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Hoyt Explores Creation of West Side Chamber of Commerce

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt is proposing the creation of fully functioning chamber of commerce to serve the needs of businesses on the city's West Side.

Assemblyman Hoyt said he envisions an organization that would promote and market various business districts. He said a strong neighborhood is usually anchored by a strong business district. Hoyt said he plans to use as a model a successful chamber of commerce that is now operating in South Buffalo.

"Empty store fronts are filling up. There are coordinated marketing campaigns," Hoyt said. "Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'm thinking that we should take a look at the South Buffalo model."

Hoyt discussed his concept with West Side business owners and block club leaders Wednesday night. He said it's not an attempt to duplicate the efforts of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

"This, by no means, is meant to be competition for or criticism of the Partnership," Hoyt said. "They have their mission, and it's a bigger picture mission. This is meant to be a microcosm of what they're attempting to do but on a neighborhood to neghborhod basis."

Hoyt said the next step is to determine what needs to be done to set up shop. For now, any West Side chamber is likely to be a volunteer organization. But he said staff could eventually be hired, much like the South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.