Member Spotlight: Child Care Information Services of Columbia, Montour & Northumberland Counties

“Membership in the Columbia Montour Chamber has allowed us to network with area businesses and agencies to present ourselves and our services as a resource for employees to maintain employment and for clients involved with other human service agencies.”

– Joanne Blass, Director, CCIS of Columbia, Montour & Northumberland Counties.

The Child Care Information Services (CCIS) agencies are the hub of child care information for all citizens of Pennsylvania. The CCIS helps to educate families on what to look for in quality childcare, including the Keystone Stars program, and how to access other needed services. The CCIS also administers the Child Care Works subsidized child care program for eligible working families from the PA Department of Human Services (DHS), working closely with all area child care providers to maintain agreements to accept subsidized funding and provide valuable services to families and children.

There is a CCIS office for each county in the state. Locally, that office is located in Danville at the Danville Child Development Center (DCDC), which has held the DHS grant for CCIS agencies in Montour County since 1992. In 2013, it changed from CCIS of Montour County to CCIS of Columbia Montour and Northumberland Counties, and now serves families in all three counties. It is the only agency that provides subsidized child care funding through DHS.

The CCIS has membership in both the Columbia and Montour County Human Services coalitions and is a member of the Northumberland County Head Start Policy Council. The CCIS participates in the annual Children’s Fair at the Columbia Mall and organizes annual events to celebrate Week of the Young Child and PA Promise for Children month.

For more information about CCIS, visit its website.

Member spotlights run monthly and are chosen via a random drawing from members that submit their business cards at a Business After Hours event. The next Business After Hours is scheduled for May 17 at the Columbia County Christian School. 

Celebrating Historic Berwick

The festival started by the Chamber to encourage people to come to Berwick returns this spring. The event, now called Celebrate Historic Berwick, is being coordinated this year by the Berwick Area Marketing Committee. Live music, ethnic food, kids activities, and competition to crown the best pizza in Berwick will be held Saturday, May 13, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Market Street in front of the Jackson Mansion. There will be craft beer along with wine from Freas Farm Winery and O’Donnell Winery. Gold sponsors for the event are the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, First Keystone Community Bank, and the Berwick Industrial Development Association.

Find out more as the event draws near on Facebook.


Small Business Tax Reform Bills Clear Committee Hurdle

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

The PA House Finance Committee voted last week to advance three bills that would help small businesses in the Commonwealth compete on an even playing field.

House Bill 331 would bring the state’s Tax Code in line with federal law to allow for a tax deferral of a “like kind exchange” which is the disposal of an asset and the acquisition of a replacement asset without generating a current tax liability from the sale of the first asset – a tax strategy that operates in every state but Pennsylvania.

House Bill 332 would allow small businesses to use the Net Operating Loss deduction, helping those that pay the personal income tax to offset prior year financial losses with future year gains.

Lastly, H.B. 333 would bring the state’s Tax Code in line with the Internal Revenue Code and more than 30 other states to allow small businesses in Pennsylvania to take the full deduction for the purchase of qualifying equipment. Currently, Pennsylvania C-corporations are able to utilize the full $500,000 deduction allowed under the IRC; but companies filing personal income tax are limited to an amount of $25,000. Again, this makes Pennsylvania regrettably unique as the only state that allows for full equipment purchase expensing for larger businesses while disallowing smaller businesses to take advantage of the same deduction level.  The PA Chamber sent a memo to the committee in advance of the meeting that urged a “yes” vote on all three bills.

House Bills 331, 332 and 333 now await further consideration by the full House.

Bucknell SBDC Launches InnovateHER Business Challenge

State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver and the Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) announce the launch of the 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge, a prize competition designed to unearth innovative products and services that help, impact and empower the lives of women and families.  Through InnovateHER, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) is seeking products or services that fill a need in the marketplace and have the potential for commercialization. As a regional host, the Bucknell SBDC will hold a local competition and nominate the winner to the SBA, who will then identify 10 finalists to vie for $70,000 in prize money. Prizes for Bucknell’s local competitors for 2017 will be announced using the hashtag #InnovateHER across @BucknellSBDC Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

This competition will spur national conversation, collaboration, and cooperation at all levels to support women and families. Local competitions will be hosted to select entrepreneurs to advance to the semi-final round. From the pool of semifinalists, SBA will select up to 10 finalists who will be invited to the National InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge in mid-2017.  Targeted applicants are entrepreneurs seeking consulting assistance from the SBDC or who have benefitted from the services of the center as they started and grew their businesses in central Pennsylvania. Entrepreneurs who have a product, service, or technology that has a positive impact on the lives of women and families should submit entries to the SBDC via email by May 11.

More information is available at the Bucknell SBDC website

Montour County Readdressing Meetings Scheduled

A series of public information sessions will be held in May to provide updates on the merger of the 911 centers between Columbia and Montour counties and readdressing in Montour County. Residents and commercial property owners in Montour County, Riverside Borough and Rush Township are encouraged to attend one of the following sessions.

  • Wednesday, May 10 – Danville Middle School, 120 Northumberland Road
  • Wednesday, May 24 – Anthony Township Municipal Building, 1295 White Hall Road
  • Thursday, May 25 – First Baptist Church of Danville, 20 Brookside Drive
  • Wednesday, May 31 – St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 240 Sunbury Road, Riverside

The sessions are being hosted by the Montour County Commissioners and will begin at 7:00 p.m. Additional information on 911 readdressing is available on the Montour County website.

The Chamber supports the 911 consolidation to improve emergency response and to save costs in the long-term.