100 Years of Service to the North Country
- A group of businessmen join together on April 22, 1912 to form the Plattsburgh Chamber of Commerce and are officially incorporated in October. Dues are $10 - 258 members sign on.
- The first members of the Board of Directors are: William E. Parkhurst, Howard D. Hadley, Albert Sharron, John B. Riley, Harry A. Thomas, J. Mitchell Studholme, Fred B. Sanborn, George M. Cole, William C. Pike, Louis Kempner, William H. Howell, Orrell T. Larkin, John J. Cunningham, George H. Myers, and Robert L. P. Mason.
- The Chamber’s Agriculture Committee convinces the county to establish the Clinton County Farm Bureau.
- The Chamber helps organize a ceremonial unveiling of the Samuel D. Champlain Monument.
- A $5 gold piece is offered by the Chamber for a Plattsburgh slogan. The winning slogan: “Plattsburgh—The Gateway to the Mountains, Pathway to the Sea”.
- The Suburban Transportation Company introduces the first motorbus to Clinton County.
- Phone lines are consolidated putting all businesses on one switchboard.
- The Chamber arranges the 2nd annual Merchants Week with numerous activities designed to boost business.
- The Barge Canal Terminal at Plattsburgh is established.
- A Centennial Celebration of The Battle of Plattsburgh is held on September 11th.
- The Chamber of Commerce compiles a list of residents who are willing to take in boarders during the celebration.
- The Chamber of Commerce and Champlain Valley Fruit Growers Association host a meeting that is attended by the New York State Fruit Growers Association. A call is made to all residents: “Let us all do our share. Let every man who owns an automobile stand ready to devote next Thursday afternoon to showing these distinguished visitors what our apple orchards look like.”
- The Chamber helps establish the first motor bus line to operate from Plattsburgh. It is known as Suburban Transportation Motorbus Co. (Interesting note: the bus had to be shipped north by rail because of poor road conditions between Albany and Plattsburgh.)
- The Chamber of Commerce guarantees Captain Edwards, U.S.A., all requirements for a Student Military Training Camp. This marks the beginning of the Plattsburgh Military Training Camps.
- The Business Men’s Training Regiments are created.
- The Chamber is applauded by the War Department for its efforts related to the Military Camps which brought nation-wide attention to Plattsburgh. Known as “The Plattsburgh Idea” of Military Training, more than 29,000 were trained at Plattsburgh Barracks between 1915 – 1917.
- Plans for the Macdonough Monument are made with construction beginning in June.
- The first trans-continental phone lines to Plattsburgh are installed and 150 people attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Witherill Hotel where members are able to speak with people in San Francisco.
- Chamber members contribute money to build a facility for the Glove Factory.
- The Chamber raises $10,000 to purchased two plots of land to help support the Military Training Camps.
- The Merchants Committee establishes a restroom at 81 Margaret St.
The Grand Isle Ferry Company receives support from the Chamber of Commerce for the
establishment of the Plattsburgh to Grand Isle Ferry.
Chamber’s Industrial Committee is given credit for bringing the American Condenser and
Engineering Company to Plattsburgh.
- Chamber asks City to install $18,000 of ornamental street lights to make Plattsburgh more than ever a “City Beautiful.”
- The Chamber works with the Agricultural Society to arouse interest in the Plattsburgh Fair and help make it the biggest and best county fair in New York State.
- Chamber members approve purchase of 6 large signs to be placed along the main highways leading to Plattsburgh from 40 – 50 miles away.
- The Chamber advocates for the retention of the Daylight Savings Law.
The Chamber does a census of available employees in the city to aid in Industrial
- The Chamber meets with the local Dairymen’s League to discuss a proposed Milk Plant.
- The Plattsburgh Winter Sports Association is created through the Winter Sports Committee of the Chamber.
- Chamber asks “all good men to come to the aid of their city”. A plan to fix up, paint up, and clean up Plattsburgh is put into place as they look forward to a big season at Hotel Champlain, hundreds attending the famous Catholic Summer School, and the many people registered for the Summer.
- Course at Plattsburgh Normal School.
- Chamber leads campaign for a better water supply.
- Plattsburgh Barracks is designated as the site of Citizens Military Training Camps with 5,000 trainees attending July – August.
- The region’s connection to winter sports gets a huge lift when the first ski-jumping competition is held at Intervale Ski Slope in Lake Placid.
- The first Chamber of Commerce Business Men’s Noon Luncheon is held at the Witherill Hotel. They discuss plans for an automobile tourists camping site for Plattsburgh.
- The Chamber once again campaigns for modern street lighting.
- Chamber endorses Macomb Park.
- The Chamber campaigns for snow removal on leading county highways.
The Chamber leads the community in a celebration for the 100th Anniversary of the
opening of the Champlain and Erie Canals.
- The Chamber helps in negotiations between contractors and the New Physicians Hospital when the workers demand a pay increase from 75 cents to 85 cents per hour.
- Systematic snow removal in Clinton County is established.
- The Chamber continues the campaign for ornamental street lighting.
- An investigation of freight rates is led by the Chamber.
- The Chamber endorses construction of a new Bridge Street bridge to replace one that can no longer handle the traffic.
- The Chamber endorses Lake Champlain Trail (Highway 22).
- A committee is appointed to further talks about the Municipal Bathing Beach.
- The Chamber entertains the President and officials of the American Federation of Labor in connection with their approval or disapproval of the Citizens Military Training Camp.
- American Federation of Labor heartily endorses CMTC.
- The Chamber endorses the establishment of the D & H Milk Train.
- The Chamber‘s persistent and energetic campaign for new ornamental street lighting pays off and the lights are in place by summer.
- The Chamber joins forces with other North Country officials to plan a campaign to secure a vote on the constitutional amendment which would permit the construction of a scenic highway to the summit of Whiteface Mountain.
- The Plattsburgh Illustrated Folder was the first ever published by the Chamber. 15,000 copies were made.
- The Chamber sends a letter to FCC in Washington DC to protest that WGY radio station is authorized to operate until 10pm.
- The Chamber endorses the construction of a bridge from Rouses Point to Alburg, Vt.
- A Survey of Plattsburgh’s Resources is conducted. 200 copies are produced.
- The Chamber provides information on Economic Impact to Montgomery Ward & Co, encouraging them to open a store in Plattsburgh.
- An Aviation Survey is conducted to determine the number of airfields, emergency fields, landing fields and roof markings in each community.
- Members are sent letters regarding the influenza epidemic. Merchants are asked to cooperate in conserving the health of the community.
The Merchant Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce establishes Christmas Street
Illumination. These are the first colored lights in Plattsburgh.
- To improve the experience had by visitors and business people, the Chamber advocates for modern street signs to first be placed at major intersections. Once that is done, signs should be placed in other areas, with the hopes that all streets will have signs over a period of several years.
- A survey is conducted regarding the establishment of a Community Chest.
- The Chamber also conducts an unemployment survey.
- The Chamber joins forces with the Champlain Valley Council to create a plan designed to increase traffic on the lake.
- The proposed street signs are erected.
- More than 1,500 colored lights decorate the city streets for the holidays.
- The U.S. Chamber awards Plattsburgh 8th place in United States cities of its class for excellent health conditions.
- The Chamber of Commerce works with the Emergency Milk Committee to devise a plan to settle problems the price of milk was creating in the county.
- The Plattsburgh Normal School is rebuilt after burning down in 1929.
- The Winter Olympic Games bring notoriety to the region. $156,000 is spent to put on the event.
- Representatives of the National Chamber of Commerce come to Plattsburgh to discuss how national and regional issues affect Clinton County.
- Along with hundreds of other communities in the U.S., the Chamber sends a letter to President Roosevelt asking to change the date of Thanksgiving from November 30th to November 23rd. The hope is to increase the number of shopping days between
- Thanksgiving and Christmas. (In 1941, Congress voted the holiday would be held on the 4th Thursday of the month.)
- The Chamber of Commerce officially protests the gas tax bill.
- Ayerst Lab opens in Rouses Point with 5 employees.
The Chamber applauds a bill signed by the governor of New York that they believe will
correct errors in highway appropriations.
- Whiteface Memorial Highway opens for traffic.
- New York begins an ad campaign promoting Adirondack winter sports which helps increase visitors to our area.
- The Chamber authorizes the slogan “Welcome Visitors, Plattsburgh Greets You” for a long streamer across Margaret St. heralding the city’s “Bienvenue” to the hundreds of Canadian visitors expected to visit Plattsburgh on Dominion Day. The Merchant’s Bureau distributes American and Canadian flags to merchants to add to the welcome gesture.
- It is a huge year for tourism in Clinton County. Nearly $500,000 in Canadian currency has cleared through area banks.
- The Chambers warns area merchants against giving contributions or buying advertising from anyone who does not have a signed endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce. This is meant to protect merchants from fraudulent solicitors.
- While it was a trial that lasted only one day, area residents are inspired by the first-ever air mail service in Plattsburgh.
- The Chamber hosts a dinner at which the Dean of State School of Agriculture at St. Lawrence University says farming should be regarded as a business. For the success of their operations, farmers must employ sound business methods such as record keeping and scientific research.
- The Chamber of Commerce forms a Publicity Committee that makes a concerted effort to boost tourism by promoting recreational opportunities in Plattsburgh through advertisements in the New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, The New York Sun, and two major newspapers in Montreal.
The Military Affairs Committee of the Chamber wires Representative Wallace Pierce with
concerns about soldiers being moved south for an extensive training course. In response, Congressman Pierce says an Army expansion program is underway and Plattsburgh barracks has been designated as a Post with expectations of bringing it back to full strength.
- The Chamber focuses on Cleaning Up Plattsburgh setting goals to clean, paint, and fix-up the city.
- Montgomery Ward opens its doors on Margaret St.
- The Chamber is applauded for its efforts that lead to new lighting systems in the streets of Plattsburgh.
- F.W. Woolworth announces plans for construction of their store on Margaret St.
- Gasoline rations seriously affect tourism.
- Merchants are encouraged to help stimulate the defense effort by helping the sale of bonds and stamps. The Chamber distributes promotional materials to area businesses.
- Clinton County Airport opens with three runways that are 5,000 feet long.
- The Chamber’s Merchant Bureau organizes a one-day sale event that draws locals and people from nearby towns to the shopping district.
- Plattsburgh Barracks becomes The U.S. Naval Training School/Camp Macdonough.
- The focus of the Chamber is to use Economic Development to put soldiers back to work.
- Gasoline rations end, giving hope to residents for increased tourism.
- The Chamber of Commerce urges all businesses to remain closed in celebration of V-J Day on August 15th.
- The opening of Champlain College is a boost to the area, but the city finds itself in a short-term housing crisis. The Chamber makes an appeal for all property owners with houses or apartments available to register them with the Chamber to help meet the temporary but immediate need for living quarters for about 30 instructors and faculty personnel and their families.
- Membership of the Chamber is only 233 businesses. Leaders feel that too few people are carrying the burden and too many merchants are getting a free ride at their expense.
- The Chamber asks all organizations to send information on upcoming events for a general calendar.
- 125 people attend a Chamber-hosted dinner honoring the administrative staffs of the Plattsburgh State Teachers College and Champlain College.
- The Chamber of Commerce goes on record supporting the building of a volunteer army.
- The Chamber backs a county exhibition that will later become known as the Clinton County Farm and Industrial Field Day.
- Plattsburgh Normal School becomes State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
- Santa’s Workshop opens, becoming what most considered the first theme park in the country.
- The Chamber’s Dollar Days promotion continues to give a boost to the economy. 55 businesses participate, drawing thousands of shoppers from all over the region.
- Mail service is upgraded to one-delivery-per-day with twice as much service offered to the business district.
- The Chamber urges area businesses for full support of the civilian reserve recruiting program for the U.S. Armed Forces.
- First Air Show held at the Municipal Airport makes a small profit.
- At a Chamber meeting, the Manager of the Montreal Tourist and Convention Bureau stresses the necessity of improved public relations to attract Canadians.
- Chamber hosts meetings with members to help them understand the potential impact the establishment of an air base has on a community.
- The Chamber tries to bring together a divided community that is generally in favor of an Air Force Bomber Base in Plattsburgh but is opposed to this if it would require the loss of Champlain College.
- The House Armed Services Committee votes in favor of establishing an air force base in
- The Chamber mails approximately 7,000 tourism brochures to potential tourists in the U.S. and Canada.
- The Chamber sponsors “New Industries for Plattsburgh, Inc.” - a non-profit organization designed to bring new industry to Plattsburgh.
- A newly formed Industrial Committee is designed with the purpose of attracting industry to the city.
- The Chamber establishes a tourist information booth in the Macdonough Monument Park, providing a convenient location for tourist to learn more about the area.
- The ground breaking for the new base is held leading to 1,300 new jobs in Plattsburgh and investing nearly $135,000 a week into the local economy.
- The Chamber estimates that Canadians spend $15 million - $20 million per year in the community.
- It is determined that Plattsburgh Economic Development strength is our nearness to Montreal. Most success comes from Canadian companies who are interested in selling to the American market.
- Talks are underway to develop an industrial park to lure Canadian business to the area.
- The Chamber sponsors a 22-minute filmstrip entitled “It’s Everybody’s Business”. It tells a dramatic story of free enterprise.
- The Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee brings members a greater understanding of the vital part played by federal and state legislation in the business life of every individual.
- The Chamber hosts the first city-wide Business Education Day. 26 businesses and 200 teachers gather to discuss how the business community functions.
- Chamber initiates the “Keep Plattsburgh Ahead” campaign creating a new spirit among members.
- The Chamber’s industrial promotion efforts pay off with the announcement of the Beacon Ribbon Mills Limited Co. plant.
- Early efforts on the workforce front are evident when the Chamber organizes a survey to locate workers with specific skills for the industries of Plattsburgh.
- A new 120+ car parking lot is established as result of the work done by the Chamber’s Parking Committee. The lot is owned by several merchants and a local bank.
- The Chamber hosts a winter sports carnival called “Frosty Frolics”. As a follow-up, the Chamber hosts the first major speed skating event since the war ended, attracting athletes from all over the northeast.
- The Dominion Day holiday sets new records with Canadians coming to the North Country in droves causing the Press Republican to write, “Plattsburgh was a suburb of Montreal and the Province of Quebec yesterday as Canadians noted Dominion Day.”
The first St. Patrick’s Day Irishman of the Year Breakfast is hosted by the Chamber of
Commerce. (In 2012, this event is still one of the most popular Chamber events of the year!)
- The Chamber sends a letter to all the major oil companies requesting them to cut the price of gasoline by 2 cents per gallon. Residents feel the 34.9 cent price they are paying is too expensive.
- The Chamber of Commerce seeks advice from city planners on the proposed expressway from Plattsburgh to Cadyville.
- The Chamber’s Industrial Development Committee recognizes that when choosing a new location, companies consider the obvious things like availability of sites, power, water, transportation, etc. - but they also look at “the fourth dimension”. Locals are reminded that scouts may be sent to their city to form impressions on city cleanliness, shopping opportunities, cultural outlets, housing and more. “The fourth dimension of a community is up to the community itself.”
- The Chamber and City rally to save municipal beach. Operations are threatened by poor water quality.
- Poor membership participation nearly causes the Chamber to close its doors. Showing their support, members collect $15,450 in pledges to keep the organization alive.
- The Chamber’s Industrial Development Committee asks the county to provide funds for the promotion of economic development in the community. The Mayor is initially against the idea, and it is a topic of heated debate. Their perseverance pays off and ultimately leaders work out an agreement to form an organization called the Champlain Development Corp. (In 2012, this organization is still going strong and is now known as The Development Corporation.)
- The Chamber continues to build membership by reminding business owners “We’ll Get More Done if We Work Together”.
- Downtown parking issues are tackled by the Chamber’s Traffic Parking Study Committee.
- The Chamber works with the Tourism Development Committee in a project to clean up Cumberland Bay.
A special committee is designated for an intensive study of the renewed proposal for
development of Point au Roche.
- The Chamber promotes suggested driving tours as a great way to get better acquainted with scenic routes and history.
- The Chamber proposes the idea to reenact the historic battle on the shores of Lake Champlain for the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Plattsburgh.
- Help of the U.S. Postal Service is sought in an attempt to get rid of advertising circulars that look like bills.
- The Chamber passes a resolution backing the county supervisors in the plan to buy Bellarmine College property (now Clinton Community College).
The Tourist Bureau runs out of funds for postage and puts a halt to their direct mail campaign.
Discussions of the Champlain Development Corporation taking sharing administrative costs with the Tourist Bureau are held.
- Tourist Bureau is reorganized based on new geographic basis.
Capitalizing on our location and planning in advance, the Chamber of Commerce and
Tourism Bureau begin promoting the city as “The Gateway to the 1967 Montreal World’s Fair”.
- Embracing a more regional approach, the Chamber changes its name to the Plattsburgh Area Chamber of Commerce Inc.
- The Chamber becomes more involved in Government Affairs by hosting a workshop on politics, urging businessmen to take more interest in politics.
- The Chamber asks members how to improve the community. The most popular answers are: “Spruce up the business section of Margaret St.”, “Improve the appearance of the area along South River St., around the Municipal Parking Lot”, “Awaken Civic Pride”, and “Enlist more help in community projects, particularly from women in the area”.
- Montreal’s World’s Fair brings more than 4 million visitors to our region. The Chamber is open 16 hours per day to handle requests for information.
- Kings Department store opens at Skyway Corners Shopping Center.
The Chamber provides Plattsburgh’s local police force with nickels to put in parking meters.
- Instead of a ticket, a card is left explaining to the driver he escaped a summons through the courtesy of the merchants’ group.
- Member participation is encouraged through polls on important issues and invitations to weekly meetings.
- The Chamber of Commerce joins The Council of Chambers of Commerce, uniting chambers from Plattsburgh, Keeseville, Chazy, and Champlain-Rouses Point.
- Sensitive Sales Courses for local store employees are conducted by staff members from the New York State Department of Commerce.
- The Chamber changes its name to the Plattsburgh and Clinton County Chamber of Commerce.
- This marked the first year federal money is spent to promote U.S. tourism in Canada.
- The Chamber sponsors about 160 underprivileged children to participate in a special Youth Service Program at the Air Force Base.
- The Chamber of Commerce joined forces with the City Beautification Committee and distributes red and blue planters resembling a giant Revolutionary War drum planted with red and white flowers around the city.
- “Plattsburgh and Clinton County – The Last of New York’s Unspoiled Regions” is published by the Chamber. Downtown merchants begin accepting Canadian money at par. The Chamber proclaims it to be a big success, as it helps our merchants compete with lower sales tax in Vermont.
- In partnership with the City Beautification Committee and local legislators, the Chamber leads a countywide environmental project called Operation PRIDE. 5 weekends in May are devoted to P-pick up along city and county highways; R-recycle, collect bottles, cans, and paper products; I-inspect and improve areas around local monuments; D-dress-up residences and commercial properties; E-encore.
- More emphasis is placed on promoting Plattsburgh as a place to live and work, instead of just tour.
- Priority for the first part of the year is put on the World University Games.
The Chamber reorganizes to encompass the Tourist Bureau and businesses in Greater
Plattsburgh, providing support and activities for all.
- The Chamber goes through the Accreditation process of the US Chamber of Commerce– taking an objective and penetrating look at Chamber operations.
- The Chambers Visitors and Convention Bureau produces a brochure entitled “Stay Another Day”.
- The first “Canadian Appreciation Weekend” is held.
- The most active committee of the Chamber is the Better Business Bureau operation which fields complaints from local consumers.
- The Chamber receives a grant of $125,000 for job training of 100 Clinton County residents.
- The Crete Center officially opens.
- Renewed passenger train service helps boost tourism and industrial development.
- Chamber moves to 32-34 Margaret St.
- The Chamber and the Clinton Aero Corporation produce the first air show In the county since 1947.
- Pyramid Mall opens, bringing more tourists to the area and providing expanded shopping opportunities for residents.
Through the generosity of W. J. Murray of the Champlain Valley Electric Supply Co., the
Chamber office has the most modern addressograph equipment available. An
addressograph file on every business in Clinton County is held at the Chamber.
- The Chamber provides a resource center for local businesses.
- Conversational French classes are held at the Chamber.
- Cornell University releases results of a study they conducted in 1974 showing that tourists brought nearly $22 million into Clinton County that year. Canadians account for more than 64% of that amount.
- U.S. Olympic headquarters tout the Chamber of Commerce for its support of the Montreal Summer Olympics saying the support and hospitality was unprecedented in the history of pre-Olympic staging.
- The Chamber sponsors the first Oktoberfest at the Crete Memorial Civic Center. The 2-day event brings in more than 15,000 people.
- Chamber membership reaches 530, making it one of the fastest growing Chambers in the country.
- The Chamber moves to 135 Margaret Street.
- The Chamber hosts a tourism booth next to the Macdonough Monument in the summer.
- The “I Love New York” tourism campaign is very successful in attracting visitors to the state. Targeting New York City and Montreal, the $50,000 campaign is considered to be on the most successful ever.
- The Chamber sponsors a Hot Air Balloon Show at the Clinton County Fair Grounds. 6 balloons participate.
- $10,000 is awarded to the Chamber by the Clinton County Legislature for tourism advertising in Montreal. This is not without controversy, but the Chamber succeeds in convincing them of the importance of attracting the Canadian visitors.
- The Chamber is open 12 hours each day dealing with inquiries spurred by the upcoming Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and sells more than $43,000 worth of tickets in one week.
- The Chamber hosts a Canadian Appreciation weekend with Canadian money being accepted at par by local businesses.
Local business people proclaim Tourism as Clinton County’s top industry. It was said to
account for 40% of all commerce in the city.
- The Chamber hosts Oktoberfest, Air Show, and Marathon as their only profit-generating activities.
- The Chamber staff teams up with 6 other counties to create an award winning ad entitled “The Adirondack Experience”.
- The first casual cocktail party “Early Spring Ice Breaker” is held to bring members together for networking.
- Advertising is focused on specific events: “Come to Clinton County to see…”
- Canadian spending is up and the Chamber’s ad campaign is helping to increase visitor traffic. A survey shows 95% of tourists coming to Plattsburgh are from Montreal.
- New York State contributes $43,000 in advertising matching funds to the Chamber.
- The Chamber of Commerce sells special pins of the Chamber logo that are available to members and friends.
- The Chamber of Commerce is now organized into three divisions – the Economic Development Division, The Community/Governmental Affairs Division and the Organizational Affairs Division – each under the supervision of a vice president.
- Oktoberfest is replaced with family-friendly Fall Festival.
- Many new committees form including; Tourism Advisory Committee, Education Committee, Business Assistance Committee, Bylaws Review Committee, Ambassador’s Club and Fall Festival Committee.
- The Chamber of Commerce endorses the Fishing Classic sponsored by the American Lung Association. The classic was expected to attract 8,000 anglers from around the country who would compete for prizes totaling more than $400,000 in value.
- The NYS Department of Commerce gives the Chamber an award for making a significant contribution to the economic development of New York and for displaying exceptional ability in promoting the growth and success of New York State companies through the “On The Job Training Program”.
- The Chamber moves to 350 Margaret St., West Bay Plaza.
- Pyramid Companies opens Champlain Centre North.
- The Chamber’s Communications Committee develops a campaign to highlight the purposes and programs of the Chamber of Commerce. A series of commercials spotlighted specific area of the Chamber’s activities and services using local business people who are members of the chamber.
- On the recommendation of the Tourism Advisory Committee, the Chamber’s Board of Directors endorses the creation of a First of State Fish Stamp and Print issue, the sale of which helps finance lamprey eel control in Lake Champlain.
- Chamber of Commerce signs on 1,000th member – Kimpex USA.
- Clinton County expands its reach with representation in 18 travel and sport shows across the northeast and Canada.
- A Member-to-Member Discount program is introduced (known as the Commerce Card).
Chamber Board of Directors assumes responsibility for planning events during the
Clinton County Bicentennial Celebration.
- The first Business Connection is held. (2012: This event – now known as The Business Expo – has grown over the years to become the largest business-to-business show in northern New York.)
- The Chamber of Commerce hosts “Leadership Clinton” classes, a county-wide program designed to identify and develop individuals for future leadership roles in Clinton County and to motivate them toward community involvement and decision making. 15 participants were selected on the basis of a written application.
- The Chamber forges stronger international ties with an agreement with the Montreal Board of Trade for reciprocal membership services.
- The Chamber hosts Governor Mario Cuomo at a ribbon cutting for the New York State Welcome Center in Beekmantown.
- The Chamber co-sponsors the “Clinton 2000” Leadership Conference. More than 100 people meet to discuss issues affecting the area.
· A Workforce Partnership Program, which is made up of the heads of local business and industry, explore labor and educational needs Clinton County graduates face in the area’s labor market.
- The Chamber sponsors “Save Plattsburgh Air Force Base” after receiving news that the Federal Government had placed the base on the closure list.
- Booth Insurance Agency is the winner of the Chambers first Small Business of the Year award honoring companies with 10 or fewer employees.
- Chamber lobbies for equal representation on the Lake Champlain Citizens Advisory Committee, pointing out the imbalance in the number of Vermont over New York appointees.
- The Chamber celebrates its 80th Anniversary.
- The Chamber of Commerce creates new brochure, “101 Things To Do in Clinton County, NY”.
- County Legislators vote in favor of providing the Chamber with $25,000 to hire a full-time Tourism Director.
- Efforts are upgraded to attract tourists. The past system was largely a volunteer effort. The new bureau will be more proactive by setting up bus tours, luring conferences and meetings to the area and creating more things to keep visitors entertained once they are here.
- The Chamber of Commerce first starts airing French commercials of Clinton County’s high points to French-speaking Canadians.
- The Chamber plays a leading role with Team Plattsburgh – an organization of local leaders formed to support Plattsburgh Air Force Base. In June it is announced that PAFB will close.
- The Chamber of Commerce hires its first full-time employee to promote tourism. An emphasis is placed on promoting the whole region as a tourist destination.
The Chamber of Commerce invites Toshiyuki Yokota, consul for economic affairs at the
Consulate General of Japan, to establish connections for the future.
- As the last KC-135 leaves the Air Force Base, local leaders regroup to find a way to help the community continue to thrive without PAFB.
- Assisted by a $63,000 state grant, the Chamber focuses on helping small businesses manage as they suffer from the base closure and the falling Canadian dollar with the 1995 Small Business Support Project.
- The Chamber of Commerce begins the county’s first-ever Junior Achievement Program. The project aims to improve the skills of tomorrow’s work force and teach children about the opportunities available in the area.
- Agritourism is promoted as a new sector of niche marketing.
- The Phish concert at the former air force base draws 150,000 people and is the biggest concert in the U.S. that year.
- Baseline indicators of the economic impact of Canada and Canadians on the Clinton County economy are established. Estimated impact is $1.27 billion.
The Chamber launches its first website with an online membership directory, economic
development information, relocation information and more.
- Name changes to Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce.
- With more than $488 million worth of exports generated by the Plattsburgh-North Country region, the Chamber focuses on supporting international trade.
- The Chamber is an official affiliate of the global family of World Trade Centers, offering access to an extraordinary menu of products and services for members.
- The Health Insurance program is expanded with new offerings from a number of insurance providers, a full-time professional Health Insurance Administrator, and access to other type of insurance.
- U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato joins a growing list of major officials brought to the North Country to meet with members and learn about our needs.
- The Chamber’s Industrial Council wins two national awards.
- “Discover the Good Life” video is produced to help with relocation and retention efforts.
- Chamber of Commerce chairs the regional Job Service Employers Committee, represents area business on the National Employers Council and sponsors several major Workforce Development Roundtables to help define changing needs and pursue tangible projects.
- Chamber offices are moved to 7061 Route 9, providing a professional office, Small Business Resource Center, Regional Visitors Center, Industrial Service Center with a state-of-the-art meeting and training room, and 24-hour visitor kiosk.
Chamber receives several national and state awards, including the NYS Association
Excellence Award and the Outstanding Small Local Employer Committee Award from the National Employer Council.
- The growing Can/Am Connection is seen at the single greatest driving force of the North Country economy.
- The Chamber’s Can/Am Connection Council hosts missions and seminars in Quebec and Ontario, provide forums and roundtables on topics related to Can/US relations, updates economic impact study regularly and plays a leading role in all aspects of international relations.
- Small Business and Industrial Council workshops are held almost weekly.
- SCORE chapter is officially chartered, serving businesses in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties.
- First Champlain Border Summit is hosted by Chamber launching the drive for new U.S. border facilities at Champlain.
- Chamber emphasizes the importance of our Canadian neighbors and promotes the region as Montreal’s U.S. Suburb.
- $2.8 million is awarded toward the Champlain Port of Excellence.
- Chamber is named New York State Small Business Organization of the Year by Empire State Development.
- The Chamber’s Canadian Impact Study shows a $1.33 Billion impact made on region by Canada.
- On The Job Training program provides $100,000 in direct support to area employers for training new employees.
- The Chamber chairs the process creating the “North Country Workforce Investment Board” – providing an employer-driven system for planning and delivering workforce related services in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, & Hamilton Counties.
U.S. Senate candidate Hillary Clinton visits Plattsburgh for a briefing on the Chamber’s
A major partnership is formed between the Chamber and the Lake Placid/Essex County
Visitors Bureau, uniting the two largest business alliances in northern New York.
- The Chamber hosts 5 different websites targeting specific audiences.
- The Chamber chairs the Chamber Alliance of New York State – uniting the voices and efforts of more than 80 chambers across the state.
Governor George Pataki visits the Chamber to sign a bill into law allowing cooperative
transportation projects with Quebec.
- Essex County Business Council partnership agreement is extended to the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce.
- U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton is one of many officials to meet with the Chamber.
- The Chamber joins with Business Council and Legislative leaders in Albany to address health insurance concerns of members.
- Terrorist attacks on September 11th change the world.
- The Chamber de Commerce du Quebec joins us in signing the Quebec-New York Corridor Agreement in Montreal, creating a new partnership between the two organizations.
- Construction begins on the $35 million Port of Excellence (Champlain Border Crossing).
- Quebec-New York Corridor Coalition unites more than 1000 Chambers, economic developers, businesses, officials and others.
- Chamber hosts annual Industrial Summit and Champlain/Lacolle Border Summit.
- Small Business Services continue to reach new heights with the Lending Library, Resource Center, SATOP program, Small Business Counseling, SCORE, Seminars, Workshops and more.
- Named #1 Chamber in NY State for e-advocacy in Albany, helping to secure passage of landmark legislation on health insurance for sole proprietors.
- The Chamber secures more than $100 million in resources from Washington for projects in the North Country.
- As a recent survey shows #1 concern for area businesses is health insurance choice and cost, the Chamber expands its role in bringing new options and solutions to members.
- Tourism advertising continues to grow with spotlights in major national magazines. Targeted efforts toward motorcoaches, tour operators and meeting planners are also successful.
- First pro bass tournament was held on Lake Champlain.
- The Chamber wins “Excellence in Economic Development Award” – a national award for rural economic development.
- The Chamber hosts delegations of Quebec manufacturers on a regular basis.
- Port of Excellence - now a $107 million project – continues to receive oversight and support from the Chamber.
- The Chamber hosts 2nd Quebec-New York Summit with guests Governor George Pataki and Quebec Premier Jean Charest.
- Regular visits to Washington and Albany help secure over $2 million in projects.
- Partnership agreements extend to Franklin County with the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce and Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
- Canadian Impact Survey shows $1.53 Billion in spending in Clinton County can be attributed to Canada.
- Construction begins on the new passenger terminal for Plattsburgh International Airport.
- More than 350 New York and Quebec leaders gather for the Quebec-New York Summit.
- Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute takes off with the signing of an historic MOU with the Ecole National d’ Aerotechnique in Quebec.
- Plattsburgh is the highest-ranked area for economic strength for micropolitan areas in New York State, and stands at 27th in the entire nation.
- The Chamber launches a region wide survey and a major fundraising campaign to help attract new air service to Plattsburgh International Airport.
- Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce becomes a partner member.
SITE SELECTION Magazine recognizes Plattsburgh as one of the top ten small
communities in America for economic development success.
- Plattsburgh International Airport receives another major boost in funding as New York State Governor George Pataki commits $6.2 million in additional funding toward its continued development.
The new passenger terminal at Plattsburgh International Airport opens, marking the
readiness of the massive aviation complex to begin hosting passenger services for the
Plattsburgh-Montreal-Lake Placid region.
- The Chamber celebrates the selection of Plattsburgh, New York as one of North America's top ten "micro cities of the future" by fDi Magazine, a global publication dedicated to foreign direct investment.
- The Chamber's Aerospace and Transportation Equipment Workforce Development Task Force completes a multi-faceted regional strategy for meeting the current and future workforce needs of the aerospace and transportation equipment sectors in the North Country.
- The Chamber hosts an information briefing by representatives of U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding the new identification and documentation requirements that will take effect at the U.S.- Canadian border.
- The Chamber welcomes the official announcement that Nova Bus has selected Plattsburgh as the site of its U.S. bus manufacturing operations.
- A grant of $107,688 is awarded to the Chamber by New York State Health Foundation for a special project: Overcoming Tri-Lakes Small Business Barriers to offering Employee Health Coverage.
The regional business community identifies rising property taxes as one of its greatest
concerns and has calls for stronger efforts to identify and pursue potential savings and
efficiencies through sharing or consolidation. Shared Service Awards are presented by the Chamber as a means of citing worthy examples of such sharing and encouraging other localities to engage in shared activities.
The Quebec-New York Economic Summit’s theme and content focuses on green
transportation, technology, business practices and economic development in the Corridor.
- The Chamber highlights a number of construction projects for consideration by the federal and state governments for funding under the major stimulus infrastructure package including: Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute, Plattsburgh Intl. Airport, Adk. Regional Airport, Adk. Railroad, Rail & Trail, Rouses Pt. Train Station, Lake Placid Conference Center, The Strand, and more.
- The County Legislature approves a 3% occupancy tax that will be used to invest in marketing programs promoting tourism in Clinton County.
- The Chamber is awarded $500,000 by the New York State Labor Dept. to implement Phase II of its Aerospace, Transportation Equipment and Green Tech Workforce Strategy.
- The Chamber testifies before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development in Ottawa focusing on Canadian-U.S. relations.
- The Chamber is awarded $85,000 by the NYS Occupational Safety and Health Hazard Abatement Board to continue its program of workplace safety services for the next twelve months.
- Empire State Development and The Chamber represent Plattsburgh Intl. Airport as one of 2,000 exhibitors from more than 40 countries at the International Paris Air Show.
- The Chamber hosts a visit to the North Country by representatives of twenty Quebec companies interested in starting or expanding their business in the U.S.
- The regional partnership continues to expand with the addition of The Malone Chamber of Commerce, Adirondack Speculator Chamber of Commerce, and Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce.
- Chamber Survey asks members to identify the top three subjects of concern as they operate their businesses this year: Health Insurance costs were number one (66%), closely followed by federal and state spending and taxes (63%), property taxes were third (34%).
- Chamber President is appointed to Governor-Elect Andrew Cuomo’s Committee on Economic Development and Labor, which will lead the search for talent to staff state agencies charged with leading job creation and growing New York's economy.
- Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau and Strategic Tourism Planning Committee unveil the Destination Master Plan with goals that include: growing regional pride while maintaining the unique social character of the region; increasing economic opportunities and quality of life for residents through the development of carefully planned tourism; building and managing tourism in a way that contributes to the quality of life of local residents; becoming a bilingual destination; building a strong leisure component based on core strengths in outdoor recreation; and honoring the region’s rich history.
The Chamber obtains final approval from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security for the
creation of the North Country EB-5 Regional Center, making a potential new financing tool for job creating ventures available in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties.
Partnership Agreements with the Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce, the Stony Creek Chamber of Commerce, and Whiteface Region Business and Tourism
Center contribute to a total membership that now exceeds 4,300 companies and
organizations across Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and northern Warren Counties.
- The Chamber leads the multi-faceted Pfizer Transition process, including marketing of the Pfizer facilities in Rouses Point, Chazy and Plattsburgh, as well as the Lyon Mountain Transition process with marketing of the former Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility for potential new uses.
Marketing efforts - especially in Quebec - help boost enplanements at Plattsburgh
International to upwards of 150,000.
- The Chamber implements the third and final phase of the 13N grant from the U.S. Labor Dept., in support of aerospace and transportation equipment development in the North Country with total funding of $1.5 Million.
- The Chamber continues active advocacy in Washington on behalf of the North Country in matters including transportation, border operations, airport development and economic development generally, including the coordination of the annual "New York Day in Washington.”
- The Chamber is included in a vast number of businesses and homes in the North Country that are flooded by tropical storm Irene. With help from Chamber members and volunteers, programs and services continue without interruption. Reconstruction and relocation back to the Chamber building is completed in 3 months.
The Chamber helps lead the North Country to win "Best Plan" status in the statewide
competition amongst the ten regions, securing over $103 million for more than 70 economic development projects in the region.
- The Chamber co-leads a process to implement progress on virtually all projects funded through the Regional Council, updates the regional plan, and identifies a new set of Priority Projects.
- The Chamber actively assists in securing a qualified new provider under the Essential Air Service contract at Plattsburgh International Airport: PenAir.
- Through efforts of the Chamber, service to Myrtle Beach is offered by Spirit and Las Vegas service by Allegiant begins.
- The Chamber lobbies officials in Washington and Albany to help advocate for the eventual award of two major contracts: MTA and BART, totaling more than $1 billion, as well as securing state funding assistance for the $26 million plant and test track expansion now underway.
- Four "Doing Business in the U.S." missions are hosted with Montreal Board of Trade and its Montreal World Trade Center, bringing groups of Quebec companies to Plattsburgh.
- The Chamber works actively through the 2012 State legislative session as a member of the Executive Committee of Unshackle Upstate and a board member of the Committee to Save New York, supporting the Governor's responsible budget and other key reforms such as the new Tier VI Pension Plan.
The Chamber is appointed by the Cuomo Administration to the Regional Advisory
Committee for the State's new Health Benefit Exchanges being defined and developed for launch by 2014 as part of federal health care reform.
- The Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau significantly expands electronic marketing and social media activities.
- Ongoing events include: A Celebration of Women in Business, Annual Dinner, St. Patrick's Breakfast, Business Expo, Golf Tournament, Taste of the North Country, Chamber Ski Day, Biannual Job Fairs, and Monthly Business After Hours.
- The Chamber receives a 5-Star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber for it’s sound policies, effective organizational procedures and positive impact on the community.
A Time Capsule is sealed in hopes it will be opened at the Chamber’s 200th Anniversary