Publisher’s View

The theme of this issue of Strictly Business is FinTech. Haven’t heard the term before? Let me explain. FinTech includes new applications, processes, products, and business models in the financial services industry. The technology is used to automate investments, insurance, trading, banking services, and risk management. In this month’s issue we introduce you to some of the North Country finance companies that have embraced FinTech and made it available to their clients. SB writer Karen Bouvier spoke to commercial lenders from Glens Falls National Bank, NBT, Community Bank, and Champlain National Bank to learn how they are using FinTech and how the pandemic has impacted their service offerings.

Our lead article focuses on a financial services company – Peru Federal Credit Union—that started small and has grown into a significant player in the southern Clinton/northern Essex County region. Unlike banks, credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, owned and controlled by members. Learn more about PFCU and meet its dynamic CEO Maggie Pope, a North Country native.

If you are looking for advice on how to manage your investments, look no further than one of the North Country’s financial advisors who can help you develop a strategy, boost your returns, minimize taxes, and plan for retirement. In this issue we are proud to introduce you to Charlie Cowan and Kevin Brady of Long Run Wealth Advisors of Lake Placid who both have impressive backgrounds with some of the country’s biggest service providers. In addition, we take a look at the Raymond James office in Plattsburgh, managed by Jonathan Schneiderman.

Threats to the safety and security of our businesses loom large right now. between COVID and financial stresses there is the ever-present danger of cyberattacks aimed at accessing, changing or destroying information, extorting money or interrupting normal business processes. Make sure to read our article about Twinstate Technologies that focuses on cybersecurity to protect systems, networks and programs from digital attack.

Also, in this issue we are proud to present Assemblyman Billy Jones’ 2020 Women of Distinction awardees —seven women from across the Northern Tier who are going above and beyond to enhance the quality of life for all of us.

And then there is our Insight article featuring Lisa Roberts, the Senior Commercial Lender at Champlain National Bank and the only woman in that role in our region.

Bonnie Black suggests ways to avoid Analysis Paralysis and then Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with news about a partnership agreement between the North Country Chamber of Commerce and SUNY Empire State College that offers great benefit to employees and employers, especially during these months when time on our hands can be used for career enhancement.

With the improvements in technology and the greater reliance on it by businesses and consumers, services such as mobile banking and payments are gaining traction, fewer people are visiting bank branches and new software and automation programs are streamlining work for businesses and individuals. Times are changing…

…and that’s good for business.