NY: ESD Assists Two Western New York Small Businesses to Expand Operations | Trade and Industry Development

NY: ESD Assists Two Western New York Small Businesses to Expand Operations

Aug 18, 2010
Inscape (NY) and StudentVoice to invest combined total of $3.35 million, retaining over 100 jobs, creating nearly 50 new positions

NEW YORK - Empire State Development (ESD) today announced it has given assistance to two Western New York companies, Inscape (NY), Inc. and StudentVoice LLC, in order to retain and grow their operations.  The small businesses will invest a combined total of $3.35 million in Chautauqua and Erie counties, retaining 103 existing jobs and creating an additional 45 full-time positions.  ESD has offered each company a $100,000 grant to help offset costs associated with their expansion plans.


“Small businesses are such an integral component to any economy, particularly on the local level,” said ESD Chairman & CEO Dennis M. Mullen. “It’s the Governor and ESD’s priority that we retain and grow our small businesses, as well as plant the seeds for future entrepreneurs in our communities so we can stimulate and foster a sustainable local economy.  Both Inscape and StudentVoice are terrific examples of how giving small businesses the tools they need to prosper can lead to job creation and increased productivity.  I congratulate the two companies and wish them much continued success.”


Inscape (NY), Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of movable wall systems for the commercial office industry, is acquiring and renovating a building it currently leases in Falconer in order to turn the location into a customer-centered showcase in which the company demonstrates its products.  Inscape will invest $3 million for the purchase and renovation of this building, as well as the acquisition of new machinery and equipment.  The purchase of this additional facility will allow Inscape to avoid annual increases in lease costs that prohibit the company from operating profitably, as well as provide the company with the opportunity to make additional investments in the future.


“The purchase of our manufacturing facility and subsequent front office renovation were critical elements of our plan to reduce costs and enhance our market position,” said Kent Smallwood, President, Inscape (NY), Inc.  “The support of the Empire State Development agency was important to us as we undertake investments to grow our New York State operations.”


As a result of this investment, Inscape will retain 66 full-time jobs and add an additional 25 well-paying positions over the next three years.  The company will receive a $100,000 grant from ESD to assist with the building renovations, as well as $305,000 in Empire Zone Investment Tax Credits.


Headquartered in Holland Landing, Canada, Inscape was originally founded in 1888 in Rochester as Office Specialty and established a reputation for producing reliable, high-quality filing and storage products throughout North America.


StudentVoice LLC, a young, progressive company that provides assessment and consulting services to colleges and universities nationwide, has grown considerably in the past two years, having doubled its staff in downtown Buffalo and expected to continue growing over the next three years. To accommodate its increase in sales and productivity, StudentVoice is investing $350,000 in its Ellicott Street location to reconfigure its space, purchase additional equipment and add 20 more high-paying new jobs to its current staff of 37 full-time employees.  ESD has offered the company a $100,000 capital grant to assist with the facility expansion and equipment purchases.


“We are appreciative of the assistance from ESD in helping StudentVoice expand and reconfigure its offices,” said Eric Reich, President of Student Voice. “StudentVoice continues to experience incredible growth and it is especially rewarding to be adding many new, highly educated people from outside the area, who are moving to Buffalo from other parts of the country to experience the wonderful quality of life that Western New York provides.”


Founded in 2001 at the University of Buffalo, StudentVoice LLC has become the leading platform and service provider for assessment in higher education and is the only specialized, comprehensive assessment program that combines elements of data collection, reporting, organization and integration. Since its inception, top university administrators at over 400 institutions across North America have partnered with StudentVoice on innovative assessment activities.  The company also has locations in Washington, D.C., Boston and Denver.


ESD is committed to representing the interests and assisting New York’s small business through both its regional offices and Division for Small Business.  Most recently, the state created an online manual aimed at connecting small business owners and entrepreneurs to important resources.  Governor Paterson also announced the creation of a $50 million Small Business Revolving Loan Fund to provide capital to minority and women-owned enterprises and other entrepreneurs that are having difficulty accessing regular credit markets.  For more information on ESD’s Division for Small Business and its programs, visit http://www.empire.state.ny.us/SmallBusiness.html.


Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency, committed to being recognized on a global scale as the economic development engine driving job growth, strategic investment and prosperity in New York State.  ESD is intent on paving the way for New York State to become the leader of the innovation economy and one of the most business friendly, productive and competitive economic development climates in the world. ESD also oversees the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand.  For more information, visit www.esd.ny.gov.


Warner Johnston (ESD) | wjohnston@empire.state.ny.us | 1-800-260-7313
Katie Krawczyk (ESD) | kkrawczyk@empire.state.ny.us | 1-800-260-7313


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