It’s an exciting time for Auburn, NY.  The trees are greening and, similarly, downtown businesses are blossoming with the help of the Auburn Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).  Projects originally awarded DRI funding in 2019 are underway as evidenced by construction materials that are popping up along its streets, and 5 projects awarded recently as part of the first round of the DRI Small Project Grant Fund (DRI Grant Fund) are working through contracting to start construction soon. Representatives from the City of Auburn recently gave a presentation about some of the DRI projects during a Wednesday Morning Roundtable. The momentum of this regrowth continues with the opening of a second round of the DRI Grant Fund and the launch of a new brand for the Auburn Industrial Development Authority (AIDA).

The DRI Grant Fund is intended to assist property owners/developers, for-profit businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit entities in the DRI boundary with investments that will help to meet the following goals: 1) Reinvent Downtown as a vibrant center for living, working, learning, entertaining, and civic engagement; 2) Promote Auburn and engage, educate, and welcome residents and visitors; 3) Beautify the City’s streetscapes, public spaces, and gateways; and 4) Enhance, preserve, and activate the City’s architecture and urban fabric. CEDA and the City of Auburn also see providing support to businesses to improve resiliency and sustainability through the impacts of COVID as directly related to these goals. The grant application and more information about the DRI Grant Fund can be accessed on our website:  Interested applicants can register to attend a virtual information session Thursday, May 13, at 3 p.m., and CEDA Specialists are available to provide free and confidential assistance with developing any portion of the application.

Complementing the DRI catalyst for increased economic development, AIDA recently launched a new brand identity and website. The new brand is place-based and showcases the unique benefits of living and doing business in the City of Auburn, NY, positioning it among other comparable cities in order to garner the attention of individuals and businesses considering locating in micro-urban environments.

The brand references Auburn’s historic heritage and pride embodied in those who call the city “home”. The tagline, “Where possibility takes root,” ties in themes central to the city’s identity including its natural beauty and rural location, the entrepreneurial spirit of its people, the history embedded in its culture, and its nurturing and supportive community that makes it a great place to lay down “roots”.

Altogether, the new brand showcases Auburn, NY, as uniquely situated among other small, rural cities as the place to live and/or locate a business, especially for those considering making a move to a place that offers plenty of fresh air within a day’s drive to major metropolitan areas in the northeastern U.S.  View the new website at

AIDA was established by a New York State Legislature act in 1969 as a public benefit corporation to serve private sector industrial and business development opportunities.  AIDA encourages economic growth through financial incentives. Over the years, AIDA has been a leading force in Auburn’s economic development. AIDA helped attract and retain innovative businesses including NUCOR Steel, Currier Plastics, and the Auburn Community Hotel (Hilton Garden Inn).  AIDA also helped vital companies expand such as Community Computer Services; Wegman’s Food Markets; Auburn Armature, Inc.; and Carovail.

Auburn’s renaissance continues its steady development by leveraging its inherent assets, proud residents and businesses, and collaboration with its partners.  These deeply-rooted, natural advantages along with the financial support from New York State allow the city to keep transforming into a more vibrant community where people will want to live, work, and raise families.  We are so proud to be a part of the City of Auburn’s redevelopment.  Be sure to visit Auburn soon to witness all this exciting activity, and while you’re there, stop in to a local small business to show your support.

Devon Roblee is marketing coordinator for the Cayuga Economic Development Agency (CEDA). Contact her at (315) 252-3500 or
Published in the May 6, 2021, edition of The Citizen.