For immediate release
Contact: Juan Vazquez, Innovation Trail, Managing Facilitator, 585-258-0240


Airs Thursday, May 26 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD

(Rochester) May 18, 2011 – What are the challenges of starting a small business in New York State? WXXI’s Innovation Trail will discuss this question and more with a panel of small business experts from across the state in an hour-long television special, Small Business, Big Deal, airing Thursday, May 26 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). Part of Innovation Trail’s ongoing Innovation Conversation series, the program looks at the challenges and opportunities for small businesses in New York State.

Co-hosted by Innovation Trail Managing Editor Rachel Ward and New York Now’s Matt Ryan, the program highlights three small businesses in upstate New York: Salamida's State Fair Spiedie Sauce in Johnson City, Sonwil Distribution in Buffalo, and iCardiac Technologies in Rochester. These profiles will springboard an in-studio discussion with a panel of distinguished guests from government, academia, business, and advocacy.

Panelists include: Dottie Austin, Principal at Career Partners International and President-elect of the Buffalo chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners; Patrick Doyle, Director of Broome County Industrial Development Agency; Steve Hawley, New York State Assemblyman; Robert McNary, ESD Finger Lakes Regional Director; Sandy Parker, CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance; Jeff Peterson, Program Manager, NYSERDA; Brian Sampson, Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate; James Senall, President of High Tech Rochester; and Harry Bronson, New York State Assemblyman.

In addition to WXXI-TV/HD, Innovation Conversation: Small Business, Big Deal will air on WSKG-TV in Binghamton and WMHT-TV in Albany at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, and on WNED-TV in Buffalo on Sunday, May 29 at 4 p.m. It will also be available online at following the broadcast.

Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Innovation Trail is a collaboration of five upstate New York public media outlets led by WXXI, and including WNED (Buffalo), WRVO (Syracuse/Oswego), WSKG (Binghamton) and WMHT (Albany). The Innovation Trail provides in-depth reports about the innovative technologies, businesses, and policies that are helping rebuild the region’s economy. You can see the Innovation Trail’s reporting at

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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