Back in March, this site wrote about how Payment In Lieu Of Tax (PILOT) plans, grants, and the business awards in Columbia County often to newly-arrived and unproven businesses like Local Ocean:
Winner of the 2010 Crystal Apple Award from the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce just months after opening, Local Ocean recently lost its sweet PILOT deal with Columbia County.
Welcomed with great fanfare and largesse by local development agencies, and much-celebrated in the regional press, Local Ocean has been bedeviled by two patent lawsuits—and laggard in making payments to the County.
Local Ocean’s meteoric rise and fall from official favor is not a unique path. The tight-knit and often insular County development elite has a history of patting itself on the back, awarding its own most favored projects before they even get off the ground.
Now at last comes official word of the long-rumored news that Local Ocean is kaput. Their Greenport facility is closed, their workforce laid off, and the property scheduled for a public foreclosure auction.
Local Ocean joins a long list of failed enterprises or no-shows ushered in by the various City and County development authorities. (In the 1990s, the most egregious examples were Cycletech and Wittcomm.) The history here is that those most eagerly welcomed in by such agencies and their affiliated booster organizations are often the first to fail.
But old habits die hard. This June, a number of better-established businesses such as Basilica Hudson were passed over at another Chamber award ceremony—in favor of the latest new kid on the block, Phoenix Hudson Manufacturing. Like Local Ocean in 2009, Phoenix is the 2012-13 darling of the County development establishment. One can only hope that it will fare better than Local Ocean.