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Getting vaccinated is good for our families, community and economy

Chamber Corner

Getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, your community, the economy, and your country safe and healthy.

Chautauqua County is at concerning turning point in the battle against COVID-19. Just a few short weeks ago we couldn’t get enough of the vaccines to meet the demand. Now, we are seeing a new struggle in how to fill the appointment spaces available and use all of the doses allocated for our people. The data shows that there is vaccine hesitancy in many rural areas of the United States including Western New York and the Southern Tier.

Simultaneously COVID cases are again on the rise in our County. Our failure to quickly reach herd immunity – especially as variants increase – will be harmful to our families, our communities and our economy. The very last thing we want is another situation where the progress we have all made toward fully reopening the economy turns in the opposite direction. The very best way to avoid that is to get vaccinated.

As Chautauqua County looks forward to a summer season with at least a partial reopening of many local attractions, and toward bringing tourists back to help boost our local businesses, attractions, golf courses, restaurants, and more, it is crucial that our residents get vaccinated against COVID-19. We have much to offer here, and our normal summer tourism season draws thousands of people into our County and our local businesses. But we also know that visitors are being cautious about travels plans and want to go where they will feel and be safe. If we want to have a strong tourism season this summer it is imperative that we get more of our residents vaccinated.

The pandemic has been a long haul for the business community. Businesses have shown resiliency however due to the economic impacts many are still struggling to get their footing and some are gone never to come back. In addition, the pandemic continues to have an impact on economic output. From service industries to contractors to manufacturing, the challenges of managing businesses with employees who may be out sick or in quarantine has had a major impact on productivity. The sooner we get more of our population vaccinated the quicker our businesses can get back to business as usual and we can fully rebuild or local economic engine.

COVID vaccinations are being provided free of charge to all recipients. You may be asked to show an insurance card at your appointment, but there is no copay and there will be no charge for the shots.

Kudos to all of the healthcare workers, emergency medical personnel, and volunteers who have been helping to run vaccination clinics throughout Chautauqua County. It is easier now than ever before to make a vaccine appointment. Many pharmacies are providing them, and the County Health Department is running clinics as is The Chautauqua Center. You can learn more at www.vaccinehound.org/chautauqua or visit The Chautauqua Center at www.tcchealth.org to be added to their waitlist.

We can’t stress this enough: Getting vaccinated is really important for your own health, your family, your friends, your coworkers, your community, the economy and your country. Vaccination is the path forward and the best way to return our communities and businesses to normal operations.

State Legislative Breakfast set for April 23

When the Chamber of Commerce scheduled its State Legislative Breakfast as our first ever virtual event last April, little did we know we would still be meeting online a year later. This year we continue to hold online events in place of large group gatherings, as health concerns still influence these decisions.

This year’s Virtual State Legislative Breakfast is set for 8am, Friday, April 23. Our guests will be State Senator George Borrello and State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell. We encourage all attendees to come prepared to submit questions for our representatives in Albany. You may also email questions prior to the meeting to swebster@chautauquachamber.org.

This is another great opportunity to support small local businesses, as you can easily pick up breakfast or coffee from a local restaurant to enjoy during the online event. Our sponsors are Chautauqua Institution, Jamestown Mattress Company, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Serta Mattress Company, and UPMC Chautauqua. Please register in advance through our online Chamber calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org.

Golf to Support Small Business August 19

When you tee up with the Chamber of Commerce this summer you will help to support programs that support our small local businesses. The Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament is set for Thursday, August 19. When you support the tournament your sponsorship will help to keep our important ShopLocalCHQ programming running for the good of our local business community. That includes the ShopLocalCHQ online marketplace for local sales and marketing, the ShopLocalCHQ gift card accepted by over 140 local merchants, promotions, referrals and advertising urging residents to ShopLocalCHQ and dozens of local events that draw shoppers to small local retailers and restaurants.

In 2020 the Chamber of Commerce had a direct measurable economic impact of over $220,700 for small businesses in Chautauqua County. You can make a difference for all of these programs, while also enjoying a day of golf at Peek’n Peak Resort. Save the date for August 19 and make a plan now to sponsor this great event by contacting Guy Ditonto at gditonto@chautauquachamber.org.

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