Micro-Managed Economic Development

The Kingston Times reports this week that some people are lamenting how cuts to the Empire Zone program will be bad for business, but I say trim the fat away.

The Empire Zone program is a bloated beast that needs to be deflated. It is often misused by elected officials, and does not result in the type of economic development that suits life in this century.

A better way to spend dollars and marketing energy is to engage in “micro-managed economic development.” It’s simple. Here are the steps:

1. Empty your mind of old habits and ways of doing things. Large scale development projects are a thing of the past.

2. Create an inventory of vacant lots, storefronts and commercial properties in your city or town.

3. Encourage redevelopment of these existing properties with a thoughtful, focused marketing campaign to specific business segments that residents would like to see in their neighborhood.

4. As an incentive, offer these small businesses six-month tax breaks for relocating. Award the tax break after two consecutive years of occupancy.

5. Celebrate the success of filling these vacant storefronts with thriving businesses that make voters happy while swelling the tax base, long term, by encouraging other municipalities to follow your example.

— Arthur Zaczkiewicz

4 thoughts on “Micro-Managed Economic Development”

  1. Very good points noted, quite explicite, except that……… No one has any idea what they want, this is not a negative comment……

    What are we marketing? I’ve watched 4 or 5 businesses quickly gooooooo on Hasbroeck Ave. and with it their savings……..

    Again, I return for the need for establiching the footings & foundations for viability. At the moment we are marketing: Pain Management, Inconstinence Management, Diabities management, not to leave out Benedictine’s Cancer Maintance Cash Cow Center – enhanced with a few more DRUG outlet’s…. don’t worry, no police involed with these SANCTIONED DRUG outlets – toooo much $ involved!

    Spare change to spend at the coffee shop/ community center – that sounds exciting – a money maker, possibly in the future……..?

    With a commitment towards SUSTAINABLE Footings & Foundations we have everything to market. New Paltz opens the College of the Ecological Arts…. Earning a livng from one’s craft, one’s talents. How to run a Self Employed business, not all are hurting as this threshold of semi-poverty keeps climbing. The “Empire Zone” is not functioning no matter what they say, in the same way “Sustainable Hudson Valley” is not functioning because it is NOT based on sustainability……

    Look at Colony Liquor; it was deceptive how they got the loan to expand & then sell or was it the other way around, where the purchasers required the elargement & then found that the neighboring county offered a better deal! Remember what happened out in Tech City with Fleet years back, the county trained their employees, gave tax breaks, and seasonal jobs at basic wages…….. That Liquor distributor now wants Mr. Sottile, our mayor, to give them access to tax breaks they would have had – had they stayed here – I trust the answer will be No!

    I keep hearing: we must go slow, we must go slow! The time is NOW, not the unreachable future…..
    As I said, I watched this city digress since the early 50’s! IBM was here for 30+ years – consolidated out school systems, never set up computer arts programing in the middle & high schools.(what a terrible word – High – you can get arrested based on that word!)

    Show me a military dictatorship in the world & I will show you a friend of the US Pentagon & the associated GLOBAL industries that they represent! WITH OUR TAX $$$.

    No matter how we look at it Market Economies are DESTRUCTIVE to all…….! WHAT ALL ARE DOING IN THIS CITY WITH THE YAHOO GROUPS IS BEYOND EXPECTATION – I’ll gladly come to any & every meeting, I have much to offer (or maybe not & should go hibernate a few more years!). This City & County is the Desert of the Hudson Valley and should be treated as such.
    1. Pesticide Free
    2. Evironmentally friendly built beyond 2-family
    3. convert the farms to orgain
    4. convert the livestact to orgain

    Then all else comes into meaningful reality!
    philip gurrieri

  2. Hey…this just occured to me. Once we create a ‘base-line’ of our neighborhood properties, an idea for marketing could be to reach out to the Culinary institute to the students there looking for a store front.

    I’ll write that one down for our visioning session….

  3. January 22, 2009


    ‘Ward 9 is Mine’ for Valentine’s Day: Residents are invited to participate in “Ward 9 is Mine!” – a visioning session to create ideas and shares wishes of businesses in the Ward 9 section of Kingston

    KINGSTON – Citizens are invited to participate in a visioning session called “Ward 9 is mine!”, a project to gather ideas and wishes for the vacant commercial buildings that line Broadway between Brewster and West Chester streets in Ward 9 on Saturday, February 14 at 2:30 p.m. in the Kingston Food and Gardens space at 33 Broadway in Kingston.

    All Ward 9 residents and current businesses are invited to attend as well as anyone who is interested in what a citywide comprehensive planning process might look like.

    “This session is way for residents to collectively gather a vision for the types of businesses they would like to see in their neighborhood,” said Arthur Zaczkiewicz, one of the organizers. “What better way to spend a few hours on Valentine’s Day than by falling in love with your neighborhood again?”

    Inspired by a recent discovery of dangerous knives on their block, KingstonCitizens.org organizers Rebecca Martin and Zaczkiewicz decided to work with their neighbors to hold the visioning session, which is a technique used by communities to create a short- and long- term visions of their neighborhoods, towns and cities. The process involves creating a setting where people share ideas, dreams and wishes – which then leads to actionable steps to make the ideas real.

    Seating is Limited. Please bring a chair or comfortable mat. Clip boards will be provided. A muralist will be on hand to document what our new block on Broadway could look like in the near future from all citizen comments.

    For more information, Contact KingstonCitizens.org’s Rebecca Martin at info@kingstoncitizens.org or Arthur Zaczkiewicz at zaczkiewicz@yahoo.com

  4. Hey Arthur,

    In today’s Freeman, this is more talk about the Uptown manager position Ward 2 Alderman Hoffay wants to create. Dibella, Landi and Whitlock seem ‘cold’ to the idea.

    The manager would represent, according to the paper, the Uptown and Midtown businesses. What about Downtown? Someone working as a manager should be qualified to create unity between all three business districts.

    Furthermore, what exactly is Steve Finkle’s job description? Isn’t he to help nurture business in the city – and attract more of it?

    I’d actually like to ask Steve Finkle for a list of the projects he is currently working on. That job pays over $100k per year. Organizing, tending to – and nurturing our current business community, in my mind, should be a priority in his work. Don’t you think?

    They ought to write a grant and pay KingstonCitizens.org to bring the communities together. That is the path we seem to be on. Then they could use the 50k for something else that would benefit the children, the families – of our community.


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