This past week was National Small Business Week, and we finished the week celebrating the first anniversary at Hybrid Performance located in East Amherst. There is no question times have been challenging for all businesses over the past two years, and the struggle continues. However, last week was a reminder of the resiliency of the small business community. We have seen many success stories from small retailers opening during a pandemic, restaurants finding creative ways to keep their customers engaged, and fitness facilities using public spaces and virtual platforms to keep us healthy. That is why we cannot wait to celebrate our Small Businesses at our annual Small Business Awards Luncheon and Showcase, taking place Thursday, July 14th at Samuel's Grande Manor. Each year roughly fifty vendors participate in our showcase, which is open before our luncheon and remains open afterward. Over the past few years, participants in the showcase have enjoyed the opportunity to highlight their services and products while developing new business leads that have led to long-term partnerships. With over four hundred people in our community attending, it has turned into a can't miss event for small businesses!
We look forward to sharing our 2022 Small Business Award winners with you over the next few weeks, and we can't wait for you to hear their stories. If you haven't registered for the luncheon or a showcase table, please do so by clicking the link here. Take advantage of our early bird pricing on showcase tables before June 1st.
The Chamber has diligently worked on behalf of our members to connect employers with job seekers. However, it is no secret the quest to find talent has not only been a challenge but a very competitive process. We see it firsthand as we are engaged in the process of hiring to build out our team for the future. We have been working towards connecting job seekers and employers through our partnership with Buffalo Prep. The talent pool from Alumni Prep is deep, with candidates who recognize Western New York as an amazing place to work and raise a family. This past week, the Chamber attended the Buffalo Prep Graduation Gala, and we were thrilled to cheer on the 2022 graduates and support the event Co-Chair and our board member Luis Rodriguez and his wife, Jessica, from Rodriguez Construction. It was a fantastic event, and we were happy to support it. If you have an opening at your company, please reach out to the Chamber, and we will be glad to assist in bringing you together.
We have a busy few weeks ahead starting today with our West Herr Driven to Success Series with Deputy County Executive Maria Whyte. We are thrilled to have this event be back in person, and we are really excited about some of our upcoming speakers, so keep an eye out for an update. Thursday May 12th (we couldn't ask for better weather!) as we are downtown at Deep South Taco for Lunch Mob. The inviting nature of this casual networking event has led to its success, and we look forward to finding new locations throughout the county for people to visit. Tuesday, May 17th, is our next Business After Hours event at the Hampton Inn located on Amherst Manor Drive near UB off the 290. Business After Hours is always a great networking event, so I would encourage anyone on their way home or their way out of the office to stop by and mix and mingle with fellow Chamber members. We have always strived to work with our fellow chambers throughout the region. We have co-hosted educational forums, Business After Hours events, and next week, alongside the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce, we will co-host a ribbon-cutting event for The Nap Experience. This first-of-its-kind experience is something that is already grabbing headlines in our area. Please stop by to learn more if you're near the Chamber offices on Wednesday, May 18th at 4pm for the joint Ribbon Cutting.
The Chamber continues to look for opportunities to assist your business development team and expand your reach. If there is a program you would like to see or would like to learn more about the latest regulations, do not hesitate to reach out to our team, and we will be sure to provide you with whatever you are seeking. We value your investment in us, and we will continue to be an extension of your brand! Please remember, my door is always open.