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Responsible behavior will keep businesses open

With a recent surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, it’s a good time for a reminder that how we all behave in this ongoing pandemic plays a dramatic role in how our local businesses can continue to operate.

Wearing a mask is not only essential in public places, it is required. Effective July 9, the New York State Department of Health issued an emergency rule that imposes enforcement measures for all places of business. Business operators and building owners are now required to deny entry to anyone who fails to comply with the face covering requirement. The rule is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation up to $10,000.

The use of a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth is a requirement in New York State whenever social distancing is not possible. It is required for both employees and customers and is explicitly named as part of all re-opening guidelines that businesses were required to read and affirm as they reopened. If a medical condition prevents the use of a cloth or disposable mask, a face shield can be substituted. More and more states are now requiring face coverings. New York State was at the forefront of this movement as scientific studies began to demonstrate that they help stop the spread of the virus –protecting both the wearer and those they may contact during the course of business.

We have seen a few businesses in Chautauqua County recently that have had employees test positive for COVID-19. Many of them chose to temporarily close for extra cleaning measures, and we applaud them all for the integrity they have demonstrated by publicly announcing their situations. It is testing, contact tracing, and this type of public disclosure that helps everyone to understand how the virus is spread and helps to keep us safe. Any business that has an immediate concern about employee or customer exposure should contact the Chautauqua County Health Department.

While some states are now back-tracking on their reopening plans due to rising case numbers, New York State has not been forced to do that. We need to continue moving in this positive direction. The losses associated with COVID-19 have been great, both from a public health and economic standpoint. Stopping the spread and keeping people safe and businesses open should be our goal.

In addition, New York State has a travel advisory posted now for 22 states. Anyone entering New York State from any of those states must quarantine for 14 days. The states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. Businesses should restrict travel to essential trips only and follow the quarantine rules.

We ask everyone to do their part by wearing a mask, social distancing whenever possible, and shop and dine responsibly when you visit our local stores and restaurants. There is a lot of great summer weather to enjoy our beautiful lakes, golf courses, hiking trails, beaches, and more.

Save the Date: Chamber Golf Tournament August 27

While numerous events have been canceled this summer, we are proud to be able to bring you the 2020 Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament, August 27. This great event will once again be held at the beautiful Peek’n Peak Resort in Clymer, with an 11am shotgun start.

A few things will be managed differently this year as we adhere to new social distancing regulations. We are asking that all golfers register and pay online in order to avoid gathering at a sign-in table before the tournament. Please check our web page at www.chamberrsvp.org to learn more or to register. Space is limited and early bird pricing will be honored through August 7th. The deadline for all registrations is August 20th.

The 2020 Chamber Golf Tournament is sponsored by: A Automotive, AW Farrell & Son, Bush Industries, Community Bank, DFT Communications, Insurance Management Company, Jamestown Mattress Company, Koester Associates, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Lawley Insurance, and National Grid.

Chamber/MAST Seek Your Input on Webinar Series

For more than three months the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier have been holding online gatherings each week with our local business community. These Monday web conferences began as a sounding board where we could all discuss relevant issues in a dramatically changing business environment, and grew to become important topical opportunities for business people to learn about the depth and variety of resources available to help through challenging times.

Now we are seeking your input as we look to restructure and move these webinars into the next phase. We have developed a very short (just one minute) survey to get your take on the timing of these events and topics that may be helpful now and going forward. Does your business need marketing assistance? How can you keep your employees healthy and engaged? Are you struggling to bring both workers and customers back to your business? Take our quick survey and let us know. You’ll find the link on our COVID-19 Business Resources pages or you can type it into your browser at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7BRMFJC. Thank you.

Silver Creek Yard Sale August 1

The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce will hold the 28th Annual Silver Creek Yard Sales on Saturday, August 1. You can shop all day at dozens of garage and yard sales throughout the Village of Silver Creek and the surrounding area. Sale maps will be available to purchase for $1 each at the Village Park in Silver Creek starting at 8:30am on the sale day. Sales are held rain or shine from 9am-5pm. Those who want to participate by holding a sale can register only for a $10 fee and be covered under the blanket permit for the sale. Proceeds go to the Hanover Community Chamber to help support year-round programming, including scholarships for local graduating high school seniors. You can learn more on the calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org.

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