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July 2014 Column - Connecting with the community through business tour


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.

Small businesses are a large part of our community. By providing employment, contributing to the tax base, and reinvesting dollars into the economy, local businesses are the foundation of our villages, towns and cities.

Our local businesses are also a sense of pride. Every time I look through the Chamber’s announcements or read the local papers, I see that another establishment is marking an anniversary milestone. The small businesses in our community are known for their longevity, perseverance and passion for supporting their hometown. For local business owners, it’s not just about their company succeeding but also about their hometown booming.

To celebrate and support local commerce, I have launched my “25 Businesses in 25 Days Tour” to meet with owners and employees throughout my district to learn more about their operation, as well as offer any assistance from the county that I can. From cafes to industrial factories, my district, which includes Alden, Cheektowaga, Depew and Lancaster, boasts several businesses that are very important to our local economy.

As a county legislator, I am committed to assisting businesses with their mission and to help them thrive. At the county level there are various ways that we can assist businesses. I am also always willing to work as a facilitator to connect businesses with the help they need. When I first learned that Nutrablend in Lancaster was facing hurdles with its plans to expand, I met with the company and we discussed its issues. The two biggest concerns were a lack of skilled workforce and inadequate public transportation. To address these concerns, I suggested a meeting with Erie Community College to discuss how it could prepare students for a future with this great company. I also arranged a meeting with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to discuss options for adding a new bus stop close to the company’s Walden Avenue office. Government and public agencies can be an asset to private businesses but beginning the conversation is the critical first step.

I am looking forward to meeting with many businesses throughout the district during my tour. At each stop I hope to learn about the establishment’s history, its future goals and challenges it faces. If you would like your business to be added to the agenda, please contact my Legislative Office at 858-8856 or email ted.morton@erie.gov to arrange a meeting. You can follow my “25 Businesses in 25 Days” Tour on Facebook at www.facebook.com/legislatortedmorton. If your business has a Facebook page, please connect with me there. Together, government, chambers and private businesses, can succeed and make Erie County even better.