Get your business geared up for summer tourist season

It seems we have moved quickly past spring and into summer mode in Chautauqua County, which means our peak tourist season is right around the corner. Is your business ready?

Signage can be crucial for driving traffic to your business. Even if you have a terrific sign on the front of your building, will pedestrians see it from down the street? Do you need an open flag, or a sandwich board on the sidewalk advertising specials? This may be prime time to add something that will help your business get noticed. Be sure to check on local ordinances before investing in signage to make sure you’re in compliance.

We are well aware that many local businesses are in hiring mode, as hotels, restaurants, retailers, camps, and more, work to gear up for what is expected to be a busy summer tourism season ahead. As you hire new employees, it’s always a good idea to remind them about the basics of being a strong ambassador for our region.

It’s no secret that front line workers are usually the first – and often the only – interaction a visitor may have with a local resident. That holds true for store clerks, wait staff at restaurants, and lodging front desk or housekeeping staff. Fortunately, there are resources available to help get your staff ready to put our county’s best foot forward when they encounter visitors. If your staff is upbeat about what Chautauqua County has to see, do, and experience, your guests and consumers are more likely to have a enjoy their stay.

Chautauqua County has much to offer for residents and visitors alike. There are dozens of community and special events coming in the next few months in addition to attractions and recreational opportunities available year-round. So, when a guest or visitor asks, “what else is there to do around here” the answer is “plenty!”

If your business has a brochure rack, consider offering brochures from some key local attractions, or the immensely helpful and popular Chautauqua County Visitors Guide, created and distributed by the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau. The CCVB online calendar at tourchautauqua.com is a tremendous resource for everyone who is looking for upcoming events or programs. We urge you to plan now for a great summer season ahead!


The Chamber is pleased to provide another in our on-going series of Tuesday Talks panel discussions pertinent to business. This next event is focused on Marketing Your Business, with Laurie Mee from Spectrum Reach to talk about video marketing and the marketing funnel, and Chris Anderson, owner of SnowCrest Digital and Marketing, Business Development, and Internet/E-commerce Manager for The Resource Center, to discuss online marketing and the importance of website development.

This Tuesday Talks event will be held at 8:30am, Tuesday, May 17 via Zoom. These events are designed to give local businesses an opportunity to learn about important topics from the convenience of their own desks or mobile devices. Registration is free, but you must register through the Chamber’s web calendar of events in order to get the Zoom link.

Tuesday Talks is sponsored by Forecon, LaBella Associates, OBSERVER and The Post-Journal.


Enjoy a great little spot in Lakewood as the Chamber brings Business After Hours to Group Ther-Happy, 103 Chautauqua Avenue in the heart of the village. Join your fellow Chamber of Commerce members for this networking event as you enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while you get to know other local businesspeople.

Chamber member businesses can send two people to each Business After Hours event at no cost. The price is just $10 for non-members or for additional member attendees above the first two. Be sure to bring business cards and come prepared to give a quick overview about your business so others can get to know you.

Business After Hours at Group Ther-Happy is sponsored by Group Ther-Happy, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. Register online now through the Chamber’s events calendar.


Each year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce presents an opportunity for local businesspeople to meet in person with the County Executive and ask questions. This year’s County Executive Breakfast is set for 8:30am, Friday, June 3. It will be held at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Drive East, Dunkirk.

County Executive PJ Wendel will join us to discuss issues pertinent to the business community. Chamber President and CEO Daniel Heitzenrater will moderate the discussion.

The Chamber’s County Executive Breakfast is sponsored by Chautauqua Institution, Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, DFT Communications, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Mattress, LaBella Associates, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Phillips Lytle, Serta Simmons Bedding, Small Business Development Center at JCC, Southern Tier Environments for Living, and UPMC Chautauqua.

The cost to attend is $20 for Chamber members and $25 for non-members. Register online through the Chamber’s events calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org.


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