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Garden Village Plaza getting a makeover; Buffalo Bread Co. rising in Cheektowaga
by Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich | January 19, 2017

The Garden Village Plaza at French and Union roads in Cheektowaga will get a makeover this year with some of its long-vacant buildings scheduled for demolition, Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski said during her State of the Town address on Thursday.

Benderson Development plans to demolish a portion of the plaza and build four warehouses, which is expected to created 80 jobs, Benczkowski told the annual luncheon gathering sponsored by the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce at Millennium Hotel Buffalo.

In addition, the Buffalo Bread Company, a start-up wholesale bakery and retail store on Nagel Drive, is planning to create 29 jobs thanks to a $200,000 loan from the Cheektowaga Economic Development Corporation and Community Development, said Benczkowski.

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The Cheektowaga Bee



Chamber partnership allows for top-notch health care
by Kristina Groff | October 6, 2016

The Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce exists to strengthen the local economy, represent the interest of business in government, provide networking opportunities and promote the businesses within the community. We are fortunate to have a number of strategic partnerships with other organizations around Western New York to help equip the business community with the tools they need to be successful.

Bene-Care Agency, LLC is a critical partner of our Chamber of Commerce in our efforts to provide a real solution to some challenges businesses are facing. The availability and affordability of health insurance and other member benefits are among the most important issues individuals and small businesses face today. Many Chambers of Commerce nationally were impacted a great deal when new federal health care regulations took effect, and we could no longer provide the same level of plan options that we once could. With Bene-Care Agency, we have a trusted partner and benefits advocate and can now offer a full slate of insurance options to meet the diverse needs of both our business and individual members. It is Bene-Care’s job to stay on top of the always-changing federal and state regulations on health care, the Affordable Care Act, Workers’ Compensation and more to make sure your business is always in compliance. The bottom line is we trust them — and you should, too.

In a continued effort to offer the best possible solutions to meet your individual and business needs, the Chamber’s benefits program through Bene-Care offers medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, long-term disability, NYS disability benefits law, and life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance all at highly competitive rates.

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The Cheektowaga Bee



Candidates forum highlights local races
by Bryan Jackson | October 6, 2016

Area voters had the opportunity to hear directly from candidates Tuesday evening, as political hopefuls from several local races attended a meet the candidates night at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The event, co-hosted by the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce and the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce, drew about two dozen people and featured candidates Shelly Schratz, Sen. Tim Kennedy, Monica P. Wallace, Russell Sugg, Alice Magierski and Patrick Delaney.

The candidates were given time to make opening statements and then answered a few questions each from the public.

Schratz, a Republican, is challenging Rep. Brian Higgins in the 26th Congressional District. Kennedy, a Democrat, is the incumbent state senator for the 63rd District. Wallace, a Democrat, and Sugg, a Republican, are vying for the 143rd Assembly District seat. Magierski, a Democrat, and Delaney, a Republican, are running to fill a vacant seat on the Cheektowaga Town Board.

The candidates’ statements and the questions from the audience focused largely on the economy — no surprise from a forum sponsored by the two neighboring Chambers of Commerce.

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The Cheektowaga Bee



Chamber recognizes 2016 honorees
by Kristina Groff | September 22, 2016

Citizen of the Year Officer Paul Nazzarett

Officer Paul Nazzarett has been a member of the Cheektowaga Police Department for 17 years, 12 of which have been spent with the Community Crime Prevention Unit.

Nazzarett runs or is involved in a number of programs within Cheektowaga, including Neighborhood Watch, Operation Safechild and Do the Right Thing, which enable him to interact with citizens of all ages and walks of life. In March of this year, the Cheektowaga Steering Committee, of which Nazzarett is a part, celebrated the opening of the new Community HUB at Resurrection Life Church.

Community Service Brian Windschitl, Bravo Cucina Italiana
Large Business of the Year Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Small Business of the Year Apple’s Deli and Catering
Special Presentation Lake Shore Savings Bank
Innovation Award WTF Chef and WTF Gym

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The Cheektowaga Bee



Chamber seeks to address challenges local businesses face
by Kristina Groff | September 8, 2016

We at the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce were thrilled to be asked to contribute content on a monthly basis for this column. I have served as the Chamber’s executive director for just over a year now and have had an opportunity to meet and interact with many business owners and staff of varying sizes and industries, yet I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of the incredible strength and dedicated people that make up the business community in this great town.

The Chamber of Commerce exists to strengthen the local economy, represent the interest of business in government, provide networking opportunities, and promote the businesses within the community. To achieve this we ask one very important question: “What are the challenges you face? If there is one thing that keeps you up at night — what is it?”

Every day, we work diligently to identify these challenges and connect people to real solutions. If there’s not yet a solution, let’s create one.

Our intent for this column in the future is to facilitate communication of those challenges and solutions, and ensure that the Chamber of Commerce continues to uphold our mission to assist, support, and promote business in Cheektowaga and surrounding communities. Whether your challenge is the need to find quality employees, access to low-cost training opportunities, health insurance needs, help with marketing your business and expanding your network, or a voice to advocate on your behalf with elected officials at the local, state and federal levels, the Chamber of Commerce is your premier resource.

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The Cheektowaga Bee



Chamber event highlights economic espionage threat
by Bryan Jackson | June 23, 2016

Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce members got security tips from Federal Bureau of Investigations and Department of Homeland Security officials last week during the Chamber’s monthly luncheon at the Holiday Inn Buffalo Airport.

The presentation, “Economic Espionage and Theft of Trade Secrets,” was sponsored by the Cheektowaga Economic Development Corporation and hosted by the Chamber. Attendees learned techniques to protect sensitive data and avoid fraud, as well as ways to alert federal agencies, such as the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, the investigative arm of DHS.

According to Jarrod Randle, an HIS agent, many business owners, particularly of smaller companies, do not appreciate the risk of falling prey to fraud, economic espionage or trade secret theft, especially through the export process.

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The Cheektowaga Bee



Chamber Boosts Online Presence With Website Upgrades
by Bryan Jackson | April 14, 2016

New Chamber WebsiteThe Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce rolled out a revamped website this month after approximately eight months of planning and development.

Kristina Groff, the Chamber’s executive director, said one of the main goals behind the upgrades was to create a more interactive system for member businesses and the community at large.

“We knew that the website as it was existing definitely needed some upgrades,” Groff told the Bee on Tuesday. “We decided to take it a step further, so now we have a platform to be able to link together with social media sites, so that whatever outlet people are using, they can connect with us.”

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2875 Union Road, Suite 7A
Cheektowaga, NY 14227