National Grid Assisting Thriving Business Hub With $100,000 Investment

By Virginia Limmiatis

National Grid awarded a CleanTech Incubation Program incentive totaling $100,000 that Clarkson University will use to offset Damon Hall Phase III construction costs. The additional space has allowed LC Drives to expand and grow, driving a total 30 jobs with combined revenues of $1.34 million in the downtown campus and significantly adding to Clarkson’s clean-tech incubation ecosystem.

Pictured Left to Right: LC Drives, CEO, Russ Marvin; Clarkson University, President, Tony Collins and National Grid, Manager, Rich Burns, Community & Customer Management 

The renovations on Damon Hall began in 2016, to provide light manufacturing incubator space and access to state-of-the-art technology to advanced manufacturing businesses. The Phase III project is part of Clarkson’s commitment to downtown campus revitalization, transforming its dormant downtown facilities into a thriving hub of business, cultural, and educational activity and improving the overall economic health and growth of the region.

A total $2.1 million in project costs for the estimated 16,000 square foot renovations is expected to attract growing advanced manufacturing startup companies, create and retain jobs throughout the region, and revitalize the downtown core.

“National Grid is excited to be part of the revival of the Clarkson University downtown campus. The company’s support of the downtown business incubator concept has a long history,” said Alberto Bianchetti, National Grid Central New York Regional Executive. “We are dedicated to the redevelopment of business districts and commercial corridors in Northern New York, and through our CleanTech Incubation Program, our investments benefit the local communities we serve by bringing commercial activity back — and jobs with it.”

In 2005, National Grid provided a $50,000 Main Street economic development incentive to help launch Clarkson’s first incubator at Peyton Hall. In 2017, the company provided a $300,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Program grant for environmental remediation at Damon Hall Phases I and II. The company also constructed a major electricity upgrade to provide capacity for LC Drives’ operations.

“We sincerely appreciate the support of National Grid on this critical economic development project for the North Country,” said Clarkson University President Tony Collins. “Funding from National Grid will not only assist in finalizing the renovation of Damon Hall, but also help our overall goal to transform Potsdam into a more vibrant economy. We look forward to future partnerships between our organizations that will continue to create more economic development opportunities for the area.”

Collins noted the Damon Hall incubator is currently providing 16 jobs in our community and generating over $600,000 in revenue. “The numbers speak for themselves in terms of what the hub has done. The new resource for entrepreneurs and inventors will continue to attract new economic activity to the region while reversing the outmigration of intellectual capital that occurs as graduates of our local schools, colleges, and universities seek opportunities in other regions.”

The National Grid CleanTech Incubation Program and suite of Shovel Ready economic development programs are used extensively in both small and large communities across the National Grid service area. In the past year, 1,300 projects were completed across upstate New York totaling more than $103 million in grant funding, creating or retaining an estimated 47,000 jobs.

The CleanTech Incubation program is designed to support the development of a self-sustaining entrepreneurial and innovation “ecosystem” through high growth new businesses, and to generate new jobs and investments in National Grid’s Upstate New York service area. The program supports initiatives that facilitate the formation of new ventures or growth of high potential small ventures, and to make buildings more marketable for new jobs in the clean tech industry and other advanced technology industry sectors.

National Grid Economic Development staff work with municipalities, local economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and private developers to identify eligible projects.

For more information on the program and other eligibility requirements, please visit www.shovelready.com.