May 2015: Commerce Corner

Improve your best assets, quality

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas Edison

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

Ever have that employee who has so much potential but puts forth little effort? Or do they fail to recognize their own abilities? [Read more…]

April 2015: Commerce Corner

Family businesses need a solid plan

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

When many people think of businesses, they often ask if it’s a non-profit, a for-profit, or a corporation. We rarely really ask if it’s a family-run or owned business. Family-owned businesses are all around us, from small mom-and-pop stores to local restaurants such as Momma’s Kitchen or Shorty’s Diner, or larger ones like BMW, Walmart and Raymour and Flannigan.

But what does it mean to be a family-owned business? [Read more…]

March 2015: Commerce Corner

Get involved and support Fort Drum

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

Have you ever stopped to think about what would happen if Fort Drum downsized and how it would affect our everyday life from where we work to where we live, and even the recreational aspects in our community. As a community we have been fortunate to have the development and expansion of Fort Drum, which has brought a range of diversity. [Read more…]

February 2015: Commerce Corner

Understand the new generations

Columnist, Lynn Pietroski

Columnist, Lynn Pietroski

Millennials, Generation X, Generation Y, and now Z. They’re common labels that designate different generations of our population, but who are they and what does all the alphabet soup really mean? [Read more…]

How to foster employee longevity

Commerce column || by Lynn Pietroski

Commerce Corner column || by Lynn Pietroski

Every two years, the U.S. Department of Labor measures employee longevity and since 2004, the median tenure has been on the increase. However, the average tenure is just 4.6 years. Is this a good thing for employers or employees and what does it say about today’s workforce? Many factors can sway a person’s opinion on this topic. [Read more…]

Commerce Corner: Manage all complaints effectively

“Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy.” — Benjamin Franklin

Nearly every day each of us is faced with the word complaint. Ever more difficult is the delivery of the complaint — they can be received via social media, email, phone or in-person. How a person deals with this is the most crucial and fragile thing that we can encounter. However, we are all humans and are entitled to an opinion and the right to be heard. The challenge most people face is the ability to listen effectively with an open mind to hear what the other person is conveying, right or wrong. [Read more…]

Policies, procedures guide business

Lynn Pietroski

Lynn Pietroski

What are policies and procedures? [Read more…]

Your business can show its support

Lynn Pietroski

Lynn Pietroski

In 1999, Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month as an opportunity for community members and businesses to publically demonstrate their appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by service members past and present.
We are fortunate in the north country to have Fort Drum as a part of our community. There are so many partnerships with organizations and community volunteer groups that come together to ensure that our servicemen and women are recognized not only in May, but throughout the entire year.
Operation Yellow Ribbon is one of the best-kept secrets in the Fort Drum area. The organization is a volunteer-based committee that promotes visible signs of support for soldiers and families. However, our community’s Operation Yellow Ribbon does so much more and is a great way for businesses to get involved and support those who protect and serve us each day. [Read more…]

Cultivate a productive environment

Lynn Pietroski

Lynn Pietroski

Retaining and attracting quality staff can be a challenge for small businesses and even nonprofit organizations, but it’s not impossible and does not always cost a lot of money. The concept of a happy workplace equaling a productive workplace tells a truthful tale. It can be broken down simply: if an employee fits well into an organization’s culture, they’ll likely work well with their peers and co-workers and develop a positive working relationship with their boss or superiors. [Read more…]

Collaboratation key to our vitality

Lynn Pietroski

Lynn Pietroski

The greater Watertown area is fortunate to have several agencies that drive its economic development. Most chambers of commerce have a separate division that focuses on economic development, but at the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce, we work in collaboration with those agencies in our community to maximize results.

When you think of economic development, most likely you hear the words: small business, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, tourism, workforce development and many others. Moreover, economic development is also about job creation, retaining and generating new business for our community, marketing the community and being one of many resources for economic growth.

The role of the GWNC chamber, in partnership with the area’s economic development colleagues, is to promote the “product” that is being sold, such as housing opportunities, education, workforce development and leadership opportunities.

Chambers of commerce and economic development organizations must work together, co-exist, understand and acknowledge the critical role each organization plays in the community and the region. [Read more…]