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Your vote matters

Voting is more than just a right in the United States of America. It is a privilege and a responsibility. When you vote you take an active role in determining what types of policies shape our country and what type of programs serve our communities.

It is true that there is power in numbers. Just as we urged everyone in Chautauqua County to complete the US Census this year, we also urge all eligible residents to vote. Increasing the number of people voting in an election means improved representation and can ultimately mean more funding for our communities. Our infrastructure, the economy, educational services, and more are all affected by our votes.

If you don’t vote, you can rest assured that someone else will vote. Do you want them to speak for you? If you don’t vote, someone else is making decisions for you. It’s like forfeiting an opportunity to make your voice heard.

Voting is patriotic. Our country is an example of how democracy works. As a representative republic, the people we select to represent us actually work for the voters. Elections belong to the people.

Millions of Americans have fought for the right to vote. When we see people turning out in droves for an election, we understand that Americans are fulfilling a civic responsibility. Fortunately, here in Chautauqua County and New York State it is easy to vote. You can vote by absentee ballot – a process opened up for all New Yorkers due to the pandemic this year – or you can vote in person either early or on Election Day.

There is still time to request an absentee ballot if you want one. Learn more about the process at www.chqgov.com/board-of-elections/Board-of-Elections. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by October 27, or they can be dropped into a special drop box. Drop boxes will be available at all early voting sites during early voting, October 24 – November 1. Early voting sites for in-person voting are at the Board of Elections, Hall Clothier Building, Mayville; Chautauqua County Fairgrounds 4-H Building in Dunkirk; or the main entrance at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood. Voters can also vote in person at their local polling place on Election Day.

Don’t miss a chance to make your voice count. Many elections have been won by just a few votes. We hope all eligible Chautauqua County residents will turn out to vote this year.

SELL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ON-LINE

As we continue to see projections for dramatically increased online shopping this coming holiday season, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for a new program that will help local small businesses reap the benefits. If you have looked into selling online but have found it cost prohibitive or have been seeking ways to capture more sales or reach new customers, this new program is exactly what you need.

The Chamber of Commerce is working with an innovative provider to create a marketplace where customers can search products across Chautauqua County. It is both a marketing and an e-commerce platform that will help you reach thousands of high-value customers. Chamber member businesses can learn more by calling the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce at (716) 484-1101 or (716) 366-6200.

In addition, you can participate in a free webinar at noon, Thursday, October 22. Learn more or sign up at www.chamberrsvp.org.

We are watching the trends, and Barron’s predicts an enormous 80% increase in e-commerce holiday spending over 2019, while Adobe Corporation estimates online sales to jump by over $51.1-billion just during the holiday shopping weekend from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Don’t miss out on sales for your business. Call today or sign up for the Chamber web information session to learn how your business can sell and market online this year.

IT’S ENROLLMENT SEASON

The Chamber has a demonstrated history of providing strong customer support along with a variety of health insurance plans and ancillary benefits to our members. For some businesses the New York State of Health is the best fit for their needs. In some cases, a better fit is for us to work directly with the carrier to help facilitate the insurance your business needs. We are constantly looking at and implementing innovative ways to lower costs and provide the most cost-effective insurance possible for our members. To learn more about the Chamber’s health insurance and ancillary offerings please contact our Director of Finance and Insurance Services, Holly McBride, at 499-6607 or hmcbride@chautauquachamber.org.

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