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50+ Local Chambers of Commerce Across PA Urge State Investments inChild Care Teacher Recruitment and Retention

July 3, 2024

50+ Local Chambers of Commerce Across PA Urge State Investments inChild Care Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Local chambers of commerce from across Pennsylvania, including the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce submitted a letter to state lawmakers urging them to address Pennsylvania’s continuous child care crisis. The letter, signed by more than 50 local chambers of commerce and economic development agencies, calls for a state investment that directly helps child care providers to recruit and retain their teachers. The letter explains, alleviating the child care workforce shortage, means classrooms can remain open or reopen, increasing the availability of child care for the tens of thousands of families that need it to remain in the workforce and contribute to Pennsylvania’s overall economy.

A new report from the nonprofit ReadyNation surveyed more than 300 PA working mothers and estimated an annual economic cost of $2.4 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and tax revenue due to gaps in Pennsylvania’s child care system.

According to the report, the vast majority of child care responsibility still falls on mothers – therefore, work disruptions, career barriers and financial burdens caused by inadequate child care are greater for working moms as a percentage of earnings than all working parents. The annual economic cost of both working mothers and fathers dealing with gaps in PA’s child care system is estimated at $6.65 billion annually.

As part of the letter, local chamber leaders point to numerous states that are navigating the child care teacher shortage crisis that is closing programs and driving up waitlists for working families in need of care. At least 18 states are directly investing in recruitment and retention strategies to solve the child care teacher shortage and ensure that child care supply can meet the demand from working families.

Click here to learn more about the child care in Pennsylvania.

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Businesses are encouraged to offer feedback to Chamber President Chris Berleth, at cberleth@columbiamontourchamber.com on this topic or others that impacting your business.

SCOTUS Ruling Creates More Stable Regulatory Environment for Business

July 3, 2024

SCOTUS Ruling Creates More Stable Regulatory Environment for Business

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

In its decision in the Loper Bright and Relentless cases, the Supreme Court overturned its 40-year-old administrative law precedent from Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, taking a major step toward improving the regulatory environment for businesses.

Why it matters: The court made an important course correction that will help create a more predictable and stable regulatory environment for businesses.

Be smart: Under the longstanding Chevron deference doctrine, judges deferred to federal agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes.

• This created an unpredictable and unstable regulatory climate for businesses.
• Now, courts will exercise full, independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce take: “The Supreme Court’s previous deference rule allowed each new presidential administration to advance their political agendas through flip-flopping regulations and not provide consistent rules of the road for businesses to navigate, plan, and invest in the future,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark. “The Chamber will continue to urge courts to faithfully interpret statutes that govern federal agencies and to ensure federal agencies act in a reasonable and lawful manner."

What the U.S. Chamber did: The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief, urging the Court to reject the practice of reflexive judicial deference to agency interpretations of statutes under an expansive interpretation of Chevron deference.

Innovative Hiring Strategies for Small Businesses

July 3, 2024

Innovative Hiring Strategies for Small Businesses

  • Securing top talent is essential for small business growth, facing unique recruitment challenges.
  • Innovative hiring strategies, like leveraging social media and advanced technologies, enhance recruitment and provide a competitive edge.
  • Over 71% of recruiters use social media for hiring, tapping into a wider talent pool and engaging with candidates in a relaxed environment.
  • AI-driven applicant tracking systems improve efficiency in identifying ideal candidates.
  • Creating a strong employer brand is crucial for attracting top talent and differentiates company branding.

730 words ~ 3.5 min read

Securing the right talent is crucial for growth, especially for small businesses facing unique recruitment challenges. The hiring landscape is constantly changing, requiring small business owners to be flexible and adopt innovative recruitment strategies to stay competitive.

Leveraging social media and advanced technologies in recruitment can significantly enhance a small business's ability to attract top talent and gain a competitive edge. Posting job opportunities on social media is just the start; you want to use social media to build your employer brand. Advanced technologies like AI-driven applicant tracking systems can make the recruitment process more efficient, especially when they build in innovations that allow you to identify ideal candidates easily. Creating an employer brand, not just a company brand, is also essential to attracting your ideal hires. Read on to learn more about these strategies and to discover expert-recommended tools for recruitment and hiring.

Using Social Media for Recruitment

Social media platforms have transformed into vital recruitment tools, with over 71% of recruiters using these platforms for hiring. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter not only enable businesses to tap into a wider talent pool but also facilitate engagement with potential candidates in a more relaxed environment, enhancing the recruitment process.

Benefits:

  • Wider Reach: Social media platforms have millions of active users, providing access to a vast pool of potential candidates. Also, when you talk about new opportunities on social media platforms, you make it easy for happy team members to tell others about it.
  • Targeted Advertising: Businesses can use targeted ads to reach specific demographics based on the ideal candidate's profile. Companies like Boostpoint help businesses receive a greater ROI and enable them to reach candidates with sophisticated targeting and AI innovations.
  • Employer Branding: Establishing a strong presence on social media helps build a reputable employer brand, attracting quality candidates, even customers who already love your business. In the last section, we’ll outline how to create an employer brand that helps you achieve your goals.

Leveraging Recruitment Technology

Technology has revolutionized the recruitment process, making it more efficient and effective. Utilizing advanced recruitment tools can streamline hiring and enhance the candidate experience.

Key Technologies:

  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): These systems help manage the entire recruitment process, from posting job ads to tracking applications and scheduling interviews. In 2024, Freshteam by Freshworks ranked best out of eleven ATS providers as ranked by Forbes, and the US Chamber of Commerce spotlight four other ATS companies ideal for small business in a recent article.
  • AI and Machine Learning: These technologies, often built into your ATS, can analyze resumes, shortlist candidates, and even conduct initial interviews, saving time and resources.
  • Video Interviewing: Video interviews allow businesses to screen candidates remotely, reducing the time and cost associated with in-person interviews. People Managing People article, list Vidrecruiter and Hireflex as top video software for interviews in 2024. View their complete list and how to choose a software that’s right for you here.

Creating an Attractive Employer Brand

An attractive employer brand can significantly impact a small business's ability to attract and retain top talent. A strong employer brand communicates the company's values, culture, and mission, making it an appealing place to work.

Strategies to Enhance Employer Brand:

  • Employee Testimonials & Spotlights: Sharing employee experiences and testimonials on the company website and social media can showcase the positive aspects of working for the business. Spotlighting team members' passions and contributions can also help attract like-minded candidates. Stories, inc., a digital marketing agency focused on telling employee stories, compiled a list of great employee stories to help businesses tell their own. Go here for inspiration.
  • Engaging Content: Regularly posting engaging content, such as behind-the-scenes videos, team-building activities, and success stories, helps create a positive image. Use your mission to help guide content so that candidates and customers learn what you value. Additionally, think about showcasing how your business backs communities vital to you, including veterans, educational institutions, families, and local businesses.
  • Career Development Opportunities: Highlighting opportunities for career growth and professional development can attract ambitious candidates looking for long-term prospects. Tell stories about employees moving up and how their work supports the company vision.

The Takeaway

By focusing on these innovative hiring strategies, small business owners can stay ahead of the curve, optimize their operations, and drive growth in their respective industries. Embracing these trends will not only help in finding the best talent but also ensure that the business remains competitive in the ever-evolving market landscape.

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The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is a private non-profit organization that aims to support the growth and development of local businesses and our regional economy. We strive to create content that not only educates but also fosters a sense of connection and collaboration among our readers. Join us as we explore topics such as economic development, networking opportunities, upcoming events, and success stories from our vibrant community. Our resources provide insights, advice, and news that are relevant to business owners, entrepreneurs, and community members alike.

Member News ~ July 8, 2024

July 3, 2024

Member News ~ July 8, 2024

Bloomsburg Parking and App information

"On Track" out now!

Check out the North Shore Railroad Company & Affiliates quarterly newsletter.

Central PA Energy Summit Happening July 22

Participate in the Central PA Energy Summit to delve into the topic of energy affordability and accessibility within Central PA.  Learn more here.

BOOM Camps happening

Better Orientation Onboarding & Mentoring (BOOM) Camps will be hosted free and online in July.  Get dates, and session topics and register by clicking here.  Help BOOM Camp by participating in a survey that will gather insights from local employers to develop valuable learning content for HR professionals, business leaders, workforce development experts, and educators in Central PA. A summary will be shared with BOOM Camp participants and available by request. The final report will be ready by summer 2024.

Sean Black - State Farm Celebrating 12 years in business

Congratulation to Sean Black and his team on celebrating their 12th year in business!

7 Mountains Media Launches Second Chance Job Board

7 Mountains Media is proud to announce the launch of the Second Chance Job Board on freshstartpa.net, providing a platform for employers to offer job opportunities to individuals with criminal backgrounds. Employers are invited to list job openings for free, helping to create a fresh start for those looking for a second chance. Learn more.

Update your Veolia Account

Want to keep updated on work in your area? Ensure your phone and email address are up to date in your account on: mywater.veolia.us
They will only notify you about planned and unplanned work in your area if these features are turned on.

Rental Assistance Virtual Meeting Happening July 11th

Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc. (CSO), in collaboration with Agape and Gate house, is applying for HOME ARP Support Service funding to support housing programming in Columbia, Montour and Northumberland Counties! This funding will be used to provide rental assistance and homelessness prevention service to eligible families! Curious about this or wondering if you or someone you know qualify?
Join a virtual meeting that is open to the public on July 11th at 10am!
Please contact Megan Bair for questions: mbair@censop.com

IMC Partnering to Offer Electrical Safety Training

The Innovative Manufacturers’ Center (IMC), Inc. is excited to announce its continued partnership with The Manufacturers' Association to support training in electrical safety in central and southcentral Pennsylvania through December 2024. Open enrollment opportunities scheduled are as August 7 – Altoona, August 21 – Williamsport, September 9 – Lewisburg, and October 8 – State College.  Learn more.

Bloomsburg Children's Museum Hosting Daddy Daughter Dance

The Friends of the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum (BCM) will host its 3rd annual Daddy Daughter Dance on Sunday, July 28 from 3-6 p.m. at the Museum, 2 West 7th Street, Bloomsburg. Daughters may be escorted by dad, grandpa, Uncle, or any special person who fits this role. Learn More.

Danville Memorial Park 2024 Concert Series happening Tuesdays

Bring your lawn chair and gather in Memorial Park for the annual Summer Concert Series, Tuesdays at 7 pm (til dusk) Rain Location: Grove Presbyterian Church. Stay up to date on performers and rain location changes here.

Pennsylvania College of Technology offers Workforce Development Courses

Check out PCT's full listing of Workforce Development Courses happening all year long! Courses include Excel Training and Fundamentals of GD & T.

Construction and Maintenance Training Programs offered at CMAVTS

This workforce development opportunity is provided by Columbia County Commissioners in partnership with Community Strategies Group and funded by the COVID-19-ARPA, Whole-Home Repairs Program Funds. This program is tuition-free for Residents of Columbia County. Training is provided by Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School. For more information and to register for a course, call 570-784-8040, extension 3320, and check out the course schedule here.

 Upcoming Bucknell SBDC Events

Servpro of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties offering CE classes

5 CE classes will be offered by Servpro of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties.  Get the full schedule.

Covered Bridge & Arts Festival Call for Vendor Applications

The 2024 Application is NOW AVAILABLE for all returning vendors and prospective new vendors. The application is the same whether you are a returning or new vendor. RETURNING VENDORS: please submit as soon as possible to receive priority consideration. The application window for prospective NEW vendors will remain open until JULY 15. Get more details here.

Save the Date for Agapepalooza

Save the Date for Agapepalooza July 20th, 2024.  This is a day of free fun for the whole family with activities, local vendors, and food. Learn more.

LCBC hosting annual Global Leadership Summit

For over 30 years, the Global Leadership Summit has been empowering leaders worldwide. LCBC will be hosting this virtual summit at their Columbia - Montour Campus on August 8-9.  Learn more.

Bloomsburg Rotary Hosting 30th Annual Jeffrey H. Lewis Memorial "Kids Klassic"

Wednesday, August 14th will see the 30th Annual Jeffrey H. Lewis Memorial "Kids Klassic" at Frosty Valley Resort.  Learn more.

3rd Annual Photo contest hosted by Journey Bank

Calling all local photographers! Registration is now open for the 2024 Journey Bank Photography Competition. Explore this year's categories, as well as the brand-new Hometown Pride category! Download your registration packet.  Registration closes Friday, September 13th.

Community Giving Foundation partnering on a regional nonprofit Conference in October

Community Giving Foundation and First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP) are thrilled to partner together to create Elevate2, a new regional nonprofit conference. The inaugural conference will be held on October 14-15, 2024, at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. More information is available online at elevate2.org

Women's Center to Celebrate Anniversary

Save the Date for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Women's Center of Columbia and Montour Counties happening November 16, 2024.

Member News ~ June 28, 2024

June 28, 2024

Member News ~ June 28, 2024

Bloomsburg Parking and App information

Central PA Energy Summit Happening July 22

Participate in the Central PA Energy Summit to delve into the topic of energy affordability and accessibility within Central PA.  Learn more here.

Geisinger Offers Stop the Bleed Training

As part of the national Stop the Bleed campaign Geisinger Medical Center participates in community outreach for the public on how to manage life-threatening bleeding until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or first responders arrive. To learn more about the program and have a training at your business click here.

7 Mountains Media Launches Second Chance Job Board

7 Mountains Media is proud to announce the launch of the Second Chance Job Board on freshstartpa.net, providing a platform for employers to offer job opportunities to individuals with criminal backgrounds. Employers are invited to list job openings for free, helping to create a fresh start for those looking for a second chance. Learn more.

PPL Offers Tips for Heat Wave

PPL Electric offers these tips for customers to save energy and money while still staying comfortable during extreme heat. Learn more.

IMC Partnering to Offer Electrical Safety Training

The Innovative Manufacturers’ Center (IMC), Inc. is excited to announce its continued partnership with The Manufacturers' Association to support training in electrical safety in central and southcentral Pennsylvania through December 2024. open-enrollment opportunities scheduled are as August 7 – Altoona, August 21 – Williamsport, September 9 – Lewisburg, and October 8 – State College.  Learn more.

Railroad Military Locomotives to be on Display in Celebration of Independence Day

The North Shore Railroad Company & Affiliates (NSHR) will have its two Military Units parked, for public viewing, at the Union County Veterans’ 4th of July Celebration (on Saturday, June 29th, in Lewisburg, PA) and Set the Night to Music Fireworks Celebration (on Thursday, July 4th, in Williamsport, PA).  Learn More.

CMVTS students competing at Conference

Good luck to CMVTS students,  Jordan Fox, Ryder Sharrow, Zachary Heller, and Landon Newton who will be going to the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Seattle, Washington from June 29th - July 3rd. Jordan will be competing in Culinary Arts and Ryder, Zachary,  and Landon will be competing in Nutrition & Wellness STAR Events.  Jenna Morgan and Gage Monroe,  are also attending as the Pennsylvania FCCLA State President and Vice President of Public Relations.

Bloomsburg Children's Museum Hosting Daddy Daughter Dance

The Friends of the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum (BCM) will host its 3rd annual Daddy Daughter Dance on Sunday, July 28 from 3-6 p.m. at the Museum, 2 West 7th Street, Bloomsburg. Daughters may be escorted by dad, grandpa, Uncle, or any special person who fits this role. Learn More.

Updated Contact information for PPL

Check out the updated contact information flyer for PPL.

Danville Memorial Park 2024 Concert Series happening Tuesdays

Bring your lawn chair and gather in Memorial Park for the annual Summer Concert Series, Tuesdays at 7 pm (til dusk) Rain Location: Grove Presbyterian Church. Stay up to date on performers and rain location changes here.

Geisinger Medical Center road relocation project to begin in June

This June, Geisinger Medical Center will begin the first phase of its road relocation project on Medical Center Drive in front of the hospital. The roadwork will happen in multiple phases and is expected to be completed in early 2025. The work is expected to start Monday, June 3, weather permitting. Learn more.

Ready PA - When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors - June Edition 2024

June 2024 ReadyPA Newsletter is out now articles this month include Lightning Safety Awareness Week (When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!); Enjoy A Safe & Fun Filled Summer, and Hey Pet Parents! It's Pet Preparedness Month!

Pennsylvania College of Technology offers Workforce Development Courses

Check out PCT's full listing of Workforce Development Courses happening all year long! Courses include Excel Training and Fundamentals of GD & T.

Construction and Maintenance Training Programs offered at CMAVTS

This workforce development opportunity is provided by Columbia County Commissioners in partnership with Community Strategies Group and funded by the COVID-19-ARPA, Whole-Home Repairs Program Funds. This program is tuition-free for Residents of Columbia County. Training is provided by Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School. For more information and to register for a course, call 570-784-8040, extension 3320, and check out the course schedule here.

 Upcoming Bucknell SBDC Events

Servpro of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties offering CE classes

5 CE classes will be offered by Servpro of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties.  Get the full schedule.

BOOM Camps happening

Better Orientation Onboarding & Mentoring (BOOM) Camps will be hosted free and online April - July.  Get dates, session topics and to register by clicking here.

Covered Bridge & Arts Festival Call for Vendor Applications

The 2024 Application is NOW AVAILABLE for all returning vendors and prospective new vendors. The application is the same whether you are a returning or new vendor. RETURNING VENDORS: please submit as soon as possible to receive priority consideration. The application window for prospective NEW vendors will remain open until JULY 15. Get more details here.

Save the Date for Agapepalooza

Save the Date for Agapepalooza July 20th, 2024.  This is a day of free fun for the whole family with activities, local vendors, and food. Learn more.

Stay Connected to the Women's Giving Circle

"On the Bright Side" Sessions will continue on August 15th and November 14th and their Annual Meeting & Grant Presentations will happen July 17th.  Learn more about these events and what the Women's Giving Circle is all about!

LCBC hosting annual Global Leadership Summit

For over 30 years, the Global Leadership Summit has been empowering leaders worldwide. LCBC will be hosting this virtual summit at their Columbia - Montour Campus on August 8-9.  Learn more.

Bloomsburg Rotary Hosting 30th Annual Jeffrey H. Lewis Memorial "Kids Klassic"

Wednesday, August 14th will see the 30th Annual Jeffrey H. Lewis Memorial "Kids Klassic" at Frosty Valley Resort.  Learn more.

3rd Annual Photo contest hosted by Journey Bank

Calling all local photographers! Registration is now open for the 2024 Journey Bank Photography Competition. Explore this year's categories, as well as the brand-new Hometown Pride category! Download your registration packet.  Registration closes Friday, September 13th.

Community Giving Foundation partnering on a regional nonprofit Conference in October

Community Giving Foundation and First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP) are thrilled to partner together to create Elevate2, a new regional nonprofit conference. The inaugural conference will be held on October 14-15, 2024, at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. More information is available online at elevate2.org

Commonwealth University – Bloomsburg Campus and The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce to offer management and leadership program

June 26, 2024

Commonwealth University – Bloomsburg Campus and The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce to offer management and leadership program

Back by popular demand, Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania – Bloomsburg Campus and the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce will once again offer their Management and Leadership program to help develop and sharpen skills for leading in today’s workplace environment.

This five-module certificate program is appropriate for existing leaders, managers, and supervisors; or those who are new or emerging in any business sector.

Professional course materials include assessments, activities, and other learning enhancement components to help each participant individualize their learning experience. Participants will receive a certificate from Commonwealth University upon completion and will have identified personal development goals to provide to their employers.

The five, three-hour modules are: supervisor effectiveness; effective communication for managers; conflict management; navigating a multigenerational workforce; and being a great mentor or coach.

This Fall’s Cohort will take place at the Hub at Mulberry Mill, 160 W. 6th Street Bloomsburg, PA 17815 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. on the following dates: September 12, October 3, October 17, October 31, and November 14. This year, special consideration for scheduling means that the program will not conflict with the Bloomsburg Fair.

Complete program details are available at www.columbiamontourchamber.com/employee-development/ or by calling 570-784-2522.

The program qualifies for WEDnet funding. For eligibility information, visit wednetpa.com or contact Jennifer Williams at 570-389-4004 or jwilliam@commonwealthu.edu.

A Look Ahead at Legislation in Harrisburg

June 26, 2024

A Look Ahead at Legislation in Harrisburg

House and Senate lawmakers are back in Harrisburg this week and, as always, the PA Chamber is currently monitoring several pieces of legislation with the potential to impact the state’s business community. Here is some of the legislation that employers should look out for in the week ahead.

Prevailing Wage Expansion (H.B. 2153)

House Bill 2153 may receive a vote on the House Floor this week.

This legislation would expand the PA Prevailing Wage Act to include custom fabrication and prohibit the practice of split-rates.

The PA Prevailing Wage Act requires pre-determined wages to be paid on public construction projects and can substantially increase project costs. This legislation would expand this requirement to custom fabrication work – which will raise costs on taxpayers and potentially divert projects to out-of-state competitors – and also prohibit the practice of paying “split rates,” which companies utilize to promote efficiency on a worksite. Both changes will increase costs and create administrative challenges for employers.

Anti-Trust Expansion (H.B. 2012)

House Bill 2012 may also receive a vote on the House Floor this week.

This legislation would create a Pennsylvania anti-trust statute that would expand anti-trust provisions and require pre-merger notifications to the Attorney General’s Office for health care facilities. The language of what constitutes a violation is sweeping and ambiguous, subjecting the Commonwealth’s employer community to severe criminal penalties and costly civil liability based upon undefined standards.

The bill expands anti-trust powers for the Attorney General and creates private causes of action that will allow for private anti-trust lawsuits in state courts across the Commonwealth. Additionally, the pre-merger notification requirement will subject health care mergers to additional scrutiny well below the current thresholds for reporting to the FTC and the DOJ. An amendment is pending that would address some of our concerns; however, the provisions allowing for private causes of action and pre-merger notifications would still remain in the bill even with adoption of this amendment.

Direct Deposit for Workers’ Compensation Payments (S.B. 1232)

Senate Bill 1232 may receive a vote on the Senate Floor this week.

This legislation would allow workers’ compensation claimants to request payment of benefits by direct deposit or employers to require payment of benefits by direct deposit.

The bill will modernize the Workers Compensation Act by establishing a regulatory framework to allow employers to make worker’s compensation payments by direct deposit, streamlining the process. These reforms were unanimously recommended by the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council.

Increasing the Vendor Discount in Sales Tax Collection (S.B. 1225)

Senate Bill 1225 may receive a vote on the Senate Floor this week.

This legislation would increase the vendor discount for businesses that collect sales tax to one percent on the first million dollars in sales tax collected and one-quarter percent for any sales tax revenue collected after that.

Businesses in Pennsylvania used to be able to keep one percent of the total sales tax they collected to cover their administrative costs of collecting the tax on behalf of the state. The vendor discount was capped at $300 a year in 2016. This legislation would provide relief for businesses by compensating them more for the costs associated with collecting sales tax on behalf of the state.

Work Schedule Mandates (H.B. 2356)

House Bill 2356 is expected to receive a vote in the House Labor and Industry Committee this week.

This legislation would require all employers to provide employees at least 30 minutes of rest after five hours of work.

This bill prompts concerns from multiple perspectives. For example, employers with “exempt” employees (i.e. not subject to overtime requirements) are concerned this mandate would require them to initiate new systems and force their salaried employees to begin tracking their hours and breaks.

Employers who serve vulnerable populations or aging services providers have expressed concerns with a new unfunded mandate that could exacerbate existing funding and workforce crises as they work to ensure access to care. Even employers who already provide similar or more generous break times have urged opposition based on the removal of flexibility, which is often necessary (e.g. when coworkers are late or unexpected circumstances arise), and the harsh penalties that could amount to thousands of dollars per day.

Verification of Construction Contractors (H.B. 2360)

House Bill 2360 is also expected to receive a vote in the House Labor and Industry Committee this week.

This legislation would require employers in the construction industry to complete additional verification forms.

The PA Chamber appreciates the intent of this bill, but it includes vague language, creates new private rights of action, and adds new administrative challenges to employers already burdened with significant bureaucratic requirements.

Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (S.B. 831)

Senate Bill 831 is expected to receive a vote in the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee this week.

This legislation would establish a legal and regulatory framework for carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and sequestration.

Establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for the deployment of carbon capture technology is vital to ensuring the deployment of billions of dollars in private capital, as well as potentially leveraging federal infrastructure funding, to innovate in low-carbon manufacturing, agricultural, and energy production projects. Carbon capture holds great potential to be added to Pennsylvania’s diverse energy portfolio, which has helped the Commonwealth lead the nation through every major energy transition in its history.

Food Processing Residuals (H.B. 2393)

House Bill 2393 is also expected to receive a vote in the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee this week.

This legislation would add additional regulations and restrictions on Food Processing Residuals.

A Food Processing Residual is an incidental organic material generated by processing agricultural commodities for human or animal consumption. The food processing industry currently sources FPRs to the agriculture sector to improve soil health and increase yields. Concerns have been raised by both the food processing and agricultural industries that this legislation would make it difficult to maintain this practice.

Ready-to-Drink Products (S.B. 688)

Senate Bill 688 is expected to receive a vote in the House Liquor Control Committee this week.

This legislation would authorize the private sector to sell “Ready to Drink” canned beverages.

“Ready to Drink” canned cocktails are a popular adult beverage product that currently can only be purchased through state stores. It is simply unfair to deny local convenience stores and supermarkets the ability to respond to their customers and sell these products.

Consolidation Feasibility Studies (H.B. 2386)

House Bill 2386 is expected to receive a vote in the House Education Committee this week.

This legislation would expand the resources available to school districts for administrative partnerships, ensuring that they encompass instructional programming partnerships and consolidation feasibility studies.

School district consolidation feasibility studies and shared administrative services are beneficial as they provide potential cost savings, improved resource allocation, and enhanced educational opportunities. Encouraging school districts to evaluate possible shared services and consolidations allows stakeholders to make informed decisions that can lead to more efficient operations.

Local Development Projects (H.B. 782)

House Bill 782 is expected to receive a vote in the House Local Government Committee this week.

This legislation would add new requirements and obstacles to local development projects.

Development companies are already governed by significant regulations at the state and local level. This bill would add new requirements and obstacles that could unduly complicate the ability to advance projects, raising costs and causing delays.

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The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce closely monitors proposed legislation and its potential impact on the local business community. Businesses are encouraged to offer feedback to Chamber President Chris Berleth, at cberleth@columbiamontourchamber.com.

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.

 

Five Time Management Strategies for Small Business Owners and Team Leaders

June 26, 2024

Five Time Management Strategies for Small Business Owners and Team Leaders

  • Effective time management is crucial for small business owners and team leaders to enhance productivity and maintain work-life balance.
  • Mastering time management helps in handling multiple roles without becoming overwhelmed, ensuring long-term success.
  • The Eisenhower Matrix aids in prioritizing tasks by distinguishing between what is urgent and important.
  • The Pomodoro Technique boosts focus and productivity by breaking work into intervals with scheduled breaks.
  • Time-blocking allows for dedicated focus on tasks by scheduling specific times for different activities, reducing multitasking inefficiency.

505 words ~ 2 min. read

Effective time management is crucial for small business owners and team leaders who often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities. Properly managing time is not only key to enhancing productivity but also essential in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, reducing stress, and ensuring long-term success. In an environment where every minute matters, mastering the art of time management can make a significant difference.

Why Time Management Matters

Small business owners and team leaders frequently handle a broad range of tasks, from strategic planning and operational oversight to customer service and team coordination. Without effective time management, these duties can quickly become overwhelming, leading to missed deadlines, subpar work quality, and burnout. By prioritizing tasks and managing time wisely, leaders can ensure that critical tasks are completed efficiently, resources are optimized, and teams remain motivated and focused.

Five Strategies for Effective Time Management

1. Prioritize Tasks Using the Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix helps in distinguishing between urgent and important tasks, which allows for better prioritization. Tasks are categorized into four quadrants: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important. This method ensures that leaders focus on what truly matters.

2. Implement the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking work into intervals, usually 25 minutes, separated by short breaks. This method enhances focus and prevents burnout by ensuring regular rest periods. Small business owners can use this technique to maintain high levels of productivity without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Use Time-Blocking

Time-blocking involves scheduling specific blocks of time for different tasks or activities throughout the day. By allocating dedicated time slots for various tasks, such as meetings, emails, and project work, leaders can ensure undivided attention on each task, reducing the inefficiency of multitasking.

4. Leverage Technology with Time Management Apps

Numerous time management apps, such as Trello, Asana, and Slack, can help organize tasks, set deadlines, and track progress. These tools facilitate better planning and collaboration, allowing small business owners and team leaders to streamline workflows and enhance team communication. Fast Company shares the top 10 time management apps CEOs swear by here.

5. Delegate Effectively

Delegation is a critical skill for leaders aiming to optimize their time. Assigning tasks to team members not only frees up the leader’s time for high-priority activities but also empowers employees and fosters a collaborative work environment. Effective delegation involves identifying tasks that can be handled by others and ensuring clear communication and accountability. Some business owners and managers struggle to delegate because of high standards or perfectionist tendencies. If that’s you, learn how to break the habit in Melody Wilding’s LinkedIn article “How to Delegate (Even if You’re a Die-Hard Perfectionist).

The Takeaway

By adopting these strategies, small business owners and team leaders can manage their time more effectively, leading to increased productivity, improved team morale, and sustained business growth. Time management is not just about working harder but about working smarter, ensuring that every minute contributes to achieving both short-term and long-term goals.

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The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is a private non-profit organization that aims to support the growth and development of local businesses and our regional economy. We strive to create content that not only educates but also fosters a sense of connection and collaboration among our readers. Join us as we explore topics such as economic development, networking opportunities, upcoming events, and success stories from our vibrant community. Our resources provide insights, advice, and news that are relevant to business owners, entrepreneurs, and community members alike.

Member News ~ June 21, 2024

June 21, 2024

Member News ~ June 21, 2024

Bloomsburg Parking and App information

The Berwick Theater and Center for Community Arts Re-Opens Tonight

Join the Berwick Theater and Center for Community Arts this weekend for their Re-opening.  Learn more.

B.I.D.A. meets with Federal, State, and Local Legislators

In early June BIDA met with Federal, State, and Local Legislators at their location in Berwick.  Learn more.

Geisinger Offers Stop the Bleed Training

As part of the national Stop the Bleed campaign Geisinger Medical Center participates in community outreach for the public on how to manage life-threatening bleeding until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or first responders arrive. To learn more about the program and have a training at your business click here.

PPL Offers Tips for Heat Wave

PPL Electric offers these tips for customers to save energy and money while still staying comfortable during extreme heat. Learn more.

Best of the Best voting open until June 23rd

The Press Enterprise's Annual Best of the Best voting open until June 23rd.  MANY Chamber member businesses are nominated.  Be sure to vote and check out all the categories!

Commonwealth University Names Provost

Commonwealth University has announced the selection of Dr. Michelle Kiec as its next provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, effective July 15. Learn more.

Railroad Military Locomotives to be on Display in Celebration of Independence Day

The North Shore Railroad Company & Affiliates (NSHR) will have its two Military Units parked, for public viewing, at the Union County Veterans’ 4th of July Celebration (on Saturday, June 29th, in Lewisburg, PA) and Set the Night to Music Fireworks Celebration (on Thursday, July 4th, in Williamsport, PA).  Learn More.

Berwick Teens Envision Bright Future for Community Through New Fund

The Community Giving Foundation: Berwick is excited to announce the creation of its first fund established by a group of local teen leaders. The Berwick Teen Center Youth Action Board Fund will support the mission, vision, and programs held by For the Cause’s Teen Center in Berwick. Learn more.

Bloomsburg Children's Museum Hosting Daddy Daughter Dance

The Friends of the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum (BCM) will host its 3rd annual Daddy Daughter Dance on Sunday, July 28 from 3-6 p.m. at the Museum, 2 West 7th Street, Bloomsburg. Daughters may be escorted by dad, grandpa, Uncle, or any special person who fits this role. Learn More.

United Way Announces Sweepstakes Winner

As part of the Susquehanna Valley United Way’s Annual Campaign each year is the Give and WIN Sweepstakes, sponsored by Weis and PepsiCo, where qualifying donors are entered for a chance to win a two-minute shopping spree at a local Weis Markets. This year’s winner is Angela Wentz, who contributed through Geisinger’s payroll deduction.  Learn more.

Updated Contact information for PPL

Check out the updated contact information flyer for PPL.

Danville Memorial Park 2024 Concert Series happening Tuesdays

Bring your lawn chair and gather in Memorial Park for the annual Summer Concert Series, Tuesdays at 7 pm (til dusk) Rain Location: Grove Presbyterian Church. Stay up to date on performers and rain location changes here.

DCDC continues 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Snack N'Shop happening June 22 rain or shine at 1459 Bloom Rd. Danville, PA 9:00 am - 1:00 pm.  More information here.

Geisinger Medical Center road relocation project to begin in June

This June, Geisinger Medical Center will begin the first phase of its road relocation project on Medical Center Drive in front of the hospital. The roadwork will happen in multiple phases and is expected to be completed in early 2025. The work is expected to start Monday, June 3, weather permitting. Learn more.

Ready PA - When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors - June Edition 2024

June 2024 ReadyPA Newsletter is out now articles this month include Lightning Safety Awareness Week (When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!); Enjoy A Safe & Fun Filled Summer, and Hey Pet Parents! It's Pet Preparedness Month!

Pennsylvania College of Technology offers Workforce Development Courses

Check out PCT's full listing of Workforce Development Courses happening all year long! Courses include Excel Training and Fundamentals of GD & T.

Construction and Maintenance Training Programs offered at CMAVTS

This workforce development opportunity is provided by Columbia County Commissioners in partnership with Community Strategies Group and funded by the COVID-19-ARPA, Whole-Home Repairs Program Funds. This program is tuition-free for Residents of Columbia County. Training is provided by Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School. For more information and to register for a course, call 570-784-8040, extension 3320, and check out the course schedule here.

 Upcoming Bucknell SBDC Events

Servpro of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties offering CE classes

5 CE classes will be offered by Servpro of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties.  Get the full schedule.

BOOM Camps happening

Better Orientation Onboarding & Mentoring (BOOM) Camps will be hosted free and online April - July.  Get dates, session topics and to register by clicking here.

Covered Bridge & Arts Festival Call for Vendor Applications

The 2024 Application is NOW AVAILABLE for all returning vendors and prospective new vendors. The application is the same whether you are a returning or new vendor. RETURNING VENDORS: please submit as soon as possible to receive priority consideration. The application window for prospective NEW vendors will remain open until JULY 15. Get more details here.

Save the Date for Agapepalooza

Save the Date for Agapepalooza July 20th, 2024.  This is a day of free fun for the whole family with activities, local vendors, and food. Learn more.

Stay Connected to the Women's Giving Circle

"On the Bright Side" Sessions will continue on August 15th and November 14th and their Annual Meeting & Grant Presentations will happen July 17th.  Learn more about these events and what the Women's Giving Circle is all about!

LCBC hosting annual Global Leadership Summit

For over 30 years, the Global Leadership Summit has been empowering leaders worldwide. LCBC will be hosting this virtual summit at their Columbia - Montour Campus on August 8-9.  Learn more.

Bloomsburg Rotary Hosting 30th Annual Jeffrey H. Lewis Memorial "Kids Klassic"

Wednesday, August 14th will see the 30th Annual Jeffrey H. Lewis Memorial "Kids Klassic" at Frosty Valley Resort.  Learn more.

Community Giving Foundation partnering on a regional nonprofit Conference in October

Community Giving Foundation and First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP) are thrilled to partner together to create Elevate2, a new regional nonprofit conference. The inaugural conference will be held on October 14-15, 2024, at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. More information is available online at elevate2.org

July Business Matters – Submit Your Content

June 19, 2024

July Business Matters – Submit Your Content

The Columbia Montour Chamber is pleased to continue its partnership with the Press Enterprise for Business Matters, a quarterly print tab publication distributed to the newspaper's online and print readership.

How does the partnership work?  Chamber members are invited to work directly with the Chamber to submit stories and member updates at no charge, and the Chamber will assemble that content.  The Press Enterprise handles the rest, offsetting distribution and printing costs with ads made by Chamber members.

As we gear up for our upcoming Chamber of Commerce print publication, we're excited to invite you to contribute and showcase your business to the local community! This printed publication serves as a platform to highlight the many businesses and organizations that are thriving within our region.

We eagerly welcome articles, success stories, and any other content that can spotlight your business achievements, milestones, or industry expertise.

July 3rd is the deadline for content submissions ahead of the July publication and reach out to Michelle Boone at the Press Enterprise to place an advertisement. Don't miss the chance to advertise to this wide audience.

Submit content to the Chamber by emailing stories, pictures, and testimonials here.

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