LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) – Naturally Lewis, Inc. — the new private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization — is a collaboration that will consolidate services, staffing and resources into a one-stop-shop for economic and business development to lead development efforts in Lewis County, according to a press release.

The collaborators are:

  • The County of Lewis Industrial Development Agency;
  • Lewis County Development Corporation; and
  • The Lewis County Chamber of Commerce.

“The creation of Naturally Lewis, Inc. reflects the continued growth of our economic development and tourism team in Lewis County. Our talented staff and dedicated board members for the LCIDA, LCDC and Chamber of Commerce work incredibly well together. This transition will ensure this cooperative approach continues. There is momentum in the Lewis County economy and Naturally Lewis, Inc. will continue to drive that momentum forward.”

Eric Virkler, the new Chairman of the Naturally Lewis Inc. Board.

Naturally Lewis’ mission is to advocate for the growth of a community where people want to live, work, build businesses and play. Naturally Lewis Inc. is led by a new 15-person board of directors along with five staff members, including existing staff of the LCIDA and Lewis County Chamber of Commerce.

The new organization is tasked with steering an economic development strategy that will focus on creating a viable economic base by:

  • Supporting practical, realistic programs and policies that advance businesses;
  • Building community partnerships; and
  • Enhancing the quality of life for residents.

According to the press release, these three collaborators came together when they saw an opportunity to merge resources, operations and staff in order to make economic and business development more efficient across Lewis County. This collaboration will reduce duplication of efforts and provide clear and concise messaging on services being offered to the local business community.

Naturally Lewis staff, from left, Kristen Aucter, Director of Tourism; Brittany Davis, Executive Director; Cheyenne Steria, Director of Development; Jenna Lauraine, Programs & Partnerships Director and
Kaylee Tabolt, Economic & Tourism Development Specialist, May 17, 2023. (Kara Dry Photography LLC/WWTI/Naturally Lewis)

“Naturally Lewis, Inc. Is the result of collaboration between organizations and listening to the needs of our business community. This unique partnership between the LCIDA, the LCDC, and the Chamber of Commerce is driven by a shared vision to create a thriving economy where people can live, work and prosper. Together, we’ll build stronger relationships, build stronger communities and foster innovation to ensure a brighter future for Lewis County.

Brittany Davis, Executive Director of Naturally Lewis, Inc.

The LCIDA, LCDC and Chamber of Commerce boards and staff have been trying to find a way to do an organizational partnership since 2021. Through communications with various stakeholders, the staff of the organizations have taken the best assets of each entity forward to the development of Naturally Lewis, Inc.

According to Naturally Lewis, they are now the one-stop-shop for economic and business development in Lewis County and is here to support you if you are:

  • Starting or growing a business;
  • Rehabilitating a vacant space;
  • Looking for financing solutions for a development project;
  • Seeking a membership network;
  • Looking for creative funding solutions; and more.

More information on Naturally Lewis is available on their website.