State Legislation Aims to Reduce Opioid Abuse

Recently, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, which is touching all socioeconomic classes. From a legislative perspective, one strategy for addressing the crisis would be to implement a prescription drug formulary in Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensations system, which would streamline medication prescriptions to help patients avoid the overuse that can result in addiction. In doing so, it is also expected to lower rising costs within the workers’ compensation system – as has been proven in other states like Ohio, where the number of opioid prescriptions dropped by 38 percent and the number of opioid-dependent WC patients was reduced by half just three years after their formulary was adopted.

Over 70 chambers from across Pennsylvania, including the Columbia Montour Chamber, are supporting House Bill 18 and Senate Bill 936, which would create a drug formulary. A letter was sent to members of the General Assembly in mid-November. S.B. 936 recently cleared the Senate with bipartisan support and the House is expected to consider the legislation in the few session days remaining this year.

Organizations and individuals are also encouraged to contact their state representative and urge them to support S.B. 936. Tell them that drug formularies are common across other state workers’ compensation systems, private healthcare and public programs like Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; and have been shown to help address overuse of and addition to prescription drugs among injured workers in the states that adopt these policies.

Welcome McDonald’s in Berwick, Bloomsburg, Elysburg and Mifflinville

More than 400 businesses and organizations belong to the Chamber to receive benefits and support efforts to strengthen their businesses and our region. Increased membership allows us to offer additional programs and benefits, have a stronger voice in advocacy and be involved in more activities and initiatives in our communities. The Chamber welcomes its newest members, four McDonald’s franchise locations in and around Columbia County, to help us fulfill our mission.

The McDonald’s in Bloomsburg, Berwick, Mifflinville and Elysburg are all owned by franchisee R&K Foods of PA, and we welcome all four locations as our newest members in the Chamber. These locations in and around Columbia County are just four of the more than 36,000 McDonald’s restaurants around the world, more than 80% of which worldwide and nearly 90% of which in the United States, are owned and operated by approximately 5,000 independent small and mid-sized businessmen and women as franchises. The McDonald’s in Bloomsburg recently debuted a new touch-screen kiosk that allows customers to place their own orders, which can then be brought directly to their table. The McDonald’s in Bloomsburg is located at 945 New Berwick Highway (Rt. 11), and can be reached at 570-784-3906. McDonald’s in Berwick is located at 10 Briar Creek Plaza, right in front of Giant and across the street from Sheetz just off Route 11, and can be reached at 570-752-2729. McDonald’s in Mifflinville is located at 435 West 3rd St., just off exit 242 on I-80 and can be reached at 570-752-4333. McDonald’s in Elysburg is located at 1 W Valley Ave (Rt. 487), right next to Sheetz and can be reached at 570-672-2890. 

McDonald’s in Elysburg

McDonald’s in Mifflinville

McDonald’s in Berwick

McDonald’s in Bloomsburg

Member News – November 22, 2017

Member News

  • Longstanding local retail floral owner Todd D. Wagner enthusiastically announced the acquisition of the assets of Ralph Dillon’s Flowers on Nov. 13. Dillon’s customer base both locally and out of the area will be serviced by Bloomsburg Floral and Berwick Floral from the headquarters at 201 W. 2nd St., Berwick.After the passing of Ralph Dillon, Jr. earlier this year, the retail location of Ralph Dillon’s Flowers at 254 East St., Bloomsburg, was closed as they searched for a potential buyer or partner to continue the operation. Effective Nov. 13, an agreement was reached with Dillon’s family giving Wagner the authority to service all existing customers of the operation.Ralph Dillon’s Flowers was an institution in Bloomsburg for decades and served their customer base with quality products and outstanding customer service. Wagner entered the retail floral business in 1996 with the purchase of Bloomsburg Floral Center and then acquired Berwick Floral Center and The Flower Station in Benton. In 2013, Wagner expanded his Berwick operation with the purchase of the Nardi Funeral Home building at 201 W. 2nd St., Berwick, where he opened The Shoppes at Woodin Place, which houses his floral and gift establishment, Autumn’s Haven, Suntex Dry Cleaners and a host of other consignment vendors. Berwick Floral hosted a Chamber Business After Hours last week. 

 

  • Secret Agent 23 Skodoo will bring its unique kid-friendly hip-hop to the Weis Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.

    Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

    The performance is free and tickets are not required. More Fraggles than Wiggles, more Soul Train than Thomas the Train, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is equal parts Dr. Seuss and Dr. Dre. This Grammy-winning artist combines the excitement of hip-hop with the magical world of childhood. With sophisticated instrumental funk and positive, witty wordplay, he has earned a loyal national following. His latest album, Infinity Plus One, took home the Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album of the Year. 

 

 

  • Dr. David Hamilton of Hamilton Dental Care and president of the The Jubilate Choir and Orchestra, is pleased to announce The Jubilate Choir and Orchestra’s Annual Christmas Concert, A Holy Night of Angels, will be on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. The choir and orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Alan J. Hack, is made up of community singers and instrumentalists along with Mrs. Kathy George accompanying on the piano. It invites all to join them at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 123 Market St., Bloomsburg for this exciting concert, a high point of the Christmas season celebration in our area!

Shop Local All Year Long

By Fred Gaffney, President, Columbia Montour Chamber

The Saturday after Thanksgiving has become known as Small Business Saturday, thanks to a campaign started by the American Express credit card company in 2010 to encourage holiday shopping at small businesses. Indeed, small businesses should be patronized and celebrated, but not just one day a year. The vibrancy of our communities is dependent upon people supporting local businesses all year long.

When you spend money locally, more of that money stays in our area. Your dollars support local jobs. Those businesses pay local taxes, and contribute back to the community in other ways. Local businesses support non-profit organizations, youth sports, and cultural activities that enhance our quality of life. The parades, festivals, and visits with Santa that will help us get into the holiday spirit in the coming days are possible thanks to the support of local businesses.

Online shopping may provide endless options and convenience in checking items off your list, but think about the value of talking with someone in a store when trying to find a special gift, or how much you appreciate dining options when you need a break from that shopping. Local businesses also provide the choice and customer service that we often take for granted. They also are an important part of what makes our area a great place to live. 

Contact the Chamber of Commerce if you need ideas on how you can support local businesses this holiday season, and throughout the year. The Chamber offers special gift certificates in any amount that can be redeemed at any local business during the year. They can be purchased at the Chamber office at 238 Market St. in downtown Bloomsburg. 

 

Federal Tax Reform Bill Approved by U.S. House

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Last week, the U.S. House voted mostly along party lines – 227 to 205 – in favor of the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act” – H.R. 1 – which aims to make significant updates to the Federal Tax Code for the first time in more than 30 years. Every member of Pennsylvania’s GOP Congressional delegation voted in the affirmative on the legislation. The U.S. Chamber is leading the charge in urging Congressional passage of federal tax reforms that would simplify the current, burdensome Tax Code; lower federal tax rates to improve the nation’s ability to compete; allow for the expense of capital investments to help free up a company’s cash flow and move to a territorial tax system, among other changes. All told, H.R. 1 would cut taxes by more than $1.4 trillion over the next decade.

The PA Chamber has joined the U.S. Chamber and more than 100 chambers of commerce nationwide in sending letters to Congress, calling on them to pass the legislation because it would improve America’s competitive edge, help to grow the domestic economy and improve our global standing.

Following the House’s action on H.R. 1, the PA Chamber issued a press release calling on both chambers to act quickly and get a federal tax reform package to President Trump’s desk by the end of the year. Two letters recently sent to Washington, D.C. also communicate the PA Chamber’s support for tax reforms – first, to the state’s congressional delegation urging support for a Main Street lending initiative that will help small business growth; and second, to the Commonwealth’s U.S. Sens. Toomey and Casey urging them to support the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee (on which both Toomey and Casey serve) advanced its own version of a tax reform plan late last week, which could be taken up by the full Senate after the Thanksgiving holiday. Toomey voted ‘yes’ on the Senate bill, while Casey voted in the negative.

“The U.S. House and Senate’s approval of their respective tax bills are critical steps toward the ultimate goal of reforming our federal tax structure,” PA Chamber President Gene Barr stated. “The PA Chamber looks forward to working with our elected officials as the bills move through the legislative process and work begins on a final compromise.”

The Columbia Montour Chamber has not yet taken a position on the House’s tax bill.