Networking. It’s more than a buzzword. This is an integral part of today’s business climate. The benefits of business networking are many: generating referrals and increasing sales, discovering resources in and around your community that can benefit your business, raising your profile with other business people, and expanding your own sphere of interest. influence in the business community, and help build your brand and market your products and services. There is no doubt that when businesses are looking to grow and improve, they need to connect with other business people to make vital connections.
Not only does networking build businesses, but it also builds corporate culture. When a company is committed to building stronger relationships with others, it is also a commitment to supporting its employees as they are part of this process. Social skills are important in business, now more than ever. In a recent Hubspot survey, 95% of respondents indicated that face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships. This has been particularly difficult over the past few years as all businesses have faced challenges related to the pandemic.
The Chamber of Commerce has been in the networking business for decades. Chambers of commerce were formed at the beginning of the last century specifically to bring business people from communities together. One of the core values of investing in the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is the ability to build a network of contacts that will lead to the establishment of your business. As a result, our Chamber organizes a series of events each year specifically focused on networking; we call them Business After Hours. Additionally, we host legislative events where public policy discussions drive the agenda, but networking opportunities abound as people are together in the same space. The Chamber’s Annual Meeting, Golf Tournament and Annual Awards Banquet are also great opportunities to network with other local business people and organizations.
After a few years of non-existent or limited networking events due to pandemic restrictions, the Chamber is back this year with a full calendar of Business After Hours events, including three coming this fall: September 27 at Bemus Point Golf Club & Tap House, October 27 at 21 Brix Winery in Portland and November 8 at Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood. Additionally, the Chamber’s annual awards banquet is held October 6 at SUNY Fredonia’s Williams Center, and the Chamber’s annual meeting is held December 2 at Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville. We hope you’ll check out our online calendar to learn more and register to attend one of our upcoming events.
Woody Allen said, “Showing up is 80% of life.” In business, it may be closer to 90%. The Chamber of Commerce offers you many opportunities this fall to present yourself and participate in the recovery of the business climate in our county. We look forward to seeing you soon.
THE CHAMBER WILL HOST THE CONGRESS BREAKFAST
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present an opportunity to meet with our newest Congressman, Joe Sempolinski, on Friday, September 23 at 8:30 a.m. at Moon Brook Country Club in Jamestown. Mr. Sempolinski fills a position left vacant by the resignation of former Congressman Tom Reed in New York’s 23rd congressional district. The House Congressional Breakfast is sponsored by Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Brooks-TLC-Kaleida Hospital System, DFT Communications, Forecon, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Mattress Company, LaBella Associates, Law Firms of Sheila Starkey Hahn, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Small Business Development Center and UPMC Chautauqua. The cost to attend the breakfast is $20 for Chamber members or $25 for non-members. Please reserve your spot online through the Chamber Events Calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org. We can still accept some last minute registrations until Monday morning September 19th.
AFTER HOURS BUSINESS AT BEMUS POINT GOLF CLUB & TAP HOUSE ON SEPTEMBER 27
Join your fellow Chamber of Commerce members for a Business After Hours networking event and visit this lovely place in Bemus Point! The Bemus Point Golf Club & Tap House is located at 72 Main Street in Bemus Point. Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while you network with other business people. Chamber member companies can send two people free of charge. The price is $10 for non-member business people or for additional members in addition to the two free ones. Be sure to bring business cards for our sweepstakes and be prepared to give a quick (30 second) overview of your business so other attendees can get to know you. The sponsors of this event are Bemus Point Golf Club & Tap House, DFT Communications, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER and The Post-Journal. Register now through the Chamber’s Web Events Calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org. We look forward to seeing you there!
CHAMBER AWARDS BANQUET IS OCTOBER 6
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will proudly recognize service to our communities by a number of individuals and organizations at its annual awards banquet on Thursday, October 6th. Being honored as Person of the Year is Steven Cobb, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County. In his role, he not only grew the organization, but played a key role in delivering vital services to those in need by working collaboratively with a wide variety of people and organizations.
The Economic Development Award will be presented to the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College, which has significantly increased the number of businesses it serves each year from 350 to 800, seeking funding, and more.
Each of our six Community Chambers of Commerce also named a recipient of the Community Service Award. In Dunkirk, the prize will go to Dan Palmer of WDOE radio; in Fredonia to Ian and Kyle Muldowney of Muldowney Brothers; in Hanover to Bill Merritt of Merritt Estate Winery, in Jamestown to Tom Benson primarily for his work with the National Comedy Center and the YMCA; to Mayville-Chautauqua to Fairlee Fischer for her efforts with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Thrift Store; and in Westfield-Barcelona to former chamber coordinator Sue Poster for her countless efforts with community organizations over the years.
The annual awards banquet will be held at the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia and is sponsored by Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric, Brooks-TLC-Kaleida Hospital System, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, Community Bank, DFT Communications, Forecon, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Mattress, LaBella Associates, Lake Shore Savings, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Media One Radio Group and National Grid. Advance reservations are required and registration is available at www.chamberrsvp.org.