CRG’s 2017 goal to intensifying branding, name-recognition efforts

Intensifying name recognition a critical objective

Ronald Peters, president and CEO of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, details the agency's 2016 annual report for the Fulton County Board of Supervisors Monday at the County Office Building in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth’s annual report — made public Monday — says 2017 will be a year of “branding, branding, branding.”

Name recognition will be a big part of the economic development agency’s agenda this year, the 2016 annual report reveals.

CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters highlighted the report for the county Board of Supervisors Monday afternoon at the County Office Building.

“We work hard and consistently to market Fulton County,” Peters said.

The “outlook” part of the report mentions the CRG’s 2016-17 membership drive will continue throughout the year “as the CRG strives to make its presence in the county known,” the report said.

Peters said membership in the CRG doubled from 2015 to 2016.

The report said several events are being planned by the CRG, such as a spring unveiling of the CRG’s plans for its 34 W. Fulton St., Gloversville, building. The building will be renamed “The Center,” as it will house a “premier business resource center for all Fulton County entrepreneurs,” the report states.

Peters said the hope is to have an incubator center at the site operational within about 18 months.

The annual report includes a message from former CRG board Chairman Dustin Swanger, who in part, wrote: “Now, with a new location in downtown Gloversville, CRG will develop a business incubator that will provide new small businesses the opportunity to succeed and reach a level where they can locate in our communities. This most recent effort is truly one that we believe will provide the kind of small business assistance that our region has needed for some time.”

New Gloversville Downtown Development Specialist Jennifer Jennings will be busy in 2017 helping the CRG bring in business and planning events for the city in a pilot program.

“If successful, CRG will assist other communities to establish a similar format,” the report said.

The CRG also plans on co-hosting several events, including: a second financial symposium with the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, a local Site Selector’s Guild event with Fulton County, a Tryon Technology Park event, and an interactive business event in the fall.

Peters also highlighted 2016 activity the CRG was involved in, including what he called “very successful” outreach.

“We met with over 60 Fulton County businesses one-on-one,” he said.

Peters said the CRG participated in over 40 calls with the state last year, talking with potential businesses interested in New York state. He said the CRG participates with Empire State Development on national businesses.

Other successful programs mentioned in 2016 were the Microenterprise Program, and successful grants announced by the CRG from state legislators and National Grid.

He also mentioned a 1 1/2-day conference last April with the New York State Urban Council that was hosted by the CRG Gloversville.

“It was a good event for Gloversville and good event for Fulton County,” Peters said.

Peters said the CRG has a “pretty lean team” of himself, full-time Executive Assistant Becky Hatcher, and part-time Administrative Assistants Katherine Crankshaw and Diane Harnish.

He said the Fulton County CRG is “open for business,” and will continually work on business expansions and creating new jobs utilizing a $400,000 annual agency budget.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at