In Their Opinion...

Editorial: State helping local business

Every governor in recent memory has emphasized the importance of the state’s chief executive concentrating on improving business and economic prosperity in every corner of New York.

Andrew Cuomo’s administration recently offered the latest in a long line of initiatives from the Governor’s Office aimed at improving the revenue stream on the local level.

He has established a connection with businesses, through the state’s chambers of commerce, to provide free services to “help businesses access capital incentives, grow their workforce and manage their operations,” according to a news release.

“Combined, the chambers of commerce will relay the no-cost business support services to over 50,000 businesses across the state.”

Since February, the State Department of Labor and Empire State Development have met with chambers and businesses throughout the state to explain the benefits of using the state’s services.

They are:

• Job fairs and customized recruitment services. The fairs can be held locally or in one of 96 New York State Career Centers, and the state will help firms sift resumes and provide up to $20,000 to run a job fair.

• Job vacancies can be posted on Jobs Express, the state’s online database.

• Tax credits of up to $5,000 for hiring disadvantaged youths in certain cities and towns.

• Human resource consultation.

• Shared work, that is, enrolling a percentage of a company’s workforce in partial unemployment benefits to avoid layoffs.

• Free on-site health and safety consultations.

• Labor-law seminars to help businesses avoid penalties and save money by preventing fines.

Meanwhile, Empire State Development continues to help localities attract business and industry. Combined, the state appears to be making efforts to help businesses save and make money.

Are chambers happy with the new initiative? Susan Matton, vice president for economic development at the North Country Chamber of Commerce in Plattsburgh, had this to say:

“Working together, the New York State Department of Labor and the North Country Chamber of Commerce have initiated an effort to improve knowledge and awareness of the department’s valuable employer services and identify the workforce issues facing North Country businesses.

“Following a recent briefing by Department of Labor staff, the chamber and the department developed a survey to send to area employers. The results will help the Department of Labor connect businesses with job seekers.”

It sounds like an effort that could give an upward nudge to the North Country economy.