It is tough operating a longtime business in the region and New York state. For years, municipalities and school districts have increased taxes fortifying their standing without giving much thought to the future ramifications of a company relocating or cutting back.
Potential customers - during the population drain - have left the area, due to the high-tax environment. And, after years of running a business and being a community partner, you see rewards for those who have never even paid one day's dues.
Those rewards come in the form of Start Up New York, which is offering tax incentives for 10 years if a new business locates within a mile of a State University of New York campus property. In the meantime, a longtime business sees its tax rate continue to climb.
And, the big bucks in government grants go to businesses that have not even proven themselves as legitimate. Which brings us back to the Community Development Block Grant funding, which is under the microscope in the city of Dunkirk.
So desperate is the region for new business and jobs, we have squandered away thousands of dollars. Some of that funding was in the beginning of the high technology Fredonia State incubator.
While numerous city businesses received a bit of help from the fund - some even receiving unnecessary black eyes - other fledgling start-ups received a hand-out. Two of those major beneficiaries: Selling Hive and Henlie.
Nobody made more noise than Selling Hive upon arriving at the Central Avenue incubator. Area businesses were asked to work with the company, which at its first news conference could barely describe what its product was or show an example of what it could do to bring business to existing businesses. Less than 18 months later, after some discussion of needing a larger facility and hope for hiring more than 200 employees once it was off and running, Selling Hive disappeared.
With it, $30,000 in HUD funding as well that will probably not be coming back.
Henlie, which attempted to build a litigation site, also received $15,000 from the block fund. That's close to what Chautauqua County invested - $20,000 - which also probably is not coming back.
So maybe some local businesses have not provided added jobs. At least they are still in town and operating.
That's more than we can say for two other big grant getters.