Chamber Corner

Improved Chamber member benefits

By TODD TRANUM

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

In the past week, we emailed most of our Chamber members with login information for the Members Only section of our website. This is important, because at the same time we asked members to login and update their Business profile information online. In a key move to improve functionality for our members, we made an investment in a new database and website system. Now that system is more functional than ever and we are asking our members to make full use of it for their own benefit. Here are some of the advantages for Chamber members:

Keep your business information, web site, email and other contacts up to date at all times. If your business moves, your web address changes or you add employees, you can login and make these changes immediately. There is no longer a need to wait for our once a year mailing to update your business information.

Immediate updates in our database means immediate updates in our searchable online Business Directory. Since Google mapping is automatically included for every member, it is even easier for potential customers to locate your business through our website.

Even if you don’t have a business web site of your own, your business is always online through the Chamber site and can easily be found through our system of category listings and/or keywords. It’s the next best thing to having your own site!

The Chamber’s business directory is also mobile! Just by visiting our web site through your mobile device you can search our Chamber member list online. It’s a great way to find restaurants, retail outlets, Gift Check participants, hotels and so much more – right at your fingertips!

A new feature allows you to add your social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, and FourSquare) contacts to your online data. Once you provide the link, your page in our online directory will automatically show links to your social media.

In addition, your Members Only login allows you to pay open invoices online, take any surveys that we may offer, and track referrals through our website.

Why are these things important for Chamber members? Because increasingly we are all competing in a global economy and these tools are vital for all businesses as they work to connect with new or current customers.

For those who did not receive our email, that means that we don’t have an active email address for your business in our database. You will be receiving our update form by mail. If you would like to provide an email for us, we will gladly send along a username and password so you can login and stay up to date.

Please log in or return your corrected form no later than Oct. 31, and be sure any open membership dues invoices are paid by that time, so we can include you in our printed 2014 Business Builder Sourcebook and Chamber Member Directory.

As always, if you have questions about any Chamber services, we encourage you to contact our office at 366-6200 or 484-1101. Thank you for your continued investment in the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. We trust these new tools will be advantageous for your business.

Join us Oct. 17 to honor community leaders

There is still limited time to register for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet Oct. 17. The event pays tribute to the hard work and dedication of many individuals and organizations that make positive contributions in our communities. This year’s honorees are County Executive Greg Edwards as Person of the Year and Lake Shore Savings Bank with the Economic Development Award. The six Community Chambers of Commerce will present Community Service Awards as follows: Dunkirk, Doug Fenton; Fredonia, Tim Eades; Hanover, Matt Bogosian; Jamestown, Terry Frank and Dennis Webster; Mayville-Chautauqua, Access Channel 5; and Westfield-Barcelona, Nancy Hanks.

Everyone in Chautauqua County is invited to join us in saluting these very deserving award winners during the Chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet, which will be held Thursday at the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia. This event is sponsored by: DFT Communications, Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York, Liazon Corp., the OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and the SUNY at Fredonia. Reservations are required. You can register online at www.chautauquachamber.org or call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.

Chamber can answer your health insurance questions

Over the past two weeks, hundreds of local business people have turned out for the Chamber’s health insurance information and enrollment meetings. Some of the questions we are hearing are: Can I stay with my existing insurance plan and provider? Is it a better economic move for me to enter the new state exchange system? What makes the most sense for my business and employees? For answers to these questions, we encourage business people to set up a meeting with the Chamber’s trained representatives. Each scenario is different, based on employee and business structures. We would be happy to work with you to identify the health insurance plan that best meets your needs. If you have questions give us a call at 716-366-6200 or 716-484-1101 or e-mail gkrauza@chautauquachamber.org.