Commonwealth Health Welcomes New Providers to Berwick Hospital Center Campus

(L-R): Matt Beltz, Columbia Montour Chamber; Tom Neal, Berwick Hospital Campus CEO and Chamber board member; Dr. Ayesha Usman; Dr. Kathy Baylor; Dr. Ryan Hawley; Dr. Anton Georgiev; Sue Lynn, director of physician practice; Damien Scoblink, Berwick Borough; Robert Lewis, Berwick Borough; Jim Flach, facilities director

The Chamber stopped by the Berwick Hospital Center campus for a ribbon cutting on Thursday afternoon, July 11, to help welcome three providers to their new practice location on the hospital campus. All three previously practiced at different Commonwealth Health locations before recently relocating to physician office buildings on the East 16th St. campus in Berwick.

Dr. Kathy Baylor (family medicine), Dr. Ayesha Usman (OB/GYN) and Dr. Anton Georgiev (general surgery) are all now located on the Berwick Hospital Center campus. To schedule an appointment with any of these providers, call Berwick Hospital Center at 570-759-5000.

Traditional Home Health Cuts Ribbon on New Berwick Office

(L-R): Krysta Samuel, Traditional Home Health; Tina Gray, First Keystone Community Bank; Sandy Cole, First Keystone Community Bank and Chamber Ambassador; Amy Shortlidge, Berwick Industrial Development Association; Damien Scoblink, Berwick Borough; Robert Lewis, Berwick Borough; Kathy Murphy, Traditional Home Health; Nicole Boerner, Traditional Home Health; April Orbach, Traditional Home Health; Brianna Kile, Traditional Home Health; Jessica Shudak, Traditional Home Health; Maria Billmeyer, Traditional Home Health; Matt Beltz, Columbia Montour Chamber; Doreen Nixon, Traditional Home Health; Trish Supanek, Traditional Home Health; Shawn Garrick, Traditional Home Health

The Chamber was on hand Thursday, July 11 to help welcome Traditional Home Health Care to Berwick with a ribbon cutting. Traditional, which opened a home care office on West Front St. in downtown Berwick last year, recently opened a second office for its home health services on East 3rd St., just a short walk away from its home care office.

Traditional Home Health Care provides in-home medical care for its clients, while its home care business handles non-medical care.

Legislation Brings Fairness to PA Brewpubs

A bill passed by the State Legislature in late June and signed into law by Governor Wolf brings fairness to sales at Pennsylvania brewpubs. In July, 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) put out a tax bulletin requiring Pennsylvania breweries to collect a six percent sales tax for every dollar of beer sold directly to consumers via taprooms, tasting rooms, and brewpubs. Other restaurants pay sales tax on the wholesale amount (keg, case, etc.). The application of this tax was set to go into effect July 1, 2019. Earlier this year, the Chamber joined the statewide brewers guild in calling for a fix that provided fairness to the industry.

Under this bill, which amends the Tax Code, breweries will pay the sales tax on 25 percent of the retail sale, having the effect of taxing the wholesale amount. The Brewers of Pennsylvania applauded the General Assembly for passing the legislation. “The Brewers of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Governor’s office, were able to bring fairness and parity to sales tax collection among restaurants, taverns, grocery stores, and brewery taprooms across Pennsylvania,” said Chris Lampe, BOP President.

In April, the Chamber sent a letter to Senator John Gordner and Representatives Kurt Masser and David Millard asking that the industry be treated equitably in the assessment of sales tax. All three voted in favor of the legislation. The update will take effect October 1, 2019.

State Begins Fiscal Year with Enacted Budget

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

For the second year in a row, the Commonwealth is starting the new fiscal year with a budget in place. Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address in February set a bipartisan tone with a focus of working together to find common ground. With the exception of a few minor speed bumps in the final days of June, this year’s budget negotiation process was relatively smooth. Thanks in large part to strong revenue collections throughout the year, the governor and legislative leaders remained confident that an agreement could be reached prior to the June 30 Constitutional deadline.

The nearly $34 billion budget agreement includes increased spending for K-12 education, as well as more money for career and technical education, community colleges, PASSHE universities and the state’s non-preferred universities. It also includes a $25 million increase for the popular Education Improvement Tax Credit program – which the PA Chamber supports because it allows the state’s business community to support Pennsylvania students by giving them access to alternative educational opportunities. There are also funding increases for mental health services as well as agricultural programs.

A number of items that the PA Chamber had previously expressed concerns with were taken off the negotiating table early in the negotiation process – including a proposed minimum wage increase, as well as another attempt to put an additional tax on the natural gas industry. We have repeatedly warned lawmakers that government mandated wage increases have a negative impact on jobs. A recent Independent Fiscal Office report found that the administration’s proposal to increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour would lead to the loss of 34,000 jobs across the Commonwealth. Likewise, we continue to push back against efforts to enact a punitive severance tax because it will negatively impact the state’s business climate and send jobs and opportunities to other states in the shale play.

Following the passage of the budget, the PA Chamber issued a statement applauding lawmakers and the governor for getting the budget done on-time without any broad based tax increases. Additionally, we commended the administration and General Assembly for working across party lines to finalize a spending plan that responsibly puts additional surplus revenues in the Rainy Day Fund to help the state better withstand future economic downturns and makes smart investments in key education and workforce development priorities including the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program and Career and Technical Education.

At the same time, we are urging the Wolf administration and the General Assembly to build on the positive economic momentum the state is currently enjoying by enacting pro-growth policies. Tax reform on the federal level helped to jump-start the nation’s and Pennsylvania’s economies. Comprehensively addressing and streamlining Pennsylvania’s outdated Tax Code will help to further this economic growth. Likewise, we look forward to continued constructive dialogue on ways to address the jobs skills gap and the state’s workforce issues. Moving forward on these two initiatives – as well as reforming Pennsylvania’s burdensome regulatory environment – will send a strong message to job creators that Pennsylvania is open for business and a prime location for future investment.

We look forward to working with elected officials on these and other important policy issues that will help to foster economic growth in the Fiscal Ye

Member News – July 10, 2019

  • Focus Central Pennsylvania is pleased to announce it has received an $8,500 dollar grant from the PPL Foundation. These funds will support the Smart Capacity initiative to invest in a comprehensive business attraction partnership to provide significant increased capacity that will leverage existing resources and efforts to effectively promote new corporate investment, career creating location decisions in Central Pennsylvania. This grant will provide a year of Site Location Partnership (SLP) business attraction services with specific deliverable metrics that include targeted industry prospect development, site selector appointment setting, trade show representation and online exposure. Site Location Partnership (SLP) is a dynamic, full-service consulting firm specializing in corporate site selection and business attraction for economic development. SLP executives have completed site location projects valued at over $840 million which have accounted for the creation of more than 7,200 careers.


  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation announces the creation of a new scholarship fund for local students. Established in memory of Dr. Ronald L. Lehnowsky by his family, the fund will benefit a graduating senior from Berwick Area High School who is pursuing a career in the medical field. Dr. Lehnowsky, D.D.S., J.D., grew up in Berwick and graduated from its high school. He attended Georgetown University School of Dentistry and Ohio State University, where he received his D.D.S. and M.S. in Oral Surgery. He also received a J.D. from Cleveland State University – John Marshall College of Law. Despite living much of his life in Ohio, Dr. Lehnowsky never forgot his beginnings in the Berwick community. It was important to his family to continue his legacy and honor his dedication to education by establishing this fund where he was born and raised. Dr. Lehnowsky passed away at the age of 76 after an extended illness. Through the family’s desire to honor his memory and a town formative to his early life, the Lehnowsky Scholarship Fund will offer increased educational opportunities for Berwick students in perpetuity. Contributions can be made to this fund online (click donate and search “Lehnowsky”), or mail to the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, Attn: Lehnowsky Scholarship Fund, 725 West Front Street, Berwick, PA 18603.


  • Bloomsburg University’s IT Outreach Webinar Series will conduct its next webinar on Thursday, July 18, at 1:30 p.m. This edition’s topic is “Two Key Ingredients for Successful Criminal Investigations: IT and Interviews,” and will be  given by Michael Huben, an instructor in the Zeigler College of Business. This event is free and open to the public. Register online and see the flyer for additional information. 


  • The United Way of Columbia and Montour County’s United in Recovery coalition will hold a free assessment and treatment information on drug & alcohol on Tuesday, July 23, from 3-7 p.m. at the Reliance Fire Company, 501 West 3rd St., Berwick. 


  • The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center will hold its annual Celebration of Small Business breakfast on Friday, July 26 at 8 a.m. This annual event celebrates entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders and also features awards. There is no cost to attend. Register online or call 570-577-1249. 


  • The Regional Impact Fund of the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation recently announced its second competitive grantround of $50K for projects that address current areas of unmet needs throughout the CSCF’s service area, which includes Columbia and Montour Counties. This year’s grantround will consist of an exciting new application process and opportunity for the public to get involved. Interested nonprofits will first submit a Letter of Inquiry introducing their organization, needs, service area, and budgetary request. Those proposals selected by the CSCF Grants Committee will then be invited to submit a full application and participate in The Nonprofit Narrative on Monday, July 29, at 8:30 a.m. at the Danville Area High School auditorium. The Nonprofit Narrative is a platform for these groups to share their grant requests and stories of regional impact—the joys, challenges, dreams and requests each face as they serve our neighbors, communities, and region at large. For more information on the Regional Impact Fund, competitive grantround or The Nonprofit Narrative, visit


  • The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center invites interested business in need of website development to connect with Bucknell students in the “Markets, Innovation, and Design 300” class in the Freeman College of Management. Each semester, these students make websites free of charge for local small businesses. These projects provide a hands-on learning experience for the students while bringing new ideas to these organizations. In early September, the students will be introduced to this assignment and divided into teams. Then the teams will have the liberty to choose with which businesses and organizations they would like to work. By early October, each student team will meet with their client to learn about the specific needs and goals of the organization and the purpose that the site should serve. Over the course of the semester, the students will then design and build the website with an online website software program, incorporating text and photographs provided by the organization. If your business or organization is in need of a website, or if it would benefit from a redesigned site, then please fill out this online form by Aug. 15 to ensure your organization is considered. Additional information is available on this form.