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Time to heal the divide and welcome VestraCare

March 6, 2014
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

By Todd J. Tranum

President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

The discussion and debate pertaining to the sale of the County Home has been divisive in our County. It has caused anxiety and concern among the residents and employees of the facility. Our hope is that the sale, approved by the County Legislature this past week, brings an end to the uncertainty and presents an opportunity to heal the divide that this issue has fostered in some corners of our community.

As an organization we supported the sale, and after multiple tries the County Legislature has supported it too. It is important that we now welcome the private investment of VestraCare in our community. We are encouraged by VestraCare's record of providing good patient care, their willingness to invest in the facility and their capacity to offer expanded services, and maintain the workforce. The proceeds from the sale will help the County address its financial challenges in near term. In addition, adding the property to the tax rolls along with shedding the burden of the cost of running the home will benefit the tax payer in the near and long term.

We sincerely thank County Executive Vince Horrigan for carrying out this effort to its completion. In addition, a great deal of the 'spade' work was done by former County Executive Greg Edwards over a three year period and his work on this should not be forgotten.

While we know it has been a difficult decision for many, it is apparent that lawmakers were sincere in representing the interests and concerns of their constituents. We thank those legislators who voted in the affirmative: Borrello, Chagon, DeJoy, Hemmer, Himelein, Lemon, Nazzaro Runkle, Tarbrake, Vanstrom, Wendel and Wilfong, and a special thanks to Legislator Larson for casting the deciding vote. Each of them chose to cast a fiscally responsible vote that preserves the facility as an asset in our county, saves jobs, and continues to provide for the needs of our elderly population. They did the right thing for the community as a whole and property taxpayers throughout the county.

Now it is time to embrace VestraCare as a new member of our business community here in Chautauqua County. They join a long list of private enterprises that help to make our county a tremendous place to live and work. We look forward to the advancements they will be able to make in the care of patients and trust that they will become good business neighbors in the Dunkirk community.

Social Media Learning Opportunities for Business

Social media has quickly become a major driver for business communications. There are a couple of opportunities in the coming month to learn about LinkedIn for business and one for Google AdWords.

The Small Business Development Center and the Continuing Education Center at Jamestown Community College will offer two sessions of How to Build Profitable Relationships Using LinkedIn. The first session will be held Wednesday, March 12 from 1:30-3pm on the Jamestown campus. The second session of the same class will be a special offering through the Chamber of Commerce Business Over Bagels series and will be held Thursday, March 27 at 8:30am in the JCC North County Training Center, Dunkirk.

This class is tailored to using LinkedIn to help grow your business by creating a profile that works, making quality connections, finding leads, and starting or joining a LinkedIn group or company page. You are encouraged to bring a tablet or smart phone to enhance your learning experience. The instructor for both of these sessions is Curt Anderson, a Business Advisor at NYS SBDC at JCC. He is an E-Commerce and Internet Marketing Consultant. He has been an entrepreneur for 23 years including 17 years in E-commerce. He is passionate about internet marketing and how it can help you reach out to new customers that you might not have reached through conventional marketing techniques.

The Chamber's Business Over Bagels session is being sponsored by the SBDC, the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, JCC's North County Campus, and the Chamber of Commerce and is offered at a special price point. To register for the Dunkirk class at the special Business Over Bagels price of just $10 per person call 716-363-6585. To register for the Jamestown LinkedIn session at $20 per person, call 716-338-1024.

Using Google AdWords for Faster Lead Generation will show you how you can bring quality traffic to your website in minutes, and turn it into leads. This course will be conducted on Wednesday, March 19 from 1:30-3:30pm on JCC's Jamestown campus. It will be taught by Josh Curcio, the owner of Protocol 80 in Bradford, one of the regions only Google Partners. For more information or to register for the Google AdWords course, call 716-338-1024.

Chamber State Legislative Breakfast April 11

Each year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce provides opportunities for its members to have a direct conversation with elected officials from each level of government. This year, the State Legislative Breakfast will be held April 11 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club, 433 East Terrace Avenue, Lakewood.

Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell will provide their insights about legislation in Albany, and be available for questions from the audience.

This event is sponsored by DFT Communications, Double A Vineyards, Fredonia College Foundation, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Mattress Company, KeyBank, Nestle Purina PetCare, Serta Mattress Company, WCA Hospital, and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX WJTN. The cost to attend is just $18 per person. To register call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200 or visit the Chamber web site at



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