"What's good for business is good for the community, as everyone benefits from a stronger local economy," said Battaglia.
Battaglia is a 12-year resident of Hoboken and the owner of Battaglia's Home Furnishings and Battaglia's Housewares and Gifts, both of which are located on Washington Street.
The Chamber promotes member businesses, the city's economy and resources, and the community's image to business prospects and newcomers. The Chamber is also increasingly involved in governmental issues, human resources, and cultural concerns.
The organization also provides a wide range of services and benefits to its members including business referrals, exclusive promotional opportunities, and many events to provide local businesses with a networking tool.
Members of the Chamber receive certain benefits, which include disability insurance, free marketing on the Chamber's Internet web site, participation in promotional and advertising efforts, and discounts with special vendors, said Battaglia.
He said his goals include being an advocate for the business community in the master plan zoning process, attracting new members, and promoting a positive image of Hoboken as a supportive community to conduct business.
Advocate in the planning process
Battaglia said that this is a pivotal period in Hoboken because the city is in the process of re-writing its master plan for development. A master plan takes a snapshot of what the city looks like today and sets goals for what it would like to look like in the future. Its recommendations range from small interventions to large-scale actions to create lasting improvements and improve the quality of life. The last full revision of the master plan occurred in 1979.
"It's important that the Chamber be at the table, making suggestions and representing the interests of local businesses," said Battaglia. "Advocacy is one the biggest but least appreciated benefits of being a member of the Chamber of Commerce. A single [business] owner might not even be invited in the door, but a group of a 150 certainly has a voice that is heard [by the local government]."
He added that the master plan process is particularly important because it will be a document to guide economic development for the next 20 years.
"This is something that is going to have a major effect on Hoboken for many years to come," he said.
Another goal of Battaglia is to continue to increase membership in the Chamber. He praised the leadership of former President John Parchinsky, a CPA, who more than tripled the number of members in his time as president.
"We're really on the right track," said Battaglia. "We want to continue to get the message out that it's beneficial to join the Chamber."
He added that the larger the organization grows and the more business owners join, the greater the Chamber's influence.