Ogdensburg car dealers Backus & Sons receive NYS Empire Award
In front, from left, are Pat Backus, Jack Backus, Ritchie, Paul Backus and Mike Backus with staff members and Sen. Patty Ritchie.
State Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, recently honored Mort Backus & Sons with the New York State Senate’s Empire Award for the family-owned business’ contributions to St. Lawrence County and its charitable work across the North Country.The Ogdensburg based vehicle dealership recently celebrated its 65th anniversary.
“The Backus family has a long history of supporting not only their customers, but also their neighbors and community through their involvement with a host of causes and events that benefit people across Northern New York,” said Ritchie.
“I had the privilege of working with the Backus family when I served as St. Lawrence County’s Clerk and have seen firsthand how the late Mort Backus built his company on the foundation of taking care of his community. His sons and grandchildren have carried on his legacy and it is my honor to recognize them with this well-deserved award,” Ritchie said.
The company, which began in one stall in the Backus family garage, achieved its first affiliations in 1986, when it was awarded a Chevrolet and Buick dealership. Eleven years later, its success led to it also receiving a Pontiac and Oldsmobile dealership. In the years to follow, the company grew into a 21,000 square foot complex with 37 employees.
The Backus family has helped get St. Lawrence County’s Veteran’s Discount Program off the ground, rallied its staff to help save the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, and sponsored numerous community events and charitable funds including the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund, the Ogdensburg Command Performances and the fireworks for Ogdensburg’s Ogtoberfest.
Throughout the years, the company has been recognized for its success and community involvement with a number of accolades including the 2007 St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Customer Service Excellence Award and the 2017 Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce Business Improvement Award. In 2003, the late Mort and Marie Backus received the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Award.