Friday, February 7, 2014

The State of Economic Development

Two articles in today's Register-Star relate to the fate of businesses celebrated and praised when they decided to set up shop in or near Hudson. 

In the first, Arthur Cusano reports that the innovative facilities of Local Ocean, where saltwater fish were raised in an old warehouse in Greenport, have a new owner: "California company buys Local Ocean."

In the second, John Mason reports that Phoenix Hudson, the plastic extrusion plant that moved into the factory building at the north end of Second Street, has gone, according to the headline, "bottom up": "Button factory empty again." Mason notes, as Sam Pratt had previously, that back in June 2013 John Tonelli, the president of Hudson Phoenix, was given the Businessperson of the Year Award by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, "beating out Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone, of Basilica Hudson, and Judy Grunberg, of PS21 and the Blue Plate."


  1. "...beating out Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone, of Basilica Hudson, and Judy Grunberg, of PS21 and the Blue Plate." All of whom, it does not need to be pointed out, are still in business. What is the state of economic development in Columbia County? 'Moribund' would be a generous assessment.

  2. The biggest problem Columbia County faces with respect to economic development is zero population growth. The 2010 census had an increase of 2 persons over the 2000 count. With no population growth there is no natural new growth for business. Big challenge.

  3. The County is now losing population. The Census estimates in 2012 that the population of Columbia County was 62,499, a decline of 597 people (-0.9%) from 2010. This is bad because there is a big infrastructure that has to be paid for by a smaller number of people.

    -- Jock Spivy

    1. GALVANs acquisition of so many Hudson properties and leaving them vacant has affected Hudsons census and housing to a serious deficit.

  4. Readers might remember the infighting when Tom Fink of Atmost, tried to purchase the Fosters property. Instead of selling to an ongoing concern, HDC swapped properties (deeds) with the seller for the old Pizza bus station.
    Fifteen million dollars later we get a firehouse that suffers from too much cash on hand.
    These "developers" have back room dealings with realtors while they pilot sham businesses out of town. Soon as they go under they start anew.

  5. Vincent, I think you make a legitimate point that warrants more detailed observation.