August 16, 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.

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 used to read the newsletter. We hope you will click the link!

Highlights include the following:
  • Disc golf demos/Cornhole social
  • Deck the Halls is on
  • Planning for Holiday Happenings & Winter Traditions
  • Best Foliage: Vote Daily
  • Eco-friendly in the spotlight
  • REDEC accepting loan apps
  • Get your walking shoes on
Visit Watkins Glen
& Schuyler County
Watkins Glen
Area Chamber
Pandemic Spotlight Updates

Vigilance is the word of the day. 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!
NY Forward & Other Government News

  • Recent stats
  • Schuyler vaccine clinics & others
  • Join your neighbors and VaxUp
  • $800 million in grants for small businesses available
  • FEMA funds
  • Funding opps: Congressman Reed's office
Chamber News
Show your pride in our region! Bragging rights at stake.

The Finger Lakes is known for its natural beauty during every season, but especially during the Fall, when our rolling hills blaze with color. We are in contention for earning the distinction of Best Destination for Fall Foliage in USA Today's 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards for 2021. We have 20 days left to earn these bragging rights. Please bookmark this page on every device and click the blue "Vote" button. Vote every day on every device.
Join us on Thursday
at Castel Grisch

The Chamber has re-imagined the Alternatives Federal Credit Union Disc Golf event to be a Chamber Mixer (members are free; non-members $15). On August 19, members are invited to attend a mixer at Castel Grisch. Bring a desire to play disc golf (and discs if you have them). Daniel Ragland, a recognized player with the Professional Disc Golf Association, will offer disc golf demonstrations, after which the course will be opened for casual play for Chamber members. The Chamber will have discs available for those who want to try their hand at this up-and-coming sport. Cash bar, light bites, and raffles. Register online:

August 19 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Castel Grisch
3380 County Route 28, Watkins Glen
September schedule:
packed with networking opps!

We are thrilled with the positive comments we're hearing (and loving the socializing and networking we're seeing) at the Chamber mixers and socials. In September, please join us for these networking opps with fellow Chamber members and your community neighbors.

  • Cornhole Social (Sept. 2, 4:00pm to 7:00pm, Chamber members $10; Non-Members $15; visit for details and to register)
  • 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.
  • 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 free; Non-Members $15; visit for details and to register)

Thank you to our members who are supporting this year's Chemung Canal Trust Company 21st Annual Donald Brubaker Memorial Golf Tournament. 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. Interested in becoming a t-shirt and/or beverage cart sponsor? Call or email Abby Lane for options!
Time to plan for the holidays

As we're enjoying (really!) the gorgeous summer weather, we're starting to think snow. And holiday lights. And reasons of all kinds to bring guests to our region later this year and into 2022. The Chamber has hosted one meeting with area leaders. A second meeting is planned for August 25 from 1pm to 3pm. Please start thinking of ways you and your organization can participate in Holiday Happenings & Winter Traditions. This umbrella event will incorporate the snowflake competition (snowflakes/info have been shared monthly in the Engager) and Watkins Glen's traditional Village Christmas. The event starts with Seneca Lake Wine Trail's first Deck the Halls event in November, continues with Small Business Saturday/Weekend (30 Days of Shopping Small), and concludes with anticipated Valentine's Day events and specials. 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

The Visitors are here. Summer is in full swing. Share your message with several great marketing opportunities with the Chamber.
Window space at 214 N. Franklin Street: $125/month

Video segments at the State Park & at 214 N. Franklin: $130/month
Questions? Contact Executive Director Michael Hardy: or (607) 535-4300.
Eco-friendly options:
Roam the Empire campaign

The New York State Tourism Industry Alliance is in the midst of a season-wide campaign that encourages New Yorkers to Roam the Empire. Social posts on August 11 featured the Farm Sanctuary and encouraged visitors to learn about, connect with and protect NY's great outdoors! Are you posting to social? If so, remember to tag @roamtheempire.Visit social media to see what our peers all over New York are doing.
Let the Chamber know about
your events and summer traditions 

Let us help you celebrate summer traditions, holidays, and festivities! 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 Market Research
Stephanie and I recently had the opportunity to listen to reports from two people who interned at the Corning Museum of Glass this summer. After spending several weeks scouring the internet to learn about the attractions, restaurants, and accommodations in the Finger Lakes, they proposed several itineraries designed to help visitors make the most of their time in our area. Listening to the presentations was fascinating and eye-opening. There truly is something for everyone in the Finger Lakes, and there's no way to experience the Finger Lakes in just a weekend. That aside, the exercise reminded me of the power of market research and an oft-forgotten source of market research: visitors, guests, and customers. We are in the height of the "busy season." Literally, data points are all around us. Take a few minutes to talk to your visitors. Ask them what brought them to the area. Where they stayed before they got here. Where they're going after their visit with us. Ask them how they learned about our region in general and your business in particular. Ask them if there's anything specifically they're looking for. Although it can be tempting to ignore negative comments, there's probably an opportunity buried in the sentiment. This "boots on the ground" information can help you tailor your products to meet today's market needs, which will ultimately lead to better product reviews and a stronger bottom line.
Register today:
Simpleview Training

The Chamber's website,, hosted nearly 11,000 visitors in July. Is your organization represented the way you want it? Is EVERY event you host on the site? Attend this session, and we'll give you all the info you need. This is a great opportunity for a Fall refresher or for sending new staff to become familiar with the tool. If you prefer a one-on-one session or cannot make the August session, please contact Abby Lane ( or 607-535-4300).

August 17 @ 10am via Zoom

Meeting ID: 845 7188 3465; Passcode: 505818
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? Make plans to attend the Simpleview training on August 17.
Live entertainment in Clute Park

Mark your calendar: On August 24, enjoy the rhythms of Starlight Jazz Band. Please note the venue change to Clute Park (formerly held in Lafayette Park), where it's fun to cool down in the newly installed splash pad! Performances begin at 7:00pm. Share this news with family, friends, and visitors.
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.
Loans available

REDEC is ready to issue small business loans of $1,000 to $15,000. Terms would be 3% for 6 years. These loans may be used for equipment, working capital, or related needs. For more information, contact REDEC directly
Best of the Twin Tiers

Voting is open to recognize the best our community has to offer. Only the top businesses in each category made it to the final voting stage. It's now time to cast your votes to determine who the winners will be. Please vote for your favorites in dozens of categories. If you vote in more than 25 categories, you'll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $250 Gift Card! Votes can be placed through August 25.
Walking Program kicks off

Schuyler Steps Out – the free community walking program presented by Schuyler Hospital – is back for its 15th year and will kick off in September. Open to anyone who works or lives in Schuyler County, teams must register with Schuyler Hospital by Tuesday, August 31, 2021. The program kicks off on Tuesday, September 2, 2021, with a virtual information session and will run September 6 through October 31, 2021. While many teams are workplace-based, service clubs, churches, and even scouts can form teams. All that’s required is walking daily for 8 weeks, logging steps walked, and reporting team steps to the Hospital weekly. At the end of the 8-week program, awards are given for most team steps, most valuable “players,” and most improved. 
Learn about Alzheimer's

The Rochester and Finger Lakes Alzheimer's Association Chapter offers programs and services through webinars and phone meetings. A variety of educational programs help to increase knowledge and support for those facing Alzheimer’s disease. Support groups for caregivers offer an opportunity to exchange practical information on caregiving, learn about resources and talk through ways of coping. An early stage social engagement program allows persons with dementia to socialize with their peers, and care consultations offer the chance to talk to a care consultant to address service or support needs. All programs are free, but pre-registration is required to obtain information to join by phone or webinar ( 
Deck the Halls returns in 2021

The Seneca Lake Winery Association, which most members of the public know as the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, is excited to announce the return of Deck the Halls later this year. Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Trail will hold the event on two weekends: November 19, 20, and 21 or December 3, 4, and 5. This event offers a great opportunity to try different foods and collect delicious recipes for the holiday season. At their starting winery, attendees receive a grapevine wreath, then a custom ornament at each winery to decorate their handmade grapevine wreath. Sixteen wineries are participating. Tickets go on sale on August 20 at 9am, with a variety of ticket options. For more information visit the website.
Featured collection
online at IMRRC

Explore the International Motor Racing Research Center's online collection entitled "Women of Speed." Enjoy photos, including extensive captions and captivating history, in our "Featured Collections" on the Center's website.
August is Wine Month
August is Wine Month in the Finger Lakes. Specialty tastings, unique experiences, virtual tastings & events, & happy hours/special menus at restaurants highlighting everything NY’s largest wine region has to offer. Stay in the know here: This is a great opportunity to help encourage guests and visitors to choose the Finger Lakes as their destination. Please include in your messaging and social posts.
Add to your professional toolbox with workshops from SUNY CCC

SUNY CCC has pages of classes and workshops available to the community. Number one on a communicator's wish list? Adobe Creative! It starts on August 24 and is held on Tuesdays through September 28. The workshop will explore Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Check out the options and build your own wish list.
Arnot receives breastfeeding support awards

Congratulations to the Arnot Health professionals who have received certificates as part of the Twin Tiers Breastfeeding Network Annual Breastfeeding Friendly Awards. The awards highlight the organizations in the region who have taken steps to provide safe, clean, public and work places for women to breastfeed. Arnot Ogden Medical Center was cited for its Labor and Delivery Unit, Obstetrics Department, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, in addition to many staff members who work to ensure that mothers have what they need to provide breastmilk to their infant.
Award winners from Arnot Health include:
  • Jacqueline N Shubuck, RNC-OB, IBCLC
  • Kasey McCracken, RN, BSN, IBCLC
  • Eden Schumacher, RN, CLC  
  • Kaitlyn Bacon, RN, CLC
  • Katherine (Kat) Curatolo, RN, CLC
  • Brittany Smith, RN, CLC
  • Autumn Conklin, RN, CLC
  • Victoria (Vicky) Decola, RN, CLC
  • Christine (Christy) Eddy, RN, CLC
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
Grants for small businesses

The successful recovery of small businesses is key to New York State's future. Empire State Development is happy to announce the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program is open now. It was created to provide 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.

Grant awards will be calculated based on a business’ annual gross receipts for 2019:
•Annual gross receipts = $25,000-$49,999: $5,000/business;
•Annual gross receipts = $50,000-$99,999: $10,000/business; and
•Annual gross receipts = $100,000-$500,000: 10% of gross receipts (max grant is $50,000).

For eligibility requirements and more information regarding the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Program, please visit The program is administered by ESD and powered by Lendistry. Questions? Call 877-721-0097.
Non-medical private non-profits: apply for FEMA funds

Because the pandemic was declared a Major Disaster and is ongoing, public assistance is authorized for Category B Emergency Protective Measures related to the COVID-19 response. To mitigate the pandemic’s impact on nonprofits, New York State is launching a targeted initiative to provide information and training to NON-MEDICAL Private Nonprofits (PNPs) and intermediary organizations applying for FEMA funding to reimburse costs incurred as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. PNPs and their umbrella organizations are invited to FEMA overview sessions, offering an overview of the FEMA public assistance process as well as a number of COVID-19 disaster-specific topics and policies that FEMA has implemented. For more details on the initiative and related resources, please access the Grants Gateway site. To register for the informational overview, see below for next steps or access the Grants Gateway for more information.
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. 
  • Every Wednesday in August, there will be a clinic at the Arnot Mall Event Center on County Route 64 in Horseheads. It runs from 10am to 5pm, with walk-ins welcome until 4:30pm. This clinic will feature all three brands of vaccine: Moderna for those 18 and older, Pfizer for those 12 and older, and the one dose Johnson and Johnson. 
  • August 17, from 10am to 2pm, vaccines will be offered at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in Bath. The clinic will take place in the Ruth Cole Conference Room and feature all three brands of vaccine: Moderna for those 18 and older, Pfizer for those 12 and older, and the one dose Johnson and Johnson. Walk-ins are welcome until 1:30pm.
  • Also for people in Steuben County, Arnot Health will be at the Steuben County Fair on August 21 from Noon to 4pm, with walk-ins welcome until 3:30pm.
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)