Your gain is our goal

Programs & Initiatives

IAED is the leader in economic development. Through strategic planning, programs, and initiatives, we’re building the foundation for your business and success in Ithaca and Tompkins County.

Contact IAED ( for more information on our planning and leadership efforts.

Mapping systems to guide planned growth

Tompkins County Economic Recovery Strategy

When the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Ithaca, IAED and its partners were ready. The group tapped its already robust network of working groups and community connections to mobilize resources and stabilize at-risk businesses. The group also identified key actions to rehab, rebuild and grow the economy. Their work, summarized in the Tompkins County Economic Recovery Strategy, is as much recapping a record year as it is looking forward and into the future.

Mapping systems to guide planned growth

2020 Water and
Sewer Update

IAED is coordinating the 2020 Update (delayed one year due to the pandemic), which¬†modernizes its 2010 predecessor by mapping progress toward system improvements. It also includes a forward-looking “facility plan” that municipalities can use to bridge capacity gaps, resolve governance issues, and facilitate infrastructure planning. The 2020 Update is not just a snapshot, it’s a blueprint for improving redundancy and reliability. Its completion is especially timely given the likelihood of federal funding for infrastructure improvements. Stay tuned!

Gameplan for success

Economic Development Strategy

In 2015, IAED engaged stakeholders to create a five-year economic development strategy for Tompkins County. In 2019, IAED updated the plan, resulting in the Economic Development (ED) Strategy 2.0.

The world at your fingertips


Internet connectivity is more important than ever. IAED is leading local and regional efforts aimed at improving connectivity and enabling remote work, learning, and healthcare. IAED also secured and is administering a federal grant to deliver dark fiber infrastructure in support of a high-speed data center and surrounding communities. In fact, we just released an RFP to accomplish both aims. Whatever you do and wherever you want to do it, we’re working to get you connected!


Beyond our borders

IAED Foundation

IAED Foundation is the nonprofit arm of IAED, created to extend the impact of our economic development across the Finger Lakes region. It allows us to develop strategic partnerships and deliver funding to isolated, often rural communities, in ways one or the other cannot accomplish alone. For example, IAED Foundation delivered a food business incubation program and recently accepted management responsibility for the federal broadband grant. Both projects better align the two organizations and are yet another example of thinking outside the proverbial box, or boundary.



Tompkins County Tourism
Capital Grants Program

IAED administers the TCG program, which supports investments in visitor-generating projects such as theaters, museums, and other cultural and recreational attractions. All help keep Ithaca and Tompkins County “the” place to visit! There are 23 active TCG projects, including:

  • Friends of Stewart Park – Picnic Pavilion Revitalization
  • Ithaca Farmers Market – Pavilion Feasibility Study
  • Finger Lakes Land Trust – Lick Brook Preserves
  • Sciencenter – Amphitheatre Renovations
  • State Theatre – Accessibility Improvements

The next TCG funding round is scheduled fall 2022. In the meantime, keep up the good work and let us know how we can help!