September 6, 2021
News, Happenings & Collaborations
Included in this Issue ...
We are pleased to share the following news, happenings, and collaborations with you! The information contained in this week's newsletter was shared with the Chamber on or before noon on the Thursday before it was sent. To have your information considered for inclusion in future issues, please submit your information on or before noon on the Thursday before you'd like it published.

To stay in the know, visit the WGACC Digital Archives. For past NHCs and now our monthly Engager, which is only mailed to each Primary Contact at our members in good standing is also in the on-line library. While you are there please feel free to review The Chamber’s 2020 Annual Report as well.

In addition, we have heard that some messages are being delivered with a link that must be clicked to see the complete newsletter. We apologize for the inconvenience and have determined that this is related to the email service provider that you use to read the newsletter. We hope you will click the link!

Highlights include the following:
  • Planning for Holiday Happenings & Winter Traditions
  • Farm Trail Weekend
  • Welcome new members
  • September means Grand Prix
  • Register for Business Expo
  • Guided tour of Montour Falls
  • Hector Harvest Run/Walk 5K
Visit Watkins Glen
& Schuyler County
Watkins Glen
Area Chamber
Pandemic Spotlight Updates

We continue to monitor the evolving situation with the pandemic. Currently, staff and Chamber visitors are not required to wear masks, but are welcome to do so. Continue to check the CDC and State web sites for updates. Scroll down for helpful information. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date, but it is likely that there will be new updates as soon as we hit send! Stay safe.
NY Forward & Other Government News

  • Communicate your HERO Act plan
  • Gov. Hochul: requirements for school personnel
  • Vaccine clinics
  • Join your neighbors and VaxUp
  • $800 million in grants for small businesses available
  • Funding opps: Congressman Reed's office
Chamber News
Register for Business Expo

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce's 14th Annual Business Expo is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6, at the Watkins Glen Community Center. This event is sponsored by Cameron Manufacturing & Design. For more info and to register, visit the web. The event begins with a showcase open to the public from 4 - 5 pm. Attendees learn about the goods, services, and products available in the community and may purchase items if they are offered. We will also be holding a Brochure Exchange at the event as well so be sure to prepare rack cards, brochures, and any other relevant literature pertaining to your business. Attendees also take advantage of the opportunity to network, build new business relationships, and learn about the unique businesses, products and services available from Chamber members within the community. At 5 pm, the event will transition into the Chamber's monthly Mixer, with a cash prize drawing and a raffle for items from each participating vendor. Refreshments will be available at 5pm.
September schedule:
packed with networking opps!

Mark your calendar for a month-long calendar of events and have fun networking with fellow Chamber members and your community neighbors.

  • An evening on the Seneca Legacy (Sept. 8, 5:00pm to 7:00pm; Chamber members free; Non-Members $15; visit for details and to register) Boat leaves at 5:15pm sharp. We're expecting a full load. Join us!!
  • Chemung Canal Trust Company Golf Tournament (Sept. 17, 9:00am to 5:00pm; visit for details and to register)
  • Tri-County Mixer at Lakewood Vineyards (Sept. 22, 5:00pm to 7:00pm; Chamber members: $5; Non-Members/Guests $10; visit for details and to register)

Thank you to our members who are participating in the 21st Annual Donald Brubaker Memorial Golf Tournament, presented by Chemung Canal Trust Company. Also, thanks to Alternatives Federal Credit Union, who is the Photo Sponsor, and Corning Credit Union and Visions Federal Credit Union, who are hole sponsors.

If you are interested in sharing your products and services with prospective customers, consider becoming a sponsor or contributing an item to be raffled. Want to know why sponsoring events is an excellent use of marketing dollars? Check out this article. Call or email Abby Lane for options!
Centennial Celebration

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce invites Chamber and community members to join Nelson Development for a Centennial Celebration on September 16, 2021, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 208 West Broadway, Montour Falls, NY.
Nelson Development owns the Flats on Broadway, which is the former Montour Falls Union Grammar School built in 1921. In 1965, the property was taken over by Schuyler County and was known as the Rural Urban Center, housing County offices until 2008. Bruce Nelson of Nelson Development Group purchased the property in 2010, restoring historical aspects of the building and adapting it to meet 21st century needs. The property has been developed to include residential and commercial spaces combining old and new to blend the historical features into modern living spaces. In 2012, the property was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Speakers include Montour Falls Mayor Jim Ryan, Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michael Hardy, and Bruce Nelson. The Schuyler County Historical Society will present a display. Light refreshments will be available. 
Visitors all year? Yes!

Thank you to all who have shared holiday and winter plans with the Chamber. We are starting to work with media partners (WENY and Seven Mountains Media) to promote the 2021 Holiday Happenings & Winter Traditions. To date, we anticipate the following events, with two qualifications: some of these events are currently not finalized and all events will be subject to pandemic-related regulations.

Nov. 19: Snowflake Spectacular entries due to Chamber by 4pm (member only)
Nov. 27: Small Business Saturday & kick-off for 30 Days of Shopping Local
Dec. 2: Annual Meeting/Snowflake Spectacular Winner Announced
Dec. 3-4: Holiday Fair at Clute Memorial Park (Carriage Rides, Wine Tastings, Crafts, Elfland with Visit from Santa)
Dec. 10: Village's Christmas on Franklin Street
Dec. 10: Launch of Holiday Lights - Schuyler Style
Dec. 11: Holiday Fair at Clute Memorial Park (Carriage Rides, Wine Tastings, Crafts, Elfland with Visit from Santa)
Dec. 31: Ring in the New Year at Clute Memorial Park, Seneca Lake Events Center
Jan. 5: Winter-themed Monthly Chamber Mixer (stay tuned)
Jan. 22: The annual Chamber Winter Gala
Jan.27-29: Hart's Harbor Hotel Ice Bar
Feb. 2: Chinese New Year at House of Hong (Monthly Mixer)
Feb. 14: Valentine’s Weekend packages

Are you a Chamber member and will be hosting an event in November, December, January, or February? Tell us about it so we can include details in promotional materials: submit your event information here. For more information, contact Abby Lane, Events Manager.
Marketing Opportunities

As we begin thinking about fall and winter, make plans to purposefully share your message with potential guests and customers. Consider one of these marketing opportunities with the Chamber. We are happy to be partnering with the Farm Sanctuary to remind visitors of the brand-building merchandise for sale online. Sample products in a display case (pictured at right) with a QR code directing people to the online store helps to remind people of the Farm Sanctuary's mission. Other opportunities:
Window space at 214 N. Franklin Street: $125/month

Video segments at the State Park & at 214 N. Franklin: $130/month

Ask about wall displays!
Questions? Contact Executive Director Michael Hardy: or (607) 535-4300.
Keeping secrets is not a marketing strategy.

Speaking of secrets ... Have you heard about Finger Lakes Festival of Lights? Tell us what you're doing and we will help you spread the news. We want to share your events on our social media platforms and newsletters. Like us on all our social channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), and we’ll return the favor! Using this form, ( please submit your public event to notify the Chamber and its staff. Just a reminder ... the event calendar can be printed to share with future guests. Remember to print a few days ahead of their impending arrival and a few days after to encourage longer stays. Pending membership, the Chamber will assist in promoting the event to visitors and locals alike! 
Hints from Hardy

Business and hospitality hints
from Michael Hardy

HINT 1 Finding the Sweet Spot
We've all heard the phrase "win-win." The idea that everyone feels good about an interaction and goes away feeling satisfied is not new. It is, though, sometimes harder than it looks and seems. Nancy Friedman is the Telephone Doctor, and she shares negotiating tips in this article that will help you find the sweet spot, that place where everyone feels good about the exchange.

HINT 2 Keep the employees you have
This has been a tough season for staffing. Workforce shortages have been the rule of thumb everywhere and in every industry. This makes it increasingly important to keep the staff you have. This article shares three great ways to do that.

HINT 3 Master the Balancing Act
This article, shared in Groups Today, offers great advice for mastering the art of work-life balance. Please read and share with your staff.
Check out the Events Calendar

Members are invited to submit events to the Chamber's online events calendar. The Chamber routinely pulls from this calendar for social posts and includes the link in appropriate news releases. Please bookmark the events page. Check it regularly for opportunities to enjoy, and remember to submit your organization's events (including a picture). If you don't have a relevant picture, upload a logo (designating it as an image, please). Want to talk this through? Call Abby (607-535-4300) or register for the next Simpleview training.
WGI welcomes Hilliard
US Vintage Grand Prix Weekend

History and prestige return to the birthplace of North American road racing for one of the largest vintage racing events in the country at the Hilliard U.S. Vintage Grand Prix (September 9-12, 2021). Paired with Friday’s Grand Prix Festival in downtown Watkins Glen (see below), the Grand Prix weekend is a true celebration of the motorsport’s past, along with the cars and people who have made it what it is today. In addition to the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), the on-track portion of the weekend also includes the highly competitive Trans-Am Championship. Best wishes to the WGI team! Next big event at Watkins Glen International: Finger Lakes Beer Festival!
Enjoy! Grand Prix Festival

The Grand Prix Festival, presented by Chemung Canal, will race into Watkins Glen on September 10, 2021. For details on the day's events, street closures, and more, visit the web. The community-wide festival is a collaborative partnership between many organizations, including Watkins Glen Promotions, Watkins Glen International, and the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association. This year's event features the Alfa Romeo. Visitors can expect to see hundreds of classic sports cars parked along Franklin Street. In addition to live music, wine tasting, food courts, a pop-up beer garden in the 3rd Street Village Square and assorted other family activities, a variety of vendors of racing items and related merchandise are expected.
Updates from the State Park

Please share the following information from the Watkins Glen State Park with your frontline staff, visitors and guests, friends, and families.
  • Beginning September 9, the Welcome Center at the State Park will be staffed as follows:
  • Mondays through Fridays from 9am to 4:30pm
  • Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 5:30pm
  • Although closing times may be adjusted with the change of season to fall, the Park anticipates continuing to open the Welcome Center at 9am.
  • The Olympic pool facility will close on September 6 for the season.
  • On September 10, parking for the State Park will only be available in the South Entrance pool lot or in a limited area at the upper/north parking area at the top of the Gorge.
It's time for Talking Tuesdays

Chat with the Chamber about pressing issues for tourism-based businesses in the Finger Lakes. The next "Talking Tuesdays" will be September 14 from 10am to 11am. These sessions are comprised of brainstorming, planning, information from the Chamber, and from time to time a guest speaker. At most upcoming sessions, we will review Domo+rove mobile device data collected for 2019, 2020, and into 2021. These mobile device stats are great for making marketing and advertising decisions for your businesses, both in the short- and long-terms. All tourism-based members and partners are welcome. All sessions are held via Zoom. Please RSVP hereCoffee break, snacking, and /or brown-bag lunches during zoom are encouraged.
2nd Annual Schuyler County
Farm Trail Weekend
September 25-26, 2021

Ten of the finest farms in Schuyler County are opening to the public, offering tours, tastings, hayrides, demonstrations, apple picking, shopping, and opportunities to meet the farm animals on September 25 and September 26. This event is open to the public and a TAP-awarded project. Please make plans to attend and encourage families, friends, and visitors to do the same. The weekend event is organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County. Guests can purchase produce and goodies from the farms, including hand-crafted cheeses, apples, veggies, jams, cider, donuts, pies, and alpaca products. Find details online. This is a growing event to help attract overnight as well as day visitors. If you're a lodging, retail, dining, etc. Chamber member and would like to offer specials this weekend, please contact Executive Director Michael Hardy.
Guided walk in Montour Falls

Schuyler County Historian Gary Emerson is offering guided walks through historic Montour Falls on September 11. A tour of the library starts at 10am then through the village and down the Catherine Valley Trail. Call the library or check Facebook if there is inclement weather. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. This is one of many reasons for you and your visitors to visit Montour Falls. Maybe ... plan enough time so you can stop by Paradiso's Village Bakery before the tour and buy a bite to eat.
Job Fair and Diversity Program

The Geneva Business Improvement District will host an area job fair and diversity workforce seminar for employers at Finger Lakes Community College (Geneva Campus) on Saturday, September 18th from 9:00am to 1:00pm. The program kicks off with a free workforce diversity program for employers at 9:00am. Dr. Sim Covington Jr., Chief Diversity Officer for Finger Lakes Community College, will lead a discussion on creating more diverse workforces. For more info, email
Award Ceremony planned

On September 11, Lyn St. James will be honored with the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports. A pioneer for women in motorsports, Lyn St. James is equally recognized for her numerous firsts and records for speed as she is for her many contributions off the track. Lyn was selected by a committee of auto racing professionals as the seventh honoree and recipient of the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award. Make plans to be at the Jack Daniel’s Club at Watkins Glen International for live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar on 9/11. Motorsports broadcast journalist Bob Varsha will be emceeing the ceremony.
Fundraiser for the Schuyler County Humane Society

Stop by Wine and Spirits on September 10 and September 11 for a tasty hot dog and help out our furry friends at the Schuyler County Humane Society. The cart will be serving up dogs from 11am to 6pm on both days. We love when members collaborate so we can share the news! If you and/or your partners have a fundraiser coming up, please let the Chamber know.
Member News & Collaborations
Updates all around

Does your organization have news to share? A promotion, a new service, a new product? New hours or location? Send us your news so we can help you share it. Looking for advertising opportunities? We have them too. If you'd like to encourage sales of your product line and/or service offerings, please contact Stephanie Specchio.
Thoughts from Clinical Associates of the Southern Tier

Respecting colleagues is important in our personal lives and professionally. According to an article published by the Reed Business School, it has been shown that more respectful teams are actually more productive and happier in general, resulting in business benefits, too. Everyone in the organization must be working toward a respectful environment, including leadership. Leaders set the tone for their teams, so it's incumbent upon leaders to be respectful and inclusive at all times.

Enjoy the quick examples below that will help to create respective environments and read the full article here.
  • Listen to what others have to say before expressing your viewpoint. Never speak over or interrupt another person.
  • Be aware of body language, the tone of voice, and your demeanor and expression in all of your interactions at work. People hear what you’re really saying through your non-verbal communication in addition to listening to your words.
Rockwell Museum tapped for
national effort

The Rockwell Museum was selected to participate in a national study to evaluate the social impact of museums on their communities. Our local great is just one of only 38 museums across the country to have been invited to participate, so this is a unique opportunity for the people of our region to have their voices heard. All the information is here: Please participate!
Enter today ...
contest ends soon

Register today (with a donation to the Schuyler Health Foundation) for a chance to win one of two get-away prizes from the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel plus additional prizes from local sponsors! The grand prize winner will enjoy a two-night stay in a lake view suite at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel on the shores of Seneca Lake. Enjoy free admission to some of the area’s top attractions, dining at the Blue Pointe Grille, a dinner cruise aboard Captain Bill’s Seneca Legacy, plus more. The second place winner will receive a one night stay at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel, dinner for two, and more.
Grants available

Groups working to address the causes of poverty in Chemung, Schuyler and Tioga counties (New York) are invited to apply for a Catholic Campaign for Human Development local grant. Proposals are sought for projects benefiting and led by low-income people working together to bring about positive economic and/or social change in their communities. These projects should address the root causes of poverty and powerlessness and can focus on areas such as environmental justice, living wage, affordable housing, food security or racial justice. Catholic Campaign for Human Development local grants average $1,500. Application materials are available from Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler. Please call Kathy at 734-9784 x2135 to have one mailed to you. Deadline for submission of the application is October 1, 2021. Grants are not available for individuals.
Where will you clean?

September 18 has been dubbed FLX Clean-Up day. We made it through the summer and are in fall prep mode. Please pick your team, grab a couple of garbage bags. S and R Underwater with their "tin turtle" will be on Seneca Lake supporting the effort. More than a dozen divers, assisted by volunteers in kayaks, will be scouring Seneca Lake for garbage. This event, organized by Chamber member Bobby Kurz, will ensure that our region heads into the Fall Foliage season looking good! Stay up-to-date by checking the facebook page and send pictures of you and your team in action to the facebook page.
Sharing services to
benefit community

Cayuga Health and the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County have entered a collaborative partnership to share resources and leverage unique assets, resulting in new services and offerings for the entire community. This partnership follows a trend seen across the nation resulting in services that emphasize a continuum of care that is convenient and high-quality. More than half of YMCA facilities across the United States – more than 1,200 – enjoy a partnership with a health care entity in their communities. 
Any and all accommodation members are welcome to share their food, entertainment, and packages with the Chamber. We will help spread the word here in our e-news and on our social media platforms and website. Please know that we do NOT have complete information on availability and openings. In most cases, we direct guests to, where they can find links to area lodgers. With this in mind, we hope you will keep your listings current and be sure to post your offers for the public and members on the WGACC Bulletin Board when you are checking out and/or updating your listing on the Simpleview Extranet.
Government News
It's time: Communicate your HERO Act

The HERO Act requires employers to adopt and maintain an airborne infectious disease prevention plan to be implemented when an airborne infectious disease is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health as a “highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health.” The deadline for communicating the existence of your plan to your employees was Saturday, September 4, 2021. Here's info to help you formulate your plan: Learn more about the HERO Act deadline and find sample language you can use to implement your plan. Please make sure your employees are notified.
Schools open across the state: Welcome Back!

With Gov. Kathy Hochul's leadership, a determination has been issued that requires all New York State teachers, administrators, and school employees to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing unless they show proof of vaccination, with either a CDC vaccine card or the Excelsior Pass.
FDA approves first COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. Read the full story.
Grants for small businesses:
Gov. Hochul extends opportunity

The successful recovery of small businesses is key to New York State's future. The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program is open now and provides flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses, and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check online for revised threshholds, eligibility requirements, and more information regarding the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Program: The program is administered by ESD and powered by Lendistry. Questions? Call 877-721-0097.
SBA PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal opens

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened it’s SBA PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal, that will allow borrowers to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA as opposed to applying through their lender, provided that the lender has opted in to the program. Thanks to Insero for sharing this and providing more details in their blog.
Vaccine clinic info
In the area?
The following options are offered by Arnot Health. Those wishing to be vaccinated can register online at, call 1-800-952-2662, or take advantage of walk-in service up to 30 minutes before the end of the clinic. 
  • Arnot Mall Event Center - Every Wednesday in September and October 2021; 10am - 5pm
  • Arnot Ogden Medical Center - Tuesday, September 7 - 9:30am - 4:30pm
  • Elmira College - Monday, September 13 - 2pm - 6:30pm
  • Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital - Tuesday, September 14 - Noon - 4pm
  • Elmira College - Wednesday, September 22 - 11am - 5pm
  • Elmira College - Monday, October 4 - 2pm - 6:30pm
Stay informed:
Interested in tracking vaccine results? Bookmark this page:
For the latest updates on news and regulations, bookmark the New York Forward webpages.
$ $ Grant info from Congressman Reed's office $ $
Add your happenings to the Public Events Calendar on our website!
Add your event quickly, easily, and at no cost. Click here for the submission page.

We will gladly feature your upcoming events and news on our social media channels and in our newsletter.
Contact Michael at (585) 721-6032 or send him your news
at by noon on Thursdays.

Office Phone: (607) 535-4300
Katherine Jack, Visitor Center and Office Administrator email
Abby Lane, Events and Membership-Engagement Manager email
Stephanie Specchio, Director of Communications and Marketing email
Kate Fuller, Marketing Consultant (Part-Time contractor) email
Michael Hardy, Executive Director email and (585) 721-6032 (cell)