Senator Kennedy Hosts ‘Business Symposium’

Local Business Owners Gather at Outreach Event to Gain Access to Programs and Opportunities Available.    

Extraordinary Session Prevents Senator from Attending Symposium, Sends Video Remarks from Albany.

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. – Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, held a “Business Symposium” Wednesday in Lackawanna. Kennedy invited local business owners and entrepreneurs to participate in the outreach event, which he designed to help businesses gain access to programs, advice and opportunities available to help them grow in our community.

"The economic revival of Western New York will rely heavily on the hard work and energy of our local business owners,” Senator Kennedy said. “We need to get people back to work, and there’s no better way to do that than by empowering businesses with opportunities available to help them grow and expand. I was thrilled so many business owners and entrepreneurs attended our ‘Business Symposium’. We hope to make this an annual event because it’s extremely important to connect businesses with programs, resources and advice to help them create new jobs.”

The Business Symposium offered one-stop access to information regarding tax credits available for small businesses, financing for start-ups and expansion, resources for improving efficiency, effective uses of social media and much more. It also served as an opportunity to network with other local business owners.

Since taking office in January 2011, Senator Kennedy has been working closely with his Small Business Advisory Board – which is made up of business owners from throughout Western New York. They provide Senator Kennedy with input, ideas and feedback to help improve the local business climate. An outreach event like the Business Symposium was a project that the advisory board identified as a beneficial program for local businesses.

At the Symposium, one challenge did arise. Senator Kennedy was not able to attend in person because Governor Cuomo had called for the State Legislature to return to Albany Wednesday for an extraordinary session. After making the commute across the I-90 to Albany Tuesday night, Senator Kennedy sent video remarks from the State Capitol in a recorded message posted to YouTube and played at the Symposium. In the video, he discussed the work that's been done and the plans moving forward related to job creation and economic development.

Agencies and organizations that participated include ECC One Stop, ECIDA, NXT Arrow Business Incubator, Small Business Administration/SCORE, N.Y. Power Authority, NYSERDA, Women’s Business Center at Canisius College, BNMC Business Incubator, NYS Workforce Investment Board, Buffalo Employment and Training Center, Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College, UB Center for Entrepreneurial Learning, Buffalo Niagara Partnership and local chambers of commerce.

If you missed the event, you can contact Senator Kennedy’s office at 716-826-2683 for more information about resources available for local businesses.