Annual Progress Report
To Our Members,
We are pleased to present the following as a summary of our progress toward our strategic objectives and our continuing goal of providing responsive and meaningful service to all of our members. We appreciate your confidence and support as we endeavor to sustain and build the North Country economy and, as always, we encourage your participation and input as we go forward.
Board of Directors and Staff
North Country Chamber of Commerce
P R O G R E S S R E P O R T 2017
- Continued to attract Foreign Direct Investment for new and expanded manufacturing operations in the North Country, ranking among the "Top 10 Micropolitan CITIES OF THE FUTURE" in 2017 for North and South America, per fDi Magazine.
- Continued co-leadership of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, once again earning high funding for regional projects.
- Fully secured and helped launch Norsk Titanium in Plattsburgh in collaboration with SUNY Poly and Empire State Development, a $250 million aerospace technology company.
- Continued to play a strong support role behind the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College, completed and opened in 2017.
- Officially launched the North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment (NAmTrans), including funding from the federal and state governments and its first fulltime Director.
- Actively assisted with several alternative energy production and transmission projects in the region, including construction of the Jericho Rise wind farm in northern Franklin County.
- Worked in active partnership with Franklin County on the generation of new collaborations and approaches for economic development there.
- Conducted more than 20 "Red Carpet Days" for Canadian companies considering doing business in the U.S.
- Actively supported marketing at various sites and with key partners including Imperial Industrial Park, NorthStar and the Development Corp. among others, including Red Carpet briefings and facilitation of interactions with the state and with workforce partners.
- Conducted a successful second Global Supply Chain Management Summit at Business Expo.
PLATTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
- Successfully transitioned from the lead role in air service development to emphasis on economic development, while continuing to provide strong support services for air service as well.
- Directly helped to secure $38 million from Governor Cuomo under the Upstate Airport Revitalization Competition for a number of facility improvements at PBG with an emphasis on industrial and aviation development.
- Signed an historic Partnership Agreement with AERO MONTREAL, the massive Aerospace Cluster in Quebec.
- Led a very visible and successful New York State presence at the Paris International Air Show, including active support at the show for Norsk Titanium.
- Continued to play the lead role on behalf of the North Country in monitoring performance at our key northern border crossings and advocating in Washington and Ottawa for facilities, staffing, technology and other needs.
- Joined with our partners at the FCCQ (Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec) on several occasions during 2017, including co-organizing a visit to Montreal by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik with several activities aimed at furthering Quebec-North Country connections.
- Helped to secure approval by Congress of the U.S.-Canada Pre-Clearance Agreement, and then by the Canadian Parliament.
- Hosted six missions to Plattsburgh by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal/Montreal World Trade Center. Also continued to conduct "Doing Business in the U.S." seminars at locations in Quebec.
- The North Country Chamber was officially honored by the Quebec Government as one of Quebec's 50 best friends around the world, the only honoree in New York State.
- Participated in a high level strategic round table in Montreal hosted by Quebec Premier Couillard on U.S.-Canada economic relations.
- Successfully transitioned the Chamber's relationship with a new Canadian Consul General in New York and a new U.S. Consul General in Montreal.
ADIRONDACK COAST VISITORS BUREAU:
- Carried out a comprehensive and multi-faceted Tourism Marketing Plan that helped to drive an estimated $130.2+ million in visitor spending in Clinton County alone. This included increased Canadian visitation and spending and a notable increase in county sales tax receipts.
- Successfully recruited and hosted five record setting Lake Champlain Bass Tournaments, with six expected in 2018.
- Actively assisted with the Governor's annual Adirondack Challenge in July in Indian Lake, including recruiting six rafting teams.
- Successfully generated substantial increases in traffic related to the Adirondack Coast website, Facebook and other social media.
- Continuation of the North Country Chamber's unique role with regard to developing and utilizing relationships with key federal and state officials, as well as Canadian and Quebec leaders, serving as an effective advocate for North Country business and the North Country economy.
- Conducted another successful Annual Issue Survey and Business Confidence Index, and a very successful New York State Legislative Breakfast.
- Conducted the first ever joint event for presentation of the State of the County, State of the City and State of the Town.
- Continued to be part of the Executive Committee of Unshackle Upstate, including successful UU leadership in 2017 in securing Legislative approval of cost saving reforms to Workers' Comp and the minimization of sweeping proposals for new Buy American mandates in state contracts without any exemption of Canada.
- Secured enactment by the House and Senate of language in support of Norsk Titanium, requiring assessment of defense implications of additive manufacturing technologies.
- Helped to secure final Legislative approval of a State Constitutional Amendment for creation of a Land Bank for the Adirondack Park.
- Organized and hosted productive North Country events and tours for Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley, and New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
- Conducted another successful and impactful North Country Day in Washington.
- Assisted with another successful Adirondack Day in Albany.
- Arranged and hosted a visit by former U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh, focused on North Titanium and our Transportation Equipment Cluster.
- Actively participated in and supported continuing planning and promotion by the North Country Global Sports initiative.
- Secured an additional year's funding through Senator Betty Little for our Chamber of Commerce On the Job Training Program.
- Secured an additional year's funding through the State Labor Dept. for our Workplace Safety Training Program, and conducted a first Safety Expo.
- Successfully launched our new North Country Connect Leadership and Professional Development Program.
- Saw the full revitalization of our SCORE Chapter including national recognition by SCORE for outstanding performance.
- Coordinated another successful and expanded "Small Business Saturday" regionally.
- Continued our HR Leadership Program, including sharing sessions, workshops and seminars.
- Continued our partnership with AEDC, bringing small business workshops to all parts of our region.
- Conducted two very successful Job Fairs, and assisted with a successful Job Fair in Franklin County.
- Continued to operate a highly important and successful Health Insurance Program for the North Country's small employers and the self-employed, including informational workshops and outreach throughout our region.
- Conducted successful Chamber events including the Annual Dinner, St. Patrick's, two Ski Days, Business Expo, the Car Show, Golf Tournament, the Celebration of Women in Business, and Taste of the North Country.
- Achieved Re-Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the 5 Star level, the highest level of performance, placing us among less than 1% of America's chambers.