AEDC Entrepreneurship Assistance Program Brews Success

Franklin County residents and Adirondack travelers may be familiar with Township 7 Brewing Company, a small brewery in Dickinson Center which hosts live music and events and can see upwards of 100 customers per day during the summer. The brewery’s products can also be found in bars and restaurants throughout St Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton and Essex Counties. The business has seen much success since opening in 2016 and according to Township 7’s owner, Nate Drake, it all started with an entrepreneurship class hosted by Adirondack Economic Development Corporation.

“I attended the class in 2014 to work on my business plan and solidify my idea for the brewery,” Drake said. One of AEDC’s services is an annual 60-hour Entrepreneurship Assistance Program for interested businesses which has the goal of completing a business plan to help secure financing for their businesses. “Developing a business plan is very challenging,” Drake said. “They helped significantly with putting a business plan together, which allowed me to present to investors who would potentially, and did, invest in the company.”

Victoria Zinser Duley, the Executive Director of AEDC said Township 7 is a great success story and a good example of AEDC’s mission of helping businesses and communities. “People may have good business ideas, but starting up is difficult and a robust business plan is the first step to success,” said Zinser Duley. “Nate Drake and Township 7, like most startups, just needed that initial assistance and have been successful on their own, ever since.” AEDC’s services are not just for startups, however. “We can help businesses in any state, whether it's startup, expansion or even in emergency mode, which we have seen a lot of during the pandemic,” Zinser Duley said.

Assisting Businesses During COVID-19

After operating the brewery for four years, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Drake reached back out to AEDC for guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan. “They made the process very smooth,” Drake said.

Many other businesses also used AEDC’s services for guidance on COVID-19 financial assistance. “There were so many programs, both federal and state, with their own guidelines,” Zinser Duley said. “We learned as much about these various programs as we could, then got the word out to Adirondack businesses and assisted many with navigating the application processes.”

Helping Businesses Help Communities

Business Services at AEDC range from financial assistance through its low-interest loan funds, technical assistance, such as one-on-one business counseling, training on getting certified as a Minority and Women owned Business Enterprise, entrepreneurship classes, navigation of COVID-19 financial assistance, and other services needed by companies and organizations. “We are here to help businesses in any way we can,” said Zinser Duley. “Then, those same businesses can improve their communities, create jobs and invest in the area.” Township 7 Brewing seems to also exemplify this with putting about $2.75 million of investment into its operation to date and employs 6 people at its location at 303 State Route 11B, Dickinson Center, NY 12930.

The brewery also helps bring tourists to the area. “I have probably seen a license plate from every state in the US and half of Canada sitting in the Tap Room’s parking lot.” Drake said. “They might not all come just for us, but we think it enriches their Adirondack experience as they pass through or stay nearby, and it certainly makes us happy to have them include us in their trips.”

As much as Township 7 has benefited the community, nobody is probably happier with AEDC’s services with the brewery than Drake, saying “With help from the AEDC, I’ve been able to build a business, live my dream and just be happy working my tail off doing what I love.”

Back to News Page