It is no secret that our state and much of the nation is still recovering from a difficult period.   However, despite the difficult business climate, manufacturers and businesses are still doing whatever is needed to continue operations, sustain and grow jobs, invest in their facilities, create quality products and contribute to their communities.  Why?  Because they believe in what they are doing – to include wanting to do business here in New York State.  That is what makes what we do here at MACNY and with our partners through Unshackle Upstate so gratifying: we work together to create a stronger business climate for manufacturers and business who truly want to be here and help our State grow.

In early March, The Manufacturers Alliance of New York State, a state-wide coalition representing over 45 counties and 1,000 businesses across New York State, joined together in Albany as part of “Lobby Manufacturing Days,” an annual effort to increase awareness in Albany about critical issues affecting the state’s manufacturing sector during today’s difficult economic climate. Over 85 Presidents and manufacturing executives from across the state participated in Manufacturing Day.

The dialogue and messages that were being shared on this Lobby Day showed that manufacturers and businesses are seeing collaboration and growth in Albany-something that they felt had been lacking for some time. Additionally, the manufacturing and business community recognize that in order for New York State to regain its financial footing, we all need to work together.  Albany does not create jobs.  However, it can help create a sound business climate that allows manufacturers and businesses to create jobs.  These businesses are ready to work with Albany on creating a pro-growth business climate, and despite making some sacrifices, ready to tackle our state’s budget crisis together and get New York State back on track.

Also at this statewide event, we presented our Manufacturers Alliance Public Policy Survey results.  The top issue decided by our polled membership?  Reduce Government Spending. Simply put, lower the high cost of government while lowering the highs costs and regulatory burdens of doing business in New York State. Putting aside individual agendas, the manufacturing and business sector want to continue on the path towards change and reform, and work together with Albany and our partners at Unshackle Upstate to help improve the quality of life in the communities in which they operate and live.

I think it is also important to note the importance of the business community and its commitment to work collaboratively with Albany on our path towards economic recovery.  2011 served as a monumental year: through our partnerships with statewide business groups such as Unshackle Upstate, the Business Council of New York State, the National Federation of Independent Business, the New York State Farm Bureau and many others, we were able to create a strong voice for business, and in doing so, saw many pro-business policies taken up in Albany and passed into Law, including a long-term economic development power program (Recharge New York) and a 2% property tax cap. In fact, one of the most popular components this year of our Manufacturing Days was a Business Coalition Panel that consisted of representatives from the many partner organizations we work with: the Manufacturers Alliance of New York State, the Associated General Contractors, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Chamber Alliance of New York State, the Business Council of New York State, the Lawsuit Reform Alliance and Unshackle Upstate. The message was clear: these business groups have come together to help support better business policy, and will continue to do so in 2012 and beyond.

I think the collective effort by businesses, associations and Albany shows much promise and progress in 2012, and on behalf of the MACNY, we look forward to being part of this progress with Unshackle and others.  We also hope you join us in this collective effort.