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Reasons to work for a small business

We are incredibly fortunate in Chautauqua County to be home to hundreds of small businesses. These companies span the spectrum of products and services offered including insurance and finance, restaurants, retail, automotive, lodging, attractions, and much more. One thing they all have in common at this time is the need for employees. As baby boomers have aged out – and our local population has aged and declined – small businesses are all seeking staff.

If you are looking for work, there are many reasons why you may want to consider working for a small business. We scoured a variety of sources including the job matching websites Monster and Indeed to choose the top ten:

Get a broad range of experience. Because there are fewer employees, job descriptions tend to be broader, and employees get a chance to sample a variety of tasks.

You’ll have fewer bosses. Small businesses generally don’t have multiple layers of supervisory staff, so you’ll report to one or two people – often the owner directly.

Cameraderie. When you work for a small business, you really get to know your co-workers. That means you’ll develop real relationships with other staff members and with customers.

Relaxed work environment and culture. Small businesses are often more relaxed in their dress codes and in their general work requirements. This can also extend to greater flexibility around things like remote work and office hours.

Stretch your creativity. There’s often more than one way to accomplish objectives. Working for a small company may give you greater opportunities to explore alternatives to see what works best for both you and your employer.

Choose your tech. Small companies often don’t have a dedicated IT department that requires specific software, brand use, or apps. You may get a say in what technical skills you can use or learn across a variety of platforms.

Opportunities for advancement. Small businesses are more likely to promote from within. Owners and managers can see firsthand how their existing employees tackle their work and challenges, giving you a chance to prove yourself and move up.

Recognition. Studies show that employees who feel valued are more likely to have greater job satisfaction (and more likely to stay on the job.) Small businesses are often creative with employee recognition programs.

Learn about sales. Small businesses that don’t have a specific sales department allow for many employees to learn about this crucial piece of any company. Sales are the life of a business, and learning this role brings you closer to a company’s mission and core values.

Because you may want to have your own business someday. Working for a small business in any field is a great way to try out your skills, likes and dislikes, and get a real feel for the type of work you may want to do.

The US Small Business Administration defines a small business as one with 500 or fewer employees. By that definition, most of the businesses in Chautauqua County are classified as small businesses. Around here, we generally consider small businesses as those with just a handful or a few dozen employees, and many of them are right now looking to hire help. Whether it’s a seasonal position or a year-round role, you may find your niche at a local small business.

If you’re a local customer who frequents small businesses, we remind you that the whole world is short-staffed right now. Especially as our local small businesses gear up for the busy summer season ahead, please be patient and kind with the employees that are showing up to work.

Shop local. Shop small. Support our local small businesses throughout Chautauqua County.

The Chamber’s County Executive Breakfast is June 3

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. The purpose of these events is to provide a forum for discussion of the issues that may be significant to a variety of businesses. Whether it’s a question about taxes, land use, infrastructure, or some other concern, our role is to offer the chance to engage with elected officials.

This year’s County Executive Breakfast is set for 8:30 a.m., Friday, June 3. It will be held at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Drive East, Dunkirk. Advance registration is required. Limited space is still available.

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 Brooks-TLC Hospital System, 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, Phillips Lytle, The Post-Journal, 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.

Business After Hours Beach Bash is June 9

The Chamber of Commerce is proud to present another great networking opportunity: Business After Hours at the Sunset Bay Beach Club, Thursday, June 9. This great event has become an annual tradition, offering our local businesspeople a chance to mix and mingle, while enjoying happy hour pricing on beverages, appetizers, live music, and the great beachside environment of the Sunset Bay Beach Club on beautiful Lake Erie in Irving.

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.

The Business After Hours Beach Bash is sponsored by Brooks-TLC Hospital System, AW Farrell & Son, LaBella Associates, M & T Bank, R. Mackowiak Funeral Home, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. Register online now through the Chamber’s events calendar.

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