Did You Know? – OnDemand Energy Solutions

The Chamber is deeply committed to supporting and promoting its member organizations. This includes making sure each member utilizes or is at least aware of the full value and benefits of its membership. Beginning this week, this periodic section of E-Biz will be dedicated to reviewing a specific benefit of Chamber membership, as a means of reminding our members of ways the Chamber can help you increase revenue or decrease costs.

OnDemand Energy Solutions

As a business owner or decision maker, you probably often get contacted by people trying to sell you cheaper electricity. However, most people – business owners and consumers alike – don’t have the time to truly look at their options and figure out which ones are questionable and which ones could actually save you some real money.

That is a problem you shouldn’t have. As a Chamber member, you exclusively have access to OnDemand Energy Solutions, part of the ChamberChoice portfolio. OnDemand is the largest energy consultant and broker in Pennsylvania that annually serves over 6,500 active businesses, which include small businesses up through large industrials, and over 23,000 residential customers. More than 40 Columbia Montour Chamber members have cumulatively saved millions of dollars in electricity costs since this program was implemented.

OnDemand can provide a free, no-obligation quote so you can see how much money you can potentially save. They are also able to evaluate any existing energy contract. The process is quick and easy – all you need to do is sign an authorization form allowing OnDemand to access your energy information and act on your behalf to get supply pricing from various competitors. Because we know your time is short, members of the Chamber staff are also willing to help facilitate this process if necessary. For more information, please contact Matt Beltz at 570-784-2522 or email.

Quickbooks Phishing Con Targets Small Businesses

From the Better Business Bureau  

Beware of a new email phishing scam trying to fool small businesses. The message looks like an email alert from accounting software QuickBooks, but it’s not. It’s really a clever phishing con designed to fool small businesses into giving up private information.  

How the Scam Works: You receive an email with the subject line “QuickBooks Support: Change Request.” The message is “confirming” that you changed your business name with Intuit, QuickBook’s manufacturer. However, you never made such a request. It must be a mistake, but fortunately the email contains a link to cancel.  

Pause before you click! Scammers know that you didn’t make this request, and the link to cancel is simply bait. It downloads malware to your device, which scammers use to capture passwords or hunt for sensitive information on your machine. This can open you up to identity theft. Click here for tips on how to spot and report a phishing scam or register for the next Learn at Lunch for more in depth information on how to protect your organization’s data.

Chamber Supports Legislation to Prevent Local Leave Mandates

In the last two years, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have passed mandates for private employers to provide paid and unpaid leave to employees in addition to provisions of the Family & Medical Leave Act. PA Senate Bill 128, co-sponsored by Senator John Gordner, would require that any such mandates be implemented at the state level.

The Chamber Board recently approved a letter to Senator Gordner supporting the legislation with the understanding the Chamber is not advocating for such a mandate to be passed. The Board feels that local mandates of this type would create a confusing patchwork for employers across the state. Further, additional requirements at the state level would be burdensome for employers.

Bloomsburg Updates Signage Guidelines

On Monday, Bloomsburg Town Council unanimously passed an update to its signage ordinance. The changes were primarily aimed at establishing guidelines in the Business Campus district, which encompasses the former Bloom Mills site. Members of Council recommended a more comprehensive review of the signage ordinance to consider issues raised by the Chamber and Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc.

The Chamber and DBI Boards expressed concerns about potential conflicts in the revisions. Also, the ordinance prohibits certain types of signage that are already in use. While existing signs are grandfathered, guidelines for any new signage would be more restrictive. Several Council members expressed an interest in conducting a comprehensive review of the ordinance. The Chamber looks forward to being a part of this process. Read more

Chamber and Visitors Bureau to Dissolve Partnership

The Chamber of Commerce and Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau recently announced that the organizations will return to operating as independent entities. The dissolution of the Columbia-Montour Partnership for Community Development, which was initially communicated at the Partnership’s annual dinner, is expected to be complete by March 31, 2017. Long-standing Chamber and Visitors Bureau programs will continue uninterrupted, and members should receive separate dues invoices for each organization in March. Read more