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Business reopening guidance released by NYS

Western New York including Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties remains under the New York State PAUSE order. As some regions across the state begin Phase One of the New York State Forward economic reopening plan, we are now getting a clearer picture of what will be required of businesses as we progress through the process. The state has outlined some specific health and safety guidelines by business sector, beginning with those for Phase One: Construction; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Retail Trade; Manufacturing; and Wholesale Trade. Details can be found at https://forward.ny.gov/. The website includes sections on Metrics for Reopening, Business Resources, Advisory Boards, and more.

For the business community this is an important step. Those sectors that are part of the Phase One restart will find summary guidelines, detailed guidelines, and a printable business safety plan template. Each business will be required to read and affirm their sector guidelines through an online form, and to print and post safety plans on their premises. Even businesses that have been operating as Essential Services throughout the state’s PAUSE order will be required to follow these new practices.

As of the date of writing this article Western New York has not met the metrics to reopen. We are closely monitoring that situation and continue to be an advocate for a safe restart of our economy. We are advocating that less densely populated areas of our region such as Chautauqua County that have demonstrated a low numbers of infections, sufficient hospital capacity, installed adequate contact tracing infrastructure and have acquired adequate testing supplies should be part of the Phase One opening. Our business community has been proactive and many have or are implementing processes and guidelines to protect the safety of workers and customers.

Businesses can take steps now to prepare in advance of the state’s reopening orders: make your own plans that take your employees, customers, products and services into account; read through the best practices and guidelines on our web page at www.chautauquachamber.org/restarting-our-economy and on the state website to familiarize yourself with what will be required; consider supplies you may need in order to safely reopen such as personal protective equipment, changes in your physical layout, etc.

We need to work safely and diligently restart our local economy. Businesses are the foundation of our economy and an important part of the fabric of our quality of life. If you have questions, we urge you to give us a call at 716-484-1101 or 716-366-6200.

State Comptroller will Join Our Monday Business Call

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli will be our guest during the Chamber/MAST Weekly Business Call at 3:30pm Monday, May 18. The State Comptroller is New York’s fiscal watchdog and oversees all aspects of the state’s financial condition. He will address a host of issues of importance to all New Yorkers, including a recent and very concerning report on sales tax revenue.

All local businesses are invited to join us for this call via web or phone. For a link and access information please see our web page at www.chautauquachamber.org/covid-19-business-resources.

You may submit questions in advance for the State Comptroller to swebster@chautauquachamber.org or by using the chat feature during the GoToMeeting session.

The Chamber Can Help Market Your Business

The Chamber of Commerce has redoubled its efforts to help local businesses focus on relevant online marketing, using techniques designed to drive sales.

We have implemented the Shoptauqua Cash Dash – a social media driven series that builds a calendar of local businesses that want to be “dashed” on a given day. This effort is currently aimed at takeout restaurants but can also be helpful with small retailers that may be managing sales for curbside pickup or delivery.

The Shoptauqua Marketing Program takes a deeper dive into Facebook advertising by creating an interactive online system that integrates Messenger and Facebook ads, and is designed to grow your customer base, communicate better with customers to build relationships, and track your return on investment.

You can learn more about these programs through the chamber’s website at www.chautauquachamber.org.

Chamber County Executive Breakfast Online June 5

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present another online session with a local elected official. Our annual County Executive Breakfast will be held online with County Executive Paul “PJ” Wendel, Friday, June 5 at 8:30am. We encourage all attendees to get up and get out and find your favorite local breakfast or coffee takeout restaurant, and then head home to join us online for this informative event.

Our sponsors for this event are Chautauqua Institution, DFT Communications, Jamestown Mattress Company, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, Phillips Lytle LLP, The Post-Journal, Serta Mattress, Southern Tier Environments for Living, University Advancement at the State University of New York at Fredonia, and UPMC Chautauqua. Please support our sponsors and register online for this event at www.chautauquachamber.org. This is free for all to attend, but if you feel inclined the Chamber of Commerce can use your donation at registration at this time to help offset our ongoing expenses.

Questions may be submitted in advance by email to swebster@chautauquachamber.org or during the event by using the Question feature in GoToWebinar.

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