The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce has released its list of priorities for 2013.
The Chamber's Legislative Agenda includes support for mandate relief, lowering taxes and fees, and opposition to the proposed increase to a $9 minimum wage. It's developed through surveys sent to the Chamber's 900 members as well as policy committees. Its top goal is the start of shale gas development in New York State.
Chamber President and CEO Lou Santoni says that allowing fracking in New York will not only benefit landowners, but the broader business community as well. Santoni says, "You look at the suppliers, you look at the hotels, you look at the retailers, you look at the restaurants, the list goes on and on. Everyone's going to benefit when the gas industry comes to New York State. And again, it's been delayed long enough. You could study this to death, and I think it has been studied to death. The time for action is now."
One major reason to be optimistic, Santoni says, is the future B-U high tech incubator slated for downtown Binghamton. One major concern is the future of air service to Binghamton as the airline industry consolidated nationally.