Beautification is good for business

Keeping our businesses and communities attractive is an important part of drawing customers in the door and creating sales opportunities. Many business owners make substantial investments in the way their business looks from the outside in order to create a welcoming feel and encourage foot traffic.

We have seen some exciting activity around business and community beautification in recent weeks in the Village of Fredonia. Spearheaded by our Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce Committee and Coordinator Denise Szalkowski, the group launched the My Fredonia Beautification Contest online – calling out business owners and homeowners who take extra steps to make their properties attractive and welcoming. The nominees have been highlighted through Facebook posts, and a committee of Chamber and civic leaders will select the “winners” for both commercial and residential properties. It’s clear to us that they are all winners, chosen from a group of outstanding representatives.

Fredonia’s example stands out especially because over the next two weekends the student body will start to return to campus at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Bear in mind that it’s not just students coming to northern Chautauqua County – it’s families. Often these families may be getting a first impression of the community, and the goal should always be to make sure their impression is a good one. Businesses play a key role, as visitors from all over will be dining at local restaurants and shopping in local stores when they come to drop off their students for the new semester. The traffic is similar to tourist traffic with one twist – college student families are very likely to return numerous times over the course of their student’s education at SUNY Fredonia. Those families will look for their “favorite” local spots when they return and may sample new places as well, but like the campus itself each business and the entire community works to provide a welcoming atmosphere.

Fredonia is just one example of how communities can be encouraged to create and maintain a hospitable character. Each year Chautauqua County plays host to visitors of all types all year long as people seek out our summer recreation including golf, fishing, Chautauqua Institution programming, and more – and out winter playground for skiing and snowmobiling. Is your business up to the challenge to welcome folks in?

This past weekend Jamestown played host to the National Comedy Center’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Throngs of people attended block parties, visited the two great local comedy museums, and attended shows at Northwest Arena, the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Lucille Ball Little Theatre, and Robert H. Jackson Center. Those same people dined in local restaurants and shopped in local stores.

We have been focused recently on the value of placemaking – the unique spots that make a community special and make it stand out. Placemaking is a year-round endeavor. Making and keeping our communities beautiful is part of that process. Kudos to all who have worked hard to make their businesses and neighborhoods look great this summer! Your efforts make a difference for our local businesses and local economy.



The Dunkirk and Fredonia Community Chambers of Commerce proudly present Hops and Pops, a great evening of beer and wine tastings, to be held Thursday, September 15 at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Drive East in Dunkirk.

Enjoy local wines, beers and appetizers! Samples will be available, and you can purchase by the bottle or the case while you are there. In addition, there will be five $100 prize drawings throughout the evening for a total of $500 – plus additional raffles and giveaways.

The cost is $15 per person or two for $25. Proceeds help support the scholarship funds for the Dunkirk and Fredonia Community Chambers of Commerce. Hops and Pops is sponsored by Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Farrell Roofing, and LaBella Associates. Buy tickets through the Chamber’s web calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org or call the Chamber at (716) 366-6200 or (716) 484-1101 for the ticket location nearest to you.



Join your fellow Chamber of Commerce members for a Business After Hours networking event and visit this charming spot in Bemus Point! The Bemus Point Golf Club & Tap House is at 72 Main Street in Bemus Point. Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while you network with other businesspeople.

Chamber member businesses can send two people at no cost. The price is $10 for non-member businesspeople or for additional member attendees above the two free. Be sure to bring business cards for our door prize drawings and come prepared to give a quick (30 second) overview about your business so other attendees can get to know you. Sponsors for this event are DFT Communications, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal.

Register now through the Chamber’s web event calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org. We look forward to seeing you there!




Mark your calendar now for this great annual event as the Chamber of Commerce presents its Annual Awards Banquet Thursday, October 6. The Banquet highlights community service award recipients selected by each of our Community Chamber Committees in Dunkirk Fredonia, Hanover, Jamestown, Mayville-Chautauqua and Westfield Barcelona. In addition, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce presents its annual Economic Development and Person of the Year Awards. All awardees will be announced soon. The Chamber Annual Awards Banquet will be held once again at the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia.


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