Our Legislative Agenda considers the following Development Issues affecting Niagara County businesses:
The Niagara USA Chamber supports the concept of “smart growth” development. Smart Growth focuses on creating sustainable communities through systematic development. Using a long-range approach which takes in regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus, its goals are to achieve a sense of community; expand the range of transportation, employment, and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; and preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources.
- Support of redevelopment of urban cores by encouraging the use of underutilized sites to promote live/work spaces, utilize “green technology” in rehabilitating properties for adaptive use, and creates a “core” area which slows sprawl and eases the burdens on communities to extend infrastructure further out.
- Support continued tax credits for Brownfield redevelopment which returns once blighted property to productive use.
- Seek to secure funding to create new public transportation infrastructure and improve existing services, support regional cooperation to increase efficiency and expand services, and adjusting routes to more frequently high-use areas.
As the region seeks various ways to create economic development it is imperative that communities are not pitted against each other in an attempt to bring job creation to their areas. Moving jobs from county to county does not have a full positive economic impact as it leaves one community with a loss.
- Support legislation to prevent agencies from using incentives to move companies from county to county within New York State.
- Work with local IDAs to promote a unified system of development opportunities for use in multiple business fields such as developers, lending institutions, realtors, and business groups.
- Ensure language in legislation does not encumber local development agencies from promoting their region to business interests.
As the region looks to draw on continued economic development, it is imperative that there is a trained work force ready to fill the jobs created. Western New York and Niagara County are fortunate to have many fine higher educational institutions to help develop the work force of the future. However, job readiness training, skilled labor and other programs to create a demand driven workforce are equally important.
- Support expanding programs like “Dream It Do It”, created by the National Association of Manufacturers, to create a labor force that meets the educational and technical skill requirements of manufacturers.
- The Niagara USA Chamber supports Governor Cuomo’s initiative to promote and encourage participation by minority and women-owned businesses in state contracting opportunities, thereby ensuring job creation for a varied cross section of the area’s population.
- Help strengthen and support the Niagara County Workforce Investment Board’s mission of education and training to create successful employment opportunities and to present the business community with a skilled work force.