In an effort to further help the economy of the Hudson Valley flourish, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein launched a new economic development guide and website.
The Guide, although useful for all business types, is designed to target the growing film industry, small tech businesses and the food and beverage manufacturing cluster.
“The Woodstock Film Festival has been dubbed the ‘gateway drug’ for directors moving their projects upstate and out of the city,” Hein said at an Oct. 12 press conference and launch event. “The future of filming projects in Ulster County will not only be extraordinary but sustainable as well.”
Not only does the Guide encourage entrepreneurs to build their business in Ulster County because of its proximity to major markets in the Northeast, but also because the area’s natural beauty and “green initiatives.”
As per the culture of Ulster County, the Guide emphasizes the area as one that encourages the balance of work and personal life. Hein described Ulster County as a place to thrive with low cost real estate, stunning landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, charming villages and towns and a conveniently close proximity to New York City.
“What we are really doing here is funding the American Dream,” Hein said. “We have been and will be able to sit back and watch extraordinary things happen here in Ulster County’s business world.”
Major players in the development of the guide include Hein, Jeremy Ellenbogen, Brian Mahoney, Suzanne Holt and James Maloney. Hein dubbed Maloney as the brainchild of the entire initiative.
Maloney is the chair of Ulster County Legislature’s economic development, tourism, housing, planning and transit committee and vice chair of the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance. He described the Guide as a resource that will point entreprenuers in the right direction towards finding solutions for financing, staffing and workforce statistics.
“You can truly have it all in Ulster County,” Maloney said.
The Guide lays out a myriad of Ulster County facts and figures to aid entrepreneurs in figuring out the layout of their business plan. According to the Guide, the total population of Ulster County is 182,493, with 64 percent of that population being of working age. Additionally, the low cost of doing business and living in Ulster County is outlined, supported by figures such as the median household income of $58, 918, a 69 percent homeownership rate and $222,800 in median home value.
“Our business is proud to be located in Ulster County at Seven21 Media Center in Kingston,” said Sean Mahoney, in a press release regarding the Guide’s development. “We feel that the huge increase in growth for our city and the greater county is a direct result of the leadership and work that Mike Hein and his team at the Office of Economic Development is doing everyday.”
According to Mike Hein, the Seven21 Media Center has become an exceptional budding media and tech center. With 37 different media companies, the building is almost at 100 percent capacity, whereas 12 years ago, this was not the case.
“We have remarkable, productive relationships inside and outside of the government,” said Hein. “Economic initiatives such as this move across party lines look to benefit everyone who wishes to help the economy blossom. This is what government should be about.”
The Ulster County Guide to Economic Opportunity can be found online at UlsterforBuisness.com.