The recent announcement of the MaltaNYBusiness.com website is an excellent illustration of how the affiliation this past January between the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County (CSSC) and the Capital Region Chamber is bearing fruit.
No one could have anticipated the unprecedented challenges our nation, our industries, and our communities are experiencing, much less taken steps to mitigate them. Yet, by combining forces and pooling resources in a smart, structured manner, the chambers succeeded in doing just that, and it has made a positive impact on their capabilities at a crucial time.
The independent CSSC was known for being aggressive, pooling talents and volunteers to tackle significant local issues, and as a very prudent steward of its finances. The CSSC had expanded to become a major force in Hudson and Mohawk riverfront communities, a voice for Saratoga County agriculture, a promoter of businesses large and small, and a proponent of upstate New York manufacturing, flexible and reliable transportation options, and a robust supply chain.
But financial resources were always tight. The idea of affiliating with a larger organization promised streamlining, differentiation, better programming and support for members, while presumably ensuring that sufficient resources would be available to keep a strong business organization operating in southern Saratoga County.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the CSSC, now a Capital Region Chamber affiliate, has worked to keep its promises, completing a long list of community development and business support tasks so far in 2020, including: ongoing maintenance of Historic Lock 19 and the Mohawk riverfront picnic area in Vischer Ferry; maintenance of the bulletin board at the Mechanicville City docks along with local business Empire Exhibits & Displays; assisting local businesses in need of PPE and supplies for their post-COVID reopening; connecting businesses with others to co-develop COVID supplies and products; providing or sourcing financial assistance to area businesses in need of assistance; assisting the area marine industry in recovering from the early-season shutdown and disseminating information on the status of waterway openings, etc.; supporting and promoting area farmers markets and locally-sourced food production; revitalizing the former Malta Business and Professional Association into a new committee (the Malta Business Community Alliance – MBCA) and developing the above mentioned website.
The work with the MBCA is significant because it demonstrates that, contrary to earlier concerns that the chamber affiliation would make it less responsive to local matters, it actually is the opposite – the MaltaNYBusiness.com website is the product of lengthy interaction with Malta residents and business owners and reflects their needs and desires.
It will be an ongoing work, with future revisions and more content being added in the future.
Pete Bardunias is Senior Vice President, Community Advancement, Capital Region Chamber