Article Contributed by
Daniel J. Heitzenrater
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce
Get Ready Now for the Holiday Shopping Season
We all know the familiar refrain from shoppers who lament the early onslaught of Christmas merchandise before Halloween. But retailers know how necessary it is to plan ahead. If they haven’t planned by now, it may be too late. By now you have probably heard a lot about supply chain holdups, shipping delays, and manufacturing woes. Businesses worldwide are having trouble getting the parts they need to produce and sell goods, and consequently, consumers all over are concerned about getting items they want or need.
It’s a good thing, then, that we have choices, especially when it comes to purchasing gifts for family and friends. The easiest choice we can make is to support local retailers. Small business is truly the backbone of the economy. When many national retailers were able to keep operating as “essential” businesses during the pandemic shutdown last year, the smaller locally owned retailers were not in the same position. Many of them had to close temporarily. As they began to re-open, the calls to “support local” were numerous. The importance of supporting small, locally owned businesses is just as crucial now, and those small businesses may have just what you want or need when it comes to gifting this year.
Whether you’re looking for toys, books, clothing, home décor, or supplies for entertaining, you can find those items at locally owned shops throughout Chautauqua County. We also have an extensive list of locally produced food and beverage items, not to mention locally grown Christmas trees. As a consumer your options will be plentiful when you choose to shop locally this holiday season.
As a small local business, you can take steps right now to get ready for holiday shoppers. Stock up now on merchandise and consider sourcing items from local artisans and producers when possible. You can also make sure you’re ready to provide gift cards for shoppers who just can’t decide on a specific purchase.
If your small business is not selling online yet we strongly encourage you to take steps now to provide that option. The Chamber of Commerce can help! We offer our members the opportunity to participate on ShopLocalCHQ – a website designed to function as a “local Amazon” where your purchases from more than 70 merchants can be aggregated into a single shopping cart.
The Chamber is focused heavily on supporting small, local businesses to increase foot and internet traffic and help increase sales. Our ShopLocalCHQ Gift Card makes a great gift, and it can be used at more than 140 local businesses for all types of purchases from gifts to groceries.
The Chamber is gearing up now to help promote small businesses, especially on Small Business Saturday, November 27, a national day set aside to focus on the exceptional service and merchandise available through small retailers.
If you want to know more about any of our Chamber services focused on small business, please give us a call at (716) 484-1101 or (716) 366-6200.
Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award Nominations are Open
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will accept nominations for the Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award until November 1. This award recognizes an individual in the region who has worked hard to bring groups of people together around a common goal or objective. This award is presented to an individual that has helped move the region forward in a positive direction through collaboration and by building partnerships. The award is particularly focused on those who have done their work consistently and often times in the background. A typical awardee would be an ‘unsung hero’ in the community. It is named in memory of Pam Lydic, the first President/CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. The award will be presented during the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, December 3.