Downstate New York has discovered Delaware County. People are buying second homes, moving their families, looking for work or starting businesses.
Mary Beth Silano is one of those people. Not coincidentally, she also happens to be the Executive Director of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. For hundreds of new and small businesses, and many more recent transplants to the county, she is the right woman in the right place at the right time.
Having moved her family from Westchester fourteen years ago, Silano has the empathy and insight of a fellow pioneer. She recalls that, “at first it was very hard to try and find employment for what I was skilled in.” But, perseverance had its reward.
“I saw the ad in the paper for the County Chamber for receptionist, and I applied. Got the job. Went from receptionist to Office Manager, to Finance Director, to Membership Director, and now to Executive Director. So there are opportunities here so long as you just stick with it.”
As Executive Director of the Chamber, Silano helps others find those opportunities. “We are usually the first point of contact for somebody who’s relocating to the area.” If a person is hoping to start a small business, the Chamber will provide connection to its partners in Economic Development, then if needed, to the Office of Employment and Training for employees.
She’s proud to say that, “All the organizations in the county work very closely together.”
When asked to identify the employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the county, Silano responds, “There are a lot of manufacturers who are expanding their businesses.” She notes that a lot of people moving to the area are trying to “bring back agriculture, such as organic farming. There’s a lot of farmland in Delaware County which is bare, and that’s a huge potential.” She continues, “There’s a need for technology service providers. We definitely need computer services, web site services – anything to do with the internet. That’s the wave of the future.” She quickly adds, “There’s a need for more tourism businesses to open up, because tourism is part of the future of Delaware County.”
For the Chamber’s eight-hundred and fifty members (seventy percent of which are small businesses), Silano and the Delaware County Chamber provide continuing opportunities to network, grow and prosper. That such opportunities are available in such a relaxed and idyllic place makes living and doing business in Delaware County a surprisingly satisfying experience. Small wonder people are moving here!
For more information: www.delawarecounty.org
Learn about the newly opened eCenter – Business Incubator. Click here.
To listen to the entire interview with Mary Beth Silano, click below.