Message from the President | September 2019

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

What does the Chamber of the future look like?

There is no better time than the present to start thinking about that.

As we near the end of the third quarter and set our sights on a strong fourth quarter, this is the time for every business to assess plans for the following year and beyond.  While helping to foster those types of discussions, the Chamber recognizes in order to strengthen our place in the region, we also need to reevaluate how we deliver our products and services.

I have mentioned many times in this message that to survive and thrive, businesses must adapt to the changing landscape. That’s why we are in the process of updating our strategic plan in order to better serve you and the community at large.

We have created a Strategic Planning Committee comprised of a small, diverse group of long-term and short-term members from both large and small companies, along with members from our Emerging Business Leaders in order to properly evaluate the vision of the Chamber. This is more than just an exercise or a plan that will sit on the shelf once completed. It will serve as a working document, a foundation for us to build upon to ensure our growth and expansion. Our work aligning and supporting small businesses plays a critical role in helping them succeed in this globalized economy. We’ll keep you updated on our progress.

One of our goals is to have a stronger influence and a greater role in the local political scene, and we are proud to announce that the Amherst Chamber of Commerce will be the sole sponsor of the WIVB-TV Erie County Executive debate between incumbent Mark Poloncarz and challenger Lynne Dixon.  The debate will take place on Wednesday, October 9th and air on Channel 4. As part of our sponsorship, the Chamber will participate in the analysis before and after the debate. This is an important race and as a representative of the local business community and the largest town in Erie County, we felt it was incumbent upon us to make sure your voice and your concerns are heard in the process of this election. Channel 4 has already begun promoting the debate and our partnership, as you can see in this report here.

The fall season brings the Chamber’s premier event of the year, appropriately called “The Event”. This is when we highlight the larger organizations in our community that are helping to shape the region’s future.   Be sure to save the date! It will be held on Monday, October 21 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. We are still finalizing our award winners, but we can assure you it is going to be another great night to celebrate and network with 400+ people from our region’s top companies. Tickets and sponsorships are now available for both members and non-members. Click here for more information.

The Chamber also has a jam-packed September, with several events planned each week. The Chamber is teaming up with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce for a historic Business After Hours on Tuesday, September 17 at the Hull Family House and Farmstead. It's the only fully restored stone dwelling of the early 1800’s in Erie County. A real gem and worth a tour!  Register here. Lunch Mob returns on September 24th at Santora’s Pizza and Catering on Walden Avenue, so be sure to register here.

Lastly, but certainly not least, be sure to check out our new and improved website here. It's been several months in the making, and we hope you find it more informative and easier to navigate.

Our agenda is full, and we are excited to take you along for the ride! Join us, and remember my door is always open.