Considering Youngstown is not much bigger than a square mile, it has a surprising number of enthusiastic members in its local business association.

That was the thought that came to Niagara County Legislator Clyde Burmaster when he attended the most recent meeting of the Youngstown Small Business and Professional Association to present a $1,500 check to replace the association' live 24-hour web camera.  

The current YBPA camera, located at the Youngstown Yacht Club, has a sun-spot burn and needs replacing. 

Burmaster said that he was impressed by the enthusiasm and attendance at the meeting, which was held at the Mug and Musket on Main Street in Youngstown.  

"They don't have a lot of finances to speak of but they've got a lot of energetic people with good ideas and they're hard workers. That's what it's all about," he said, adding, "And they all get along so well together. They were all just as nice as could be to each other."

Cheryl Butera, president of the YBPA, is proud of how the association has grown since she took over as president and her husband, Mark, became secretary, in 2010. With a current roster of 87 members, there are far more members than businesses in the village, she said, but that is because the organization works to help all village residents who are in business, not just those with storefronts. "What we learned from the beginning is not everybody is a storefront," she said. 

Some of their members have businesses in their homes or outside of the village, but the members still work to promote each other, she added.

The $1,500 grant from Burmaster will be used to replace the web cam at the yacht club, which is positioned to provide an expansive view of Lake Ontario and Fort Niagara to those who visit the business association's website, or

Among the members who spoke at the winter meeting were Pat Stack of Somewhere bar and restaurant, who told members about a new driving service available to the taverns in the northern Niagara region through Designated Drivers of Buffalo. Also giving presentations to update members on new offerings in 2017 were Rita Rolf of the Youngstown Free Library, Robert Emerson of Old Fort Niagara and Richard Allen of the Youngstown Lions Club.


Niagara Square to close in Ontario

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Niagara Square will close May 1 as part of plan to re-invent the beleaguered shopping centre.

The enclosed area will be demolished and replaced by an outdoor-style mall similar to the Outlet Collection at Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Montrose Road shopping centre, which opened in 1977, has 83 units, although most are now vacant.

“We are making a significant investment into a redevelopment plan that will transform the enclosed areas of Niagara Square into an updated retail environment with additional parking stalls for shoppers,” said Terri Andrianopoulos, vice president of marketing for RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust Co., which owns an interest in the 36,392-square-metre shopping centre.

“These changes are necessary to ensure we’re offering retail spaces that meet the evolving needs of the community.”

RioCan sent notices to tenants Friday on behalf of the mall owners, terminating their leases. The notice states inside tenants must vacate the property by April 30.

Several stores will not be affected and will remain open throughout the transition, including Cineplex Odeon, CIBC, JYSK, Bank of Montreal, The Brick, Le Chateau, Michaels, Sport Chek, World Gym, Mandarin, Winners, Bouclair and Hoops.

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati said RioCan already has new tenants waiting to move in once construction is completed.

— Niagara Falls, Ont., Review