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Business Development Center to participate in marketing program

(12/24/15 - The Recorder)  The Montgomery County Business Development Center will participate in a full year of a marketing program, run by ABC Creative Group in order to continue with the county's branding initiative.

The Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency voted to opt into a 2016 marketing plan with ABC Creative at its Thursday meeting. The program will cost about $30,550, with the county once more hoping to get help from National Grid through a grant to offset half the cost.

The Syracuse-based marketing company developed its plan for Montgomery County in June to help with the county's earlier branding initiative. According to Kenneth Rose, CEO of the IDA and director of the county's economic development and planning department, the marketing plan has been largely successful, although there are still some areas that need work.

"I think we've seen an uptick," Rose said, but added that he would like to see more Capital District media outlets recognize Montgomery County businesses.

The IDA heard a presentation from ABC Creative at its November meeting that gave an overview of what the company has done in the county so far and what the plans are for 2016.

Travis Bort, the company's owner and creative director, focused the Business Development Center's website redesign and social media assistance, as well as a new video that highlights successful regional businesses, like Beech-Nut and the Target distribution center.

Bort had said in the future, he wants to work with local companies like Beech-Nut and Alpin Haus. He added that the marketing plan has been driven by the county's branding initiative, put into place after a study of the county's brand and image revealed that promoters of the county are significantly below the national average while detractors are significantly above it.

The county's largest issue, the report showed, was with its own residents.

Rose said that he would like to see areas of the community that are open for industrial development highlighted in the future.

"I would like to, and I think we all would like to do another video for the industry, and focus on what the industry may be," Rose said, specifying that he wanted to see the town of Florida Business Park and the old Beech-Nut site in the town of Canajoharie a future focus.

The IDA opted out of a community campaign portion of the marketing plan, which County Executive Matthew Ossenfort's office has been handling, Rose said.

The IDa ultimately signed on for services in public relations, search engine optimization, to boost the county's appearance in search engines, and a new video.

In addition, Rose said at Thursday's meeting he had received a letter from Jason Mraz, director of the Fulton County Planning Department, regarding the state environmental quality review for the future regional business park.

Since the park would fall in Fulton County, the letter said the Fulton County Board of Supervisors would like to serve at the lead agency for the review. The SEQR would determine if the project would cause any major environmental impact.

Since the letter was for informational purposes, and the park is still in preliminary phases with the land still needing to be annexed from Montgomery County to Fulton County, the IDA did not need to take any action on the proposal.