MASSENA — The executive director of the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena says, “despite all the gloom and doom,” he’s been busy fielding calls — about 70 in one week — from individuals who are interested in space, buildings or starting a new business.

“I don’t know if anything will amount to that, but it’s good to see at least some activity out there,” James Murphy told the Massena Town Council.

He said some of the callers requested information about available space, including the possibility of the St. Lawrence Centre mall.

Other space was available in the downtown corridor, including what was once a gift shop, Mr. Murphy said

“As some of you probably noticed, the building across the street is just posted. The day after it was posted, I got a call from somebody interested in starting a business there,” he said.

“Things seem to be a little bit on the uptick. But at the same time, as we all know, this (pandemic) isn’t over yet,” Mr. Murphy said.

On the down side, he said he recently met with an agricultural producer in the town of Massena who sells products to restaurants and food service.

“That isn’t happening right now. He’s in trouble” and the cash flow sheets indicate that, he said.

“I’ve tried to connect him with other kinds of resources that are out there, including our micro-enterprise grant. Luckily, there are lots of tools through the St. Lawrence County IDA (Industrial Development Agency), North Country Alliance. There are three or four programs out there for businesses. There’s at least our grant program right now,” Mr. Murphy said.

In addition, he said, other assistance could come from organizations like the Small Business Development Center “and other resources that help businesses get through it.”

He said he would like to be the point person for any inquiries about opening up a business in Massena.

“So if you ever hear of anybody... don’t hesitate to let them know that my office is open,” he said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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