North Shore Railroad Celebrates “Triple Crown” of Industry Awards

North Shore Railroad president and CEO Gary Shields speaks at last Friday’s awards ceremony.

On Friday, June 2, North Shore Railroad celebrated the three industry awards that it received this year with a reception and awards ceremony in Northumberland. The short line railroad company received three awards in 2017: the Marketing Award from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the Railway Age Short Line Railroad of the Year Award, and the Norfolk Southern Short Line of the Year honor. While it is usually impressive to win just one of these prestigious industry awards in a given year, to win all three is remarkable and unprecedented. Representatives from all three organizations came in from out of town to be in attendance and present North Shore with the awards.

See the video below from the Chamber’s Facebook page for Chamber President Fred Gaffney’s brief remarks at the ceremony.

Columbia Montour Chamber Members Get Back Nearly $40K in Insurance Dividends

Last week, it was announced that Chamber members that utilized the ChamberChoice business insurance program through Penn National Insurance will receive an 8% dividend in cash back for policies written and retained during the program’s fifth year (May 1, 2015 – April 30, 2016). The actual dollar amount that Columbia Montour Chamber members enrolled in the program will receive back this year is $38,695.38. This brings the five-year total of dividends distributed back to Columbia Montour Chamber members to more than $173,000. Checks for this year’s dividends will be mailed to participating members during June. 

Overall, since the program’s inception in 2011, over $6 million has been returned to member businesses across all Chambers that offer this program through ChamberChoice, with an average annual dividend of 7.4%. 

To see if this program could be a good fit for your business, contact Chamber members Associated Insurance Management at 570-275-0100 or Hutchison Insurance Agency at 570-784-5550, for a no-obligation quote. 

Member News – May 31, 2017

Member News

Knoebels Voted Favorite Traditional Amusement Park for Fifth Straight Year

For the fifth consecutive year, Knoebels Amusement Park was voted the Favorite Traditional Park in the National Amusement Park Historical Association’s (NAPHA) 31st annual Amusement Park and Attractions Survey. Knoebels was also named the Best Park for Families, beating out Walt Disney World among many others, and the Phoenix was named the Favorite Wooden Roller Coaster.


North Shore Railroad Garners Third Industry Award of the Year

North Shore Railroad (NSHR) was recognized last week as the Norfolk Southern (NS) “Short Line of the Year” at NS’ Short Line Convention held in Norfolk, Va. NSHR’s Lycoming Valley Railroad in Lycoming County and Union County Industrial Railroad also received NS 250 Business Initiative Awards at the same event. This marks the third highly coveted industry award that NSHR has garnered this year. In March, it received an American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association marketing award, as well as the Railway Age Short Line Railroad of the Year honor.

Pennsylvania State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver commented, “I applaud the commitment and dedication of the employees and leadership of North Shore Railroad for rising to the challenge and meeting and exceeding the needs in the transportation network. North Shore Railroad has been integral for the transportation industry in our area and our state, and I wish them many years of continued success.”


Attend a Yoga Mala Event to Help Beautify Downtown Danville

Join your community in raising awareness and funds to help beautify downtown Danville as you help Mill Street become a thriving and vibrant downtown destination for everyone to enjoy. A yoga mala event will bring together community members to support this common cause this Sunday, June 4, at 2 p.m at Goose Cove Field at the Montour Preserve. Those that attend will be guided through 108 sun-salutations to honor growth, transformation, and new beginnings. This is a donation-based event, and the public is welcome. All donations raised will help provide for new public amenities such as bicycle racks, flowers and decorative plant potters, benches, and much more in downtown Danville.


Free Cancer Screenings in Bloomsburg

Geisinger Health System will provide free skin cancer screenings next Tuesday, June 6 from 1–4 p.m. at Geisinger Bloomsburg, 2407 Reichart Road, Bloomsburg. Appointments are required. To register, visit or call 800-275-6401.


First Columbia Hosts Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening for New Danville Branch

First Columbia will celebrate the opening of its new community banking office at 400 Walnut St., Danville, with a ribbon cutting and a pair of grand opening events next week. The ribbon cutting will be held on Thursday, June 8 at 8 a.m. at the new branch. Then, later that day, as well as the following day, June 9, there will be a pair of public grand opening events from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., which will feature community picnic buffets.  


Next First Step Seminar in Bloomsburg Set for June 9

Have you ever thought about starting your own business, but weren’t quite sure if it would be right for you? Or maybe you want to know what paperwork you need in order to open your doors? These and several other common questions for small businesses will covered at the next First Step Seminar given by the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on Friday, June 9, at noon at the Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. Business Incubator, 151 E. Main St., Bloomsburg. Laura Haden of the SBDC will speak about the different legal structures a business can be, how to write a business plan and create financial projections, and much more. Cost is $15 for the First Step book. Walk-ins are welcome but pre-registration is preferred. Register by calling 570-408-4334, email or online at

Downtown Incubator Seeking Office Equipment

Downtown Bloomsburg Incorporated (DBI) is leading the effort to establish a business incubator/work co-space in downtown Bloomsburg.  Currently, its partners include Bloomsburg University, the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce, Kawneer, and the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center.  It has secured a location and is working to design, build out and promote this new venture. It has one of the busiest locations in Bloomsburg. 

The intention is to bring entrepreneurial-minded individuals of all ages together under one roof to share ideas and work together to start and grow their business ideas in Bloomsburg. DBI will also offer educational opportunities such as website design, social media consultation, financial projections, marketing plans and business plans for existing businesses in the community designed to accelerate their success while creating jobs and revenue for the region.

How can you help?  Like any new venture, this project has numerous needs.  DBI wants to establish a professional, first class facility for its clients. Its committee has identified a wish list of furnishings, appliances, equipment and supplies needed for the facility. It is requesting assistance in the form of donations of any new or gently used items, or a monetary donation for it to purchase the necessary items. Additionally, discounts on items and/or labor would be greatly appreciated. 

Wish List

  • Paint and painting supplies including rollers, brushes, pans, drop cloth and tape
  • Conference table and chairs
  • Printer/copier/scanner
  • Flat screen television and wall mount
  • Security camera system
  • Projector
  • Lockable filing cabinets
  • Phone system
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Coffee Pot
  • Office supplies including copy paper, hanging files, file folders, staplers, staples, paper clips, ink pens

Please contact Andy Gegaris, DBI Downtown Manager at 570-784-2522 or email with any questions or concerns.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this request.

Rescheduled Celebrate Historic Berwick Festival This Saturday

The Celebrate Historic Berwick festival, which was previously scheduled for May 13 before being postponed due to rain, will be held this Saturday, June 3. The festival started by the Chamber to encourage people to come to Berwick is now 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 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday 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.