Since 1964, Ithaca Area Economic Development (formerly Tompkins County Economic Development) has continued to work tirelessly to grow, retain, and attract companies that provide high-quality employment opportunities. We strive to create a supportive environment for entrepreneurship and business development. Strategic partnerships with businesses, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), government, and area non-profits contribute to these efforts. As you can see as you explore this website, Ithaca Area Economic Development is committed to its mission of creating a vibrant and sustainable economy for our region. We look forward to continuing to do so. With the support we get from working with partners and our investors, we will be successful.


  • Business Services – Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED) nurtures emerging high-growth businesses by building relationships early with founders, educating the commercial brokerage community about the needs of startups here and sponsoring meet-ups with the entrepreneurs.
  • Economic Strategy – The 2015-2020 Tompkins County Economic Development Strategy was developed and implemented by TCAD; it plays an integral part of the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan.
  • Leadership – Heather McDaniel sits on the Air Services Board and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council and Executive Committee, in which role she advocates for local projects.  IAED also leads quarterly meetings of local economic development participants called the Economic Development Collaborative. Participants share current activities, discuss economic development issues and form work groups to engage in specific economic development activities.

IAED’s Mission
Ithaca Area Economic Development is dedicated to building a thriving and sustainable economy that improves the quality of life in Tompkins County by fostering the growth of business and employment.

IAED’s Vision
A flourishing economy with exciting, innovative firms that inspire and attract a talented workforce.

This institution is an equal opportunity employer, and provider.