Growing business

SILVER CREEK – County Executive Gregory J. Edwards and area elected and economic development officials were recently at S. Howes Inc. touring the Silver Creek company’s current expansion project.

Construction of the 8,100-square-foot expansion began in May when S. Howes broke ground for their latest capital project.

Fred Mertz, President and Owner, was on hand to describe the project saying, “In response to increased demand for industrial processing equipment, S. Howes in Silver Creek has expanded with a new building and upgraded its existing facilities. We are continuously responding to our customer demands. Our new capabilities will allow us to secure bigger and more complex projects. Now we just need to find qualified engineers, machinist and fabricators.”

Edwards expressed his support for the project stating, “I’m excited to be here in person today and see the new construction under way at S. Howes Inc. With over 150 years of manufacturing history in downtown Silver Creek, S. Howes has been and continues to be a valued employer in Chautauqua County, providing well paid jobs to its employees.”

“I sincerely appreciate Fred Mertz’s commitment to expand here and am very pleased that through economic assistance provided by the County of Chau-tauqua Industrial Develop-ment Agency, Empire State Development, and financing by M&T Bank, 21 jobs were retained and nine new jobs are projected,” he continued.

The CCIDA’s Board of Directors previously approved a PILOT agreement related to the expansion, in accordance with its standard Uniform Tax Exemption Policy whereby property taxes on the improvements will increase gradually over a period of 10 years. Temporary sales tax abatement related to improvements and mortgage recording tax abatement will also be provided to the company.

In addition, Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development agency provided a $150,000 capital grant toward the project. “S. Howes, Inc. is a valued company in Chautauqua County and I am pleased, with assistance from Empire State Development, that this advanced manufacturer is investing more than $1 million to remain in Silver Creek and expand its business,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “The company continues to capitalize on the region’s strong manufacturing past in machining and metal works and employ highly skilled welders and machinists. The fact that the company has, and continues to, find new markets for its products proves the region can adapt and leverage its strengths.”

Originally the manufacturer of grain cleaning equipment, S. Howes has continuously evolved and diversified to meet the equipment needs of plants today, now producing process and filtration equipment for the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, environmental and mineral/metals industries. Still family owned and managed, S. Howes strives to maintain its reputation as a leading supplier and provider of high-quality equipment and superior customer service.

The CCIDA is an economic development organization authorized and empowered by the State of New York to make Chautauqua County a better place to work, live, and visit. They facilitate development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the form of incentives tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention by our businesses. For more information visit