| Paul Camarda discusses
Putnam Paradox at Business Expo
Putnam County Courier
May 4, 2006
Developer Paul Camarda is tired of seeing "Shop
Putnam" signs dotted around the county with few
places to shop.
Camarda delivered the keynote address last Thursday
at Putnam's second annual Business Expo-sponsored by
the Chamber of Commerce of the Mahopacs in conjunction
with the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation
and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
More than 500 attended the get-together at the Villa
Barone Hilltop Manor in Mahopac that was highlighted
by a series of entrepreneurship seminars provided by
a number of professionals including members of the Putnam
SCORE played a major role in the conference. "Starting
Your Own Business" was divided into three seminar
topics-"What to consider before going into business-Developing
a winning business plan;" "Marketing: Sales
strategy and advertising;" and "Finance and
Taxes; Business Law and the Internet."
Members of Putnam SCORE (Service Corps of Resourceful
Executives) who will be celebrating its 4th anniversary
this month, presented the sessions. The corps of volunteer
successful business executives, affiliated with the
United States Small Business Administration is committed
to sharing their business knowledge and experience to
help local entrepreneurs start their own businesses
Jim Reilly, a business coach employed by Action International,
led a workshop tabbed "Six Steps to a Better Business"
while attorney Greg Riolo hosted a workshop called "Wage
and Hour in New York: What Every Employer Needs to know!"
The session examined the pitfalls experienced by all
employers, large and small, as well as providing tolls
for companies to conduct a self audit.
Camarda, one of Putnam's most active developers, told
the audience about his seven projects on the drawing
board comprising 800 acres. "Let's put that into
context. Putnam contains 158,000 acres containing 40-percent
green space. My acreage is a drop in the bucket or one-half
of one percent," he said. Camarda explained the
footprint of his projects was divided into thirds -
"one-third blacktop and building; one-third landscaping
sand ponds and one-third natural."
Projects outlined by the developer included the Gateway
Summit on Route 6 in Carmel that will include the construction
of a luxury hotel; 50 units of senior housing set within
the Centennial Golf Club; 381 multifamily and townhouse
units constructed off Stoneleigh Avenue in Carmel; Patterson
Crossing; Stateline Retail Center in Southeast, Kent
Center and Baldwin at the Putnam-Westchester border.
Camarda described New York as one of the most unfriendly
business entities in the nation ranking 49th of the
Camarda told the gathering about the "Putnam paradox"
in which $2 of every $3 spent is expended outside of
the county's borders in Dutchess, Westchester or Connecticut.
"Shoppers tend to go to these municipalities to
do their shopping. Big box stores like Costco and Lowe's
would keep these dollars closer to home and would more
than double Putnam's sales tax revenue," he said.
Peter Bardunias, Expo chairman, described the event
as a "huge success. Our 2006 edition was bigger
and better than our initial Expo and next year's will
top the current version."