Support Fredonia in the Small Business Revolution competition

Chamber Corner

Small Business Revolution, an original series by Deluxe, is coming to Fredonia, and we can all do something to make a difference! After reviewing thousands of nominations from across the country, Fredonia was selected to compete for season five of the show, which airs on Hulu and Amazon and features Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington.

Members of the Small Business Revolution team will visit Fredonia Dec. 11-12 to interview local business people and community leaders. Numerous local businesses have already signed up online to participate.

Everyone is encouraged to attend a welcome rally for the Small Business Revolution production team at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. This is a chance for the community to shine as we welcome the producers and give them a hearty Fredonia hello!

Producers from Small Business Revolution are personally visiting each of the Top Ten towns nationwide. When those visits are complete, Deluxe will choose the Top 5 towns, who will then vie for a chance to win $500,000 in revitalization funds from Deluxe and Small Business Revolution! If Fredonia makes it into that round, there will be a public voting process open online for a one week period, starting January 14.

Here’s how everyone can help right now:

¯ Attend the welcome rally on December 11 at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House

¯ Post your best stories, memories, and photos of Fredonia on your social media fees and use #myfredonia to help bring attention to the cause

¯ Follow our Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce Facebook page to stay up to date

¯ When you are on Facebook take a moment to Like the Small Business Revolution page at facebook.com/smallbizrev. Take a couple minutes and comment on their page about your favorite business or Fredonia experience. Remember to use the hashtag #myfredonia

This is a tremendous opportunity for Fredonia and for all of Chautauqua County. If you have questions, you can call or email the Fredonia Community Chamber Coordinator, Dave Kleparek, at (716)366-6200 or dkleparek@chautauquachamber.org. Thanks for your participation!

Congratulations to the National Comedy Center

A recent report on the first year of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown has shown extraordinary results. With more than 66,000 visitors through its doors in the first year, it is on track with attendance projections made before the facility even opened. Combined with record-breaking attendance to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, unduplicated museum attendance for the period was over 95,000.

The National Comedy Center has attracted visitors from all 50 states and eighteen countries. Almost 89% of the total visitors have been from outside of Chautauqua County. That, in turn, has had a huge impact on overnight lodging in Chautauqua County, and occupancy tax revenue and sales tax revenue have reached an all-time high. 59% of non-resident visitors surveyed stayed in the area for two or more days, visiting other attractions and spending on food, entertainment, and lodging.

These figures are not just a snapshot of where this new attraction has started. They also represent future growth. The National Comedy Center has an amazing five star rating on TripAdvisor and has been called one of the best museums in the country by Conde Nast Traveler. Combined with a listing as one of the “World’s Greatest Places” by TIME magazine, and other accolades, the report is a strong indicator that visitors are likely to return, and that others will make Chautauqua County a vacation destination.

AECOM, the world-renowned leisure economics project consultant, has cautioned that it typically takes at least three years for destination attractions to achieve a stable attendance. AECOM Vice President Linda Cheu called the local results “quite impressive.”

Before the National Comedy Center opened in August of 2018, the drivers behind it called the project a “game-changer” for Chautauqua County. That is proving to be true. With attendance still growing, the center is “fully on track to deliver the economic impact projected,” according to Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

This first year report demonstrates that people from outside our area have found something to love right here in Chautauqua County. Tourism has long been a staple of the economic condition here, and now it is in growth mode. That leads to business growth, municipal revenue growth, and a better quality of life for all of us. Congratulations to the National Comedy Center!

Purchase Shoptauqua Gift Cards by December 20 for Christmas Giving

Shoptauqua gift cards are on sale now through the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, but we urge potential buyers to place their orders soon. Please plan to make your purchase by December 20 for Christmas giving, as the holiday falls at mid-week and our offices will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Since the inception of the program just two years ago, more than $135,000 worth of Shoptauqua gift cards have been sold. That represents direct sales at local businesses, including attractions, retail shops, restaurants, wineries, and more. With 150 merchants participating from all over Chautauqua County you can use the Shoptauqua gift card to purchase staple household items or a fun day out on the town! The Shoptauqua program boosts our local economy.

Anyone can purchase Shoptauqua gift cards in amounts ranging from $5 to $500. It can be a great gift for groups of employees, or for individuals. To learn more call the Chamber of Commerce at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or visit www.shoptauqua.com.


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