Welcome Skatetown Hysteria

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, Skatetown Hysteria, to help us fulfill our mission.

Skatetown Hysteria is a family-fun center located in Bloomsburg at 2845 Skatetown Rd., just off Route 11 and just behind the Press Enterprise building. It features roller skating, laser tag, a ballocity ball pit, ultimate inflatable, bumper cards, a video arcade and full snack bar. It features various specials, and is a top destination for birthday parties and also has a fundraising program to assist organizations with fundraising needs. It is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m., Fridays from 6-10 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12-6 p.m. For more information, visit its website or Facebook page, call 570-784-3580 or email.

Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. Announces Winners of First Month of Giveaway Drawing

Cornell Williams, Jr. of Bloomsburg receives his $20 Gift Certificate at Reflections Redux on Feb. 27.

Downtown Bloomsburg businesses began offering a special “Thank you” to customers the first week of February.

Through a contribution from the Duane and Susan Greenly Foundation, participating businesses have been presenting $20 gift certificates to random customers.

One gift certificate has been given away every Monday through Friday since the program’s start on February 4. Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. is administering the giveaway program.

The winners of the first month’s Giveaway are David Willis of Girardsville, Mike Huber, Bloomsburg, Emily Ferguson, Sinking Springs, Mr. Golden, Bloomsburg, Joelle Witner, Sugar Loaf, Kara Walsh, Millville, Kat Allegar, Rohrsburg, John Richardson, Catawissa, Helmut Doll, Danville, Daniel Smith, Saylorsburg, Chad Francis, Bloomsburg, Colleen Kane, Elysburg, Mike Takach, Orangeville, Elaine Pongratz, Bloomsburg, Tiffany Zucal, Bloomsburg, Carly Magill, Bloomsburg, Julie Sitler, Stillwater, Cornell Williams, Jr., Bloomsburg, and Jennifer Alaniz, Berwick.

This giveaway program will continue throughout 2019. For more information on the program, contact Mike Zarrett of Towne Camera by email.

Members Take in Evening of Art and Networking at February Business After Hours

A large group of local professionals were joined by a large group of Bloomsburg University students from the Ziegler Institute for Professional Development for an evening of networking and taking in a new art exhibit on its opening night at BU hosted the Chamber’s February Business After Hours at the Gallery at Greenly Center on Thursday, Feb. 28.

The 2019 Student Exhibition Series, which is currently on display at the gallery, is a juried show of three outstanding current students (pictured at right) that receive a professional experience in the gallery, the same as any professional visiting artist. In addition to checking out the new displays, which run through April 16, attendees also had an opportunity to meet several BU administrators, faculty and staff and learn about the university’s Professional U program, which connects students with alumni, employers, and opportunities integrating the academic experience with professional experience in “real world” settings. 

BU art students (l-r) Sarah Foster, Rowan Shaffer and Hannah Sheppard, whose work is on display at the Gallery at Greenly Center through April 16.

Business After Hours provide regular opportunities to build business relationships while learning about the services offered by other Chamber members. The next Business After Hours will be held at Hamilton Dental Care, located at 2 Audubon Ct., Bloomsburg, on Wednesday, March 20, from 5-7 p.m.  

Chamber Golf Tournament & Spring Social to be Held May 30

The Chamber’s annual golf tournament will be held on Thursday, May 30, at Rolling Pines Golf Course & Banquet Facility. Beginning this year, the Chamber is also adding a Spring Social to this event in an effort to be more inclusive to the many non-golfers among our membership, as well as provide an additional opportunity for members to make business connections — all in a casual and relaxed environment.

For more information about the Spring Social as well as the golf tournament, including registration and sponsorship information, visit the event page or see the registration or sponsorship flyers.

Minimum Wage Issues Takes Center Stage at Events, Hearings

Making headlines statewide last week were comments regarding the minimum wage by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, at the Pennsylvania Press Club.  Corman admitted that discussions over an immediate increase to $12 an hour with an eventual increase to $15 would be a non-starter in the Republican-controlled General Assembly.  However, he did acknowledge that the issue is heating up and that a conversation “needs to happen” in the coming months.  While he offered no specifics, he called on those who favor an increase to propose “a reasonable plan so we can move this forward.”  Following Corman’s remarks, House Republican spokesman Mike Straub said that House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, is open to discussing the issue but believes “the focus should be on other policy changes, including workforce development changes, that can help lift residents into better-paying jobs.”   And while Gov. Wolf’s spokesman J.J. Abbott said the governor still believes that his minimum wage proposal is fair for workers, he added that “every part of the budget is subject to negotiations with the legislature, and we would certainly welcome a discussion about the minimum wage.”

The minimum wage issue was also highlighted at several House and Senate budget hearings last week, including at hearings for the Departments of Human Services and Health.  DOH Secretary Rachel Levine voiced support for a minimum wage increase in her testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  According to a story by Capitolwire, Levine told members that a wage increase would help improve health care outcomes, claiming at one point “poverty adversely affects health … and that’s why it’s so important for the legislature to work with the governor, in terms of minimum wage, to help bring people out of poverty.”

The PA Chamber is spreading awareness about the real impact of minimum wage increases on the economy and workers.  Multiple real-world stories from our broad-based membership and a number of independent studies have demonstrated how mandated wage hikes lead to reduced hours and can lead to outright job loss, thereby hurting the very people they’re intended to help. Lawmakers should focus on policies that target support to families in poverty and improve job training programs that will allow individuals to obtain skills needed for career-oriented jobs.