LEADING SMALL BUSINESS ORGANIZATION NAMES O’MARA 2020 ‘GUARDIAN OF SMALL BUSINESS’: NFIB/NY recognizes O’Mara as one of State Legislature’s steadiest and strongest voices for small businesses

October 29, 2020

At today’s Guardian of Small Business Award award presentation at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, from left to right: Chemung County Chamber of Commerce Chair Jeff Kenefick, NFIB New York Director Greg Biryla, Senator O’Mara, Chemung County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Kamala Keeley, and Hammondsport Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christine Haar.

At today’s Guardian of Small Business Award award presentation at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, from left to right: Chemung County Chamber of Commerce Chair Jeff Kenefick, NFIB New York Director Greg Biryla, Senator O’Mara, Chemung County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Kamala Keeley, and Hammondsport Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christine Haar.

I take great pride in being a strong and steady voice in the state Legislature for our small, independent businessmen and businesswomen. Small business is the economic lifeline for thousands of local workers.

Elmira, N.Y., October 29—New York’s leading voice for small business, the National Federation of Independent Business of New York State (NFIB/NY), has named Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) an NFIB/NY 2020 “Guardian of Small Business.”

According to the group, the Guardian Award “is the highest honor NFIB bestows upon state legislators.”

O’Mara is one of only six state senators receiving the Guardian Award in 2020.

NFIB New York State Director Greg Biryla said, “This award recognizes your outstanding voting record on small business issues and your strong support for NFIB state policy priorities. The Guardian Award is the highest honor NFIB bestows upon state legislators. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate, and grow their businesses. I would like to extend my gratitude for your unwavering support of New York’s small business owners during this challenging time.  Nevermore than at this moment have small business owners in New York needed to know which state representatives are looking out for their future, their employees’ futures, and the economic future of communities across the Empire State.”

O’Mara said, “I take great pride in being a strong and steady voice in the state Legislature for our small, independent businessmen and businesswomen. Small business is the economic lifeline for thousands of local workers.  The surest way to revitalize upstate communities is through private-sector, manufacturing, small business job creation. I’m grateful for this recognition of my commitment to a future of economic development and job creation.  Priority number one now will be to stay focused on the upstate economy, upstate jobs, and the long-term economic rebuilding, recovery and security of upstate workers and their families.  That means supporting policies and programs that strengthen our small businesses.”

O’Mara has consistently sponsored and strongly supported Senate legislation and other new laws and initiatives over the past several years aimed at turning around Upstate private-sector job growth through lower taxes, regulatory and other fiscal reforms, mandate relief, and a renewed commitment to private-sector job growth.

Local chambers of commerce leaders voiced their support.

Chemung County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kamala K. Keeley said, “Senator O’Mara is a tireless advocate on behalf of small and independent businesses. We are pleased to see Tom being recognized for his efforts and look forward to continuing to work with him at a time when businesses across our region and state need his advocacy the most.”

Chemung County Chamber of Commerce Chair Jeff Kenefick said, “Senator O'Mara has always been one of the leading voices for small business owners in New York State Legislature and this year's 'Guardian Award' is a true testament to his commitment, experience and leadership."

Hammondsport Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christine Haar said, “Workers and local economies throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions depend on our small business owners and families as a foundation of good livelihoods and strong communities.  It is critically important to have the support of state legislators like Senator O'Mara and the 'Guardian of Small Business' award reminds all of us that he is a voice for our future."

Corning Area Chamber of Commerce President Denise K. Ackley said, “I have been President of the Corning Chamber for over 12 years and in all of that time, Senator O’Mara has been responsive to our communications, has consistently attended events and has availed himself to our businesses when and where possible.  He has been and continues to be an unwavering voice in support of business and continues to lead the charge to advocate on behalf of our business community.  Support of our smaller businesses is especially critical in today’s world and Senator O’Mara has been a Champion in the fight for small business sustainability and success.”

O’Mara, a previous Guardian Award recipient, represents New York’s 58th Senate District (Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and a portion of Tompkins County).