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As 2016 begins, a reminder of the Chamber’s core principles

January 8, 2016
By Todd J. Tranum - President & CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the South , Westfield Republican

While it may not be possible to predict the future, we look upon the year ahead with a sense of optimism and hope. The beginning of a new year is a prime opportunity to take stock of our mission and vision, to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.

So as we begin 2016, we remind ourselves that as a business association we strive to be data driven, flexible, and strong, providing services and support that our essential to our members. To do that we are driven by a set of principles: working to reduce taxes and regulatory barriers that hamper the viability of our member businesses; seeking to develop a superior workforce in our region; developing and delivering innovative, high-quality, cost competitive health insurance products; developing services and sharing information that benefit our members; and working with a variety of partners to define and address the economic and tourism development needs of our businesses and helping businesses increase sales and reduce costs.

We remain a unified voice advocating for a business environment in the region where our businesses can thrive. A major part of our advocacy effort is focused on reducing taxes and we will continue to be a strong voice advocating for government efficiency, consolidation, shared services and growth of the tax base. In addition, we will remain a strong advocate for economic development projects that enhance our region and infrastructure investments that provide the necessary foundation for business growth.

A key component to the success of our region is our workforce. The Chamber and MAST have pro-actively addressed the challenges being faced by businesses that are struggling to find a skilled workforce to fill job openings. In the year ahead we will continue to expand on the successes of the Dream It Do It manufacturing career initiative communicating opportunities and training pathways that exist right here in our community. Through the Chautauqua County Education Coalition we are working to align resources and build capabilities to meet evolving workforce requirements in our community. Our collective focus through a broad group of community stakeholders is to benchmark and improve kindergarten readiness and identify and develop middle school to high school career pathways that connect to the health care and manufacturing economy. The Coalition has brought together over 80 organizations in the community around these common goals.

Access to cost competitive health insurance remains very important to our members. In serving them we are driven by mission, not commissions, therefore we work to identify the best health insurance options for our members and their employee needs. We were the first in Chautauqua County and in the region to deploy a private insurance exchange and today we can offer our members a variety of products through both the private and public exchange programs while also providing local customer service and support.

We will continue to help our members increase sales by creating opportunities for business to business contacts and business to consumer interactions. We will build upon the success of our networking events, expand our social media presence, and leverage our online presence as well as continued work through our community Chambers of Commerce to provide enhanced local events and opportunities.

By working in tandem with the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau and the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency we hope to expand local tourism and recreational opportunities. We expect to work on growing our successful Restaurant Week, Small Business Saturday, and Chamber's Gift check programs to help market our many locally owned small business members.

We are fortunate to live and work in a community where people are our most valuable resource. The Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association are strong because of the energy of our more than 100 volunteers and the dedication of our staff. Our member business owners and employees work hard every day to tackle challenges and improve the quality of life here in Chautauqua County. If you are not already a Chamber member, we invite you to join us in 2016 to share in the positive energy of our business community. You can learn more at www.chautauquachamber.org or give us a call at 484-1101 or 366-6200.

We wish you a year of health, happiness, and prosperity ahead!

Doors Open Jamestown is planned for Jan.16

Once again this year, attractions in the Jamestown area will open their doors for free, to give local people a chance to see for free what hundreds of tourists pay for each year. Doors Open Jamestown is set for Saturday, January 16 from 10am-5pm. Participating attractions are: Busti Grist Mill, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, Dykeman Young Vintage Emporium, Fenton History Center, Infinity Performing Arts Center, James Prendergast Library, Jamestown Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Jamestown Gateway Train Station, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Lucile M. Write Air Museum, Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center and Museum, Lucille Ball Little Theater, Marshall Martz Observatory, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Robert H. Jackson Center, and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. In addition to the attractions, local restaurants will be open downtown and ready to serve you. We hope you will take advantage of this tremendous opportunity, brought to you by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce and Jamestown Up Close.

Chamber Congressional Lunch is Jan. 29

Once again this year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide an opportunity for local business people to meet with our Congressman. Representative Tom Reed will participate in the annual Chamber Federal Congressional Lunch on Friday, January 29, at Shorewood Country Club, West Lake Road, Dunkirk. The event will begin at noon, and we encourage our members to come with questions for the Congressman. This event is sponsored by Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Fredonia College Foundation, Fredonia Place, Jamestown Mattress Company, Lawley Insurance, Nestle Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, WCA Hospital, and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX. The cost is just $18 for Chamber members or $21 for non-members. To register, please call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101, or visit our website at www.chautauquachamber.org.

 
 
 

 

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