By Todd J. Tranum
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
This article is part of a series highlighting our efforts to create a business environment in the region where our members can thrive. Our organizations are built to deliver on a five point focus to deliver value to businesses in our region. The five point focus was built around the input and needs of the membership. We work for our members every day to 1) Drive foot traffic and internet traffic into our local businesses creating business to consumer connections; 2) Increase business to business connections for our members through services, events and seminars; 3) Contain health insurance costs through pro-active solutions; 4) Advocate for positive change with a focus on reducing taxes; and 5) Support economic, workforce and tourism development.
Here are some of the ways we work to drive foot and internet traffic into local businesses. In partnership with six community chambers in Chautauqua County we develop and implement initiatives and activities that help members increase sales. We also co-sponsor events with our strategic partners to provide value to our members and bring consumers into the community. Over 100 volunteers put together over 100 community based events each year designed to bring consumers into the community and into our member businesses.
We coordinate a variety of promotional and advertising opportunities for members to help them connect with consumers. For example, we participate and produce free promotions around the national Small Business Saturday event. We manage a gift check program that has produced an over $2million economic impact. These are programs built to drive sales into our local businesses.
We help our members improve their internet presence. Every member receives a web-based listing as part of their membership. Google, the number one search engine in the world, seeks out the information in our on-line database to verify the legitimacy of the member business and rank them high within the Google search engine. Simply by being a member of the Chamber of Commerce, members are taking a proactive step to achieve search engine optimization. Google is the biggest search engine in the world, tracking more than 65% of all online searches. Being a Chamber member helps consumers find member businesses, whether your customers are local or from out of town. We foster member referrals with over 40,000 direct and web-based referrals per year. We manage a variety of social media platforms connecting our members to consumers. In addition, we offer training opportunities to help our members better utilize social media to help drive sales into their businesses.
Let us know how we can help your business. You can also learn more about us by visiting us online at www.chautauquachamber.org.
MAST and Chamber Offices Officially Open with Ribbon Cutting
The ribbon was cut on Monday, January 23 at the newly expanded Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College. Since its inception, this facility has been home to the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, and in recent years to its sister corporations, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Dream It Do It Western New York. We encourage MAST and Chamber members to visit our new space at 512 Falconer Street. MTI@JCC is located at the corner of Falconer and James Streets on the main JCC campus in Jamestown.
Chamber Networking at RTPI February 16
Take a fresh look at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and get to know some of your fellow Chamber members as well! The next Experience Chautauqua Networking Event by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will be held on Thursday, February 16 at RTPI, 311 Curtis Street, Jamestown. You will be networking with other Chamber members and see the Focus on Nature XIV exhibit, organized by the New York State Museum.
The event will include complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and an optional tour of the building. It is sponsored by Bellevue University, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX. The cost is $11 per person for pre-registered Chamber members or $13 for walk-in members. To register, call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101, or sign up online at www.chautauquachamber.org/events.
30th Annual Winter
Festival is February 17-19
The 30th Annual Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival is coming up February 17-19 at Lakeside Park in Mayville and we hope you'll join in the fun! One new addition this year is a scavenger hunt involving local Chamber member businesses. It will replace the long standing medallion treasure hunt and details will be announced soon. Weather permitting the festival will feature an ice castle, along with snowmobile rides, a snowmobile flare parade, and a giant snow slide. There will be food and craft vendors, horse drawn rides, fireworks and much more.
Hosted by the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce, this event relies on dozens of volunteers and sponsors. If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring, please call the Community Chamber office at (716) 753-3113 or learn more about the festival at mayvillechautauqua.org.