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Message from A.J. Baynes: June 2022

President/CEO A.J. Baynes
President/CEO A.J. Baynes
Amherst Chamber 65 Year Anniversary Sticker

The Amherst Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 65th year since incorporation last week, and it is with great pride to report that after 65 years, we are as strong as we have ever been. The 65th-anniversary milestone is symbolized by the "Blue Sapphire," which signifies loyalty, prosperity, and dreams fulfilled. Incorporated as the Williamsville Chamber of Commerce on June 6, 1957, the Chamber was formally recognized as the Amherst Chamber of Commerce in 1964. Still, in our roots, we celebrate how we have flourished from our humble beginnings in 1957 to where we stand today. For any business or organization to survive 65 years, it is not by chance, it is by staying true to your core mission and values, and ours remained the same, creating an environment where businesses can prosper. While we have evolved over 65 years in the delivery of our programming, utilizing the latest technology, we have also recognized the importance of serving as an extension of every member's brand. The Chamber worked tirelessly to keep our members informed and educated on the latest regulations from government officials while also providing numerous opportunities to assist in the professional development of their talent on staff. The Chamber remains committed to serving our membership for another 65 years and will continue to serve as a voice for the small business community. Thank you for being a part of our organization and helping us reach this incredible milestone. 

Next month we will be hosting our Small Business Awards Luncheon & Showcase. Each year we attract over 400 people from our Western New York community, where we acknowledge the hard work of our award winners while featuring 50 businesses through our showcase before and after our luncheon. We have an incredible group of vendors and award winners this year. We have six award winners this year: our Family-owned Business winner, Moriarty Meats and Cafe Bar, and Mike Neal from Quality Contacts will receive our Friend of the Chamber award. In addition, Dr. Susan McCartney from SBDC at Buffalo State College is our Community Steward awardee, and Circuit Clinical as the Start-up of the Year, along with KeyBank, who serves as our event sponsor, will recognize The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller. Finally, as we celebrate our 65th year, it is only fitting we recognize a small business that traces its roots further back than our own; a business that was constructed in 1887 in an effort to attract people to our community as they passed on through while riding along in their stagecoach, our Small Business of the Year award winner is, The Glen Park Tavern. We couldn't be prouder of our award recipients, and we look forward to celebrating with them on Thursday, July 14, at Samuel’s Grande Manor. We hope you will join us and if you are interested in a showcase table, please make your plans today as space is limited.


As always, The Chamber has a full calendar of networking opportunities this month; hopefully, you will join us today Tuesday, June 14 for Lunch Mob at Fat Bob's and on Tuesday, June 21, for Business After Hours at Assembly House 150, a one-of-a-kind location in the city of Buffalo. We often ask our members to provide feedback on what they would like to see, and we listen, which is why Wednesday, June 22, Speed Networking is back at the Chamber, taking place at the Hampton Inn, and we look forward to hosting a successful event!


In closing, as everyone knows, June is Pride Month, and on the 19th, we also recognize Juneteenth. These important events will help further the discussion of accepting all people regardless of race, sexual orientation, and beliefs. The Chamber will continue to work towards building a more accepting workplace through our DEIA Council, but as a society, we all need to work towards creating a more accepting community. To assist, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has relaunched their WNY 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. Participation is free and you can share this within your organization to enhance your current training in this area or to open dialogue on this critically important topic. They also have an Equity Toolkit as a resource. I hope we all take a moment each day to reflect if we could have been a little more accepting of individuals we come across.  Please remember my door is always open.

Congratulations to our 2022 Small Business Awardees

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