DICKINSON — The Southern Tier, like most areas hurt by the decline in blue-collar manufacturing jobs, is often portrayed as a struggling region. Stacey Duncan, deputy director of community and economic development at The Agency, wants to use storytelling to change that.
A public-relations initiative, called Made in Broome, is highlighting products made in Broome County. Duncan says the campaign, which launched in September, aims to show the economic impact these products have and tell the stories of the people behind them.
“One of the goals overall is to change the narrative of how we promote opportunity here. We know there’s a lot of strength in our economy and we wanted to promote our strength rather than focusing on all the obstacles,” Duncan tells CNYBJ.
Made in Broome is an offshoot of a larger marketing campaign started by The Agency in May. The campaign, called “Broome County… a good life,” focuses on why people and businesses choose to stay in the county, particularly emphasizing a healthy work/life balance.
The program’s website, broomeisgood.com, is a primary component of both Made in Broome and the larger “good life” campaign. The site includes interviews, photos and video of the individuals and businesses featured in the campaign. Additionally, stories are cross posted on pressconnects.com.
The first Made in Broome story was posted both on broomeisgood.com and pressconnects.com on Oct. 11. The story is about a microgreens startup called Infiniti Greens, which was started this year by a student at Binghamton University. In the future, Duncan says the program will also include Broome County mainstays, such as the owners of the famed Lupo’s S&S Char-Pit in Binghamton, which opened in 1978.
The good life program is partly funded by The Agency, the Broome County Legislature, and through local grants. In August, The Broome County Legislature awarded The Agency $50,000 to fund the campaign.
Businesses that participate in the good life program often get more than just exposure. During the process of interviewing, questions about how the business is doing may arise, which eventually leads to The Agency explaining how it can help.
The Agency offers business property tax abatement programs for expansions or significant renovation projects, revolving loan programs, bond issuance for large-scale manufacturing and nonprofit projects, information on federal and state financing resources, and other technical assistance, according to the organization’s website.
“We end up talking to them about programs that we offer or connect them to other resources,” Duncan says. “It’s a tremendous additional benefit.”
To participate in the Made in Broome program, visit broomeisgood.com or contact The Agency at (607) 584-9000.