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New Falls' Chamber of Commerce Is Starting to Gain Traction

As many of you may remember, the City of Niagara Falls once had a strong Chamber of Commerce which was led by Chuck Steiner. Upon the arrival of the Seneca Niagara Casino, the Chamber was disbanded and in its place a countywide Chamber was formed called U.S. Niagara Chamber. They were to work with businesses in each city and town in Niagara County. Every other municipality kept their individual Chamber while working with the U.S. Niagara Chamber - everyone, that is, except Niagara Falls.

A countywide chamber does make sense, of course. It helps coordinate events, working as an umbrella organization with the other chambers. Niagara USA Chamber is located on Lockport Rd. past Walmore Rd. This letter is by no means intended to criticize the U.S. Niagara Chamber or its staff, as I have had the opportunity to sit in meetings with them.

About 2-1/2years ago, a group of Niagara Falls residents put into motion the paperwork to bring back to life and incorporate the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce. Their purpose was to rebuild the NF Chamber into a strong a viable group again.

As with any new group or organization, they went through some growing pains. In June of this year, I was approached by the director of the Chamber, Candra Thomason, and asked to assume the role of NF Chamber president to handle the day to day operations.

Before making a decision, I reached out to board members and business association members and asked them what they were looking for and how I could help.

I wanted to make sure I was going in with my eyes open.

A few days later I accepted the role.

One of the biggest misconceptions that people had was that the NF Chamber was formed to take control of business associations in the city such as Main St., Pine Ave, Niagara St, Hyde Park, etc. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Those groups have done a phenomenal job in their area, but I want to reach out to each business association and ask that they place a representative on the chamber so that communication can be kept open and their web presence improved.

There is good reason for this.

When tourists 'Google' "Niagara Falls" they will normally Google "Niagara Falls" or "Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce." They are not likely to Google "Pine Ave Business Association" or "Old Falls Street" because they are not likely to know of these organizations.

Another benefit to joining is that we offer a health care provider, Bene-Care, which is committed to supplying viable healthcare options to our members.

We will also be holding various seminars and workshops covering a variety of subjects for established businesses as well as new businesses.

Our membership will not be limited to businesses in Niagara Falls but will also be open to residents so that we may have as much input as possible. I am looking to reach out to all the service organizations to join the Chamber as these play a valuable role in our city.

We are also committed to working with Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation, as well as our city Fathers, to promote and develop tourism and jobs in our City.

Currently the NF Chamber has office space at 1220 Main St., graciously made available to us by Richard Thomason, which we use for small meetings. By spring, 2014, we will be in our new location at One Niagara where we will have a visible presence for residents and tourist alike.

Our management staff is as follows:

Candra Thomason -Director & Secretary

Sam Archie-President

Herbert Lewis-Vice President

Mike Parenti-Treasurer

Paul Costa-IT Design

2014, I believe, will be an exciting year for Niagara Falls.

Why don't you join us. For more information, you can contact me at 716-940-5238 or email: president@nfnycc.com.

Samuel Archie

President Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Feb 11, 2014