Amanda Brinkman to keynote the virtual Chamber Awards Banquet

OBSERVER File Photo Amanda Brinkman is the co-star and founder of The Small Business Revolution, which airs on Amazon Prime and Hulu. She is pictured during a visit to Fredonia in January.

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for an Annual Awards event like no other! In this year of pauses and restarts and changes to how things work, we will still celebrate the exemplary determination, service, and outstanding work of numerous individuals and organizations. To help us with that celebration, we have enlisted the help of a dynamic speaker who brings passion and commitment to everything she does: Amanda Brinkman.

On January 28th of this year the founder and co-host of The Small Business Revolution set foot on the stage at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House to announce that Fredonia was the winner in the Season 5 competition for the TV show. Amanda Brinkman has been an advocate for Fredonia and the greater Chautauqua County region ever since.

A revolutionary brand marketer and engaging speaker, Ms. Brinkman has had a successful career spanning the world’s leading creative agencies and corporations. Her mantra is “Do well by doing good,” and she proves it time and again. She believes all brands can build loyalty by doing good and she is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to share her message.

As a corporate marketing executive, she carved out a niche as an “intrapreneur,” cultivating creativity from the inside at firms such as General Mills, Allianz, and UnitedHealth Group. At Deluxe Corporation she launched The Small Business Revolution to demonstrate how real communities can benefit from authentic storytelling and transformative marketing initiatives. She has traveled from coast to coast as a champion for America’s small businesses. She is not just a co-star, but is also the founder of the program and the key creative mind behind the concept and the execution of the program.

Although COVID-19 presented challenges capturing in person filming in Fredonia for The Small Business Revolution, Amanda and the Deluxe team did not give up. The season 5 series is in post-production and will be released this fall on Hulu. Season five will feature several local small businesses including Fresh & Fancy Flowers & Gifts, Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County, The Hair Bar, Om Nohm Gluten Free, Nyce and Clean Premium Detailing, The Vineyards Golf Course and Lena’s Pizza and Sub Shop.

The Chamber’s Virtual Awards Banquet is proudly sponsored by Community Bank, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, DFT Communication, Digitell, Lawley Insurance, Media One Radio Group, National Grid, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal.

We hope you will save the date – October 8th – for a very special evening event as our Annual Awards night goes virtual for the first time. We are lining up a great evening of celebration and recognition and more details will be announced soon.


We encourage our residents, business owners and their employees to continue the good work we have all done to lower the curve. That effort drove a downward trend in cases of COVID-19 in New York state. However, we have had an uptick in cases here in Western New York. Governor Cuomo this past week noted that Western New York region is now under a caution flag due to clusters of COVID-19 positive cases in the region. We must continue to recognize that this pandemic is not over, COVID-19 has not magically left our community and we must remain diligent in our efforts to fight this disease.

With college students back on campus in the area and public schools getting ready to reopen in September, we remind everyone that this is no time to be lax. The safety of everyone relies on the actions of individuals in all walks of life. Wearing a mask is not only essential in public places, it is required. Back in July 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 remains in effect and 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.

While some states had to back-track on their re-openings, that has not been the experience in New York. Our hope is that we continue to stay safe and stay open. The losses have been great, both from a public health and economic standpoint. Stopping the spread and keeping people safe and businesses open should be our collective goal.

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.


We will continue to beat this drum until the count is complete. Locally, there are still Census workers going door to door to reminder people to complete the 2020 Census. Their efforts were delayed by the coronavirus shut down earlier this year. But they are out now and the field data collection is set to run through the month of September.

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. Make sure you’re counted!


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