IRS, States and Tax Industry Renew Alert about Form W-2 Scam Targeting Payroll, Human Resource DepartmentsWednesday, 01 February 2017
The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today renewed their warning about an email scam that uses a corporate officer’s name to request employee Forms W-2 from company payroll or human resources departments.
This week, the IRS already has received new notifications that the email scam is making its way across the nation for a second time. The IRS urges company payroll officials to double check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of Forms W-2 or Social Security number.
The W-2 scam first appeared last year. Cybercriminals tricked payroll and human resource officials into disclosing employee names, SSNs and income information. The thieves then attempted to file fraudulent tax returns for tax refunds.
This phishing variation is known as a “spoofing” e-mail. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this variation, the “CEO” sends an email to a company payroll office or human resource employee and requests a list of employees and information including SSNs.
The following are some of the details that may be contained in the emails:
- Kindly send me the individual 2016 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.
- Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary).
- I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.
Working together in the Security Summit, the IRS, states and tax industry have made progress in their fight against tax-related identity theft, cybercriminals are using more sophisticated tactics to try to steal even more data that will allow them to impersonate taxpayers.
The Security Summit supports a national taxpayer awareness campaign called “Taxes. Security. Together.” and a national tax professional awareness effort called “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself.” These campaigns offer simple tips that can help make data more secure.Read more...
Giving Thanks WinnersWednesday, 21 December 2016
Congratulations to Verdile's Restaurant and The Arts Center of the Capital Region who won our Giving Thanks promotion! The total value of this prize is $1,000 for each winning member, and will meet with the Chamber marketing staff to develop a package to meet their specific marketing and business goals for 2017.
The Linium Index of High-Tech Hiring - Winter 2017 SurveyMonday, 12 December 2016
The Winter 2017 edition of the Linium Hiring Index will assess the experience and expectations of employers regarding the job market, including the outlook for growth, which positions are expanding fastest, and the opportunities and challenges in filling them. The information gathered will assist your company in better understanding the hiring climate, and developing a recruiting strategy to help hire and retain individuals for those key positions.
The survey is confidential and takes 90 seconds or less to complete. Responses will be collected through Thursday, December 22 and the results will be released next month. Remember, the Linium Index survey is open to both high-tech and traditional companies. Thank you in advance for your participation!Read more...
Kate Ollier Named Chamber PresidentMonday, 12 December 2016
Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Michael DiAcetis announced today that the board of directors has appointed longtime chamber staff member Kate Ollier as president. Ollier had been serving as interim president since September when former president Mike O’Sullivan resigned. Her permanent role leading the chamber is effective January 1, 2017.
“During the past three months, and throughout her time at the chamber, Kate has proven herself to be an innovative and capable leader, one who understands the complexity of serving a diverse membership,” said DiAcetis. “Kate’s creativity and knowledge of our members and our region will serve the chamber well. “
Prior to serving as interim president, Ollier was the chamber’s director of member engagement and business development. She began her tenure with the chamber in 2009.
“For the past eight years I have had the pleasure of working closely with our board of directors and the chamber’s outstanding staff, who are all dedicated to providing our members with real value,” Ollier said. “I am thrilled to take on this leadership position to help businesses meet the challenges they face every day through creative programs and services designed to meet their needs. I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our members and partners to ensure the economic vitality of our county.”
Ollier is an active community volunteer and currently is a member of the Community Hospice Associate Board of Directors and the Troy Business Improvement District Board of Directors.Read more...
CITY OF RENSSELAER BREAKS GROUND ON $3.1M RIVERFRONT ESPLANADEThursday, 20 October 2016
CITY OF RENSSELAER BREAKS GROUND ON $3.1M RIVERFRONT ESPLANADE
New 1,000 linear ft. Riverfront Park to Attract Visitors and Businesses
Local leaders and government officials gathered today for a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the Rensselaer riverfront esplanade, former Rensselaer High School site, located at 575 Broadway in Rensselaer. Many government representatives, project leaders and community members gathered to mark the start of the $3.1M project which will be transformative for city residents, visitors and its economic impact.
“I congratulate the City of Rensselaer on beginning this important project that will revitalize the City’s Hudson River waterfront for the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike,” said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “The New York Department of State is proud to support this esplanade and has long backed transformative projects in this City and region that spur economic development and have a positive impact on local communities.”
“Rensselaer County and the City of Rensselaer are quickly becoming known as new and exciting opportunities for developers and businesses to invest in,” says City of Rensselaer Mayor Daniel Dwyer. “The riverfront esplanade will only add to the exciting economic development and welcoming atmosphere of the community.”
The City of Rensselaer has received $3.1M in grants from New York State to support plans to design and build a riverfront esplanade along de Laet's Landing and is pursuing funding to continue it north to the city boat launch off of Forbes Avenue. The new 1.5 acre park and 1,000 linear ft. riverfront park will offer greenspace, a bike path and the potential to hold outdoor summer concerts while offering sweeping views of Albany across the Hudson River. There are plans to have commercial and residential economic development along the waterfront on the remaining 20 acres.
Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors Inc. was awarded the bid and the projected completion is set for May of 2017. Creighton Manning Engineering and Behan Planning designed the project with public involvement on behalf of the city.Read more...
Chamber Website RFPWednesday, 17 August 2016
The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) has launched a Request for Proposal (RFP) to plan, execute and redesign the Chamber’s website. This RFP is open to current Chamber members who are in good standing.
If you are a current Chamber member and did not receive the RFP, please contact Staci O'Neill via email firstname.lastname@example.org or direct phone (518) 687-1243.
If you are interested in becoming a Chamber member, please contact Maureen McGuinness via email email@example.com or direct phone (518) 687-1244.
Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly $50 Million in Broadband Grants and Major Expansion of Charter High-Speed Internet in Upstate New YorkTuesday, 09 August 2016
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New NY Broadband Program has made sweeping progress toward achieving its nation-leading goal of broadband for all. On the heels of its merger with Time Warner Cable, Charter has outlined its four-year rollout plan to service 145,000 currently unserved households in upstate New York. Additionally, Charter will make available internet speeds of 100 megabits per second for more than 2 million upstate homes and businesses by early 2017 in its upstate service area, including in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton and Albany.
The Governor also unveiled the New NY Broadband Program’s Round I awards, which will connect 34,000 homes to high-speed internet for the first time. Once completed, these actions will ensure 97 percent of New Yorkers have the broadband access required to succeed in a 21st century economy, with the goal of serving all New Yorkers by the end of 2018.
“Access to high-speed internet is critical to keeping pace with the rising demands of the modern economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “The New NY Broadband Program is advancing our vision for inclusive, interconnected communities that empower individuals, support small businesses, and advance innovation. These actions are a major step forward in creating the most robust broadband infrastructure network in the nation, and ensuring that reliable, high-speed internet is available to all New Yorkers.”
Building on the progress already achieved, the Governor also announced the launch of a Request for Proposals for Round II of the State Broadband Program. The initiative will target a further extension of broadband availability to the most remote areas of the state in order to bring increased connectivity to millions of New Yorkers.
Chair of the Public Service Commissioner Audrey Zibelman said, "With new authority provided by Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to ensure cable mergers are in the public interest, the Commission secured important conditions from Charter when it approved its acquisition of Time Warner that will result in a faster broadband network and a substantial expansion of its infrastructure to serve an additional 145,000 households. We are pleased to report that Charter is planning to deliver its speed upgrade to 100 Mbps nearly two years earlier than required, and is following through on its build-out commitments. Today's announcement is a major milestone in Governor Cuomo's plan to deliver broadband for all."
Charter Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Catherine Bohigian said, “We are excited to be working with Governor Cuomo and his Administration. Charter is committed to investing in New York to deliver broadband to more unserved homes and to bring faster broadband speeds to the communities we serve. We have already begun delivering on these plans and look forward to bringing product and service enhancements at a greater value to our customers in New York.”
New NY Broadband Program Design
The Program is designed to ensure that New York’s most remote communities receive the high-speed internet they need and deserve. The Program supports the deployment of advanced technologies to achieve the Governor’s goal of providing New Yorkers with access to internet download speeds of at least 100 Mbps in most places, and 25 Mbps in the most remote parts of the state, by the end of 2018. As a result of these speed upgrades, users will be able to download HD movies in 11 minutes -- versus 2.3 hours without broadband -- and credit card transactions will be processed five times faster.
Award recipients were selected through a “reverse-auction” methodology, which prioritizes bidders seeking the lowest amount of state investment per new household served. In order to avoid cost duplication, the Charter footprint was excluded from Round I. This exclusion enabled the New York State Broadband Program Office to operate with a highly targeted scope and design an innovative auction process across the state, while preserving state funds.
Round I Award Winners
Following the conclusion of the application period for Round I, a team of expert advisors assisted the BPO in its review of applications to ensure that projects aligned with the robust goals and expectations of the Program. As part of Round I, the BPO’s grants will drive $75.8 million of total investment for broadband deployment projects$54.2 million of which will be funded by the state, and $21.6 million of which will be funded by private investment. Consistent with the Program’s vision, more than 80 percent of Round I funding was awarded to projects addressing unserved areas through each Upstate REDC region.
When combined, nearly 18,000 miles of broadband infrastructure will be deployed. The awarded projects cover 18 upstate libraries and 96 community anchor institutions, including government buildings, healthcare facilities, institutions of higher education, K-12 schools, and public safety locations. The 25 awarded projects – addressing both unserved and underserved territories – span 27 counties, including sparsely populated areas in the Adirondacks and Catskills, ensuring that all New Yorkers are connected, regardless of population density.
Twenty four of the awarded projects will provide Fiber to the Home and cable DOCSIS technologies to unserved and underserved communities, with most customers being eligible to receive Gigabit systems on par with the most technologically advanced areas across the nation. Projects will provide service to over 30,000 homes that would have otherwise been left behind if not for the state’s investment in broadband infrastructure. Round I awards:
- Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc. - $3,930,189
- Armstrong Telephone Company - $1,778,256
- Citizens Telephone Company of Hammond, N.Y., Inc. - $3,316,810
- Empire Access - $3,396,374
- Frontier Communications - $3,339,543
- Germantown Telephone Company - $2,512,562
- Haefele TV Inc. - $271,568
- Hancock Telephone Company - $4,915,920
- Heart of the Catskills Communications - $1,224,946
- Margaretville Telephone Company - $4,791,505
- Mid-Hudson Data Corp - $1,009,339
- State Telephone Company, Inc. - $8,720,560
- TDS Telecom - $9,393,753
- The Middleburgh Telephone Company - $5,562,548
Round II LaunchRead more...
Round II of the Program, which is launching today, will address additional unserved and underserved homes and businesses, including a portion of the areas that Verizon would have served through the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund (CAF). Round II Request for Proposal Guidelines and application questions are now available on the New York State BPO’s website.
Last year, Verizon opted to decline CAF funding, prompting the BPO and Department of Public Service to spearhead a movement urging the FCC to keep the original funding allocated to these territories in New York. The New York State Congressional Delegation soon followed suit and also advocated for the FCC to follow through with its initial proposal. In a meeting last month, the FCC responded to New York State’s concerns and accepted the request to, at minimum, confer with states in designing the national auction to best leverage funds. The BPO is now in the process of preparing additional feedback to seek alignment of the Program with CAF II funding.
The third and final phase of the New NY Broadband Program is scheduled to launch in early 2017, which will close out any remaining unaddressed service areas. Each RFP will contain refinements and enhancements that will enable the BPO to push further into unserved territory. Through the cumulative process of these three RFPs, the state is achieving its ultimate goal of broadband for all.
Announcing the The Leadership Institute Class of 2017Thursday, 28 July 2016
The Chamber is proud to announce The Leadership Institute Class of 2017. This year marks the 12th class of the Chamber’s award-winning program, celebrating more than a decade of success with more than 275 Leadership alumni. The dynamic and diverse group will learn from a faculty of senior-level business executives who bring real-life expertise to this valuable leadership advancement for Capital Region professionals.
The Class of 2017 includes the following 26 regional professionals:
- Kelly Bariteau, HANYS Solutions, Inc.
- Davia Collington, Rensselaer County Mental Health/Troy Drug Free Community Coalition
- Christopher D'Ambro, Saratoga National Bank & Trust Co.
- Christopher Despart, Action Window Cleaning Co., Inc.
- Deborah Fasser, Corning Place Communications
- Suzanne Gardner-Clarkson, Susan Odell Taylor School for Children
- Matthew Gaspary, Mosaic Associates Architects
- Kayla Germain, Smith & Jones
- Daquetta Jones, YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, Inc.
- Rachael Kruse, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Ashlee LaPier, Phoenix Companies, Inc.
- Felix Lomonaco, architecture+
- Michael Maloney, Unity House of Troy, Inc.
- Allison McCarthy, CS Architecture | Engineering | Construction Management, DPC
- Jennifer Mele, Albany Diocesan Cemeteries
- Theresa Newton, Troy Rehabilitation & Improvement Program
- Staci O'Neill, Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Carl Oropallo, Capital District YMCA - Troy Branch
- Gregory Powell, New York Business Development Corporation
- Guy Prisciandaro, KeyBank, NA
- Julie Rifenburg, ParkEast Sales (a Rifenburg Company)
- Stephen Rychcik, DeCrescente Distributing Company, Inc.
- Alicia Salamone-Powers, Capital District Child Care Council
- Wesley Slyke, First Niagara Bank
- James Thomas, Turner Construction Company
- Sean Wade, Pioneer Bank
The Leadership Institute is sponsored by First Niagara Bank with media sponsorship provided by the Albany Business Review. For more information about The Leadership Institute, please visit http://www.renscochamber.com/resources/leadership-institute, or contact Director of Member Engagement & Business Development Kate Ollier at 518.274.7020 ext. 23.Read more...
2016 Good News Rensselaer County Awards RecipientsWednesday, 27 July 2016
The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Good News Rensselaer County Awards. Co-hosted by the Chamber and Rensselaer County, these awards recognize businesses, nonprofits and community organizations that make a significant impact on the area’s economy and quality of life.
This year’s winners include:
- Brown’s Brewing Company, LLC - The Walloomsac Brewery
- Capital Roots
- Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
- The Center for Internet Security
- Woodland Hill Montessori School
“We’re thrilled to highlight success stories right here in Rensselaer County,” said Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino. “The award recipients are not only significant achievers in their industries, but they are also committed and community-oriented stakeholders.”
“The Good News Award winners represent a cross section of Rensselaer County’s business community,” said Chamber President Mike O’Sullivan. “Recipients represent the diversity that makes our region a dynamic place to live and work. The impact of these local companies goes far beyond our county.”
The award recipients will be honored at an upcoming breakfast on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 235 Hoosick Street in Troy. Online registration is available at renscochamber.com/events. Registration and breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the program running from 8-9 a.m. The cost is $35 for Chamber members; $50 for Chamber member walk-ins; and $70 for future members.
Past award recipients include:
1st Playable Productions, LLC
Advanced Energy Panels
Cancer Research Center Gen*NY*Sis
Center for Excellence
Comfort Inn & Suites
CornerStone Telephone Co.
Emma Willard School
Gettysburg Flag Works, Inc.
Greane Tree Technology
Hoosick Valley Contractors, Inc.
Liberty Ridge Farm
Monolith Solar Associates, LLC
Old World Provisions, Inc.
Polsinello Fuels, Inc.
Scale Service & Supply Co., Inc.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Ross Valve Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Tech Valley High School
X-Ray Optical Systems, Inc.
The 2016 Good News Rensselaer County Awards is sponsored by MVP Health Care.Read more...
Special Tri-City ValleyCats DiscountTuesday, 12 July 2016Root, root, root for the home team! Join the Tri-City ValleyCats for Rensselaer County night at The Joe. Use promo code "rensco" for $2 off reserved box seats.When: Monday, July 18 vs BataviaGame time: 7:00 pm
Purchase tickets online or contact Matt Eckler for more information (518) 629-2287 ext. 20.