives from agriculture and healthcare.
“The main goal,” reads a section of the new website,, “is to foster a positive and unified public image for Sullivan County.”
To that end, a new signage campaign was introduced, featuring the “Mountains of Opportunities” logo the Visitors Association created a year ago.
And a Coach USA bus was parked out front, with a wraparound advertisement promoting the county.
Envisioned as an umbrella organization, the EDC is involved in a number of projects started by its constituent agencies: the Apollo redevelopment in Monticello, the Emerald Corporate Center in Rock Hill, the coming red meat processing facility in Liberty, and downtown revitalizations in Monticello, Liberty, Callicoon, Narrowsburg and Barryville.
Of particular note to entrepreneurs is a combined $525,000 revolving loan fund, with the ability to complete online applications for low-interest, $10,000-$100,000 loans for commercial projects.
And for those looking for property, “we are proud to feature direct access to commercial real estate listings, thanks to our partnership with the Sullivan County Board of Realtors,” announced Planning Commissioner and EDC President Luiz Aragon.
“We aim to become a single point of contact for potential investors and existing businesses in Sullivan County,” he affirmed.
County Manager David Fanslau said the EDC’s coordinated efforts are needed in a county where sales tax revenue has taken a $4 million tumble in the past two years – and where the unemployment/underemployment rate is close to 17 percent.
Casinos are no sure bet, he acknowledged, and even if they arrive, the county must focus on diversification.
“We can’t put all of our eggs in one basket,” Fanslau said.

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