The new year is all about making resolutions and starting new beginnings. Now that 2014 is behind us here are a few resolutions for Binghamton for 2015.
1. Stay Positive-OK we didn’t get a casino (at least not yet) BUT there is still a lot to stay positive about here in Binghamton. The NY State Regional Economic Development Council recently awarded the Southern Tier over $80 million in funding in 2014, with a good portion going to projects in and around Binghamton. Similarly the local, state, and federal government continues to invest in infrastructure upgrades in Binghamton that will make this area aesthetically and structurally primed for future growth with projects including 1) the Riverside Drive reconstruction 2) the Clinton Street gateway project 3) the Kamikaze Curve overhaul 4) plans to revamp parts of the River Walk 5) plans for new building construction downtown at 70-72 Court, 69 Collier Street, and 50 Front Street. And we can’t forget to mention the growth and prominence that Binghamton University continues to play in this area, particularly with their on-going plans to build a high tech incubator downtown and a pharmacy school in Johnson City. We’re pretty excited what 2015 has in store for Binghamton and the surrounding area.
2. Keep Up That Entrepreneurial Spirit-It’s amazing how much the business landscape has changed in Binghamton over the past 5 or so years. Growing up here we were witness to the mass exodus of downtown by local businesses. Court Street was a literal ghost town with dozens of empty storefronts and decaying buildings. But things have changed, and in a big way. Since we started CommuniKey in 2011 we’ve seen a GIGANTIC up-tick in new businesses opening and prospering in downtown Binghamton including (sorry if we missed anyone!): Binghamton Hots, BingSpot, Burger Mondays, Galaxy Brewing Co, Water Street Brewing Co, Uncorked Creations, Muckles Ink’, Freshy Sites, The Old Union Hotel, Zona & Co, Elsie’s Diner, Chroma Cafe & Bakery, Alexander’s Cafe, Sip of Seattle, Southern Tier Crossfit, Bikram Yoga, Social on State, Thai Time, Champz Sports Grille, The Loft @ 99, The Ranch, Venue Sports Bar, Brewed Awakenings, and The Colonial (coming soon). Many of these businesses have invested large amounts of money into remodeling older buildings which has not only preserved them, but helped improve the aesthetic beauty of Binghamton. And we would be remiss to not mention all of the new student housing that has opened in recent years. The future and strength of Binghamton is going to come from that entrepreneurial spirit that once made this area so great. We need our residents to continue to support our small business community and always be looking for ways to contribute to this economic revival. Who knows, maybe the next IBM is about to be born in Binghamton.
3. Reduce Crime-Binghamton is at a cross-roads, an almost mini Renaissance if you will. People are moving downtown, new businesses are opening every week, and residents are spending more and more time at downtown establishments. There are few things that can halt Binghamton’s progress but one of those things is crime. In order for Binghamton to flourish, residents and businesses (current & future) alike need to feel confident about investing in this area. There needs to be reductions in petty and violent crime. There is no easy way to solve this issue but it needs to receive the same attention that job creation and infrastructure upgrades do. Through collaboration between citizens and local government we can help to reduce crime and improve the standard of living in this area.
Welcome 2015. We are excited to see what you bring this great city this upcoming year.