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The value of your investment: Advocacy

One of the primary objectives of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier is to be an advocate for business. The overriding goal is to create a climate of growth and success for all businesses in Chautauqua County. Chamber members help to create a unified voice around public policy issues that are meaningful to a variety of businesses in our region.

There are numerous issues the business community faces throughout the year. As a result, the Chamber/MAST Public Policy Committee prioritizes policy initiatives to work on. Top priority issues recently have been to advance high quality education that is aligned with regional workforce needs; improving water quality and the health of our lakes to support local economies; maintaining a focus on the upstate economy; strengthening our cities; and achieving mandate reform and regulatory changes that support business growth. To do these things we work to build coalitions and relationships that can help to drive change, including creating opportunities with the Business Council of New York state, Unshackle Upstate, the US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, Manufacturers Alliance of New York State, and more. Our partnerships with these organizations put our members in networks that help to channel information to and from governments at the local, state, and federal levels.

The Chamber also creates avenues for direct conversation with our elected officials. By providing opportunities access and discussion with our County Executive, State Senate and Assembly, and Congressional representatives, the Chamber facilitates strong connections between the business community and elected representatives.

This year, the Chamber’s State Legislative Breakfast is scheduled for April 24 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. Mark your calendar now and prepare your questions for State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell. More information will be forthcoming about this import annual event.

Coronavirus in the workplace: Stay aware, stay prepared

Western New York has not yet had a coronavirus outbreak, but public health officials are urging individuals and businesses to make a plan and stay prepared. Some basic public health rules always apply, such as good hand-washing practices, even to ward off the common flu. Local businesses and residents alike can find update information through helpful web information provided directly through the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov; the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) at www.osha.gov; and the New York State Department of Health at www.health.ny.gov; and Chautauqua County Department of Health at www.chqgov.com/public-health. While we have yet to see the spread of this fast-moving virus in Western New York, we strongly encourage all local businesses to stay informed and make a plan to keep employees and customers safe.

The Census has begun – please respond promptly and get counted

Local residents have begun to receive Census reminder postcards in the mail. This year, Census data will be collected online, or in person if you don’t promptly respond online. Your postcard will direct you to the official US Census website, where your information will be kept securely and privately. The Chamber of Commerce strongly encourages everyone to respond to the US Census. The Census count is the basis for all types of government allocation programs for everything from transportation to services to our representation in Congress. We would ask that all businesses remind their employees to be counted in the US Census. Everyone Counts!

CCIDA offers manufacturing business-to-business event March 18

Buyers, sellers, service providers and anyone in a manufacturing related field is encouraged to attend the Business-to-Business networking event with their peers from Chautauqua County from 7:30am-1:30pm, Wednesday, March 18 at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, 10 Dunham Avenue, Celoron. This event will include dedicated time with vendors and buyers in a one-on-one “speed dating” format, as well as a lunch presentation featuring Patience Fairbrother, Account Director with Development Counsellors International, including findings from their latest “Talent Wars” study – a survey of over 1,500 working age individuals on how they make decisions about jobs, locations, and best practices.

This event is co-sponsored by the Chautauqua Works, Jamestown Community College, and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier. The cost ranges from $35 for one attendee to up to $500 as a Champion Sponsor for 6 attendees and a premium table. For more information or to register, contact Jeanette LoBello at CCIDA at (716) 661-8901.

Business after hours at Ripley’s Hamilton Mansion is March 19

Get a look at this fascinating historic landmark while also networking with local businesspeople during the Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at Ripley’s Hamilton Mansion. Located at 69 West Main Street in Ripley, this charming mansion offers a unique atmosphere and venue for a variety of occasions. The Chautauqua County and Westfield-Barcelona Community Chambers invite you to enjoy appetizers, wine tasting, and door prizes. Chamber member businesses can sign up two staff members for free. We ask that all personnel preregister to take advantage of the complimentary admission. Additional staff members can attend for just $13 each, and non-members are $20. For more information call the Chamber at (716) 484-1101.

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