Educational Improvement Tax Credit Applications Accepted July 1

Pennsylvania businesses have the ability to directly support programs that help area school students learn about employability skills and explore career opportunities. Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program has been popular among employers for many years and expanded to provide more funding for educational programs. Businesses interested in participating should be prepared to apply on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020.

Businesses MUST file on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 if they…
– are entering the EITC program for the first time
– are past participants but have been dropped from the program
– are currently participating, but want to apply for additional tax credits above your current allocated amount

Those businesses that support Educational Improvement Organizations (EIOs) like The Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce know that the program has been oversubscribed for many years. Tax credits are typically exhausted on May 15th, the first eligible day current participants can apply. However, businesses are still encouraged apply because businesses drop out of the program every year and there may be credits available. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, there is a greater possibility that credits will be available, so applications should be submitted on July 1! There is no penalty or obligation for applying.

Businesses may not file before July 1, but may fill out the application ahead of time, save it, and then submit it any time between 12:01 am – 11:59 pm on July 1st. It’s important to file on this exact day due to the popularity of the program.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE TAX CREDITS?
All businesses authorized to operate in Pennsylvania who are subject to one or more of the following taxes:
• Personal Income Tax
• Capital Stock/Foreign Franchise Tax
• Corporate Net Income Tax
• Bank Shares Tax
• Title Insurance & Trust Company Shares Tax
• Insurance Premium Tax (excluding surplus lines, unauthorized, domestic/foreign marine)
• Mutual Thrift Tax
• Malt Beverage Tax
• Retaliatory Fees under section 212 of the Insurance Company Law of 1921

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
Businesses that contribute to an approved EIO, SO, or Pre-K organization will receive a credit on their Pennsylvania tax liability in the current fiscal year. For businesses that participate for one year, the tax credit is 75 percent of your contribution up to a maximum of $750,000 per taxable year. If a business makes a two-year commitment, the tax credit increases to 90 percent of the contribution, again up to $750,000 per year. For contributions to Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organizations, a business may receive a tax credit equal to 100 percent of the first $10,000 contributed, and up to 90 percent of the remaining amount contributed up to a maximum credit of $200,000 annually.

WHAT PROGRAMS ARE BEING OFFERED?
Currently, The Foundation has the following programs approved as an EIO:

• Classroom in the Hospital
• Classroom on Main Street
• What’s So Cool About Manufacturing
• STEM Magnet Program in partnership with Bloomsburg University
• Annual STEM Competition
• Tech Theatre in partnership with Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble
• Educator in the Workplace
• Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW)
• PFEW’s Stock Market Game
• EVERFI Financial Literacy

Additional programs being developed include a youth leadership program and additional Classroom in the Workplace programs including Classroom in the Courtroom.

For more information on the EITC program, click here.

For the complete application guidelines, click here.

For additional information about Foundation programs or to discuss how your organization can be involved, contact Jeff Emanuel, Director of The Foundation, at 570-784-2522 or [email protected]

Welcome Millville Heating Plumbing Solar

More than 435 businesses and organizations belong to the Chamber to receive benefits and support efforts to strengthen their businesses and the region. Increased membership allows the Chamber to offer additional programs and benefits, have a stronger voice in advocacy and be involved in more activities and initiatives. The Chamber welcomes Millville Heating Plumbing Solar.

Millville Heating Plumbing Solar (MHPS) is locally owned and operated, serving businesses and homeowners for all their plumbing, heating, and solar power needs.  Located in Millville, their priority is lowering heating bills and implementing renewable energy sources that will save the consumer money and reduce their carbon footprint.  Services that are offered include HVAC, Heating, Plumbing, Solar Hot Water & Heating, Solar PV, and more.  Visit their website and Facebook page to learn more.

Visionary Member Spotlight- SEKISUI KYDEX

The Columbia Montour Chamber’s Visionary Member Spotlight highlights SEKISUI KYDEX.  Founded in 1987, with their headquarters located in Bloomsburg, SEKISUI KYDEX is a global thermoplastics manufacturer.  The customers SEKISUI KYDEX serves are located in 34 countries across a variety of major industries including aviation, transportation, agriculture and heavy equipment, and industrial equipment housings.

Beyond their line of work, SEKISUI KYDEX has given much to our community. The company supports Chamber events as well as activities the community enjoys from the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? program, to the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, and many other civic and non-profit causes. Leadership at the Bloomsburg facility is also engaged in a number of initiatives to strengthen the workforce and enhance the communities in our region. 

The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is proud to call SEKISUI KYDEX a member for many years. We look forward to serving them for many years to come.

Gov. Wolf: Mask-Wearing is Required, Critical to Stop COVID-19 Spread

Governor Tom Wolf has reminded Pennsylvanians that mask-wearing is required when entering any business in all counties in the state in both yellow and green phases of reopening. Masks are considered critical in stopping the spread of COVID, now and in preparation for a possible resurgence of the virus in the fall.

The mask requirement is part of Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel’s Levine’s order, “Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations,” which pertains to all counties regardless of the phase of reopening.

A recent study from Cambridge and Greenwich universities in the United Kingdom found that cloth masks, “even homemade masks with limited effectiveness can dramatically reduce transmission rates if worn by enough people, regardless of whether they show symptoms.”

The state’s business guidance outlines mask-wearing requirements and additional safety parameters for both employees and customers.

Chamber Urges Safe Harbor Protections for Business

As businesses are allowed to reopen, many business owners have expressed concerns about the risk of frivolous lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19 infection as such lawsuits have been reported around the state. The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce joined a coalition of 80 chambers of commerce throughout the Commonwealth in sending a letter to Pennsylvania’s federal and state lawmakers urging support for safe harbor protections for employers related to COVID-19. Gene Barr, PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO, issued the following statement.

“Pennsylvania employers have faced unimaginable challenges during this pandemic, the mandatory business shutdown and resulting economic fallout. Many now face the threat of unwarranted, opportunistic lawsuits, including hospitals and many healthcare professionals bravely treating patients, companies who have been working to keep our critical supply chains intact, manufacturers producing personal protective equipment and others on the front lines. Businesses that have stayed open to serve communities, as well as those who were forced to shut down but have managed to survive, should feel confident that if they take the necessary steps to comply with public health and safety guidelines, they are protected from unscrupulous plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to profit from this disaster.”

“Pennsylvania employers have the talent, ingenuity and grit to rebound and rebuild, but they need smart policies out of Harrisburg and Washington D.C. to help remove obstacles to economic recovery. We urge Pennsylvania’s lawmakers to recognize this particular significant obstacle, as well as the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania employers depending on them to act.”

“Pennsylvania’s chambers of commerce are effective and passionate advocates for the businesses in their communities. Employers should be proud and lawmakers should take heed that so many chambers from throughout the Commonwealth have come together to support a most critical issue at this most critical time.”