YNN - Your News Now

By: Rachael Paradis

07/11/2011 

With many New Yorkers still skeptical about going out and spending money, owning a small business in these times can be difficult. However, one organization is working to make sure word is spread on small businesses. As our Rachael Paradis tell us, the efforts of St. Lawrence County's Chamber of Commerce are vital for the future of the county's businesses.

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- Mary Hilton opened the Maple Run Emporium in Potsdam just three months ago and thanks to some help from the Chamber of Commerce, word has spread fast.

Hilton said, "Exposure, hundreds of people that had never heard of me before, just from joining the chamber."

St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Director Pat McKeown said, "The future lies in small business."

The Chamber of Commerce works with local small business owners to make sure the community knows about their company. One of its efforts is a monthly spotlight on eight businesses. The event, which is hosted at one of the businesses, gives owners the chance to talk about their company with the public and other business owners. It also gives them the chance to network.

McKeown said, "Payroll people can network with window cleaners, window cleaners can network with hotel owners, the accountants. You name it, they're networking."

Hilton said, "It's given me exposure to a lot of the other businesses around here and I think word of mouth is so important. These are the kind of people who when they say something good about your business. It's very influential."

And those involved agree, it's these efforts that help secure a strong future for small businesses and a stable economy in St. Lawrence County.

McKeown said, "Any time you by something across the counter at a local business, the local revenue stays here."

Hilton said, "Anytime you give a business an opportunity to explain who they are, where they are, what they do and to talk to people who are interested in your business and they own a business, it creates a community."

A community that keeps the county going strong.

If you own a small business and would like more info on how the chamber can help you, give the chamber a call at (315) 386-4000.

VIDEO:  http://centralny.ynn.com/content/top_stories/549584/chamber-helps-keep-small-businesses-strong/