Our 2017-2018 Annual Report was recently released at a meeting of more than 200 people including our Board of Directors and members, along with community leaders.
The report details our work as the regional chamber of commerce on behalf of our members over the course of the 2017-18 fiscal year. This post outlines the content of our report.
The Future of Downtown Buffalo
The signs of progress are apparent throughout downtown Buffalo and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is focused on maintaining the momentum.
To drive the conversation about the future of development in downtown, we produced a data rich, strategy focused report synthesizing the findings of several key studies. Downtown’s future success depends on the public and private sectors coming together to:
- Align development tools and incentive programs
- Support the market with new initiatives and programs to drive growth
- Focus on specific geographies to create critical mass and build complete neighborhoods within downtown
Adaptive ReUse Works
Lead by the efforts of our Development Advisory Council, the Partnership launched Adaptive ReUse Works – an advocacy campaign to maintain and strengthen the Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s Adaptive Reuse policy.
Since its inception, the policy has created 1,800 permanent new jobs and helped redevelop and revitalize more than four million square feet of vacant, derelict properties (tweet this stat).
Buffalo to Albany - 55 Minutes vs. 4.5 Hours
Partnership President & CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen joined Kimberly Minkel, Executive Director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and Matt Maguire, CEO of OneJet to announce the company’s new non-stop jet service from Buffalo to Albany.
After almost eight years without direct flights between the state capital and Buffalo, the Partnership helped secure the service by demonstrating to OneJet strong interest from regional employers, especially the ability to travel to Albany for business and be back the same day.
2017-2018 Advocacy Wins
Working with our advocacy partners and issue coalitions, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is focused on improving the region’s business climate and targeting investments to build a better community.
- Preventing expansion of prevailing wage mandate on private projects in NYS budget
- Finalizing first meaningful workers’ compensation reform in over a decade
- Restoring funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
- Blocking deferral/extending key economic development tax credits
- Tripling federal investment in the TIGER grant program
- Restoring Bundy Aid for independent colleges & universities
- Doubling federal funding for mass transit capital projects
Employ Buffalo Niagara
Powered by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Employ Buffalo Niagara is an industry-led coalition working to close the skills gap and provide more effective pathways for employers to connect with individuals looking for careers.
Employ supports our industries’ efforts to develop the talent they require for economic competitiveness and ensures our residents share in the region’s prosperity.
Maximizing the Value of Diversity & Inclusion
Through our role in the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, the Partnership launched our Diversity & Inclusion Council to provide employers with insight and information on how to attract a more diverse workforce and develop a retention strategy by creating an inclusive workplace culture. More than 50 employers have joined the Council.
To fuel these important conversations and underscore how a diverse workforce is directly tied to better business performance, the Partnership brought together more than 125 people for Maximizing the Value of Diversity & Inclusion with a panel of business leaders and subject matter experts.
Connecting, Developing and Empowering Young Professionals
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, BN360 is the region’s premier young professionals program. BN360 is a critical component of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s workforce development and talent retention initiatives.
To better understand how YPs view the region and their future career opportunities, the Partnership surveyed more than 300 local YPs.
We then published our findings to highlight what the business community and public sector can do to strengthen the Buffalo Niagara region as a place where YPs want to work and live. We are surveying YPs annually to benchmark our progress and gauge trends.
We released our 2nd Annual Young Professional Guide to Networking & Development in Buffalo Niagara at Buffalo RiverWorks.
Twice the size of the inaugural edition, the year’s guide featured information on more than 30 professional organizations and development programs, along with practical networking tips directed at YPs looking to make an impression.
In The Know
Buffalo Niagara Partnership members demand topical and practical information to improve their bottom line and the Partnership delivers with our popular Speaker Series. This year’s expanded programs included such hot topics as content marketing strategies, cybersecurity practices, paid family leave compliance and how to hire the right person every time.
Our Speaker Series also allows Partnership members to share their expertise and demonstrate the value of their know how.
Peer to Peer
Reaching capacity in 2018, the Partnership is launching a second Leader Exchange group in the fall. Designed for developing leaders with a minimum of 7 years of professional experience, Leader Exchange helps participants hone their skills and learn how to successfully navigate the business environment in Buffalo Niagara.
The Partnership’s Executive Exchange is designed for senior level business leaders to meet, share experiences and help resolve challenges. Divided into three dynamic groups, each led by first-class facilitators, Executive Exchange allows business owners and C-suite executives to problem solve and strategize with peers committed to confidentiality and camaraderie.
Building bi-national relationships is at the heart of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s historic strategic membership agreement with both the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
Announced in 2017, this agreement was recently extended for three years offering reciprocal memberships between the Partnership and each Canadian chamber.
- 80% of respondents to the Partnership’s annual member survey report have customers or vendors in Canada
- This strategic agreement unites three business regions as one, nearly tripling the size of our reach to over 3,500 area employers
Niagara USA Connection
The Partnership and the Niagara USA Chamber are coming together to expand young professional opportunities across the Buffalo Niagara region. Employees of Niagara USA Chamber members are now eligible to participate in the Partnership’s BN360 program expanding the reach and commitment of the region’s premier young professional organization.