Give ShopLocalCHQ gift cards this year

It’s almost October. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? It may seem early to entertain this question, but in the world of corporate gifting these decisions sometimes are made early.

Here at the Chamber of Commerce we urge you to consider giving ShopLocalCHQ Gift Cards to your employees or clients this coming holiday season. They make great incentives throughout the year as well. We do this for the sake of the 170 plus small business merchants that are signed up to participate in the program, which gives tremendous choice to the recipient of the card as well. The card is easy to use both for consumers and merchants, running as a regular credit card transaction on their point of sale. This program is designed completely for the benefit of our local member merchants. In fact, the Chamber does not make any money on administering the gift card program, there is no fee to load a card, and no additional fee for members to participate.

In 2022, over $50,000 was spent with local businesses across Chautauqua County through redemption of ShopLocalCHQ Gift Cards. That’s a significant boost to our local economy. These funds were used at small retail shops, restaurants, attractions, and more – right here in Chautauqua County. Last year also saw a 28% increase in the number of participating merchants, because they see the value of the program.

As a local business owner or manager, you are already making substantial contributions to the local economy through the wages you pay, the local vendors you work with, and any local charities or sports teams or civic organizations you support. All of that is crucial. Giving the ShopLocalCHQ Gift Card is one more thing you can do that makes a difference in the community and will also be a meaningful gift for your employees.

ShopLocalCHQ Gift Cards can be redeemed at businesses all over Chautauqua County for such great experiences as a date night out or a tasting at a local winery, or for such daily items as groceries. Either way, the recipient of the card can make those decisions on their own, and all of the money stays right here in Chautauqua County.

When you’re ready to learn more you can check out the program online at www.shoplocalchqcard.com or ready to place an order you can call or email Carrie Swanson in our office at cswanson@chqchamber.org.


The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will proudly recognize a number of organizations and individuals during its Annual Awards Banquet, Thursday, October 5. The Annual Awards Banquet is much more than just an awards presentation event. It is the largest single gathering of local businesspeople in Chautauqua County held each year. With anticipated attendance at 300, this event brings together county residents from across all economic sectors including retail, nonprofits, service industries, hospitality, manufacturing, education, government, and more. We specifically schedule a social hour in advance of the meal so there’s plenty of time for networking in the room. The event also pays tribute to our local beverage producers, featuring local wines and craft beers provided especially for the occasion.

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet will be held at the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia October 5, with the social hour to begin at 6pm and a buffet dinner with carving station starting at 6:45. The carving station will include roasted breast of turkey and Virginia baked ham as well as penne pasta primavera with Alfredo sauce, seasonal grilled vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, seasoned bread stuffing, a mixed green salad, and assorted desserts. The $65 price per person includes a complimentary bottle of wine on each table. There will also be a cash bar.

Many thanks to our sponsors for this event: Brooks-TLC Hospital System/Kaleida Health, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, DFT Communications, Jamestown Community College, LaBella Associates, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and the Small Business Development Center. Advance reservations are required by September 28 and registration is available at www.chamberrsvp.org.

Being honored as Person of the Year is Greg Peterson, an attorney with Phillips Lytle who has been actively involved in the community as one of the founders of the Robert H. Jackson Center and as a key member of Jamestown Community Baseball and founder of the Tarp Skunks.

The Economic Development Award will be presented to the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth. CCPEG brings together more than 65 partner organizations from throughout the county to focus on business development, placemaking, workforce development, housing development, and infrastructure.

Each of our six Community Chamber Committees has named a Community Impact Award recipient. In Dunkirk the award will go to Bridget Majka of Chautauqua County Rural Ministries; in Fredonia to DFT Communications, celebrating 125 years in business; in Hanover to Rick Klisiewicz, committee chair; in Jamestown to the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation; in Mayville-Chautauqua to Sorena Gilkinson, committee chair; and in Westfield-Barcelona to Janese and Tom Berkhouse, who are actively involved in a number of local civic organizations.

Register now and help honor all our award recipients!


It’s been an extraordinary year for First Friday, and there’s one more big event on tap for 2023. October 6 will be a Halloween-themed First Friday, featuring pumpkin painting for the kids as well as all of the usual businesses open, street vendors, and entertainment. Downtown Westfield comes alive for First Friday, held on the first Friday of each month during the warm season from 5-8pm. For the first time this year, Main Street in Westfield was closed to vehicle traffic to make the event even more family friendly and safer for all pedestrians. It has been a huge hit, and we hope you’ll join us for this year’s final First Friday in October.


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