Service Industry

PPR Biz Expo 0608
A bird's-eye view of the 25th-annual North Country Chamber of Commerce Biz Expo at the SUNY Plattsburgh Field House takes in some 181 booths decorated to reflect the services and products provided by the participants. About 1,500 visitors perused the varied offerings at the recent event. (Staff Photo/Kelli Catana)

New services, initiatives touted at Biz Expo


PLATTSBURGH — The 25th-annual North Country Chamber of Commerce Biz Expo offered several companies a chance to tout new products and initiatives.

At one of the 181 exhibits at the SUNY Plattsburgh Field House, Jim McCormick, northeast regional director for PenAir, said things have gone well for the airline since it launched flights between Plattsburgh International Airport and Logan International Airport in Boston in June 2012.

PenAir will begin serving a new market — Long Island MacArthur Airport in the Town of Islip — on June 25. It will initially offer nonstop flights between that airport and Logan, he said, but could eventually offer direct flights between Islip and Plattsburgh if there is enough interest.

That destination could be popular here, McCormick said, as a large percentage of the student body at SUNY Plattsburgh lives in the Long Island area.

“I think that could be a real added benefit for us and our passengers.”

PenAir has a manager and six agents at Plattsburgh. The airport is also its northeast regional maintenance base, with about seven people employed locally.

McCormick said there may be many people who don’t realize how many destinations are available from Logan, both domestic and international.

“You can fly pretty much anywhere in the world from Logan International,” he said.


John King, vice president of Rutland, Vt.-based Foley Distributing, talked about the Power of Three closed-loop recycling program they offer in conjunction with Casella Waste Systems and SCA Tissue North America in Glens Falls.

The Power of Three is a three-step process where Casella collects a customer’s waste through its Zero-Sort Recycling program. The paper products are separated at Casella’s Zero-Sort processing facility in Rutland, Vt.

Those products are then sent to SCA, where they are made into 100 percent recycled paper products such as hand towels and tissue paper. Those recycled products are then distributed by Foley Distributing to its customers.

King said they have recently added Bombardier Transportation and Fujitsu Fronttech in Plattsburgh.

“We’re really excited to be making a big push here,” King said.

One of the advantages of the Power of Three program is its simplicity, King said.

“But you have to want to make a change,” he said.


Urban Soles’ table displayed numerous pairs of designer shoes that are for sale at the downtown Plattsburgh shop owned by Deb Cleary and Dan Albert.

The store opened last August. 

Winter sales were a little slow, Cleary said, but things are picking up as the weather warms.

“Urban Soles has the latest shoes from the best designers,” she said.

The shop, located at 33 Durkee St., also carries accessories for men and women.

She said they were looking forward to Friday and Saturday’s First Weekend event downtown, offering 10 percent-off coupons to customers who visit the store. She said the new initiative, which combines arts with downtown establishments for special events, just makes sense.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea. We hope it will draw more people that maybe wouldn’t be going downtown,” Cleary said.

She was also pleased to hear there was interest in revitalization of the Plattsburgh Downtown Association, a group of business people working together to promote that part of the city.

“I’m a full supporter of a revised Plattsburgh Downtown Association,” Cleary said.


Clear Shot Satellite Operations was another exhibitor, and Manager Nicholas Lang said in addition to Direct TV television service, the Plattsburgh-based company now offers Exede satellite Internet service.

“It is designed for rural customers who can’t get high-speed Internet,” he said.

It offers download speeds of 12 megabits per second, which is three to four times faster than DSL, King said. 

So far, he said, they have installed the service to about 175 customers in a territory that stretches from Plattsburgh to Hogansburg and south to Ticonderoga and Crown Point, as well as eight northern counties in Vermont.

Clear Shot has been in business about five years and has 12 employees.

They have had a booth at the Biz Expo all five years, Lang said.

“It gives us a lot of publicity. It’s a chance to spread the word about our new products.”

Chamber Executive Vice President Jody Parks said the event attracts about 1,500 visitors a year.

Email Dan