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THE VALUE OF INVESTMENT: SHOPTAUQUA BOOSTS LOCAL BUSINESS

The mission of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is to create a business environment in the region where our members can thrive. As businesses of all sizes continue to reopen under the New York Forward plan, we are here to support and assist them. We call it Shoptauqua – a movement focused on shopping locally and supporting our local businesspeople and local economy. It is more important now than it has ever been before.

Shoptauqua is our own term for driving foot and internet traffic to our local member businesses. The objective is to increase sales for our members. Several years ago, we launched a local gift check program to help in this way, and then converted it to a gift card in 2017.

In the wake of the pandemic closure of businesses, the Chamber of Commerce stepped up to provide even greater support by implementing the Shoptauqua Marketing Program, which is designed to help turn customers into loyal fans. By using the resources and lessons learned through the Small Business Revolution Season 5 vote drive in Fredonia, the Chamber has developed an interactive online system that integrates Messenger and Facebook ads in a way that’s designed to help grow your customer database, communicate better with customers to build relationships, turn your customers into loyal fans, and track your sales and return on investment from the program. A number of Chautauqua County businesses have already seen successes with this program. One restaurant has seen over $2,500 in additional profit directly attributable to the program in under two months. Another generated over $560 in additional profit in their first weekend using the Shoptauqua Marketing Program. We invite you to learn more by contacting our Director of Member Marketing, Jonathan Weston, at jweston@chautauquachamber.org.

Working hand-in-hand with our six Community Chambers of Commerce and the support of over 100 volunteers from businesses and the community at large, we produce events each year designed to highlight our local businesses, drive sales, and provide business-to-business networking events. While some of these projects are on hold now, we expect to get back to them soon, and continue to seek new ways to provide meaningful opportunities for businesses to learn, grown, and connect with each other.

Your Chamber continues to offer businesses a wide variety of employee benefits such as health insurance and ancillary benefits including dental and vision coverage. Free consultations are provided to chamber members. In addition, we provide a human resource platform that gives our members easy access to interactive online videos that meet Department of Labor requirements for New York State Workplace Harassment compliance.

The Chamber of Commerce provides a voice for all Chautauqua County businesses at the federal, state, regional and local level. Annually the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee develops public policy priorities with a focus on improving the business environment in the region. Importantly, the Chamber hosts a series of forums with elected officials. These forums present an opportunity for businesses to meet with elected officials and receive updates on important issues. Our annual Congressional event is coming up online in July.

These are challenging times for all businesses. Whether they have been closed for a while or have been busier than ever working as essential services, we recognize that for-profit and non-profit organizations, alike, have been impacted by the new reality of COVID-19. Your Chamber is here to serve the business community. For more information about membership, visit us online at www.chautauquachamber.org or call our offices at 366-6200 or 484-1101.

MEET THE MAYORS AT OUR

BUSINESS WEEKLY WEBINAR

The next Chamber/MAST Business Weekly Webinar will feature the Mayors of Dunkirk and Jamestown as our special guests. Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist will meet with local businesspeople on Monday, June 15 at 3:30 p.m. during our Business Weekly Webinar online. The mayors will focus on topics important to local businesses as they reopen including a variety of items such as special accommodations for local businesses, grant programs, and more.

Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. To sign up or attend the webinar visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/8683224162938372623. The Business Weekly Webinar is sponsored by Digitell, FORECON, and the Law Offices of Sheila Starkey Hahn. All local businesspeople are welcome to attend these free and informative sessions.

VOTE FOR CHAUTAUQUA IN

THE USA TODAY 10 BEST POLL

Chautauqua has been nominated for USA Today’s Best Small Town Cultural Scene, and all local people are encouraged to vote! You can vote daily through June 29 by visiting vote.chq.org. You can also sign up for daily reminders to vote!

We have had some tremendous successes this year for local communities and attractions at Fredonia won the Season 5 vote in The Small Business Revolution, and the National Comedy Center won the USA Today Best New Museum poll. Let’s all work together to make this just as successful. Vote each day.

CHAMBER OFFICE REDUCES HOURS

Beginning Monday the Chamber of Commerce staff will all be subject to a work share program and will be working reduced hours through the end of July. Office hours in our Jamestown office will be by appointment only. Our Dunkirk office remains closed as part of the Jamestown Community College campus closure. Because our staff will be working part-time it may take longer for us to get back to you and we ask for your patience. We will respond as quickly as possible to your calls and emails. Our contact information remains available on the Contact Our Team page at www.chautauquachamber.org. Please rest assured that it remains our highest priority to serve all our member businesses.

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