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In a place like Long Lake, [creating] 2 or 3 new jobs is as important...as 100 new jobs is in a lot of other communities.

North Country Regional Economic Development Council public meetings begin tonight

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The North Country Regional Economic Council will hold the first of three public meetings tonight in Plattsburgh. Next, on Wednesday, it will meet in Tupper Lake, then in Watertown the following Monday.

The council is one of ten that will compete for a piece of the state's $200 million economic
development fund. Four regions will get $40 million--others will get less.

At the meetings, council members will explain how the process works, and open the floor to peoples' suggestions on what the North Country should be doing to grow its economy and create jobs.

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Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

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Garry Douglas is president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the North Country council. He says it’s looking at growing the defense industry in Jefferson County, aerospace around Plattsburg, biotech in Essex and Franklin counties, as well as tourism development in general.

But it’s also looking at how small business can help grow the North Country’s small towns:

"As far as I know so far, we’re the only region that has a working group specifically devoted to small business. We want to see how we can sharpen, redefine, redirect some of the small business support, across the region but certainly in areas like the Adirondack park, where in a place like Long Lake, helping a new business get started that creates 2 or 3 new jobs is as important to that community as a venture with 100 new jobs is in a lot of other communities. We are not going to ignore that."

More information and a place to submit ideas, visit: northcountryopenforbusiness.com. The council will be holding public meetings in St. lawrence, Lewis, Hamilton, and Essex counties in late October. And the council’s plan is due to the state November 14.

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