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Market

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.

Develop

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.

Connect

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

  • Good For The World, Good For You

    Wednesday, 24 June 2015

    By: Mark Horoszowski, HuffingtonPost.com
     

    Finding and earning your dream job is no easy journey, but it turns out that doing good for the world might be your golden ticket.  Over the past few years, we've spoken with hundreds of volunteers, hiring managers, recruiters, and career coaches to explore the theory that volunteering can help people get their dream job in any sector: public, private, or non-profit. We've complimented our qualitative stories with quantitative research to show that volunteering helps you at all the main steps of your career path: Identifying your passions and career calling; Building critical skills and making your resume stand out; Helping you ace the interview and hiring process.Infographic-volunteering-and-your-career-149x1024

    Our team is incredibly eager to show this research as it represents a true win-win: Some of the biggest challenges facing this earth are skills-related challenges, meanwhile people benefit by contributing their skills to global issues.

    In summary, our research shows that people should be pickier about the way they engage in volunteering by making sure their time and talents are actually needed - not just their physical presence. In fact, we found that volunteers are more engaged, deliver more value to organizations, and stay longer if they donate their real talents as opposed to their muscles. In doing so, they also tend to experience "career enlightenment".

    However, there appears to be a right and wrong way to both volunteer AND communicate your experience on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter. The following infographic shows you why and how volunteering your skills, especially on a dedicated project like an international volunteering trip, can help you find and get your dream job. It is also full of useful tips about how to choose a project and how to talk about your volunteer experience during the interview process for public, private, or governmental jobs.

    Click here to read the full article and find out how volunteering can help you identify your dream job and improve your resume!

    Read more...
  • Welcome New Members!

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015

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

    - Hope Energy Group

    - New Leaf Group, LLC

    Mick Butler State Farm Insurance

    - Maddalone & Associates

    - Integrated Tissue Dynamics

    LaSalle Institute

    Christopher Brian Salon

    - Adirondack Technical Solutions

    - ATSCO  

    American Cancer Society, Inc. Eastern Division

    - Rensselaer Honda

    - Combined Insurance

    Sandler Training

    Informz

    - The Asphalt Doctor

    Saratoga National Bank

    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.

     

    Read more...
  • Membership Survey

    Tuesday, 09 June 2015

    As we prepare for our Strategic Planning sessions with the Chamber's board of directors in July, we ask that you please take a moment to answer the following questions about the Chamber. We value your input and appreciate your participation. 

    Click here to take the survey.

    Read more...
  • Small Business, Job Creation, And Why We Should Lend To Young Companies

    Wednesday, 17 June 2015

    By: Ty Kiisel, Forbes.com

    Any honest conversation about creating jobs in the United States must include the role played by small business. Collectively, these businesses create the lion’s share of new jobs. The current SBA Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet regularly argues that two out of every three new jobs are created there. So when Experian approached me with a new study that explored the impact of small businesses (particularly startups), on our economy and what we could do to encourage more job creation, they had my attention.

    As one of the three biggest business and personal credit reporting bureaus, I consider Experian’s advice and perspective very relevant to this conversation. I recently spoke with Peter Bolin, Experian Director of Consulting and Analytics, to talk about the research. When they dived into the data they found that small businesses and startups really do have a direct impact on job creation in the United States. They focused on the 2010 class of startups and looked at the resilience of the overall US economic recovery and how these businesses have performed in the four years since they opened their doors.

    It’s probably no surprise that as the economy improved, so did these young businesses. What might be a surprise is Bolin’s assertion that these 2010 startup businesses are driving the recovery. As unemployment has come down, it looks like small business has had a big role to play in the decline.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • The Simple Rules of Disciplined Innovation

    Wednesday, 03 June 2015

    by Donald Sull, McKinsey&Company

    When it comes to innovation, the single most common piece of advice may be to “think outside the box.” Constraints, according to this view, are the enemy of creativity because they sap intrinsic motivation and limit possibilities.

    Sophisticated innovators, however, have long recognized that constraints spur and guide innovation. Attempting to innovate without boundaries overwhelms people with options and ignores established practices, such as agile programming, that have been shown to enhance innovation. Without guidelines to structure the interactions, members of a complex organization or ecosystem struggle to coordinate their innovative activities.

    How, then, can organizations embrace a more disciplined approach to innovation? One productive approach is to apply a few simple rules to key steps in the innovation process. Simple rules add just enough structure to help organizations avoid the stifling bureaucracy of too many rules and the chaos of none at all. By imposing constraints on themselves, individuals, teams, and organizations can spark creativity and channel it along the desired trajectory. Instead of trying to think outside the wrong box, you can use simple rules to draw the right box and innovate within it.

    Simple rules cannot, of course, guarantee successful innovation—no tool can. Innovation creates novel products, processes, or business models that generate economic value. Trying anything new inevitably entails experimentation and failure. Simple rules, however, add discipline to the process to boost efficiency and increase the odds that the resulting innovations will create value.

    Click here for the full article.

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  • Troy Downtown Parking Management Survey

    Tuesday, 02 June 2015

    The City of Troy, in cooperation with downtown stakeholders, is conducting a Downtown Parking Management Study.  At this early stage of the study, we are asking the public to share their views on parking issues.  The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.  Your responses are important and will be kept confidential.  The results of this survey will be made available to the public and utilized in formulating parking recommendations for the downtown.

    Click here to take the survey.

    Read more...
  • Increase Creativity In Your Business, Unless Everything's Perfect

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015

    By Homaira Kabir, Forbes.com

    Managing a business is a balancing act between creativity and structure. Too much of the first and the business is immersed in chaos. Too much of the second and it becomes mired in rigidity. Staying right atop that fine line where everything is perfect often becomes the illusive goal.

    Ah, but beware the false promises of perfection! Effective management is not about the futile pursuit of a mirage, for no such fine line exists. Instead, it is about the flexibility of flowing harmoniously between creativity and structure, like the yin and yang, for therein lies the secret to growth and success.

    It is tricky of course. Process is always easier to implement because it has structure, and can even get over-bearing as the business grows. Creativity, on the other hand, is seen as an elusive entity that a few lucky businesses possess while the rest wish that they did. Standing on the side lines waiting for the creative spirit to blossom or a nouveau idea to emerge is a risk that can spell disaster in our times of accelerating change.

    There is good news though. Studies show that the most creative companies follow a very systematic process to nurture creativity and capture the best ideas. Here are the steps you can take to increase creativity in your company – unless everything’s perfect!

    Click here to read the full article.

    Read more...
  • 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.

    Read more...
  • 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.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 | 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Lake George, Fort William Henry Hotel
    Register Here

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Hudson, Columbia Greene Community College
    Register Here

    Read more...
  • 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.

    Read more...

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