What is smAlbany?

smAlbany is many things to many people.  In my experience as a business owner and a resident over the years, the term has evoked both limitations and possibilities, as well as challenges and opportunities. smAlbany is …

  • A name that’s been coined by some residents and outsiders over the years to describe Albany and the Capital District, with connotations that range from the playful to the pejorative (It’s in the Urban Dictionary and I’ll save some smAlbany jokes for a later date.)
  • smAlbany is a trade show for small businesses in the Capital District that we at Liberteks.com sponsor each year (this past July we drew nearly 400 attendees in our 4th year).
  • It’s also a state of mind, in my opinion, where we can experience what I like to call “smAlbany moments” -- where the connectivity of the people and locations in our environment bring forth a richness of value and significance for which we are especially fortunate.

In effect, what we at Liberteks.com decided to do was to take the negative associations of the “smAlbany” moniker and turn it into a positive. Courageously, we would take a lemon and make it into lemonade. We argued: The relative “smallness” in size of the region – I like to think it’s right sized, but poised for logical growth under the proper circumstances – makes for deeper, richer, more personal business connections, and even more importantly a better quality of life when we finished work and go home to our family and friends. Our “perceived” weaknesses and “smallness” may ultimately be our greatest strengths.

Our goal -- in our continuing efforts—is to promote our businesses and our region through our smAlbany efforts, our activities in the community and media, including this blog. While the focus is on small business, we’ll also follow the activities of the larger businesses in the area, the development of our technology sector -- will the Tech Valley movement come to fruition? – and also the government sector and how public employment affects the region (both the pros and cons).

Borrowing from the famous Albany author William Kennedy, I write this blog “not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor as an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place…” We’ll do it with humor, and with information and insights, that we hope will be meaningful for you.

The best way to get over and erase the negative side of the smAlbany image is to stop being so self-conscious and sensitive of our hometown and instead show pride in our region, focusing on the all of the positives we possess, and the growth we have in store potentially.

I will continue these postings, and I look forward to your comments and suggestions.