Main Street Act Supports Employee Ownership

From PA Center for Employee Ownership (PaCEO)

Note: The Columbia Montour Chamber, in partnership with the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber, the Bucknell SBDC, and PA CareerLink Columbia/Montour Counties, will present a free breakfast seminar on Tuesday, April 30, from 8-9 a.m. about the benefits of and converting to employee ownership. 

In August of last year, President Donald Trump signed into law the first major piece of federal legislation to support employee ownership in over 20 years.

The Main Street Act was passed (interestingly) as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Could it be that employee ownership is a form of financial and economic defense for employees and communities? We’re going to go with “Yes”!

The PaCEO worked closely with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and her staff, and was a co-sponsor of the bill.

The act directs the U.S. SBA (Small Business Administration) to provide loans and technical support to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and other forms of employee ownership. It directs the SBA to ease current restrictions that have made SBA loans problematic for employee ownership. Some of the highlights include:

  • Allowing for the financing of transaction costs
  • Allowing selling shareholders to stay with the company and receive shares
  • Removal of cumbersome and restrictive regulations
  • Improved ESOP lending
  • Assistance to co-ops
  • Promotion of ESOPs

Read more about this important piece of legislation and how it is intended to further promote employee ownership of businesses. 

Also, here is a link to a column urging the passage of this bill from earlier last year before the legislation was signed into law. 

For more information about employee ownership, contact Rosalie Evans via email at the Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership.

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Welcome Skatetown Hysteria

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, Skatetown Hysteria, to help us fulfill our mission.

Skatetown Hysteria is a family-fun center located in Bloomsburg at 2845 Skatetown Rd., just off Route 11 and just behind the Press Enterprise building. It features roller skating, laser tag, a ballocity ball pit, ultimate inflatable, bumper cards, a video arcade and full snack bar. It features various specials, and is a top destination for birthday parties and also has a fundraising program to assist organizations with fundraising needs. It is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m., Fridays from 6-10 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12-6 p.m. For more information, visit its website or Facebook page, call 570-784-3580 or email.

Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. Announces Winners of First Month of Giveaway Drawing

Cornell Williams, Jr. of Bloomsburg receives his $20 Gift Certificate at Reflections Redux on Feb. 27.

Downtown Bloomsburg businesses began offering a special “Thank you” to customers the first week of February.

Through a contribution from the Duane and Susan Greenly Foundation, participating businesses have been presenting $20 gift certificates to random customers.

One gift certificate has been given away every Monday through Friday since the program’s start on February 4. Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. is administering the giveaway program.

The winners of the first month’s Giveaway are David Willis of Girardsville, Mike Huber, Bloomsburg, Emily Ferguson, Sinking Springs, Mr. Golden, Bloomsburg, Joelle Witner, Sugar Loaf, Kara Walsh, Millville, Kat Allegar, Rohrsburg, John Richardson, Catawissa, Helmut Doll, Danville, Daniel Smith, Saylorsburg, Chad Francis, Bloomsburg, Colleen Kane, Elysburg, Mike Takach, Orangeville, Elaine Pongratz, Bloomsburg, Tiffany Zucal, Bloomsburg, Carly Magill, Bloomsburg, Julie Sitler, Stillwater, Cornell Williams, Jr., Bloomsburg, and Jennifer Alaniz, Berwick.

This giveaway program will continue throughout 2019. For more information on the program, contact Mike Zarrett of Towne Camera by email.

Members Take in Evening of Art and Networking at February Business After Hours

A large group of local professionals were joined by a large group of Bloomsburg University students from the Ziegler Institute for Professional Development for an evening of networking and taking in a new art exhibit on its opening night at BU hosted the Chamber’s February Business After Hours at the Gallery at Greenly Center on Thursday, Feb. 28.

The 2019 Student Exhibition Series, which is currently on display at the gallery, is a juried show of three outstanding current students (pictured at right) that receive a professional experience in the gallery, the same as any professional visiting artist. In addition to checking out the new displays, which run through April 16, attendees also had an opportunity to meet several BU administrators, faculty and staff and learn about the university’s Professional U program, which connects students with alumni, employers, and opportunities integrating the academic experience with professional experience in “real world” settings. 

BU art students (l-r) Sarah Foster, Rowan Shaffer and Hannah Sheppard, whose work is on display at the Gallery at Greenly Center through April 16.

Business After Hours provide regular opportunities to build business relationships while learning about the services offered by other Chamber members. The next Business After Hours will be held at Hamilton Dental Care, located at 2 Audubon Ct., Bloomsburg, on Wednesday, March 20, from 5-7 p.m.  

Chamber Golf Tournament & Spring Social to be Held May 30

The Chamber’s annual golf tournament will be held on Thursday, May 30, at Rolling Pines Golf Course & Banquet Facility. Beginning this year, the Chamber is also adding a Spring Social to this event in an effort to be more inclusive to the many non-golfers among our membership, as well as provide an additional opportunity for members to make business connections — all in a casual and relaxed environment.

For more information about the Spring Social as well as the golf tournament, including registration and sponsorship information, visit the event page or see the registration or sponsorship flyers.