In today's economy, the business community must be proactive; seeking out new, innovative opportunities to prosper. The Chamber is here to help get the word out and market your business.


Staying ahead of the competition is getting harder every day. The Chamber is here to help you develop your skills and understanding of the evolving marketplace.


Reaching out to the right audience is part of doing business. The Chamber is here to help you connect your business through networking and events.

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News Updates

  • CEO Succession Starts With Developing Your Leaders

    Wednesday, 27 May 2015

    By: Åsa Björnberg and Claudio Fese, McKinsey & Company

    Two-thirds of US public and private companies still admit that they have no formal CEO succession plan in place, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Corporate Directors last year. And only one-third of the executives who told headhunter Korn Ferry this year that their companies do have such a program were satisfied with the outcome. These figures are alarming. CEO succession planning is a critical process that many companies either neglect or get wrong. While choosing a CEO is unambiguously the board’s responsibility, the incumbent CEO has a critical leadership role to play in preparing and developing candidates—just as any manager worth his or her salt will worry about grooming a successor.

    An ongoing process

    Many companies treat the CEO succession as a one-off event triggered by the abrupt departure of the old CEO rather than a structured process. The succession is therefore often reactive, divorced from the wider system of leadership development and talent management. This approach has significant risks: potentially good candidates may not have sufficient time or encouragement to work on areas for improvement, unpolished talent could be overlooked, and companies may gain a damaging reputation for not developing their management ranks.

    Ideally, succession planning should be a multiyear structured process tied to leadership development. The CEO succession then becomes the result of initiatives that actively develop potential candidates. For instance, the chairman of one Asian company appointed three potential CEOs to the position of co-chief operating officer, rotating them over a two-year period through key leadership roles in sales, operations, and R&D. One of the three subsequently dropped out, leaving two in competition for the top post.

    Click here to read the full article.

  • Capital Region Economic Development Council

    Tuesday, 26 May 2015

    Upstate Revitalization Initiative Update

    In January, Governor Cuomo created an initiative for seven Upstate NY regions to compete for three, one-time, $500 million economic development investments from the State of New York’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

    This initiative works in conjunction with the Regional Councils, which will award a total $750 million this year – including approximately $600 million to Upstate New York. Between the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards, approximately $130 million will be awarded for the top finishers ranging down to $90 million. This is an incredible investment in upstate New York and an enormous opportunity for our region.

    The Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) Competition is an opportunity for the Capital Region to create overarching strategies that will have a region-wide impact focusing on strengthening critical infrastructure, revitalizing communities, bolstering workforce development, growing tourism, and improving quality of life.

    The CREDC has formed the Upstate Revitalization Advisory Council to coordinate the development of the region’s plan. This Council will be co-chaired by Michael J. Castellana, president and CEO of SEFCU, and one of the inaugural chairs of the Capital Region Economic Development Council and Michael J. Hickey, interim CEO of Center for Economic Growth. The Advisory Council will be a public-private effort and will include leaders from various industry sectors as well as the resources of some research firms to help create a roadmap that will contain short- and long-term strategies and tactics.

    We need and want our region’s best thinking and most transformative projects for the plan. Please visit www.capital2020.biz, the Capital 20.20 website, for more information and check back regularly for updates and notices of opportunities to provide input. With your participation, we can advance our region through focused investment.

    Meeting Notice: Capital Region Economic Development Council

    Thursday, May 28, 2015
    12:30 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.

    Holiday Inn, 232 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

    Map and Directions

    Register Here 

    Upcoming Arts, Culture and Tourism CREDC Work Group Meetings

    The Arts, Culture and Tourism CREDC work group will hold three sessions that will include targeted CFA training followed by a forum to solicit visionary ideas about how the creative economy might be leveraged to promote economic growth in alignment with the priorities of the CREDC Strategic Plan and URI Revitalization Plan.

    *Each session will be identical – you only need to attend one of the following*

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015 | 12:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.
    Basilica Hudson |110 S Front St. in Hudson

    Friday, June 12, 2015 | 2:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
    Proctors | 432 State St. in Schenectady 

    Monday, June 15, 2015 |9:00 A.M. – noon
    Lake George Great Escape Lodge | 89 Six Flags Dr. in Queensbury    

     Register Here

      • Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) is open. The deadline is July 31, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. Access the CFA here.
      • URI Revitalization Plans will be due to the State on October 5, 2015.

    Upcoming CFA Workshops 

    Friday, June 26, 2015 | 10:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.  
    Lake George, Fort William Henry Hotel
    Register Here

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 10:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
    Hudson, Columbia Greene Community College
    Register Here

  • Welcome New Members!

    Wednesday, 20 May 2015

    Please welcome the following new members who have joined the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber. Be sure to introduce yourself at upcoming events!

    - Sandler Training


    - The Asphalt Doctor

    Saratoga National Bank

    - The Friends of Dyken Pond Center

    - Brunswick Veterinary Hospital

    - Vermont Rail System

    - Gold Law Firm

    - Correctional Eye Care Network

    Fleet Technology Group

    - B-Rads Bistro and Catering

    - Watson Management Group

    WYBN TV 14 - Cable Ad New York Inc

    - Albany Port District Commission

    Synthesis Architects, LLP

    T.J. Bell Environmental Inc.

    - Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O'Shea

    If you're a future member interested in joining, or you're a member who knows of a great prospective member, please contact the Chamber at 518.274.7020.


  • Small Business Lending: The World Has Changed

    Wednesday, 20 May 2015

    By: Ty Kiisel, Forbes

    While the economy is growing and things are getting better for businesses in the U.S., access to capital is still a challenge for many business owners. Traditional small business lending, which sharply contracted following the start of the recession, is showing signs of life; but while some banks are trying to bring small business customers back, Ernst & Young suggests, “The post-crisis environment has been characterized by [small business] companies’ willingness to move material parts of their banking business if presented with a more attractive option. Relationship breadth or history alone is no longer enough of a deterrent to prevent switching.”

    In other words, small business owners are feeling (and these are my words not E&Y’s), “While my long-term relationship with your bank does matter to me, if you can’t come through for me when I need you, I have no other option than to find someone else who will.”

    In this regard, E&Y identifies, “Nearly one in five companies report having changed its primary bank in the past year…” No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of customers jumping ship.

    Click here to read the full article.

  • The 3 Differences Between A Boss and a Leader

    Wednesday, 13 May 2015

    By: Barry Saltzman, Fast Company

    Consider for a moment the difference between a boss and a leader—what distinguishes the two?

    Some immediate differences come to mind. Leaders are inspiring; they’re invested; they’re engaged—but how do these differences play a role in affecting workplace culture? Let’s explore how a leader affects workplace culture in ways a boss can’t.

    1. Employees Know They're Going Somewhere
    Overcoming the slog that is the standard 9-5 workday is a chore. Innumerable factors can drag an otherwise great job down to sheer mediocrity—and a lack of direction is at the helm of these issues. A strong leader assigns tasks that show a clear vision for the company's future, and provides team members the necessary assurance they’re actually working toward something. It’s amazing what a bit of aim can do, and the ensuing morale boost drives quality and results that a boss simply can’t achieve.

    "Leadership and culture aren’t about being the boss or being in control; they are about creating shared visions and goals, and then inspiring, empowering and influencing others to achieve more than they ever thought possible," explains Gary Brooks, CMO at Urjanet. "Great leaders create places where people want to be rather than a place they have to go—places where smart, ambitious people challenge each other every day to do their best work and solve big problems."

    Click here to read the full article.

  • How An Annual Plan Can Help Your Small Business Grow

    Wednesday, 06 May 2015

    "You can't reach a goal you haven't set. During Small Business Week, I'm helping you 'Make This Your Year to Grow.' If you want to grow, one of the most important steps is to develop a plan for growth — and then make planning an ongoing process of your company.

    Now, don't get worried that I'm going to make you sit down and write a long, detailed business plan. It's the PLANNING, not the PLAN, that's important. The planning process itself brings you the biggest benefits — examining your business, figuring out what's profitable, identifying threats and opportunities, making decisions.

    Of course, some great companies have been developed from detailed, written business plans. VistaPrint — the online printing and marketing company for small businesses — was started when founder Robert Keane wrote a business plan for a graduate business school class. Seth Goldman wrote a business plan with his Yale School of Management professor for the company they named Honest Tea. They later sold it to Coca-Cola.

    Both Keane and Goldman made decisions during their business plan process that led to phenomenal growth and still underpin their highly successful companies today. Business planning isn't just for start-ups, either. It's a vital tool for long-term survival and success, especially for a small business. I recommend developing a business plan every year."

    Click here to read more!

  • New York State "Bridge to Success" Loan Program for Minority and Women Contractors

    Wednesday, 29 April 2015

    Empire State Development (ESD) will expand access to short-term Loans for New York State Certified Minority and Women-Owned firms doing business with New York State. The "Bridge To Success" Loan Program will invest at least $20 million to expand access to short-term bridge loans for Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) The program will provide qualified MWBEs with the short-term resources they need to participate in the up to $1 billion in contracting opportunities with New York State. Under the terms of the "Bridge to Success" program, ESD will provide up to $2.73 million in loan loss reserves to support the $20 million in short term loans provided by participating lenders. Loans will typically be under $200,000 with terms under two years and would support $100 million in state contracts.

    Click here to receive more information!

  • Governor Announces $47 Million In Transit Grant Funding Available to Support Mobility Services for Seniors and People With Disabilities

    Wednesday, 29 April 2015

    Funding Will Aid Non-Profits and Local Governments in Providing Transit Alternatives For Senior Citizens and People With Disabilities

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state has secured $47.5 million in federal transit grant funding to enhance the mobility of senior citizens and persons with disabilities. This funding is available to programs run by non-profit groups, local governments and other agencies that meet the unique needs of transit-dependent populations beyond the services provided by traditional sources of public transportation, as well as paratransit services in connection with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

    “This $47 million will provide essential services to people with unique transportation needs, and ultimately improve their quality of life,” Governor Cuomo said. “By supporting programs that offer transit alternatives to the elderly and people with disabilities, we are enhancing mobility and making a difference in the lives of New Yorkers across the state. I encourage all eligible organizations to apply for this funding today.” 

    Continue Reading...

  • Sign Up To Volunteer for the Fourth Annual I Love My Park Day

    Wednesday, 29 April 2015


    Registration is now open for the fourth annual I Love My Park Day on Saturday, May 2, 2015! Ninety-five New York State Parks and Historic Sites are hosting events this year. Last year more than 6,000 volunteers pitched in on cleanup, beautification and improvement projects at events across the state, from Montauk Point to Niagara Falls. Join us for this exciting event and give back to parks. 

    Parks & Trails New York organizes I Love My Park Day, in partnership with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, to celebrate, improve and enhance state parks and historic sites; boost volunteerism; and raise the visibility of the entire state parks system and its needs.

    Find an event near you and register today!

  • Article of the Week: How to Establish a Vision Statement Employees Will Get Behind

    Wednesday, 22 April 2015

    By: Andre Lavoie , Entrepreneur.com

    Most companies have a clearly defined mission statement, but it’s thevision statement that employees cling onto. Whereas mission statements explain a company’s reason for existence, a vision statement describes where the company is going and how they’re going to get there. In short, a company’s vision statement should aim to do more than just inform -- that’s what the mission statement is for. A vision statement is intended to inspire, motivate and align employees. Ours focuses on both the current and future benefits of our product, allowing employees to stay engaged with both what we do now and where we’re headed. Here are four tips to keep in mind when trying to develop a vision statement employees will get behind: click here for full article.


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