Erie Chamber Blog
Friday March 1, 2019 

Key to Success

Monday March 4, 2019 

Our Host is Bostwick Design Partnership

ERCCGP members, you're invited to celebrate Bostwick Design Partnership's 3rd year anniversary of relocating their office to the historic Lovell Place Complex within Erie's central business district. Bostwick Design Partnership is proud to be a part of the continued revitalization of the City of Erie!

  • Enjoy delicious hors d'oeuvres by Make it Fabulous Catering
  • Adult beverages including a variety of beer and wine
  • Don't forget your business cards to maximize this networking opportunity!

REGISTER NOW

Tuesday March 5, 2019 

Meet the newest Erie Regional Chamber members!

Please help us welcome the newest members to the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership!

Thank you for your investment. We look forward to working with you!

Our members represent over 800 companies and more than 70,000 employees in the Erie region. If you know of a business that could benefit by becoming a member of the Erie Regional Chamber, refer them to Nancy Irwin, Development Director, or Steve Walters, Sales Manager.

Membership Information

Wednesday March 6, 2019 

 

Check out which of our members were highlighted in February

In partnership with Lilly Broadcasting, the Erie Regional Chamber sponsors Giving You the Business segments which air weekly on WSEE35 and WICU12 during the 5:30 PM. Monday broadcast and Tuesday mornings in the 6-7 AM. hour. Each segment takes viewers behind the scenes of a local business they may not have a chance to see.

February's highlighted members:

Giving You the Business segments highlight members of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, and is a free membership benefit! Contact our office if you would like viewers to see behind the scenes at your business! Email marketing director Nadeen Schmitz, or phone 814-454-7191 x139 to schedule your segment.

Friday March 8, 2019 

Think Positive

Monday March 11, 2019 

Google It

Thanks to the internet, consumer behavior has dramatically shifted over the past decade - especially when it comes to searching for local businesses.

According to a recent survey by BrightLocal, 97 percent of consumers searched online for a local business in 2017, with 54 percent searching at least once per month, and 12 percent searching daily for local services, shops, and suppliers.

A key aspect of this growth in online searches for local businesses is the widespread ownership of 'smart' mobile devices like smartphones and tablets that allow users to connect to the internet anywhere, at any time. The Pew Research Center reports that 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, up from 35 percent in 2011.

Location-Based Search Results Drive Local Traffic

Because smart mobile devices have built-in GPS trackers, Google and other search engines have adapted their algorithms to ensure that consumers who search for a business on their phone or tablet are automatically directed to verified companies that are located nearby.

If you've ever used the 'near me' feature on Google's search engine or Google Maps, you've already discovered how an online search can help drive traffic towards local businesses, and chances are good you actually visited one of the businesses you searched for - and made a purchase. According to Google, "76 percent of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day, and 29 percent of those searches result in a purchase."

The Most Searched-For Local Businesses on Google

Consumers tend to turn to localized searches when they need a product or service right away - categories like restaurants, coffee shops, and bars rank among the top local searches, while real estate agents, contractors, and gyms are also popular.

Other businesses that benefit from local search traffic include farms, dog walkers, and food trucks, as well as daycare services, clothing retailers, lawyers, dentists, and doctors. Simply put, the same kinds of businesses that used to see significant traffic from ads in the Yellow Pages and local newspapers 25 years ago are now benefiting from location-based internet searches.

If your business caters to consumers and clients in your neighborhood, focusing your marketing efforts on local online search could provide a great return-on-investment for your company.

Wednesday March 13, 2019 

Hosted by The Schoolhouse

If you have never been to The Schoolhouse in Fairview, you need to get there! What a lovely space to hold our morning networking event. Our thanks to Gail and Eric for being such gracious hosts!

A little about The Schoolhouse; built in 1897, it is among the National Register of Historic Places. The current owners purchased the old schoolhouse 4 years ago and have transformed the building while keeping much of the schoolhouse charm. into a beautiful event venue as well as having the lower level renovated into The Swan Tavern offering specialty cocktails and lite tavern fare. The Schoolhouse accommodates up to 120 guests on 2 levels, perfect for weddings, reunions, corporate meetings, and everything in between.

What we learned from some of our members:

  • Rolling 2 You brings the bicycle repair to you, an appointment based mobile repair service for your bike.
  • The Erie Philharmonic has announced their next season for the Pops and Symphonic Series. Performances include Bugs Bunny Returns, E.T. the Motion Picture, and West Side Story. 
  • FOX 66 and YourErie offerTV and Digital advertising with the goal of reaching your marketing goals within your budget.

The Erie Regional Chamber staff reminded the members about our upcoming Golf Outing, Sponsorship Opportunities, placing your events on our calendar, and the opportunity to be a guest blogger on eriepa.com.

View Event Photos

Our April Connect 4 Coffee will be hosted by Cannon's Chophouse on upper Peach Street.

Thursday March 14, 2019 

A 2 Part Hiring Seminar

The Erie Regional Chamber is planning two sessions on hiring, the first on April 4th and second on April 24th. 

Bryan Whittington of Peak Performance Management will help you address how to find the right people for your organization, and how to onboard and develop your new team members.

Both sessions will be hosted at WQLN Public Media, 8425 Peach Street.

These days it seems businesses are up against countless challenges when it comes to hiring people. Whether you have difficulty finding applicants with the right skills, not knowing where to post open positions for the best exposure, or being unsure if your interview process is asking the right questions, there are seemingly endless pitfalls that could result in hiring the wrong person. 

The first in our two-part hiring seminar with presenter Bryan Whittington will help you address these areas and more. In this session, Bryan will review the best methods for developing a hiring process that works including how to identify the ideal candidate, investing in your people bank, and how to market to and attract the best people for the position. Bryan will also cover interviewing best practices to ensure you’re asking the right questions to get the right person in the right seat in your business. 

So you’ve found the right person for the job, but now what? How do you make sure they understand your company culture and how they fit into the big picture? What’s the best way to onboard a new staff member? How do you make sure the new hire feels that they have a future with your company? In part two of our hiring series, presenter Bryan Whittington will help you craft a plan for success when bringing a new hire into your company.

The second session will cover the questions to ask when onboarding a new employee, helping your new hire develop and visualize a career path within the organization, as well as leveraging insights available within your organization to help develop the employee long term.

Light breakfast fare will be served. Registration is required and seating is limited. 

REGISTER NOW

Friday March 15, 2019 

Irish Blessing for this St. Patrick's Day Weekend

 

Tuesday March 19, 2019 

Hosted by Cannon's Chophouse

Build your network at our Connect 4 Coffee event next month being hosted by  Cannon's Chophouse, 7165 Peach Street, on Tuesday, April 9th from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Things to remember when you attend a Connect 4 Coffee event:

  • Be prepared with a 2 minute presentation about YOUR business or programs
  • Bring marketing materials to share with other attendees
  • Expect quality networking with other ERCGP members
  • Don't forget your business cards!
  • Coffee and light breakfast treats to be served

This event is FREE to ERCGP members, but space is limited to 30 guests and pre-registration is required. If you have attended a Connect 4 Coffee event in the past, preference will be given to those members who have not attended previously.

REGISTER NOW

Wednesday March 20, 2019 

Erie Ambassador Spring Session

We are midway through our Spring 2019 session of the Erie Ambassador program. Each class has offered so much new perspective and information for our attendees.  Thank you to our members Barber National Institute, Tom Ridge Environmental Center, EmergyCare, Erie International Airport and Erie Food Tours for hosting our classes so far. The Erie Ambassador program would not be successful without the help from our gracious hosts!

If you want to learn more about the beautiful city we call home and are interested in signing up for future Erie Ambassador sessions please contact Colleen Gross cgross@eriepa.com.

Thursday March 21, 2019 

New Day, New Location, Same Great Event!

Polish up those clubs, clean off the spikes and kick off your golf season at the Erie Regional Chamber's annual golf outing. Our first signature event of 2019 will be held at the Lake Shore Country Club on Monday, May 20th. Lake Shore Country Club offers an 18-hole championship golf course that features well-manicured tees, greens, fairways, and a stunning view of Lake Erie. 

The day begins with Lunch and Registration at Noon. Shotgun start with a scramble format is set for 1 p.m. Cost per foursome is $700.

The day includes greens fees and cart, golf gift at registration, lunch, on-course beverages and snacks, skill prizes, raffles, a gourmet BBQ style dinner and awards presentation to conclude the day.

To register your group, contact Event Coordinator Colleen Gross at cgross@eriepa.com or phone 814-454-7191 x146. Registration deadline is May 1st!

Be seen on the green! New sponsorships are available. Interested in making an in-kind donation or providing a raffle item? Let us know!

This is an ERCGP member only event. Not a member? Contact our team for information and details on joining us!

Friday March 22, 2019 

Welcome Spring!

Friday March 22, 2019 

Hosted by Bostwick Design Partnership

Our March Business After Hours took us to the 4th floor of Lovell Place in downtown Erie and the offices of Bostwick Design Partnership. Members and guests enjoyed the fellowship in the large open office space and nibbling on the delicious spread prepared by Make It Fabulous Catering

Bostwick Design Partnership has three additional locations, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Miami with over 50 associates in the organization. The Erie team relocated to Lovell Place three years ago transforming the 4th floor into a beautiful open workspace where the walls tell the story of their architectural project history.

Thank you for being such great hosts!

Monday March 25, 2019 

How much time do you spend asking yourself questions about your business?

As the owner of a small-to-medium size business, chances are good that you already spend your time answering countless questions every single day from employees, suppliers, customers, and prospects.

The issue here is this - how much time do you spend asking yourself questions about your business?

According to the Harvard Business Review, "companies often fail to address the tough questions about strategy and execution......are we really clear...about how we choose to create value in the marketplace?" For example, "Can we articulate the few things the organization needs to do better than anyone else in order to deliver on that value proposition?"

Barry Moltz of the Shafran Moltz Group explains that both entrepreneurs and business veterans alike should be asking themselves specific, tough questions in order to both analyze and improve their work, including these five essentials:

  1. What Problem Does Your Business Solve? While this seems like an easy question at first glance, many business owners struggle to define exactly what the answer is simply because it's not uncommon for businesses to be launched based on what the founder wants, not the consumer. Think about the 'why' involved - why do your clients and customers choose to purchase goods and services from you?
  1. Are There Aspects Of Your Business That Are Losing Money? While you likely know exactly what your bottom line is each month, quarter, or year, do you really know the ins and outs of where that revenue is coming from?
  1. What's Your Customer Retention Rate? Knowing where your customers come from is a critical part of your overall success since it's far more costly to recruit new clients than it is to keep existing ones.
  1. What Differentiates My Business From The Competition? Establishing, and maintaining a competitive advantage is crucial to the success of small businesses - what's yours?
  1. Can My Business Survive Without Me? While nobody likes to think about the possibility that they may not be able to manage their business due to injury, illness, or worse, the reality is that there may come a time when your role within your business needs to shift unexpectedly. If that happens, can your business survive?
Tuesday March 26, 2019 

Our host will be Ashley HomeStore, April 18th

Join us for a casual evening of comradery & connections at Ashley HomeStore, 7200 Peach Street (next to John V. Schultz). The event will take place from 5-7 p.m. in the impressively new and modern showroom. You can kick back and relax on a comfortable sofa while meeting other members of the business community.

  • Enjoy delicious hors d'oeuvres provided by Cali's West
  • Refreshing beverages for the evening will include a selection of beer and wine
  • Don't forget your business cards for maximum networking!         

Register Here

Thursday March 28, 2019 

How to Get Your Promoters to Share You

In today's connected world, social media and online content plays a powerful role in how your business is perceived. With the right strategies, you can transform your current customers, followers, and fans into a powerful, low-cost army of online marketers who are ready and willing to promote your business to friends, family members, and beyond.

Start By Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

If you've ever received less-than-impressive service from a company, chances are good you may not have bothered to write a negative review about your experience - that is unless you were directly asked to share your experiences.

Before you begin soliciting positive reviews from your customers, make sure that they're happy with you and your products or services. According to Simon Casuto, co-founder and president of eLearning Mind, "If you want an NPS (Net Promoter Score - a measure of customer loyalty) that tells you your customers feel great about the experience they're having with your business, you have to go beyond simply meeting their needs....it's about constantly getting to know and understand your customer, and nurture that relationship continuously."

Build Your Social Media Base

Promoters are the movers and shakers of the social media world - that's why you need to engage with them frequently by providing meaningful content that they'll be inclined to like and share with their own followers. Be sure to stay active on your social media accounts, respond quickly to any questions or concerns, and use a social media automation system that lets you actively monitor for any mentions.

Thank Your Followers

Providing special shout-outs, promotions, and subscriber-only deals is a great way to boost your brand and encourage promoters to share your content. Be sure to thank your followers frequently, and avoid the urge to constantly ask for positive reviews, otherwise, your audience will quickly convert from fans to cynics.

Friday March 29, 2019 

Optimism 

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