‘Buy Me Some Peanuts And Cracker Jack’

We are fortunate in Chautauqua County to have an amazing diversity of assets both natural and manmade. From our lakes and rolling hills to our educational institutions, attractions and businesses we have a lot to be thankful for right here in our county. Among those important assets is minor league baseball.

The Jamestown Jammers, a Class A minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, are getting ready for another exciting season. This is a special year for the Jammers, as the franchise celebrates its 75th year in the community. Minor league baseball has brought exciting moments and memorable people to the community. Nellie Fox and Jim Leyland, Dwight Evans and Cecil Cooper, Tim Raines and Randy Johnson, Andres Galarraga and Marquis Grissom, and more recently, Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Johnson all called Jamestown their summer home prior to making their mark in the major leagues.

While we reflect on the storied history of minor league baseball in our community, it is also important to look at its contributions to our local quality of life. Not only does it provide fun, family-oriented entertainment, it also has a significant impact on our economy. Minor league baseball makes a nearly $3 million impact on our local economy each year.

That includes both direct and indirect expenditures by players, coaches, families and fans. They all spend paychecks locally, stay in hotel rooms, buy food, shop for souvenirs and visit other local attractions.

The Chamber is working directly with the Jammers on two home-opener events for June 14. This year, the Jamestown Community Chamber will host the first ever Touch A Truck event at Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park beginning at 4:30 p.m. This event will offer local residents an opportunity to get up close and personal with all types of vehicles that they may have never seen before. That will continue until game-time, when the County Chamber and Aspire host Chamber/Aspire Night at the Ballpark. Chamber members will be able to get free tickets to the game (available soon), and tickets to support Aspire will be available with a chance to win a trip to Pittsburgh including tickets to a Pirates game later in the season.

We support minor league baseball in Jamestown as an economic driver for our county. We encourage businesses to get involved by purchasing season tickets, sponsoring ballpark signage, or arranging for a group or employee outing at the park. If your business purchases season tickets and can’t use them all, the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame is stepping up to act as a ticket broker for unused tickets – making sure they get to community members who can put people in the seats. Let’s make this a great 75th anniversary season. Support the Jammers this year and we’ll see you at the ballpark.

Health Insurance Informational Session For Sole Proprietors Is April 23

Even though the March 31 sign-up deadline has passed for this year, there are still plenty of questions surrounding health insurance options available to businesses and employees, now and in the year ahead, especially for sole proprietors. The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center will help to address those questions during an open session on Wednesday, April 23. It will be held in Room 123 of the Carnahan Building at Jamestown Community College from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

The SBDC will discuss implications of the Affordable Care Act for businesses and employees, while the Chamber will address other options available through health insurance exchange programs. This event will be especially beneficial to small businesses or sole proprietorships. You can register through the Chamber website, or feel free to walk in on the day of the event. There is no charge to attend.

Hanover Community Chamber Appreciation Luncheon Is April 30

The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Member Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, April 30. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Colony Seafood and Steakhouse, 876 Main Road, Irving.

Kelly Borrello, Hanover Community Chamber president, will give a brief introduction and opening remarks. Silver Creek Mayor Nick Piccolo will discuss economic development in the village. Craig Colburn, director of member development, and Todd Tranum, president and CEO, will speak on the state of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.

All Hanover Community Chamber members are welcome to attend. The cost of the lunch is $15, with a choice of either smoked roasted salmon or grilled chicken caprese. To make reservations please call 366-6200 or sign up online at www.chautauquachamber.org. Reservations are appreciated by April 20.

Experience Chautauqua

Networking Event Is May 9

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce helps to create opportunities for business people to network and reach out to new customers and markets. The next Experience Chautauqua Networking Event will do just that on Friday, May 9 at Shawbucks Press Room in Jamestown. This event is being held as a preview to National Train Day festivities the following day at the historic Gateway Train Station, right across the street.

Chamber members are welcome to attend this event, from 5-6:30 p.m., at the low pre-registered cost of just $10. It is sponsored by Blackstone NEY Ultrasonics, Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro, Dahlstrom Roll Form, DFT Communications, the Jamestown Jammers, KeyBank, the OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, UBS Financial Services, Univera Healthcare Southern Tier, VIE for Fitness, and Media One Group. Make your reservation online now or call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.