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St. Lawrence County IDA appeals to Ontario businesses with low-cost power

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CANTON - The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency is hoping to use the availability of low-cost power and other economic enhancement tools to draw in businesses from Ontario, where the price of electricity is jumping.

“In all of our inquiries with potential firms, power is an issue,” IDA Executive Director Patrick J. Kelly said. “If we bring that message to them, hopefully it becomes an item of interest.”

The potential of low-cost power opens the door to other discussions about opportunities in the county, Mr. Kelly said.

The IDA has sent out mailers this month to various Ontario businesses encouraging them to expand across the border. The brochure pushes low-cost economic development power available through the New York Power Authority’s Preservation Power Program and low-cost power through the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency.

The IDA’s marketing strategy has not been lost in Ontario, where a recent article in the Brockville Recorder on the energy crisis noted that St. Lawrence County is contacting Canadian firms to promote electricity rates at 50 percent less than those in Ontario, which are the highest in North America.

The IDA mailer also promotes research and collaboration with colleges, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Start-Up NY initiative to create tax-free zones, the county’s labor force, buildings and greenfield industrial sites available for use, the foreign trade zone through the Ogdensburg Commerce Park, an advanced telecommunications network, and the geographic advantage of being between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Canadian businesses have long been a target market of the IDA, but the energy price hikes in Ontario raise the county’s advantages, Mr. Kelly said.

“We have significant savings if they want to expand over here,” he said.

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