In April, the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce was awarded a grant through the Community Service Society of New York to help small businesses with health care and health insurance issues. Many individuals and small businesses were faced with the lingering effects of the federal health reform bill, which is now well known as the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010. [Read more...]
Healthy communities depend on volunteers. Volunteerism can be one of the most fulfilling experiences an individual can encounter. With the fast pace of life, work, family and personal priorities, it can be hard to find the time to commit oneself to something. Volunteering comes in so many forms and can consist of hours, days and years or it can be a single event. How do you define a volunteer? It can be defined in a multitude of ways that include giving, contributing, helping individuals, organizations and making a meaningful contribution to your community. Volunteering is offering to do some form of work for no compensation; however, there is usually some personal meaning that gives an individual fulfillment.
Family-owned businesses are an integral part of the economy and require hard work and determination on the part of family members who run them. [Read more...]
There are many ways to define leadership. However, leaders can successfully lead without defining how they have done so. True leaders demonstrate courage, creativity, values, compassion and dedication. They are individuals who guide a team to transform visions into reality. Leaders communicate effectively and ensure an effective and cohesive team to accomplish established goals. [Read more...]
There are several ways small businesses or businesses of any size can collaborate with others to promote growth. But what are the steps needed to get there? A role of any chamber of commerce is to promote effective ways for small businesses to be afforded these opportunities. When dealing with contractual work, or bidding, a lot of red tape or legal jargon can be intimidating, resulting in businesses withdrawing from certain collaborations. To many of us, some of the terminology used is almost foreign and overwhelming. However, once you begin to understand the terminology, and engage in events or opportunities that minimize the angst associated with the process, it becomes a positive experience. [Read more...]
The United State Small Business Administration defines a small business as one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit and is not dominant in its field. However, in many people’s opinion, this definition is vague and does not substantiate what the SBA sets forth as standards that were originally established by the North American Industry Classification. Within these classifications are the most extensive definitions of small businesses found in its “Table of Size Standards.” [Read more...]
Whether it is necessary due to economic challenges or because it’s good business practice, small businesses should always seek ways to reduce unnecessary overhead. It is very easy to get complacent when business is booming, but it’s difficult to recover when business may face adversity. There are several ways a business can bolster efficiencies and be cognizant of excess spending to ensure it remains solvent. This process goes deeper than reviewing travel expenses, office supplies, bartering or trading for services, or merely watching spending.
I have had the honor to serve as a board member for numerous north country organizations through the years. While most non-elected board service is not paid, it requires dedication, commitment and belief in the mission and philosophy of an organization. It’s a form of volunteering and being a part of something you believe in.
I have come to admire many things about the Watertown community. The leaders who guide our business community are collectively one of our most valuable assets. They continue to impress and confirm that the community in which we live is an amazing one.
According to New York Empire State Development, small businesses are the heart of the American economy, comprising 98 percent of all businesses in New York and employing more than half of New York’s private sector workforce. Innovation, creativity, determination and perseverance are just a few of the essential qualities small business owners demonstrate every day.