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July 2014 Column - Connecting with the community through business tour


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

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.

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.