Albany County Legislature News

"Small Business Caucus" created to Support Businesses

Albany County Legislators Mark Grimm (left), Chris Smith (center) and Todd Drake

Three Albany County legislators who are business owners have created a "Small Business Caucus" to fight anti-business legislation in Albany County and to make everyone more aware of the challenges small businesses face each day.

The bi-partisan group will create an annual small business scorecard to rank county legislators on key small business votes. Business activity is the principal source of funding for county programs. Sales tax revenue is about $270 million a year, about three times what the county takes in from all its property tax.

Legislator Mark Grimm (R-Guilderland) said, "We should be doing as much as we can to help businesses grow, not hassle them on far too many occasions. Businesses create jobs and provide the sales tax revenue the county could not do without."

Grimm founded Mark Grimm Communications in 2002. He provides keynote presentations, business training seminars and speaking and media skills coaching.

Legislator Todd Drake (R-Colonie) said, "As the center of commerce in upstate New York, Albany County's role should be to remove barriers to the success of small business enterprises. At every turn, we should encourage our local companies to reinvest in the long-term future of Albany County through expansion, innovation and job creation. Our goal is to retain our business leaders and the jobs that they provide, rather than push them toward greener pastures elsewhere.”

Drake owns and operates Empire Real Estate Management which focuses on property management realty sales and consulting as well as Cornerstone Building Corp, a custom Home and Commercial construction firm.

Legislator Chris Smith (C-Berne) said, “Communities thrive and depend on businesses, just as much as businesses thrive and depend on community.”

Smith owns the Maple on the Lake restaurant in East Berne and Smith Contracting, a remodeling company. He also co-owns Helderberg Mountain Brewing Company.