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Vaccination helps keep you, your family and the economy safe and healthy

Chamber Corner

Just a few short weeks ago we had people eagerly waiting to get an appointment for their COVID-19 vaccination. Supply of vaccine was inadequate at that time. Now there are an abundance of appointments available locally as a result of increased vaccine supply. We are now at a place where appointments are going unfilled. The health of our families, communities, the economy and our country are all relying on each of us getting vaccinated.

Vaccines are safe, easy, and free. They have been granted authorization by the Food and Drug Administration following rigorous testing. While vaccine supplies are significantly improved, COVID-19 cases are on the rise. More and more studies are suggesting that those who have had COVID-19 will likely have long term health implications and the emerging variants of the disease are even more deadly. Doctors and nurses are urging vaccination against the spread of COVID-19. We have a long way to go before we reach herd immunity, yet one by one we each can make a difference in reaching that important goal.

To find a conveniently located vaccination clinic, visit www.vaccinehound.org/chautauqua – a site developed by the University at Buffalo to help all Western New Yorkers get vaccinated.

WANTED: EMPLOYEES

Help Wanted signs are everywhere we look. Jobs are plentiful in a variety of industries in Chautauqua County, especially in the manufacturing, service and healthcare sectors.

Developing our workforce has long been a challenge in our region. While the pandemic and subsequent unemployment changes may be playing a short-term role in the numbers of job applicants, that’s just a part of the full picture. The issues at play in our workforce woes pre-pandemic still exist. They include a variety of social issues such as addiction and transportation problems, as well as a lack of skills in the labor market.

The fact is that there may be no better time than now to find a job or launch a career. Employers have openings and training opportunities are plentiful. In the Chadwick Bay region of Chautauqua County the new Athenex plant and Blue Bunny Ice Cream are among those hiring. In the greater Jamestown region, several manufacturers have been seeking employees for many months now such as Bush Industries and Cummins. In addition retail outlets, restaurants and seasonal businesses are also faced with challenges finding workers.

There are a variety of resources to help individuals get the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and there are a variety of resources available to help you connect with local jobs. For example, take a look at JCC’s Workforce Readiness programming such as HVAC, CNC, Industrial Maintenance, leadership development, and more. JCC offers several career focused certificate and degree opportunity. At JBC has a variety of degree programs such as accounting, hospitality, information technology, marketing and management and medical administrative.

For employers seeking employees we urge you to connect with regional colleges and high schools to find skilled workers. In addition, organizations such as Chautauqua Works can work with you to help you find qualified candidates.

TUESDAY TALKS: FOCUS ON NEW AID FOR BUSINESS

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will continue its series of Tuesday Talks events for local businesses on May 18 with special guest Courtney Curatolo, Director of the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College.

The discussion will focus on new assistance available for small businesses through the American Rescue Plan. As the Small Business Administration issues application information and eligibility requirements for new programs, the SBDC serves as the local resource for information about those programs.

This event will be held online beginning at 8:30am, Tuesday, May 18. You can register online through the Chamber calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org.

Any local small business is welcome to contact the SBDC at (716) 366-1024 with questions or concerns about assistance programs.

GOLF TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS AUGUST 19

When you tee up with the Chamber of Commerce this summer you will help to support programs that support our small local businesses. The Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament is set for Thursday, August 19. When you support the tournament your sponsorship will help to keep our important ShopLocalCHQ programming running for the good of our local business community. That includes the ShopLocalCHQ online marketplace for local sales and marketing, the ShopLocalCHQ gift card accepted by over 140 local merchants, promotions, referrals and advertising urging residents to ShopLocalCHQ and dozens of local events that draw shoppers to small local retailers and restaurants.

In 2020 the Chamber of Commerce had a direct measurable economic impact of over $220,700 for small businesses in Chautauqua County. You can make a difference for all of these programs, while also enjoying a day of golf at Peek’n Peak Resort. Save the date for August 19 and make a plan now to sponsor this great event by contacting Guy Ditonto at gditonto@chautauquachamber.org.

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