Chamber Corner: Week of 4-06-2020

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Support Local! Utilize Curbside, Delivery & Buy Gift Cards

In addition to the many businesses that have been identified as essential by New York State there are many businesses that did not make that list that remain open but in a different way. Many small, local, retail business that take orders by phone or online, and fulfill orders by delivery or curbside pickup, are able to continue to operate in our community. They need your support! The businesses and customer must still maintain all the safe, social distancing rules – make sure to remain at a safe distance. For example, your favorite local flower shop, gift shop, bookstore, sporting goods or music shop may still be open. Make sure to check in on them and support them. There are many local businesses that have on-line stores and who offer gift cards. Buying products or gift cards now are meaningful ways to help these businesses financially.

The Chamber of Commerce has been working with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation to keep up to date with our web page, www.chqbuylocal.com. Our objective has been to support the local businesses that can still serve their customers in the midst of this pandemic and the resulting economic challenges. We opened up that site initially to restaurants and food service businesses doing takeout or delivery, and then opened it to essential service businesses that remain open. Now, we are adding delivery only businesses to that list, so that we can help to promote the small retailers that are able to do business in new ways.

It remains critically important that we all support locally owned businesses all the time, and especially now. Local business is the backbone of our economy. Even in the best of times it is hard for small retailers to function in the midst of large online retailers. One benefit of buying locally right now is that while the mega online stores have had to delay delivery, you can still shop locally and get local delivery or local curbside pickup at a time that suits your needs.

Please continue to support our local small businesses that are making every effort to keep their business open and viable at this most challenging time. Share their messages on your social media and keep them afloat.

Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund
Our local philanthropic community has established the Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund: COVID-19. Through a partnership launched by the United Ways and Community Foundations of Chautauqua County, donations are being accepted and grants will be made to help fill critical needs. Grant awards will be made to non-profit organizations and will be designed to complement the work of government and expand local capacity. For more information visit www.chautauquagrants.org.