Derek Simmonds
Derek Simmonds

As the Business Development Specialist at CEDA, I specialize in business retention and expansion for small business in Cayuga County and help entrepreneurs start businesses.

My work with small businesses can include business planning, assistance with identifying a suitable location and connecting them to resources, information and people who can help them move past the barriers they face to growing or maintaining their business in Cayuga County. I do the same types of things for people wanting to startup businesses, often with more of a focus on initial business startup and planning.

I work very closely with the Auburn SCORE Chapter. SCORE is a national organization of volunteer business mentors, who have experience related to running businesses. The Auburn SCORE Chapter is a small group of committed volunteers who help businesses in Cayuga, Seneca and Tompkins Counties to start and grow. We also cover the village of Skaneateles. Auburn SCORE’s main activity is personalized business mentoring, but SCORE also holds workshops on how to start and grow your business. On Monday, May 13th at Auburn Public Theater from 5:00 to 7:00, Auburn SCORE and CEDA will be co-sponsoring a FREE entrepreneur networking event called Startup Connect. This event will be a great opportunity to meet other small business owners, entrepreneurs and small business service providers.

Meeting with CEDA and SCORE is free and confidential, so if you have a business idea and want to find someone to guide you through the process of moving from idea to business, or if you have a small business that needs a boost to get to the next level, give us a call. Also, if you have business experience and are interested in mentoring small businesses and startups in the area, consider becoming a SCORE mentor.

Derek Simmonds is Business Development Specialist at CEDA.  Contact him at or call (315) 252-3500.