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Business in Tompkins County

Jennifer Tavares President, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce“The Tompkins County region, including Ithaca, is nationally recognized as a prime place to locate and grow a business. Tompkins County is home to the Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College as well as many high-tech companies. These intellectual assets feed the business community with scientific break-throughs, an entrepreneurial spirit and a creative, highly-skilled workforce. They have also helped spur the growth of research-based businesses and attracted nationally renowned teams of scientists. These assets are very much available to local businesses and organizations, and can help identify and address problems.”

Jennifer Tavares
President, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce


Business Development

Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber's staff helps businesses locate in the area and assists existing businesses to grow and expand. The Chamber works primarily with smaller service and retail businesses.

Tompkins County Area Development 

Tompkins County Area Development, Inc. (TCAD) is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1964 that is dedicated to building a thriving and sustainable economy that improves the quality of life in Tompkins County. While working with business, not for-profit, higher education, and public sector organizations, we fulfill our mission by assisting in the formation, retention, expansion, and attraction of target businesses. As the community's lead economic development agency, TCAD offers financial assistance, technical assistance and real estate development services.

2015 Economic Development Strategy for Tompkins County (Presentation to the County Legislature, 4-7-15)

Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency

Led by a seven-member board appointed by the County Legislature and managed by TCAD, the IDA may abate local and State taxes for manufacturing and industrial projects that create jobs and strengthen the local tax base. The IDA also provides incentives to mixed use, multi story projects in the City of Ithaca’s downtown. The Tompkins County Development Corporation provides access to the tax-exempt bond market for the not for profit sector.


Workforce Development

Tompkins Workforce New York

Tompkins Workforce New York’s Workforce Investment Board coordinates employment and training resourcesfocused on meeting employer and individual workforce needs.

One-Stop Career Center

A program of Tompkins Workforce New York located in downtown Ithaca, provides a convenient approach for accessing employment-related services for businesses, workers, and jobseekers.


Additional Resources

The Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Tompkins County Planning Department

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council

Empire State Development

New York State Department of State