Chamber Begins Membership Blitz

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is launching its 2013 membership blitz this coming week. New members who join the Chamber between Monday and May 10 will be eligible for a special prize drawing to be held next month, but the greatest benefits of chamber membership are actually available year-round. The Chamber of Commerce provides tools to help businesses increase their profits and connect to new customers, and offers information and new ideas as well as representation as the voice of business on important public policy issues.

The chamber’s Shop Chautauqua County Gift Check program easily pumps more than $100,000 a year into the local economy, while providing participating businesses with additional marketing exposure. Member-to-member discounts are available as online coupons and can save up to 20 percent on selected products or services. These are just a few of the options available to chamber members to help them improve visibility and sales.

When it comes to making new business connections, the chamber can help in a variety of ways. Local business people can meet other chamber members through a series of Experience Chautauqua Networking Events held year-round. The chamber can also assist with grand opening or open house events for its members, and business information displays are available in both Dunkirk and Jamestown.

Local businesses that have questions about health insurance and other employee benefit plans should also make the chamber their first call. With a long history of providing health insurance plans, and with a thorough knowledge of insurance exchange programs and the Affordable Care Act, the chamber is a key source for all businesses on this issue.

The chamber helps to provide information and new ideas through its Business Over Bagels training programs, as well as its monthly online newsletter, Chautauqua Business Weekly email bulletins, and through Facebook and Twitter. The chamber is the voice of business on issues of public policy and advocacy.

All members who join during the chamber membership blitz will be entered into a drawing for these prizes from the chamber: a Sapphire Gem Sponsorship valued at $1,000, their next year’s membership free, or a free pass to all chamber events for a year (excluding the golf tournament and annual banquet). Additional prizes have been donated by dozens of friends of the chamber. The prizes will be awarded during the Experience Chautauqua Networking Event at the Lawson Boating Heritage Center in Bemus Point on May 16.

Chamber membership is affordable and valuable. We encourage you to join this network of more than 1,000 businesses in Chautauqua County and become a part of all the chamber has to offer. For more information, call 366-6200 or 484-1101, or find us online at chautauquachamber.org.

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS EVENT SCHEDULED

As part of its 2013 membership blitz, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is working with all of its affiliated community chambers to hold Business After Hours networking events. These events will be hosted by the community chambers, but are open to anyone in any part of the county. There is no registration fee and each event will include free appetizers and a cash bar. There will be a brief presentation at each event on the value of membership. Otherwise, attendees can simply enjoy the company of other chamber members or prospective members.

Business After Hours events are scheduled as follows: Tuesday, April 30 at Sully’s Pub in the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, hosted by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce; Wednesday, May 1 at the Athenaeum Hotel, Chautauqua Institution, hosted by the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce; and Thursday, May 2 at Applebee’s in Dunkirk, hosted by the Dunkirk and Fredonia Community Chambers of Commerce.

Pre-registration is not required for these events, but is recommended. Register through the online events calendar at chautauquachamber.org.

STATE LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST FRIDAY

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 Friday at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. State Sen. Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell will provide their insights about legislation in Albany, and be available for questions from the audience.

The event is sponsored by Affinity One Federal Credit Union, Buffamante, Whipple, Buttafaro, PC, DFT Communications, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Mattress Company, KeyBank, Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York, Nestle Purina PetCare, the OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Serta Mattress Company, SKF Aeroengine North America, the State University of New York at Fredonia, WCA Hospital, and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX.

The cost of the breakfast is just $15 per person. Rgister online through the Chamber’s website and online events calendar, or call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.

CHAMBER GOLF TOURNAMENT – NEW FORMAT AND LOCATION

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce’s annual golf tournament will feature a new dual format this year and will be played on the prestigious Upper Course at Peek’n Peak. The tournament is set for July 26. For the first time, golfers will be able to choose between playing a scramble or a two best-ball format. Both will be played simultaneously, and the purse will be divided with prizes awarded for each format.

The chamber golf tournament is being sponsored this year by DFT Communications, Community Bank NA, Cummins, Inc., Fredonia Place, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Lawley-Tradition LLC, National Fuel Gas, Ed Shults Chevrolet, Inc., the OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. For more information or to register, visit chautauquachamber.org, or call 484-1101 or 366-6200.