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

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.

Greater East Aurora Chamber Presenting Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

The Greater East Aurora Chamber will be hosting monthly training seminars in partnership with Schroder Joseph & Associates regarding the New York State Department of Labor mandate that requires all employees to go through a sexual harassment prevention training each year.

The Chamber is providing these seminars to help local employers meet this obligation and will enable employers to keep current employees and new hires compliant with the mandate.

Each employee will receive a certificate upon satisfactory completion of the course.

Each session must have a minimum enrollment of 10 employees which can be comprised of multiple employers.

The cost is $20 per Chamber member employee and $40 for each non-member employee.

Currently scheduled dates are: Monday, October 21, 3-4:30pm and Friday, November 1, 9-10:30am at the Southside Commerce Center Auditorium, 300 Gleed Avenue, East Aurora.

Advanced registration is required.

For further information contact the Chamber office at 652-8444.

CHAMBER RETAIL PANEL PROVIDES VALUABLE INFORMATION FOR HOLIDAY SUCCESS!

More than 75 years of collective retail experience was represented at the October 12th holiday retail marketing panel presented by the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce at the Roycroft Campus Power House to help local retailers work toward a successful 2017 Christmas holiday shopping season!

This event came about as a result of feedback from local retailers on how to better take advantage of the holiday shopping season and more importantly how to carry that momentum over to the first quarter of 2018 when retail sales slow down.

The 5 panelists: Kelly LoTempio, Information Officer for the Buffalo area SBA; Don Vidler, Vidler’s 5&10; Sandy Gingerich, Marilla Country Store; Antoinette Grote, Operations Manager, TJ Maxx and Jen Reisdorf, The Bookworm provided valuable information to the 25 attendees as discussion was facilitated by Victoria Sturman, Bright & Brainy Creative Marketing.

Feedback and ideas from those in attendance also added to the value of ideas exchanged.

Attendees will receive an outline of the information shared to incorporate in their holiday planning.

 

Chamber Invites Local Retailers To Hear Holiday Marketing Ideas!

 

 

The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce, in its continuing effort to support local businesses, will be hosting a retail peer panel to provide local retailers and restaurants an opportunity to exchange marketing ideas to help bolster their Christmas holiday sales and work to carry that momentum well into the first quarter of 2018. This will help small businesses maintain their viability at a time that is typically slow during that portion of the calendar year.

The event will take place Thursday, October 12th, 8am to 9:30am at the Roycroft Campus Power House/Visitor Center first floor Assembly Room.

The panelists are experienced in the retail industry and will help to kick start discussion with the audience on holiday marketing. The group will be facilitated by Victoria Sturman of Bright & Brainy Creative Marketing and panelists will include Don Vidler, Vidler’s 5&10; Sandy Grunzweig, Marilla Country Store; Jen Reisdorf, The Bookworm; Kelly LoTempio, Small Business Administration and a TJMaxx representative.

Participants will receive a copy of all the discussion points and ideas generated during the meeting.

There is no cost and the program is open to members and non-members. Representatives of business sectors other than retail are also invited to attend.

Please contact the Chamber at 652-8444 or eanycc@verizon.net to make a reservation.

NYS Paid Family Leave Act Seminar

NYS PAID FAMILY LEAVE ACT WILL IMPACT ALL BUSINESSES!
SEPTEMBER 12TH CHAMBER SEMINAR TO ADDRESS THIS TOPIC

On June 22nd the Chamber hosted a seminar on the upcoming NYS Paid Family Leave Act presented by Bene-Care.

This mandate which goes into effect January 1, 2018 will impact all businesses.

Jonelle Marchese and the staff from Bene-Care did a great job in rolling out information on this legislation discussing what businesses need to know and prepare for as we get closer to that January 1st date.

25 businesses attended the first meeting. With the positive feedback we received and with the need to inform all businesses, we will be presenting another seminar on this topic on Tuesday, September 12th, 10am at the Southside Commerce Center Auditorium, 300 Gleed Avenue.

There is no charge for GEACC members and a $10 cost for non-members.

We do require RSVP’s so we can insure our presenters and host can accommodate us in proper fashion. 652-8444 or eanycc@verizon.net.

So get this date in your calendar now so you can be ready when this legislation goes into effect.

Also, below is a testimonial not only on the quality of the June 22nd presentation but also on the value the Chamber brings in offering these and other educational opportunities.

TESTIMONIAL:

“Just wanted to thank the Chamber for the extremely beneficial meeting that they arranged this morning with Bene Care. To me, this is the type of “value-added” information that pays for a chamber membership by itself. And it’s not one of the public things the chamber promotes, but one of the behind-the-scenes activities that is extremely important to any business.”

Don Vidler, Vidler’s 5&10