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April 2014 Column - Cooperation leads to business expansion


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Erie County Legislator Ted Morton and students at Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament School created cards on Feb. 8 for his 3rd annual Valentines for Veterans program. The cards will be delivered to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station before the holiday to thank those serving for their commitment and sacrifice. 

We have heard a lot recently about the ongoing heroin epidemic that is plaguing our area. Many of us know of someone right here in our community who is suffering from this epidemic which has impacted people regardless of socio-economic status. This is an issue I take very personally. When I was in high school, my older brother died of a drug overdose. At 19 years old, he was robbed of his future, my mother faced the terrible pain of losing a child, and I was robbed of my older brother. That moment changed my life and has left a deep lasting scar.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton joined representatives from UFC at a press conference today at Pursue Martial Arts in Clarence to support efforts to legalize Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in New York State, which is the only state where the sport is illegal at the professional level. The press conference was part of a four-city tour in support of legislation currently before the NYS Assembly and Senate.  


I’m excited to begin a new year and term to build upon the work that the Legislature started the past two years. 2016 brings new opportunities to improve and challenges to tackle.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton was officially sworn-in for his second term during the annual reorganizational meeting of the Legislature held Jan. 7, 2016 in Old County Hall. A resident of Cheektowaga, Legislator Morton won re-election this past November.

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