Monroe County Economic Development & Entrepreneurship

By: Judy Seil

1. Tell us about Monroe County Economic Development. The purpose of the Economic Development Department is to work with businesses which are investing in buildings and equipment and creating (and retaining) jobs.  We offer incentives to these companies in return for their investment in our community and the jobs created and retained.

2. What are the perks of doing business in Monroe County? Monroe County offers a talented and skilled workforce, great quality of life, and our department offers businesses many incentives not offered in offer counties.  For example, our Monroe Manufactures Jobs program, rewards graduates of the MCC Applied Technology Center with a $1,500 bonus if they work at Monroe County manufacturing company for a year.  In addition, the company receives a $1,500 bonus.  We have developed incentive programs to meet the needs of our companies and workforce.  Our programs can be found on the Monroecounty.gov website.

3. What Monroe County Economic Development resources exist that could help prospective entrepreneurs? In 2006, County Executive Maggie Brooks saw a need to work with budding entrepreneurs in the community.  Monroe County is the founding sponsor of The Entrepreneurs Network or TEN.

TEN is one of Upstate New York’s fastest growing initiatives designed to bolster new ventures (early stage technology; life sciences) AND established firms (scalable, high-revenue potential; family-owned; and/or ownership transitioning). TEN members do better: winning government grants and contracts, increasing revenues by retooling sales & marketing strategy, and securing equity financing or traditional sources. More than 200 participants have graduated from the TEN program.  For more information on TEN go the the website at ten-ny.org.

4. What advice would you give to prospective female entrepreneurs? Use all the resources possible, from your accountant to your attorney to your banker to your local economic developer, to make sure you are taking advantage of all the programs available to move your business forward and to the next level.  Also, mentors are so important.  Look to the successful business people in the community and see if you can pick their brain.  Successful entrepreneurs typically like to share their “secrets” on how to make your business grow.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.

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