Your BottomLine Text Version

SeaComm Business Newsletter

1st Edition 2021

Business Spotlight: TJ Fiacco Construction

When TJ Fiacco Construction first started in 2001 it was the owner, Thomas “Buddy” Fiacco, and one other team member doing small jobs such as brick paver driveways, sidewalks, and decorative retaining walls. Since then they have added more team members throughout the years to have grown into what they are today. With 45 employees and several job sites across the North Country, they are able to work in various counties throughout the North Country.

From smaller jobs in 2001, they have been able to expand the jobs and sites that they can work on. With site work, underground facilities (water sewer, drainage), sports fields, sidewalk, curbs, and parking lots. While they do not pave or install the turf, they have partnered with other local businesses with great success. When working with schools and colleges they can prepare the sports fields by getting the area ready for specialty turf to be installed, and can prepare areas for paving as well.

Thomas Fiacco, Buddy Fiacco’s son, started working within the company after he earned his Master’s in Accounting from Syracuse University in 2016. Thomas now helps with accounting, to daily operations including running equipment. Thomas takes after his father with a hard work ethic and “whatever is needed to do, he does.” He acknowledges that his father has been a great mentor and is thankful that his dad has always been a supporter of all his accomplishments.

TJ Fiacco Construction is truly a family run business as Natalie Fiacco does the filing, accounts payable and accounts receivable, payroll, and assisting with financial statements for the company. Thomas adds that his mother Natalie “completes all of the things that are required for a business that no one necessarily thinks about when they think of a construction company.” Additional family members have also been known to help out including Jenna Fiacco, the owner’s daughter, and Sarah Lavigne, the owner’s niece.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, the workers were able to slowly come back from winter recess. As construction was deemed essential they have been able to keep working throughout the pandemic while sanitizing and having the workers remain socially distanced.

In regards to their relationship with SeaComm, Thomas states: “[We] love SeaComm, and we do all of our business with SeaComm from business accounts to loans. We appreciate everything [SeaComm] does for us.” Thomas, Buddy, and Natalie have worked closely with Emily Bristol, SeaComm’s Member Business Loan Officer, who they acknowledge has helped them diligently.

In their closing remarks with us, Thomas and Natalie both wanted to express their immense gratitude and the importance of the workers on their team. “We are thankful for our employee’s dedication and hard work,” Natalie adds.

To learn more about TJ Fiacco Construction please call (315) 353-2041.

Contact SeaComm’s Business Lending Department to discover how we can help your business at (315) 764-0566 ext. 285.

Manager's Notebook

The Best Ways to Express Gratitude

How much do recognition and reward matter in business?

According to research by consultant O.C. Tanner, 79% of employees who quit their jobs say their work was unappreciated. And about two-thirds of Americans say they weren't recognized even one time in the previous year.

These numbers suggest a huge deficit in the need for their work and efforts to be appreciated.

There may be times when zipping a memo to employees about their good work is needed. But here are the best ways for employers to express gratitude, according to Fortune.

  1. Make it personal. Notes to a group are nice, but a specific note to a person who contributed something especially helpful is best.
  2. Make it timely. A pat on the back for work done during the last five years is nice. But what would be great is thanks for a difficult job completed now.
  3. Make it sincere. Tell an employee how they contributed to the company's success or culture. Tell him or her why it meant something.
  4. Make it relevant. As an example, one company, recognizing that employees have struggled to homeschool their children during the pandemic, created a complimentary tutoring program.

"Don’t wait for the ‘perfect time’, you will wait forever. Always take advantage of the time that you’re given." -Daymond John

5 Tips for Starting Your Own Business

(BPT) - There’s no doubt the pandemic has hit small businesses hard. Even in its early weeks, February to April 2020, the number of active businesses plummeted by 22%, according to a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research. And unfortunately, the consequences of the early shutdowns impacted minority-owned businesses even harder, with Black-owned businesses seeing a 41% drop, Latinx businesses 32%, Asian businesses 26% and women-owned businesses 25%.

Does that bad news mean that now is the wrong time to consider starting a new business? Not necessarily. Opportunities exist for small businesses today, including support and funding for start-ups and especially for minority business owners.

If you want to start a small business, here are steps to get you started.

  1. Do your research. First, make sure you understand the current market for your business. This step is crucial to turn an idea into a full-fledged business plan.

    Ask questions like:

    • Is this product or service in demand right now?
    • Are there similar products and services out there, and are they succeeding?
    • Can this product or service be delivered safely for employees and customers?
    • Could the business support rapid growth if it really took off?

    Ask other business owners about their challenges and rewards to explore whether this is a good option for you. Use market analysis tools recommended by resources such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) to get to know the market for your business.

  2. Write a business plan. No business can find funding, investors or partners without a solid business plan. Learning to write a comprehensive plan also forces you to think through every aspect of your proposed idea. The SBA is a great resource to research types of business plans.

    Enlist the help of other business owners during this process, if you can, to understand how their plans helped them and what to avoid.

  3. Fund your business. Every business will need capital to get started. Your business plan's financial section should provide a clear idea of the capital you need to launch. Most businesses rely on a multitude of financial sources, including:

    • Personal funds
    • Bank loans or personal loans
    • Investors
    • Crowdfunding

    SBA loans can be a good option. For example, SeaComm is approved to offer SBA loan products under SBA’s Lender Program. Our commercial loans are developed with the local community in mind. We understand the benefits and the challenges of doing business in our area and have designed an array of loan options to meet your business borrowing needs.

  4. Develop a marketing plan. Creating a brand identity and communicating it well is crucial to success. Consider hiring or contracting marketing services to help you choose your business name, create a logo, build your website and develop a strategic marketing plan to get the word out about your business.

  5. Take care of business. Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s are necessary for any business. Details include choosing your business location and registering your business, applying for all the required licenses and permits, including federal and state tax IDs - plus opening your business bank account.

Starting a small business is a daunting challenge, but it can also be a rewarding opportunity. Taking the time to fully explore and utilize all the resources at your disposal can help ensure that your new business will be a success.

Quick Tip:

Take advantage of SeaComm’s Online Financial Management service, which enables you to track your budget and spending on-the-go!

Check out more business tips at

Jerry Manor

Business Development Manager
Direct Line: (315) 764-0566 ext. 546


Main Office

30 Stearns Street
Massena, NY 13662

Malone Branch

3349 Route 11
Malone, NY 12953

Potsdam Branch

6 Sisson Street
Potsdam, NY 13676

Canton Branch

101 East Main Street
Canton, NY 13617

Ogdensburg Branch

3001 Ford Street Extension
Ogdensburg, NY 13669

Plattsburgh Branch

139 Smithfield Blvd
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

South Burlington Branch

1680 Shelburne Rd
So. Burlington, VT 05401

Opening Soon in Essex, Vermont!

Branch Managers

Joanne Langdon

30 Stearns St. Branch Manager

Terry Torrey

Potsdam Branch Manager

Christine Marshall

Malone Branch Manager

Barbara Bessette

Canton Branch Manager

Danielle Uppstrom

Ogdensburg Branch Manager

Yvonne Alterie

Assistant Vice President-Regional Manager (Acting Branch Manager for Plattsburgh & South Burlington, VT)

Business Development

Jerry Manor

Business Development Manager

Emily Bristol

Member Business Loan Officer

315-764-0566 / 800-764-0566

Let us Spotlight your business!

We are proud of our business members and want to share your story! Contact Jerry Manor for more information. Call (315) 764-0566 or toll-free (800) 764-0566 or email


30 Stearns St
Massena, NY 13662

*This publication does not constitute legal, accounting or other profesional advice. Although it is intended to be accurate, neither the publisher nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this material.