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Nominations are being accepted for the 2000 New York State Small Business Awards.

The awards are presently annually by Gov. George E. Pataki to outstanding small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and members of the small business community throughout the state.

More than 3.6 million New Yorkers are employed by small businesses, making it the largest employment sector in the state, said Charles A. Gargano, chairman of Empire State Development Corp.

Nominees must meet certain criteria outlines in the application forms that are available from Empire State Development Corp.

They must also meet the definition of a small business as defined in state law. The main provisions are that the enterprise is independently owned and operated by a state resident, is not dominant in its field and employs 100 or fewer people.

The deadline for submitting nominations is Feb. 28. To obtain an application form, contact Empire State Development toll-free at 1-800-STATE-NY or via e-mail at

Lockport businessman will be honored

Brian J. Costello, president of Diversified Manufacturing in Lockport, will be presented with the Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the chamber's annual dinner dance Saturday at the Pendleton House banquet facility.

Costello has been involved with the Kenan Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Niagara County and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. Also to be honored are Gooding Co. of Lockport and Inter-Community Memorial Hospital in Newfane. The dinner dance, sponsored by HSBC, begins with a reception at 6 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person and reservations are required. For more information, contact the chamber at 433-3828.

Investment club course

JAMESTOWN -- Jamestown Community College, Jamestown campus, will be offering a course on "Creating and Participating in an Investment Club," on Thursdays from Jan. 27 through March 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuition is $60. For more information, call 665-5220, Ext. 2409.

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