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WHAT THE MIDTERM RESULTS MEAN FOR PA BUSINESSES

November 14, 2022

WHAT THE MIDTERM RESULTS MEAN FOR PA BUSINESSES

Source: PA Chamber of Business & Industry

While last week’s midterm elections produced a mixed bag for both parties, the results were marked by one consistent theme: change.

For starters, Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey will now be held by Democrat John Fetterman, and Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro will take over as Governor in January. While Republicans retained the majority in the state Senate, the state House is likely to flip to the Democrats by a narrow, one or two seat majority. And Pennsylvania will send nine Democrats and eight Republicans to Congress after losing a seat during redistricting.

Harrisburg will have many new faces come January. At least 51 state House members, or 25 percent, will be serving their first term; and, 118 members, or 58 percent, will have been elected in the last three election cycles. Only 27 state House members, or 13 percent, held office the last time the Democrats were in the majority. Of that number, 13 are Republicans and 14 are Democrats.

For the PA Chamber, this means our role as the leading statewide voice of business is more important today than ever. In the weeks and months ahead, our team will be reaching out to newly elected members of the General Assembly and Gov.-Elect Shapiro’s team to discuss public policy priorities and how we can work collectively to move our economy forward.  We look forward to continuing to work with our member companies and local chambers to educate lawmakers on the importance of pro-growth policies and serve as a resource for information and guidance on key issues.

While Harrisburg will have a divided government, we know from experience that pro-business policy can advance in a bipartisan manner. In the past six months alone, we successfully enacted substantive legislation, including reducing our Corporate Net Income tax rate in half; preventing an unfair unemployment compensation tax rate hike on nearly 3,000 small businesses; and providing a regulatory framework for autonomous vehicle testing and deployment.

There is more progress to be made, including ensuring the state sticks to, or expedites, the planned CNI phase-down schedule and enacts additional reforms to  make Pennsylvania’s tax code more competitive, and the Commonwealth more attractive to investment; advancing regulatory and permitting reform that will provide certainty to businesses and encourage investment; improving our infrastructure, including broadband expansion; and addressing ongoing workforce challenges , among many other issues.

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Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.

A Recipe for Employee Engagement

November 9, 2022

A Recipe for Employee Engagement

You’re busy.  You’ve been spending a lot of energy trying to keep employees and customers happy.  Does this sound familiar?  

“Nobody wants to work anymore…” 

“I was ghosted again by another candidate…” 

“We’re trying to manage a really different workforce than the one that existed pre-pandemic… “ 

“I feel stuck trying to figure out how keep my employees here….” 

“It feels like our retention model is just throwing pasta against a wall to see what sticks.”  

We’ve got good news and bad news for you.  First, the bad news: that pasta trick?  (You know the one - that when it’s done, cooked pasta will stick to a wall?)  It turns out, that’s a myth.  All pasta, regardless of “doneness” sticks…which means it’s time to rethink this approach.   

Here’s the good news – the Chamber has access to local experts, the hiring and leadership versions of Michelin Chefs, and over the coming weeks, we’ll be showcasing their sage advice in Chamber programming.   

Employee Engagement

Take for example, Tina Welch, of Welch Performance Consulting.  Tina’s next local Chamber seminar is designed to help employers create a workplace that draws employees in and fully engages them.  To keep the pasta analogy going, she calls it the “secret sauce”.    

In the hubbub of the holidays, it might be easy to miss programs like this – but we think that members who attend will have a leg up in determining what makes employees stay with their companies long-term, improving employee retention, no matter the business size or industry.  Bonus: businesses with HR professionals can earn 1.5 SHRM PDC credits for their employees when they send them to this event. 

Consider signing up for Tina’s program, here. 

Leadership

Want to continue to improve company culture for current and rising managers and leaders?  Don’t miss the next iteration of our Leadercast: The One Thing… follow-up sessions, where the Community Giving Foundation’s Women’s Giving Circle will facilitate discussions that were jump-started by our September event.  You needn’t have attended the September event to participate, and if time is one of your most valuable assets, these sessions may just fit the bill – abbreviated to 90 minutes.   

Check out the next program, called “Building the Confidence to Reach Your Dreams”, here

Suffice it to say, with resources like these at our fingertips, we’re urging our members to take a break from baking up ideas at home, and to come and take a cooking class from the best we have, and if after reading this you’re suddenly physically hungry, we have resources for that too.   

Member News – November 9, 2022

November 9, 2022

Member News – November 9, 2022

BASHAR W. HANNA APPOINTED BY GOVERNOR WOLF

Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, president of Commonwealth University has been appointed to serve on Pennsylvania's Tuition Account Program (TAP) Advisory Board by Gov. Tom Wolf. Hanna's appointment runs from September 2022 to September 2026.  The board advises on the work of the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program, which provides families with a tax-advantaged way to help save for their children's higher education.  Read more.

ENCINA RELEASES EXPECTED PROJECT TIMELINE

Construction on the Point Township facility is expected to begin in Q3 of 2023, with the building project to take place in two phases.

WALNUT STREET CULVERT STORMWATER MITIGATION PROJECT RECEIVES $60,000

This project in the Town of Bloomsburg received the funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission.  Read more.

THE EXCHANGE TO HOST GUITARIST BROOKS WILLIAMS TONIGHT

Tonight, stop in to 24 East Main Street in Bloomsburg to see the Georgia-born song wrangler, guitarist, and Roots Music Connoisseur.

UGI URGES ELIGIBLE CUSTOMERS TO APPLY FOR LIHEAP

UGI encourages eligible natural gas and electric customers to apply for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds to help cover the cost of heating their home this winter. Applications will be accepted by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services beginning November 1, 2022.

HOME IMPROVEMENT TIP FROM LARRY'S LUMBER!

Check out the latest blog post from Larry's Lumber, which regularly features cost-saving recommendations to keep your homes (and your employees homes) in good condition.

GEISINGER BLOOMSBURG HOSPITAL TO HOST VETERANS DINNER NOVEMBER 10

For the 20th year, Geisinger will host its Veterans Appreciation Dinner.  This year's event is a drive-through event.  For more information, visit here.

KEEP OUR KIDS WARM

As part of its coat request program, Central Susquehanna Opportunities has created an application form which will be accepted through November 11, 2022.  Download the form.

THE BLOOMSBURG VETERANS DAY PARADE IS SATURDAY NOVEMBER 12

Forming at 9am at the Bloomsburg Geisinger Hospital, the parade steps off at 10am.  A short program at the conclusion of the parade will be held at Bloomsburg Fire Hall.  Floats and Participants wanted.  Call 570-594-6539 or 570-594-5549 with questions.

FRIENDS OF BLOOMSBURG UNIVERSITY LIBRARY TO SHOWCASE FACULTY EMERITUS

On November 13 at 3:00pm, join Karl Beamer in the Schweiker Room of the harvey A. Andruss Library for "Forever Fire", a presentation of his decades-long career creating kiln-fired pottery.   Karl is especially known for his interpretations of Japanese ceramic art.  For more information, contact Robert Dunkelberger.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER HOSTING WEBINARS

  • "Best Practices for Obtaining and Keeping Media Relationships" 11/15, 12:30pm (in-person)
    • This in-person workshop will explore how to effectively communicate with the media, including what editors/producers are typically looking for in features. It's intended for business owners, event planners, and marketing managers who want to reach new audiences via print media, radio, and TV.
  • "How to Make Marketing Easy!" - 11/16 - 12pm (in-person)
    • Take a deeper dive into the three C's of clarity, confidence, and consistency to show you how to make marketing less of a headache, with a number of stay-sane tips to use along the way.

For these programs and more, visit here.  Hoping to connect with your local SBDC?  Columbia County is served by Wilkes University SBDC, and Montour County is served by the Bucknell University SBDC.

SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY UNITED WAY TO HOST BE KIND POSTER CONTEST

The contest will span across elementary, middle, and high school age groups in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Columbia, and Montour counties. The competition will be open from October 12th through November 30th.

TOWN OF BLOOMSBURG LOOKING TO EXPAND WAITLIST FOR HOUSING REHABILITATION GRANT

The Town recently received a $500,000 housing rehabilitation grant and encourages interested residents to apply for no-cost repairs.  Read more.

BERWICK'S ANNUAL SANTA PARADE - NOVEMBER 25, 2022

BIDA is the Grand Marshal for this year's event.  Parade takes place at 10:30am, line-up begins at 9:30am.

T-ROSS BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION TO HOST HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE NOVEMBER 30, 2022

Chamber members are invited to attend!

Not Satisfied with Your Current Health Insurance?

November 9, 2022

Not Satisfied with Your Current Health Insurance?

Source: MyBenefit Advisor

It's not too late to make a switch.

Open enrollment brings an opportunity to look at things from a fresh perspective. That’s what the My Benefit Advisor (MBA) program offers. Whatever your pain points are -- local insurance experts are available to help you find the solutions that fit your needs. If you are late getting started or looking at a renewal you aren’t happy about, don’t wait any longer.

Schedule a time that works for you and have a quick call with a local My Benefit Advisor expert that specializes in the type of coverage you need. Start the year off on the right foot!

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My Benefit Advisor (MBA) is an employee benefits platform designed to guide employers through the complexity of planning, communicating and managing a successful employee benefits program.

To learn more about My Benefit Advisor, visit us online at www.mybenefitadvisor.com.

Weighing Resilience Options for Critical Facilities

November 8, 2022

Weighing Resilience Options for Critical Facilities

Energy resilience and reliability has become more important than ever, especially with the more frequent occurrence of adverse events such as severe weather and cyber threats.

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection is searching for owners and operators of critical facilities who are interested in increasing resilience to participate in a no-cost initial feasibility study for on-site energy generation and storage at your critical facility.  If you're interested in participating in the no-cost initial feasibility study, complete this brief survey to apply.


As part of the department's efforts to equip decision-makers, they've also created a
pre-recorded webinar to discuss how non-traditional backup systems are different from onsite generation, storage and microgrids, to discuss grants and funding sources available for resilience projects, and to determine how resilience projects can be developed to maximize community impact.

 

PA CLIMBS THE COMPETITIVENESS RANKINGS

November 8, 2022

PA CLIMBS THE COMPETITIVENESS RANKINGS

Source: PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Site Selection Magazine released its 2022 Business Climate Rankings, and Pennsylvania climbed six spots to No. 16. The rankings consider several factors, including workforce skills; state and local tax scheme; workforce development; transportation infrastructure; ease of permitting and regulatory procedures; land/building prices and supply; utilities; incentives; higher education resources; and quality of life.

These rankings come on the heels of the Tax Foundation’s updated analysis of how pro-growth reforms recently enacted in Pennsylvania improved our ranking among states. With the enactment of Act 53, which included the CNI reduction, as well as small business tax reforms (Section 1031 like-kind exchanges and Section 179 expense deductions), Pennsylvania’s corporate tax structure went from No. 44 to No. 27, while our overall competitiveness went from No. 29 to No. 17.

Pennsylvania also climbed six spots this year in CNBC’s annual rankings of the top states for business, from No. 23 to No. 17. The financial news outlet gave the state high marks among states for the quality of its educational systems, technology and innovation sectors, access to capital, and infrastructure, but scored Pennsylvania at the middle or lower end for economic growth, workforce, and business friendliness measures.

The PA Chamber is committed to working with our allies in state government and our members to continue making Pennsylvania’s business tax climate more competitive, including maintaining or even accelerating the CNI phase down, improving the treatment of net operating losses, and other  reforms to encourage private sector investment and job growth.

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Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.

Welcome New Member – VirtuStudio 360

November 4, 2022

Welcome New Member – VirtuStudio 360

The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome its newest member, VirtuStudio 360, and owner David Fetterman.

VirtuStudio 360 has been in business since 2019 specializing in Drone Services. Founder/Owner Dave Fetterman saw an opportunity to take his love of photography and film making, combining it with a drone to give the viewer a new perspective. Dave is an FAA, fully licensed sUAV(Drone) Remote Pilot with over 1800 flight hours, that enables him to pursue commercial related work.

Services provided by VirtuStudio 360 are photography, videography, virtual tours for commercial & residential real estate, media and marketing content. In 2022, VirtuStudio 360 expanded drone services to include roof/home inspections, public safety engagements, energy and utility inspections. These services require drones that have high resolution cameras as well as Infrared capabilities. Dave was born and raised in Bloomsburg, however he spent 26 years living in Pittsburgh. He moved back in 2012 to be closer to family and to get back to the town he loves.

You've got to see some of Dave's incredible work, featured below.  To connect with Dave, visit https://www.virstudio360.com/

Welcome to the Chamber, Dave!

Member News – November 2, 2022

November 2, 2022

Member News – November 2, 2022

Farm Bureau Announces 2023 Farm Bill Priorities

In the next U.S. Congress, the PA delegation will have at least eight members who have not yet been through the Farm Bill process.  This year’s AFBF priorities, which local farm bureau chapters like the Columbia County Farm Bureau contribute to, include recommendations regarding commodities, conservation and crop insurance.  Read more here.

McKonly & Asbury Year-End Tax Planning Webinar

Did you miss this too-good-to-miss update from Charles Eisenhart, CPA and Mark Heath, CPA?  Check out the video, here.

Bloomsburg Granted Full Membership in University Sales Center Alliance

The Professional Sales Center (PSC) of the Bloomsburg University Zeigler College of Business has been approved for full membership status in the University Sales Center Alliance (USCA). The announcement was made at the organization's annual meeting in Ogden, Utah last month.  Read more.

Zartman Congratulates Steve Reich

Steve, a General Superintendent, recently celebrated 35 years as a Zartman team member.

BLOSSOMS IN BLOOM BY MEGAN AND SOMETHING BORROWED BY T + M TO HOST GRAND OPENING NOVEMBER 5

From 9am to 5pm on November 5, stop by Blossoms in Bloom by Megan and Something Borrowed by T & M for their big event!  They'll be offering discounts on non-vendor merchandise and there will be light refreshments and snacks available! They will also have the other half of our store open that has Something Borrowed by T&M for you to check out any of your decor rental needs!

PPL Electric Utilities Receives Congressional Commendation

Congresswoman Susan Wild recently recognized PPL for their innovative Smart Grid, which has helped to improve overall reliability and reduce outages. Since 2015, the PPL Electric Smart Grid has helped to prevent more than 1.4 million customer outages.

 

SERVICE ELECTRIC CABLEVISION BOOSTS SPEEDS

Speed increases will help many of residential Internet tiers, including 2 Gbps download speeds beginning November 1st. Customers may begin enjoying the speed upgrades sooner with a quick cable modem reset by disconnecting/reconnecting the power cord from the back of their modem.  Read more.

CAPTURE TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITIES: ECOMMERCE 101 FOR MANUFACTURERS

The Innovative Manufacturers’ Center will host this free webinar Nov. 8 from 11am to noon.  The program will feature an eCommerce checklist for beginners, 1st page rankings on Google, creating effective landing pages, and targeting customers with Google Ads and Shopping.  Check out the link for more.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER HOSTING WEBINARS

  • “Power of Positive Leadership” Webinar 11/8, 12pm
    • Join the SBDC for this SHRM-approved, free webinar to explore the value that positive leadership brings to an organization.
  • “Why Are Business Owners Resistant to Virtual Work?” Webinar 11/9, 12pm
    • Gain insight into how employees feel about leaders in evolving workplace dynamics, explore the emotional impacts of virtual, hybrid and in-office work for leaders and employees, and share challenges and best practices for leading a dynamic workplace.

For these programs and more, visit here.  Hoping to connect with your local SBDC?  Columbia County is served by Wilkes University SBDC, and Montour County is served by the Bucknell University SBDC.

1 Million Cups Susquehanna Valley to Meet 11/9, 9am

1 Million Cups is a forum that empowers entrepreneurs to share great ideas over a cup of coffee.  When you attend, you support local businesses – better yet, when you present , you can get great feedback for your own business.  The next event will be 11/9 at Susquehanna University’s Degenstein Campus Center, Benjamin Room 2-5.

KEEP OUR KIDS WARM

As part of its coat request program, Central Susquehanna Opportunities has created an application form which will be accepted through November 11, 2022.  Download the form.

The Bloomsburg Veterans Day Parade is Saturday November 12

Forming at 9am at the Bloomsburg Geisinger Hospital, the parade steps off at 10am.  A short program at the conclusion of the parade will be held at Bloomsburg Fire Hall.  Floats and Participants wanted.  Call 570-594-6539 or 570-594-5549 with questions.

SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY UNITED WAY TO HOST BE KIND POSTER CONTEST

The contest will span across elementary, middle, and high school age groups in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Columbia, and Montour counties. The competition will be open from October 12th through November 30th.

PA CAREERLINK® COLUMBIA/MONTOUR COUNTIES MOVES TO NEW LOCATION

The PA CareerLink® Columbia/Montour Counties is moving from 415 Central Rd Suite 2, to the building next door at 421 Central Rd., Suite 1 so as to better serve job seekers and businesses utilizing CareerLink services.

BASON COFFEE HAS MOVED!

Bason Coffee’s Retail Store has moved to 453 Mill Street, and the storefront features a new name: Bason Coffee and More.

TOWN OF BLOOMSBURG LOOKING TO EXPAND WAITLIST FOR HOUSING REHABILITATION GRANT

The Town recently received a $500,000 housing rehabilitation grant and encourages interested residents to apply for no-cost repairs.  Read more.

SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY UNITED WAY OFFERS EMERGENCY RESOURCE GUIDE

The guide includes contact information for Financial Assistance, Disaster Relief, Mental Health & Substance Use, Food & Clothing, Housing, Legal Services and Transportation.

National Veterans Small Business Week

November 2, 2022

National Veterans Small Business Week

This week, the Small Business Administration celebrates, connects with, and empowers aspiring and current service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouse entrepreneurs during National Veterans Small Business Week.

Through November 4, SBA and its extensive partner network will celebrate the strength and resilience of the #VetBiz community by hosting events across the country and sharing information about the resources available to veteran entrepreneurs.

Discover transition assistance resources like Boots to Business or connect with your local Veterans Business Outreach Center to develop your business plan, receive marketing tips, and access government contracting opportunities.

Here's a few additional resources we'd like to highlight:

Chamber Seeking Applicants for Board Consideration

November 2, 2022

Chamber Seeking Applicants for Board Consideration

Members interested in being considered for the Chamber board should submit information by Monday.

The Board of the Chamber of Commerce is organizing a nominating committee to consider new members. Board members set policy and the strategic direction for the organization. A slate of candidates will be selected by the Board in December and voted on by the membership at the Annual Meeting in February.

One and three year terms are available. The Commitment to Serve document, outlines the duties and expectations of Board members. Anyone interested or in need of additional information should contact Fred Gaffney at 570-784-2522 or fgaffney@columbiamontourchamber.com by 9 a.m. on Monday, November 7th.