Nearly one year ago to the day, I was in Albany advocating on behalf of small businesses alongside Chambers and business advocacy organizations throughout the state of New York for the annual NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses) small business day. We brought a message of rolling back regulations, tax relief, and supporting small businesses. It is amazing to look back on that day and to think how we were fighting to lessen all of the burdens the business community faces, and just a few short weeks later, the Chamber was fighting on behalf of its members for their survival in the truest sense of the word.
While we have all battled the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to fight through "COVID fatigue," it is imperative we move forward in a manner that ensures we reach the finish line sooner than later. The Chamber will continue to advocate for our business community. We will maintain the same access to information and assistance that you have become accustomed to while still pursuing our goals of creating a more inclusive, prosperous, and viable Western New York economy for the future.
While we have remained primarily virtual through the past year, we are excited to slowly begin to gather in person and kick off the year with one of our most popular events Lunch Mob at The Irishman Thursday, March 18th. We still have a full calendar of virtual events, our "Lunch and Learns" are back, albeit virtual, with Tronconi Segarra and Associates, this Tuesday, March 9th, where we will educate your business about the Employee Retention Tax Credit. This is a Chamber led event in collaboration with Erie County Back to Business Taskforce. One of the Chamber's great friends, Larry Meitus, is guiding our first-ever Business Book Club with "We Tried that Once " and Other Popular Excuses That Sabotage Business Success! taking place March 16th.
We are excited to announce through our partnership with Spectrum Reach; the Chamber will be launching a three-part "Advertising Academy" for our membership with professionals in their fields from around the country. Industry leaders with expertise ranging from Brand Awareness, Data marketing, and optimizing your online presence will be providing valuable information for our membership. Learn more by clicking here.
This time of year, the Chamber begins to seek input from you on who Small Business Awards Luncheon winners should be. We are thrilled the Chamber will get back on track and host our 2021 Small Business Awards this year. Still, we have decided to wait another month before finalizing our plans as we continue to receive encouraging information about the vaccination rollout and potential loosening of the regulations. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more information.
As we move towards the close of the first quarter, I am happy to see our calendar of events is filling up, and I am encouraged by the activity we see from our membership. The Chamber has always strived to be the central place the business community can turn to for services, information, and education. Many of our members' companies and their employees receive their health insurance benefits from our dedicated team of brokers. We will continue to be there for you, but in the coming months, we are excited to be expanding our pillars of service and look forward to sharing some very positive news on maintaining our role as a one-stop-shop for all your needs. You can rest assured that our team will continue to keep you updated on any additional information to ensure your business has the tools necessary to thrive, and please remember my door is always open.