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!

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.