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National Grid, local organizations launch new economic-development website

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE — National Grid and local partner organizations today launched a new economic-development website that provides tools to help retain, grow, and attract new businesses to Onondaga County.

The website is

A geographic-information system (GIS) platform powers the site, enabling a user to search, map, and publish data, even down to a specific address, National Grid said in a news release.

The organizations contend the site “should prove valuable” for commercial-property developers and business owners who can determine “relevant geographic and economic advantages that one area or parcel may have over another.”

The website will help to support the existing National Grid Shovel Ready program, which provides grants for engineering, planning, and installation of electric and natural-gas infrastructure on new sites for companies, Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid regional executive of Central New York, said in the news release.

“Data from Shovel Ready is also integrated into the website to provide real-time access to local real-estate information. The combined effort of Shovel Ready and GIS technology will help to make locations in Onondaga County even more marketable for economic development,” Littlejohn said.

National Grid provided project management and worked with the Onondaga County Office of Economic Development, the city of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc., Near Westside Initiative, and the Connective Corridor to collaborate on the project.

The new website uses a GIS to supplement the partner organizations’ efforts to promote Onondaga County to new and existing businesses, National Grid said.

Although it “may seem complicated,” a GIS integrates hardware, software and data for capturing, managing, analyzing and displaying all forms of geographic-reference information, the power company said.

Through GIS technology, users can gather statistics about potential sites, such as demographic, public transit, and environmental data, before visiting a property, according to the news release.

Small businesses and startups will also benefit from the free and open access to the GIS and its data because this type of site research and selection process may have previously been “too expensive or unavailable,” National Grid contends.

The system is a very “user-friendly” tool to capture and convey “sophisticated” data about commercial and industrial real-estate opportunities, Linda Dickerson Hartsock, director of the Connective Corridor at the Syracuse University Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development, said in the news release.

Contact Reinhardt at

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