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Creating a business environment where our members can thrive
February 16, 2017

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This article is part of a series highlighting our efforts to create a business environment in the region where our members can thrive. Our organizations are built to deliver on a five point focus to deliver value to businesses in our region. The five point focus was built around the input and needs of the membership. We work for our members every day to 1) Drive foot traffic and internet traffic into our local businesses creating business to consumer connections; 2) Increase business to business connections for our members through services, events and seminars; 3) Contain health insurance costs through pro-active solutions; 4) Advocate for positive change with a focus on reducing taxes; and 5) Support economic, workforce and tourism development.

Focus 4 of our five point focus is to advocate for positive change with a focus on reducing taxes.

Our members have identified taxes as a significant challenge to being competitive. Whether it be property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes or other fees, these expenses place businesses in Chautauqua County at a competitive disadvantage with competitors elsewhere in the United States and across the globe. We fight for our members whether it is in Washington DC, Albany or at the local level in an effort to reduce the cost of government, encourage governmental efficiencies, achieve tax reductions and eliminate the structural barriers to economic development. We advocate through a variety of national and state business associations. At the local level we work through a grassroots network to advance positive change that benefits the business community.

We have an active public policy team composed of small, medium and large businesses. Annually, the public policy team helps to establish priority advocacy items for the year. This year's priorities include helping direct members to resources and tools to help mitigate taxes, maintaining a focus on the upstate economy, strengthening our cities, improving water quality and the health of our lakes, advancing high quality education aligned with the regional workforce needs, and achieving New York State mandate and regulatory changes that support business growth.

If you are interested in participating in our public policy efforts reach out to us! Let us know how we can help your business by calling 716-484-1101 or 716-366-6200. You can also learn more about us by visiting us online at www.chautauquachamber.org.

Networking, Laughs, and Art Join Us Thursday at RTPI!

A very special networking event this coming week will combine laughter with beautiful nature artwork! Sign up now for the Experience Chautauqua Networking Event at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Thursday, February 16! You will enjoy a special performance by the Unexpected Guests, a local comedy group, and also get a look at the Focus on Nature XIV exhibit, featuring images of nature that people may not always see, thanks to spectacular illustrations organized by the New York State Museum. The Roger Tory Peterson Institute at 311 Curtis Street, Jamestown, is a spectacular architectural gem that makes a statement all by itself. This event will be held from 5 to 6:30pm Thursday evening, including complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. The cost for pre-registered Chamber members is just $11 per person, or it is $13 for non-registered members at the door. We are pleased to partner in this effort with the Jamestown Young Professionals, who are also welcome to attend. Register now by calling the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200, or sign up online at www.chautauquachamber.org/events. This special event is proudly sponsored by Bellevue University, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX.

Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival is

February 17-19

The largest winter festival in Western New York is coming right up, President's Day weekend! Organized by the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce, this huge event features a variety of winter time activities for families. The festival takes place Friday through Sunday at Lakeside Park in Mayville. Weather permitting this 30th Annual event will include a giant ice castle. Other fun winter activities include a giant snow slide, a snowball throwing contest, horse drawn rides, a polar bear swim to benefit the Mayville food pantry, a snowmobile flare parade, fireworks, games, food vendors, snowmobile rides, and much more!

One new attraction this year is a scavenger hunt involving local Chamber member businesses, replacing the long standing medallion treasure hunt. Participants can pick up a scavenger hunt form, visit the eight participating businesses any time during the month of February, locate the Winter Festival Logo and copy the code written on each logo onto the entry form. When you're done, complete the form and send it in. Information and entry forms are available on the Chamber website at www.chautauquachamber.org/events. The Winter Festival Scavenger Hunt continues through the month of February!

For more information about the festival, or to volunteer or help sponsor this exciting event, call the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce at (716) 753-3113.

Chamber Federal

Congressional Lunch

March 3

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will once again provide an opportunity for area business people to meet with our Congressman. Representative Tom Reed will participate in the annual Chamber Federal Congressional Luncheon at Webb's Captain's Table Restaurant in Mayville at noon, Friday, March 3. We encourage our Chamber members to come with

questions for the Congressman. The cost of the luncheon is $20 for Chamber members or

$30 for non-members. This event is sponsored by Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Blackstone Advanced Technologies, Fredonia College Foundation, Jamestown Mattress, Lawley Insurance, Nestle Purina PetCare, and SUNY Empire State College, Fredonia. To make reservations, call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or find our event online at www.chautauquachamber.org/events.

Think Summer! LECOM Health Challenge

Tickets Available

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is proud to help support the PGA Web.com LECOM Health Challenge at Peek'n Peak this coming July. This year we are a ticket sales agent for the event, with tickets available in our offices in Dunkirk or Jamestown or through our website at www.chautauquachamber.org/events. You can watch some spectacular golf on the beautiful Upper Course at Peek'n Peak for the day pass price of just $10. Proceeds help support initiatives of the Chamber of Commerce and its Community Chambers including community events, workforce development, business training programs, and more. LECOM Health Challenge tickets make great gifts for anyone who loves golf or just wants to spend an exciting and fun-filled day in a beautiful outdoor setting. For more information, call us at 484-1101 or 366-6200.

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