Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:00

NOTES FROM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Our Top 10 List of Accomplishments in 2017

By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Business

We believe the Saratoga County Chamber changes things for the benefit of our members and ensures Saratoga County is and always will be a great place to live, work and play.Each year around this time, we like to take a look back to highlight some of the key accomplishments we’ve achieved in pursuit of this mission.

As with any list, it certainly does not include everything we did. But we believe these Top 10 accomplishments demonstrate our recent history of success made possible because of the investments made in the Chamber by all of our members:

10. We hosted 87 ribbon cuttings in 2017. We believe every ribbon cutting is a celebration of a dream come true.

9. We’re still the #1 healthiest county in all of New York State. 2017 was the second consecutive year we were honored with this top ranking by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Institute.

8. More than 100 volunteers spent five weeks in April and May helping us to secure a record 270+ new Chamber members as part of our 2017 Membership Blitz. 

7. We produced a video early this year to advocate for a site specific plan to build workforce housing in Saratoga Springs. Four development projects are now moving through the planning process on all of the sites we featured in the video. 

6. We worked with Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner and Saratoga County Veterans Director Frank McClement to help rebrand and expand business and Veteran participation in the FAVOR Veterans discount program. This partnership is helping us to ensure Saratoga County is always one of the most Veteran friendly places to live.

5. We purchased and wrapped a used van to create the Chamber’s Visitor Van. The Visitor Van now functions as a mobile information center capable of promoting Chamber members at locations across Saratoga County.

4. As Saratoga County’s Official Tourism Promotional Agency (TPA), our year-round advertising campaign was expanded into new geographic and behavioral target markets. County occupancy taxes are up 7.5 percent during the first three quarters of the year as is demand for hotel rooms.

3. A delegation from the Chamber visited Global Foundaries’ semiconductor manufacturing facility, in Dresden, Germany. While there, the delegation also spent time learning how communities along the Elbe River have grown their local tourism economies. Now we’re talking with the NYS Canal Corporation to explore how these ideas might be helpful here in Saratoga County.

2. Our volunteer SCORE advisors met with a record 191 new clients in 2017. We have an award winning SCORE program thanks to these volunteers. They are helping entrepreneurs and startups to create new jobs and new locally-owned small businesses in communities across Saratoga County.

1. In April, we celebrated the passage of bipartisan legislation to reprivatize NYRA as a not-for-profit corporation ending state government control over the Saratoga Race Course after  seven years. We worked closely with Senator Marchione and Assemblywoman Woerner over the last three years to achieve this goal. 

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