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The Upstate Economy

Oswego-Fulton chamber partners with Centerstate CEO

Payne Horning
Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward, left, Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner and CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson discuss the area economy at the Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting.

The Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce is becoming an integrated affiliate of CenterState CEO, central New York's principal economic development organization. Those involved in the partnership say it will help Oswego county share in the growth of the region.

The Oswego-Fulton chamber is already a member of CenterState CEO's Chamber Alliance that includes chapters from from Utica, Cayuga and Cortland. But now the two economic development organizations are merging some of their backroom operations as well. Katie Toomey, executive director of the Oswego-Fulton chamber, says that will free up her small staff for larger projects.

"What we can really do is focus on our members and some of the activities and events that the chamber offers like the farmer’s market while our colleagues at CenterState CEO can take care of things like billing and some of the backend office work that I don’t personally feel qualified to take care of," Toomey said. 

CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson says the new partnership will connect the chamber's members with other businesses in the region and provide them with more services.

"What we heard from members who were in attendance today was they wanted more communication about what’s happening in the community, more access to business events and networking, access to education and training, elected officials," Simpson said. "That’s a lot to deliver for an organization that effectively has one full time employee."

Under the new arrangement, the CenterState Board of Directors will serve as the board for the chamber, with representation from Oswego County. The chamber's offices will remain in in Oswego and Fulton.