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Member News – November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022

Member News – November 30, 2022

Ribbon Cuttings Galore!

Congratulations to Troop 47 Trading Co., Blossoms in Bloom by Megan, Something Borrowed by T + M, and the PA CareerLink, who have recently cut the ribbon on their new locations!

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THERE'LL BE PARTIES FOR HOSTING, MARSHMALLOWS FOR ROASTING...

Berwick

  • 12/3 - Christmas Boulevard opens daily through December, 6pm - 10pm
  • 12/4 - Christmas on the Homefront - Stuart Tank Memorial Association, 11am - 4pm (80th birthday celebration of "Lady Lois" tank)
  • 12/10 - 5:00pm - Winterfest in downtown Berwick

Bloomsburg

  • 12/2 - Coming Home for Christmas/Tree Lighting - Tree lighting at 5:30pm in front of the Bloom Diner.  Coming Home for Christmas to be held outside the Caldwell Consistory.
  • 12/2, 12/3, 12/9, and 12/10 - Santa visits Renco Ace Hardware!  Photos are free, but Renco is requesting consideration - that customers bring a nonperishable food item or monetary gift for AGAPE's Food Bank.
  • 12/7 - Holiday Open House at Brookdale Bloomsburg.
  • 12/10 - Holiday Community Open House at Lions Gate.
  • 12/11 - 13th Annual Community Free Christmas Dinner at the Caldwell Consistory.

Danville

  • 12/3 - Hometown Holiday Market - 11am - 4pm - Festive street fair featuring holiday shopping, entertainment, and activities on Mill Street.
  • Wagon Rides are sold out for 12/3, 12/10, and 12/11.

Riverside

  • The Borough of Riverside will host its 2nd Annual Parade of Lights on 12/3.  Parade forms at 4pm at former Riverside Elementary School.  $50 prizes will be awarded in four categories - walkers/marching, vehicles without floats, large floats (over 20 feet), and small floats (under 20 feet).  Santa in the Park will be located under the park pavilion.  Registration due by November 30 to the Borough.

Joy Through the Grove

  • 11/25 - 12/31 - (Except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) 5:30pm - 9:00pm.  Learn more.

A comprehensive list of holiday events is also available on the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau's website.

MCKONLY & ASBURY HOSTING WEBINAR ON ETHICAL SKILLS FOR ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERS

This free webinar on December 15th will discuss the unexpected benefits of an ethical work environment. Presenters will focus on ethical behaviors that set the “Tone at the Top” as well as employee’s personal benefits of peace of mind, trust, and good reputation. The webinar will also address the numerous employer benefits including improved employee morale, enhanced employee retention, increased employee productivity, and a greater focus on transparency throughout the organization.  Click here to register.

MEMBER BLOG POST: (IMC) Demands for Increased Visibility Are Impacting Cybersecurity Preparedness

IMC recently shared this great blog post, discussing how digitization and connectivity are having a huge impact on more than just your manufacturing operations and ability to monetize data. Vulnerabilities also are increasing as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) manufacturing solutions involve more software, devices and digitally connected employees.  Check it out!

Member Blog Post: Six Things to Consider When Writing Your Will

Nobody likes to talk about it, but it's important - consider these tips by chamber member Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak when writing your will and planning your estate.

Member Blog Post: What to Know About Winter Car Washes

Zimmer Insurance answers the question - how important is a winter car wash when it seems impossible to keep your car clean?  Read more.

Free Children's Programs Throughout December at Bloomsburg Public Library

From legos to Mother Goose, and story time to career exploring, there's lots of free children's programs this month!

Bloomsburg Area YMCA To Offer Adaptive Recreation

This program is FREE to any children who are differently-abled from ages 6-16. With this program comes a FREE 6-month family membership.
This program will begin on January 18, 2023.  Contact Collin with questions at cbenfield@bloomsburgy.org

SEDA-COG's Betsy Kramer Awarded Credentials

Congratulations to Betsy Kramer, Revitalization Coordinator for SEDA-Council of Governments, who was recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with Entrepreneurship Development Professional credentials (EDP).  Read more.

Congrats, Parade of Lights Champion!

Congrats to The Dutch Wheelman Bicycle Shop, who was named first place winner at this year's Parade of Lights, having designed a windmill that operated with bicycle gears.  See the picture below of the windmill en route to victory!

State Senator John Gordner Resigns

November 30, 2022

State Senator John Gordner Resigns

On Monday, State Senator John Gordner announced his resignation from the PA Senate after 30 years of combined service in the PA House and Senate.  His full statement is below:

"On November 30, 2022, I will have served 30 years in the Pennsylvania State House and State Senate.  It has been an honor of a lifetime to serve the citizens of the 109th Legislative District and the 27th Senatorial District. After being reelected in November 2020, my plan was to serve until the end of my term in November 2024 and retire.  However, I have been presented with a unique opportunity that, after much family discussion and consideration, I have decided to accept. I will be resigning as a state Senator on November 30, 2022 and accepting a new position in the coming week.  The new position will allow me to take full advantage of my 30-year legislative experience in the House and Senate, as well as my 35 years of being an attorney. Once again, I want to thank the residents of Columbia, Dauphin, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, and Snyder Counties that have supported me over the past 30 years.  During the vacancy, the district offices in Bloomsburg, Mount Carmel, and Shamokin Dam will remain fully operational."

Senator Gordner's new position will be as Counsel to the office of interim Senate Pro Tempore Kim Ward.

In a statement issued November 29, Columbia Montour Chamber President Fred Gaffney said, "John Gordner has been such a strong advocate for our area, including the business community, over his years in the House and Senate. From securing funds for flood protection and storm water management to numerous economic development projects, his efforts will benefit our communities for many years to come. We cannot overstate our appreciation to Senator Gordner."

Flashback: This 2019 photo featured in the Press Enterprise, shows State Senator John Gordner speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for Chamber member Forest & Field.

A special election will take place to fill the seat left vacant by Senator Gordner's departure.

PA Chamber Reviews 2022 With End of Session Report

November 30, 2022

PA Chamber Reviews 2022 With End of Session Report

The PA Chamber of Business & Industry has released its 2021 - 2022 End of Session Report, which serves as a comprehensive review of the state chamber's legislative positions and an update on issues important to the business community over the last year.  Serving as a deep-dive on specific government action enacted at the state level over the last session the report is categorized so as to include updates on taxes, workforce development, childcare, and career readiness, transportation and infrastructure, energy and environmental issues, labor relations and employment policies, civil justice, education, healthcare, responsible state spending, and emergency preparedness and response.

In short, the report is packed with updates on the top issues facing the business community in Columbia and Montour Counties (and beyond) - issues on which the Columbia Montour Chamber governmental affairs committee and Board of Directors have provided input and feedback to the state chamber's team and our own legislators throughout the year.

Access the 2021-2022 PA Chamber End of Session Report here.

 

 

 

Small Business Administration Releases Additional Restaurant Revitalization Fund Money

November 29, 2022

Small Business Administration Releases Additional Restaurant Revitalization Fund Money

Source: The National Restaurant Association

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced the release of $83 million dollars in unobligated Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grants to 169 operators with pending applications.

The National Restaurant Association has been requesting these funds be released, and Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy made the following statement in response:

“The SBA’s action represents the final chapter of our nearly three-year effort to secure dedicated federal pandemic relief dollars for local restaurants. Today’s announcement is great news for those 169 operators fortunate enough to receive an RRF grant, but hundreds of thousands more are struggling with uncertainty.

According to the SBA, the grants are being released to operators in the order their applications were received. Operators receiving funds should receive notification today and SBA will begin transmitting the grants next week. They have until March 2023 to spend the money.

The Association was first to lay out the plan for a restaurant industry recovery fund to Congress in April 2020. Congress eventually set aside $28.6 billion dollars for the RRF in the American Rescue Plan Act. After this money was distributed, more than 177,000 applications were left in limbo at the SBA.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in July, noting SBA was holding unobligated RRF funds and the Association was first to send a letter to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman requesting that the unobligated money be released to unfunded applicants.

The restaurant industry was the hardest hit by the pandemic. In the initial shutdowns, more than eight million industry employees were laid off or furloughed. The industry still has not recreated 565,000 jobs lost at that time, which is the largest current employment deficit caused by the pandemic among all U.S. industries. More than 90,000 restaurants closed permanently or long-term because of the pandemic.

Member News – November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

Member News – November 23, 2022

It's the Holiday Season, with Area Events Starting This Weekend

Berwick

Bloomsburg

  • 11/25 - 4:00pm - TreeFest begins at the Caldwell Consistory
  • 11/25 - 4:30pm - Parade of Lights - forms in Geisinger Bloomsburg Lot, moves at 6pm; Lighstreet Rd to Main St., Market to 5th, 5th to Fairgrounds.  Register here.
  • 11/25 & 11/26 - 10:00am - 8:00pm - Winterfest at the Fairgrounds - (Free) - Shop over 150 craft vendors inside the fair buildings including local wineries and breweries.
  • 11/26 - Santa begins hours at Exclusively You on the square.  Schedule here.
  • 11/26 & 11/27 - North Pole Express Train Rides - Rides are approximately 1 hour and travel from Bloomsburg at Autoneum to Catawissa.  Ticket availability here.  Tickets for 10am Saturday ride are sold out.  Tickets can also be purchased at Exclusively You, The Exchange, and Town Camera.
  • 12/2 - Coming Home for Christmas/Tree Lighting - Tree lighting at 5:30pm in front of the Bloom Diner.  Coming Home for Christmas to be held outside the Caldwell Consistory.
  • 12/2, 12/3, 12/9, and 12/10 - Santa visits Renco Ace Hardware!  Photos are free, but Renco is requesting consideration - that customers bring a nonperishable food item or monetary gift for AGAPE's Food Bank.

Danville

  • 12/3 - Hometown Holiday Market - 11am - 4pm - Festive street fair featuring holiday shopping, entertainment, and activities on Mill Street.
  • Wagon Rides are sold out for 12/3, 12/10, and 12/11.

Riverside

  • The Borough of Riverside will host its 2nd Annual Parade of Lights on 12/3.  Parade forms at 4pm at former Riverside Elementary School.  $50 prizes will be awarded in four categories - walkers/marching, vehicles without floats, large floats (over 20 feet), and small floats (under 20 feet).  Santa in the Park will be located under the park pavilion.  Registration due by November 30 to the Borough.

Joy Through the Grove

  • 11/25 - 12/31 - (Except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) 5:30pm - 9:00pm.  Learn more.

A comprehensive list of holiday events is also available on the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau's website.

UGI Encourages Safe Energy Practices During the Holiday Season

Utility provides tips when cooking and decorating.

Traveling for the Holidays? 'Waterproof' Your Home Before You Leave

For many, the holiday season includes travel, whether it is to join a family gathering or enjoy a holiday vacation. These traditional holiday trips stand to amplify an already growing travel demand. The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics* reports that for July 2022, the number of people boarding a U.S. airline plane for domestic or international travel grew to 69.9 million, up 8.6 percent from July 2021 numbers. As the holiday travel season approaches, the water and fire remediation specialists at SERVPRO® of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties caution homeowners that they need to go beyond buying tickets and packing a suitcase before they leave on a trip. Homeowners need to "waterproof" their homes with this six-step plan.

North Shore Railroad Hosts Toys for Tots Drive

On Saturday, November 19th, North Shore Railroad hosted NARCOA Speeders for the 19th Annual Toys for Tots drive.

These little rail cars traveled from Northumberland, through Danville and Bloomsburg, to Berwick, and back. The public was welcomed to come alongside the railroad tracks to meet the speeder drivers and hand them a new, unwrapped toy for the drive.

 

 

Women's Center Holding Holiday Meal and Gift Pickup

Pre-registration is required by November 28 by calling 570-784-6631.

Click here for details.

Susquehanna Valley United Way Sponsoring Be Kind. Poster Contest

The goal of this contest is to increase youth community involvement while supporting the mission of Be Kind. campaign to spread kindness throughout the region and encourage each of us to give back to our community.

School-aged children across Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties are eligible to enter. The competition will be featured on social media and 3 Grand Prize winners will receive a $100 cash prize!

Click here for more information.

McKonly & Asbury Hosting Webinar on Ethical Skills for Organizational Leaders

This free webinar on December 15th will discuss the unexpected benefits of an ethical work environment. Presenters will focus on ethical behaviors that set the “Tone at the Top” as well as employee’s personal benefits of peace of mind, trust, and good reputation. The webinar will also address the numerous employer benefits including improved employee morale, enhanced employee retention, increased employee productivity, and a greater focus on transparency throughout the organization.

Click here to register.

U.S. Chamber Calls on Congress Again to Prevent a Railroad Strike

November 23, 2022

U.S. Chamber Calls on Congress Again to Prevent a Railroad Strike

From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Congress must act to prevent a railroad strike, or the economy will face a dire threat in the middle of the holiday season.

A national rail shutdown would have enormous impacts on the economy, costing more than $2 billion per day. It would freeze the flow of goods, empty shelves, shutter workplaces, and raise prices for families and businesses.

In September, President Biden struck a deal with the leadership of the 12 railroad unions and railroads to avert a strike. But now four unions are going back on their word by forcing a national rail strike.

The Chamber sent a letter to Congress in September, explaining that it should intervene like it did in 1982 and 1986.

“Congress must now impose the deal President Biden negotiated, and the railroads and union leadership agreed to,” said Chamber President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark. “If Congress fails to do so, a rail strike would substantially exacerbate inflation and the economic challenges Americans are facing today."

How a National Rail Shutdown Will Impact Consumers

State Funding Awarded for Bloomsburg Flood Protection

November 22, 2022

State Funding Awarded for Bloomsburg Flood Protection

From left to right: Sen. Gordner, Commissioners David Kovach, Chris Young, and Rich Ridgway, and Rep. Millard.

Columbia County will be receiving $4,000,000 to assist in the ongoing efforts to protect the Town of Bloomsburg from flood events.

Senator John Gordner and Representative David Millard made the announcement to the County Commissioners at their meeting on November 17th.

Once the Bloomsburg Flood Project is fully completed, the majority of the homes that suffered substantial loss in 2011 from Tropical Storm Lee-related flooding will be protected during future flooding events.

Several additional millions of state funding dollars had been acquired over the last several years to get the flood protection system to the present stage.

“These substantial state dollars set the stage for major improvements to current flood protections for the Town of Bloomsburg,” Gordner said. “This includes the hopeful expansion of the flood wall in the west end upon completion of all impact studies and models.”

PA Unemployment Rate Drops to 4%

November 21, 2022

PA Unemployment Rate Drops to 4%

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased to 4% in the month of October – down a tenth of a percent from the month prior. The figure marks the lowest unemployment rate the state has seen dating back to 1976, according to historical records from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Vice President of Government Affairs Alex Halper released the following statement:

“While it is encouraging that our state’s unemployment rate continues to drop, employers across the Commonwealth are still struggling to find workers. Many Pennsylvanians have left the labor market entirely and may not be reflected in unemployment figures. To help the business community grow and fill jobs, Pennsylvania needs effective workforce development programs to help people enter and reenter the workforce. We were pleased to see the General Assembly send two workforce development bills to Gov. Wolf’s desk at the end of this legislative session addressing the labor shortage, including H.B. 987, which eliminated automatic driver’s license suspensions for certain non-driving related offenses; and H.B. 1829, which removed several unnecessary impediments for young people seeking employment. With divided government in Harrisburg, strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce is a bipartisan issue that should receive top priority in the new legislative session.”

Welcome New Member – Together for Health & Wellness, LLC

November 17, 2022

Welcome New Member – Together for Health & Wellness, LLC

The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome to its membership Together for Health and Wellness, LLC.

What does healthcare mean to you?  For many, the current models leave your pocketbook empty and you without answers. You've probably experienced long wait times, quick appointments, and the feeling of being unable to get your questions answered.  You may even leave thinking, "Something's being overlooked."  Together for Health and Wellness is committed to bringing old-fashioned medicine back with a modern model that allows direct access, more time with your practitioner and a team that is advocating for your whole health with a traditional and functional medicine approach. Their goal: Together for Health and Wellness may be your place to heal.

On Monday, November 14, the Chamber was pleased to celebrate with Together for Health and Wellness as they cut the ribbon on their new location on Columbia Boulevard in Bloomsburg. Stop in and visit!

 

It’s Small Business Season!

November 17, 2022

It’s Small Business Season!

From November 17 – December 31st, we’re celebrating Small Business Season™. The chamber is encouraging every person of our community to support friends and neighbors by shopping, dining, and exploring our small businesses.  We're also a Neighborhood Champion for the annual Shop Small campaign - more on that below.

Small Businesses Are a Big Deal to Columbia and Montour Counties

Small business made up over 60% of all new jobs this year and yet they face many challenges from rising costs to filling vacancies. Plus, according to JP Morgan Chase, “The median small business holds (only) 27 cash buffer days in reserve. Half of all small businesses hold a cash buffer of less than one month. Moreover, 25% of small businesses hold fewer than 13 cash buffer days in reserve.” That means over 50% of small businesses wouldn’t last over a month on their reserves.

They need our help, and we need theirs. On average, $68 of every $100 spent locally stays in our community. Most of us turn to small businesses first when we’re seeking help for our nonprofits, youth activities, and sponsorships. When they thrive, we thrive!

Where you spend your money this holiday season matters.

Support small businesses by patronizing them and/or:

  • Writing reviews
  • Referring friends
  • Checking-in and taking pictures or videos and sharing them on social media when you’re visiting small businesses
  • Sharing small business posts on social media
  • Talking about your favorite businesses on social media

Join us and pledge to support local this holiday season. Shopping small can make a big difference.

Are you interested in joining us for the Small Business Season Campaign, and receiving free marketing materials?  Let us know, by emailing Chamber Vice President Chris Berleth, at cberleth@columbiamontourchamber.com.

Shop Small

As part of our Small Business Season Campaign, we've also signed up to be your Neighborhood Champion in the annual "Shop Small" program.  Now through December, while supplies last, your Chamber has "Shop Small" window stickers, posters, and reusable shopping bags.  Contact Brenda Flanagan, at bflanagan@columbiamontourchamber.com at the Chamber to request supplies, or stop in to see us!