Shop Small and Support Our Local Economy

Small Business Saturday is upon us, and we cannot stress enough the importance of supporting small locally owned businesses – not just for one day, but all year round.

Our mission is to build vital connections, provide professional resources, and champion our local businesses in Chautauqua County. As a champion for local businesses, we are laser-beam focused right now on encouraging local people to support locally owned merchants.

On Small Business Saturday, November 25, we are incentivizing local consumers to shop at small local businesses, and do a check-in on Facebook or Instagram, and tag the Chamber of Commerce. You do not need to make a purchase for this contest. The tag on Facebook is @ChautauquaChamber and the tag on Instagram is @shoplocalchq. Each tag gets you entered into a drawing for a $150 ShopLocalCHQ Gift Card. Two cards will be given away with the winners to be drawn on Monday, November 27. This contest is about more than giving away gift cards. It is really about promoting those small local businesses throughout the day to draw more potential customers in their door.

Your purchase at a small local business is good for our economy. Not only do the dollars that are spent here go into the pockets of local owners and their employees, but they also go to help pay other local vendors and support community events.

Communities across the country are home to big box stores and chain restaurants. But the locally owned places are unique, providing a special atmosphere, personalized services, and merchandise that is tailored to local consumers. Our small shops and venues truly create a sense of place in Chautauqua County that cannot be found anywhere else.

While you’re out and about for Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season this year, we encourage you to participate in a couple other promotions designed to boost awareness for local businesses. The Chamber is running a Holiday Window Decorating Contest featuring over 80 businesses from all over the county. Find our Google map online for the contest, look for the special numbered flyer in your favorite windows, and then text to vote. You may vote once each day through December 16.

In the Mayville-Chautauqua region over two dozen local businesses are involved in the Chamber’s 13th annual Holiday Open House. It features a punch card that customers can get punched or initialed at each location and be entered into prize drawing. The Holiday Open House runs through December 2.

No matter where you live in Chautauqua County you can find some great locally owned small businesses nearby, offering fabulous holiday and gift items. Shop Small. Shop Local.


Each year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce presents the Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award during its Annual Meeting in December. This year that award is going to Bishop Leecroft Clarke.

Bishop Clarke is currently the part-time project director for the I. D. E. A. Coalition (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accesssibility) whose mission is to make Chautauqua County a place where everyone belongs and has opportunities to thrive. Over the past eighteen months he has worked to bring leadership and coordination to the Coalition’s efforts including multiple meetings with community members and communities of color directly impacted by the work, as well as focusing on alignment of the diverse perspectives and experiences of stakeholders. He has focused not only on the work, but on making sure that the efforts are countywide.

Pam Lydic was the very first President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, having pulled together a variety of smaller community business organizations in order to strengthen the whole, financially and programmatically. Following her untimely passing in 2012, the Chamber launched this award in her memory to recognize an individual who has worked hard to bring groups of people together around a common goal or objective to move the region forward in a positive direction. The Chamber’s Board of Directors was pleased to select Bishop Clarke as this year’s awardee.

Keynote Speaker for the Chamber’s Annual Meeting will be New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The Comptroller is just one of a small handful of offices elected statewide in New York State. Responsibilities of the office include managing the state pension fund, administering the state retirement system, protecting taxpayer funds, providing independent fiscal oversight on the states and City of New York finances, and providing technical assistance to local governments and school districts.

The fiscal oversight provided by the State Comptroller is vital for the health of our municipalities, which is crucial to the operation of our local economies. Businesses rely on government operations that run smoothly.

All are invited to attend the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, which will be held at noon, Friday, December 8 at Moon Brook Country Club, North Main Street Extension, Jamestown. The cost for lunch is $30 for Chamber members or $32 for non-members. The Annual Meeting is sponsored by Brooks-TLC Hospital System/Kaleida Health, Community Bank, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, Jamestown Community College, LaBella Associates, Media One Radio Group, Observer, The Post-Journal, and the Small Business Development Center. Registration is open now through the web calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org.


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