Today we hosted the 2022 Annual Legislative Breakfast with Keynote Michael Hastings from the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security. Michael provided an outstanding outline of the social engineering and cyber threats facing businesses and governments alike, as we rely more on advanced technology in our daily lives.
CISA has aa great portfolio of no-cost resources for businesses and government that will provide an honest and comprehensive assessment of how well (or not) you are protected from external cyber-attacks. The link below provides a list of resources available to you and the Chamber will continue to provide value-added information and programming to get you fully prepared for the unseen.
Cybersecurity Resources for Businesses from CISA: https://cisa.gov
Our breakfast also included table discussions with several of our elected officials. I am always amazed at how productive these short 20-minute table conversations are in getting to right of the heart of things.
We learned more about what’s keeping businesses up at night. For those reading this, I’m confident that much of this will ring true:
-Economic Uncertainty: While many of our businesses acknowledged they’ve been a benefactor of the strong economy over the last year, the economic headwinds and uncertainty of inflation, supply chain and energy prices have left them a little shaky about big decisions. Do we buy the piece of equipment? Do we hire more people? Do we invest in real estate, or do we hang tight and ride things out?
-Employee Retention: With the tightness of the labor market, most businesses said they were focused more on employee retention. How do we build a culture where people will stay rather than jump to the company down the street? How can we get help with the costs of employee retention?
-Energy Policy: Look, we all support innovation and new technological advances in clean energy, but most businesses are concerned that the speed that the transition to these new technologies is being proposed has only created market volatility and vulnerability of our current energy resources. Businesses noted concerns about grid reliability citing significant power outages in the last year that have impacted operations.
-Housing Options: The pandemic has had a crazy effect on housing, that we know. The communities that can provide a broad continuum of housing options will win the “war for talent.” How can we address the housing inventory in a manner that addresses all needs? We need to acknowledge that without new construction of single-family homes and professional housing, we simply can’t attract the talent that many of our employers need. We can do this and recognize the need to increase affordable housing and address transitional housing for those trying to make a new start. Housing is not a mutually exclusive topic, and we need to work collaboratively to find solutions.
I was thrilled to see positive energy in the room and a strong a collaborative spirit. How wonderful that we can come together so easily in our community and talk about these important topics.
For the Leadership Alliance, these events provide vital feedback to help us prioritize our areas of work and focus on the things important to the community.
Many thanks to Tioga State Bank, Mirabito Energy Products and Excellus BCBS for supporting this event.
And many thanks to Senator Fred Akshar, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Assemblyman Joe Angelino, BC Legislative Chair Dan Reynolds, BC Legislator Kim Myers, BC Clerk Joe Milhalko, Mayor Jared Kraham, Binghamton City Council Members Sophia Resciniti and Phil Strawn, and Alicia Thoennes from the Village of Endicott for attending.
We are always #strongertogether.