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President must also focus on developing small business

As I ponder on President Obama’s upcoming visit to Buffalo, I hope he will focus on both education and small business development. Western New York has an esteemed and long legacy of success in technological advancements and patents discovered through the efforts of small businesses. The likes of Western New York pioneers, such as Nobel Prize winner Dr. Herbert Hauptman and engineer Wilson Greatbatch, who invented the implantable pacemaker that revolutionized cardiology, made it possible for small businesses to evolve into major centers for research and technology.

Alongside great institutions such as Hauptman-Woodward and Greatbatch Technologies, there are a number of local small businesses on the leading edge of transformative discoveries in their respective industries. For example, the recently patented AvaDent Digital Denture was developed in Buffalo, but struggles to compete with the often low-grade and less expensive products made in China. The AvaDent patent affirms its uniqueness in the market, but regrettably, clearly one-third of competitors for manufacturing this type of product are outside of the United States.

I ponder what strategies the president has for re-energizing economies in cities like Buffalo that rely on the success of small business since the large mills and plants long ago met their demise. The economic future of cities like Buffalo rests squarely on the shoulders of small businesses and their ability to achieve success.

Andy Jakson

Cheektowaga