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ARC State Program Manager Comments

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Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED)

Total Qualifying Score: 8
County (ARC Region): Yes
State (ARC Region): Yes
Q3. IRS Status: Nonprofit – 2
Q4. Parent Entity: No – 1
Q5. 2 or More Full-Time Employees : Yes (as of 12/31/2019)
Q7. Budget Level: $250,001 to $1.5 million – 5 (Last Fiscal Year Actual Income)
Q8. Restricted Reserves: Yes – 0
Q9. CARES Act Funding: Yes – 0
Q13. Participation by Executive: Yes


Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED)
Watkins Glen, Schuyler County, New York 14891

County (ARC Region) Schuyler
State (ARC Region) New York


Q1. Mission:

Our mission is to leverage our collaboration with public and private partners to foster a vibrant and diverse rural economy and workforce focused on building high value-added production businesses and innovation hubs while taking advantage of Schuyler County’s natural and cultural environment to create a prosperous community and raise the standard of living for our residents. 

Q2. How organization aligns with ARC’s Plan & Goals:

  1. Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia’s economy;

SCOPED stimulates entrepreneurial culture having created an “Entrepreneurial Bootcamp” beginning in 2015. The organization assists with business strategies, market studies, financial development for start-ups including making angel investor connections, creating conventional banking relationships, providing a SCOPED loan for working capital that can be used to leverage conventional loans, as well as providing assistance with obtaining permitting, legal, accounting and general services. The organization provides succession planning assistance and connections to mentors. Mentors are required for new businesses that take a working capital loan from SCOPED.

  1. Increase the education, knowledge, skills, and health of residents to work and succeed in Appalachia;

SCOPED has a continuous learning initiative underway that has a goal to provide an attitudinal change within the community. The mission is to create an ever-learning community of residents starting from birth with individuals continually learning, and being vital, until death.  We have started by compiling all opportunities for learning, including workplace knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, self-enrichment, physical health improvement, social experiences, arts, literature, IT, outdoor recreation,  and youth-related enrichment (ie Robotics) and youth entrepreneurial experiences.

  1. Invest in critical infrastructure, especially broadband; transportation, including the Appalachian Development Highway System; and water/wastewater systems;

SCOPED has invested in critical infrastructure through Project Seneca, a redevelopment initiative that includes as it first project the development of a regional wastewater treatment facility. This $32 million project had a ribbon-cutting on Friday, October 2, 2020, and allows for two Villages to share resources and reduce operation & management costs while increasing overall capacity to allow for increased economic development. The organization is also advocating for broadband, 5G and other new technologies to provide a digital highway for our community. The Schuyler County Industrial Development Agency, which SCOPED provides administration for, has taken the strengthening and expansion of broadband throughout our area as the major goal – therefore, SCOPED is directly engaged in fulfilling this goal.

  1. Strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by leveraging the Region’s natural and cultural heritage assets; 

SCOPED is the designated economic development organization for Schuyler County and is located in the Finger Lakes of New York. Seneca Lake is a key asset for the economic vitality of the County. Within the County, also, are 44 named waterfalls, many of them within the Watkins Glen State Park (named the 2nd best State Park in the US). The County is home to over 100 wineries, breweries, distilleries, cideries.  The County is home to Watkins Glen, the home of the first American Road Race following WWII.  It is now known globally as a cultural center for international racing as Formula 1 Racing for North America was hosted by Watkins Glen International from the 1960’s-1980.  The area receives over 4 million visitors annually.  The County economy relies on the tourism that flows to the beverage facilities as well as to the vineyards, trout streams, 9000-acre Sugar Hill State Forest, and the Finger Lakes National Forest (the only national forest in the state of New York). Within our traded sector, the number one export for economic development is lumber. The value of this exported good is critical for our well-being and is a natural resource we must continually strengthen.  SCOPED is very concerned about the devastating impact that the Emerald Ash Borer has had and the impact that the blue-green algae and Lantern Fly may have on our tourism economy. Tourism is the largest employment sector for our county and has been unbelievably impacted by COVID 19.   

  1. Build the capacity and skills of current and next-generation leaders and organizations to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development.

SCOPED started the Leadership Schuyler program in 2002. This program is designed to provide experiences, exposure, skills development, strategic planning, and management training for the next generation of for-profit, non-profit, and government leaders in the area.  SCOPED continues to provide mentorship and high school class enrichment exercises, in addition to the work it is doing with Leadership Schuyler. The program was transitioned to the Watkins Glen Area Chamber as they had ample resources to staff the effort.  In early Spring, SCOPED initiated an effort to bring the leaders of the economic development organizations in the Southern Tier together monthly to collaborate and share best practices and insights for tackling the COVID 19 Disaster. Not only does the group discuss strategies and challenges related to COVID; it also discusses other topics that create innovation and makes all areas of the region stronger from an economic development perspective.

Q3. IRS Filing Status: 501(c)(6)   

Q4. Unit or Chapter of Larger Organization: No

Q5. Employees:

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 2/0 (as of 9/1/2020)

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 3/0 (as of 12/31/2019)

Current Year Income/Expenses: $425,661/$405,000

Q6. Fiscal Year: Calendar

Q7. Budget Level

Last Fiscal Year Income/Expenses (Actual): $511,202 / $602,746

Current Year Income/Expenses (Projected): $425,661 / $405,000

Q8. Restricted Reserves (Amount): Yes ($175,000)

Q9. CARES Act Funding (Amount): Yes ($150,000)
Received From: EIDL – SBA   Date Received: July
For What Purpose(s): Operational Costs including personnel costs, occupancy costs and program costs.

Q10. Negative Impacts from COVID-19:

Our workload increased 100% due to the need to provide one-on-one assistance to businesses including triaging PPP, EIDL, Shared Work and unemployment claims for sole proprietors. Leadership and salaried staff were working 12-15 hour days .  A staff member did not want to return to the office when it was ok to return to the workplace and exited the organization rather than return to the office environment.

The organization did not receive the budgeted amount of private investment for 2020 and it has been communicated that our largest private investor may cut their giving by 25% while the public monies are scheduled to be cut by 10-20% for next year. These two contributors account for 68% of the organization’s income.  The building that SCOPED built in 2019 remains 75% empty because businesses halted their plans for expansion in 2020. 

Q11. Top Three Concerns:
Uncertain future. Financial support is eroding because of the pandemic. While SCOPED directly assisted over 20% of all Schuyler County businesses with employees (brought in over $1.7m in EIDL, PPP, Shared Work and Pandemic unemployment ), those businesses are struggling.
SCOPED built a shared production facility in 2019 for the growing breweries, wineries, etc. There is one tenant in the facility and the debt is $2mm. We are desperate to fill the remaining space or we will not make our debt payments.
How to maintain the level of service, provide managment & financial support to our businesses and assist them in diversifying, becoming more resilient and creating a stronger community.

How Participation in Program Will Address Concerns:

Both our office manager and Executive Director are continuous learners and strong students. We are seeking knowledge, skills, and advice on how to best manage our looming issues – from the conceptual stage through implementation. I am hopeful for some insights for how best to modify our cost structure, work product, manage our debt, and create a long-term strategy for resiliency. This is not only for SCOPED, we would also take the key learnings and replicate them in our efforts with our small businesses & non-profits. If the strategies will work for SCOPED – they should also work for other organizations and small businesses. Once a month, we have a ZOOM call with all businesses and organizations in the county invited. We take a pulse of how each business is performing and concerns that they have. I expect this program will help us with long-term strategies for financial strength.


Q12. Applying as a Proposed Cohort? No

Q13. Executive Director or CEO Will Participate in the Program? Yes

Q14. Top Two Choices for Cohort Instruction:

Course #1 Choice: 1-Long-term Financial Management

Course #2 Choice: 2-Long-term Financial Management

Q15. Desired Course Schedule for Cohort Instruction:

#1 Desired Course Schedule: 1-Fall 2020: 11-Week Course (Nov. 9, 2020 -Jan. 24, 2021)

#2 Desired Course Schedule: 2-Fall 2020: 11-Week Course (Nov. 9, 2020 -Jan. 24, 2021)


Name: Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director

Application Approved by Organization Director or CEO? Yes, Approved by Executive Director/CEO

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