Chambers Continue to Support Gas Pipeline Project

With information from the PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Last Wednesday, PA Chamber Director of Government Affairs Kevin Sunday spoke before a DEP permit hearing in Lycoming County in support of an air quality permit for an expanded compressor station on Williams’ Transcontinental pipeline system. The expanded station would allow for increased capacity on the system in advance of the build-out of the Atlantic Sunrise project, which received key clearance from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this past winter and is awaiting several water and wetlands permits from DEP and the Army Corps before construction can begin in earnest later this spring. At the hearing, Sunday noted that infrastructure projects, such as Atlantic Sunrise, represent the potential for thousands of jobs in the state, billions of dollars in new investment, and continued opportunity for the state’s manufacturing base.

The PA Chamber will continue to advocate on this issue, given that infrastructure is critical to supporting and sustaining economic growth. Likewise, The Columbia Montour Chamber is submitting a letter to DEP this week in support of the project.  The Chamber continues to support the expansion of Pennsylvania’s natural gas transportation and distribution pipeline infrastructure.

Celebrating and Supporting Small Businesses

In recognition of the small business community’s significant contributions to Pennsylvania’s economy, the week of April 30-May 6 will be celebrated as Pennsylvania Small Business Week. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has partnered with agencies from across the state to celebrate entrepreneurs and small business owners for their contributions to Pennsylvania’s economy, and draw attention to the resources available to support them.

Pennsylvania is home to one million small businesses, and employs 2.5 million individuals — about half of the state’s private workforce. Small businesses play a vital role in Pennsylvania’s economy, accounting for 99.6 percent of businesses in the state. Their economic impact is evident across a variety of business sectors, ranging from professional services, retail, construction, and health care to manufacturing, education and beyond.

To support the continued success and growth of small businesses, business-owners and entrepreneurs can participate in DCED’s Small Business Web Series. Each free webinar in the series will be presented by experienced business experts.

Monday, May 1 (Noon) – Resources for Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses, presented by Betsy Lockwood, SEDA-COG

Tuesday, May 2 (Noon) – Registering a Business in Pennsylvania, presented by PA Departments of State, Revenue, and Labor & Industry

Wednesday, May 3 (Noon) – Government Procurement & Diverse Business Certification, presented by PA Department of General Services

Thursday, May 4 (Noon) – Raising Capital in Pennsylvania, presented by PA Department of Banking and Securities

Friday, May 5 (Noon) – Entrepreneur Stories of Small Business Success, presented by Jennifer Gill, President of Exact Match Masonry Staining; Vivian Isaak, President of Magnum Group; and Maryann Petta Cook, Founder and President of Bella Lucia

Visit the DCED website to register for these webinars and for a complete list of workshops, trainings and seminars. Pennsylvania Small Business Week is part of a nationwide celebration launched by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Each year, the President announces National Small Business Week to highlight the critical role of entrepreneurs and small business in the U.S. economy.

Downtown Berwick Improvement Recommendations Presented

Recommendations for strengthening Berwick’s downtown were presented to an audience of dozens of interested business people and community members last Tuesday evening. The report, prepared by a consulting team from the Lehigh Valley, provides strategies for supporting small business growth, improving properties and infrastructure, and enhancing the sense of community. A local steering committee, which includes Chamber Board member Jeff Cerminaro and President Fred Gaffney, has provided oversight of the development of the report and will work with local stakeholders on evaluating and implementing the recommendations. Downtown Berwick merchants are invited to a follow-up meeting on Wednesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at Berwick Brewing to discuss some of the specifics in the plan.

The full report is available for download on the Columbia County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities’ website.

When Will the State Budget be Done This Year?

As Pennsylvania is facing revenue shortfalls in the current fiscal year, the Governor’s 2017-18 budget proposes more modest spending increases. What will the final budget include and when might it be finalized? Get insights from our State delegation and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry at a breakfast program scheduled for May 5.
 
Jennifer Reis, Manager of Government Affairs with the PA Chamber, will provide an overview of the 2017-18 budget proposal, highlighting issues that impact business. Senator John Gordner and Representatives Kurt Masser and David Millard are scheduled to provide updates and insights on the negotiations. Attendees will also be invited to provide questions and comments.
 
The program will be held Friday, May 5, from 8–9:30 a.m. at The Greenly Center in downtown Bloomsburg. Cost is $18 for members, $25 for non-members, and includes a buffet breakfast. Register by sending in the registration form or by calling the Chamber office at 570-784-2522. The event is being presented by the Joint Governmental Affairs Committee of the Chamber and Visitors Bureau.

Find Your Next Employee

Local employers looking to connect with potential employees and network with other area businesses are invited to participate in the upcoming Montour County Job Fair. The event, co-sponsored by the Chamber, will be held on Tuesday, May 23, from 2:30–6 p.m. at Frosty Valley Country Club, 2201 Bloom Road, Danville.  The first thirty minutes of the session are reserved exclusively for veterans.  The fair will then be open to the general public from 3–6 p.m.

Employers interested in participating are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Space is limited by industry to ensure variety.  The registration form is available here

For more information, contact the PA CareerLink office for Columbia & Montour counties at 570-387-6288.