The recently-formed Center of New York Economic Alliance is dedicated to promoting the local businesses of the area, making sure that all of their hard work is not overlooked.

Business men and women are able to network with other businesspeople, to discuss various aspects of owning a small business and share their own experiences for the benefit of all of them, CONYEA chair Paula Highers said.

“These small businesses are vital to the community,” explained Highers. “Their owners are vested in the area - they live here, have children that go to school here, provide jobs and they help keep money in the communities where they are located. There are many hidden jewels like this in the Center of New York area, businesses that many people are not aware exist.”

CONYEA member Jackie Groves said they formed last November as a group of local businesspeople from the area who have banded together to support their fellow small business owners. And there is no business too small to be a part of CONYEA.

“This is a group of people trying to promote central New York and the businesses here, and it’s not just those with storefronts but the people with businesses in their homes,” Groves explained.

In an effort to showcase some of the local jewels that central New York offers, CONYEA joined with local crafters and venders Sept. 29 at SUNY Morrisville for a business fair. That event, held during their annual Mustang Weekend, gave alumni, current students and the parents of those students the chance to learn about CONYEA and meet some of its members.

The business fair went well, and several of their raffle ticket buyers also requested more information on membership in CONYEA. Winners of the CONYEA raffle at the business fair included Maryjo Faticone, Lynn Williams, Kathy Hiller, Wendy Hadley and Austin Graham.

“The thing I enjoyed the most about the business fair was being able to talk to various residents and alumni about the jewels we call small business in the area that many people do not know exist,” Highers said.

“We want to help them tell other people about their services and products,” Groves said. “Small businesses are the best-kept secrets around.”

The group is gearing up for Small Business Saturday Nov. 24, and CONYEA members can advertise their specials for that day on the CONYEA website and Facebook page by emailing details in advance to conyea18@gmail.com. 

"Support Small Business - buy local," Highers encouraged.

For more information on CONYEA, email conyea18@gmail.com, find “Conyea18” on Facebook or visit: sites.google.com/view/conyea/home.