Applicant Details & Scoring

ARC State Program Manager Comments

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Corning’s Gaffer District

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


Corning’s Gaffer District
Corning, Steuben County, New York 14830

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


Q1. Mission:

The Gaffer District is a not-for-profit organization that strives to make the historic downtown of Corning, NY, a vibrant, attractive, and dynamic area for people to do business, live, shop, explore, and enjoy.

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

1. Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia’s economy;
4. Strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by leveraging the Region’s natural and cultural heritage assets; and
5. Build the capacity and skills of current and next-generation leaders and organizations to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development.

Q3. IRS Filing Status: 501(c)(3)   

Q4. Unit or Chapter of Larger Organization: No

Q5. Employees:

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

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 9/2 (as of 12/31/2019)

Current Year Income/Expenses: $1,154,638/$1,151,211

Q6. Fiscal Year: July-June

Q7. Budget Level

Last Fiscal Year Income/Expenses (Actual): $1,423,731 / $1,395,047

Current Year Income/Expenses (Projected): $1,154,638 / $1,151,211

Balance Sheet

Q8. Restricted Reserves (Amount): Yes ($0)

Q9. CARES Act Funding (Amount): Yes ($134,000)
Received From: PPP (Corning Credit Union)   Date Received: 5/18/20
For What Purpose(s): Payroll expenses

Q10. Negative Impacts from COVID-19:

The past nine months have been some of the most challenging periods small businesses in Corning’s Gaffer District have ever faced, and this doesn’t look set to end any time soon. In the face of the pandemic, Corning’s Gaffer District has had to shift our strategies to realign which bring visitors and locals to the downtown to shop, dine, and explore have become unsafe and illegal due to the gathering of large crowds. In light of these changes, the suspension of sponsorship funding for these programs has substantially affected our marketing efforts’ efficacy. Small businesses are facing significant layoffs and furloughs, mandatory business closures, changes to compensation plans.
Corning’s Gaffer District has already been looking at the ‘new normal.’ It recognizes that it will be very different for our small business owners: increased working from home, the return to residential that we experienced at the beginning of the year, the continued effect on leisure and tourism, the changing role of service industries and offices, the move toward supporting ‘local’ during the pandemic, the acceleration of online/e-commerce, and the changing types of Downtown Main streets will require new aims and objectives and rethought business plans for many BIDs. Creative thinking will also be needed to address the issue of empty storefront units and the need for diverse funding sources.
The key to finding our footing will be relationships and how resources are pooled to make things happen. Taking a more proactive approach to these tactics would allow for the opportunity to engage with all users and stakeholders of the BID to co-develop long term collaborative plans. Useful data, evidence, intelligence gathering, and management will be necessary. There will need to be increased training and development to ensure the Gaffer District staff can swiftly put these changes in place.

Q11. Top Three Concerns:
Remaining fiscally responsible and solvent.
Adjusting strategic planning for the new times.
Identifying diverse funding sources and revenue streams

How Participation in Program Will Address Concerns:

For Corning, NY’s downtown to be resilient and adaptable, cooperation and partnerships with programs like the Appalachia Nonprofit Resource Center’s Cohort Program will be vital. Using the District’s initial tactics and response to the pandemic as a blueprint, combined with each small business’s natural entrepreneurial qualities, there is the opportunity to create a new culture. A culture of working together to manage the change and realize the possibilities for a different type of vibrancy in the District. One that would continue to provide jobs and support livelihood development, well-being, and drive economic growth sustainably and inclusively.
Key to this change will be building relationships, but also pooling resources to make things happen. Taking a more proactive approach to financial and strategic planning and fundraising would allow for the opportunity to engage with all users and stakeholders of the region to co-develop long term collaborative plans. This approach would allow for investment proposals to be informed by evidence of need, leading to more sustainable outcomes while also drawing in a broader group of partners and funders, leading to more creative and collaborative ideas that will gather momentum.
While the situation is bleak and uncertain in many ways for small businesses, Corning’s Gaffer District’s proactive response that allows for partnerships and progressive learning will facilitate an inspired response. In turn, inspiring investment, driving entrepreneurial sales and enabling new ideas to thrive and grow – and, most importantly, create a sustainable economy now and into the future.


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-Short-term Financial Management

Q15. Desired Course Schedule for Cohort Instruction:

#1 Desired Course Schedule: 1-Winter 2021: 10-Week Course (Jan. 25. 2021 – Apr. 4, 2021)

#2 Desired Course Schedule: 2-Winter 2021: 10-Week Course (Jan. 25. 2021 – Apr. 4, 2021)


Name: Kristen Brewer Brewer, Director of Preservation and Design

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

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