By Rick Miller

The Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency took steps last week toward the purchase of an Olean-area building that could become home to one to three new companies.

The discussion of purchase of the now vacant building was among several developments that left IDA Board of Directors members encouraged.

Corey Wiktor, IDA executive director, said the agency is investigating “acquisition of a large industrial building” in the Olean area, which could become home to a few different businesses. Wiktor did not disclose any specifics in open session.

“It’s a very significant and large building,” Wiktor said afterward the Dec. 5 meeting. Due to a non-disclosure agreement, the site was not identified. “It’s a good opportunity to put one to three companies in this location rather quickly.”

IDA board members also discussed hiring an international consultant to interest companies in moving to Cattaraugus County and disclosed an upcoming rebranding, website overhaul and social media strategy.

The company the IDA is interested in hiring to bring new business to the county was not disclosed in open session. The company would be paid on a performance basis, Wiktor said.

“This is something completely new to the IDA and our economic development partners,” he added. “Business attraction is all they do. They are paid for performance by bringing new jobs here.”

In a bid to rebrand the IDA, Wiktor said the board agreed to hire iEvolve Technology Services of Buffalo to build a new website and to provide a social media platform for the agency with a Facebook page and a Twitter presence.

“It will be aimed not just at businesses, but to ex-patriots from Cattaraugus County who want to return home.

The new website will be rolled out Jan. 1, 2018, Wiktor said. The social media platforms designed to drive people to the new website will begin around the same time.

The new website will contain contact information as well as a new section of 20 shovel-ready sites in the county. It will also contain information on housing, schools and quality of life.

“It’s something we can do for those who have moved away to try and get them back,” Wiktor said. “It’s something we’ve needed to do,” he said of the rebranding with the new website and other proactive initiatives.

The IDA board approved a 2018 budget of $287,650 with estimated revenues of $289,200.

IDA Chairman Thomas Buffamante, First Vice President Joseph Higgins and second Vice President Joseph Snyder were re-elected.