Finalists Selected for Oswego County’s ‘Next Great Idea’ Business Plan Competition

Adirondack Physical and Occupational Therapy and Lakeside Artisans Cooperative have been selected as finalists for the 2010 Next Great Idea Oswego County Business Plan Competition, it was announced by Austin Wheelock, economic development specialist for Operation Oswego County (OOC).

Nov. 9 finalists will give a 20-minute presentation on their business plan in-person to the panel of judges. Following the presentation, a luncheon and awards ceremony announcing the winner will be held at The American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St., Oswego. The keynote speaker will be B.J. Paprocki, Syracuse District Director, Small Business Administration, and Tammy Palmer, news anchor for Time Warner Cable’s Your News Now (YNN) station, will emcee the event.

FINALISTS SELECTED FOR OSWEGO COUNTY’S 2010 ‘NEXT GREAT IDEA’ BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION OSWEGO, NY – Adirondack Physical and Occupational Therapy and Lakeside Artisans Cooperative have been selected as finalists for the 2010 Next Great Idea Oswego County Business Plan Competition, it was announced by Austin Wheelock, economic development specialist for Operation Oswego County (OOC). The winner will be announced Nov. 9.

“November 9th will mark the culmination of the 2010 Next Great Idea Oswego County Business Plan Competition,” Wheelock said. “This year’s Finalists have worked extremely hard to position themselves to win $25,000 towards developing their business venture here in Oswego County.

“Adirondack Physical and Occupational Therapy (Existing Company): Adirondack Physical and Occupational Therapy is proposing developing an expansion of their current facilities in Oswego to include a neuro-therapy rehabilitation clinic for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cerebral vascular accident (CVA) patients. As the population ages, there is a need for specialized medical services to be developed locally/regionally in order to meet the demands of the consumer. This idea would expand upon the physical and occupational therapy services offered by Adirondack to create a comprehensive rehabilitation facility including services to stroke and brain trauma patients, which this area is currently underserved. This would create new jobs as well as add quality of life to the aging population in and around Oswego County.

“Lakeside Artisans Cooperative (For-Profit Cooperative): The Lakeside Artisans’ Cooperative is a start-up for profit cooperative that proposed developing a unique retail showcase to promote local artwork and artisans crafts. Their expanded vision will include selling art supplies, consignments, housing facilities for art classes and demonstrations, and an art gallery. Currently the Oswego area does not have an artists’ retail outlet and this business would help retain our local artist population as well as attract others. Tourism has already passed agriculture as the number one industry in Oswego County and this idea wants to expand on that.

“This year’s Next Great Idea competition received several innovative ideas ranging from green manufacturing to health care to arts/culture and tourism. These ideas were all from local and regional entrepreneurs who would like to develop or expand their business in Oswego County.

“Some of the anticipated outcomes from this year’s and future NGI competitions include, but are not limited to: developing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurism in Oswego county; improving the quality of life for the community by bringing innovative and needed businesses and services to Oswego County; fighting the ‘brain drain’ by encouraging the best and brightest to stay here; creating new job opportunities and markets; and expanding the tax base.

This year’s judges include: Barbara Bateman, Alliance Bank; Paul Williams, Felix Schoeller Paper; Pam Roach, Hart & Stone General Store; RoyClark, Dunkin Donuts chain owner; Joe Fiumara, Fulton Community Development; Paul Vickery, Vickery Insurance; and Steve Osborne, Fulton Savings Bank.

“The $25,000 prize was raised in partnership with private banks, local companies, and public and private institutions that see the importance in making an investment in Oswego County’s economic future. Financial sponsors include:  Fulton Savings Bank, Alliance Bank, Key Bank, PathFinder Bank, Community Bank, Entergy Nuclear, New York Business Development Corp., County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency, Operation Oswego County, SUNY Oswego, Small Business Development Center at SUNY Oswego, National Grid, C&S Companies, and O’Brien & Gere.

“Media sponsors who have donated in-kind services to encourage entries and promote the competition include Time Warner Cable-Your News Now, Chirello Advertising, OswegoCountyToday.Com, The Palladium Times, Oswego County Business Magazine, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, and Mitchell’s Speedway Press.”

The event steering committee includes: Austin Wheelock, Operation Oswego County, event co-chair; Larry Perras, Small Business Development Center, event co-chair; Eric Bresee, Oswego County Opportunities; Brian Caswell, Caswell & Associates; Steve Chirello, Chirello Advertising; Beth Hilton, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce; Dan Laird, SUNY Oswego; Nancy Kush Ellis, Fulton Savings Bank; Dusti Foley, Palladium Times; Linda Goodness, City of Oswego Community Development Office; John Halleron, Small Business Development Center; Shannon Mantaro, Operation Oswego County; Allison Nelson, Caraccioli & Nelson, PLLC; and  John Trimble, C&S Companies.

The NGI web site,, includes an overview of the event, a competition timeline, guidelines, details on the $25,000 prize, sponsors, partners and contact information.  In addition, the $25,000 can potentially be leveraged to borrow up to $250,000 in partnership with local banks, the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency, the cities of Oswego and Fulton community development offices, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and other economic development agencies.

The finalists will also receive free submissions to New York’s’ Creative Core $250,000, 2011 Emerging Business Competition.

For more information, visit the web site at, or Wheelock can be contacted at 315-343-1545 or at [email protected].

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Located in the Key Bank Building, Fulton, Chirello Advertising offers full service advertising, public relations, and marketing expertise to a variety of industrial, professional, institutional and retail clients throughout Central New York. Established in 1996, the agency specializes in public relations planning, graphic design, web design and streaming web video, video production, market research, radio, television, online, and print advertising. Steve Chirello can be contacted at (315) 592-9778, [email protected] and Profiles of the agency are also on Facebook® and LinkedIn®.