Date ArticleType
4/9/2018 Chamber News
Small Business Continues to Drive Our Economy

Small business is big in Chautauqua County! 87% of all businesses in Chautauqua County employ fewer than 20 employees, with a total annual payroll of over $1.18 billion. These small businesses span all economic sectors from manufacturing to food service to healthcare, as well as retail and food service. These figures are from the US Census Bureau’s 2015 Business Pattern report.

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.  It is estimated 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 delivers several services to its members to help drive both foot traffic and internet traffic into local businesses. I will touch upon two of them.

For several years the Chamber operated a gift check program and this past year transitioned to the Shoptauqua Gift Card. This program has had a $2.6-million dollar impact on our local economy, and that’s growing every day. Over 100 businesses in Chautauqua County participate in this program.

An important part of our work to support local businesses is the efforts of our six Community Chambers of Commerce and the more than 100 volunteers who work to coordinate locally-based events that help to drive foot and internet traffic into our small business members and build business-to-business connections.

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, or if you want to purchase Shoptauqua Gift Cards or participate in the program, please contact us at 366-6200 or 484-1101.

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