CEDA Explores Cayuga County Communities

“Being out in the community matters because it’s where we learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact on the world around us.” CEDA, the Cayuga Economic Development Agency, has embarked on a mission to “see the county” starting in Spring 2023 by visiting different cities, towns and villages in Cayuga County to understand the needs of the local businesses and reintroduce ourselves to see how we can support them.

On Tuesday April 11th, CEDA visited the village of Fair Haven, located within the town of Sterling, with a population of just under 900. Did you know that Fair Haven sees an astounding 850% increase in their population during the summer months? Our guide for the day was Brian DiBernardo, Founder and General Manager of the Turtle Cove Resort and Marina, who also happens to be the President of the Fair Haven Area Chamber. During our time in Fair Haven, we had the opportunity to meet with more than a dozen small business owners and shared CEDA’s role in supporting their work.

“Fair Haven is a bustling destination during the summer months,” says Brian DiBernardo. “In the past 12 years, we have witnessed significant growth, and we are now facing challenges with limited accommodations for visitors. With events like May Fest, the 5K color run, the 4th of July multi-day celebration, the Fall Witches parade and the Winter Carnival, to name a few, we are also seeing momentum during our off-season. Businesses are working together to align their services and hours.”

Our visit to Fair Haven included exploring the Fair Haven State Park and enjoying lunch at the Hardware Café with an informal presentation by Susie Parsons, the town of Sterling’s appointed historian, who provided us with valuable historical insights about the area. We also made a stop at Fly by Night Cookie Company, a business that has been operating for over 40 years with 90% of their recipes remaining unchanged. And of course, no visit to Fair Haven would be complete without a stop at Colloca Estate Winery, where we had the opportunity to meet with members of the Fair Haven Chamber of Commerce, including familiar faces from our partner Tour Cayuga (Claire Dunlap). We invited Chamber members to learn more about how CEDA can support their businesses through a presentation led by my colleague, Maureen Riester, CEDA’s Economic Development Specialist.

As CEDA continues to “see the county”, we are committed to understanding the unique needs of each community in Cayuga County and exploring ways to support local businesses in their efforts. By working closely with business owners, chambers of commerce and other stakeholders, we will continue to promote sustainable economic growth in the region.

Contact CEDA if you are interested in learning more about the assistance available in Cayuga County. Whether you currently own a business or are considering starting one in Cayuga County, we are here to support your business. Stay updated on our programs, resources, and valuable business insights by following our social media platforms. Rest assured, all consultations with CEDA are free and confidential. You can reach our staff at (315) 252-3500, or visit cayugaeda.org/staff for specific contact information. Whether you’re expanding, relocating, or need any other resources for your business, we’re here to support you!