Lewis County economic & tourism entities explore merger

Lewis County
Lewis County
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:11 AM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - The lead agencies for economic development and tourism in Lewis County are looking at teaming up.

The Lewis County Industrial Development Agency and the county Chamber of Commerce are exploring the feasibility of merging into one umbrella nonprofit.

The new organization, called Naturally Lewis, would lead the county’s effort to develop the economy, business, and tourism. The overall goal, officials say, is to enhance communities, broaden the tax base, and a create a better quality of life.

Officials with both organizations, along with the Lewis County Development Corporation, say they’ve been in talks for about six months.

Collaboration between the three entities since the start of the pandemic, officials say, pointed out the need for a more streamlined approach to economic, business, and tourism development. A merger would also streamline the organizations’ staff, finances, programming, marketing and communications, fundraising, human resources, technology, and facilities.

The current employees of both the IDA and the chamber would become employees of the new organization. Naturally Lewis would also continue projects and strategic priorities already underway.

People can weigh in on the proposed merger in a survey at naturallylewis.com/news/merger.

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