Great Chamber member benefits online

By TODD TRANUM

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

Many members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce have recently taken advantage of some of the newer benefits available through the Chamber’s website. These include direct links to social media, Google mapping, and the ability to add coupons to your business page on the Chamber site.

For local businesses that have no other Internet presence, a Chamber membership is incredibly valuable right now. The Chamber provides a page for each member online, which automatically includes contact information, category listings, a business description and embedded Google mapping so that prospective customers can find you. It is easier than ever to keep your information updated with the Chamber, too. Simply log in through the Members Only portal and update your business information. If your business has moved, changed a phone number or website or added employees, you can easily keep that data up to date. There is no longer a need to wait for the once-a-year mailing to update your business information. Immediate updates in the Chamber’s database means immediate updates in the searchable online Business Directory.

The Chamber’s business directory is also mobile! Just by visiting the website through your mobile device you can search the 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 the 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.

If you don’t know your Chamber Members Only login, call or email the Chamber for details. The Chamber will gladly send you a username and password so that you can keep your business information up to date. As always, if you have questions about any Chamber services, the Chamber encourages you to contact the office at 366-6200 or 484-1101. Thank you for your continued investment in the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber trusts these new tools will be advantageous for your business.

Salute to the Finest Feb. 24

The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Salute to the Finest award celebration on Monday, Feb. 24 at Shawbucks Press Room, 212 W. Second St., Jamestown.

Receiving awards this year are: Manufacturer of the Year Artone, LLC; Retailer of the Year Everydays True Value; Community Service Award Terry Frank and Dennis Webster of Media One Group; Pride of Jamestown Award Chautauqua Striders; Business of the Year Jamestown Business College; Service to Humanity Award Chautauqua County Health Network; and New Business of the Year VIE for Fitness.

Registration opens at 5 p.m. with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment by Susan Waite and Tom Swanson of Red Letter Blues and a cash bar. Dinner and the awards ceremony begin at 6 p.m.

Advance reservations are appreciated and this event is open to Chamber members or non-members. You can register online at www.chautauquachamber.org or call the Chamber at 484-1101.

Business Over Bagels: Build relationships using LinkedIn

Do you have questions about LinkedIn? Have you thought about joining LinkedIn, but you are not sure if it would be right for your business? Do you really need to be on social media? How can LinkedIn help you grow your business? Curt Anderson from the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College will offer information on how LinkedIn can help your business.

LinkedIn Strategies discussed will include: How to create a profile that works, making quality connections, finding leads on business prospects and jobs, starting or joining a LinkedIn group and creating a LinkedIn company page. Come join the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, SBDC and JCC for a morning of good food and interested marketing ideas for your business. Bring your tablet or smart phone along to enhance the experience.

Curt Anderson is a Business Advisor at NYS SBDC at JCC. He is an e-Commerce and internet marketing consultant. He has been an entrepreneur for 23 years, including 17 years in e-Commerce. He is passionate about internet marketing and how it can help you reach out to new customers that you might not have reached through conventional marketing techniques.

This informative event will be held March 27 at 8:30 a.m. at the JCC North Training Center, Bennett Road, Dunkirk. It is being sponsored by the Small Business Development Center and the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency. The cost is just $10. Call the JCC Center for Continuing Education to register at (716)363-6585.