Economic Development

Location, Location, Location:

Potsdam is blessed with a variety of retail commercial, light industrial and industrial sites that will meet your unique location needs, size and budget.   A current list of available sites is available on the Village of Potsdam’s website, the St. Lawrence County IDA’s website:  or the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtor’s Multiple Listing Service: .


 Local Realtors include:


  • Dott Realty - (315) 265-4444


  • LaValley Real Estate - (315) 268-0800


  • Nikki Coates & Associates (315) 265-4303


  • Plumley Real Estate  - (315) 265-6720


  • Sandstone Realty (315) 265-2111


Potsdam prides itself on being a community that seeks new adaptive uses for its existing stock of retail, commercial and former university facilities.  While green field development is welcome, the re-use of existing buildings helps us retain our unique small town character.

Traffic Counts:

Traffic Counts


U.S. Highway 11 and State Highways 11B and Route 56 are the major transportation corridors serving the Village of Potsdam.  Traffic counts for these roadways are as follows:


  • State Highway 56/Market Street north to the Village line – 15,924 vehicle trips/day


  • U.S. Highway 11 west to the Village line  - 15,633 vehicle trips/day


  • State Highway 56/Market Street at Main Street – 12,422 vehicle trips/day


  • State Highway 56/Market Street at Sandstone Drive – 12,303 vehicle trips /day


  • State Highway 11/Lawrence Ave. and State Highway 11B/Elm Street – 9,119 vehicle trips /day
Business Start-up, Expansion or Relocation Financing:

Through its lending partner, the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation, the Village of Potsdam has the ability to provide businesses wishing to locate or expand within the community with debt financing products.   Using Village resources, the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation has the ability to tailor debt financing to meet your needs, including:


  • Micro-enterprise loans to businesses with five or fewer employees including the owner.  The maximum loan is $25,000 at 5 percent interest with a 60 month term.


  • Small business loans through the Potsdam Growth Fund. The Growth Fund can provide up to $125,000 in debt financing at 5 percent interest and a negotiable repayment term.


The Planning and Development Office often partners with other regional economic development organizations and commercial lenders to help finance start-up, expansion or relocation deals.  Some of these organizations include:


  • The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency


  • The Development Authority of the North Country


  • The North Country Alliance


  • Community Bank, NA


  • First Niagara


  • Key Bank, NA


  • M & T Bank


  • NBT Bank


  • North Country Savings Bank


  • SeaComm Federal Credit Union


For more information contact: Jim Murphy at the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation at or (518) 891-5523.

Labor and Employment:

Potsdam is known for having a highly educated workforce.  The 2000 US Census of Population reported that 86 percent of all Village residents had graduated from 12th grade; and, that 41 percent had earned a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.  Eight percent of the Village’s population in 2000 reported that English was their second language and that they spoke English “well” or “very well”.  Of these the highest percentage spoke an Indo-European language followed by speakers of Asian/Pacific Island languages.  Being the host community to two universities and a regional health care center draws a global population base that has first-hand knowledge of diverse cultures and language skills.  Within the St. Lawrence County “labor shed” there is a civilian workforce of approximately 90,140.   In 2006, the St. Lawrence County area has approximately 20,180 workers for new or expanding businesses.


The Village of Potsdam is home to three temporary employment agencies, Penski, Inc. Personnel Services, Kelly Services, and Personé Staffing.  (See links to these firms under heading "links".) These  firms can provide temporary employees as well as a host of related services designed to help local firms find and retain qualified employees.


The St. Lawrence County One Stop Career Center is a significant resource for firms wishing to hire qualified employees and providing a wide range of employment benefits including On-the-Job training programs, training wage subsidies and customized training programs.  The One-Stop-Career Center can be reached at or at (315) 386-3276.


Both Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam can provide qualified student interns to undertake short-term projects. For more information please contact the Planning and Development Office.

Business Support Services:

The Village of Potsdam’s economic development efforts are supported by both the Potsdam and St. Lawrence County Chambers of Commerce.  The Potsdam Chamber of Commerce sponsors a wide range of promotional and educational programs for its members and the community.  The Executive Director of the Potsdam Chamber can be reached at or at (315) 274-9000.


Potsdam is home to a number of firms that provide services to local businesses including attorneys, insurance agencies, and accounting firms.  Area attorneys include:


  • Cappello, Linden and Ladouceur (315) 265-2747


  • Ingram & Pignone Law Firm, (315) 265-8680


  • Jerry C. Leek, (315) 265-2595


  • Silver & Collins (315) 265-2264


Area accounting firms include:


  • Pinto, Mucenski, Hooper and Van House & Co. PC – certified public accountants,  (315) 265-6080


  • Stephen S. Robinson CPA PC, (315) 265-2620


  • Larry Reece – certified public accountant,  (315) 265-4046


  • John Parcell – certified public accountant, (315) 265-5222


Area insurance agencies include:


  • Allstate, (315) 265-2600


  • Potsdam Insurance (315) 265-9650


  • McFadden- Deir, Leonard (315) 265-4230


  • Nationwide Insurance (315) 265-2140


  • Rose & Keirnan, (315) 265-2341


  • State Farm (315) 268-9000


Area architects and engineering firms include:





Business & Entrepreneurial Training Services:

The Planning and Development Office strongly encourages businesses – especially start-up firms – to consult with local business consulting organizations for technical assistance in the refinement of a business or strategic plan before applying for public/private debt financing.  These organizations include:


  • The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center: or (315) 386-7312.


Zoning Regulations:

The Village of Potsdam has adopted a progressive zoning code that protects the property rights of resident and corporate taxpayers as well as advancing orderly and well thought-out development of land and buildings.


The Village Planning Board is comprised of five voting members who are responsible for reviewing proposed  developments to ensure compliance with the Village’s zoning code found in §180 of the Village Code.  Planning Board reviews include:


  • Site Plan Review (preliminary review prior to application and formal review after application).


  • Special Use Permits


  • Sub-Division Review


  • Sign Permits


The Village Planning Board’s annual meeting schedule and §180 of the Village zoning code can be downloaded from the Village’s website or by contacting the Planning and Development Office directly.


The Village Zoning Board of Appeals is a quasi-judicial body whose tasks include the consideration of requests for variances and the interpretation of zoning codes. Its jurisdiction is appellate only.  The Zoning Board of Appeals considers applications for:


  • Area Variances


  • Uses Variances.


The Zoning Board of Appeals annual meeting schedule, §180 of the Village zoning code and appeals application forms can be downloaded from the Village’s website or by contacting the Planning and Development Office directly.

Code Enforcement:

The Code Enforcement Office administers the NYS Building Code, the Property Maintenance Codes and Village zoning laws.  The Code Enforcement Officer is Gregory Thompson; he may be reached at or (315) 265-7678.

Business Infrastructure:

Municipal Water and Sewer Service


The Village of Potsdam is served by municipal water and sewer service.  Sufficient capacity exists within the systems to meet the needs of current and future commercial service connections. For more information on water and sewer capacity contact the Village’s Water Dept at (315) 265-7033 or Sewer Dept at (315) 265-8670.  For information regarding service connections and street access contact the Superintendent of Public Works, Jim Corbett at or at (315) 265-4620. 

Village Police, Fire Department and Rescue Squad:


The Village of Potsdam protects the health, safety and welfare of its residents through the provision of a full-time police department, fire and rescue squad services. The Potsdam Village Police Department is accredited by the NYS Law Enforcement Accreditation Program. The Deparment includes the chief, lieutenant, 8 full-time police officers and 4 dispatchers. For more information on the Department contact Police Chief Kevin Bates at or (315) 265-2121.


The Village Fire Department provides paid fire drivers with fire protection provided by a group of highly dedicated volunteer firefighters.  The Potsdam Fire Department apparatus line-up includes 3 engines, 1 tanker, 2 rescue trucks and an 85 feet tower truck.  For more information contact Chief Justin Perry at or at (315) 265-3312.  The Village Rescue Squad is staffed by an advanced life support staff person and has 40 local members.  The Squad has an ambulance, a first responder vehicle and rescue boat.  The Rescue Squad can be contacted at www.

Potsdam Damon Field Airport:

The Village of Potsdam owns and operates the Potsdam Damon Field Airport located on the Hatch Rd.  The Damon Field Airport is a general aviation field that is home to approximately 20 commercial and recreational based aircraft.  The runway is 3,705 in length and 60 feet in width with a parallel taxi lane. Landside facilities include:


  • An administration building with a pilot lounge and restroom facilities.  


  • AWOS automated weather observation and navigational aids.


  • Self service Jet A and aviation fuel.


  • Eleven apron tie-downs serving transient aircraft.


  • An 8 bay “T” hangar that offers annual leases for based aircraft.


Commercial aviation use at the Damon Field Airport includes:  Air Methods , an air ambulance service, LTI Transportation both based at the field and daily UPS airfreight flights. For more information about the Potsdam Damon Field Airport, contact Village Administrator, Everett Basford at or (315) 265-7480.

Village of Potsdam Planning and Development Office
Frederick J. Hanss
2 Park Street - Civic Center
P.O. Box 5168
Potsdam, NY 13676
Phone: 315-265-1670 ext. 241
Fax: 315-265-6020
The Director's main responsibilties are community and economic development for the Village of Potsdam.
Starting a Business in Potsdam

The Potsdam Planning and Development Office is a nimble and responsive local development organization that merges local planning and zoning as well as economic development in a one-stop shop.  Whether your business start-up requires the perfect location, start-up or expansion financing, technical support or help moving your project through the local zoning approval process, the Planning and Development Office is here to help.

© 2023 Village Of Potsdam, St.Lawrence County
Website Contact: Ron Tischler
2 Park Street - Civic Center
P.O. Box 5168
Potsdam, NY 13676
Phone: 315-265-7480
Fax: 315-265-3149
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Printed On September 24, 2023