The value of membership supporting small businesses

As a member of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce you are part of one of the largest businesses associations in Western New York. The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is unique in that it has collaborative county wide presence in partnership with six community chambers in Dunkirk, Fredonia, Hanover, Jamestown, Mayville-Chautauqua, and Westfield-Barcelona. The Chamber coordinates over 100 community based events each year to help drive foot and internet traffic to our small business members and build business-to-business connections. Working with our six Community Chambers of Commerce, these events focus on programming that attracts residents and visitors to our local businesses.

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce works year-round to promote local businesses and reinforce the importance of supporting local business. Studies have consistently shown that shopping locally is good for our economy. When goods and services are purchased locally those dollars are dispersed through local wages and benefits, charitable donations, taxes that fund local services, and purchases of goods and services through other local businesses. And it’s not just shopping that makes a difference. When you work with local providers for professional services, real estate, healthcare, and finance, you are also contributing to gains in our local economy.

Last fall the Chamber launched the Shoptauqua Gift Card program, designed to encourage people to shop locally. More than 120 local merchants are now participating, so you can use a Shoptauqua Gift Card for everything from hardware to groceries to local wine and attractions. Call our offices for more information at 484-1101 or 366-6200.

Mayville Entertainment Series: Patsy Cline Tribute Aug. 30

As the summer season draws to a close the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce has one more Entertainment in the Park concert set for August 30. Come Back Patsy Cline is a popular Patsy Cline tribute by Pat Cook. She will take the stage at the gazebo at Lakeside Park, Route 394, Mayville, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30.

This popular summer long concert series is provided free of charge through the generous sponsorship by the Town of Chautauqua and Village of Mayville. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held in the Carlson Community Center also located at Lakeside Park. Those attending should bring their own seating. For more information call the Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce at 753-3113.

First Friday is Sept. 7

The Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber of Commerce will hold its final First Friday event of the season on Friday, September 7 along Main Street in Westfield. This tremendous community event creates a street fair atmosphere featuring live music, games, wine, food, vendors, and much more. First Friday runs from 5-8 p.m. All are welcome!

Small group health insurance and open enrollment sessions planned

Continuing our commitment to assist our member employers with controlling costs through pro-active, innovative, high quality health insurance products the Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association are offering two information sessions this fall. We will provide an update on the group health insurance landscape and discuss solutions and products available from the Chamber/MAST and their partners.

Both sessions will be held on Wednesday, September 12. The first session will be held at 7:30 a.m. at the MTI@JCC Building located at 512 Falconer St. in Jamestown. The second session will be at 5:30 p.m. at the JCC North County Training Center in Dunkirk, 10785 Bennett Road, Dunkirk. Both of these sessions are focused on employer insurance needs. Individual open enrollment meetings for the New York State of Health products will be held in October.

The Chamber’s skilled and licensed broker, Kevin Sixbey, can assist businesses with group insurance through our Bright Choices Exchange if they have at least one employee participating. In addition, he can work with groups or individuals and sole proprietors to access coverage through the New York State Exchange. Dental, vision, and term life insurance options are also available through the Bright Choices Exchange, and our full range of plans with premiums should be available prior to these informational meetings. Through our partnerships we also have solutions for medium and large employers including experience rated and self-funded.

New member benefit announced

Through a partnership with the Small Business Development Center and Jamestown Community College Center for Continuing Education, your Chamber membership now entitles you to a 20% discount on classes in the new online Small Business Academy. The Small Business Academy is an online portal for workshops, panel discussions, explainer videos and even full-length certification courses in a wide range of topics for small business owners, managers, and aspiring entrepreneurs. Current Topics include: Social Media Marketing Certification; Social Media Platform classes in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest; Succession Planning; Trademarks; Patents; Copyrights; Zoning Law; and more. Call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200 to access your discount code for this special benefit program, or watch your email for more details from the Chamber.