Member Spotlight

Rail Plays an Important Role in Regional Economy

North Shore Railroad Company’s efforts and philosophy of focusing on community service and delivering safe and dependable rail freight service to the region demonstrates that rail remains an important component of economic development.

North Shore offers regional rail freight services as well as maintenance and upkeep to rail lines, benefiting Central Pennsylvania communities. The company services a variety of local organizations handling a wide range of commodities that include coal and plastics. One railcar is equivalent to four tractor trailer trucks. Railroads move one ton of freight a distance of 500 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel.

In 1984, Richard and Miriam Robey founded North Shore Railroad and began their partnership with the Susquehanna Economic Development Association Council of Government Joint Rail Authority (SEDA-COG JRA). The partnership served their joint mission to preserve and encourage rail services within the region. The organization has expanded from a small, family-owned business into a railway transportation provider handling 30,000 carloads each year. They consist of six short line railroads which include Juniata Valley Railroad, Lycoming Valley Railroad, Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad, North Shore Railroad, Shamokin Valley Railroad, and Union County Industrial Railroad. President and CEO since 2003, Gary R. Shields and North Shore are excited to be celebrating 30 years of operation.

North Shore Railroad Company has received various awards for its service. This year the company was awarded Central Pennsylvania’s 2014 Governor’s Small Business ImPAct Award, recognizing their innovation, growth, and commitment to employees and the community. The company and its employees support many charitable efforts, and has an economic impact of more than $7 million annually.

For more information about North Shore Railroad Company, visit: http://www.nshr.com/.
The subject of each month’s Member Spotlight is selected randomly from business cards submitted at Chamber events.

Be One of the First to Experience Bakers Guild Cafe in Bloomsburg

Meet the bakers behind Columbia County Bread & Granola and welcome them to their new retail outlet on Wednesday, November 5. The Chamber will hold a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. for Bakers Guild Cafe at 225 Center Street in Bloomsburg.

The Cafe will feature CCB&G’s entire product line of sprouted, naturally-leavened, flour-less bread, pocket pita, flat breads and our unique flax-based granolas. In addition, Bakers Guild Cafe will have a limited morning and lunch menu built around CCB&G’s sprouted breads and an array of fermented, nutrient dense foods that are hand-picked and locally sourced by our cafe chef. They will also feature locally roasted coffees and hand crafted sodas made on the premises. The official Grand Opening will feature an open house for the public and an opportunity to meet CCB&G bakers, local dignitaries and a representative from Team Terdiman.

Community Expo Only One Week Away

The 2nd Annual Community Expo, presented by the Chamber, is designed to specifically promote businesses and nonprofits to those who matter most, our community. This year’s Expo is October 23rd from 4 to 7 p.m. inside the Industrial Arts Building at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds. Door prizes will be given away hourly to registered participants. The grand prize drawing, a 30 minute helicopter ride courtesy of the Press Enterprise, will be raffled off at 6:30 p.m. You must be present to win.

The following members are graciously sponsoring this year’s event:

Community Leader Sponsor Art of Floating
Philadelphia Federal Credit Union

Community Builder Sponsor
Columbia County Industrial Development Authority

Elite Business Networking Sponsor
GordnerCoombs Insurance Inc.
Menco Mechanical LLC

Community Friend Sponsor
Geisinger Health Plan
Zimmer Insurance Agency
Guardian Scapes

For more information call Donna Sharrow at 570-784-2522 or email [email protected].

Employers Identify Needs

Representatives of businesses, non-profit organizations, and local government shared their thoughts about how to strengthen area employers at a roundtable discussion last Thursday. Topics of discussion included assisting with the utilization of social media, peer to peer information sharing, and strengthening connections with local education. The program was held at the Chamber’s Berwick office in the Eagles Building and was sponsored by the Chamber, Berwick Area United Way, and its Berwick Marketing Committee.

The participants were asked to identify traits of a strong business and as well as challenges for businesses. While the focus was intended to be on the greater Berwick area, the challenges are relatable to many small and medium sized businesses in the region: finding quality staff, including fostering talent from local youth, keeping up with marketing trends such as social media and online retailing, increasing engagement between local businesses, intergovernmental cooperation, and promoting a positive image for the community.

The Chamber’s Berwick Task Force will debrief and develop action steps to be taken by the Chamber and/or partner organizations. One program is already scheduled for October 21st to help businesses develop an online presence. Click here for a flyer with more details.

B.U.’s Value to the Community Highlighted

Bloomsburg University, The MagazineThe Fall edition of Bloomsburg, The University Magazine, features an article that highlights the many ways Bloomsburg University benefits the area. A number of representatives of Chamber members were interviewed including Autoneum, Fog & Flame Craft Coffee and Espresso Bar, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, First Columbia Bank and Trust, the Columbia County Commissioners, and the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau. Chamber President Fred Gaffney and Downtown Bloomsburg Manager Adrienne Mael also offered comments. The publication is available online at http://magazine.bloomu.edu.