Chamber Connections: Vaccinations will play key role in rebound of local economy

Al Rubin

I feel it important to start this month’s column off with a huge shout out to all the organizations and individuals who have been working and accomplishing the goal of getting so many individuals vaccinated in Otsego County and the overall region.

The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce is proud to support this effort and communicate to as many as possible that getting our community vaccinated will support our businesses to begin to build back from the pandemic. As the vaccinations happen, we will recognize the direct correlation of eased restrictions and opportunities Otsego County has in moving the economic landscape forward into the future.

As interim chief executive officer of The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, my goal to meet, email or have phone conversations with as many of our member businesses who are willing to chat has been both educational and inspirational.

I would like to personally thank all the members of our organization, both existing and newcomers, for the overwhelming response to engage in our committees. Our Chamber is only as great as its member businesses.

The Otsego County Chamber has tremendous diversity, and our members, with a variety of skill sets, are stepping up to work to do amazing things for Otsego County and the region. The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce is committed to building a stronger and more vibrant Otsego County. Advocacy, education, workforce development, population retention and embracing overall economic growth opportunities are at the forefront of our mission.

The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce held the following events in March:

• We began with a broadband update by the Otsego Electric Co-op who have the task of getting broadband to much of our county. CEO Tim Johnson gave an overview of next steps and new funding they received to get the work done.

• Our second Leadership Otsego program was held virtually on March 10 with a focus on government and service to community, and it was our pleasure to join U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, County Treasurer Allan Ruffles and New York Council of Nonprofits official Andrew Marietta, an Otsego County board representative.

• We ended with an “Empowerment — Women Owned Business in Otsego County Roundtable,” on March 30 where panelists gave an overview of their businesses and how they have negotiated everything from financial challenges to the pandemic. It was a lively discussion and one we hope to continue.

• In April, we will host a Smart Business Seminar at 8:30 a.m.  April 13 with Shane Digan, Otsego County Planner and Recycling Coordinator, “Waste-Smart Business Certification.” Get certified now, just in time for Earth Day! Visit our website otsegocc.com to pre-register.

The Otsego County Chamber would like to congratulate Springbrook as our month of March feature organization. Our marketing interns with collaboration from marketing team at Springbrook featured many of the amazing things Springbrook does to impact our community in a positive way. This was a great example of collaboration and we are proud of all involved.

Please keep an eye out for our feature business/organization each month and the other highlights the Chamber is promoting. Check us out on Facebook and please follow us on LinkedIn for the most updated information we have available. As a member business send us any content you feel you want shared, and our marketing team will do their best to present it. In the month of April, our featured business of the month is multi-generational family owned and nationally recognized Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q.

Now is the time to explore the value proposition of a membership with The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. Join our organization and have a voice in generating positive momentum and helping to shape the economic landscape of Otsego County.

Al Rubin is interim president and chief executive officer of the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.

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