Chamber Officially Welcoming Bason Coffee Roasting to Downtown Danville

Bason Coffee Roasting will host a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on August 28 at 8:30 a.m. The Columbia Montour Chamber, Danville Business Alliance and Central PA Chamber will be on hand to welcome the business to 14 Rear East Mahoning Street in Danville. Enjoy fresh roasted coffee, light refreshments and a free sample of ground coffee with any purchase.

Member Spotlight

SykesJohn H. Sykes founded Sykes Enterprises, Inc. in 1977 as a small technical engineering firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company’s initial purpose was to provide design and engineering services to Fortune 500 companies. Business was strong and the firm grew rapidly. The company expanded into New York in 1983 and Colorado in 1985. By 1990, Sykes Enterprises had branched out into Texas and established an Information Services Division in Tampa, Florida, which was later to become the company headquarters. In 1991, many companies were having a hard time weathering the recession. Leaner business years, however, worked in Sykes Enterprises’ favor. Many companies were looking to outsource support services, and employment at Sykes actually rose during the early 1990s. In 1991, the company had 1,150 employees at 23 offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

In 1994, Sykes opened a customer support call center in Sterling, Colorado, providing technically skilled job seekers with an alternative to low-paying jobs with little future. The call center marked the beginning of what was to become the most profitable division of Sykes Enterprises. Software and hardware manufacturers were realizing that customer service was a vital part of retaining brand loyalty among buyers of their products, but found it difficult to maintain efficient and reliable call centers of their own. Sykes decided to target those companies with a cost-effective option for outsourcing customer support. When a customer had a question about a recently purchased product, a call to the manufacturer would be seamlessly directed to a Sykes call center. Sykes provides customer contact management solutions and services in the business process outsourcing (BPO) arena.

Sykes has taken leaps and bounds in getting involved with the community and helping in any way they can. For the past two summers they have done a donation drive for the Women’s shelter on supplies/personal hygiene needs. They participated in Berwick’s Week of Caring and had about 15 staff members spend 2 hours cleaning up the Berwick Theater. In March, they had a large drive for games/books/craft supplies for the Big Brother/Big Sister after school programs as well as had a team bowl at their annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake. Staff members also did a spring cleaning and they had a donation of clothes and toys that were donated to the Save Berwick Pool fund. They have become a part of the community watch awareness walks in Berwick. Currently they are gathering School supplies to help the local area “Stuff the Bus”.

Sykes has received commendations from the Mayor of Berwick, Outstanding Community Business Award and Letter of Recognition from the Women’s Center in Bloomsburg, a thank you Letter from the Big Brother’s Big Sisters of the Bridge, a thank you letter of Participation in the 2014 Heartbeat of Sykes (annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association). Within the next 90 days they anticipate adding an additional 90 employees with a new business coming to the site.
For more information visit www.sykes.com.

The subject of each month’s Member Spotlight is selected from attendees of Chamber events.

Save the Date for Breakfast with Congressman Barletta

Learn more about current legislation that could affect your business at a Legislative Breakfast with Congressman Lou Barletta on Thursday,CongressmanBarletta August 27 at 8 a.m. at the Greenly Center 50 E. Main Street, Bloomsburg. During this Chamber and Visitors Bureau sponsored event you will meet the person representing your business in Washington.

The cost for Chamber members is $20 per person, $30 for non-members, and includes a full buffet-style breakfast. Registration is required before August 21. For more information download the registration form, call Eleanor at 784-2522 or email estokley@cmpartnership.org

Chamber Insurance Program Pays Back Members

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Over the last three years, Chamber members have received $131,397 in dividends on their business insurance through Penn National Insurance. This year, nearly two dozen participating members received over $36,000 in combined dividend checks. Dividends earned are based on the total group premium and claims experience of eligible lines. As the program grows, so does dividend potential. Often times the dividend pays for their Chamber membership, and more.

Penn National Insurance offers all types of business insurance. Enhanced coverage on auto, businessowners, property, workers compensation and general liability give you added protection at no additional cost. Equipment breakdown coverage is automatically included with businessowners and property policies. Through Penn National Insurance’s independent network, agents are able find the right coverage for your business with local service.

For more information, visit www.ChamberChoice.com.

Background Check Clarifications Now Law

From PA Representative David Millard

Clarifications to the state’s new law regarding background clearances for employees and volunteers who have direct and routine contact with children are now law. House Bill 1276 was recently signed into law, bringing more clarity to Act 153 of 2014, which requires additional and periodic background checks for both employees and volunteers who are directly involved with children. The changes take effect immediately.

Under the new law, volunteers must obtain the clearances if they have direct volunteer contact, meaning that they have care, supervision, guidance or control and routine interaction with children. Also, all employees and adult volunteers subject to the background check clearances will be required to recertify all of those clearances every five years, instead of every three years. The measure also makes a number of clarifications with respect to the cost, portability and recertification of the two main clearances – the Department of Human Services child abuse clearance and the state police criminal background check. The two $10 fees are waived for volunteers and are reduced to $8 each for employees.

More information about Act 153 and the other new laws resulting from the child protection package are available at http://KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov