Each year in April Strictly Business focuses on construction and development in the region—what’s been built and who built it. Throw in an interesting personality from the industry and we have enough for an issue. This year the question was, “Has enough happened that will allow us to pull it off in this year of the pandemic?” It turned out the answer was a resounding “Yes!”

Medical equipment manufacturer Monaghan Medical’s new 65,000 square foot facility, built on 35 acres of the former Plattsburgh Airport property in the Town of Plattsburgh, is designed for today’s workplace with a look ahead to the needs of tomorrow. When the U.S. Canada border was closed early in the pandemic, the Project Manager hired by Monaghan’s Ontario-based parent company handed the job off to Luck Builders of Plattsburgh. Despite shortages of materials and delays in deliveries, the Luck’s performed true to their reputation, turning over the building only three months later than the original projection. An impressive accomplishment!

A shortage of affordable housing has plagued the North Country for decades. Enter Atlas Heights, Plattsburgh Housing Authority’s newest effort to address the problem. Located off New York Road on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, 40 units – comprised of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments – are nearing completion and are scheduled to welcome residents in July of this year.

The Ticonderoga Golf Course development is an amazing tribute to the spirit and determination of the community. Despite floods, droughts, a fire and a pandemic nothing could stop the course’s Board of Directors and supporters from achieving their goal. I’m not a golfer but those of you who are should consider a trip to Ti to check out this $10 million achievement.

It is the personalities who make an ordinary story more interesting. In this issue we introduce you to Biz Murray of Champlain Valley Electric, the third family member to oversee the business’ lighting division. After a career in speech pathology Biz changed course and took on the new challenge at just the right time. Don’t miss her article.

This month’s Insight feature, Tom McNichols, is an opera singer, a builder, a real estate agent, and now the new president of the Strand Center for the Arts Board of Directors. What an interesting combination of skills and interests he has.

Colin Read’s contribution this month salutes the optimism of those who invest in the region. Always a cheerleader for the area, he points out the advantages we have to offer and why that bodes well for our economic future.

And then Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with news about a new initiative of the North Country Chamber of Commerce – Where NY Meets Montreal. The new brand for the Chamber’s economic development website comes at just the right time as Canadians are looking forward to the reopening of the border and investment opportunities in the U.S.

The pandemic has had a dramatic effect on businesses everywhere but, once again, the North Country has shown its resilience. We have been hurt but we are coming back…

…and that’s good for business.