MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The Amherst Chamber of Commerce hosts regular New Member Orientation meetings for the dozens of new firms we welcome to the Chamber each month. When asked why these companies joined the Chamber, the majority reply NETWORKING! That is great because the Amherst Chamber is recognized as one of the most successful organizations in the region as it relates to providing numerous networking events for our members. Over 100 business representatives participate in our monthly Business After Hours, held at various member locations across the region. Approximately 150 members participate in our 4 ProNet groups that meet twice a month in our boardroom. We hosted over 400 guests at The Event where we recognized Pegula Sports and Entertainment as our Business of the Year. We expect over 300 in attendance at our Small Business Awards Luncheon and Showcase at Samuel's Grande Manor May 20th. And, once again, we are sponsoring the region's largest networking event with Entercom Radio at Prior Aviation April 28th. So, if you want networking...we have you covered.
However, another essential benefit we provide is our leadership that drives public policy. As I write this, our New York State Legislature is deep in negotiations as they design a state budget to meet the April 1st deadline. There are many issues under consideration that may impact your business, your quality of life and certainly your budget. We have worked hard to be part of those discussions and represent your interests. By the time you read this, the budget should be delivered. We anticipate a compromise position on the minimum wage increase and the family leave policy. Our conversation, less than an hour ago, with representatives in favor of car sharing convinces us that while not in the budget negotiations, we can be comfortable that this legislation will pass sometime this summer. At the town level, we are working with the Planning Department to identify individuals interested in playing a role in updating the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, otherwise known as the Master Plan. Feel free to reach out to me if you are interested and we can forward your contact information. While we have less leverage at the Federal level, we are actively working to have a voice in the Overtime Legislation, which we believe will have significant impact on our members. If passed, it will certainly impact the Chamber and our ability to maintain a viable staff level at a compensation we can afford as a not-for-profit.
The Amherst Chamber of Commerce services businesses all across the Western New York region. We provide a diverse menu of products and benefits beyond networking, which is why we continue to grow. For more information about how you can participate call Amy Rath, 632-6905.