Assemblyman Jones secures $150,000 in state budget to boost North Country economy

April 3, 2018

The final state budget included several victories for the residents and businesses of the North Country. With statewide funding increases in education, transportation and agriculture, the budget also includes additional funding for the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Among other funding surpluses for the 115th district, Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) worked to secure $150,000 in the 2018-19 state budget to support the North Country Chamber of Commerce and spur economic growth. The funding will allow the Chamber of Commerce to strengthen relations with Canada.

Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the importance of the Assemblyman’s efforts and the direct impact this funding will have on improving relations with international partners.

"There is no single greater driving force in our area economy than its multi-faceted economic connection with Canada and particularly Quebec," said Douglas. "Maximizing the value of our cross border connectivity requires constant commitment to our many partnerships and opportunities and the funding provided through Billy Jones makes this possible.”

“For example, in just the next few weeks we will be hosting a visit to the area by twenty Quebec companies interested in growing in the U.S., will be participating in a major aerospace forum in Montreal, and will be in Ottawa for high level meetings. The Assemblyman will also join us in an important first meeting with the new Mayor of Montreal to explore fresh collaborations. We thank Assemblyman Jones for supporting our many Quebec-New York endeavors on behalf of the North Country."

“The North Country Chamber of Commerce is at the front line of fostering a strong relationship with our neighbors to the north,” said Jones. “The potential for growth is immense, and we can’t let valuable opportunities slip away when so many of our communities are struggling. By promoting tourism and economic relationships, our businesses get a boost and it keeps our economy moving in the right direction.”

New York’s trade with Canada totals over $34 billion per year. Both sides are committed to a mutually beneficial trade partnership. Quebec already invests in various upstate New York sectors, including transportation equipment, clean energy, advanced manufacturing and aerospace. These existing relationships form a strong base for more growth in these industries as well as others, bringing more dollars to the North Country through tourism and job creation, noted Jones.

The funding for the North Country Chamber of Commerce is part of the Aid to Localities allocation in the 2018-19 state budget, which Jones helped pass.