Chamber Corner: Week of 11-09-2020

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Online Sales Are Within Your Reach: The Chamber Can Help

If your small local business is not selling online now is the time to make that happen, and the Chamber of Commerce is here to help.

In this most unusual year, all indicators show that online sales will jump dramatically this coming holiday season. Adobe Analytics recently reported that online sales in the U. S. in September increased 43% over 2019, reaching $60.4 billion. They also anticipate online sales to jump by over $51.1 billion during the holiday shopping weekend from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. At the same time, Barrons predicts an enormous 80% increase in e-commerce holiday spending over last year.

Trends have been moving more and more towards online shopping in recent years, and the new surge now has been spurred by the pandemic, causing an unprecedented drive towards retail sales online. People are purchasing everything online, from groceries and home furnishings to gifts.

It is clear that not all businesses are prepared to sell online. Getting a sales portal set up can be expensive and challenging. That’s where the Chamber of Commerce can help.

Working with an innovative provider, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is creating a local marketplace online, where small local businesses can compete with the major online retailers. This new platform will also help local businesses reach new customers. It works as both an e-commerce sales platform and a marketing platform that will allow small local businesses to contain their costs around online retail and help them reach thousands of high-value customers.

Before the holiday season, the Chamber of Commerce will be rolling this new marketplace out to consumers. Before we do that, we want to be certain that many local businesses are participating. The greater the participation, the more product and service offerings that will be available, and the better the customer experience will be. We all know that we gain return customers when they begin with a great experience.

If you have considered online retail in the past for your business but found it cost-prohibitive, the Chamber can help. This new program is exactly what you need. Businesses can learn more about how easy it is to sell and market online by visiting our website at www.chautauquachamber.org/shoplocalchq or you can call our office at (716) 484-1101 or (716) 366-6200.

HR Services at Your Fingertips

Whether your business or organization needs simple solutions to meet the requirements of the New York State Workplace Harassment Law or help to check on some other essential human resources needs, the Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association can help. The Chamber and MAST partner with Zywave, a trusted provider in human resources planning and compliance, to offer employee compliance tools through the Zywave Learning Management System and a helpful HR library through HR360. These tools are available to Chamber/MAST member businesses.

In addition, if you’re looking to hire but need a trusted background screening service, your Chamber/MAST membership offers a discounted service through the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. The Greater Rochester Chamber has been in the background screening industry for more than 20 years and their services are being utilized by organizations of all sizes nationwide. Their highly trained agents work diligently to ensure your peace of mind and confidence when on-boarding new employees, volunteers, or tenants for your business.

You can learn more about these important programs and how they can help your business by visiting www.chautauquachamber.org/employee-benefits–compliance or with an email to Sheila Webster at swebster@chautauquachamber.org.