Press-Republican

November 18, 2012

Business briefs: Nov. 18, 2012


Press-Republican

---- — Services expanded

SARANAC LAKE — Saranac Lake accountant and long-time financial adviser Joseph E. Fiorile, CPA, PFS, is expanding his firm, introducing a cutting-edge, high-tech, comprehensive way of doing business in the Adirondacks. Now named Fiorile Financial Advisory Group, the firm’s mission is to help individuals, professionals and small businesses reach their fullest potential both organizationally and financially.

The group’s mission is achieved by applying a holistic approach that is tailored to the individual needs of each client.

“Most professionals, business owners and managers are so focused on the day-to-day operations and revenue generation that there is seldom an opportunity to step back, assess the bigger picture and determine their organization’s financial health throughout the year,” Fiorile said. “It isn’t until the end of the year when it is too late to change course that they realize the severity of their organization’s financial health. Using the preventative approach, this is the role we play.”

The firm handles all aspects of their clients’ finances including accounts payable and receivable, bookkeeping, banking, payroll, retirement and employee benefits, monthly and quarterly financial reports, quarterly and annual tax remittances, and succession planning.”

For more information, call 891-3290 or visit Joseph@FiorileCPA.com, FiorileFinancialAdvisoryGroup.com and FiorileCPA.com.

Article published

PLATTSBURGH — Dr. Robert Christopherson and James J. Coffey have co-authored an article that appeared in the September/October 2012 issue of Taxation of Exempts entitled “Hedging Property Taxes For Exempt Organizations.”

The article deals with the challenges tax-exempt organizations face from municipalities in terms of being subject to property taxes. It also examines the challenges of municipalities in meeting their financial obligations.

Christopherson is a professor of finance at SUNY Plattsburgh and former chairman of the Finance Department. Coffey is a professor in the School of Business at SUNY Plattsburgh as well as a practicing attorney who represents several municipalities.

Fundraising campaign

ELIZABETHTOWN — Elizabethtown Community Hospital’s 2012 annual fundraising campaign is underway.

The annual appeal was conducted through a letter that was mailed to people in the hospital’s service area and to donors who live outside of the area. The letter outlines how Gary Dickerson of Lewis used the services of the hospital’s Emergency Room to provide lifesaving care during the heart attack he experienced in 2010.

It also explains the hospital’s role as a federally designated, critical-access hospital and explained about its newly developed ambulance transport service to help patients receive care as quickly as possible.

“The hospital’s role is to triage, treat and transport during a life-threatening situation, and I believe that it’s incredibly important to communicate that to people,” said Jane Hooper, director of community relations. “The Emergency Department staff at ECH provides initial life-saving care so that a patient is able to make it to a heart center, trauma center or stroke center. Without ECH being involved, many people simply would not make it.”

Some organizations count on annual contributions to help balance a budget deficit, but that is not the case at ECH.

“We don’t do that because it can lead to a future shortfall and distort future planning. In addition, this hospital is financially well-managed,” Hooper said. “Gifts received during the hospital’s annual campaign are put toward additional equipment, patient-care items or a specific purchase such as the new transport ambulance.”

Elizabethtown Community Hospital, like any non-profit organization, appreciates the generosity of individuals to develop services, expand clinical programs and maintain technological and facility enhancements. Gifts also support the hospital’s ability to provide high-quality care to patients, including those who are unable to pay.

Tax-deductible contributions can be made at www.ech.org or by a check made payable to Elizabethtown Community Hospital. Checks should be sent to: Community Relations Department, Elizabethtown Community Hospital, P.O. Box 277, Elizabethtown, N.Y., 12932. The campaign runs through Dec. 31.

Suicide prevention

PLATTSBURGH — A program titled Standing by our Vets, Suicide Prevention for Veterans, Their Families and Friends is being offered Monday, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m. at American Legion Post 20, 162 Quarry Road in Plattsburgh.

Panelists will include survivors of suicide and mental-health providers.

For more information concerning this free program, call Mary Anne Cox at 561-2685, Ext. 12.

The program is offered by the Office of Mental Health/Mental Health Associations of New York State, Behavioral Health Services North, Eastern Adirondack Health Care Network, the Mental Health Associations of Clinton, Franklin and Essex counties and National Alliance on Mental Illness of the Champlain Valley.

New managers

PERU — Seth Charles has joined J. Hogan Refrigeration & Mechanical Inc. of 12 Chamberlain Rd. in Peru as a project manager with responsibilities in both the operations and administrative portions of the business. 

Charles graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University in 2000. He has spent his career working on commercial and residential construction projects throughout the Northeast. His 10-plus years experience in all aspects of construction will aid J. Hogan’s customers in successfully completing their projects.

Also, Caleb Remillard has joined J. Hogan as a project manager and estimator. He graduated from Binghamton University in May 2010 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Remillard has a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification and has a particular interest in applying lean practices to the construction and alternative-energy industries.

He is an Engineer-In-Training and is preparing to sit for his New York State Professional Engineers License.

Business workshop

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and TD Bank are co-hosting a workshop on Preparing a Winning Business Plan.

Anyone thinking about starting a new business or considering expanding an existing business needs a strong business plan to help them through the process. A solid business plan can help determine if a business idea is feasible, as well as assist with securing financing. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the TD Bank office at 714 State Route 3, Plattsburgh.

This seminar is free and open to the public. Registration and networking will begin at 4:30 p.m. with light refreshments provided by TD Bank. The presentation will begin promptly at 5.

To register, contact the SBDC by calling 564-2042 or register by email at sbdc@plattsburgh.edu. Visit the North Country SBDC online at http://www.northcountrysbdc.org

The North Country SBDC is part of a statewide program funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. The SBDC is located at 194 US Oval in Plattsburgh.

Veterans honored

PLATTSBURGH — The U.S. Avenue office of Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Co. held a flagside ceremony and raised funds for the Clinton County Veterans Service Agency during a Community Appreciation Day event on Nov. 9 in honor of local veterans.

The military-themed event included a short ceremony, an informational display about veterans, raffles, food and refreshments. About 70 food items and a box full of coats and winter clothing were donated to benefit the community. In addition, more than $120 was collected for the Clinton County Veterans Service Agency.

The U.S. Avenue office is among many Glens Falls National locations hosting Community Appreciation Days this year. The events are meant to show the bank’s appreciation for its neighbors while assisting local causes.

Glens Falls National Bank provides banking and financial services through 29 offices in Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Essex and Clinton counties. 

Free admissions

AuSABLE CHASM — Free admissions to Ausable Chasm will be offered this holiday weekend.

To celebrate Thanksgiving, Ausable Chasm will be offering free trail admissions to see its famous rock formations and waterfalls on Nov. 23 to 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (trails close at 4 p.m). The Ausable Chasm Campground & Recreation Center will also be offering free admissions to the mountain bike/ski trails and disc golf course. The campground office is closed for winter, so visitors may receive free admission and a parking permit at the Welcome Center/Tour Entrance on Route 9.

To celebrate Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the Ausable Chasm Gift Shop will also be having its biggest sale of the year all weekend with huge discounts on many gifts perfect for the Adirondacks.

For more information, contact Ausable Chasm Recreation Manager Chuck Fries at 834-7454 or chuck@ausablechasm.com .

Food program

PLATTSBURGH — Now through Dec. 15, Price Chopper’s annual Check Out Hunger campaign will offer shoppers two new ways to help support those in need through local food banks and their affiliated kitchens and pantries this winter.

“At Price Chopper, we’re committed to helping people feed and care for themselves and their families throughout the year,” said Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer and marketing services. “The interactive programs that we’ve built into our Check Out Hunger campaign raise funds, food and awareness that help to alleviate the 24/7/365 issue that hunger is for so many in our communities.” 

Check Out Hunger will introduce two new elements replacing the traditional pin-up program. Shoppers will be able to Round Up Your Change and/or purchase a set-price Food Package.

Round Up Your Change allows shoppers to add a small monetary donation to their bill, thereby bringing the total to the next whole dollar amount. For example, if a customer’s bill totals $20.50 and the customer would like to round up their change, the cashier will scan a barcode to bring the new total to $21. If the shopper would like to make a donation beyond the Round Up figure, the cashier will be able to add a donation in $1 increments. All of the proceeds raised will be directed to local food banks.

To make a Food Package donation, shoppers will be able to donate $5, $10 or $15 for a selection of pantry essentials that will be shipped in January directly to the corresponding food banks or closest store for food banks that are located in outlying areas.

Price Chopper has also launched the Your Help Counts: Sandy fundraising pin-up campaign for the American Red Cross to help victims of superstorm Sandy. Price Chopper will match the first $10,000 raised by its customers. People can purchase window signs for $1 at Price Chopper to show their support for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief effort. Price Chopper will have Red Crosses available at checkouts.

Donations received

PLATTSBURGH — Ninety Nine Restaurants has raised more than $426,000 for local chapters of the Boys and Girls Club in communities throughout New England and New York during the company’s Boys and Girls Club Fundraising Month in October.

“Each year, the month of October is a special month for us at Ninety Nine, and this year is no exception,” said Ninety Nine Restaurants President John Grady. “We are passionate about our relationship with the Boys and Girls Club as we enter into our 16th year of service to the organization.”

Funds were raised by adding $1, $3, $5 or more to guest check; purchasing a commemorative bracelet for $5; or ordering the Boys and Girls Club sandwich or Boys and Girls Club entrée for which $1 from the sale of that item was donated.

Each Ninety Nine Restaurant has a relationship at the local level with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the oldest and largest organization that has a primary mission of service to youth, and the public-school system in the community.

“We are involved with almost 70 local chapters of the Boys and Girls Clubs and are very proud to have set a new company-wide fundraising record this year for a cause so important to us,” Grady said.

Heating assistance

ALBANY — The New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will begin accepting applications for regular benefits on Monday, according to the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). HEAP provides assistance to help low-income and elderly New Yorkers keep their homes warm in the winter months.

“Rising energy prices and colder temperatures will make it even harder for many low-income families and senior citizens on fixed incomes to afford their heating bills this winter,” said OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin. “HEAP will provide sorely needed assistance to over 1 million New York State households, enabling them to keep their heat on when the cold weather sets in.”

HEAP is a federally funded program to help eligible households in meeting their home-energy needs.

This winter, the maximum regular HEAP benefit a household can receive is $650. Eligibility for HEAP is based on income and household size. For example, a family of four can have a household income of $49,333 a year and still qualify for a HEAP benefit.

Eligible households can receive one regular HEAP benefit per season, but may also be eligible for an emergency HEAP benefit if they are in danger of running out of fuel or having their utility service shut off. Applications for emergency HEAP benefits will be accepted beginning Jan. 2, 2013.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as HEAP benefits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications for regular benefits will be accepted through at least March 15, 2013.

New York residents can check if they may be eligible for HEAP, and numerous other benefits, by answering a few questions online at myBenefits.ny.gov.

Last winter, 1.5 million households received HEAP benefits.