2020 Census is important for the entire county

Chamber Corner

With just under 56% of the census completed in Chautauqua County to date, it remains crucial for everyone to redouble their efforts to get everyone counted. The census is a constitutionally required count of the U. S. population. It is that count that determines our representation in Congress, and helps to fund a variety of projects and programs that are vital to our community including such things as federal highway and transportation aid, aid to local cities, and much more.

Unfortunately, this year the census was just rolling out at the same time the coronavirus caused a massive shutdown of businesses and services. That does not make the census any less relevant for our region. In Chautauqua County and all of Western New York we have seen a downward trend in population in recent decades. The only way to ward off significant cuts to financial aid and changes in our representation is to make sure every single person is counted in this year’s census.

The local Census Complete Count Committee is still hard at work and seeking to highlight rural communities through the month of August. Working with the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation they have created Census Stickers and are seeking local businesses that will add the stickers to to-go/takeout meal containers or shopping bags to draw attention to the project. Materials will be provided. If your business is interested, please contact the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation or the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

Census workers are going door to door to assist in this year’s count. That effort was delayed by the Coronavirus, but is now underway with local workers hitting the streets regularly. At this point the field data collection is set to end by September 30.

You can also still complete the Census online at 2020census.gov. It takes just minutes and is safe and secure. Your answers to Census questions are always confidential.

We urge all residents to complete the Census, and all businesses to get involved by encouraging your employees, vendors, and contractors to complete the Census. It is a community effort that makes a genuine difference. Everyone counts!


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.

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 all registrations must be in by August 20.

The 2020 Chamber Golf Tournament is sponsored by: A Automotive, Amherst Security, AW Farrell & Son, Bush Industries, Community Bank, Dahlstrom Roll Form, DFT Communications, Insurance Management Company, Jamestown Kitchen & Bath, Jamestown Mattress Company, Koester Associates, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Lawley Insurance, National Grid, Nestle Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and Shults Auto Group.


The New York Forward Loan Fund is available to help make working capital loans to small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords that may be experiencing distress due to the COVID-19 shutdown and economic fallout. The NYFLF is targeting borrowers that are: small businesses with fewer than 20 employees and have gross revenues of less than of $3 Million; and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. The Fund has a goal that at least 60% of the loans will support minority and/or women owned businesses that have traditionally been underbanked or have difficulty accessing capital.

New York state has 486,981 small businesses which employ less than 20 employees. This represents 91% of the small businesses in the State. There are more than 25,440 nonprofit entities in the State.

To learn more about the fund visit https://esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans-info.


Each year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce honors some of the county’s most community-minded individuals during the Annual Awards Banquet. Normally we hold this event in a large space, gathering more than 300 people for a night of socializing and recognition. We are not able to have a large crowd in an enclosed space this year so it will be different. But make no mistake, we are still planning for an evening of celebration and will honor all of our award recipients with a special program. We are also planning for a special keynote speaker this year.

The 2020 Chamber Awards Banquet Online is sponsored by Community Bank, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, DFT Communication, Lawley Insurance, Media One Radio Group, National Grid, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. Stay tuned for details to be announced and get ready to join us online for an awards program like no other. Save the date: October 8, 2020.


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