Weekly Feature



2016-04-14 / Business

Chamber boosts online presence with website upgrades

by BRYAN JACKSON
Editor

The 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.”

While a majority of the website is currently live, an online member directory, which, according to Groff, is expected to launch in about a month, is also part of the overall upgrade. It’s that feature that has Groff particularly excited.

“Our website is live as it is now, so people can go and check out member testimonials, videos and really a great grouping of information there,” she said. “Our member directory, the online portion, will take a little bit to build, probably a few weeks to a month, and that’s because it’s going to be different than most other Chambers have in Western New York.”

Groff explained that each member business will have its own individual landing page through the Chamber’s website. These landing pages — think Yelp-style pages, Groff said — will be customizable, allowing each of the Chamber’s approximately 500 member companies a certain amount of freedom to change the way the community and other businesses interact with them.

“People can add hours of operation, photos, even job postings, which I think is critical when we’re looking at workforce development and helping to align quality candidates with our Chamber members,” Groff said. “The sky is the limit to what people can add, and I think that speaks a lot.”

Ultimately, Groff said she hopes the new website, which was designed by Chamber member Blue Dock Media, will allow the Chamber to continue addressing challenges its members face and collaborating with other organizations.

“How do we make sure that all of our organizations have the same message? That we’re communicating this vision so that when a company considers locating to anywhere in Western New York, they’re going to say, ‘Oh, Cheektowaga. That’s a good thing. We want to be there.’”

For more information about the Chamber and to browse the new website, visit www.cheektowaga.org.

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