Progress reported in marketing facility
PLATTSBURGH -- Progress is also being made on efforts to market the Wyeth facility and to address the concerns of local business owners.

Wyeth Transition Coordinating Council Chairperson Melissa McManus said she was told during a Dec. 13 meeting with local and corporate Wyeth officials the company has assembled an expert team of corporate executives and local experts on the facility.

"They hope to have a marketing document ready by March," she said.

They are expected to market the facility to Canadian and international pharmaceutical concerns.

Efforts are under way to include the facility in a redrawn Clinton County Empire Zone map, which Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said is going to happen.

"I can't overstate the importance of Empire Zone benefits. The company (Wyeth) sees that as a powerful attraction in marketing the facility," he said.

If another pharmaceutical company can't be attracted to the plant, the village submitted a Quality Community grant application to the New York State Department of State on Dec. 5.

The village would hire a consultant for recommendations on reuse based on future markets and an analysis of the costs and benefits to the village, town, school district and county.

The Coordinating Council held an educational fair Dec. 8 and 9, which attracted about 900 people who met with representatives of local education institutions.

North Country Small Business Development Center Director Dee Clark said a survey conducted during the fair found 59 Wyeth employees interested in taking part in two New Venture Workshops.

They are scheduled for Jan. 18 at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Wyeth. The workshops will be presented by center Business Advisor Tony Maglione and will be free of charge to Wyeth employees and an additional family member or significant other.

In addition, an informational meeting and business roundtable discussion is planned for Thursday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m., with a location yet to be determined.

The meeting is intended to inform Northern Tier business owners what is happening in the area, provide an opportunity for them to voice the challenges they anticipate in the coming months and determine what type of assistance would be helpful.

McManus expressed the village's gratitude for what the Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Corp. are doing to identify and address the changes local small businesses are facing.

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