Did you know that consumer spending in the United States for Valentine’s Day is expected to top $23 billion this year? This includes gifts purchased for partners, friends, children, pets, etc. The National Retail Federation has conducted its annual Valentine’s Day consumer spending survey since 2004, so we expect their projections to be fairly accurate. According to the NRF, the top items consumers plan to gift for the holidays are candy, greeting cards, flowers, a party and jewelry.
If…you are…a…consumer or business here in…Chautauqua County,…you stand to gain from the sales of Valentine’s Day merchandise! We are so lucky to have such a variety of local businesses here, many of which provide just the products and services that consumers are looking for for their holiday gifts. Whether you’re looking for locally made sweets, jewelry, artfully arranged flowers and plants, or special gifts and cards, you can easily find something for your loved ones at local small businesses. Additionally, there are many fine dining restaurants – many of which offer Valentine’s Day specials – all over Chautauqua County.
Suppose your heart is in the right place to create a special experience for your Valentine, but you just don’t know where to start. Visit the Chamber’s website at www.chautauquachamber.org and access our online business directory. From there, you can do a quick search by category or keyword to find what you need for the upcoming vacation. Browse restaurants, gifts, candy, florists, jewelers and more to find local merchants that meet your needs.
If you’re running a local business, we suspect you’re already ready for the next flurry of holiday shopping! Just a quick reminder, if you sell merchandise, gift cards or services through the Chamber’s ShopLocalCHQ online marketplace, be sure to update your items to list any Valentine’s Day specials you may have to sell and allow shoppers to pick up their purchases from your store in case they make last minute purchases.
For Valentine’s Day, and for every holiday or special occasion throughout the year, we remind everyone to buy locally and support small businesses. Small local businesses are not only the economic backbone of our communities, they are integral to creating our sense of place and differentiating our cities and towns. Our whole region benefits when we support small businesses!
TUESDAY… DISCUSSION: BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce’s Tuesday Talks feature a panel discussion forum and informational programs on a variety of issues relevant to any business. The next Tuesday Talks event will take place on Tuesday, February 8 at 8:30 a.m. with a panel discussion on business succession planning. Whether you’re a business owner looking to sell or transition to the next generation, or even if you’re not in these markets currently but may be in the future, this discussion can be helpful. . Panelists will be: Andy Reinwald, President of Ripley Machine & Tool Co., Danny Hickman, Business Advisor to the Small Business Development Center, and Eric Harvey, Financial Representative to Alliance Advisory Group.
All local entrepreneurs are invited to participate in this free online event. We encourage you to grab a coffee or takeout from a local restaurant and then join us online for this one-hour event, which will be easily accessible to you where you work. Tuesday Talks is sponsored by OBSERVER and The Post-Journal. Register now through the Chamber’s online calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org for the Zoom link to this event.
THE MAYVILLE WINTER FESTIVAL IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS
After a year-long pandemic hiatus, the Mayville Winter Festival will be back this year with events and fun for the whole family! The Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce has been hard at work planning for many months, and the festival is scheduled for President’s Day weekend, February 18-20 at Lakeside Park. . It is always an exceptional event, offering something for everyone: snow sports and activities, children’s games, drinks tent, crafts and much more! Due to the size and variety of activities at this event, volunteers are always needed. If you would like to help in any way, please contact Shannon Biekarck, Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber Coordinator, at [email protected] To stay up to date on the Mayville Winter Festival, check out their page on Facebook or keep an eye on the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce calendar online at www.chautauquachamber.org.
JAMESTOWN EAST OPEN HOUSE
Fifteen local attractions will take part in this year’s Doors Open Jamestown, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. Doors Open is a day of free admission to local museums and attractions. Participating attractions are Audubon Community Nature Center, Busti Grist Mill, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, Fenton History Center, Infinity Visual & Performing Arts, James Prendergast Public Library, Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum*, Lucille M. Wright Air Museum, Martz- Kohl Observatory, Marvin Community House*, National Comedy Center*, Northwest Arena, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Robert H. Jackson Center and Roger Tory Peterson Institute. The asterisks indicate those that will require prior registration.
Marvin Community House will take pre-registrations by phone at (716) 488-6206 or by email at [email protected]
Advanced online pre-registration will be required by the National Comedy Center and the Lucy Desi Museum at ComedyCenter.org/DoorsOpen. Pre-registration for both museums opens on 02/22/22 at 2:00 p.m., with limited availability due to health and safety protocols.
This year, the Doors Open scavenger hunt will be done by text message. When you visit a participating attraction, search for that attraction’s text keyword and use your mobile device to easily submit an entry. Some local Chamber member businesses will also be giving away keywords, providing even more chances to win when you stop in for lunch or shopping as part of your Doors Open program for the day. The more keywords you submit, the more likely you are to participate. The Chamber of Commerce is assembling four prize packs featuring ShopLocalCHQ gift cards and merchandise from local attractions.