By Todd J. Tranum
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
While there are certainly numerous changes on the horizon in health insurance, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is not one of them. In fact, the Chamber will be able to offer even more products to businesses and their employees than ever before because of access to additional health insurance exchange programs that are about to be launched in New York State.
When the Chamber provides its annual open enrollment sessions the first week of October, all of the existing eight Univera plans will still be offered through Liazon's Bright Choices Exchange. These are the plans currently offered through Chamber and the Bright Choices program. Those coverage options will still be available to all current subscribers for the plan year which begins Dec. 1. New rate sheets for these plans will be mailed to all current customers in the Chamber's Bright Choices exchange as soon as they are available this month.
Because of our unique position in the marketplace, the Chamber can also direct most businesses to the products and exchanges that make the most sense for them based on specific health issues, plan needs and tax credit options available through implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
In short, when your business needs health insurance, your first call should be to the Chamber of Commerce. We will guide you through the maze of products to find what's right for you.
Open enrollment sessions for both current subscribers and non-subscribers will be held as follows: Oct. 1, Weeks Reception Room on the Jamestown campus of JCC at 7:30 a.m. and again at 5:30 p.m.; and Oct. 3, SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator in Dunkirk at 7:30 a.m. and again at 5:30 p.m. Additional sessions will be scheduled in other communities the following week and will be announced very soon. The Chamber is working to provide the best possible information to businesses in the most convenient settings. As always, if you need assistance, please call our offices at 366-6200 or 484-1101.
Colors of Chautauqua: A Fall Festival of Learning
Chautauqua: The World's Learning Center has planned another season of adventure with the Colors of Chautauqua festival from September through November. You can join a Plein Air painting class or a Farm to Table dinner, take a walking tour of Jamestown's historic districts, or treat yourself to the story of 150 years of grape growing in Chautauqua County.
For details on the Colors of Chautauqua fall festival, contact the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau at 357-4569 or find them online at www.tourchautauqua.com.
Something New - Restaurant Week Slated for October
Celebrate our cultural variety and fabulous dining establishments with Restaurant Week. The first of its kind in Chautauqua County, Restaurant Week will be celebrated Oct. 21-27 countywide. The Chamber of Commerce is currently seeking restaurants that are interested in participating. Each participating site will receive a special marketing kit and inclusion in the Chamber's Restaurant Week advertising in local media outlets and through electronic and social media. To get more information, contact Justin Hanft at the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200, extension 307.
Save the Date Chamber Awards Banquet Oct. 17
The Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet will be held once again this year at the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia. Reconstructed last year, the Williams Center is a beautiful, multi-use facility at the heart of the Fredonia campus.
The Awards Banquet is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17. It will pay tribute to not only the Chamber's Economic Development Award winner and Person of the Year, but also to the Community Service Award winners chosen by each of the six Community Chambers in Chautauqua County: Dunkirk, Fredonia, Hanover, Jamestown, Mayville-Chautauqua and Westfield-Barcelona.
All of the award winners will be announced shortly, and invitations will be mailed to all Chamber members in the weeks ahead. For now, put this event on your calendar. It is the largest, single business event in Chautauqua County each year, bringing together some 400 business people in once place. We hope to see you there.
Marketing Opportunities with the Chamber
Right now, Chamber members have two proven and effective marketing opportunities to consider, with advertising space available in both the upcoming Chamber Tabloid and in the 2014 Business Builder Source Book.
You may have recently received a letter from the Chamber of Commerce encouraging you to consider advertising in the Chamber Tabloid. This piece will be published by and distributed in the OBSERVER and The Post-Journal in September. It provides an overview of County and Community Chamber activity throughout the year and pays tribute to all of those who will be presented with Chamber awards during our annual Awards Banquet in October. For information about advertising in the Tabloid, please contact either the OBSERVER or The Post-Journal.
The Business Builder Source Book is being published this year directly by the Chamber and offers your best opportunity to promote yourself business-to-business in Chautauqua County. It will be distributed in January to all Chamber members and through other avenues to local business people. For details about the 2014 Business Builder Source Book, contact the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200.