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Creating a business environment where our members can thrive

February 8, 2017
By Todd J. Tranum - President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Sout , Westfield Republican

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.

Focus 3 of our five point focus is to contain health insurance costs through pro-active solutions.

Our members have voiced a need for accessibility to a variety of health insurance products and assistance in managing their costs. Over the past several years we have re-invented the way we deliver insurance products to our membership in an effort to offer choice and contain costs. We are positioned to serve all businesses from the sole proprietor to the large self-insured employer. We are constantly looking at and implementing innovative ways to lower costs and provide the most cost effective insurance possible for our members.

We offer a private insurance exchange called Bright Choices which provides an online platform that offers insurance products and ancillary benefits through multiple carriers. For some businesses the New York State of Health is the best fit for their needs. Often this is a great fit for sole proprietors, small businesses and individuals employed by member companies. We work with our members to access a wide variety of plan options and ancillary benefits available through the State exchange. For our medium and large size businesses we partner with Lawley Benefits Group. Through this partnership we are able to offer innovative cost saving solutions to our members as well as help our members address health insurance compliance requirements.

If you are seeking to contain health insurance costs then put us to work for you! Let us know how we can help your business by calling 716-484-1101 or 716-366-6200. You can also learn more about us by visiting us online at

Comedy, Art, Nature and Networking Mix at RTPI

February 16

Need a laugh? Come to the next Experience Chautauqua Networking Event for a special performance by the Unexpected Guests. Where else are you going to find a mix of comedy, art, nature and networking? This is a great opportunity to get a special private look at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute for Natural History and its current exhibit, Focus on Nature XIV. Organized by the New York State Museum, this exhibit features images of nature that people may not otherwise be aware of or able to visualize. In addition to the exhibit, enjoy a special performance by The Unexpected Guests, a local comedy group. This event will be held Thursday, February 16 for Chamber members at RTPI, 311 Curtis Street, Jamestown. It includes complimentary appetizers and a cash bar, and 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

Calling Volunteers for the 30th Annual Winter Festival

If you love winter and want to participate in one of the largest festivals in Chautauqua County, the Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival is just for you! Many hands make light work, and volunteers are needed for a variety of projects for the event, coming up February 17-19 at Lakeside Park in Mayville. This is the 30th year of this spectacular annual event! Weather permitting the centerpiece of the festival annually is the giant ice castle. Organizers will determine soon if a castle can be constructed this year. Also on tap will be snowmobile rides, a snowmobile flare parade, a giant snow slide, horse drawn rides, a polar bear swim, fireworks, games, food vendors, and much more.

One new attraction this year is a scavenger hunt involving local Chamber member businesses, replacing the long standing medallion treasure hunt. Participants can pick up a scavenger hunt form, visit the eight participating businesses any time during the month of February, locate the Winter Festival Logo and copy the code written on each logo onto the entry form. When you're done, complete the form and send it in. Information and entry forms are available on the Chamber website at

For more information about the festival, or to volunteer or help sponsor this exciting event, call the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce at (716) 753-3113. You can also learn more at

Visibility for Your Business through the Chamber

One of the many ways the Chamber helps to provide visibility for its member businesses during the year is through display advertising space in the brochure rack in our Dunkirk office at 10785 Bennett Road. We partner with a firm called Profile Display for these ad spaces. They provide the rack space and sell the ads on our behalf. Your business may be receiving a call soon from our partners with Profile Display. They will identify themselves as a Chamber partner company. Ad space in our brochure rack is limited, so if you're interested, please ask them about the options available.

As always, if you have questions about any advertising through the Chamber or one of our media partners, don't hesitate to give us a call. The Chamber also offers direct advertising through our website and weekly email bulletins for our members and we are always happy to discuss how best to meet your needs as a Chamber member.



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