|Congressman Brian Higgins Holds First Chautauqua County Small Business Fair and Forum in Jamestown|
|September 20, 2005|
Higgins Chooses Chautauqua County for Fair; Hopes to Encourage Continued Growth, Expansion, Health of Small Businesses in Western New York
Jamestown, NY—Last night, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) held his first Chautauqua County Small Business Fair. Higgins, in collaboration with local officials and business leaders from around Chautauqua County, focused on strengthening small business in Western New York. The fair featured professionals from small business development organizations addressing specific business needs, workshops on how to start or expand your business, discourse from local business leaders and a public forum with the Congressman.
“I am pleased to be in Jamestown, a city which has so aptly demonstrated its ability to support and promote small businesses,” said Higgins. “There are over 2,800 small businesses in Jamestown alone, all adding to the thriving economic engine of Chautauqua County. Small business serves as the backbone in cities like Jamestown and Dunkirk, and many other municipalities across Western New York. Their impact is visible just driving down streets such as East Second Street and North Main Street in Jamestown and Central Avenue and Route 5 in Dunkirk. I recognize the critical role smaller firms play in our economy. In Congress, I intend to fight policies that let small business support fall through the cracks and I look forward to working on initiatives that make this region a better place for small businesses to grow and prosper.”
With small businesses in America employing more than half of the country's private workforce, creating three of every four new jobs, and generating innumerable innovations, there is little doubt that they play a vital role in our economy. In 2004, an estimated 99 percent of businesses in New York State (477,260) were small businesses. The number of women owned business has increased by 28 percent in New York State since 1997. Excluding farms, there are over 2,800 small businesses in Jamestown.
Higgins welcomed three guest speakers to his Small Business Fair: Bill Merritt of Merritt Estate Wineries, Bill Prieto of Advertising Advantage and Dave Messinger of Colecraft Commercial Furnishings. Higgins singled out these small business owners, focusing on their success in operating a thriving small business in Chautauqua County and their wealth of knowledge in establishing and sustaining a small business in the area.
Participating organizations in the Chautauqua County Small Business Fair included the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, Chautauqua County Visitor’s Bureau, Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, Small Business Development Center, Chautauqua Works, Chautauqua County Cornell Cooperative Extension, Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., Greater Jamestown Empire Zone, Dunkirk/Sheridan Empire Zone, Westfield Development Corporation, Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation, Manufacturers Association, BOCES, Jamestown Community College, SUNY Fredonia, the City of Dunkirk and the City of Jamestown