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Take The “Chamber Challenge” This Holiday Season!

The Chamber recently announced its, “Chamber Challenge” for the 2018 holiday season. “Sometimes it helps to give people ideas for specific things that they can do to help,” said Tricia Maple, Chamber president. “So rather than just promoting the overall concept of buying locally this holiday season, we came up with a simple list of three action items.”

The first is to challenge yourself to purchase at least one fourth of your holiday gifts locally. Seek out and explore our local businesses, think outside the box for unique items and if you are purchasing gift cards, buy them from a local business. And if you must purchase gift cards to a national chain, purchase them at a local grocery store. Those dollars will still be kept somewhat local.

Second, patronize a business that you’ve never been to before. From downtown Steubenville to Hollywood City Center, Toronto, Mingo, Richmond and everywhere in between, there is no doubt a new (or long time) business that you’ve never been to. Make it a point to seek out at least one and make a purchase, meet the owner or manager and give them a chance to earn your repeat business.

Last, if you are headed out of town for any reason, gas up at a local gas station and eat locally before you leave. By filling your tank and your belly locally (and on a regular basis) you’re pumping money into the local economy.

Buying locally just makes good sense and the holidays are a great time to start making it a daily habit. “I say it all the time but it’s worth repeating”, Maple continued. “We can’t expect our local businesses to support us, our kids’ activities and sports teams, our churches and charities, our events and fundraisers and then not support them when making a purchase. It’s unlikely that Amazon is going to give you a gift card for your spaghetti dinner door prize table and doubtful that a Pittsburgh business is going to buy an ad in your school’s football program. Support those who support you and think local first.”

Small Business Saturday – November 24

Small Business Saturday is a nationally celebrated shopping event that takes place across the United States. on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The day is intended to encourage American shoppers to consider buying from small retailers and merchants as they check off their holiday gift lists. American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a promotional effort designed to encourage consumers to support businesses which creates jobs, boosts the economy, and preserves downtown districts and neighborhoods around the country. The timing of this annual shopping event is intentional, as it always occurs on the 4th Saturday of November, following “Black Friday,” and prior to the recently established “Cyber Monday” shopping events.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce uses “Small Business Saturday” as the kick off to its, “Shift Your Shopping” programs. The chamber will have “stations” in place throughout the county that day to hand out coffee, doughnuts, coupons and other giveaways. Watch your weekly newsletter and email for details. For a complete list of “Shift Your Shopping” activities that you and your employees can get involved in, click here.
New this year is a free program from American Express that allows small businesses to create custom signs, social media posts and videos with just the click of a button. (The banner ad at the top of this article was created this way.) Click below to get started. And check out event more ideas, products and free resources that you can use for Small Business Saturday, through the holiday season and year-round by clicking here.

2018 Annual Award Winners

Winners in 5 categories were honored Wednesday evening at the Chamber’s 110th Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner. Pictured from left is: Shawn Mihellis and Yianni Bourbakis from Theo Yianni’s Greek Restaurant, who was named “New or Emerging Business of the Year,” Jenn Cesta from the Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County, “Ambassador of the Year,” Dr. Jimmie Bruce from Eastern Gateway Community College, “Business of the Year,” Jim Morgan, recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” and Jim McBane, accepting the “Young Professional of the Year Award “on behalf of Dan McBane, from McBane Insurance & Financial Services.

2016 “Shift Your Shopping” Campaign Kicks Off

What began last year as a strategy to increase holiday shopping dollars spent locally quickly turned into a fun, informative two months of activities, events and buzz centered around our members.  And this year is shaping up to be even better.  Join us as we kick things off on “Small Business Saturday”, November 26th at 9 a.m. at the Chamber offices.  Click here to view or print a complete list of activities and programs and a “Holiday Gift Guide” application.

American Express launched the first ever, “Small Business Saturday” back in 2010 to encourage people nationwide to support small local businesses. Since then, it has grown to include great programs and promotions that educate and inspire.  Click here to learn more about its beginnings and the programs offered to your small business through the national program. And watch your email in the coming weeks as the Chamber digs in to the nuts and bolts of, “Shift Your Shopping 2016.” Make this holiday season one of your best.  Get involved today.

The 2016 Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner

The keynote speaker at last evening’s annual awards dinner entertained and inspired as he shared his many years in the film industry with the audience and explained the economic impact that can be felt by a community being chosen as a shooting location.

Mr. Ivan Schwarz, CEO of The Cleveland Film Commission was co-producer of with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg on the HBO mini-series, “Band Of Brothers.”  His comments were informative and fun and many questions from the floor that rounded out his presentation shed even more light on this interesting issue.

The video below was shown at the awards dinner and highlights people from Steubenville who have impacted hollywood and the film industry.

The evening also included the presentation of awards in five categories. Congratulations to the following nominees and winners:

Lifetime Achievement Nominees:

Judy Bratten, Historic Fort Steuben

Anita Jackson, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Tina Thompson, Proforma Innovative Services

Winner: Anita Jackson (posthumous)

Business of the Year Nominees:

Em-Media, Inc.

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Hancock County Savings Bank

Winner: Franciscan University of Steubenville

New or Emerging Business Nominees:

Coleman Professional Services

Colonial Heights/UMH Properties

Sumo Hibachi & Sushi

Winner: Coleman Professional Services

Young Professional Nominees:

Frank DiCarlantonio III, Scaffidi’s Restaurant

Therese Nelson, Nelson Fine Arts & Gifts

Kate Sedgmer, United Way of Jefferson County

Winner: Frank DiCarlantonio III, Scaffidi’s Restaurant

Ambassador of the Year Nominees:

Nicole Adamski, Best Western Plus University Inn

Mary Free, U.S. Bank

Chris Orris, Valley Hospice, Inc.

Winner: Chris Orris, Valley Hospice, Inc.


The night would not have been possible without our sponsors who generously supported this special event.

Gold sponsors:  

Apollo Professional Cleaning
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Grae-Con Construction
WTOV9
The Ridgefield Group
Trinity Health System
Eastern Gateway Community College

Silver sponsors include: Colonial Heights/UMH Properties & Hancock County Savings Bank

Bronze sponsors include: Ambulance Service, Checker Transportation, Jefferson Security, Barium & Chemicals, Inc., First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union, Fort Steuben Mall, Hess Corporation, M & M Hardware, Mosti Funeral Home, Inc., Project Best, and Voto Manufacturers Sales Co.

2016 Investor To Investor Trade Fair Just Around The Corner

Begin 2016 by putting your business in the spotlight at one of the Chamber’s most popular promotional and networking events of the year.  The annual, “Investor to Investor Trade Fair & Business After Hours” will be held Monday, January 25th from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.
Designed to promote member-to-member and local spending, this event is a mini-trade fair with Chamber member exhibitors promoting their products and services in a casual “Business After Hours” setting. Only Chamber member businesses are given this opportunity and it truly is an affordable, convenient and effective promotional event.  Last year nearly 60 businesses had display booths and over 150 chamber members and guests attended the event.
Back by popular demand is an exciting drawing that all exhibitors and attendees are eligible to win – a Media Prize Package valued at over $8,000.  A great way to kick off your 2016 marketing plan, it includes display advertising, web design, radio and television spots and more, with no strings attached. Every paid admission receives an entry in the drawing.
 
The deadline for registration is Monday, January 18th and space is limited and reserved on a first come, first served basis.  To register, email Janet King, Investor Relations Coordinator at jking@jeffersoncountychamber.com or contact the Chamber offices at 740.282.6226.