Mostly bad news

If all publicity is good, the Southern Tier got good publicity this week. How to tell if Facebook is working for you. More.


State offers $350,000 in Farm to School grants

On Monday, Gov. Cuomo announced grants aimed at connecting schools to growers and increasing the use of locally grown specialty crops. Sadly, the grants to support farmers are available only to schools—and schools must apply by Monday, Oct. 19.


Facebook likes mean you’re doing great, right?

Facebook says the average post was only seen by about 17% of its fans, and most fans never go back to a Facebook page after they’ve initially liked it. You can see your own figures in the Insights.  You might want to pull out your calculator to figure your ROI for Facebook.  If the numbers make you cringe, better start interacting with your audience. (Most businesses don’t.)


Southern Tier in the news, but not in good news

A New York Times piece this week details how the Southern Tier is struggling with high unemployment, poverty, declining numbers of young people, and rising numbers of over 65 residents since big businesses pulled out. The only solutions residents interviewed in the story can suggest are attracting big businesses or selling off environmental assets.


Trouble in oil and natural gas drilling business

An energy industry analyst says one-third of fracking companies are in danger of going bust by end of year. :Long-abandoned oil and natural gas wells across America that were never properly plugged are causing groundwater contamination. Locating them may be a job for drones: The wells were never properly mapped either.


State roads, bridges, other infrastructure failing

You may have heard that engineers rated the state’s roads and bridges “D-” and “D+” respectively because of their deterioration and lack of adequate funds to improve them. (Download the report card brochure or full 86-page report.) You may not have heard that rural driving fatalities are three times higher than they are on all other roads in the state.


#RequestForStartup seeks unmet Internet needs

Meeting needs, especially important unmet needs, increases the likelihood of a business succeeding. A new Internet startup is creating a list of other  Internet startup ideas that people want.  At present, ideas are pulled from Twitter by using the hashtag #RequestForStartup.


Roll-over protection rebates for older tractors

New York State farmers can get a roll-bar system for pre-1985 tractors at a max out-of-pocket cost of $500 through the Rollover Protection System program. The 2015-2016 state budget set aside $250,000 for ROPS program.


October newsletter publishing twice a week

Rural New York Small Business Owner  was planned as a weekly newsletter. The three-times-a-week schedule was primarily to see how much of various kinds of content is regularly available.

Starting next week, you’ll get newsletters only Monday and Friday instead of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, . Over the month, please notice what day you’re more likely to skim the issue when it pops up in your email. That will help determine when a once-a-week newsletter should be mailed. I’ll post a poll late in the month, but the comments section is always open. Thanks.


Form meets function beautifully in the woods

Let’s end on a happy note. From architecture students in Estonia, the most wired country in the world, come attractive, non-digital, wooden forest megaphones that serve as meditation booths, outdoor theater shelters, and respite areas for hikers. Check out the photos.


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