Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 6, 2013

Niagara River Chamber settling in to new space

Niagara Gazette — Figuratively, the new year is considered an opportunity to start new. For the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, there's nothing figurative about what 2013 is bringing.

At the beginning of January, the business organization encompassing the northern towns of Lewiston and Porter – including the villages of Lewiston and Youngstown – moved its offices into the Lewiston Welcome Center, located at 895 Center St.

"It's a perfect match," Chamber President Jennifer Pauly said. "We know the different businesses in the region, we know the area. I think we're able to represent the area well with the foot traffic we have coming in here."

The move was first approved in September, when the Lewiston Village Board agreed to provide the space at the Welcome Center, a building it owns, rent-free. In return, the Chamber will cover the costs of utilities at the building year-round and see a reduction in contributions from the Village Board from $9,000 annually to $4,000.

The chamber previously paid about $10,800 in rent per year to Town of Lewiston Justice Thomas Sheeran for use of his building at 100 N. Third St., at the intersection with Center Street.

Prior to renting from Sheeran, the chamber had been located at the village's Little Yellow House at 476 Center St.

Making the transition wasn't entirely easy, though. Work needed to be done at the recently renovated Welcome Center, a former house which was moved across Center Street to its current location as part of preservation efforts spearheaded by Mayor Terry Collesano, former Mayor Richard Soluri and Trustee Bruce Sutherland.

Pauly said the floors and ceilings of the building are slanted and lopsided, which caused some furniture to require adjusting before the staff could complete the move. But now that it's the new year, the organization dedicated to advocating for businesses in the lower Niagara region is fully functioning in its new home.

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