Marketing grants will boost local small businesses | News, Sports, Jobs
It is easy for businesses to understand the importance of marketing because you need to educate consumers about your products or services. But various factors complicate the marketing of small businesses. Chief among these barriers is cost.
It can be harder than ever for small businesses to be seen or heard in the hustle and bustle of the advertising world around us. Marketing is no longer as simple as buying advertising. We are now faced with a multitude of platforms, including traditional media such as print, radio and television, while many social and video platforms have also joined the mix. Fortunately, some of these new media platforms also mean it’s easier than ever to tell your company’s story.
Now, thanks to a new collaborative effort from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the Jamestown Community College Small Business Development Center and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, local small businesses can be in able to cut through some of the noise and carve out a marketing strategy that works. Together, our organizations announced a small business marketing grant program with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds received by Chautauqua County. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees can receive up to $10,000 in marketing assistance. These funds can help tell your story and are available for a wide range of improvements and initiatives.
What story does your business tell when someone visits or considers buying? Maybe you need improved signage or add eye-catching basics like an open sign or flag. What does a consumer see once they are in your store? Maybe you want to explore ways to highlight specific products or direct consumers to certain services. Perhaps your business is looking to start a new chapter or launch a new image. A grant can help you with your branding efforts. Of course, funds may also be available for the development and execution of advertising campaigns, from the creation of materials to the purchase of advertising placement, whether on television, radio, newspapers, social media or online.
Interested businesses should start with the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College. To learn more or to apply, visit www.sbdcjcc.org. A business advisor will help you develop and review your application. The Chamber of Commerce will then contact applicants, conduct a site visit, if appropriate, and offer additional ideas and feedback. Entries will be subject to final review and prizes will be awarded.
Manufacturers with 500 or fewer employees may also be eligible for funding to conduct an ESG (environmental, social, governance) assessment that can help attract and retain employees. Insyte Consulting is also a partner in this important workforce development effort.
Full program information is available at www.ccida.com. Our organizations are thrilled to partner and offer this program to continue our mutual work to support our local business community!
THE MAYVILLE WINTER FESTIVAL IS BACK, FEB. 18-20
The Mayville Winter Festival is back this year for President’s Day weekend! This annual celebration of all things winter began in 1987 with the construction of Mayville’s first ice castle. Since then, the event has evolved into a weekend-long festival that continues whether an ice castle is built or not – except last year when the pandemic halted plans. This year’s event took months to prepare thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, especially the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce Committee.
The Mayville Winter Festival is a fun and exciting event for the whole family with a variety of events scheduled at Lakeside Park on Route 394.
Construction of an ice castle is underway this year, so the main attraction is expected to be completed in time for the illumination ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 18. The opening ceremonies that evening will also include the coronation of the Winter Festival King and Queen.
The winter festival will continue throughout the weekend with a food tent, food truck lane, beer and wine tent, vendor tent, KidZone activities including a wooden ice castle , horse-drawn carriage rides, a chainsaw carving demonstration, warm-up fires, lake hockey and skating (weather permitting – bring your own skates), ice fishing demonstrations, and more. Saturday will include a cold water rescue demonstration by the Dewittville Fire Department at 11:30 a.m., the Polar Plunge at noon, a vintage snowmobile show and snowmobile rides from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. by the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club, a contest remote snowball throwing at 2:30 p.m., animal parade at 3:30 p.m., chili cooking from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., live music by In-Crowd from 5 p.m. flares at dusk and fireworks at 8 p.m. Sunday’s lineup includes Winter Fest 5-K at 10 a.m. and a snowman and animal building contest at 2:30 p.m.
Plus, we invite everyone to visit local businesses and attractions in the Mayville area throughout the weekend. Restaurants will be open to serve visitors, the Mayville Library will hold a book sale, the Chautauqua Historical Society will hold an open house at the Depot Museum, and you can see Inspired By Winter: Works by Audrey Dowling at the Portage Hill Gallery.
The 36th Annual Mayville Winter Festival would not be possible without many volunteers and sponsors. Platinum sponsors are: Town of Chautauqua, Lictus Oil & Propane, Douglas Crane Services, Jeff Lang Enterprises, Andriaccio’s Restaurant & Catering and Webb’s Captain’s Table & Carry-Out CafÈ. Gold sponsors are: Chautauqua Marina, Chautauqua Institution, Pepsi Bottling Company, Empire Energy, Chautauqua Ironworks, Chautauqua Lake Dental, Sorena Gilkinson Associate Broker with ERA Team VP Real Estate, Basil Chevy Buick, A-Way Self Storage, Casella Waste Services, Jamestown Awning, Mayville VFW Post 8647, ROCK from WNY, ROCKTerra and Shults Hyundai. Silver sponsors are: Freay Funeral Home, Pro-Forma A Trusted Name, The Best of Buffalo by Byron, Northshore Specialties, Greenbriar Property Management, The Green Door Tavern, Chautauqua Belle, DFT Communications, Lighthouse Point Grocery, Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, St Elmo Spa, Uptown Mall, Arthur R. Gren, 360 Graphics.
The festival is free, with a $5 donation for parking at a variety of nearby parking lots courtesy of Chautauqua Suites, Chautauqua Lodge and the Village of Mayville.