Your BottomLine Text Version

SeaComm Business Newsletter

2nd Edition 2023


Bill Bonno’s love of building comes from his father, who built houses himself. When Bill was younger he would help his father out with jobs, and eventually graduated from BOCES, where he took multiple courses related to construction and building. He always knew he wanted to own his own business, and in 2014 he took the first steps. Bill started Bonno Construction as a DBA, and devised a plan to expand his business. Two years later in 2016, with one carpenter and one laborer, Bill formed Bonno Builders LLC and experienced a busy year of work. After three years, his company grew to seven workers, and has continued to expand since then. Bill currently has 10 full time employees, and will add five more during the busier summer months of the year. He hires high school and college students when the projects start to add up, helping the next generation of builders learn and grow their skill sets.

Bonno Builders LLC has done work in various towns throughout St. Lawrence County, NY. Bill commented on the variety of services his company offers, “We do anything from one day jobs, to full houses that take anywhere from six to eight months.” They’ve even done commercial work, as well as contracts on schools throughout the county. From laying tile and pouring concrete, to boiler work and insulation, there doesn’t seem to be a job too big, or small, for Bonno Builders. When you do a wide variety of work, Bill says there can be challenges, especially in the North Country. “When you do all sorts of jobs, trying to schedule them and keeping your clients happy can be a challenge.” Bill also discussed how unpredictable weather and seasonal changes can affect the timing of jobs. “We have a small window of time to get the outside work done in order to do inside work for winter, and keep everyone working.” He seems to be doing a pretty good job, because he said most of the people who work for him have been around since the early days.

Bill is a big believer in small towns and communities helping each other. He sees it with the interactions he has with clients. When asked what he most enjoys about his work, Bill said, “the satisfaction of the people in the community.” A majority of Bonno Builders LLC’s work comes out of Colton, NY, near Potsdam. “I live there, I know the community, and when they book a job with me I get to help them out while they help my business out.” Support from the community, along with quality service and craftsmanship, has allowed Bill to fulfill his passion of owning his own business.

When Bill wanted to begin the journey of owning his own business he knew he needed help. “When I started my company in 2014 I looked around at banks to see who would work with me and I spoke with SeaComm’s Potsdam branch, and it worked out great.” As his company grew, he continued his relationship with SeaComm. “When I formed the LLC it worked out even better. I’ve worked with people in the Massena, Potsdam, and Canton branches, and they’ve been totally awesome.”

Their vast experience and expertise in all aspects of construction make Bonno Builders LLC a great choice for whatever project you need done. Whether you’re looking for a new deck, a remodel, or an entire home built from the ground up, they have you covered.

You can reach Bill Bonno and the team at Bonno Builders LLC by email: or by phone: 315-212-7658

Manager's Notebook

Is ChatGPT Coming for Your Job or Small Business?

Could ChatGPT or other AI-powered technology be coming for your job, employees, and small business?

Humans have feared job loss due to technology for at least 200 years, when Luddites famously started smashing machines. But these were fears for unskilled jobs. Now, AI machines like ChatGPT may be coming for highly skilled labor.

ChatGPT can scan loads of public information, which is filtered through various algorithms and other tools that allow the program to craft human-like responses and analysis. The latter is one of the breakthroughs that could replace people who analyze, write, sell, talk and teach things.

Some researchers think AI could eliminate up to 80 percent of jobs in the not-so-distant future. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum's "The Future of Jobs Report 2020" believes AI will cost 85 million jobs by 2025. Of course, fears of tech-driven job loss, globalization, and other threats have been around for a long time. While some people have certainly lost out, the long-foretold job-pocalypses have yet to materialize.

"Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to."
- Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

3 BIG Rules for Building Wealth

1. Make money.

  • Use your talents, interests, and skills to get a job and keep working, even if you don't work at the same place your whole life. Stay on the lookout for higher paying opportunities.

2. Save more & spend less.

  • Track your spending and make a budget. Carve yourself out a savings goal.
  • If you start saving $1,000 a year at age 25, you could end up with five times what you'd have if you started around 45, according to Investopedia.
  • Start saving as soon as you see it, but don't wait. The earlier you start saving, the more promising your future.
  • Make saving automatic. Just like bill paying. Ruthlessly cut your expenses and simplify your life.
  • Build an emergency fund. Challenges arise and you have to meet them. Protect yourself with cash savings.
  • Get rid of credit card debt. Rank cards by their interest rate and pay off those with the highest rates first. For low-interest student loans, consider making minimum payments and investing in your 401(k) instead.

3. Invest money.

  • Use your 401(k). You put in pretax dollars so it's a great savings plan. Passing up employer contributions is giving up free money.
  • Build a plan and portfolio of stocks and bonds with a trusted professional advisor.
  • Don't chase trends. If you hear about a hot stock, be skeptical.
  • Stick with your plan.

Quick Tip:

If your employer offers a traditional 401(k) plan, you are allowed to contribute pre-tax funds. Because that money comes out of your paycheck before federal income taxes are assessed, your money can grow tax-free!

Find more financial tips at

Why You Don't Have to Keep Money in a Mattress

During the Great Depression, people supposedly stuffed money in their mattresses. That may have been wise, since about 9,000 banks failed between 1929 and 1939, wiping out the life savings of many millions of Americans. People simply stopped trusting banks. That's why the government established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 1933. FDIC guarantees the savings of individuals. Today, the FDIC regulates and insures deposits for up to $250,000. In the event of a bank collapse, FDIC starts mailing checks within days.

If your money is in a credit union, like SeaComm, it is also insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). The NCUA was established by the government in 1970 and it regulates and insures deposits up to $250,000. In the event of a credit union failure, insured deposits are returned.

Banks keep only a fraction of bank deposits on hand to cover withdrawals. Normally, only a small portion of account holders will withdraw their money at any given time. Banks simply need to cover those withdrawals. If depositors panic and everyone tries to withdraw their funds at once, the bank won't have enough cash to cover the withdrawals. When that happens, the bank fails.

The FDIC and NCUA guarantees are an innovation in banking and were certainly not available during the long history of banks and bank failures. The first bank to issue bank notes (essentially, paper money) in Europe, the Stockholm Banco, succumbed to a bank run. Stockholm Banco opened in 1656, but excessive lending devalued its bank notes, and as clients started demanding their money back, the bank collapsed in 1664.

During the 19th century, a series of financial panics hit banks. In 1821, the Second Bank of the United States found itself under immense pressure as demand from Europe for American goods plummeted after the Napoleonic Wars. The Second Bank curtailed lending, which put pressure on regional banks and sparked a bank run that led to more bank failures.

The recent failures of large banks, like Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Capital and Signature Bank are nothing compared to bank collapses in 2008 and 2009. Back in 2008, 25 banks collapsed, but the worst was yet to come in 2009, when 140 banks collapsed, and in 2010, when 157 banks collapsed. In 2011, about 92 banks collapsed, according to the FDIC. Deposits up to $250,000 were guaranteed.

Jerry Manor

Business Development Manager
800-764-0566 ext. 546

Christina Smutz

Member Business Loan Officer 800-764-0566 ext. 510


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

Essex Branch

125 Carmichael Street
Essex, VT 05452

Watertown Branch

20565 State Route 3
Watertown, NY 13601

Branch Managers

Joanne Langdon

30 Stearns St. Branch Manager

Christine Marshall

Malone Branch Manager

Barbara Bessette

Canton Branch Manager

Elizabeth LeValley

Ogdensburg Branch Manager

Ashley Allen

Potsdam Branch Manager

Melissa Comer

Plattsburgh Branch Manager

Jess Roach

Watertown Branch Manager

Joseph Feltz

Essex Branch Manager

Mark Kalloz

South Burlington Branch Manager

Business Development

Jerry Manor

Business Development Manager

Christina Smutz

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.