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Putnam EDC Breakfast to Highlight Business Accomplishments

The Putnam County Economic Development Corporation is hosting its 2014 Recognition Breakfast at the Putnam County Golf Course on Friday, September 26 at 8:30AM. The event will recognize two outstanding businesses in the county as well as feature former New York Governor George E. Pataki as keynote speaker. Putnam EDC President Meghan Taylor expressed her excitement at this annual business celebration: “We are honored to highlight the accomplishments of companies doing business within the County and look forward to connecting with many more!”

The Putnam County Economic Development Corporation works to drive the economic vitality of our county. It seeks to foster an environment conducive to the creation and retention of business,delivering an enhanced quality of life for all who reside here. Events such as the Breakfast, combined with strong partnerships such as those between the EDC and the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, the Tourism bureau, and others, helps achieve this vision. Under Ms. Taylor’s leadership the EDC has worked hard to help business see the possibilities that a cohesive, strong local economy can do for Putnam in creating not only wealth but an even more pleasant living environment. We are indeed fortunate to live in a county that has such a balanced approach to planning for the future.

Putting on a major business event involves a lot of sponsor support, and the Recognition Breakfast is fortunate to have strong participation by its sponsors. Participants at the Gold level include Unicorn Contracting Corporation, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, and Putnam County Savings Bank, while the Silver Sponsors include Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Keane & Beane, P.C., the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, and Putnam County Tourism.

Tickets are still available for the Recognition Breakfast. Admission is $35 or $300 for a table of 10 for this marquee event. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.putnamedc.org

– Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

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The Arts Have A Positive Economic Impact On Putnam

In various parts of New York State, the Arts are an integral part of the culture, the sense of community and regional economic development programs. For example, who could think of New York City without Broadway? Saratoga without its famed Performing Arts Center (summer home of the New York City Ballet)? Schenectady without Proctor’s Theatre (the largest movie screen north of Radio City Music Hall)? Even smaller towns and communities have great arts programs, such as New Paltz with its wonderful college and culture, or the Catskill Symphony Orchestra entertaining thousands in Oneonta and Cooperstown. Putnam County would seem to be a place where the arts could flourish, after all we have the wonderful, unique and interesting village of Cold Spring with its vibrant culture, history and personality, Brewster with its charm and beautiful architecture. Both of these Villages alread have developed a niche for arts and culture yet our residents often attend performances in Westchester and Connecticut or head down to Broadway for the latest plays. If we had more to offer they may keep more of the money local. Arts and culture is a beneficial model for community investment, according to a report by the SUNY New Paltz Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO), with some 52 organizations in Putnam County alone having an $11.5 million impact on our economy, attracting about 175,000 visitors per year and leading to about 160 local jobs. We need to find more ways to capitalize on our arts and cultural assets, and utilize these assets more aggressively within our county’s borders.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

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The Regional Approach Works Best In Managing Complex Issues

“Think Local” is usually the best approach, but some issues transcend our borders, affecting our region and even our state. The proposed temporary shutdown at Indian Point is one of those issues.

Power generation and delivery is at a premium in New York State. Increased demand for electricity has put tremendous pressures on the grid while we are trying to rebuild our economy and also as alternative energy becomes more prevalent with the decreased emphasis on fossil fuels. We need a strong, reliable and local source of electrical power to supply our needs. Despite the challenges posed by reliance on nuclear power, the Indian Point facility has been supplying our energy needs since the 1950s and is applying for a permit to continue to do so well into the future. Currently 25% of the region’s power is supplied by the plant. Yet a proposal being considered by the DEC would close the facility for as much as 42-92 days to coincide with the patterns of migrating fish in the Hudson River.

This idea has very severe negative economic consequences for not only Putnam County but the region. Therefore we must respond as a region. Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell has stated, “Economically, closing the units for 42 to 92 days each year could easily prohibit businesses from locating in the area, a point which most counties in the Hudson Valley would find alarming”. Rockland Business Association President Al Samuels lamented that with the increased uncertainty and cost associated with electricity generation, “Why would you want to spend millions of dollars to move [a business] to New York?”

Your Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and its President/CEO Bill Nulk will be working alongside our partners in the Hudson Valley to oppose any such closing of Indian Point unless and until a reasonable solution to our electricity needs is found – one that we as a region can mutually accept.

– Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

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Women’s Leadership Alliance To Spotlight And Support Female Business Owners

Women’s Leadership Alliance To Spotlight And Support Female Business Owners

 

In an era where ideas and concepts must be developed more quickly than ever before to remain competitive, Putnam County business leaders have begun an ambitious collaboration to facilitate better communications, training and opportunity for local businesswomen.

 

The Putnam County Women’s Leadership Alliance, a partnership between the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and the Professional Women of Putnam, is holding its official kickoff event on Friday, March 21, 2014 from 6 to 8PM, at the Putnam County Golf Course, 187 Hill Street, Mahopac NY 10541.  Admission is free.  There will be resources and entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.   Guest speaker for the evening will be Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell, and each guest will receive a complimentary signed copy of author Allison Pataki’s historical novel, “The Traitor’s Wife.”

 

“Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and Distinguished Harvard Professor, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich once said, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,”” says Odell.  “Today, women are in leadership positions because they are not afraid to use their intellectual talents and their business savvy to compete with their male counterparts. That is what our Women’s Leadership Alliance is all about – supporting their leadership, professional and economic growth by providing networking possibilities, seminars and mentors.”

 

Times have changed.  The leadership skills that come naturally to women are now absolutely necessary for businesses to be successful.  The Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and our strategic partners are looking forward to creating an atmosphere that not only empowers women to be in leadership roles but allows them to celebrate who they are.    Jamie Imperati, President of the Professional Women of Putnam and Chairwoman of the new Alliance, agrees:  “Together we will do great things and provide opportunities for new business development and personal growth for the members in the Women’s Leadership Alliance.”

 

For more details or to register for the event, visit www.pcwomensleadershipalliance.com .

 

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

 

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Putnam Moves

“Putnam Moves” To Get A Rebranding, New Logo

 

As our county reinvents itself for a new, robust economic future, the new public transportation system called “Putnam Moves” is about to get a major redesign.   Four key tenets of the new system, namely community, commerce, nature and recreation, will be the focus of a logo design contest open to students from grades K-12 who reside in Putnam County.  Major efficiency updates to the county’s public transportation system include revamped routes which are expected to be announced in the spring of 2014. The deadline for contest entries is March 5th. The student submitting the winning design will receive a $500 scholarship.

“I believe that there is no better marketing team out there to promote our county transportation system.  I was thrilled to have the Putnam Chambers agree to partner with the Transportation Advisory Council and county government,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “To have their support and expertise in marketing not only our transit system, but our Main Street economy continues to be a major focus of the administration. We are in good hands.”

Students should enter the contest via the “Putnam Moves” Contest tab on the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce Facebook Fan Page (http://a.pgtb.me/8VNz8f) or via the chamber’s website, www.putnamchamberny.org. Artwork should be presented in a JPEG, GIF or PNG file. The winning entry will be selected by the Putnam County Transportation Advisory Council with the final approval of the County Executive.  Winners will be notified via email; children under 18 must have their entries approved and submitted by a parent.  The winner will be announced by County Executive, MaryEllen Odell at the State of the County address on March 13th.

All submitted logo designs will be on display at the Putnam County Golf Club on March 21st as part of the inaugural meeting of the Putnam Women’s Leadership Alliance.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

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Review of 2013

953 South Lake Blvd, Mahopac, NY 10541

Phone: 845 228-8595, e-mail: info@putnamchamberny.org

 

Review of 2013

 

As we look forward to the New Year of 2014, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce can take pride and satisfaction with our accomplishments and progress in the short time since our beginning in late 2010.  Building on our past successes, 2013 was a very good year.

 

We kicked off the Year 2013 with the exciting 2012 Trailblazer 40 Under 40 Awards event in January.  This inaugural event honored up and coming young leaders from every area of Putnam County in the largest, most festive celebration of our business community anyone could remember.

 

The PC CofC continued its commitment to bring together our elected officials with each other and with Putnam’s business community during our annual Elected Officials Forum in March.  This casual meeting of our representatives from the federal to the village level has proven to be a positive opportunity to express concerns and share ideas.  We presented to results of the surveys these officials had requested in our 2012 Forum and also the findings of our Industry Cluster Task Force, which identified Commercial Recreation and Arts & Culture as two areas that fit well with Putnam’s unique character and available resources.

 

In April, we joined with the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation to host the Consolidated Funding Applications (CFA) Workshop.  Our partnership with the PCEDC, and its President Meghan Taylor, has helped our county score well with the Regional Economic Development Council in the competition for state funding.  Brewster, Carmel and Cold Spring came out as specific winners, but many others are now aware and ready to use this process in the next round.

 

We made a significant effort to monitor and participate in the government processes that affect our business community.  Our comments were heard in the County Legislature on item pricing, a smoking ban, energy issues and budget issues.  Our participation in the Transportation Advisory Task Force helped produce a forward looking plan for our public bus system and how we will provide for those with special needs.  We co-hosted a purchasing workshop to explain the procedures for our businesses to successfully bid on the many government contracts available at the state and municipal level.

 

 

Our Meet & Greet the Candidates event in August provided a non-partisan program for all the candidates in the 2013 elections to present themselves to the public in a friendly, neutral atmosphere.  We later co-hosted a candidate debates forum with the League of Women Voters of Putnam County.

 

The PC CofC built on the information of the Industry Cluster Task Force and the comments at the Elected Officials Forum to create our Community Initiatives Program working on specific projects in each of our six towns to enhance the viability of the commercial districts.  Parking, sewer and water districts, street lighting and a master plan have all moved forward thanks to the efforts with our local Chambers.

 

Putnam’s business community shined brightly at the 2013 Shop Home and Business EXPO in May.  It was truly a county-wide event led by an energetic committee from the Mahopac Chamber and hosted at the Putnam Hospital Center.

 

Throughout the year, the PC CofC Constant Contact and Facebook messages have brought the events and messages of the business community to everyone’s attention.  The citizens of Putnam are aware that our business community is available and working on their behalf.

 

This year’s Trailblazer Success Awards, to be celebrated on Friday, January 31, 2014, is an affirmation of the vitality at all levels of Putnam’s business community – Emerging, Established, Mature, Environmentally Engaged and Socially Conscious.

 

The Putnam County Chambers of Commerce looks forward to an even more exciting and productive New Year in 2014.  We will continue to advocate for the interests of our business community and work with our member Chambers to enhance the conditions and opportunities that will make Putnam County the great place we all want to live and work in.

 

 

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Governor’s Budget Proposal Offers Putnam Hope But Also Challenges

Governor’s Budget Proposal Offers Putnam Hope But Also Challenges

 

On Tuesday, January 21, Governor Cuomo spelled out his 2014-’15 budget proposal, an ambitious plan that calls for numerous incentives to spur business growth, Universal Pre-K and publicly funded political campaigns, among many other features.   Under his plan, state spending would remain below the self-imposed 2% cap that has been a hallmark of recentAlbanybudgets.  He also called for numerous state spending cuts, additional staff to help implement the plan for new commercial upstate casinos, phase out the 18-a assessment on electrical bills more quickly, and freeze state property taxes for two years.

From an overall business perspective, it seems positive.  Heather Briccetti, President/CEO of the Business Council of New York State, said “There is much for business to be encouraged about with the emphasis on holding growth in overall state spending to under 2 percent while promoting private sector investments and job creation, and increasing in-state personal income, through broad-based business tax relief.”   The Business Council of Westchester’s Marsha Gordon added, “…achieving these goals must be a priority in the state Capitol so that businesses all across New York can expand, thrive and succeed in the years to come.”

The picture for Putnam is a bit less clear.   Some communities, such asCarmel, have voted to exceed the 2% cap on spending, and continuing that policy means we residents wouldn’t be eligible for the property tax freeze.   Plus, the second year of the property tax freeze would require communities to adopt shared services and consolidation, a daunting prospect in a county with multiple villages used to working independently.  Being within theMTAregion, Putnam’s manufacturers would also be ineligible for any of the tax breaks being afforded those further upstate.   We should view this budget with cautious optimism but also the realization that much of its benefits will be felt elsewhere inNew YorkState.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, thePutnamCountyChambers of Commerce

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CFA Awards Bring Putnam Optimism But Also A Challenge

CFA Awards Bring Putnam Optimism But Also A Challenge        

 

The annual round of CFA (consolidated funding applications) awards are in and the Mid-Hudson Region received $59.6 million for 87 projects, far behind some regions but still a hefty amount of economic development support.  Thanks to some hard work largely in part by Putnam EDC President Meghan Taylor, Putnam County will receive state funding for three major initiatives totaling $1,175,000.00  which is less than one half percent of the regions total.  The largest sum goes to Clear Solution Labs, LLC, who is moving to the old Watson building in Brewster and plans to produce health and beauty products at their new manufacturing site.  They garnered $1,000,000 of the CFA funds.   The Town of Philipstown was promised $100,000 to link Constitution Island to the Beacon train station via a multi-use trail.  Finally, the village of Cold Spring will receive $75,000 from NYSERDA to develop new zoning and historic district standards for their waterfront district. The Village of Brewster was also successful with $175,000 being added to their “Envision Brewster” efforts.

These are all great initiatives.  It would be very beneficial, however, if we could develop a more comprehensive approach to applying for CFA grants and put Putnam in the running to receive significantly more funding.  It appeared that much of the county was learning the process and playing catch-up, which may have put us at a disadvantage in the race for state dollars.  Remember, each region is judged against each other in this annual competition, and our neighboring regions certainly are skilled at making the case for support.  For example, the Capital Region received $82.8 million across 100 projects, and Long Island received $83 million for 98 projects.   New York City, which did relatively poorly in this year’s competition, will certainly be ramping up its efforts for the next go-round.  So the message to Putnam is clear:  If we would like a stronger showing in the CFA race, we need to work more closely together, formulate a game plan, get started early, and develop a strong case for what our needs are and why they are worthy of state funding support. “This is the beginning” says Meghan Taylor, “I can assure the people of Putnam that the EDC will do everything in its power and within its abilities to ensure that we obtain the financing necessary to move our County Forward”   Senator Ball says “ I would like to see Putnam get an even larger share next time, yet we need the towns and local stakeholders to get more involved to do so”, And I could not agree more. In 2014 when the CFA training class is held I expect to see every municipality represented or shame on us for not holding them accountable. The  Chamber  meeting in Downtown Mahopac with Congressman Maloney, Senator Ball and Assemblyman Katz, County Executive Maryellen Odell and even Sheriff Smith in attendance leaves us confident that all levels of government are on the ball seeking funding for Putnam County.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce