By Susan Elise Campbell
Saratoga Economic Development Corp. has relocated to 56 Duplainville Road, the Saratoga Springs headquarters of Quad Graphics.
Dennis A. Brobston, SEDC president since 2008, said having upscale office spaces and conveniences will help the consulting firm “track companies looking to expand business into the area, especially foreign interests.”
“A company coming from overseas needs a desk area and amenities,” Brobston said. “Quad Graphics is the largest printer with 700 people, $50 million invested in equipment, and a beautiful facility.”
SEDC is renting space at Building 4 on Quad’s campus.
Brobston said the nonprofit has access to professional offices, conference and event rooms, and an auditorium at Quad, plus the latest in audio-visual and teleconferencing technology. There is also a cafeteria, a health gym, and locker rooms that SEDC and their guests can use, and a medical center on site.
The organization had leased 28 Clinton Street Suite 6 in downtown Saratoga month-to-month for 24 years, Brobston said, and was not actively seeking to relocate.
“Quad Graphics actually reached out to us,” he said. “Because COVID-19 forced many employees to work from home, Quad Graphics made some changes in their business and had space available.”
Prior to the pandemic, SEDC was courting businesses around the northeast looking to expand into Saratoga. There were also companies based in Ireland looking at Saratoga County, he said.
“We wanted to bring the foreign companies over last summer, but COVID halted that,” said Brobston.
Instead, SEDC partnered with dozens of companies and embassies in Dublin on a three-day video conference in July, part of their “Spotlight Saratoga” series, he said.
“We had 90 attendees from 65 different companies in Ireland that we helped to understand all that Saratoga has to offer,” said Brobston.
Of the 30 businesses that had already shown interest, Brobston said 13 are companies with equine support products and services.
“One company manufactures a blue light lamp that helps calm the horses,” he said. “There is also software support for equine health services that can be tracked on a smart phone or tablet.”
SEDC serves as an advocate for companies it deems have a “fit with the needs of the area,” he said. “With the racing industry ever changing, we can help facilitate cutting through the red tape” and potentially getting new products made and sold locally to stimulate economic growth.
As the first point of contact for all aspects of the economic development process, SEDC “bridges the gap between government and the business community,” according to www.SaratogaEDC.com.
“We act as an ombudsman to get at what a company needs to know and how to get it done,” Brobston said.
Right now SEDC is working with 85 companies at different stages.
“It can take years to push through a project, which COVID slowed down for many,” Brobston said. “There may be 125 or more companies contacting us in any given year.”
Thus far in 2021, five projects with $16.4 million in investment have completed, he said.
“These resulted in retaining 32 jobs and will create 102 new jobs, with total payroll at $6.6 million,” Brobston said.