Publisher’s View

I believe in forward thinking, planning for problems before they occur. Protecting our data? We have a plan for that. A fire or natural disaster? We have a plan for that. Unexpected personnel changes? We have a plan. A pandemic? I have to confess that never occurred to me but we are dealing with it thanks in large part to the leadership of our son, Mike, our CFO Betsy Vicencio and our amazing staff.

The Northeast Group has been in business for more than 40 years and we have been the proud publisher of Strictly Business for 30 years. From the first days of SB we have focused on business advocacy. The North Country is a great place to do business and we want everyone to know about all the good people and good things that are happening in the area.

As the pandemic hit, and hit hard, we were rattled as I’m sure you were. Could we find inspiration to share with you, our loyal readers? It turned out the answer was a resounding YES!

This month’s cover article features Dave Champagne, the new head of The Development Corp (TDC). A North Country native and long-time advocate for business development, Champagne has breathed fresh air into the organization. One of his first changes has allowed TDC to cope with the disruption its clients have experienced during this time while also staying in touch with prospective clients.

As we searched for area businesses that had been uniquely affected by the pandemic, we took a look at the Post Office. With hundreds of employees that interface with the public, how was it going to deliver its services while protecting them and the community? In our article you will learn that hard work and a little creativity is saving the day.

While SB’s focus is always on business, we realized that support for individuals and families was going to be critical during this time and so we bring you an in depth look at the Joint Council of Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties. In the best of times JCEO plays an important role in the North Country. In this issue you will find out how the organization is meeting its new challenges.

And then there is our monthly Insight article featuring Jody Parks, the Executive Vice President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. Don’t miss the story that takes her from Holiday on Ice back to her hometown and 25 years of service to our business community.

Bonnie Black, the director of Employee Assistance Services at Behavioral Health Services North, shares her ideas on how to enhance your resilience during difficult times.

And then Garry Douglas shares news about the amazing job the Chamber is doing to support North Country businesses during this difficult time.

As I wrap up this publisher’s view, I urge you to read the Stories of Sustainability in this issue. Each is an account of how a small business in the area is coping, the changes it has made and its plans for the future. North Country businesses are resilient. We will overcome!

and that’s good for business.

One last thought. Please note our ads in support of North Country charities that are aiding individuals and families who are struggling. Now would be a great time to make a contribution to one or more of them.