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FAQ's

Why do businesses join the Chamber?

The number one reason why businesses join the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce is for networking. Expanding your contacts in the regional business community is very important and the Chamber provides its members opportunities to do so on a weekly basis. In addition, the Chamber provides businesses with savings on energy use, employee training opportunities and member-to-member discounts, all aimed at improving the bottom line of our members.

What is the Chamber’s mission statement?

The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce is a business, civic and economic alliance that strives to enhance the economic vitality of Rensselaer County and the neighboring Gateway Communities of Cohoes, Green Island, Waterford and Watervliet. The Chamber also seeks to improve the quality of life in the community for both residents and businesses.

Is the Chamber of Commerce a government agency?

Although the Chamber works closely with all local and regional government agencies and municipalities, it is a private, non-profit association, governed by a board of directors. The Chamber is an active member of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of New York State, the Center for Economic Growth and is a founding member of the Tech Valley Chamber Coalition, "Serving New York's Tech Valley."

How long has the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce been in existence?

The Chamber was founded in 1900.

How is the Chamber organized?

The Chamber is governed by a 26-member Board of Directors, elected by the entire membership to serve three-year terms.

What is a Chamber of Commerce?

It is an organization of business people within a regional community dedicated to creating and maintaining a favorable business climate and safeguarding the interests of its members.

How many employees does the Chamber have?

The Chamber currently employs eight staff members. They include the President, Controller, Economic Advancement & Member Relations Manager, Communications & Web Strategies Manager, Membership Manager, Membership Coordinator, Events Coordinator and Executive Assistant & Office Manager.

How is the Chamber funded?

50 percent of the Chamber’s overall operating revenue comes from membership dues, 40 percent is generated through Chamber programs and events, and the remaining 10 percent is derived from non-dues related revenue.

Are there opportunities for me to get involved?

Yes! The Chamber offers a wide array of volunteer opportunities ranging from the popular Ambassador Committee to the Golf Classic and the Troy Victorian Stroll. Contact the Director of Member Engagement & Events for ways to get involved today!

I have a very small business, should I still join the Chamber?

Yes, small business is our specialty; 85 percent of our membership consists of small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.  In addition, 72 percent of our membership has less than 20 employees.

Does the Chamber offer Health Insurance to small businesses?

The Chamber works closely with Bouchey & Clarke Benefits, Inc. in Troy to ensure that every business and their employees receive the health insurance they need.

How are membership dues calculated and how do I join the Chamber?

Chamber member dues are based on the number of employees at the business. Investment levels starts at $457 and include a wide range of services and benefits. Please contact the Chamber’s Membership Manager for more information and to set up a meeting at your convenience.

How is the Board of Directors selected?

Throughout the year the Chamber collects nominations for potential board members. A nominating committee then recommends a slate of candidates from across the region who represent diverse business industries and non-profit organizations. Finally, ballots are mailed to all active members of the Chamber who vote on the proposed candidates.

How many members does the Chamber have?

The Chamber represents nearly 900 diverse businesses and community organizations, employing nearly 43,000 professionals. From sole proprietors to corporations employing thousands of people, the Chamber serves all of its members with programs and services designed to inform, educate and assist them in reaching their full business potential.

How do I develop, expand, or relocate my business to Rensselaer County?

The Chamber's Economic Development Partnership strives to develop, support and sustain the long-term economic vitality of Rensselaer County. The partnership works to establish a greater awareness of the high quality of life in the County based on the strength of its regional attributes and its healthy economic climate. The Economic Development Partnership's goal is to expand and develop new business for the region by providing relevant information, contacts and assistance through marketing opportunities to regional, national and international businesses. Visit the Economic Development Partnership website for information on how to develop, expand, or relocate your business to Rensselaer County.

Where can I find permits I need?

The New York State Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform (GORR) provides a comprehensive list of all the permits needed to do business in New York State. To find out more visit GORR at Agency Building 1, 4th Floor Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12220 (518) 486-3292.

What assistance is available to find training for employees?

The New York State Department of Labor provides information on many services including apprenticeship training, finding skilled workers, and unemployment services. You can learn more by contacting the Department of Labor at 1660 Seventh Avenue, 4th Floor Troy, NY 12180 (518) 270-2860.

Capital Region Workforce New York provides on-the-job training for new employees and reimburses businesses up to 50 percent of the new employee's wages for the training period required to achieve a specified skill level for that position. To learn more contact the Capital Region Workforce New York offices at 1600 Seventh Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 (518) 270-2860.

Are there any Economic Development funds available?

While there are no local economic development grants available, there are several loan programs available to businesses. For more information, visit the Chamber's Economic Development Partnership (EDP) page.

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