The Value Of Membership: Connections To New Customers

How do you find new customers? If you are a small business owner, chances are you rely heavily on word of mouth, possibly with a little advertising thrown into the mix from time to time. But is that really good enough to get you the customer base you need or want?

The Chamber of Commerce offers many ways to connect your business to new customers, or to enhance your visibility with existing customers.

Through a series of Experience Chautauqua Networking Events throughout the year, the chamber provides direct interaction with like-minded business people from all over Chautauqua County. The contacts people make on a social level extend into their business lives as well. To help facilitate networking, the chamber provides events that combine fun, learning, and interaction. In addition, the chamber hosts one of the largest business gatherings in Western New York each year, providing even greater opportunities for members to get to know one another on a personal and professional level.

Right now, the chamber is running a very short survey on how to improve on its networking and business training events. To take the survey, log in through the Members Only section of the chamber’s website. If you need a reminder of your login information, just call or email and we will gladly assist you.

Sponsorship opportunities through the chamber align your company with the chamber’s brand and help you gain valuable marketing exposure. Sponsorships are available at a variety of levels, including the prestigious Chamber Gem sponsorship program, which creates exclusive opportunities for some of the largest companies in our community. Gem sponsorship will associate your company’s name with noteworthy events that attract a broad business audience from all over Chautauqua County.

Business information displays are available for chamber members in both the Dunkirk and Jamestown offices, as well as in the lobby of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena in downtown Jamestown. These display areas are vital sources of information for tourists as well as those who may be new to the area or looking to move to Chautauqua County.

Grand opening and open house events through the Chamber can also call attention to your business. If you are a new business this is a perfect way to make yourself known and attract customers. If you have been in business for a long time, an open house could be the perfect backdrop for an anniversary celebration or unveiling of a new product line.

To learn more about these and other benefits of membership, call the chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or visit



By now, all members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce should have received the new 2013 Business Builder Source Book in the mail. This important publication features a list of chamber member businesses, a membership handbook, community profile section, sections for each of the six Community Chambers, and so much more.

Data for the print directory was pulled in mid-November. It is possible that some of the businesses listed have seen changes since that time. They may have had name changes, address changes, or may have retired. Please rest assured that the most up to date information for all chamber members is always available in the searchable business directory on our website. In addition, if you see something that you would like to have noted as a change to your print business listing, please call or email the chamber and we will include it in the member news section of the online VOICE newsletter.

Along with the Business Builder Source Book, members received a new Chamber Member window cling. This window cling replaces the membership plaque we have issued for many years. The window cling is designed as a convenience in order to serve a larger number of members who may not have space to display a plaque. We hope you will proudly display your Chamber Member window cling.

Please support the businesses that helped to make the print directory possible this year. If you are a chamber member and need additional copies of the print directory or additional window clings, please let us know.



Each year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce provides opportunities for its members to have a direct conversation with elected officials from each level of government. This year, the State Legislative Breakfast will be held April 19 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell will provide their insights about legislation in Albany, and be available for questions from the audience.

The State Legislative Breakfast is sponsored by Affinity One Federal Credit Union, DFT Communications, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Mattress Company, KeyBank, Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York, Nestle Purina PetCare, Serta Mattress Company, the State University of New York at Fredonia, and WCA Hospital.

The State Legislative Breakfast is just $15 per person. Register online through the chamber’s website and online events calendar, or call the chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.



The Affordable Care Act can be daunting for businesses, but if you need help navigating through the maze of regulations and potential tax credits, you have an ally. The Community Chamber Development Corporation, an affiliate of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, is helping to provide answers through the Small Business Assistance Program.

SBAP is an initiative of the Community Service Society, a network of organizations across New York state that helps consumers and small business get affordable health care and health insurance. Through SBAP we can provide health reform information and training for employers and one-on-one consultations on insurance options, costs, tax credits, enrollment, regulations, and more.

For more information or to set up a presentation for your civic, business, or other group or organization contact CCDC at 366-6200 or 484-1101.