OGDENSBURG — The Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce will be joining the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce this summer in hopes to increase economic development and support businesses.

Called the Chamber Integration Initiative, it will legally and formally combine the Canton, Massena, Ogdensburg, and other local chambers with the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce to form the Greater St. Lawrence County Chamber Partnership.

“It will benefit the community in many ways,” said Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Pearson. “I will have more time to focus on the businesses to help them increase their revenue, participation in the community, help them with workforce development and overall focus on what we can bring to Ogdensburg and St. Lawrence County to make it better.”

With the chambers working together as one, they will share staffing, administrative functions, support the community-wide event planning, and regional strategies for marketing and economic development, according to Pearson.

“The is the first time we’ve done a merger of the chambers,” said Pearson. “A lot of communities are doing this because it’s better to pool your resources. We’re all doing the same things — advertising, payroll, paying bills, ordering supplies. If we pool our resources we can have one management doing those things so we can be out in the communities doing what we need to be doing.”

Pearson noted they do not have a definite date set for the merge but anticipates it will happen this summer.

“We’ll be stronger united so we can participate in grants together, have more lobbying power in Albany. We’ll have one master calendar so we won’t be competing with each other to put on events. We’ll be focusing on what we can bring to the communities, bringing more business to the communities. We’ll be able to market ourselves as an entity so we can intense bigger businesses to come to St. Lawrence County,” said Pearson. “We’ll be focusing our tourism united so we can focus on lots of cool stuff together instead of each one of us trying to do it in our communities.”

The Greater St. Lawrence County Chamber Partnership’s mission will be to leverage resources to drive economic growth, and support buinesses.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to take the Ogdensburg Chamber to the next level — offer more benefits and services to our members — and focus on economic development for our county,” said Pearson in a prepared statement.

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