Save the Date for Breakfast with Congressman Barletta

Learn more about current legislation that could affect your business at a Legislative Breakfast with Congressman Lou Barletta on Thursday,CongressmanBarletta August 27 at 8 a.m. at the Greenly Center 50 E. Main Street, Bloomsburg. During this Chamber and Visitors Bureau sponsored event you will meet the person representing your business in Washington.

The cost for Chamber members is $20 per person, $30 for non-members, and includes a full buffet-style breakfast. Registration is required before August 21. For more information download the registration form, call Eleanor at 784-2522 or email e[email protected]

Chamber Insurance Program Pays Back Members


Over the last three years, Chamber members have received $131,397 in dividends on their business insurance through Penn National Insurance. This year, nearly two dozen participating members received over $36,000 in combined dividend checks. Dividends earned are based on the total group premium and claims experience of eligible lines. As the program grows, so does dividend potential. Often times the dividend pays for their Chamber membership, and more.

Penn National Insurance offers all types of business insurance. Enhanced coverage on auto, businessowners, property, workers compensation and general liability give you added protection at no additional cost. Equipment breakdown coverage is automatically included with businessowners and property policies. Through Penn National Insurance’s independent network, agents are able find the right coverage for your business with local service.

For more information, visit

Background Check Clarifications Now Law

From PA Representative David Millard

Clarifications to the state’s new law regarding background clearances for employees and volunteers who have direct and routine contact with children are now law. House Bill 1276 was recently signed into law, bringing more clarity to Act 153 of 2014, which requires additional and periodic background checks for both employees and volunteers who are directly involved with children. The changes take effect immediately.

Under the new law, volunteers must obtain the clearances if they have direct volunteer contact, meaning that they have care, supervision, guidance or control and routine interaction with children. Also, all employees and adult volunteers subject to the background check clearances will be required to recertify all of those clearances every five years, instead of every three years. The measure also makes a number of clarifications with respect to the cost, portability and recertification of the two main clearances – the Department of Human Services child abuse clearance and the state police criminal background check. The two $10 fees are waived for volunteers and are reduced to $8 each for employees.

More information about Act 153 and the other new laws resulting from the child protection package are available at

Revitalization Campaign Underway for Downtown Bloomsburg

Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. (DBI), is a non-profit subsidiary of the Chamber dedicated to making Bloomsburg a regional hotspot to shop, dine, live, and visit. Bloomsburg was recently ranked 4th among the best communities to live in Pennsylvania by the website  To be successful, the organization needs the help of local businesses and residents. The three phase Revitalization Project is already underway, working with a highly experienced architecture design and developer firm to map out all the buildings in Downtown Bloomsburg and compile area demographics.  The next step is raising funds for a full development plan.  The plan will give the community actionable goals and ideas to ensure that Bloomsburg’s Downtown is bustling and vibrant well into the future.

One way that DBI is hoping to raise both funds and awareness is through a new GoFundMe campaign. The Campaign has had a great first week, raising nearly $3,000 dollars. To join the movement to revitalize Bloomsburg, visit or donate via GoFundMe at

Member Spotlight

BTEBloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (BTE) was founded in 1978 by recent graduates of Northwestern University, who relocated to Bloomsburg during the previous two years for master classes with legendary acting teacher Alvina Krause. Under Krause’s inspiration, they established a resident ensemble of actors, directors, writers, and teachers. Their goal was to create a theatre that would, in Krause’s words, be “as important to its community as schools and churches”. Over the years there have been 37 members; of the current seven, three of them are from the founding years.

BTE provides a season of five or six plays each year on the stage at the Alvina Krause Theatre, a women’s solo performance arts festival, and year round theatre in education programs in schools and also in their facilities in Bloomsburg. They’ve also produced shows in other venues around town (The Exchange and Capitol Bar and Grill) and in other towns (Community Arts Center in Williamsport). BTE produces well-loved community events such as Treefest and The Taming of the Brew. BTE is unique in the region. They are the only professional theatre within fifty miles of Bloomsburg that regularly produces contemporary American plays, along with the classics. From time to time they also present shows from outside producers.

During the past 37 seasons, hallmarks of their Main Stage have been original, company created works on local and regional history: Hard Coal, Life in the Region, Flood Stories, Too; Letters to the Editor, and Susquehanna.

Nationally, BTE is recognized as a leader in the ensemble theatre movement as a co-founder of the Network of Ensemble Theaters. Since 1995, NET has grown into an over 160-member organization to promote ensemble theatre practice and generate interest in ensemble as a sustainable model for community-based work. BTE member Laurie McCants is currently the Chair of NET’s Board of Trustees.

Each year BTE supports hundreds of local and regional charities and fundraisers by donating tickets to their performances. Each year they provide one performance of their holiday show to the Food Bank to collect food. Through Treefest they work with the Columbia County Child Development Center to provide over 100 trees and gifts to needy families. In addition, they have partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Volunteer Partners in Medicine.

As funding for arts programs diminishes BTE supports local and regional schools by providing funds to the schools so that they can book shows. BTE continues to look for ways to make theatre going affordable for everyone in the community through Pay What you Want performances and through their new Group Sales program. For more information, contact Jon White-Spunner at [email protected] or visit

The subject of each month’s Member Spotlight is selected from attendees of Chamber events.