BINGHAMTON, NY – Local business leaders are preparing to fight for their priorities in Albany at a time when the pandemic is creating enormous challenges.

Unlike last year when they gathered inside the Holiday Inn Binghamton, the Greater Binghamton Chamber took to Zoom for its annual Legislative Agenda Rollout.

It included a presentation by Justin Wilcox, the new Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate, which advocates for Upstate business interests.

Many of the goals remain the same, although the virus has made the stakes higher.

Among them, reducing taxes, pausing minimum wage increases, reforming the scaffold law and providing unemployment insurance relief for businesses impacted by COVID.

Wilcox, a Democrat who has worked for state lawmakers, says his background allows him to be a bridge between Democrats in Albany and the business community.

“I want to find common ground on multiple issues. I think it’s a matter of working closely with our policymakers,” says Wilcox.

Wilcox is also a proponent of an Upstate caucus bringing together lawmakers from both parties.

After the presentations, Chamber members were able to participate in break-out discussions with state lawmakers Donna Lupardo, Joe Angelino and Fred Akshar.