Member News – August 23, 2017

Member News

  • Zydeco music innovator Corey Ledet and his band will kick off the Weis Center for the Performing Arts’ 30th anniversary season this Friday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. on the Weis Center Plaza.

    Zydeco musician Corey Ledet

    This family-friendly performance is free and tickets are not required. The rain location is the Weis Center Atrium Lobby. Patrons are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, blanket and picnic. A free pre-performance lecture and demonstration with the artist will take place the same day at noon in the Atrium Lobby.

     

  • The Exchange will host the 10th annual Bloomsburg ArtFest this Saturday, Aug. 26 in downtown Bloomsburg from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. It will take place on the Square surrounding the fountain and up Market St. in front of the Caldwell Consistory. Dedicated to bringing the arts to all communities throughout the region, this event is Columbia County’s biggest one-day outdoor art event of the year. It will feature more than 30 regional artists’ original work, as well as live music, local food and activities for the whole family. Also on Saturday, Aug. 26, the eighth annual AGAPE Palooza will take place in Bloomsburg Town Park, located at Catherine St. and Fort McLure Blvd., from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. This event, which is organized by AGAPE, Love From Above To Our Community will feature over 100 craft and small business vendors as well as non-profits and lots of “fair food” vendors, free music and family activities. There is free admission, free parking and a free shuttle from Bloomsburg High School, which will also shuttle attendees to and from ArtFest. 

 

  • Co., a social and professional networking group that is run by the United Way of Columbia and Montour County, will hold its fall kickoff event on Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Farmhouse at Turkey Hill’s Greenhouse. Co. was founded to give area residents the opportunity to take advantage of all the great things this area has to offer. This group is for everyone, which means any age, ability, or area of residence. It holds multiple events each month. For more information about Co., including future events, visit its Facebook page

 

  • PA Careerlink will hold a free seminar on unemployment compensation titled Unemployment Compensation 101 on Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the PA CareerLink Columbia/Montour Counties, located at 415 Central Rd., Bloomsburg. To register, call Donna Eyerly at 570-387-6288 or email. The seminar will guide employers through the process of the opening of a UC claim through the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s UC Service Center by an employee who has been separated from employment, permanently or temporarily, or is working less than the employer’s established full-time work week. Important points that will be explained include:
    • What forms will the employer receive when a UC claim is open or reopened and how will the information requested be used to determine the claimant’s eligibility and protect the employer’s UC liability?
    • What steps are taken by the UC Service Center to determine a claimant’s eligibility for UC benefits?
    • What issues does the UC Service Center consider in determining a claimant’s eligibility?
    • The employer’s right to appeal a determination issued by the UC Service Center
    • Any addition forms that employer may receive related to the unemployment compensation

    

  • From the Bucknell Small Business Development Center: Students enrolled in a Markets, Innovation and Design course this fall at Bucknell University are offering to design websites free of charge for local businesses and organizations during the fall semester. The web design project will provide a hands-on learning experience for the students while benefiting local organizations. Recent examples of their work include Amami, West Branch Brewery and Beer Barn. If your business or organization would like to be considered for a free website design or redesign this fall, fill out an application to be considered. The application deadline Thursday, Aug. 31

 

  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will host a pair of identical presentations titled “Planning Ahead: The Importance of Planning for the Future,” featuring local elder law attorney Marianne Kreisher. The events will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 13,  from 8:30-10 a.m. at Bloomsburg University’s Monty’s on Upper Campus, and on Wednesday, Sept. 20, also from 8:30-10 a.m., at Susquehanna University’s Benjamin Apple Meeting Rooms in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center. Both events will feature a complimentary breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by the presentation. Attorney Kreisher will discuss the importance of open communication and collaboration between the investment advisor and attorney to achieve the best results for clients; well-drafted estate planning documents including power of attorneys, wills and trusts; understanding the lifetime and after death wishes of individuals; and examining the interplay of “gifting” on long-term care, taxes and asset protection. RSVP to Karri Harter by Sept. 6 by email or call 570-752-3930, ext. 6. 

 

  • The Bloomsburg University Department of Exceptionality Programs and the Jones Center for Special Education Excellence will host a screening and discussion of Mimi and Dona on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Greenly Center, rooms 116 & 117, located at 50 E. Main St., Bloomsburg. This film by Sophie Spartain is an “unforgettable story of love and tough choices, exploring issues of disability, long term care and the realities of aging.” This event is free and open to the public but due to limited seating, pre-registration is encouraged. To register, call Tammy Pursel at 814-270-5556 or email

 

  • McBride Memorial Librarylocated at 500 N. Market St., Berwick, will host its next Entrepreneur Breakfast on Friday, Sept. 15, from 8-9 a.m. These breakfasts provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners to network, get support, collaborate on projects, trade problem-solving stories and challenges, and much more. Attendees will also have an opportunity to learn about the services that McBride can offer small business owners and that they are able to take advantage of. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested. To register, call 570-752-2241 or email.

 

  • Geisinger Health will hold its inaugural Dream Big Hot Air Balloon Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Spyglass Ridge Winery, 400 Plum Creek Rd., Sunbury. Proceeds from this event will benefit Geisinger’s Comprehensive Breast care Program. Activities include balloon rides (weather-permitting), live bands and food trucks, children’s activities and family fun, professional and amateur photo competitions, performances by local dance groups, a fresh food farmers market and family photo sessions in front of the balloons. Admission is free. For more information, read this flyer.Event organizers are also seeking donations of small items (approx. $10-20 in value) from area businesses and individuals for an auction. If interested in making a donation, please contact Linda Vaji at 570-214-2581 or email

Revenue Debates Continue as State Exhausts Short-Term Loan

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Another week has gone by without the enactment of legislation that would finalize the 2017-18 state budget. As legislative leaders continue to negotiate behind the scenes on a plan that would warrant bringing the entire General Assembly back into session for a vote this month, the state has officially exhausted the funds on a $750 million loan that the Treasury Department issued earlier this month to keep the General Fund above a zero balance.

“While this short-term borrowing will be repaid by August 23rd, we forecast that without some action, the General Fund balance will again fall below zero by August 29th,” Treasurer Joe Torsella said in a statement. He further noted that the balance will fall to -$1.6 billion around Sept. 15; warned about a potential credit rating downgrade as a result of the ongoing impasse; and strongly indicated that future loans are no guarantee in these types of situations. “Treasury’s Short Term Investment Pool is not a Rainy Day Fund … an overly concentrated loan by the Pool to the General Fund – at a time when the underlying budget is $2.2 billion out of balance, revenues are declining, and we are still without an enacted revenue package – would represent a substantial investment risk,” Torsella added.

This being the case, lawmakers and the administration are certainly feeling more pressure to finalize budget negotiations. The Wolf administration – which has generally been optimistic about the status of the ongoing debate – are now saying that the House needs to come back to session and vote on the series of budget-related bills the Senate sent them late last month. The House hasn’t returned to Harrisburg since that time, due in large part because of what House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana, recently told reporters – his caucus has concerns about some of the taxes included in the Senate bills.

The House’s next session day is Sept. 11, though members technically remain “on call” and could be asked to return to Harrisburg before then. The Senate is also on call, but isn’t scheduled to reconvene until Sept. 18.

Welcome McTish, Kunkel & Associates

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 member, McTish, Kunkel & Associates, to help us fulfill our mission.

McTish, Kunkel & Associates (MKA) is an engineering firm based in Allentown, with offices in Pittsburgh as well as locally in Montoursville. Founded in 1976, MKA offers engineering, environmental, construction inspection and survey & mapping services. In its early days, it focused on offering solutions to individual communities, and its focus has now evolved to the transportation networks that connect communities. Its markets now include transportation, energy exploration, development and generation, land development and municipal infrastructure. MKA has currently designed and permitted in excess of 800 miles of natural gas pipeline, as well as over 75 well pads in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations. Many clients engage MKA to supply a portfolio of integrated services. For more information, call the Montoursville office at 570-368-3040 or visit the MKA website

Bucknell SBDC Needs Your Feedback to Help Plan Cybersecurity Programming

The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is in the process of planning its programming for the upcoming months and requests the assistance of Chamber members and the local business community to help identify the cybersecurity needs and interests of small businesses by completing this survey. It should take only about three (3) minutes to complete and it will be open until Sept. 10. The Bucknell SBDC thanks all respondents for their feedback. 

Working to Build a Stronger Workforce

Quality employees are important to any size and type of employer. The most successful businesses in our area, particularly those in manufacturing, often cite a skilled and dedicated workforce a key component of that success. The Chamber and its Foundation work to strengthen the area’s current and future workforce in supporting members. The Chamber’s Board of Directors recently approved a policy statement in support of workforce development efforts.

These efforts include:

  • Increasing the emphasis on and funding for internships, apprenticeships, and mentoring programs
  • Collaboration among high schools, technical schools, universities, and educators to meet the needs and concerns of the Commonwealth’s employers
  • Promoting vocational career pathways and earning potential to students at a young age
  • Training employers on workforce development best practices

While some of these efforts focus on skilled trades, others attempt to address issues cited by all types of employers, such as work ethic, lack of interpersonal skills, and an inability to communicate confidently and maturely. The Chamber and its Foundation are finalizing a workforce development plan in line with this policy.