Agenda set for export seminar

Export seminar sponsored by the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth and TD Bank
td-bank-logoFCCRGlogoCMYK

Growth Strategies:
Expanding Your Business Internationally

Holiday Inn Johnstown-Gloversville
November 15, 2016

This export seminar includes networking and learning opportunities about potential markets, logistics, available export financing and cutting through red tape while establishing new lines of business between Fulton County, New York, and the world.

8:30 a.m.
Networking and Registration (Continental Breakfast)

9:00 a.m.
Welcome 

  • Ronald Peters, President & CEO, Fulton County Center for Regional Growth
  • Robert Davey, Regional Vice President for Upstate NY, TD Bank

9:10
Managing Payments and Finalizing the Sale

  • Strategies and options for sending and receiving money from overseas – Maria Aldrete, Director of Foreign Exchange Services, TD Securities LLC
  • Strategies for boosting international sales, managing risk and structuring transactions that benefit both buyers and sellers - Andrea Ratay, Vice President, Global Trade Finance, TD Bank

10:00 a.m.
Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Discussion with Moderator

  • Supply Chain management: How to move your products internationally with efficiency and strategies to address some of the challenges facing companies – Tom Valentine, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Mainfreight USA and Carl Erickson, Director of Supply Chain, Plug Power Inc.

10:30 a.m.
Getting Ready to Export: Federal & State Assistance

  • Export Assistance from the federal government- Toni Corsini, NY/NJ Regional Manager, Office of International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Export Assistance from the state governmentEdward Kowalewski, Director of International Investment Programs & Private Sector Liaison to the World Bank,  Empire State Development

11:00 a.m.
Legal Environment of Exporting/Importing:

  • How to protect your intellectual property and what to be mindful of from a legal perspective David Miranda, Attorney, Heslin, Rothenberg, Farley & Mesiti P.C.

11:30 a.m.
Break and Networking

12:00 p.m.
Lunch

12:30 p.m.
Special Guest Speaker 

  • Current state of U.S. and Global Economic Landscape – Implications for importers and  exporters– Brittany Baumann, Economist & Macro Strategist, TD Securities LLC

1:00  p.m. Final Words

  • Cedric Carter, Vice President & Senior Relationship Manager, TD Bank

                                                                               fc-positivefultonmontgomeryconnectedforbusinesslogo

Export symposium planned in Fulton County NY

The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth has begun preliminary work on organizing a fall symposium in Fulton County to help local businesses take advantage of opportunities for selling their products in foreign markets.

Townsend Leather Design showroom in Fulton County NY

Custom leather manufacturer Townsend Leather gained the Mohawk Valley’s sole Foreign Trade Zone designation this year at its Fulton County, NY, production facility. The FCCRG is planning an export symposium in the fall to help local businesses take advantage of foreign trade opportunities.

The export symposium will focus not only on encouraging small and large local companies to expand their sales markets, but also on demonstrating international trade opportunities to companies that may be interested in settling in Fulton County.

With initial sponsorship and participation by Empire State Development’s Global NY initiative and at least one Capital Region bank, CRG President Ron Peters is planning a one day symposium in the first half of October. Global NY is an initiative launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to offer “one-stop shopping to both foreign businesses looking to invest in New York and to local businesses who want to export globally.”

The event will focus on understanding and accessing available financing and loan packages, cutting through red tape and making connections. Peters said he also plans to approach Montgomery County economic development officials about participating in the event, with the goal of having representatives from at least 30 businesses involved.

Fulton County is ideally situated for the production and transportation of goods bound for international markets. Three interstate highways provide quick and direct access to New York City, Montreal, Boston and Philadelphia, as well as the deep-water Port of Albany and Albany International Airport. In fact, there are 21 international airports within a four-hour drive of Fulton County.

Fulton County is also part of Foreign-Trade Zone #121, which allows individual businesses to apply to have their facilities designated as international commerce zones. In these federally approved areas (industrial parks or individual manufacturing or distribution facilities) materials can be imported without the payment of U.S. Customs duties as long as the goods stay in the FTZ.  Once the goods leave the FTZ for U.S. consumption, reduced tariffs are available. FTZ sites remain within the jurisdiction of local and state governments, but are subject to spot checks and periodic inspections by Customs.

In March 2016, Townsend Leather became the first Fulton County company to receive Foreign Trade Zone status from the U.S. Department of Commerce since a former eyeglass manufacturer achieved FTZ status in 1996. Townsend’s FTZ designation – the only one currently active in the Mohawk Valley – allows the custom leather manufacturer to avoid paying tariffs before shipping in raw leather and chemicals from outside the U.S. to its Townsend Avenue plant, as well as take advantage of reduced levies on custom leathers it sells in the United States using materials sourced overseas.

Townsend employs more than 140 people in Fulton County to create high-quality and custom leathers for aviation, hospitality, residential, yachting and other specialty-end uses.

Corporate site selector Michael Mullis of JM Mullis, Inc. has called the Fulton Montgomery Region a prime area for businesses looking for a New York location because of the transportation infrastructure and availability of shovel-ready sites and natural resources.

Specific dates, locations and seminars for the symposium will be available as they are finalized at FCCRG.org.

 

 

No.22 Bicycles Opens Production Facility in Johnstown

A Toronto precision bicycle designer has opened a new U.S. bicycle frame-building production facility in Johnstown, NY, in a former textile plant called the Johnstown Knitting Mill.

No.22 Bicycle Company designs the kind of precision-crafted road and track bikes that inspire passionate obsession in their owners. When it was ready to expand from design into production, No.22 chose Johnstown, which has an inventory of affordable manufacturing spaces ripe for repurposing, as well as easy access to multiple methods of shipping.

The Johnstown Knitting Mill Company was a large employer in Fulton County throughout the entire 20th century, manufacturing knitted goods and work glove cloth. By 2000, the Johnstown Knitting Mill Company succumbed to the financial stresses of foreign competition and closed after more than 100 years.

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The industrial-age mill at 309 West Montgomery Street was renovated five years ago to accommodate multiple tenants, making it a flexible choice for the young and growing bicycle company, which was founded in 2012.

A Ready Workforce

No. 22 Bicycle Co. Production facility in Johnstown, NY;The location was attractive, but it was the availability of talent that drew the Canadians to upstate New York. No.22 hired three of the craftsmen who had been responsible for making the now-defunct Serotta company in Saratoga Springs the bicycle industry benchmark for build and finish quality.

The 40-year-old Serotta was sucked into the December 2014 bankruptcy of Divine Cycling Group, a private equity firm formed in 2012 to acquire Serotta and other high-end bike makers. A new company, Saratoga Frameworks, was promptly formed to try to keep the craftsmen working, but financial and legal complications forced it to close six months later.

“There are only a couple of places in the world that have experience with high-end titanium bikes, ” said Mike Smith, who founded No.22 with partner Bryce Gracey. No.22 had been having its designs produced by a large Tennessee manufacturer. In an effort to move their products upmarket, they had started to shift production work to Saratoga Frameworks.

 “The talent pool is 100 percent of the reason we’re in Johnstown,” Smith said. “When we were looking at setting up the facility, we were looking for a place that was close to the employees we wanted.”

Scott Hock, No.22’s new director of operations for the production facility, is a Johnstown native. The Canadian partners contacted real estate agent Clayton Sitterley and began to tour vacant Fulton County manufacturing buildings of all shapes and sizes, from modern industrial parks to old glove factories.

“There’s no shortage of nice space, and the rents are extremely affordable,” Smith said. “What we really loved about the Knitting Mill is the character of the space. It’s a beautiful building. There are hardwood floors and these big, beautiful windows. You can’t help it when you walk through there, you want to hatch an idea to be able to take advantage of it.”

No.22 has outfitted 4,500 square feet in the 100,000-square-foot Johnstown mill with a mix of vintage and new equipment, such as a bank of 50-year-old US-made Bridgeport vertical mills for precision mitering and a new HAAS CNC lathe to remove minuscule flecks of titanium from the frame tubes for a precise fit.

Hock, head welder Frank Cenchitz, welder Bryar Sesselman, and a newer hire named Sam Dries are producing No.22’s Great Divide titanium road bike, Broken Arrow cylocross cross-country racing bike and Little Wing track bike, as well as working under contract to produce high-end frames for other brands. Great Divide and Broken Arrow bikes start at $4,800 and $5,500 respectively.

 A new No.22 race-focused model, The Reactor, was introduced at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Kentucky in March, and it took home the blue ribbon for best cyclocross bike. The Reactor frame kit (not a complete bike) starts at $5,200.

Smith says No.22’s sales will probably triple this year over last. The Knitting Mill offers room to grow, and Smith thinks the company may need to expand soon. He likes the fact that the tenant across the hall is a high-end machine shop, making it convenient to order supplies – “May I borrow a cup of titanium, please?”

The incubator-style nature of the Mill opens a lot of different future scenarios for either expansion or building a community of businesses with compatible interests. No.22’s production team was thrilled when a craft brewery briefly made plans to open in part of the building, but that ended up not happening.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to work with this team as the long-term manufacturing home for our bikes,” Smith said. “We have been building our brand around the resurgence of North American craftsmanship, and the frames that Scott, Frank and their colleagues are able to build have us thrilled about this relationship. We feel privileged to be working with them to produce bikes that we can all be proud of.”

A Case for Spurring Rail Access in Fulton County, NY

csx

Fulton County manufacturers have ample access to easy transportation through proximity to the NY State Thruway, airports, and the Port of Albany, but shipping could be even more efficient with rail linkage from the manufacturing facilities to the vast network of rails spanning the East Coast.

In 2013, businesses invested $456.8 million in new or expanded rail-served facilities on CSX and its connecting regional and short lines. CSX owns the Mohawk Subdivision, which runs from Amsterdam to Syracuse along the former New York Central Railroad main line. Those lines continue to the Port of Albany and connect to tracks all the way down to Florida and across the western states.

Connecting CSX main lines to existing industrial sites in Fulton County would make the sites in the parks even more desirable to new and existing facilities.

Direct or shared industrial rail access line spurs are usually built through collaborations between businesses and  state/local economic development and governmental agencies.

Other New York communities have received state and federal funding for rail access spur projects. For example:

  • In 2010, Riverhead, NY, was awarded $4.8 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, plus additional state funds to restore a short rail line connecting a 2,000-acre industrial park that the town took over from the defense contractor Grumman Corp., which ceased operations at the site in the 1990s.
  • In 2012, the New York Department of State’s Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) granted The Business Corporation for a Greater Massena $125,000 to partially fund a spur on the existing CSX St. Lawrence Subdivision to service the Curran Renewable Energy wood pellet plant and AgPro’s soybean processing facility.
  • In 2013, the Port of Oswego Authority was awarded $192,000 from NBRC to construct a rail spur and additional rail car storage on the only intermodal deepwater port in New York State , Lake Ontario. The project directly benefitted the Novelis Aluminum Plant in Scriba, NY, which expanded and added 100 jobs, as well as grain producers in Central New York.

How A Rail Access Sidetrack is Born

CSX’s Industrial Development Group works with companies to expand its rail network to individually serve new or existing facilities. Each year it works with 100-150 companies, bringing rail lines to existing facilities.

The process is pretty seamless: the company works alongside a Site Design Manager to coordinate the project and design the new private sidetrack, which is then reviewed internally by CSX’s Operating and Engineering Department. Each new line would have its own Private Sidetrack Agreement detailing ownership, construction and maintenance, as well as outlining the relationship between the facility and CSX.

The benefits are numerous:

 Simpler logistics: Shipments that leave by rail directly from the facility are easy to track, have less handling time and avoid any time lost due to unforeseen issues by highway shipping. CSX offers tracking of shipments, digital reporting and other ways to monitor shipments that truck shipping doesn’t allow.

Cost-Effective Shipping: A multi-modal organization like CSX keeps costs under one roof, monitored and minimized.

Better for the Environment:  If you’ve missed any of CSX’s commercials in the past few years, you might not know that rail transportation uses a tiny fraction of the fuel to cover long distances, vs. the immense amounts of fuel required by highway freight trucks.

Safer:  According to data compiled by the non partisan Congressional Research Service, from 1996 to 2007 railroads consistently spilled less crude oil per ton-mile transported than other modes of land transportation.

Access: CSX operates and maintains more than 2,800 miles of track, and invested more than $13.6 million in 2013 in its New York network.