Workforce & Talent Strategies, Leadership Development, Business Growth and Branding/Social Media Top Issues on Chamber Survey; Speaker RFP’s Requested

Being a small business owner is one of the most challenging jobs out there. The Greater Binghamton Chamber greatly values the input we solicit throughout the year from the businesses and organizations in our community. The insights from these surveys help us create programs and services that work for businesses and equip them to better tackle the challenges they are facing, from access to capital and finding the right employees to building your brand and empowering your team.


Here is what we found – In a business leaders survey in late 2019, we found that our members were optimistic about the upcoming year. Almost half of the respondents expected the economy to expand; 46% had an improved outlook from last year; 58% expected their sales revenue to increase; and 48% expected an increase in their workforce. However, one of the biggest challenges that stood out was attracting and retaining employees and a lack of qualified workers. This parallels the top five national factors facing businesses.


Drilling down a little deeper, the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce polled our member businesses and nonprofits last month to help us further understand their priorities, needs and concerns. We asked what business challenges and what topic areas were most pressing to them and their staff in 2020.


28% of the businesses had 10 employees or less; 40% between 11-50 employees; and the remainder with 51 employees or greater.


Our membership ranked topics in six key areas including: human resources, finance, marketing, non-profit management, leadership development and business development.


This is how members ranked our overall areas: Leadership Development (65%) ranked the highest. Companies realize that leadership development is essential to their growth and success. Leadership Development allows companies to boost employee engagement, which ultimately helps with attracting and retaining talent and improving the bottom line. Some of the higher rated topics under Leadership Development were: empowering your team, creating an environment that promotes the advancement of employees and diversity and inclusion initiatives.


Branding, Marketing & Social Media ranked second (61%). Communicating who you are and the value you provide is essential to your business. Some of the topics businesses cited as an interest: improving their ability to create effective social media strategies, top things to do on a small advertising budget and building their brand.


Workforce and Talent strategies ranked third (40%). Our local businesses can’t be successful without the right people. Attracting and retaining quality employees, navigating personalities in the workplace, creating a company culture that attracts talent and working with a multigenerational workforce topped our list in this category.


The last topic that ranked high was Tools for Business Growth (40%). Our members cited a variety of topics including: finance/access to capital, office space, sales and succession planning as their top interests in this field.


Using this data, we plan to develop valuable educational programming not only at BingBizCon on Wednesday, June 17 but at other events and webinars throughout the year. We are excited to plan year two of this event as we solicit speaker proposals and develop a substantive agenda packed with connections, learning and growing at this one day conference for business professionals.


If you have the expertise on any of the topics mentioned above and are interested in presenting a breakout session at BingBizCon, please submit your ideas to Debby Evans at

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Congratulations to our 2020 Building BC Award Winners

The Greater Binghamton Chamber is pleased to congratulate and recognize the Chamber’s 2020 Building BC Award Recipients:


2020 Innovative Award



Presented to: Telehealth365 Inc.
Accepted by: Amit Sharma, VP of Technology and Collaboration


This Award recognizes a project, product or service that “thinks outside the box” and continues to stretch the boundaries and has proven to be a leader in innovation. This year’s Award recipient is TeleHealth 365.


Telehealth365 is a leader in healthcare, providing under-serviced communities with low cost access to medical professionals. By utilizing video and audio platforms in accordance with HIPPA policy, this business reaches those in communities who would not otherwise be able to receive medical advice and care. Telehealth 365 uses advanced medical technology to enhance patient interaction. For example, they have developed a stethoscope that effectively complies with the audio/video platforms which allows a cardiologist to hear the patient’s heartbeat in real time! This strategy can provide patients with advice and evaluations similar to those that they would receive in person.


Telehealth365’s mission is to improve the quality of life in rural, under-served communities. One of Telehealth365’s new initiatives is Tele-Dermatology program in Cooperstown, NY in which patients are able to receive immediate access to medical professionals. This has saved patients both the time and money that would be required for them to travel to Dermatologists in person and the extensive waiting period before their visit. This service allowed one patient to start skin cancer treatment immediately, rather than waiting ten months until she was able to visit her regular Dermatologist. The program has also increased the revenue of healthcare facilities, such as Bassett Healthcare Network Hospital, by referring patients for procedures such as blood tests and biopsies.


Under the leadership of Bipan Sharma, VP of Technology Collaboration, Telehealth365 is flourishing within the local community. They currently serve the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) communities covered by Medicare and Medicaid by providing an immediate access to healthcare.


Telehealth 365 is a local success story in the Incubator with hopes of growing and expanding here in Broome County.




2020 Transformative Award



Presented to: 50 Front Luxury Apartments
Accepted by: Marc Newman, Partner, Newman Development Group


This award recognizes a project that impacts the entire community and fosters growth of those around it. This year’s Award recipient is 50 Front Luxury Apartments.


The 50 Front Street project was a major investment into Binghamton. This 30-million-dollar project has the potential to spur economic development in the area and help to produce a great place to live, work and play within Binghamton. 50 Front Street was a blighted site that needed new direction and life. From the vision of Newman Development Group this concept was turned into a reality and will have a long and lasting impact on the quality of life for the residents of Binghamton’s Westside.


Newman Development is a real estate development company that has been headquartered in Vestal for over 30 years. It specializes in all aspects of real estate development, redevelopment, acquisition, commercial, retail, student housing, multi-family, and mixed-use housing. Seeing the need within the community, and the opportunity to create a community transforming building, Newman Development Group revolutionized 50 Front Street into a cutting edge, urban property featuring many upscale amenities, such as security, Wi-Fi, a Clubroom, fitness center, and underground parking.


This location is one of the first new “ground up” apartment buildings built in Broome County within the past 30 years. Benefiting both residents and commercial tenants, 50 Front Street has created new jobs and has provided commercial space for businesses to locate. The initiative has also brought housing to the City in close proximity of Downtown with a beautiful view of the river.


This transformation is expected to trigger additional revitalization in the area, not limited to more market-rate housing, offices, commercial restaurants and positive impacts on existing businesses.


2020 Restorative Award



Presented to: Ansco Camera Factory
Accepted by: Matthew Paulus, President, Paulus Development


The Restorative Award recognizes a project that brings new life into an aging building. This year’s Award recipient is The Ansco Camera Factory.


When Paulus Development acquired the former General Cigar Company – Ansco Camera Factory Building in June 2018, it was an aging, underutilized, and neglected building with a storied past. It was a building in need of new life. Many people may have viewed such a property with contempt, but the folks at Paulus Development saw it as a great opportunity. Paulus Development invests in underutilized urban properties and works to revitalize them into an effective catalyst for change.


In July 2019, Paulus Development completed its $25 million historic rehabilitation of the former Ansco Camera Factory in Binghamton. Located just outside of Downtown Binghamton in the city’s First Ward neighborhood, it is now home to 100 market-rate lofts of various sizes and 35,000 square feet of commercial space for local businesses. All 100 market-rate lofts were leased and over 97% of the commercial space was leased. Utilizing the history of the Binghamton building, which had served as the manufacturing facility for two of the most notable industries in Binghamton history-cigar manufacturing and camera manufacturing—Paulus Development seized this as an opportunity to quench the need for high-quality, affordable, market-rate apartments and commercial space for local businesses.


While this project is not only telling of the building’s tremendous story, it also fulfilled an essential desire of the community. What once was an eyesore for the First Ward neighborhood, now serves as an example of how public-private partnerships can create an intangible sense of pride for the community. This sense of pride will encourage others to continue to invest in the First Ward neighborhood, the City of Binghamton, and Broome County.


2020 Individual Award



Presented to: Jordan Patch
Accepted by: Jordan Patch, Owner, Animal Adventure Park


This award’s purpose is to recognize an individual whose investment of time, talent and money positively impacts the quality of life and job growth to ensure the success of the region’s communities and economy. The winner of this Award for 2020 is Jordan Patch, Owner, Animal Adventure Park.


Animal Adventure Park is an interactive, educational animal park, designed to promote up close and hands-on animal encounters to develop an appreciation for animals. It aims to achieve education and conservation through understanding and appreciation.


Under the leadership and vision of Jordan Patch, Animal Adventure attracts guests from around the world, traveling to Harpursville, NY from as far as the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan on an annual basis. More than 150,000 guests attend the park each season to see the animal collection that now boasts close to 100 species, many threatened or endangered. One of the Park’s most notable media presences is its world-famous Giraffe Cam.


The Park provides educational school field trips, hosting 165 groups in 2019. Additionally, the Park promotes a “Zoo to You” program, which delivers animals and educational messages to classrooms, day cares, senior centers, corporate functions, charity events, festivals, fairs, scout events, and many others.


Animal Adventure Park has been impactful on local non-profit organizations, donating to countless benefits, charity events, and initiatives. Some of the Park’s notable partnerships are with HCA, First Ward Charities, PARP/ literary programs in local schools, LUMA, and Windsor Central School District’s Scholastic Challenge. Providing donations, sponsorships, and merchandise, Animal Adventure Park has been an active member in supporting not only its own mission, but those of local non-profits as well. Contributions allowed the Park to gift over $42,500 to HCA (Helping Celebrate Abilities) in 2019.


The Park employs close to 50 seasonal team members from May through December, but also maintains a team of 10 full time Animal Care Team professionals that have either been sourced locally or have relocated to Broome County specifically to work at the park. Zoologists have come from many locations, including Alaska, Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.


Animal Adventure Park, also endorses the idea of “keeping it local.” Every item consumed by the Park–such as construction materials, construction and engineering labor, insurances, animal and human food and drink, clothing and other logoed merchandise–is sourced locally.

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Two Binghamton Wine & Spirit Stores Raise Funds for Food Bank of the Southern Tier Cheers for Change Campaign

Two Binghamton area wine and spirits stores participated in the Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s Cheers for Change holiday giving campaign that raised more than $15,500 to help provide more than 46,000 meals for our Southern Tier neighbors in need. The campaign allowed customers to round up their purchase or donate cash at checkout from Thanksgiving week through New Year’s Day.

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Elderwood Village at Vestal Celebrates Right Moves Wellness Program

Elderwood Village at Vestal residents completed their 3-month evaluations after starting the Right Moves® Wellness Program in October. The residents perform 6 different exercises to assess their upper and lower body strength, lower body flexibility, stamina and agility. All residents who regularly attend the exercise class saw improvements in their scores. One resident, John M 95, said “Since starting the program I am feeling muscles I never knew I had”.

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The Broome County Arts Council Announces Expansion of First Friday Art Walk Program

The Broome County Arts Council is pleased to announce the adoption and expansion of the First Friday Art Walk program, with major funding from M&T and additional support from City of Binghamton and Visit Binghamton. In addition to creating expanded monthly brochures, First Friday information is now featured on the BCAC website and is highlighted (monthly) on Around the Tiers (WBNG) and on News Channel 34. New brochures include traditional visual art sites or “Galleries” as well as the new and inclusive “Creative Sites,” which may include performance, film, spoken word, and other non=visual artistic forms.

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Anew Dermatology Celebrates 2 Year Anniversary

Anew Dermatology celebrated 2 years in business this January and is proud to provide high quality Dermatology and Skin Cancer care to the Southern Tier.

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