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April 2014 Column - Cooperation leads to business expansion


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

As many of you who have travelled Losson Road the past few years can attest, it has been quite a rough experience as road construction had stalled for quite a while.


Erie County Legislator Ted Morton is recruiting donors for his 3rd annual Unyts Blood Drive to help neighbors in need and support Unyts’ mission.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton joined Congressman Chris Collins and Congressman Peter King at a press conference urging an increase in first responder grant funding. The two Congressmen discussed a letter they signed and sent to the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee requesting additional funding for the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) Grant Program and for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program.


Erie County Legislator Ted Morton recently delivered the pet supplies collected during his Pet Supply Drive to Executive Director Gary Willoughby at the SPCA – Serving Erie County.


As snow continues to surprise us by falling here in early April, it’s at least nice to know that spring is soon to arrive in full bloom, with it a couple of urgent issues have come before the Legislature.

Business ribbon cuttings are a grand celebration, commemorating the hard work it took to get to this point. Some business projects faced more hurdles than others, but when these challenges are overcome, and the new business is up and running, there is good reason to celebrate. 

 

Recently the Town of Lancaster welcomed the new business Nutrablend which expanded from Canada. Working in partnership with the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Nutrablend searched for a suitable location, finding what it needed in Lancaster. Throughout the process Nutrablend has never accepted or requested a single taxpayer dollar, making this a great example of economic development.

 

Our region is often criticized for lack of growth so when a company moves into one of our towns or cities, it is exciting. While New York is still dealing with the issues that hinder business development, there are still steps we can take to support business, especially on the local level.

 

Some important steps were taken to help Nutrablend establish its business in Lancaster and facilitate its plans to expand. Facing some issues that were hindering its expansion, Nutrablend met with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, requesting assistance in finding solutions. Lancaster Chamber President John Chmarney reached to out to me to see how I could help.

 

A lack of qualified labor was one of the issues stopping the company from expanding. I placed a call to ECC President Jack Quinn to discuss Nutrablend’s needs and the college is currently working with the company to place qualified graduates and arrange internships. Outstanding local schools and colleges are some of our greatest assets and by simply partnering together, ECC will be able to help Nutrablend meet its demand.

 

Additionally, a lack of public transportation was also prohibiting the company from growing. I worked to connect Nutrablend with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which has worked with companies in the past to establish stops at businesses in exchange for financial compensation from the business, to begin the process of establishing a new bus stop at the company. Although a work in progress, I’m optimistic that the NFTA will be able to alleviate Nutrablend’s transportation concerns.     

 

Nutrablend has been a success story in Lancaster as the company continues to grow and add jobs to our community. In fact they’ve been so successful that the company’s General Manager Fred Doxbeck was recently asked to be the guest speaker at the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce’s Luncheon held on April 2. I look forward to continuing to work with the Chamber and other stakeholders in our community to help our area grow and flourish.

 

By coordinating with private businesses, local government offices and public agencies can support economic development in a variety of ways that comes at no additional cost to the taxpayer. These partnerships have proven extremely valuable to our community.  

 

As a reminder, if you ever have any questions or wish to discuss the above issues with me, please call 858-8856 or email ted.morton@erie.gov