The Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas took as big a hit as any business or organization could have endured last year due to the pandemic. Many fundraising events that the business organization relies on were canceled.
Fortunately, some of its business partners and members are responding in kind this year.
The Roman Café is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, April 13. That night, 10% of gross sales will be donated to the business organization.
Roman Café manager Lynda Fonzi says her restaurant is happy to help anyway it can while also explaining some of the benefits the Chamber of Commerce offers to businesses like hers.
“I mean, of course; It’s our city, so, of course we’re going to contribute to the Chamber of Commerce. They support businesses in the area,” Fonzi says. “They really help with advertising; They’re always promoting small businesses. They have get-togethers at different places every month to keep the camaraderie going. And then, of course, we advertise in the chamber’s welcome package that they give to people who move into the area. It has all the local places listed, which is great advertising for us.”
Sarah Nelson, director of marketing and membership for the Chamber of Commerce, says she is thankful her group can count on member support from businesses such as Roman Café.
“The Roman Café has been a dedicated and a very valued chamber member for a very long time and whenever we have events or we need something, (Fonzi and owner Larry Huttenmaier) always step up to give us anything we need. They’re absolutely wonderful members to have,” Nelson says. “When we called them, they automatically said yes, and so they’re going to give a percentage of all the sales that they make that day back to the chamber and help us with those get-connected items that we do all year for our members”
Nelson says the funds raised will allow the chamber to continue to provide the promotional and networking tools that have helped local businesses grow and flourish.
“The goal of the chamber is really for businesses to get connected,” Nelson says. “We offer businesses visibility and involvement in the community through our advertising and promotions. There’s also credibility just by belonging to the chamber. The chamber is a networking source and promotes growth of the business. Membership also get you discounts through other chamber members’ businesses. And it’s through all of Western New York. You have to be in the Tonawandas to get all that. We even have members out of state.”
The Roman Café is located at 797 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda. For takeout/delivery, call 716-692-7048. Customers are encouraged to mention the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas when placing an order.
The Roman Café isn’t the only business pitching in to help this spring. One of the chamber’s newest members, 3G Signs LLC, offered to make its corporate banner for free. Additionally, Solidays Restaurant will be fundraising in May and offering 10% with a chicken barbecue fundraiser.
"We have the best community, we really do; and our members are just so generous,” Nelson says. “Anytime. I call – they're just the best members. I mean it; we have the absolute best members."
The chamber is also currently holding a spring raffle, which runs through April 29. Donations are $20. Participants can even win more than once. Winners are announced daily on the Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page @ChamberoftheTonawandas. Tickets are available at 254 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda.
The Chamber of Commerce also has a number of fun, upcoming fundraising events scheduled throughout the year, including: membership appreciation/golf tournament in June; a bowling/expo in October; a dinner event in November; and a holiday mixer/raffle in December.
For more information on the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, and/or information related to current or future fundraisers, call 716-692-5120 or visit www.The-tonawandas.com.
The Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas is a membership organization that provides services, support and networking for business and industry in the Tonawandas. The group vigorously promotes business and economic development to enhance the quality of life through proactive involvement with government, community and education leaders.