Member News – July 11, 2018

Member News

  • Walker’s Jewelers and Nespoli Jewelers will host a “Community Over Competition” event in support of For The Cause, tomorrow evening, July 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Berwick Brewing Co., located at 328 W. Front St., Berwick. Come and learn about the Teen Center and speak with local teens about their experiences at the Teen Center, which will mark its one-year anniversary next month. There will be live acoustic entertainment provided by Dan Hess, and complimentary beverages will be available courtesy of Berwick Brewing. 

 

  • Community Options, Inc., a provider of residential and employment support to people with disabilities, is seeking individuals interested in serving on a new business advisory committee for Community Options’ Bloomsburg office. Community Options’ mission is to promote the integration of persons with disabilities within the communities in which they reside, enabling them to become viable and contributing neighbors, employees and citizens of the community. The purpose of this committee is to discuss and implement ways to help the organization better integrate into the community and bridge the gap between the community and the individuals it serves. If you may be interested in serving on this committee, or for questions, contact associate executive director David McConaghy at 570-638-6007 or email. The next committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 26 at noon at Community Options’ Bloomsburg office, located at 1117 Old Berwick Rd.

 

  • If you’ve ever wanted to take the Millennium Falcon into hyperspace, stand beneath a 15-foot AT-AT walker, or tour an Ewok village, come to LCBC Church Columbia-Montour any weekend in July. This month, all LCBC campuses throughout Central Pennsylvania transform their space into movie sets and this year the Columbia-Montour campus, located at 2421 Columbia Blvd., Bloomsburg, will be featuring Star Wars. Experience life-size, interactive movie scenes beginning at 6 p.m. each weekend throughout the month of July. Attendees will be able to: Take photos with Darth Vader, stormtroopers, Princess Leia or racing speeders through the forest of Endor; test drive from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon; see a 15-foot-high animated AT-AT and walk through an Ewok village; and converse with a life-size R2D2 and interact with BB-8! For more information, contact LCBC Church at 570-784-2132 or visit . 

 

 

  • LCBC Church Columbia-Montour will be a premier host site of the 2018 Global Leadership Summit, an annual leadership conference featuring business and thought leaders from throughout the country, which is produced and distributed by the Willow Creek Association. This conference, which takes place outside of Chicago, is live streamed via satellite to several locations throughout the country, including locally at LCBC Church, located at 2421 Columbia Blvd. (Rt. 11), Bloomsburg. LCBC Church is offering Chamber members and the public a free preview of this event next Tuesday, July 17, from 8-9:30 a.m. The “Taste of the Summit” is an opportunity to experience a summit session and leadership talk. Breakfast refreshments will be provided. If interested in attending, please RSVP by next Monday, July 16 at 12 p.m. by calling Pam Christine at 570-784-2132, or email. For more information on this free preview, see the invite flyer, and for more information on the summit itself, visit the link above. 

 

  • The Bucknell SBDC will host its annual Celebration of Small Business breakfast, which will also mark a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Bucknell SBDC, on Thursday, July 19, from 8-10 a.m. at the Elaine Langone Center’s Terrace Room on the 2nd floor on the Bucknell campus. Business owners, legislators, economic development partners and startup enthusiasts are invited to join the SBDC for breakfast to recognize the entrepreneurs and leaders of the region. Special presentations will include the U.S. Small Business Association Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Eastern PA, the Product Innovator of the Year and the Charles H. Coder Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, named for the Bucknell SBDC’s founding director. Register online or call 570-577-1249.

 

  • Bloomsburg University will present an exhibition of photos from a soldier who served in the Vietnam War. Titled “Blaine Cooper: Images From a Local Soldier in Vietnam,” the exhibition will take place on Friday, July 27, from 6-8 p.m. in the Gallery at the Greenly Center, located at 50 E. Main St. in downtown Bloomsburg. This event is free and open to the public, and complimentary light refreshments will be provided. Cooper will then be part of a speakers’ panel from 6:30-8 p.m. For more information regarding this event, contact Bob Heckrote, Office of Military and Veterans’ Resources, at 570-389-4696 or email, or graduate assistant Briann Halpin at 570-389-3858 or email

Reminder – CALL TO ACTION: Weigh in on How Overtime Changes Would Affect Your Business

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Business leaders have an opportunity to make their voice heard on a critical employment issue.  The public has until July 23 to provide feedback to state regulators regarding proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s overtime eligibility rules, which were unveiled by the Dept. of Labor and Industry a few weeks ago (UPDATE: the deadline to submit comments is now Aug. 22 following a 30-day extension being granted). The changes include a wage threshold for “exempt status” that is more than double the current rate set by the federal government.  There would also be significant revisions to so-called “duties tests,” which are also used to determine eligibility.  Finally, the rule would establish an automatic update to the salary threshold every three years beginning in 2023.

It was only a few years ago, during the Obama administration, that such changes were proposed at the federal level.  At that time, the reaction from employers was swift and deeply negative, particularly among small businesses, nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions and the health service industry, among others.  At that time, employers not only described significant increases to the cost of providing services or doing businesses, but also the reality that this dramatic change would damage workplace culture and morale, as employees would have to be shifted from earning a salary to being paid by the hour. This transition typically requires employees to start clocking in and out, along with more burdensome record-keeping, less flexibility, a rigid work schedule and fewer training opportunities and benefits.  Following this outcry, the proposal was ultimately struck down by a federal court.

The PA Chamber is encouraging employers to speak out against this flawed proposal now being pursued at the state level, which would further harm Pennsylvania’s competitiveness. Visit our website to learn more about this important issue and write an email to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, which has the power to reject or require changes to the proposed rules.  The PA Chamber is also leading a coalition urging the commission to extend the public comment period deadline, to allow employers and the public in general enough time to analyze the full impact of the proposed rules on their company and submit comments. 

Want to learn more about how the proposed new rules could impact your employees and your business’ bottom line?   Sign up today for a free webinar that will explore the consequences of the overtime changes.  At 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 19, employment defense attorney Joshua C. Vaughn will cover the breadth of these changes; how employers can start planning for compliance; which employees will be eligible for overtime under the new standards; how to convert their status from salaried to hourly; and more.

Welcome Framing By CJ

More than 400 businesses and organizations belong to the Chamber to receive benefits and support efforts to strengthen their businesses and our region. Increased membership allows us to offer additional programs and benefits, have a stronger voice in advocacy and be involved in more activities and initiatives in our communities. The Chamber welcomes its newest member, Framing By CJ, to help us fulfill our mission.

Framing By CJ is a local, family-owned business that provides custom frames for almost any occasion or purpose. From special pieces of art, to keepsake items, to about anything you can think of, Framing By CJ can make a one-of-a-kind, custom frame for whatever your needs. In nearly 20 years since founding her business in 1999, owner CJ Whitenight-Hamill has been providing framing needs for individuals and businesses in both the local area and throughout the country from her location at 804 Market St. in Bloomsburg. Framing By CJ also offers a gift gallery at its retail location made up of numerous unique gifts for any occasion. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Framing By CJ also offers additional hours by appointment. Framing By CJ can be reached at 570-784-5660 or by email

Affordability Percentages For Employer-Sponsored Health Plans Will Increase in 2019

From ChamberChoice

On May 21, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2018-34 to index the contribution percentages in 2019 for purposes of determining affordability of an employer’s plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For plan years beginning in 2019, employer-sponsored coverage will be considered affordable if the employee’s required contribution for self-only coverage does not exceed:

  • 9.86 percent of the employee’s household income for the year, for purposes of “pay or play rules,” and premium tax credit eligibility
  • 8.3 percent of the employee’s household income for the year, for purposes of an individual mandate exemption (adjusted under separate guidance)

Homeland Security Offers Workplace Safety Resources

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has online resources to help businesses and organizations avoid and plan for violent attacks. Know the warning signs of a possible attack through a vehicle ramming, crowded place, or active shooter situation. Informational resources, including action plan templates, are available at DHS’ website.

Thanks to the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency for providing the information.