The Business of Building a Stronger Economy Starts Here 

Compiled by . . .


Peekskill Industrial Development Agency
 

Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce 

Peekskill Business Improvement District

Walkability was cited as one of Peekskill’s assets. Photo > Howard Copeland

 

Surveying the City


Earlier this year, Peekskill Industrial Development Agency (PIDA), Peekskill Business Improvement District (BID) and Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce (HVGCC) partnered to create a City of Peekskill Destination Marketing/Business Attraction (DMBA) project to support existing businesses, attract new businesses, and expand the diversity of businesses in Peekskill.  

 

DMBA developed a Business Survey that was distributed this past summer to Peekskill businesses. The survey is intended to start an ongoing conversation with our businesses, and to receive well-intentioned and thoughtful comments, both positive and negative, to assist in advancing our economic development initiatives.

 

Strategic economic development requires a constant flow of information both to and from stakeholders — business people, investors, bankers, community members, government, agencies, property owners, nonprofits, media, schools, and other interest groups.

 

The Business Survey is a first step, initiating what will be an ongoing and progressive process. DMBA thanks the Survey respondents for their participation, and we look forward to continue working with our local business owners in the near future.

 

Downtown North from Paramount (Photo > Michael Miner, MJM Television and Video Productions

All Survey respondents are small businesses with 16 or fewer employees. They are engaged in a wide variety of industries — from Banking, Hospitality and Health Services to TV Production and Interior Design.

 

Half of the respondents live in Peekskill or in the immediate surrounding area. 

 

Peekskill’s Assets Cited by Survey Respondents Include . . .

  • Active encouragement of a strong base of creative, artistic, technical, and 
    innovative businesses and professionals to live and thrive here.
  • The Arts Industry Media (AIM) initiative of the Chamber.
  • Walkability in a City with business diversity and cultural and architectural 
    character.
  • Proximity to New York City.
  • Availability of commercial and residential real property at relatively reasonable prices.

Marketing Peekskill 

Respondents noted a need for an upbeat marketing strategy to highlight Peekskill’s attributes, in order to attract to Peekskill new businesses (with jobs) and new residents (with expertise).  

Close to half of all respondents stated that they would be willing to appear in a short video about doing business in Peekskill. AIM already has produced a dozen or so “Spotlight” videos about Peekskill businesses that highlight the diversity of our industries, our industry leaders in the arts, industry, media segments, and other stable and accomplished businesses. AIM’s Spotlight videos can be viewed at artindustrymedia.com/spotlight-videos.

Concerns Cited by Survey Respondents Include . . .

Not enough is being done to support retail businesses.

  • More directed and intensive dissemination of financial assistance information is needed, particularly relatingto the pandemic.  
  • Signage needs to be clearer, and parking needs to be more convenient. 
  • Business owners are experiencing difficulty in finding qualified people in sales,technology, data, and video editing. Also needed are photographers, writers, and trades people, such as plumbers, electricians, and laser steel cutters.  
  • More efforts are needed to encourage the participation of Latinxbusinesses and   
  • A false perception persists that Peekskill is not safe.

Survey Is ‘A Good Start’

One survey respondent commented that they had been in business in Peekskill for some years, and had never heard from any government person asking about how their business is doing in Peekskill. “Until now.” The business owner ended his comments stating, “Perhaps the Survey was a good start.”  

A great many project activities by private citizens, property owners and developers are contributing to putting Peekskill on an upward trajectory and creating a great vibe.  

In our next segment of the Peekskill Economic Development Conversation, we will report on the many residential and commercial projects currently under construction or under review in Peekskill.  

Next Steps  

  1. PIDA, BID and the Chamber are developing a follow-up survey (Peekskill Business Survey 2) to gain further information and encourage additional businesses to respond. 
  2. Create new Spotlight business videos for those who expressed an interest,and distribute via social media.  
  3. Develop an upbeat marketing campaign based on Peekskill’s assets and market broadly to the surrounding region, which will project Peekskills upward trajectory and vibe as a dynamic, safe and supportive place to do business. 
  4. Build an effective strategy to increase participation by the Latinx business community. 
  5. Collaborate with the Peekskill School Districtand regional trade organizations to increase the number of local residents who possess qualifications needed by our local businesses.  

We Can’t Grow Without You

We thank all of the respondents of our first Peekskill Business Survey. Responses provided information that starts a dialogue about business continuity and attraction in Peekskill. These responses will help us to actively pursue strategic economic development opportunities in Peekskill, while allowing us to expand that dialogue to additional businesses and access even more much-needed information.

Sign Up for Business Survey 2

Please join the conversation.

Email one of us to sign up for Business Survey 2.  

Deborah Milone  
Executive Director  
Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce (HVGCC) 
dmilone@HVGatewayChamber.com  

Matthew Rudikoff  
Executive Director 
Peekskill Industrial Development Agency (PIDA)  
mrudikoff@CityofPeekskill.com 

William Powers 
Executive Director 
Business Improvement District(BID)  
PeekskillBID1@gmail.com  

 

 

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