New products to help sole proprietors access insurance

For many years now, the Chamber has been offering health insurance options to sole proprietors. Under the new regulations, the Chamber can still assist sole proprietors in finding just the right plan to meet their needs.

Some sole proprietors may be under the impression that their health insurance options have been reduced under the Affordable Care Act, but that is not necessarily the case. In fact, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce can still help sole proprietors navigate through numerous questions and options you may have when it comes to making health insurance decisions for next year.

A sole proprietorship is defined as a business that is owned and run by one individual, and where there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. For health insurance purposes, a partnership or a business that is owned by a husband and wife may also fall under the new ACA regulations.

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce pro-actively worked with its long-time partner, the Bright Choices Exchange, to maintain sole proprietors in their existing health plans through December. Without the availability of these insurance products, all sole proprietors would have been required to find alternative insurance plans during this calendar year.

Now, the Chamber is poised to assist in additional ways as sole proprietors make decisions about health insurance for 2015. The Chamber, working with Bright Choices, has launched a new sole proprietor exchange including six Univera products. In addition, there are a variety of plans through the New York State of Health that may fit the need of a sole proprietor and we are here to help with that decision making process. In addition, the Chamber provides access to supplemental insurance products such as dental and vision care for all businesses.

Watch your mail, email and the local media as the Chamber establishs seminars in the months ahead tailored to the needs of sole proprietors. The Chamber looks forward to assisting all local businesses as they navigate a wide variety of options available for health insurance.

Mayville-Chautauqua Business After Hours May 14

The Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce will host a Business After Hours on Wednesday, May 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution. This is a networking opportunity for Chamber member businesses and prospective members. There will be a brief presentation on the Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance, along with some networking games. Attendees are encouraged to bring their business cards and Chamber members are invited to bring business brochures to distribute.

The cost is $5 per person, payable at the door. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided and a cash bar will be available. You can register online at or call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 753-3113.

Grape Expectations May 16

The Fredonia and Dunkirk Community Chambers of Commerce are hosting Grape Expectations on Friday, May 16 at the White Inn in Fredonia. This annual event includes a wine tasting, food, music, raffles and other entertainment, along with a great opportunity to mingle with other community and business leaders. Grape Expectations is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Heidi Seddon at 467-4326. Advance registration is not required. There will be a fee at the door.

Chautauqua Tech Wars and MAST Annual Meeting May 20

Dream It Do It Western New York, the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Chautauqua County Education Coalition are proud to help present Chautauqua Tech Wars on May 20 on the Jamestown campus of Jamestown Community College. This extraordinary event will combine a number of activities for high school students and manufacturers alike. In all, an estimated 500 high school students from all over Chautauqua County are expected to attend. Tech Wars events, sponsored by technology teachers of Chautauqua County, will allow students to display or demonstrate their projects for the year in JCC’s Physical Education Complex. The Hamilton Collegiate Center will house Science Olympiad informational sessions sponsored by Dream It Do It and hosted by local non-profits, while the nearby Carnahan Center will host local manufacturers for a career fair sponsored by the Chautauqua Leadership Network.

The mission of Dream It Do It WNY is to increase the skilled workforce pipeline entering manufacturing careers. Our vision is to be a catalyst for developing a workforce trained to meet the rigorous demands of manufacturers in the Western New York region. For more information about Tech Wars and related events, please contact Justin Hanft at DIDIWNY at 484-1101.

The day’s events will also incorporate the annual meeting of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, to feature a walking tour of the student events, lunch and a brief business meeting. The MAST Annual Meeting is sponsored by Blackstone Advanced Technologies, Chadwick Bay Broadcasting, and Jamestown Jammers Baseball, KeyBank and M & T Bank. The cost of the lunch is $15. For information or to register call 484-1101.

County Executive Breakfast June 6

Each year the Chamber of Commerce provides an opportunity for its members to meet directly with the County Executive and ask questions. This year, with Vince Horrigan new in the role of county executive, and with a number of important issues facing county government, we expect the business community to turn out in force for this event.

The County Executive Breakfast will be held Friday, June 6 at the White Inn in Fredonia. Breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m., with registration opening at 8 a.m.

The event is sponsored by: Chadwick Bay Broadcasting, Chautauqua Institution, Crown Benefits Group, DFT Communications, SUNY Fredonia, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Jammers Baseball, Jamestown Mattress Company, KeyBank, Nestle Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, Phillips Lytle LLP, The Post-Journal, Serta Mattress Company, SKF Aeroengine North America, Southern Tier Environments for Living, Univera Healthcare, WCA Hospital and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX. To make reservations, call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101, or register online at