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Frequently Asked Questions & Getting Started

What is the Business Council?

The Business Council of New York State, Inc. is the largest and most powerful broad-based organization representing the interests of large and small firms throughout the state.

Who belongs?

The Business Council is made up of thousands of member firms, including local of chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations. Our members are large, such as IBM, Corning, Kodak and Xerox, and small such as Pacheco Ross Architects, P.C. and GEM Associates. In fact, 72% of members are small business. Overall The Council's members employ more than 1.2 million New Yorkers.

Is this a new organization?

No. In fact, we've been acting on behalf of employers in New York for over 80 years. The Council was formed in 1980 as a result of a merger of the state's two most powerful business groups — Associated Industries of New York State, Inc. (1914) and the Empire State Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (1945).

What does the Council do?

The primary function of the organization is to serve as the advocate for employers in the state political and legislative arena, working for policies that create a healthier business climate, promote economic development and further government reform. In short, we're here to serve as your eyes, ears and voice on hundreds of issues which impact your company.

Has the Council been effective?

We're in the midst of an exciting new era in New York. After decades of falling behind, we're beginning to catch up with the nation's growth rate. The Business Council is working to ensure sufficient and affordable energy capacity for New York State. The Council has worked long and hard to change the way New York looks at business, and we'll continue pressing to make sure more positive changes are made to our economic environment.

Is lobbying the only service provided?

No. The Council serves as a huge information resource center, providing practical business knowledge through personal contact, publications, and seminars. It also provides individualized regulatory intervention with state agencies. Our staff is here to assist you with problems you may have with state government.

Are there any financial benefits?

Yes. Two-thirds of our members take advantage of our group insurance programs, saving significantly on employee benefits including life, long-term disability, short term disability and dental insurance. In addition, there are discount programs available to members and much more.

Why do you need me?

Even though we've made a great deal of progress, we all know there's much more to be done. And, quite frankly, the larger and more powerful we are, the more people will listen — and respond. Our members think their businesses are worth protecting. Chances are, you feel the same way. We need you to help us make a difference.

What if my company is represented by a professional Lobbyist?

In many cases Business Council members are represented by in-house government affairs professionals and/or professional lobbyists that monitor and address legislative and regulatory issues that might impact their business in New York State and beyond. The Business Council often works with these resources on company specific issues, but more frequently, The Business Council works with these professionals to address sector or industry wide issues that impact a larger constituency of members. In these cases, a broader coalition organized by The Business Council is often more effective in developing and conveying a collective and unified message for the sector or industry as a whole.

What if my company belongs to a sector specific trade association?

While it is standard fare for a trade association to cover the legislative or regulatory issues unique to a group of sector-specific members, The Business Council plays two supplementary roles. First, it brings the collective clout of its economy-wide membership to bear on sector specific issues, increasing the visibility and depth of support. Second, The Business Council helps by filling in the gaps of business issues that might exceed the scope of the association's mission or expertise.

What if my company belongs to a local/regional business organization?

Like the supplementary roles The Business Council contributes to trade association work, The Business Council adds tremendous value to membership in a local or regional business organization. In fact, The Business Council frequently works with organizations like the Partnership for NYC, the Rochester Business Alliance, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, CenterState CEO and Long Island Association to support local/regional issues that might need a broader state-wide effort or support. Again, The Business Council also fills in the gaps of coverage that might exceed the scope or expertise of the local/regional organization.

Getting Started

How do I begin?

To receive full value on your investment, we encourage you to become an active participant with The Business Council. We invite you to join any of our committees or councils and take advantage of all the services we offer that meet your needs.

Who will I be working with?

By joining The Business Council, you have immediately increased the size of your staff. Your new Government Affairs staff members are highly knowledgeable in environmental regulations, workers' compensation matters, health care reform and many other issues that affect your bottom line. Their areas of expertise, and their direct phone extensions, are found in the Staff Directory.

How does it help me?

We can say with pride that, over the years, The Business Council has developed a reputation as New York's most powerful and effective business advocate. Our government Affairs staff is widely regarded as the most experienced professionals in Albany. We're proud of the team we've assembled - and want you to put them to work for you.

Staff members spend a great deal of time at the Capitol working to ensure that the voice of business is heard. They spend every bit as much time, however, responding to the questions and needs of our members. Call us whenever we can help. As a "can-do" partner with you, we pride ourselves on keeping you informed and helping you solve your problems.

How do I begin Service?

Your membership record is established upon receipt of your membership application. The information contained on your application is immediately entered into our computer in order to assure you prompt delivery of our newsletters and communications.

Who in my company is eligible to receive Business Council Services?

Any employee you select from your company, or one of its subsidiaries, plants or divisions, may take advantage of any of our services. Our services are typically used by top company executives, facility managers and issue-specific experts such as environmental and tax managers.

How do I get these services?

Simply call your membership representative at 800.358.1202 and your requests will be immediately processed.

Is there a charge for Services?

Usually no. The Business Council strives to bring you the highest quality services for your annual investment. There are, however, some specific meetings, events and seminars that require a registration fee. These are noted where necessary.