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An annual review of your health insurance plan is always a good idea – for individuals and businesses alike. Has your situation changed ? Has your family changed? Has your business grown or downsized? Do you need or want the same insurance coverage you had last year? The annual open enrollment period is designed for this type of exam, and October is a great time to review your options.

The Chamber of Commerce has a long history of helping local businesses and employees navigate this process. The Chamber has always strived to implement innovative ways to reduce costs and provide the most cost effective insurance possible to our members. Now we are working with our sister company, Chautauqua Benefits Specialists (CBS), to provide this service. Holly McBride is a licensed insurance specialist who works with House members through CBS. She can help with coverage by Blue Cross Blue Shield, Independent Health and Univera, with a variety of plans to help meet the needs of different clients and groups. Dental and vision care packages are also available.

In addition, CBS can help sole proprietors and employees not eligible for group coverage work through the New York State Stock Exchange. This open registration period begins on November 1.

If you are an existing health insurance client with CBS, you should have received a review of your current status and have the option to seek help making changes. Please contact us if you would like to make an appointment to discuss the changes or if you have other coverage and would like to see what CBS can do for you. You can contact the Director of Financial and Insurance Services, Holly McBride, at 499-6607 or at [email protected]

OCTOBER IS MANUFACTURING MONTH

Over the past year and a half, manufacturers in our region have shown resilience, flexibility, adaptability and once again proven themselves to be centers of innovation. The manufacturing sector has long been and remains the economic backbone of our region.

The three-county area of ​​Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua served by the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier has 330 manufacturers, employs more than 18,000 people and generates $ 7.5 billion in manufacturing shipments. The region’s manufacturing sector accounts for 15 percent of the total workforce, compared to a national average of 8 percent. Manufacturing is a critical component of our short and long term economic prosperity in the region.

Over the years, the Dream It Do It program has organized tours to area manufacturing facilities and academic institutions for area students, educators, guidance counselors, and families. This year, these tours will take place virtually, allowing students to “tour” the manufacturers without ever leaving their homes or classrooms. While not the same as a real tour, this video series will allow for easy sharing with family members and others. If your business would like to include a video that highlights your operations and careers, contact DIDI Coordinators Francine Rondenell in Chautauqua County at [email protected] or Evelyn Sabina in Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties at [email protected] .

In addition, the Dream It Do It 500 will take place virtually during the month of October in all three counties. This event has been recognized nationally by the Manufacturing Institute as a best practice. It brings together hundreds of students to compete in the design, construction, testing and racing of a rubber band vehicle. It’s a great way to introduce future manufacturers to the building process. Contact the Dream It Do It coordinators for more information.

PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS NOW FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON AHEAD

Here at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, November 27 is already on our calendar. It’s Small Business Saturday – and it’s just eight weeks away!

Not only does the House celebrate Small Business Saturday, but we help promote it. After a few incredibly difficult years for small businesses, we’re ready to work hard this year to spread the message that buying from local small businesses really makes a difference in our local economy.

If you own a small business and would like to be included in our promotional efforts for Small Business Saturday, please email Sheila Webster at [email protected] Chamber member businesses can also market their merchandise online through ShopLocalCHQ.com and can participate in the ShopLocalCHQ gift card program. These are important tools that will help generate customers and sales for your business.

Local shopping benefits our entire community, and with the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, we remind everyone to support the local businesses that make our community unique. Shop small. Buy local. BoutiqueLocalCHQ!

WATCH THE ANNUAL ROOM AWARDS BANQUET ONLINE

Dinner reservations are now closed for the annual Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. While we are happy to be able to host people in the hall this year, we also understand that it is not possible for everyone to join us in person. But you can still register online to watch the price reductions through Zoom. Please register at www.chamberrsvp.org for the viewing link, and join us Thursday at 7pm, live from the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia, for this event.

Plus, if you haven’t already done so when registering online, you can enter to win one of the three grand prizes offered for this special evening: a Stay & Play Golf Package from Peek’n Peak Resort. ‘a value of $ 427; one night stay at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel and a $ 225 Lakehouse Tap & Grill voucher; or a pair of 10K white gold diamond earrings valued at $ 200 offered by Kirk’s Jewelers. You can purchase chances for the draw whether or not you attend the banquet.

We look forward to a great event with all of our award recipients, and we thank our sponsors: Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, Community Bank, DFT Communications, Jamestown Community College, Media One Radio Group, National Grid, OBSERVER and The Post-Journal.

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