Grant will help small businesses get insurance
By TODD TRANUM
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
The Community Chamber Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Community Service Society of New York to provide outreach and assistance to small businesses regarding health care and health insurance. In 2009 the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce coordinated a study to better quantify the number of uninsured small businesses in Chautauqua County and identify the barriers that prevented small businesses from gaining coverage. The study showed that 48 percent of small businesses in Chautauqua County do not offer health insurance and the primary barrier is cost.
"We are proud to be a part of the Small Business Assistance Program network, and this funding will help us in our efforts to reach more small businesses in Western New York to help them navigate the sometimes confusing issues around availability of health care, small business tax credits, options for employees, and the variety of small group products available," CCDC Board Member, Todd Tranum stated.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states can set up Health Insurance Exchanges, or marketplaces, where individuals and small businesses can shop for and enroll into health coverage. To help ensure that New York's Small Business Exchange best meets the needs of New York's employers and employees, CSS has launched a pilot Small Business Assistance Program to educate small businesses about the health reform law, address their current insurance coverage needs and help inform the design and development of the State's Small Business Exchange.
"The model for this new program is our very own Community Health Advocates (CHA), which for the last decade has helped more than 200,000 New Yorkers navigate the health care system," Elisabeth R. Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the Community Service Society, said. "With this outstanding statewide partnership, we can now join our expertise with trusted groups to address the health coverage and costs issues faced by New York's small businesses."
CCDC is one of 13 organizations to be selected for participation and represents Western New York in the statewide SBAP network. CCDC functions as an arm of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. The not-for-profit organization has its own Board of Directors, which oversees and acts as a fiscal agent for six community Chambers of Commerce in Chautauqua County with a mission of supporting the county's business communities by being a catalyst for growth and development. The CCDC fulfills its mission by coordinating our activities as communities of Chautauqua County toward a common purpose of sustainability and economic growth. For more information, call CCDC at 716-366-6200 or 716-484-1101.
Health insurance information workshop Tuesday
The Community Chamber Development Corporation and the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation will hold an information session on the Small Business Assistance Program on Tuesday, June 5 from 5:30 to6:30 p.m. at the Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney Renaissance Center on West Third Street, Jamestown. This event is open to all small businesses in the area. Topics will include: coverage options for businesses, including Healthy NY; what's in health reform for small businesses; federal health reform tax credits; and premium rate review.
Additional group sessions are being established countywide and CCDC will work with either groups or individual business owners through SBAP. For more information, call CCDC at 716-366-6200 or 716-484-1101.
Free social media training sessions
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the JCC Continuing Education office are partnering on a series of social media trainings for businesses. These events are free and open to both Chamber members and non-members. They are being provided through Amazing County funding from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation and the Knight Foundation.
The first session will be held Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will focus on Photography for Your Website. Learn how to understand your subject, lighting and all of the ingredients that go into a great picture for your website. The second is Your Facebook Presence, demonstrating how to use this medium to connect with customers and how Facebook can become a great advertising tool. It will be held on Wednesday, June 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. Both sessions will be held at JCC's Carnahan Center. To register contact JCC Continuing Ed at 338-1005.