We should be celebrating small business every day! | News, Sports, Jobs


The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce was proud to join the Small Business Development Center and several other organizations last week as we hosted a special event to honor small businesses during National Small Business Week. But our observance should not stop at a single week or a single day.

Chautauqua County is home to hundreds of local small businesses. These businesses offer a wide variety of products and services – from auto repair to books, hardware, gifts and more. We are so lucky to live in a place where so many people are passionate about what they do, including restaurateurs, shopkeepers and many service providers in a variety of fields.

Countless studies over the years have shown that buying locally makes a difference. A 2021 study by Fundera for nerdwallet shows that when you shop at a local business, 68 cents of every dollar spent goes back to our local economy, compared to just 14 cents when your dollar is spent at a national chain retailer. The same study showed that local businesses generate 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big box stores and that small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to community causes.

The numbers are impressive, but there is another fact about local businesses that cannot be quantified in a financial study. Small local businesses actually create the flavor and atmosphere of a community. These are the small commercial, artistic and restaurant establishments that provide a unique environment that people seek, whether as a place to live or to visit.

County Executive PJ Wendel proclaimed the first week of May Small Business Week in Chautauqua County, while others who spoke about the importance of small businesses included Andrew Nixon of the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau , Mark Geise of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and Chairman of the County Legislature Pierre Chagnon. We are grateful to Ashville General Store for hosting the event. The SBDC was proud to present Entrepreneur of the Year awards to Ashville General and HotSpot Café, as well as a special surprise award to Geise for their pandemic efforts to work with local businesses to provide personal protective equipment and vital business information. We also continued our momentum with two ribbon cuttings for new small businesses in Fredonia!

We urge everyone to regularly support our local small businesses. ShopSmallCHQ is more than just a hashtag or slogan. It should be a way of life to keep our communities vibrant and economically healthy.

Tuesday Talks: Marketing Your Business

The Chamber is pleased to offer another in its ongoing series of business-relevant Talk Tuesdays roundtables. This next event is focused on marketing your business, with specialists from Spectrum Reach to talk about video marketing and the marketing funnel, and Chris Anderson, owner of SnowCrest Digital to discuss online marketing and the importance website development.

This Tuesday Talks event will take place at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 17 via Zoom. These events are designed to give local businesses the opportunity to learn about important topics from the comfort of their own office or mobile devices. Registration is free, but you must register through the Chamber’s online events calendar in order to get the Zoom link.

Tuesday Talks is sponsored by OBSERVER and The Post-Journal.

Sign up now for after hours business at Ther-Happy Group

Enjoy a great little place in Lakewood as the Chamber brings Business After Hours to Ther-Happy Group, 103 Chautauqua Avenue, in the heart of the village. Join your fellow Chamber of Commerce members for this networking event as you enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while getting to know other local business people.

Chamber member companies can send two people to each Business After Hours event free of charge. The price is only $10 for non-members or for additional members above the first two. Be sure to bring business cards and be prepared to give a quick overview of your business so others can get to know you.

Business After Hours at Group Ther-Happy is sponsored by Group Ther-Happy, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER and The Post-Journal. Register online now!

Take our quick room benefits survey

The Chamber awaits comments from members. Take our quick online survey to find out which membership benefits are most important to your business or organization. The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is run by a local Board of Directors with local staff – all people who try to stay focused on the needs of local businesses. But that doesn’t mean we can’t miss something. To help provide the best possible service to our members, the Chamber has launched a quick survey to dive into the data.

The survey is a quick Google form that anyone can access, whether your business is a member of the Chamber or not. You can find the survey link at the top of our home page at www.chautauquachamber.org. It will only take a few minutes to give us a brief overview of the importance of Chamber services to your organization.

Members of the Chamber and non-members are invited to respond to the survey. It’s a great way for us to get an idea of ​​what may be important to your business – either something we’re already doing or something we need to improve.



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