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Message from the President | June 2019

President/CEO A.J. Baynes
President/CEO A.J. Baynes

While there are many struggles for a small business owner, the takeaway from our Small Business Awards Luncheon and Showcase is that our award winners are doing a great job navigating the challenging waters. They showed us how a lot of determination and a little creativity can bring a small business big success. Our record luncheon crowd of almost 400 couldn’t help but be reinvigorated by their stories of hard work that led to great rewards.

You’ll hear one of those stories in this month’s Tuesday Talk with David Horesh, the owner and co-founder of this year’s Small Business of the Year, Oxford Pennant. The young Buffalo company has made great strides on a limited budget. As you will hear in our interview, its growth is mostly thanks to the free social media platform, Instagram.

The internet and social media have changed the landscape of the small business community. The new technology allows business owners to be a quick search away from vital information or a professional who can help. Social media has leveled the playing field by providing free or minimal cost advertising on several different platforms with a global reach. At one time, that was an opportunity exclusive to large companies with deep pockets.

The Amherst Chamber of Commerce is also an affordable resource for business growth. Our programming is focused on providing our members with educational and networking opportunities, most of them included in your membership fee. We encourage you to take a closer look at our Events Calendar and all it has to offer.

There are only a few seats left to this month’s West Herr Driven to Success Series with Evans Bank CEO David Nasca. David is a local guy, a St. Joe’s and Canisius College graduate who built a successful career in banking from Goldome to First Niagara to Evans Bank. How did he end up in the corner office and what has he learned along the way? His perspective is invaluable and where else would you be able to get one-on-one time with one of our area’s great leaders? This program is one of the many values provided when joining our Chamber.

It’s no secret the Chamber offers multiple opportunities to network each month. One of our new programs, the Open ProNet, is held the second Tuesday of the month and features a speaker or a tour. This month, Open ProNet partners with WIVB-TV Channel 4 for a “behind the scenes” look at its studios.

Also, the Chamber will once again be at the Corporate Challenge, the local business community’s premier event, with double the crowd of last year, and we are expanding our Business After Hours and Lunch Mob to locations “in the city” to emphasize the regional makeup of our membership.  All great events to increase your connections for free or minimal cost.

Bottom line: small can be great. We hope we have inspired you to think bigger and to let us help you achieve your goals. Enjoy June, and remember, my door is always open.

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