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New York Sea Grant launches Oswego County business survey

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New York Sea Grant will survey about 600 recreation and tourism businesses in Oswego County to identify barriers to growth, thanks to a pilot program launched by the organization with SUNY Oswego.

To be conducted this month through May 12, the “business retention and expansion” survey will identify needs of tourism-related businesses so they can receive better assistance from the community, according to Mary Penney, coastal community development specialist for New York Sea Grant. Sea Grant is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University, Ithaca, whose mission is to protect the state’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

The survey was developed by the Oswego County Recreation and Tourism Task Force, which includes a diverse mix of leaders from private and public sectors.

“Our goal is to increase communication between businesses and local and county governments,” Ms. Penney said in a release. “Existing businesses create up to 86 percent of all new jobs, so it’s important to examine the needs of those locally-owned businesses already committed to Oswego County.”

Survey questions ask business owners to identify growth plans, along with services and products they anticipate customers will need in the next five to 10 years. Respondents also are asked to rank the value of community services in Oswego County and identify business trends that may negatively or positively affect their enterprises.

Survey data will be tabulated and reviewed to identify ways to assist recreation and tourism businesses, Ms. Penney said.

“In the short term, we will identify immediate concerns and community services that may need improvement,” she said. “Ultimately, we want to address such complex issues as the skills of the local workforce and the competitiveness of Oswego County’s recreation and tourism businesses.”

More information about the Oswego County initiative is available online at http://wdt.me/KzTWFd.

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