Bring your business to St. Lawrence County…or start a new one!

New York’s North Country is a great place to start a business. The Region has the highest percentage of small business start-ups per capita in the state. There are reasons for this—we have the expertise, organizations, and resources to help entrepreneurs bring their business dreams to life.

No matter the size or type of your business, there are a number of organizations that can work with you to address your business relocation or start-up needs – from technical assistance to tax incentives to securing funding.

Feel free to explore the resources described below. Then contact us and we will connect you with the best organizations and opportunities that fit your needs.

Business Resources

The Reh Center for Entrepreneurship

at Clarkson University develops successful entrepreneurs who know how to grow a business, harness new technologies, and seize opportunities in the marketplace. It does so by drawing on the expertise and skills of Clarkson faculty and students to educate and train regional entrepreneurs to successfully receive and manage start-up funding and grow their companies through sound management practices. The Reh Center operates “My Small Business 101” - a four-week business strategy course that provides an innovative, cost–free way for small business owners to learn critical elements of business operation, including managing productivity, thinking strategically, making effective decisions, and executing sound financial management.

For more information:
Phone: 315-268-4350

The Shipley Center for Innovation

accelerates the commercialization of emerging technologies by focusing on proactively working with innovators and entrepreneurs to identify ideas, conduct feasibility analysis, and build a commercialization plan to bring new technologies to market. The Center maintains a robust support infrastructure which includes rapid prototyping, incubation space, market research, branding, intellectual property strategy, and a network of investors.

For more information:
The Shipley Center for Innovation
Clarkson University,
Box 5790, 8 Clarkson Avenue
Potsdam, NY 13699
Phone: 315-268-6763
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The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center

serves the small business community of St. Lawrence County through one-on-one assistance in areas such as business planning, marketing, financial management, and tech transfer. The SBDC offers management workshops, comprehensive business research services, and the professional advice of certified advisors. Technical assistance is available in areas such as women or veteran owned business, organizational structures, accounting and record-keeping, exports, cost analysis, and government procurement.

For more information:
Phone: 315-386-7312

The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency

is a public benefit corporation created to promote, encourage, attract and develop job opportunities and economically sound commerce and industry in St. Lawrence County. As a full-service development agency, the IDA constructs and owns industrial sites and buildings, administers loan packaging and industrial revenue bond financing and provides a variety of tax-reduction incentives for businesses of all sizes.

For more information:
Phone: 315-379-9806
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In addition to the organizations that are county-wide or regional in scope, many individual communities near the four universities in Canton and Potsdam have economic development offices that can provide assistance to the business-starter , with assistance ranging from site selection, to identification of funding, to marketing.

  • Canton Office of Economic Development
    Linda McQuinn, Director.
  • Potsdam Office of Planning and Development
    Fred Hanss, Director.
    (315) 265-1670
  • Economic Development offices also exist in Massena, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, Clifton, and Wanakena, as well as in communities across the Adirondacks and St. Lawrence Seaway. Contact us for information about these other locations.

In addition to the organizations noted above, there are several funding resources to get your business up and running. A number of banking institutions are located here, and the following are just some of the economic development funding / financing sources available in the region:

North Country Alliance Revolving Loan Fund

This fund provides low-interest gap financing for private for-profit businesses and not-for profit organizations with 100 or fewer full-time employees.
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St. Lawrence County IDA Microenterprise Revolving Loan Fund

This fund provides loan financing for all types of microenterprises (except taverns and restaurants) for businesses with five or fewer employees, at least one of whom is the owner.

IDA Local Development Corporation Business Venture Fund

This fund provides loan financing intended for manufacturing, industrial, commercial and warehousing operations.
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Canton Revolving Loan Fund

This fund provides for-profit or non-profit businesses and organization locating in the Town of Canton, NY, with financing for the purchase of business assets, building improvements and working capital for start-ups or existing businesses.

Potsdam Micro-Enterprise Loan Fund

Offers loans of up to $25,000 to businesses with five or fewer employees, including the owner(s). Funds can be used for working capital, leasehold improvements, machinery and equipment, and real estate development. Additional loan funds of up to $25,000 are also available for larger businesses.

For more information:
Phone: 315-379-9806