Date ArticleType
4/10/2017 Chamber News
Your Chamber is Supporting Small Business

Small business is a major and growing component of the American economy.  The most recent Economic Census, measured by the US Census Bureau in 2012, showed that companies with fewer than 20 employees made up 89.6-percent of the 5.73-million businesses nationwide.  In Chautauqua County, the Census Bureau’s America Fact Finder report for 2014 showed that 86.6-percent of all companies have fewer than 20 employees.  An overwhelming number of those small businesses are in the retail and service sectors. 

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is working year-round to promote local businesses and to reinforce the importance of supporting local business.  Studies have consistently shown that shopping locally is good for our economy.  A 2010 study by the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development shows that for every $100 in consumer spending with a locally owned business, $73 remains in the local economy and is dispersed through local wages, charitable donations, taxes that fund local services, and purchases of goods and services through other local businesses.  And it’s not just shopping that makes a difference.  When you work with local providers for professional services, real estate, healthcare, and finance, you are also contributing to gains in our local economy.

The Chamber coordinates over 100 community based events each year to help drive foot and internet traffic to our small business members and build business-to-business connections.  Working with our six Community Chambers of Commerce in Dunkirk, Fredonia, Hanover, Jamestown, Mayville-Chautauqua and Westfield-Barcelona, these events focus on programming that attracts residents and visitors to our local businesses. We produce Small Business Saturday advertising for our members each November.  Our Shop-Tauqua Chamber Gift Check program has had a more than $2-million economic impact in local businesses.  If you are a Chamber member business in a retail, restaurant, or service industry you can accept Shop-Tauqua Chamber Gift Checks absolutely free of charge, thanks to a sponsorship from the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency.  Call our offices for more information.  We also foster member referrals with over 40,000 direct recommendations and web-based impressions annually, and help to boost search engine optimization for our members and encourage social media training that is meaningful for small business to help drive sales. 

When small businesses thrive, our entire community benefits.  We always invite feedback from our Chamber member businesses.  If you have ideas about how we can better serve your business, please contact us at 366-6200 or 484-1101.

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