Chamber OnLine
News from the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce
Sometimes an idea that sounds good in theory has exactly the opposite affect when it becomes reality.  Governor Andrew Cuomo's crusade to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021 is a perfect example.  While the governor proclaims that a $15 per hour minimum wage would lift New Yorkers out of poverty and stimulate the economy, the reality is it would hurt not only most small businesses and non-profit organizations but many of the workers it was intended to help.
Your Genesee County Chamber of Commerce surveyed its membership to see how they felt about the proposed increase to a $15 minimum wage.   Seventy-five percent of the respondents were opposed to the increase.  Here is a sampling of their comments:
The 44th Annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Awards Ceremony that is being held this Saturday, March 5 at the Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia is officially sold out!  Over 400 people will be attending this year's event honoring 2015 business organizations and individuals.
This year's honorees are:
-- Business of the Year: The new p.w. minor
-- Small Business of the Year: Guthrie-Heli Arc, Inc.  
-- Agricultural Business of the Year: Post Dairy Farms, LLC   
-- Special Community Service Recognition of the Year: GLOW YMCA Challenger Program
-- Geneseeans of the Year: Susie Boyce and Barry Miller (posthumously)
-- The Wolcott "Jay" Humphrey III Community Leadership Award: Jay Gsell 
Only three vendor booths remain for the 3rd Annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Home Show to be held April 1-3, 2016 at the Falleti Ice Arena, Evans Street, Batavia.  Last year's Home Show was a smashing success with over 2,000 people attending. 

Cost of a vendor booth is $375 for Genesee County Chamber members and $475 for non-Chamber members.   Don't be left out - contact Kelly Bermingham art 585-343-7440 ext. 26 or by email at  Download the vendor booth application at
The 14th Annual Celebrate Agriculture Dinner will take place Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 6 pm at the Alexander Fire Hall. This event is a celebration of Genesee County's number one industry - Agriculture. The highlight is a delicious meal using locally produced foods prepared by Penna's Catering. The dinner is open to the public.

Tickets are still available at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (210 East Main St., Batavia). Tickets are $30 each or a table of 10 can be purchased for $275. Only 400 tickets will be sold and the event usually sells out. Tickets will not be available at the door.

The Celebrate Ag Dinner is coordinated by the following partners: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District and Genesee County Farm Bureau. Many local farms and businesses sponsor this event.
For more information contact Melissa at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce at 585-343-7440 x 27 or
The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has added two new programs to its 2016 series of business workshops.  "Public Speaking Tips for Business" will be the subject of a workshop scheduled to be held on Wednesday, May 11.  "Dealing with Drugs in the Workplace" has also been added at a date to be determined this summer.
These Chamber business workshops are designed to help small businesses improve their skills and grow their businesses.  The workshops are FREE to all Chamber members and their employees and will be made available to non-Chamber members for $10. Other 2016 workshops scheduled include:   March 9 - "Social Media Marketing for Existing Businesses"; April 13 - "Reputation Marketing"; June 8 - "Leading vs. Managing Change".  All business workshops begin at 7:30 a.m. and last for approximately 1 hours.  For more information, contact Kelly Bermingham art 585-343-7440 ext. 26 or by email at  
The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Google Maps "Street View" photography team to bring the popular Street View technology inside our member business establishments.  This is the latest and greatest way to showcase our area businesses in Google Mapsand Google Search!  We are so excited to bring this amazing Google exposure technology for our members!
Our Google Street View photographer will be in the area in March to bring the 360 "Street View" technology inside our chamber member businesses that wish to participate. Look for more information in the near future.
For just $100 more than your base membership, You can increase the visibility of your business or organization through increased recognition at Chamber events and with Chamber services and products throughout the year.  For a complete list of Premier Chamber Member Benefits click here
All Premier members are featured in every ChamberOnline newsletter.  Click on the link in the right column of this newsletter for a complete list of current Premier Chamber members. 
The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce still has one fabulous travel trip available in 2016.  From September 15-27, 2016 the Chamber will be Exploring the Alpine Countries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland including visits to Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Innsbruck, Zermatt and Lucerne.
Click here for more details!

In a few weeks, as the NCAA men's basketball tournament gets underway on CBS, you're likely to see a spate of commercials for Enterprise Rent-A-Car that feature former college athletes behind the rental counter. Enterprise-which hires more college graduates annually for entry-level management positions than any other company in the United States-likes to recruit college athletes as employees because they believe athletes know how to commit to a task.  

March Tourism News:
Participating in USA Today Advertising Program
Genesee County and Darien Lake have teamed up to participate in USA Today's May issue of Go Escape! -their 2016 Summer Travel Guide.  A full page advertisement featuring a Darien Lake vacation package to Genesee County will be included in the special feature section that spotlights all of the best places to visit in the Northeast.  The publication, which sells on newsstands, and also available by subscription  has a 300,000 Northeast circulation.  
The ad placement is a component of this year's co-op program with the park and provides both Darien Lake and Genesee County the ability to have greater reach in our outer markets.   
Consumer Travel Shows:
The Genesee County Visitor Guide will be distributed at the following consumer travel shows this month. Area tourism businesses can also participate for as little as $100 per show.  If your business is interested, contact Kelly Rapone for more information.
March 3-6        CNY RV & Camping Show, Syracuse, NY
March 3-6        Erie Sport & Travel Expo, Erie, PA
March 3-6        Greater Philadelphia RV Show, Oaks, PA
March 4-6        AAA Southern New England, Foxborough, MA
March 10-13    WNY Sport & Travel Expo, Hamburg, NY
March 11-13    AAA Travel Marketplace,  Long Island, NY
March 11-13    York Campers World RV Show, York, PA
March 17-20    Quebec City RV Show, Quebec City, ONT
We will also be representing our golf getaways program at the London Golf Show March 12-13th in London, Ontario.    We exhibited at the Syracuse Golf Show, Niagara Falls, Ontario Golf show and the Toronto Golf Show in February and returned with great feedback on awareness of our area, our courses and even our Chamber staff who book the golf packages.   
Genesee County's State-wide Tourism Initiative
We are pleased to announce the completion of a new, 24 page Haunted History Trail of New York State brochure for the 2016 season.   
The haunted trail is a state-wide tourism marketing program initiated and administered by our Chamber since the fall of 2013. It is the only state-wide paranormal tourism trail in the country.  The 30 counties that partner in our program each offer up their haunted or creepy locations as a way to draw visitation to their areas by the growing niche of travelers that enjoy ghostly adventures.   
Businesses and
Schools Connect
through BEA Programming

The Business Education Alliance (BEA) is housed at the Chamber of Commerce.  Connecting business members with our schools, the BEA creates and delivers programs that are designed to create a stronger future workforce for the businesses in Genesee County. 

The Mission of the Business Education Alliance is to foster a partnership between business and education, and to assist students in preparing for the world of work.  This is accomplished through programming such as Junior Achievement, business tours for students and educators, mock interviews, career exploration camps, career fairs, job shadows, and more.  Business members are afforded the opportunity to interact with local students through in-school programs as well as community based programs. 

This Summer 250 middle school students will explore a variety of careers through the interactive BEA Summer Career Exploration Camps!  From culinary arts to construction, student will learn about potential careers, and about careers available here in Genesee County by creating, experiencing, and interacting.  The camps are subsidized through donations, sponsorships, and volunteerism to keep them affordable for our students. 

The BEA is a member organization that relies upon the support of the business community and the local schools to fund its programming.  If you are interested in becoming a member of this organization, or sponsoring a program or event, please contact Beth Kemp at (585) 343-7440 or

Join us today to create a stronger workforce tomorrow!
"What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say."
                                                       -Ralph Waldo Emerson 
Your Chamber Resources:

Kelly Bermingham, Director of Membership & Special Events
Ginny Elsasser, Staff Accountant
Melissa A. George, Executive Assistant

Beth Kemp, BEA Coordinator
Kelly Rapone, Tourism Marketing Director
Tom Turnbull, President
March 2016

Thank you
Chamber Champions!


The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank our Chamber Champions:


Alex's Place  


Clark Patterson Lee


Freed Maxick


Lawley Genesee


National Grid


Terry Hills Golf Course, Restaurant, & Banquet Facility


Turnbull Heating & Air


The Bank of Castile/

Tompkins Insurance  


United Memorial
Medical Center


These businesses have taken the lead role in investing in our Chamber's mission of enhancing business and community development in Genesee County.  To find out how your business can become a Chamber Champion, contact Kelly Bermingham 

at 585-343-7440.

As a Chamber member you can use our Main Street window space for FREE!
Window displays are available in 2-3 week blocks, with set-up and take-down scheduled on Mondays. Reservations are taken on a first come, first serve basis.  

Contact Melissa at
585-343-7440 x27 for all of the details to sign up your time for 2016.
Thank you
Premier Members
Looking for something to do? Check out the Community Events Calendar on the Chamber Website!


The Chamber of Commerce sells E-Z Pass.  Stop in the office to learn more or to purchase one!

Connect with your Chamber:


210 East Main Street
Batavia, NY 14020
M-F, 8:00am-4:30pm