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December 07, 2016
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Of small businesses and casinos; A conversation about the future of Sullivan County

Marc Baez, president and CEO of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, tells the legislature his activities have been “nonstop” since the passage of the casinos referendum in the November election.
TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

At one point, Jennifer Brylinski, executive director of the IDA, laid out the agency’s record in assisting businesses with fewer than 50 people. She said, “In the last five years, eight of our tax abatement projects have been for small businesses; there have been five small business projects involving the revolving loan fund; there has been one project in the agri-business revolving loan fund; there have been seven projects in the rural micro-entrepreneur; and there have been five small business projects in the Millennium program.”

Before the meeting ended, Sorensen took the discussion back to casinos. He said, “Sullivan County is at a crossroads, and how we develop from this point forward is going to determine the character of the community for years to come. Do we become more like Saratoga, more like Vermont and that very attractive, well designed development that fits into this bucolic setting that we all appreciate and love, or do we become Kissimmee, Florida [near Disney World], the strip retail center with signs and billboards all over the place. And honestly, I think right now, it could go either way.”