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Welcome New Member – Compassus

November 1, 2022

Welcome New Member – Compassus

The Columbia Montour Chamber is pleased to welcome as its newest member Compassus, whose Circle of Care now brings to Columbia, Montour & Northumberland counties comfort, safety and quality of life during the transition of life’s journey. Compassus focuses on the person – who they are, how they feel and what they need through their Care for Who I Am approach. This approach, along with their comprehensive care strives to meet physical, psychological, social, cultural & spiritual needs. Ultimately hospice is not about dying - rather, for Compassus, it's about helping people live and be as comfortable as they can, wherever they call home, when life expectancy is limited.

Compassus is about providing individualized care, easing the burden on caregivers and surrounding the patient’s family with care and support following the transition of their loved one's life to help them through their healing journey. Compassus is Care for who YOU are, where YOU are! With nearly 6,000 colleagues in 200 locations and in 30 states the team at Compassus shared that they feel honored and privileged to provide the gift of hospice to Columbia, Montour & Northumberland county communities. Compassus has various insurance contracts and can host any question and answers when needed to help navigate each patient care plan.

Welcome Compassus, to the Chamber!  For more information, visit: https://www.compassus.com/

U.S. Chamber Discusses Possible Rail Strike

November 1, 2022

U.S. Chamber Discusses Possible Rail Strike

In their Friday Chamber Federation call, the U.S. Chamber discussed the possibility of an impending rail strike, and the costly effect it could have on the U.S. economy.

While a tentative agreement had been reached between labor unions and employers in September (pursuant to guidance from a Presidential Emergency Board convened over the summer by President Biden), over half of track maintenance workers represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division voted to oppose the five-year contract despite 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses. This union, the third-largest railroad union in the United States, said the railroads didn’t do enough to address the lack of paid time off — particularly sick time — and working conditions after the major railroads eliminated nearly one-third of their jobs over the past six years.

Four other railroad unions have approved their agreements with freight railroads including BNSF, Union Pacific, Kansas City Southern, CSX and Norfolk Southern, but to prevent a strike, all 12 unions representing 115,000 workers must ratify their contracts. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, initially rejected its deal but has since renegotiated a new contract.

A rail strike could be devastating, costing an estimated $2 billion per day, disrupting shipments to consumers, industry and agriculture, canceling many Amtrak trains, and tipping an already fragile economy into recession. Trains carry one-third of U.S. exports and 40 percent of America’s long-distance freight tonnage, including 3.2 million carloads of food, grain, fertilizer, and other farm products, 75 percent of new cars and trucks, and millions of UPS packages.

Voting will be completed in mid-November, and both sides will return to the bargaining table before that happens.  If a rail strike is not averted, it would occur November 19th, five days after both chambers of Congress reconvene.

Member Spotlight: Service Electric Cablevision Boosts Internet Speeds, Launches 2 Gig Service

November 1, 2022

Member Spotlight: Service Electric Cablevision Boosts Internet Speeds, Launches 2 Gig Service

Service Electric Cablevision, Inc., a leading Internet, TV, and Phone service provider, and member of the Columbia Montour Chamber, announced speed increases for many of its residential Internet tiers, including 2 Gbps download speeds. Beginning November 1st, the company is making the following speed upgrades in all communities at no additional cost.

  • 50M increases to 100M
  • 100M increases to 200M
  • 200M increases to 300M
  • 300M increases to 400M
  • 500M increases to 600M
  • 1.5 Gig increases to 2 Gig

The company will automatically increase speeds effective 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. Some customers may need to upgrade their equipment to receive the faster speeds. “We have made significant investments in our network and we are dedicated to delivering the fastest, most reliable Internet service to give customers in our communities the ability to connect more technology in their homes and businesses, both now and in the future.” said Scott Young, Director of Marketing, Service Electric Cablevision. “As the average number of connected devices and data consumption per household increases, the rollout of 2 Gig speeds provides more bandwidth and an improved network experience to meet this growing demand”. For more information on SECV’s Internet offerings, please visit www.secv.com/internet

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About Service Electric Cablevision

Service Electric Cablevision, Inc. (SECV) is a leading Pennsylvania provider of residential and business Internet, TV, and Phone services and the founder of the cable television industry. SECV continues to deliver new and improved content and products to its customers. The company offers Internet download speeds up to 2 Gig, Plume Whole-Home Wi-Fi, IPTV with Cloud DVR powered by TiVo, convenient features like TV Everywhere (TVE), and more. SECV serves over one hundred (100) Pennsylvania communities in three operating regions with local employees. For more information, please visit www.secv.com

PA Chamber Meets with Local Chambers to Discuss Business Issues

November 1, 2022

PA Chamber Meets with Local Chambers to Discuss Business Issues

By Jon Anzur, Vice President, Public Affairs, PA Chamber of Business & Industry

From left: Bob Garrett, President/CEO, Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, Luke Bernstein, President/CEO, PA Chamber of Business & Industry, Bob Carl, President/CEO Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, meeting host Fred Gaffney, President/CEO, Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce.

There’s leadership through partnerships. Local chambers of commerce prove this every day.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry values and trusts our local chamber allies to communicate their members’ top issues and challenges so we can advocate for their best interests in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. After all, local chambers of commerce are closest to the small businesses in their communities and deeply understand the issues affecting them.

PA Chamber President and CEO Luke Bernstein and our entire team have prioritized engaging with local chambers statewide to understand what knits each community together and determine ways we can work as one to move Pennsylvania forward. We celebrated the enactment of this year’s comprehensive tax reform package with visits to local chambers of commerce and economic development groups, touting our collective success in reducing the Corporate Net Income Tax in half (from 9.99 percent to 4.99 percent by 2031) along with other small business tax reforms that are making Pennsylvania the most competitive it has been in decades.

Even more recently, our team has held meet-and-greets with local chamber leaders in every region of the state. On Friday, October 30th, Luke was in Bloomsburg to meet with representatives of the Columbia Montour, Greater Susquehanna Valley, Schuylkill, and Williamsport/Lycoming chambers of commerce. Workforce funding, business leadership, and the upcoming elections were among the issues discussed.

And this is just the beginning. As we continue to travel our great Commonwealth, the PA Chamber’s leadership through partnerships philosophy is focused on how we can continue forging relationships with local chambers and work together to make Pennsylvania the best place for investment, job growth, and economic opportunity.

We’ve worked together when it counts and achieved real results for Pennsylvania’s business community. Consider, for instance, our recent success in advancing legislation that will help a group of employers avoid an unfair increase to their unemployment compensation taxes. This issue arose when a local small business contacted the Schuylkill Chamber, who in turn notified the PA Chamber, allowing us to engage our elected officials in Harrisburg. Within three months, legislation reached the Governor’s desk fixing the issue – underscoring the effectiveness of local businesses and chambers working with the PA Chamber to advocate for pro-business legislation. Together with our statewide local chamber partners, we were able to advance legislation that will help many of our small businesses facing what would have been an imminent tax increase.

The PA Chamber is committed to working with our members, elected officials from both parties, and pro-growth advocates statewide to advance additional

policies that will build on our past accomplishments. There is so much opportunity to make progress on policies that will boost our competitiveness; make our infrastructure safe, modern and efficient – not just roads and bridges but future-forward projects like autonomous vehicle development and broadband expansion; harness our natural resources so we can provide low-cost, low-emissions energy to the world; and ensure that everyone has access to the training and education they need to prepare them for the jobs that will keep their kids and grandkids in Pennsylvania for generations to come.

To do that, we need people at the local level to get involved and stay involved – and that starts with the great work being done at our local chambers. Now is our time. As we have already proven, when we put the best interests of Pennsylvanians first and work together, anything is possible.

As we commit to working with our local chamber partners, we take to heart the words of former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill – “All politics is local.” The PA Chamber is dedicated to keeping local chambers’ needs top of mind as we move forward with the shared mission of creating the strong, safe, and economically vibrant communities we all deserve.

U.S. Chamber Raises Alarm Bells, Urges Action on Decline in K-12 Achievement

October 28, 2022

U.S. Chamber Raises Alarm Bells, Urges Action on Decline in K-12 Achievement

Source: U.S. Chamber

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, released October 24, revealed the largest declines ever recorded in math for 4th and 8th graders. Most states saw an alarming decline in student achievement in both math and reading from 2019 to 2022 — particularly for students of color and students with disabilities.

“This is a wakeup call for our country — for policymakers, leaders in public education, and the business community,” said Cheryl Oldham, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president of education policy. “These results show that learning loss has risen to historic levels in part due to the impact of the pandemic, which only exacerbated existing failures in the education system. Even before the pandemic, NAEP results were showing students making little to no progress in reading and math after seeing steady increases for two decades.”

“The solution to this problem requires more than just money. This data portends long-term economic losses, which is why it is critical that we focus on our young learners by preparing them to lead the jobs of the future. To do this we need sound policies and better information about what is working for students and what is not.”

The results emphasize the importance of setting high standards and maintaining aligned assessments, as information on student performance is crucial to addressing inequities. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is working to combat the downward trend in achievement by improving how testing data is used for school improvement and accountability.  Additionally, the U.S. Chamber’s Equality of Opportunity Initiative is working with industry partners to advance policy and private sector solutions that help close long-standing gaps in education.

A recently launched initiative, the Future of Data in K-12 Education, is exploring the effectiveness of data and assessments in America’s K-12 public schools and developing specific recommendations on solutions. The initiative is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s longstanding commitment in support of high-quality education for all kids.  To stay connected to this data and its implications, Chris Berleth, Vice President of the Columbia Montour Chamber, and Jeff Emanuel, Director of the Columbia Montour Chamber Foundation, are working hand in hand with the U.S. Chamber through their Business Leads Fellowship (Berleth) and Talent Pipeline Management program (Emanuel).

Welcome New Member – Blossoms in Bloom by Megan

October 28, 2022

Welcome New Member – Blossoms in Bloom by Megan

The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Blossoms in Bloom by Megan, LLC as its newest member.  Located at 417 Central Road in Bloomsburg, Blossoms in Bloom is a full service flower store that offers everyday arrangements for every occasion including wedding & sympathy flowers. You can also find plants, gift items and pre-made bouquets at their store. To celebrate their new location, Blossoms in Bloom will celebrate a Grand Opening on November 5, 2022, and you're invited to attend!  To formally cut the ribbon on their new space, you're also invited to join the Chamber for a joint ribbon cutting at the space on November 30.  Also cutting the ribbon (in the same building, on the same day!) will be Something Borrowed by T + M, and the PA CareerLink.

Welcome to the Chamber!

MEMBER NEWS – OCTOBER 26, 2022

October 26, 2022

MEMBER NEWS – OCTOBER 26, 2022

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.

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!

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.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER HOSTING WEBINARS

Pennsylvania's Small Business Development Centers are hosting webinars: Power of Positive Leadership (November 8, 12pm), and Why Are Business Owners Resistant to Virtual Work (November 9, 12pm).  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.

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 ANNOUNCES MOVE

Featuring a Sneak Peak on 10/27 and an opening on Monday, 10/31, Bason Coffee’s Retail Store will move from its current location to 453 Mill Street, and the storefront will feature a new name: Bason Coffee and More.

AGAPE Celebrates Clergy Appreciation Month

The organization is encouraging community members to shares their support for local clergy by sharing kind notes, prayer requests and more through AGAPE.

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.

Town of Bloomsburg Looking to Expand Weaitlist 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.

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.

Hand In Hand to Host Fourth Annual Halloween Golf Cart Parade

The event will take place October 30 in Mifflinville, running from 1pm to 3pm. Check out the flyer!

...MORE TRICK OR TREATING AND TRUNK OR TREAT EVENTS

While it's not comprehensive, we've compiled a list of trick or treating and "trunk or treat" opportunities in the community.  If you know of more, we'd love your help. Shoot an email to Chris Berleth and we'll be happy to share safe trick or treating opportunities in Columbia and Montour counties. Please note that each bullet represents information sourced directly from local social media events and sites, and this is all of the information available to us at this time.  For more information on these events, we encourage you to visit the host's websites and/or social media. 

Here's what we've got so far that's coming up:

Montour County

  • 10/26/22 Trunk or Treat -6pm – 8pm
    • Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community, 11 School House Rd. Danville, PA
  • 10/26/22 – 5pm Danville Community Trunk or Treat
    • 931 Ironment Lane, Danville, PA
  • 10/27/22 - Danville Halloween Parade
    • Parade forms at 5:00pm at Wall Street, to the Danville Soccer Park, moves at 7:00pm sharp.
  • 10/29/22 – Trick or Treat Night in Riverside Borough - 6:00pm – 9:00pm
  • 10/29/22 - Trick or Treat Night, Danville Borough & Mahoning Township, 6-9pm
  • 10/29/22 6pm Trunk or Treat - Montour Delong Community Fair
    • 5848 Broadway Rd. Danville, PA

Columbia County

  • 10/26/22 5:30pm – 7:30pm 5thAnnual Trunk or Treat – Briar Creek Twp. Police & Summerhill Fire Co.
    • Summerhill Fire Co. 422 Summerhill Rd. Berwick, PA
  • 10/27/22 – Montour Township Trunk or Treat – Sponsored by the Montour Township Supervisors
    • 4 Perry Avenue, Bloomsburg, PA
  • 10/27/22 - Bloomsburg Care and Rehabilitation Center
    • 211 East 1st St. Bloomsburg, PA.  Call 570-784-5930 to reserve a parking spot.
  • 10/27/22 - 6pm - 8pm - Glen Brook Health and Rehab, 801 East 16th street Berwick, PA
  • 10/28/22 – Booburg Trunk or Treat at Bloomsburg Area YMCA
  • 10/29/22 - Catawissa Halloween Parade
  • 10/30/22 Trunk or Treat, Beaver Township Volunteer Fire Company
    • 5:45pm, Trunk or Treat 6pm – 8pm
    • 102 Mountain Shadow Ln, Bloomsburg, PA
  • 10/30/22 & 10/31/22 – Trick or Treating in the Borough of Berwick, 6pm – 8pm.
  • 10/31/22, 6:00-8:00pm - Trick or Treating - Catawissa Borough, hosted by Catawissa Police Dept.
  • 10/31/22 – 6pm – 9:00pm - Town of Bloomsburg Trick or Treat Night 

 

PACP Recognizes Chamber Professionals

October 26, 2022

PACP Recognizes Chamber Professionals

Gettysburg —Chamber of commerce professionals from across Pennsylvania, including Fred Gaffney, President of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce earned distinguished service awards from the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals (PACP) during the 2022 PACP Chamber Professionals & Leadership Conference held recently in Gettysburg.

Each year, the organization recognizes chamber professionals who have served any five-year increment in chamber management.  In 2022, Gaffney celebrated his twentieth year as a Chamber professional.

PACP’s Service Awards are meant to promote and recognize outstanding chamber service not only to the individual’s community but also to their professional association. Joining Gaffney in receipt of PACP’s service awards were Jodi August, Greater Dubois Chamber of Commerce, Samantha Chivinski, Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, Brian Schill, Peters Township Chamber of Commerce, Joe Hurd, Blair County Chamber of Commerce, and Melody Longstreth, Greene County Chamber of Commerce.

Gaffney had an eventful night – in addition to receiving his twenty-year Service Award, he was recognized for vision, leadership and commitment to the Chamber profession as the 2022 PACP Board Chair.  His term as Chair will end December 31, and he’ll serve as Immediate Past Chair, alongside the new slate of PACP Board Directors, who were also announced in Gettysburg.

The 2023 Officers and Board of Directors who will take office on Jan. 1, 2023:

Officers: Chair, Tracy Becker, Clarion Area Chamber; Chair-Elect, Brian Schill, Peters Township Chamber, Treasurer/Corporate Secretary, Gina Suydam, Wyoming County Chamber; Immediate Past Chair Fred Gaffney, Columbia Montour Chamber;

Board of Directors: Ron Aldom, Somerset County Chamber; Jodi August, Greater DuBois Chamber; Chris Berleth, Columbia Montour Chamber; George Book, West Shore Chamber; Lindsay Griffin, Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber; Alex Halper, PA Chamber; Steven Hunsberger, Indian Valley Chamber; Michelle Kreutzer, Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber; Christa Lundy, Meadville Area Chamber; Katie Hetherington Cunfer, Greater Reading Chamber.

Board members serve in a volunteer leadership role for a specified term, developing and leading the annual Plan of Action to assist in the enhancement of quality education in professional and organizational development to its members. Key events for PACP include the annual Chamber Professionals & Leadership Conference, Chamber Day in Harrisburg, and ongoing professional development webinars and programs.

In addition to the awards program, the annual Chamber Professionals & Leadership Conference is a key benchmarking opportunity for Chambers to consider best practices and to add value back to their members.  Gaffney and Chamber Vice President Chris Berleth were among 65 colleagues at this year’s program.

Welcome New Member – Something Borrowed by T + M, LLC

October 26, 2022

Welcome New Member – Something Borrowed by T + M, LLC

Tonya and Megan saw a need for a business in the NEPA area that provided people the ability to rent items for their events. Whether it be Weddings, Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Themed parties, etc., Something Borrowed offers you the items that you need to make your event beautiful and unique at a reasonable price, while saving you the hassle of having to spend hours shopping for items you will only use one time.  Something Borrowed offers these one-time-use items at a low cost, while saving you the trouble of figuring out what to do with the items after your event.  Inventory includes items such as furniture, tableware, backdrops, signs, lanterns, games and more!

With a love and passion for making things extra special for those memorable moments, we know you'll find exactly what you’re looking for at Something Borrowed, by T&M.  On behalf of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce, welcome Tonya and Megan, to the Chamber!

To learn more about Something Borrowed by T+M, LLC, visit their website.

Chamber Expresses Concerns About Proposed Noise Ordinance

October 25, 2022

Chamber Expresses Concerns About Proposed Noise Ordinance

The new Bloomsburg rule would have unintended consequences for businesses and residents.

Bloomsburg - On Monday, October 24th, Bloomsburg Town Council voted to advertise an ordinance that would establish noise thresholds for activities and events conducted by residents and businesses. The ordinance is in response to concerns about motor racing at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds in 2021 and 2022. Chamber president Fred Gaffney asked Council not to move forward with the ordinance. Council members Bonnie Crawford and Nicolas McGaw voted against moving forward, citing concerns about the sound level.

The ordinance would set a limit of 65 decibels between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and 50 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. for a cumulative period of more than 10 minutes in any one hour at or within the property boundary of any residentially-zoned property. Fines for violating those levels would be $1,000 for the first offense and $2,000 for each subsequent offense.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), conversation at a 3-foot distance is approximately 60 decibels. The agency sets a threshold of 85 decibels over an extended period of time for requiring hearing protection in industrial settings. That standard has been in place for approximately 30 years.

The draft exempts certain sources, including emergency services, churches, Town, county, and state events, public works, and school-sponsored athletic or recreational events. While activities at the Fairgrounds during the Fair would also be exempt, motor racing and motorized vehicle exhibition activities at the Fairgrounds at any time of year would have to comply with the noise limits. However, activities including lawn mowing, leaf blowing, and business operations above 65 decibels but within OSHA noise standards, would not be expressly allowed.

“Therefore, we are asking Council to not move forward with this draft, as it takes an extreme position that could result in many unintended consequences,” said Gaffney. “We are asking that Council find reasonable compromises for the benefit of the entire community.”

Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance as advertised at its next meeting scheduled for Monday, November 14th at 7 p.m.

Read the full Noise Ordinance here.