New Partnership Allows Employees of All Chamber Members, Spouses and Dependents Discount at Penn State World Campus

The Columbia Montour Chamber is pleased to announce a new partnership with one of its newest members, the Penn State World Campus, which will allow employees at all Chamber members, their spouses and legal dependents to receive a 5% off tuition through the Penn State World Campus, the online delivery unit of Penn State.

PSU World Campus works with PSU’s academic units and colleges to deliver more than 150 undergraduate and graduate degree and certification programs to online learners around the world. The PSU World Campus specializes in serving adult learners, corporate partners and the military, and offers services exclusively for active service members and veterans. PSU World also offers several convenient payment options designed to take into account the varying financial situations of those interested in taking classes online, whether individuals or corporate entities on behalf of employees. 

“Of all of the issues that can challenge a business or organization, workforce development is the top issue that our members tell us about, no matter the size or type of organization,” said Columbia Montour Chamber president Fred Gaffney. “We are excited to add this additional option and benefit for those individuals or their employers that want and are able to invest in furthering their education, whether it’s for helping an employee gain some new knowledge to help them advance within their organization or helping out a son or daughter get some additional credits towards their degree, to everything in between.”

The Penn State World Campus joins Bloomsburg University, Luzerne County Community College and Penn College as members in the universities category. All of these institutions offer various educational and professional development programs for working professionals looking to further their careers. Visit the PSU World Campus partnership page for additional information about this new benefit for Chamber members. 

Member News – May 23, 2018

Member News

  • Today, Thursday and Friday are the last days to check out the free art exhibit at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, in collaboration with the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau and the Susquehanna River Arts initiative. This exhibit and installation featuring the work of 10 local artists runs through May 25 in the Weis Center’s upper Atrium Lobby. The exhibit is free and takes place on the upper level of the Atrium Lobby, which is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Participating artists include: Annie Barnhart, Robert Brown, Pete Grimord, Joan Grimord, Gail Fox, Glen Klein, Abigail Kurecian, Sara Mika, Pam Thomas and William Whitmoyer. Each artist will have several samples of artwork on display. 


  • Wild For Salmon hosts its annual spring picnic, this year titled “Salute to Salmon” on Saturday, May 26, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at its store on 521 Montour Blvd. (Rt. 11) in Bloomsburg. Chef Josh will be grilling up portions of Asian-glazed salmon with apple slaw for sale and offering free poke bar samples. Sockeye salmon purchases will also be discounted. Join the Wild For Salmon team for some more outstanding seafood tasting and wish the team of fishermen well as they prepare for their annual excursion up to Alaska to do their fishing in Bristol Bay in June and July. For more information, visit Wild For Salmon’s Facebook event


  • There is just one presentation left of “A Matter of Balance,” an award-winning program for older adults designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. Geisinger Health Plan and the Columbia-Montour Aging Office, Inc. have teamed up to bring this program to the area over the last two months, and the final program will be offered on Tuesday, May 29 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at at Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community, located at 1707 Montour Blvd. (Rt. 11), Danville. Attendees will learn to view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risks at home and exercise to increase strength and balance. Registration is required, and to do so, call the GHP wellness team at 866-415-7138. 


  • Art of Floating will hold a open house and day of celebration for its 5th anniversary on Saturday, June 9. Additional information, including sponsors and vendors will be announced soon, but as part of the event, Art of Floating will also be collecting donations for the Ronald McDonald House of Danville, and anyone that makes a donation will receive a 15% off coupon at Art of Floating. Items needed by RMHD include: sugar, mayo, powdered creamer, ketchup, chicken broth, cooking oil, 40-watt LED light bulbs, battery operated alarm clocks, all-purpose copier paper, non-stick frying pans, electric griddles, heating pads, HE laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, anti-bacterial hand soap and postage stamps. 


  • The Bloomsburg Area YMCA will hold its 11th annual community yard sale on Saturday, June 9, from 6:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. to support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility in the community through programs at the Y. If you have stuff taking up space around your home that could become someone else’s treasure, look for the Steve Shannon truck in the Y parking lot to drop off your items and support a good cause. The Y will be accepting household items, bedding, games, toys, collectibles, small appliances in working condition, furniture, clean clothing, shoes and boots, dishes, holiday decorations, and more, but no TVs, printers, or computers. Any individuals or groups looking to volunteer for the yard sale or donate food for the bake sale can call the Y at 570-784-0188 or visit the front desk of the Y.

Members Get a Taste of the Theatre at May’s First Business After Hours

Ensemble interns perform excerpts from AHA! Amazing Inventors and their Extraordinary Inventions at Chamber Business After Hours on May 16.

Chamber members had a chance to see some excerpts from an ongoing production of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble while also enjoying some delicious appetizers, beer from Berwick Brewing and other drinks, during a lively Business After Hours on May 16 at BTE, as the Ensemble continued the celebration of its 40th season, which is wrapping up and has just two shows remaining. 

In addition to the usual networking, catching up with old and current friends and acquaintances and meeting new ones that routinely occurs at Business After Hours, actors from BTE’s Theatre in the Classroom tour performed for attendees, an excerpt from their ongoing 2018 production, AHA! Amazing Inventors and their Extraordinary Inventions. BTE managing director Jon White-Spunner briefly addressed attendees and made note of the rarity of having a local theatre company in a rural area such as Bloomsburg, and the equal rarity of such an organization being around for 40 years (and counting). BTE board of trustees president Mark Gardner of M&T Bank (also a member of the Chamber’s board), also made an invitation to anyone interested in serving on the BTE board, as it is looking for new board members. Anyone interested in serving on the BTE board should contact White-Spunner by email. Around all of these activities, members also had a chance to feast on some great tasting appetizers and drinks, including some beer from fellow member Berwick Brewing, which included some of its recently bottled IPA (being bottled in the video below). 

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 Bloomsburg University’s Soltz Hall, located at 400 East 2nd St., Bloomsburg, on Wednesday, May 30, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. 

This Week in the Pennsylvania Legislature

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

House and Senate lawmakers both return to session this week, with the Senate convening Monday through Wednesday and the House coming in Tuesday through Thursday.

With less than six weeks to go before the end of the 2017-18 Fiscal Year, the General Assembly met some headwinds last week in their quest for funding to balance the coming year’s spending plan. A question that had been tied up in court concerned whether the General Assembly could transfer $200 million from the state’s Joint Underwriting Association to the general fund. This question was answered last week when a federal Judge Christopher Conner ruled it could not, explaining, “The association’s function is inherently private. It is, as its core, an insurance company …The commonwealth cannot take those funds without just compensation.”   This order – which House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin called “overly broad,” could have larger implications on the Fiscal Code and means that the state will have $200 million less than it planned on for 2018-19. Wolf administration spokesman J.J. Abbott called the transfer “one of the many mechanisms passed by the General Assembly and signed into law to eliminate the deficit,” adding that the administration as reviewing the decision.

While elected officials contend with this new development, the PA Chamber is also urging lawmakers to pass legislation that would fix a recent anti-business ruling by the state Department of Revenue. Senate Bill 1056 – which passed the Senate late last month , and H.B. 2017 – which passed the House in March, would reverse the agency’s ruling issued last December that prohibits Pennsylvania taxpayers from taking advantage of 100 percent bonus depreciation when filing their corporate taxes, and would provide for a generally accepted depreciation schedule. The PA Chamber supports both bills as they would reverse the department’s action, which has made Pennsylvania less competitive and dissuades businesses from making purchases such as new equipment that would help to expand and improve their facilities.

State Senator John Gordner and PA Chamber director of government affairs Alex Halper will discuss these and other issues currently under consideration in Harrisburg at the Chamber’s spring legislative breakfast on Thursday, May 31 at the Greenly Center in downtown Bloomsburg. Cost is $20 for members and $30 for non-members, which includes a buffet breakfast. 

Zartman Construction Opens New Tool and Equipment Rental Shop, Bear Rental

On Saturday, May 19, the Columbia Montour Chamber helped the team at Zartman Construction cut the ribbon on its new venture, Bear Rental, a retail tool and equipment rental service. They were also joined by representatives from two other Chambers, as well as PA state rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver. Zartman owner and president Dave Zartman and Rep. Schlegel Culver each made brief remarks prior the the ribbon cutting. 

Bear Rental has a wide selection of tools and equipment available for rental. From small and simple items like shovels and rakes, all the way up to large scissor lifts and cranes, Bear Rental offers nearly anything that someone could need for a home improvement, landscaping or heavy construction project, whether it is for a weekend, do-it-yourself project, or a longer term construction project with a contractor. Zartman invested over $200K to add to its already vast inventory of tools and equipment in order to get Bear Rental up and running. Its motto is “problem solved.” 

Bear Rental, which is located inside the Zartman Construction facility on Route 11 between Danville and Northumberland, can be reached at 570-701-1525, via email or visit its website