Chamber Corner

The value of membership: Connections to new customers


President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

How do you find new customers? If you are a small business owner, chances are you rely heavily on word of mouth, possibly with a little advertising thrown into the mix from time to time. But is that really good enough to get you the customer base you need or want?

The Chamber of Commerce offers many ways to connect your business to new customers, or to enhance your visibility with existing customers.

Through a series of Experience Chautauqua Networking Events throughout the year, the Chamber provides direct interaction with like-minded business people from all over Chautauqua County. The contacts people make on a social level extend into their business lives as well. To help facilitate networking, the Chamber provides events that combine fun, learning, and interaction. In addition, the Chamber hosts one of the largest business gatherings in Western New York each year, providing even greater opportunities for members to get to know one another on a personal and professional level.

Right now, the Chamber is running a very short survey on how to improve on its networking and business training events. To take the survey, log in through the Members Only section of the Chamber web site. If you need a reminder of your login information, just call or email and we will gladly assist you.

Sponsorship opportunities through the Chamber align your company with the Chamber’s brand and help you gain valuable marketing exposure. Sponsorships are available at a variety of levels, including the prestigious Chamber Gem sponsorship program, which creates exclusive opportunities for some of the largest companies in our community. Gem sponsorship will associate your company’s name with noteworthy events that attract a broad business audience from all over Chautauqua County.

Business information displays are available for Chamber members in both the Dunkirk and Jamestown offices, as well as in the lobby of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena in downtown Jamestown. These display areas are vital sources of information for tourists as well as those who may be new to the area or looking to move to Chautauqua County.

Grand opening and open house events through the Chamber can also call attention to your business. If you are a new business this is a perfect way to make yourself known and attract customers. If you have been in business for a long time, an open house could be the perfect backdrop for an anniversary celebration or unveiling of a new product line.

To learn more about these and other benefits of membership, call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or find more online at

2013 Business Builder Source Book distributed

By now, all members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce should have received the new 2013 Business Builder Source Book in the mail. This important publication features a list of Chamber member businesses, a membership handbook, community profile section, sections for each of the six Community Chambers, and so much more.

Data for the print directory was pulled in mid-November. It is possible that some of the businesses listed have seen changes since that time. They may have had name changes, address changes or may have retired. Please rest assured that the most up to date information for all Chamber members is always available in the searchable Business Directory on our website. In addition, if you see something that you would like to have noted as a change to your print business listing, please call or email the Chamber and we will include it in the member news section of the online VOICE newsletter.

Along with the Business Builder Source Book, members received a new Chamber Member window cling. This window cling replaces the membership plaque we have issued for many years. The window cling is designed as a convenience in order to serve a larger number of members who may not have space to display a plaque. We hope you will proudly display your Chamber Member window cling.

Please support the businesses that helped to make the print directory possible this year. If you are a Chamber member and need additional copies of the print directory or additional window clings, please let us know.