Growing the economy and building jobs with REDC money

By Jillian Marshall

February 20, 2014 Updated Feb 20, 2014 at 11:06 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) In the last three years, New York awarded more than $222 million to the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council. In the first year, 58 projects were funded. Now, some projects are getting ready to finish up.

The Piggery in Ithaca received a $300,000 low-interest loan from the Rural Initiative fund in 2011.

The family-owned butcher shop renovated its building and bought new equipment, which will help them producing a line of lunch meats.

"Like deli sliced ham, deli sliced turkey and roast beef that are all made from local meats. That's something that we felt like was missing in the market place," said co-owner Brad Marshall.

Marshall said he and his wife will reach out to other farmers in Tompkins County and the Southern Tier to help butcher and sell their products as well.

He said this grant will help them branch out their business and add 10 new jobs.

The Piggery is almost finished with the renovations. Marshall said they could get their USDA certification for the deli meat production by March.

"It's been great for us. It's really helped us get to that next level where we felt like the business needed to be," Marshall said.

In Broome County, Loco Development, a local developing firm, took advantage of the Southern Tier Community Revitalization Project to restore the Lackawanna Train Station on Lewis Street.

"The building itself, for the most part, has been very, very neglected," said Loco Development partner Mark Yonaty.

Yonaty and his two other partners received a $300,000 loan to help renovate the station into a hub for more than 10 different local businesses.

By opening up the station and renting out spaces, more than 18 different jobs within the companies have been created.

There is only one suite left to rent at the Lackawanna Train Station. Yonaty said the renovations should be done by the fall.

The community revitalization fund, rural initiative fund, and the shovel ready fund, helped fund 18 projects in 2011. These three funds are now featured in the Southern Tier's awards each year.