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News stories tagged with "local-business"

They lack a commercial kitchen or facility that would allow them to make their product.

Potsdam mulls community "food incubator"

Small-time food entrepreneurs face a big obstacle in making anything from BBQ sauce to salsa for sale. Federal regulations require that food to be produced in a certified kitchen or processing facility. And most individuals can't afford to build their own.

Tomorrow at 3 o'clock, officials in Potsdam are hosting a meeting to consider building what they call a community "food incubator".

But village economic developer Jim Murphy says it would give a boost to artesanal food entrepreneurs. Murphy told David Sommerstein he's noticed a big increase in microloan applications from people who want to sell a food product.  Go to full article
Mary Gwyneth Holland (front) is using the web to sell her clothing to high-end clients.  Also pictured are Ruby Sprowls and Pam Rose of Boyden Brook Body Works.
Mary Gwyneth Holland (front) is using the web to sell her clothing to high-end clients. Also pictured are Ruby Sprowls and Pam Rose of Boyden Brook Body Works.

Local entrepreneurs seek markets online

Six year ago, then-Senator Hillary Clinton came to Clarkson University in Potsdam. She met local artisans and browsed their tables of handmade scarves and soaps and fishing rods. And she announced a new collaboration between Ebay, Clarkson, and the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce to get those products to bigger markets.

The Northern Adirondack Trading Cooperative was born. It's since trained hundreds of local entrepreneurs in how to make websites and network and market online. A new 14-week course begins next Thursday at four locations across the North Country, in Canton, Malone, Watertown and Westport.

David Sommerstein talks with Ruby Sprowls, director of the Northern Adirondack Trading Cooperative, clothes designer Mary Gwyneth Holland from Colton, and Pam Rose, office manager of Boyden Brook Body Works in Canton.

To register for the class, call Ruby Sprowls at 315-386-4000.  Go to full article
The Canton store that was once Ames, then Wise Buys, then Hacketts -- now shuttered.
The Canton store that was once Ames, then Wise Buys, then Hacketts -- now shuttered.

Seaway Valley & Hacketts: a special report

This morning, we have a special report on how two North Country retailers, Hacketts and Wise Buys, came together in a shifting delta of deals and dreams. And debt, because this is a story of a bold idea for a homegrown venture gone sour. Republican Dede Scozzafava's run for Congress helped turned the spotlight on the business dealings of her brother, Tom, and her involvement in them. But the fortunes of Wise Buys and Hacketts had been in the headlines for years. They were joined two years ago in a new company, headed by Tom Scozzafava. Seaway Valley Capital Corporation has now absorbed other local businesses as well, including Sackets Harbor Brewery and Alteri's bakery in Watertown. Dede Scozzafava plays no active role in the company, but she is one of its most valued lenders. The company is now buried under $37 million in debt, double its assets. A look at the company's public filings shows a thicket of complex debt instruments, used to raise capital and pay off other loans. Stockholders have lost millions of dollars. As with all struggling companies, it wasn't supposed to turn out this way. In this special report, David Sommerstein untangles the complicated story of Seaway Valley, Hacketts, and Dede and Tom Scozzafava.  Go to full article
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe

A Year of Hard Choices: Bucking the trend, a business built to last

On Monday, SUNY Potsdam economics professor Greg Gardner described a theory of development that he believes may be a good fit for the North Country in today's economy. Instead of trying to hook that big fish to create hundreds of jobs at once, Gardner says make your community attractive to young entrepreneurs. "Having educated creative people who then want to live in your community because it's a nice place to live," Gardner says, "and if they can't find a job, they'll just make one." For today's installment of A Year of Hard Choices, we meet a Canton couple who fit this profile to a "T". Ken and Katrina Hebb own the Blackbird Café on the main corner in the village. They say despite the recession, their business is thriving. David Sommerstein has their story.  Go to full article

Pros and cons persist as Walmart opens in Potsdam

The Potsdam Walmart parking lot was jam-packed. The 188,000 sq. ft. Supercenter just outside Potsdam on the main road to Canton opened its doors yesterday. The grand opening ended a decade-long quest to locate in the community. There was a site change, public hearings with volatile exchanges between Walmart foes and friends. There was a court challenge that lasted more than a year, and a dust-up between the village and the retail giant over extending a sewer line to the store. David Sommerstein hit the streets of downtown Potsdam for reaction yesterday. He spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Community Bank acquires Tupper Lake National

One year after celebrating its hundredth year in business, Tupper Lake National Bank has been purchased by a bank chain based in DeWitt, near Syracuse. Community Bank will pay roughly $17 million in cash for the bank's assets, including three branch offices and an insurance company. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
Larry "The Fish Guy" LaRue of Ogdensburg.
Larry "The Fish Guy" LaRue of Ogdensburg.

Heard Up North: Larry's fish truck

All summer long, seafood lovers in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties are keeping their eyes open for a white truck with a big red lobster on its side. It's Larry's fish truck. He has been selling fresh fish packed in ice from Maine and Boston for nearly 15 years. He's today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article
Retail storeowners brainstorm ways to boost winter business in Clayton
Retail storeowners brainstorm ways to boost winter business in Clayton

Clayton Tries to 'Extend the Season'

Every summer, the Thousand Islands bustles with tourists and seasonal residents, all boating, fishing, dining, shopping, and spending money. But the economic boom dries up after Labor Day, leaving local businesses to shut down or suffer through the long winter. The village of Clayton is trying to reverse that trend and keep downtown shops open longer. As David Sommerstein reports, the effort reflects a new political and demographic reality in town.  Go to full article

Clinton To Tout North Country E-Commerce

Senator Hillary Clinton will make a swing through Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties Saturday. She'll unveil an initiative to promote locally made foods and crafts on the Internet. And she'll meet with Fort Drum's new commander. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Sap Flows Above Average

The wild temperature fluctuations this winter have been good to New York's maple syrup producers. David Sommerstein reports the sap flow is already above average.  Go to full article

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