Get?On The?Bus To Repower Dunkirk

PowerUp Western New York is prepared to deliver its Repower Dunkirk message to the Public Service Commission in person on Dec. 19, and you are invited along. Buses will be departing from Chautauqua County to take Western New Yorkers to Albany in a show of support during the PSC meeting. The Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association are proud to partner with other local organizers including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in this bus caravan event.

The PSC meeting in Albany begins at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19. Buses will be leaving at 2 a.m. from the D&F Plaza in Dunkirk, and a bus is being planned from Jamestown as well, with details to be announced. Both breakfast and lunch will be provided and the trip is free of charge. You can sign up for the bus trip through the Chamber website at www.chautauquachamber.org or by calling the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.

There are many benefits for Chautauqua County from the proposed $500 million project to convert the coal-fired NRG Dunkirk plant to natural gas: maintaining a stable tax base countywide, especially for the city of Dunkirk and Dunkirk Public Schools; reducing air emissions from the plant by 99 percent; maintaining a reliable, local source for energy generation; and creating good paying jobs. Repowering the NRG plant in Dunkirk is crucial for achieving energy sufficiency and cost-competitiveness. It is critical that New York state maintain the ability to generate electrical power and identify efficient ways to transmit that power. Without this plant, providers will be importing electricity into our state from facilities that may not be as environmentally friendly or as cost-competitive.

The Repower Dunkirk movement has strong bipartisan support at all levels of government. State Sen. Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell back this project, as do Congressman Tom Reed and Sen. Charles Schumer.

PowerUp WNY is a nonpartisan coalition made up of regional businesses, labor, residents, and community leaders who want to see this project approved. Even if you are not able to make the trip, you are still encouraged to sign the Repower Dunkirk petition online at www.powerupwny.com. By signing the message, you’ll join the coalition and send a message to Gov. Cuomo, asking him to support the Dunkirk project.

We hope to see you on the bus to Albany.

Shop Local. Shoptauqua.

When you Christmas shop at local, independent businesses you are actually strengthening our economy.

A 2012 study done in Salt Lake City, Utah, found that local retailers return an average of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared with just 14 percent for national chains. The same Civic Economics Study found that local restaurants return an average of 79 percent of their revenue to the local economy.

These numbers support what the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce has been promoting for years now – shopping locally makes a difference in our local economy. In addition, we are so fortunate to have such an eclectic mix of merchandise here in Chautauqua County including artisan, handcrafted and specialty items that may not be available anywhere else.

One of the ways the Chamber helps to drive foot traffic into local businesses is through the use of Shoptauqua Gift Checks. If you can’t find just the right gift, consider Shop Chautauqua County Gift Checks. Available in denominations of $10, $15, and $25, these gift checks are a perfect gift. They can be used just like any check at more than 80 participating local merchants for everything from groceries to hardware to jewelry. Since its inception, the Chamber’s Shoptauqua Gift Check program has had a more than $2 million impact on the local economy.

Shop Chautauqua County Gift Checks are available only through the Chamber of Commerce. Because processing may take a little time, we encourage you to call the Chamber to order ahead. That way, your Gift Checks can be ready when you want them.

Please call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200.

If you have signed Small Business Saturday entry forms to participate in the Chamber’s $300 Shoptauqua Gift Check drawing, please return them to one of the Chamber offices no later than Monday, Dec. 16. The prize drawing will be held Dec. 19.

Support our local business, support local jobs and support our local economy, buy local this holiday season.

Chamber Can Still Assist With

State Health Insurance Exchange

Let the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce be your first call for health insurance questions. As many local business people are still contemplating the effects of the Affordable Care Act on their company and employees, the Chamber continues to work to sign many up with the New York State of Health exchange.

Some of the questions we continue to get are: Can I stay with my existing insurance plan and provider? Is it a better economic move for me to enter the new state exchange system? What makes the most sense for my business and employees? For answers to these questions, we encourage business people to set up a meeting with the Chamber’s trained representatives. Each scenario is different, based on employee and business structures. We would be happy to work with you to identify the health insurance plan that best meets your needs. If you have questions give us a call at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or email gkrauza@chautauquachamber.org.