(716) 652-8444 |  eachamber@eanycc.com

652 Main Street, East Aurora, NY 14052

The Principles of Greatness - A Chamber Blog

2020 Taste of East Aurora brings a new twist to an annual foodie favorite

2020 Taste of East Aurora brings a new twist to an annual foodie favorite

Taste of EA Restaurant Week begins Sept. 21 

Once again, the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce is thinking outside the box to reinvent its annual events in an effort to help local businesses survive the pandemic.

First, it was the 2020 Virtual Street Festival & Sidewalk Sale.

Now the Chamber is putting its resources behind a new spin on its annual Taste of East Aurora foodie festival: Introducing the new Taste of East Aurora Restaurant Week, Sept. 21 – Sept. 26. 

The Chamber will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17 on The Roycroft Campus, across from The Roycroft Inn, 40 South Grove Street in East Aurora, to discuss details on the Taste of East Aurora Restaurant Week. Attending will be local officials, chamber representatives, and some participating food vendors. There will also be a small sampling of some of the foods available.

“So many festivals and special events have been canceled this year and the effect on local communities is crushing. Our mission as a chamber is to support and promote our members – as well as all of the communities we serve,” said Sandy Grunzweig, Chamber Board of Directors President and owner of the Marilla Country Store. 

“Businesses are still hurting, most especially our local restaurants. Canceling our annual Taste of East Aurora was not an option we wanted to consider. So instead of throwing in the towel, we worked hard to reinvent it. Instead of a one-day festival along Main Street, we’re inviting people to come and experience our fantastic restaurants first hand for an entire week. We have more than 25 restaurants participating this year and they are ready to welcome you,” she said.

This new weeklong event will take place at participating area restaurants starting Monday, Sept. 21, and running through Saturday, Sept. 26.

“As we wade through these unprecedented times, it makes me so proud to live and work in East Aurora. The restaurant community here has taken extraordinary measures to not only guarantee the safety of our guests but to ensure that every person dining in our town has the

great hospitality experience for which we have become famous,” said Dan Garvey, Inn Manager of the Roycroft Inn. The Roycroft Inn is a sponsor of the Taste of East Aurora Restaurant Week.

“It will be so wonderful to have this new Taste of East Aurora for all of Western New York to enjoy. As Elbert Hubbard said, ‘East Aurora isn’t a place, it is a State of Mind’.”

Like typical restaurant week events, each participating restaurant is offering diners a special Taste of East Aurora Menu for those six days only. Menus cover a wide range of options and prices – choose from $10, $20, or $30 options.

Restaurant Week menus are available on our Participating Restaurants web page.

Also, visit the Taste of East Aurora’s Facebook page for daily updates from the Chamber and participating restaurants. Please note that some menus may change throughout the week of Sept. 21 to Sept. 26.

We are proud to have this event sponsored by several of our local businesses: Absolut Care Aurora Park – Title Sponsor; West Herr Buick GMC Cadillac of East Aurora and Bee Group Newspapers – Presenting Sponsors; and the following Supporting Sponsors – Fieldstone Private Wealth, Greater Erie Federal Credit Union, The Roycroft Inn, Tops Markets, and UPD Dental Associates.

For more information on this event or the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce, the chamber at 652-8444 or eachamber@eanycc.com.

 

River Spring Lodge completes industry-leading cleaning protocol through “Select Safe, Stay Select” initiative

New Heightened Cleaning & Safety Standards Guided by Industry Leaders, Public Health Officials in Response to COVID-19

River Spring Lodge in Darien Center has earned Select Safe, Stay Select branding from Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America. The industry-leading set of health and safety guidelines was designed to prepare the collection of our nation’s best inns to safely reopen for guests and employees alike.

Select Safe, Stay Select is a self-certification program based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Travel Association, American Hotel & Lodging Association, and other industry leaders. It is designed to aid inn owners and staff in communicating to travelers the various enhanced cleaning, sanitation, and operational procedures that are being undertaken to protect guests and staff in the era of COVID-19. Select Registry inns have been recognized as the most distinguished inns across North America for decades, with each having passed the industry’s leading inspection program, covering everything from cleanliness to hospitality and ensuring guests the comfort and professionalism they expect from a trusted brand.

Select Safe, Stay Select was designed to allow Distinguished Inns of North America owners to further differentiate their brand on the basis of quality,” said Select Registry CEO Mark Jaronski. “While all of our inns are held to the highest standards of cleanliness and hospitality, this new initiative enables our small business owners to communicate an enhanced commitment to safety and cleanliness with confidence and clarity.”

“As innkeepers, our greatest concern is the safety of our guests, our employees, and of course each other,” said Inn owner Chef David Hamer. “We take the responsibility of the public’s trust to provide a safe, comfortable, and memorable stay very seriously. We prayerfully pondered keeping the inn closed until a vaccine was widely available. But as we read the guidelines of the CDC, discussed reopening with County and State health officials, and studied the enhanced safety protocols of the Stay Safe, Select Safe program we became convinced we could reopen safely. River Spring Lodge is now providing completely contactless overnight getaways with private, in-room, Five-Course Wine Dinners for a few couples each evening while serving a few local diners on socially distanced tables in our dining room without sacrificing the exceptional quality River Spring’s stellar Five-Star reputation is built upon.”

Reservations can be made online at https://riverspringlodge.com/couples-escapes-2/ or by calling the inn at 585.708.4212.

Select Safe Stay Select guidelines can be found at https://selectregistry.com/select-safe-stay-select/. Despite enhanced safety practices, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people gather.

Annual Sidewalk Sale & Street Festival Moved Online for 2020: Chamber reinvents “Live” street event

The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce (GEACC) will be moving its 51st Annual Street Festival & Sidewalk Sale online this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 The sale, normally held the last Saturday in July along Main Street in East Aurora, will now take place virtually from Thursday, July 23 through Saturday, July 25.

This decision to cancel the live event and move it online was not made lightly. The Chamber realizes the importance of this event to so many members and other businesses in the community and we felt it necessary to carry through with an event that would help our business community and let people throughout WNY know that they can still support our local businesses.

 The Chamber reached out several times to survey past vendors on their thoughts regarding the sale. While many wanted to participate in a live sale early on, it soon became evident this was not going to be a possibility as the one day-event event draws thousands of people to the village at one time.

 Knowing this, the Chamber’s Board of Directors decided the Street Festival & Sidewalk Sale could not move forward as normal due to public safety concerns, social distancing requirements, and orders regulating large public gatherings.

“The festival has always generated tremendous business for the members and vendors who participate, so the decision to revise this year’s format was not taken lightly,” said Sandy Grunzweig, President of the GEACC Board of Directors. “After reviewing input and discussing at length, the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to move to an online format in 2020 and empowered a talented committee to develop exciting plans for this year’s event. The Chamber is working hard to ensure that participants get a positive return on their investment in supporting the 2020 online Festival.”

The Chamber will hold the extended virtual festival – which will feature vendors and entertainment – on  Facebook and will also utilize its website: www.eanycc.com.

 Attendees of the regular sale can visit some of their favorite vendors online through the Chamber’s Facebook page. People can visit the Street Festival & Sidewalk Sale Facebook event page – which is still being developed and will be linked to the Chamber’s Main Facebook page – anytime during the weeks leading up to the sale as well as during the sale itself. The Chamber will be posting a list of vendors who are participating and will be promoting them on Facebook (as well as its website) throughout the sale. Links to the vendor Facebook pages and websites will be provided as well as the schedule of vendors who are doing “live” events and/or sales via their social media.

 The Chamber will also be providing entertainment via live and recorded performances on its Facebook page as well as give out door prizes to people who visit the page regularly during the three-day sale.

 Chamber Executive Director Gary Grote said, “We know this event will not have the same results as our typical Street Festival & Sidewalk Sale but we felt it was very important for us to provide an alternative avenue for our business community to generate sales and promote themselves. The online option, over an extended period, will be an affordable, exciting tool in hopefully reaching a new market that our businesses haven’t been able to access before.” 

Vendor registration for Chamber Members Only is open now through June 22.

 Non-Member Vendor registration will open on June 23. 

All vendors may register online and pay online through the Chamber’s website or mail a registration form to the Chamber. The deadline for registration is July 9.

Spots in our virtual sale are limited. Register today!

 Sponsorships for this reimagined event are also available. For more information, please contact the chamber at (716) 652-8444 or EAChamber@eanycc.com

Southtowns Trophy & Engraving helps businesses reopen by creating commercial counter shields

By Southtowns Trophy & Engraving

During this challenging time, we all need to do what we can to help move our region toward reopening in a “new normal” world that requires social distancing and protection.

With New York State starting to slowly open some regions and Western New York on the verge of reopening, it’s important to make sure your business is ready to welcome customers back into a safe environment.

That’s why we at Southtowns Trophy & Engraving are refocusing our services and products. While we still create and design quality awards, we’ve decided to retool our focus to meet a new business need – commercial counter shields.

Why are counter shields important? In this new world of Coronavirus concerns, many businesses will have to adjust their normal routines to ensure safety for both employees and customers. This will include installing counter shields to safeguard person-to-person interaction.

It’s going to be a way of life for businesses, at least in the foreseeable future. If you work face-to-face with clients or customers, counter shields will be an important safety feature.

People are going to want to make sure they’re protected when they patronize your business. And, you’ll have to provide a safe work environment for your employees.

Counter shields aren’t PPE, but they do offer protection and help slow down the spread of Coronavirus by blocking the exchange of respiratory droplets when people breathe, cough, or sneeze.

Our counter shields are perfect for a variety of businesses that deal with people face-to-face, including government offices, retail businesses, and companies with back-office areas such as doctor’s offices, lawyers, realtors, etc.

The heavy-duty acrylic shields are American-made. They are commercial grade vs. discount, meaning they have stronger legs and fasteners and are built to last. The shields are sturdy, come in a variety of sizes, are visually appealing, and can even be engraved with your organization’s logo.

Download our Counter Shield Flyer for more information.

We have them readily available, so give us a call today at (716) 508-8904 or visit our website: www.southtownstrophy.com.

We know you have lots of choices these days. When you reopen, do it right with at quality counter shield from Southtowns Trophy & Engraving!

Annual Chamber’s Choice Awards Honors 40 Local Seniors

Typically at this time of year, our business and education communities come together at the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber’s Choice Awards event at the Holland Willows, but with current circumstances impacting our world today our 23rd annual event has been canceled.

Despite that, we wanted to make sure we still took the time to recognize our honorees and their achievements.

The event honors forty high school seniors, ten each from East Aurora, Holland, and Iroquois High Schools and ten from the Ormsby Educational Center.  Students are recognized for achievements in community service, leadership, personal growth, citizenship, entrepreneurship, and other quality traits.

The following criteria assist in the nomination: exhibits a general concern for the well being of others, willing to go the extra mile, be involved in and demonstrate qualities of leadership in both school and community activities and demonstrate a strong work ethic.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 Chamber’s Choice honorees!

East Aurora High School

Gates Andrews
Lindsay Doyle
Madison Dziulko
James Hasselbeck
Ryan Maloney
Katherine Markello
Sebastian Newell
Jessica Steinwachs
Cate Vanner
Dominik Zittel

Holland High School

Laura Anderson
Tyler Candler
Sarah Pawig
Sophie Schmidbauer
Sophia Serpas
Abigail Shafer
Madelyn Tavernier
Renee Wright
Haley Wylupski
David Zywiczynski

Iroquois High School

Max Dargavel
Katie Ehrenburg
Shane Guasteferro
Genevieve Homac
Owen Hovey
Vada Kirsch
Sarah Meaney
Abigail Mertzlufft
Samantha Moeller
Margot Treadwell

Ormsby Educational Center

Isabella Capretto
Jenna Dietz
Daniel Eckert
Joseph Fishback
Emylia Heferle
Leanna Ingelfinger
Maddelyn Massucci
David Millen, Jr.
Marc Morgan
Joseph Sitarek

This event would not be possible if not for the support of the following businesses and members of the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce. We thank them for their continued support of our area high school seniors and of the GEACC. 

Special thanks to our sponsors:

A Busy 6 Weeks!

With the major concerns regarding Covid-19 and its impact, the Chamber has had a very busy 6 weeks addressing issues, questions, and concerns from essential business qualifications, loans, and grants to specific issues for various businesses, both members and non-members.

Scores of people have reached out to us via phone, email, and Facebook. We, in turn, have been doing our best in reaching out to our members with calls and emails just to see how they’re holding up and if there is any way we can be of assistance.

For the most part, it’s just lending an ear of understanding and a chance to talk.

We’ve been in discussions with the Small Business Administration, local banks, elected officials, County representatives, the Small Business Development Center, and other Chambers and business organizations from across NYS to evaluate the impacts of what is transpiring and how best to address it.

As a result of circumstances, we’re also relying on virtual meetings for board and committee activities, especially networking.

We’ve had a good response to our new virtual networking, which gives people the opportunity to talk about what they’re going through while also offering ideas that they’re putting into practice which may be helpful to others.

We’ve also had speakers at these meetings talking on topics specific to loans, employment issues, and likely tax impacts for 2020 and 2021 as a result of the situation we are facing. Thes virtual networking meetings are open to any chamber member. Please contact Victoria Sturman at vsturman@eanycc.com  if you are interested in joining the next one, which will be May 13 at 8:30 a.m.

Our website (www.eanycc.com) and Facebook presence has become stronger and gained wider viewership with the increased valuable information and member postings that we continue to share in support of our members.

As we work our way through this unfamiliar territory the Chamber will be a partner with our business community in facing the challenges that will make us all stronger when we come out at the end.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
And as always, thank you for your support! Without it, our work on your behalf would not be possible.
Sincerely,
Gary Grote
Executive Director
ggrote@eanycc.com
(716) 562-8444

Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce Launches A Blog for Members

The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce is launching a blog to help its members share information and stay connected during this challenging time.

“Several of our members have reached out to us asking the Chamber to provide this benefit and we are very excited to now be able to offer this opportunity on our website, www.eanycc.com! We look forward to seeing the interesting information our members want to share.”

“It’s our goal to provide as much engagement, connection, and promotion for our members as possible and to help them remain viable during and after the Coronavirus pandemic,” said  Victoria Sturman, Associate Director – Membership & Special Events.

The blog will be called The Principles of Greatness.

Blogging is an easy way to share business expertise with the greater community and to stay connected. And while coming up with topics could be difficult, the Chamber can help with that as well.

Member businesses are invited to submit blog articles to Chamber via email (eachamber@eanycc.com).

The articles must be 500 to 900 words and should focus on business advice and/or tips,  answer a common question, or offer advice on how to solve problems.

The article can mention services/products a business or organization offers, but the majority should focus on industry expertise.

The Chamber will also be posting articles to the blog, including current information about Covid-19, the SBA & CARES Act loans, as well as benefits being offered to members. There will also how-to articles on blogging, social media, and marketing tips to help keep your business in front of customers during this challenging time.

The Chamber’s goal is to post ONE Chamber Member blog per week. This may change, however, depending on the number of submissions. Each Chamber member may submit a blog article once per quarter (ever four months).

The Chamber will have discretion regarding what blogs are posted and will edit submissions for grammar, punctuation, and length.

Blogs should be submitted as Word Document to the Chamber via email. Members can also submit photos and logos to go along with their blog articles. These should be in high-resolution jpeg formats.

If you are a Chamber Member and would like to submit a blog, but have questions, please contact Victoria Sturman at vsturman@eanycc.com.

Private & Public Sectors Launch Survey to Determine COVID-19 Impact on WNY Business

The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce (GEACC) is joining forces with The Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Visit Buffalo Niagara – as well as other chambers of commerce and other business advocacy groups- to assess the full economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses throughout our region. 

This will be conducted through the launching of the WNY COVID-19 Business Impact Survey on Tuesday, April 14. 

GEACC members should also be on a lookout for an email from Mower Research (noreply@qemailserver.com) with a link to the survey. If you do not receive an email by the end of business on April 14 and would like to participate, please request a survey

The information gathered from the survey will be essential to better understanding how the public and private sectors can work together to address potential gaps in available resources now and during the inevitable economic recovery period that lies ahead. 

 “The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce feels strongly that this survey and the responses we receive back from our members will be vital in helping the businesses in our community recover from the COVID-19 situation and assist them in growing stronger in facing future challenges,” said Gary Grote, GEACC Executive Director. 

The survey will ask employers to weigh in on a variety of topics including lost revenue, workforce impacts, and their ability to operate remotely. 

This survey represents an unprecedented coming together of strategic partners from both the public and private sectors, according to Buffalo Niagara Partnership President & CEO Dottie Gallagher. 

“Now more than ever, real-world data and insights from the business community have the power to inform necessary decisions in both the public and private sectors. This has been an incredibly challenging time for our region’s employers,” she said. The survey will help guide the region in how to “to best assist businesses when our community can pivot to recovery,” she added. 

COVID-19 has had a particular impact on the area’s tourism – affecting retail, restaurants, and hospitality businesses here in East Aurora and across WNY. 

“Travel and tourism have become an integral part of the Buffalo economy, providing more than 32,000 jobs within Erie County and generating more than $ 1.8 billion annually in visitor spending. The unprecedented public health crisis we’re facing right now has ground travel to a halt and put the businesses and workers who rely on visitor spending in peril, endangering livelihoods and potentially undermining much of our collective progress,” explained Cindy Kincaide, Visit Buffalo Niagara’s Director of Industry Relations.

 “The travel industry businesses that help define the Buffalo experience to our visitors and set our city apart – from boutique hotels to neighborhood coffee shops and pubs, independently owned restaurants and boutiques – simply cannot weather this storm on their own and that is why Visit Buffalo Niagara is pleased to join the Buffalo Niagara Partnership in the collaborative effort.”

 For more information, please visit our webpage – WNY COVID-19 Business Impact Survey.

 

 

Chamber named NYS Essential Service

The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce has been designated, along with other Chambers from across New York State, as an essential business.

This designation allows us to keep operating at our office but we’ll be adhering to the state order and some of our staff will be working remotely if and when possible.

During this current situation, we have continued and will continue to communicate and update vital information to our businesses and community members.

We have ongoing two-way communication with our members, the local communities we represent, essential community services, state officials and other Chambers from across the State to utilize information and ideas we might be able to put into place locally.

We are still waiting to hear on any financial assistance that might be available from Local, State or Federal sources.

This is all being worked on as we speak.

We will pass along any helpful information we receive immediately, just as we have been doing over the past week.

The Chamber will continue to carry out this essential work as we have done in the past and into the future.

Thank you for your support!

Gary Grote

Executive Director

Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Provides Covid -19 Business Action Plan

Dear Members,

The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce is working to provide you with the most updated information regarding COVID-19 and the resources available to you to help you best manage your business during this challenging time.

In addition to the Covid-19 Business Action Plan and a World Health Organization corona virus video, here are some quick suggestions that you can take advantage of to help you along:

  • Share with us what you are doing!
  • To your customers practicing social distancing but who still want to support your local businesses here’s a tip – Have them call or go online and buy a gift card or gift certificate from your business. This is immediate revenue for you and they can enjoy the benefit of the gift card at a later date.
  • If you haven’t liked the Chamber’s Face Book page do it right away. We will re-post your postings on our site to help you reach our growing social media network.
  • If you do on line business/shopping let your customers know. Also, notify the Chamber and we can track and share that information to encourage shoppers who might not be willing, at this time, to go out into the public.
  • Are you changing or limiting your hours or is it business as usual? Are you postponing/canceling events? What steps are you taking to disinfect your location?
  • We want to share your information with the public. So please, let us know!

Message us on Facebook or email us at EAChamber@eanycc.com.

Also, with President Trump authorizing the Small Business Administration (SBA) “to exercise available authority to provide capital and liquidity to firms affected by the corona virus” by making available an additional $50 billion in low interest loans to businesses, the Chamber will continue to keep open the lines of communication with the local Buffalo SBA office, gathering information and sharing that information with our members.

If you have questions or concerns you would like us to address with the SBA or appropriate governmental agencies, please let us know.

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