Chamber President Pete Bardunias

Pete Bardunias

Last week, four big chambers of commerce (Capital Region, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Southern Saratoga) all came together for the groundbreaking of the new First New York Federal Credit Union branch in Halfmoon.  We teased that in a few months there will be a very colorful ribbon cutting, since the four chambers have light green, orange, dark green and red ribbons, respectively.  Although we all have our separate and unique pursuits, it’s nice to see the chambers work together sometimes, especially to support an active mutual member such as First New York; the credit union is the 2019 ribbon cutting sponsor for both the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County (CSSC) and the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

The event highlighted the value of effective partnerships.  Sometimes these can involve multiple chambers, such as the example above or recent legislative fights against paid family leave overreach, the planned predictive scheduling laws or so-called “prevailing wage” bills.   Another effective partnership can involve a chamber and some of its member companies.  For two years in a row the CSSC and Stewart’s Shops are joining forces to promote the Saratoga County Dairy Princess at the Waterford Canal Festival, and community development work is being facilitated by the CSSC in Vischer Ferry and Mechanicville, supported by Curtis Lumber and Momentive Performance Materials.  And we love involving small business!  In Round Lake the local businesses came together to host meetings with local officials which have resulted in a kayak hub being placed along the lakeshore by Upstate Kayak Rentals.  In the Towns of Clifton Park and Ballston the CSSC and its agriculture members toil to preserve working farms and ensure that the needs and concerns of the agricultural community are considered when undertaking new development projects.

Other not-for-profits can be effective partners. The Twin Bridges Rotary will be assisting in the above-mentioned work along the Erie Canal in Vischer Ferry.  Scenic Hudson, based downstate in Poughkeepsie, is a strong supporter and solid partner in efforts to promote a cleaner and greener future for the Hudson River and its neighboring towns.  And “greener” doesn’t just mean environmental – the conversation has consistently been centered on how to bring 21st century manufacturing and other types of responsible development to the shores of the Hudson once again, building an economically-sustainable future for Saratoga County’s river towns.

At the CSSC’s annual dinner on April 4, a capacity crowd of over 230 people filled the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Clifton Park, demonstrating perhaps the greatest partnership of all – businesses big and small, not-for-profits, government, and other business organizations all coming together for the good of our communities.

-Pete Bardunias, President/CEO, the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County

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