SUNY Oswego to Open Outreach Center in Fulton Because of Job Losses

Fulton’s dramatic loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs is behind an effort by SUNY Oswego’s Small Business Development Center to open a temporary office in Fulton.

The college announced this week that the center’s goal is to offer advice to people who have lost their jobs about how to open their own small businesses.

“The target is individuals who have thought about it and would like to start a business, but haven’t really decided which one to take on,” said Larry Perras, senior small-business adviser for the center.

He noted that Fulton has lost more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs since 1995. More jobs will be lost at the end of the year when the Birds-Eye vegetable processing plant closes.

The center will offer classes to help people identify their skills and will work with local companies that can help them get their ideas off the ground.

The idea began, Perras said in a news release, with a conversation with a local businessman who complained that Lake Ontario limited his marketing area. A $100,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration will create the temporary center and allow it to focus on e-commerce, which Perras said goes beyond the border created by the lake.

The office will help people for about six months. The center intends to use it as a model for helping other communities going through similar problems.