Small Business Owners Working with Senator Kennedy to Identify Challenges, Develop Solutions

Business community shares ideas, first-hand experiences with WNY Senator

BUFFALO, N.Y. – “Small businesses are the engines of job growth in the new economy,” said Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, as he addressed a group of business owners gathered Thursday at the Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. It was a meeting of the Small Business Advisory Board that Senator Kennedy created earlier this year to help him identify challenges and develop solutions to improve the small businesses climate in Western New York.

“Over the past 15 years, small businesses were responsible for creating 64 percent of new jobs,” Senator Kennedy said. “While the job creation stats are astounding, small businesses really are more than that. They are the anchors of our neighborhoods and the future of our community. That’s why it is so important we identify the challenges and develop solutions that will help unleash the growth potential of small businesses here in Western New York.”

Senator Kennedy formed the Small Business Advisory Board shortly after taking office in January. Following an organizational meeting earlier this year, the board began digging into the issues at their meeting Thursday. Board members shared their first-hand experiences and offered up ideas on everything from utility costs to state contracts and from Excelsior Jobs to Recharge NY.

Dave Sullivan, founder and president of Industrial Support Incorporated, and Mike Lucarelli, executive chef and owner of Lucarelli’s Banquet Center, serve as co-chairs of the board. They have worked with Senator Kennedy to develop and expand the advisory board since its inception.

“Small businesses not only stimulate local economies, they also keep our neighborhoods strong,” Lucarelli said. “As co-chair the Small Business Advisory Board, I am looking forward to working with Senator Kennedy to tackle some of the challenges small businesses face here in Western New York.”

“When President Obama visited my business last year, I was pleased to see his focus on helping small businesses succeed,” Sullivan said. “Senator Kennedy shares a similar focus. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity with the Small Business Advisory Board to help drive economic policy discussion and to support the Senator's efforts to connect local businesses with the resources they need to grow.”

Senator Kennedy will meet regularly with the entire board to closely monitor the region’s changing business climate and to continue to work with the business community to develop job creation initiatives. In addition, the senator and his staff are in frequent contact with members of the advisory board and other business owners to gain input and provide support.

The Small Business Advisory Board welcomes other area business owners to join the group, which has the opportunity to contribute to the development of economic development policy. If interested, submit a resume via email to, by fax to 716-826-2793 or by mail to 2239 South Park Ave., Buffalo, NY 14220.