Category: Members (page 1 of 2)

Chamber News for March 10th

Business After Hours: This Wednesday, March 12th from 5-7pm plan to join us for Business After Hours at Moments to Remember, 62 Main Street, Bradford. Building connections with others in the business and professional community is a great way to expand your reach, and Business After Hours is a perfect opportunity to connect through relaxed networking. Complimentary refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres, business card drawing, and a chance to join in our community update announcements – don’t miss it! Free and open to the business and professional community – come and see what our host, Moments to Remember, has to offer throughout their new expanded showroom!

BACC Annual Meeting and Awards: If you are the primary contact for your company (or an individual member), make sure to watch your mail for the Annual Meeting and Awards ballot, invitation, and ticket/sponsorship opportunities. The mailing went out late last week, and you have two weeks to get your vote in – ballots due Friday, March 21st. If you have sponsored the event in the past, we hope that you will consider returning as a sponsor again this year. If you have not, there are reasonable sponsorship rates for companies and organizations of all sizes, starting at just $50 for an Advertising Sponsorship.

A Conversation with Avi: The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Education Club proudly presents an evening with Avi, Newbery Award-winning author of more than 70 books. Wednesday, March 19th at 6:30pm at the Harriet B. Wick Chapel at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Doors will open at 6pm. Refreshments provided by the Pitt-Bradford Hospitality Program. Avi will share how his stories came to be, his thoughts on using adolescent literature in the classroom, and excerpts from his books, including the most recent story – Sophia’s War. Following the presentation, Avi will sign books you bring, or you may purchase one at the event. Free and open to the public. Please RSVP to Wayne Brinda by March 14th at wjb27@pitt.edu.

Why should I shop local?

Three years ago the Chamber and our Business Committee started an advertising plan to ask shoppers to shop local, and we are seeing positive reaction to that advertising.

Yesterday I visited several of our merchants in downtown Bradford, and I am happy to tell you, that they all had a great  weekend and were very grateful for all the customers that came in their store.  It was so great talking with them, and seeing their enthusiasm when talking about the rest of the holiday season.

Being an independent business person isn’t an easy career, believe me, I did it for 30 years, but it is a great job, because you meet some wonderful people who loved it when you called them by their first name, and were always so appreciative to have that special personal attention.  I noticed that yesterday when some of our merchants were waiting on customers, and I have to tell you, It brought back a lot of great memories of my years at James R. Evans Men’s Store.

One of my stops was Man’s World and I had a chance to  talk to owner Joe Butler, who was so proud of celebrating 40 years in business.  Congratulations Joe and Mike Butler on 40 years of serving the Bradford Area, and believing in Bradford!

So ask yourself this question, why should I shop local:

1.  Your money stays in the community.

2.  This is my favorite, the more local businesses we have, the easier it is to attract people to move to our town.

3.  Who do you go to when you want a contribution for your organization?

4.  Job creation

5.  Customer service is better

6.  Personnel connection

7.  Product knowledge

8.  Shopping local retains our community

9.  Local shops value you more

10.  It just makes sense

I could go on and on with reasons. but I think you get the message.

To all those folks who started the season off by shopping a local merchant, thank you for supporting these wonderful entrepreneurs!

So let me close by saying, spend some of your holiday money at a local stores, and by the way buy one of our Chamber gift Certificates, because all the money will be spent at a local chamber member business.

As always, stop on down to 121 Main Street, have a cup of coffee with us, and give us your ideas!!

 

Are we perfect?

I am writing this column to address some people in our community that are always finding the bad things and writing about them. I’ve been accused of only looking at the good things about Bradford and not the bad. That is the furthest thing from the truth. I do worry every day about the drug problems, the housing issues, and I worry that people, especially children, have a meal every night. I fully support the Friendship Table, Destinations-Bradford, the Elf Fund, and every nonprofit in this town. So the big question that I ask myself every morning when I look in the mirror is, “What can I do to make Bradford a better place to live?”

Recently we posted a “Welcome to Bradford” video that included interviews filmed during WESB/WBRR’s “Great Way of Life” campaign. It featured Bradfordians talking about why they like our town, along with wonderful scenic shots, and was created for us by Evoking Emotions Videography. We have been pleased with the reach the video has had online, and some of the positive responses it has received. I might add, WESB/WBRR does not charge us for their annual “Great Way of Life” promotion, they do it to support our town.

So my question to all these folks who spend their day putting Bradford down . . . what have you done for your town? Have you volunteered at the Friendship Table or the SPCA? Did you take part in any community clean-ups? Did you attend a City Council meeting and express your concerns? I could go on and on, but I’m sure you know what I’m saying.

It’s very easy to sit back and criticize our town, but I would rather take the other approach and try to find ways to improve our town. I’m sure some of these doubting Thomases will continue to find fault with anything we try to do, but I will not let their cold comments stop me from making this a better town!

I have had the opportunity to visit many communities in my lifetime, but after those visits I am always happy when I come home.

We are not perfect, we have our flaws, but we have many caring people in our community, generous people who when I call to ask for support with any community project they are there with their checkbooks or right beside us rolling up their sleeves to help.

So I would really welcome these doubting Thomases to come to our office, and lets sit down and have a conversation of how we can make Bradford better. We are here to listen, we are here to help, we are here to make Bradford a better community!

What does it take to be a good non profit?

After being in the profit business most of my life, the last three years in the nonprofit has been a challenge.  I guess for me the biggest challenge is that I had never done it before, but I soon realized that it wasn’t much different then the profit business.  You still have to control a budget, take care of your staff, take care of your customers, or in my case our members.

So this is my advise for anyone thinking about joining a nonprofit.  First you need to review ever aspect of your organization, and spend all your free time looking at other nonprofits in your field.  When I was with Wal-Mart, I learned early on, that our founder Sam Walton, had a hard and fast rule, “steal shamelessly from your competition”  I used that advice a different way by looking at other Chambers to see what they were doing to be successful.  Recently we joined with 14 other Chambers in a joint meeting at our office, and what a great day we had.  Learning what each other were doing to help their members.

Now I’m the first to admit that we have made mistakes along the way, but those mistakes have made us better, and again we are always ready to do something new!

The biggest lesson though is whatever you do in your organization that involves members, make sure it benefits them first, because they are the stockholders, and they deserve to have all of your attention.

With that all said, I am always looking for new and exciting ideas, so please respond to my blog, and because of that nasty spam, all replies have to be approved, hope you understand.  I get about five spams to every legitimate reply.

Thanks for reading my blog, and have a great week!!!

We have a Killer Website!!!

I thought that title would get everyone’s attention, and recently I had a reply that said, you need to come up with better titles for your blog.  So we will see what everyone thinks of  Killer Website.

Thursday, April 4th, our Chamber held its Annual Meeting, and we premiered our new website to 220 people.  Protocol 80 of Bradford, Pa created our website, and we also have to give credit to Stephanie Bussman for helping with the graphics.  When we started thinking of how we wanted our website to look, we first decided that we needed to have a site that our staff could easily make corrections or add new material too.

So the first step was to create a data base system that would allow us to do that. Protocol built our system from scratch, and the first suggestion, and probably the best suggestion, was that it would be web based.  We had that completed late last year, and than we started putting together our thoughts and ideas for the website.  I spent a couple of days reviewing every chamber website I could find, and I narrowed those sites down to 10 sites that I thought were the best. We took their best ideas, and the things that we wanted and put together our wish list.  I had many staff meetings with Becki Ivancic and Kara Kennedy and between the three of us, we came up with a final list, and turned that over to Protocol 80.  this weekend comments started to show up from folks in our business.     Here are some of those comments:

1.  Easy to navigate
2. Visually appealing
3.  smart phone version is excellent
4. Not cluttered
5. They like our advertising boxes
6. Style without gaudy
7. They liked our sponsorship
8. Very easy to read
9. Clean prominent Join us.
10.  Great colors
12. Picture galaxy a big hit
13.  They liked our video box

So now it’s your turn to tell us what you think, please go to www.bradfordchamber.com, and send us your opinion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why should I join the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce?

Hi Everyone,

At least once a week someone ask me why they should join the Chamber of Commerce.  I thought today would be a good time to share some of the benefits.  As a member of our chamber you are also a part of Chamber Choice.  They will develop a comprehensive plan to protect your business, your family, and your bottom line.  Their extensive portfolio includes:

  • Individual and Group  Health Insurance
  • Medicare Supplement
  • Dental and Vision Insurance
  • HR solutions
  •  Business Insurance with Dividend Potential, which includes commercial auto, property, general liability, inland marine and worker’s compensation.
  • Energy Program includes both residential and commercial.
  • Voluntary Benefits and Personal Insurance.

Now if you are a business, and you are interested in saving money in any of these areas, we would encourage you to call Chamber Choice at 1-800-377-3539, and if you are happy with the results, we can arrange for you to become a member of the Chamber.  Have a great day, and we will see you on Main Street.

 

 

Message from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce

Hi Everyone,

I thought I would share some information that I receive every month from the Pennsylvania Chamber.  When you see all the cuts in the budget, one of reasons is that collectively, the State Employees’ Retirement System and the Public School Employees’ Retirement System–face an unfunded liability of between forty billion and fifty billion dollars.  One of the solutions to this problem is to switch future state employees from a defined contribution plan similar to private sector 401k style programs, among other similar proposals under consideration.

Also on the Mid-Year Legislative Accomplishments in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s corporate tax apportionment formula will now be based only on sales, not property and payroll.  The old formula was a disincentive for hiring and growth.  This change will save job creators about $12 million this year, and around $40 million annually beginning next fiscal year.

Finally, the authorization of transportation public-private partnerships is a small but welcome step toward resolving the state’s nearly $3.5 billion infrastructure funding shortfall.  This concept will inject private-sector capital and innovation into the infrastructure equation.

See you on Main Street.

Ron Orris

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is my favorite time of the year, and I am always amazed how fast we forget about the winter.  However, this year is the exception, winter hasn’t been that bad, and Punxsutawney Phi, you were wrong.  With that all said, the Chamber is also excited to see Spring come, because it’s time for our Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation on April 11th.  This is a great time to thank our membership for all the support that they give us throughout the year.  This year is also very special because Zippo is going to be our signature sponsor.

We have a Brown Bag Luncheon coming up on March 28th, with Kara Kennedy and myself having a class on the basics of Facebook and Ebay.  It’s free to all our members, and if you would like to attend contact me at ron@bradfordchamber.com

We have had a few request to leave the lights on in Veteran’s Square, so for the time being we are going to honor that request.  They are beautiful, and they will look great on those warm spring and summer evenings.

In my last BLOG I talked about our Facebook, and I am happy to report that it continues to grow, and we are very excited about the new timeline format.  We enjoy sharing our pictures with our fans, and we seem to get the most response from those pictures.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this beautiful weather!!    Ron

 

Facebook

Hi Everyone:

Facebook has been such a great asset to our Chamber, and we are always ready to share information with our members.  On March 28,2012 we will be having a brown bag series seminar on Facebook and Ebay.  But until then, I wanted to share some information that I have received from Frank Kenny of Lewisburg, Washington, who is a consultant on the Social Media.  Probably the biggest mistake that businesses make, is that they create a profile page versue a fan page.  The reason you will want a fan page, is that you will receive from Facebook, information on how your page is doing.  It is a great way to track your activity.  One of things that the Chamber is very proud of, is that we have 2250 fans, which is way above the average of 675.   I am including a chart to show you what other Chambers are doing, click on the chart to see a bigger version:

So this is the benchmark for your organization.  If you want to attend our Brown Bag Series at the Chamber Office, please email kara.kennedy@bradfordchamber.com, we are limited for space, so contact us as soon as possible.

Visit Frank’s Website at:  http://frankjkenny.com/how-did-they-get-so-many-chamber-facebook-fans/

Give Gifts, Be Generous

This past week I received a really nice message from Frank Kenny who is from Longview, Washington and has a book out called “The Seven Secret Laws of Society”  He was complementing our Chamber on our Facebook and how many friends we have.  Frank travels all over the State of Washington doing seminars he is an  author, speaker, and consultant. Integrating new media, social media marketing, and modern technology. 

Frank talks in his book about giving back to your community.    Here is an part of what Frank is saying:

As a business owner or executive:

1. You will attract more customers.

2. You will have more fun. Give Gifts. Be Generous.™

     It is a nice way to spend your time.

3. You will have more friends.

4. Your standing in the community will rise and you

     will have more influence.

5. Opportunities will come to you out of the blue.

6. Your stress level will go down because your business

      is doing better and your life feels more complete.

By doing all these things Frank is saying that good things will come back to you for your business.  I truly believe this!  I remember when I worked for Walmart, the founder Sam Walton, encouraged his management team to get involved in the community.  Now Sam just didn’t want us to join the Chamber or Rotary, he wanted us to get involved on committees and see if we could make a difference. 

Now I know your all saying that you are too busy to do this, but I’m telling you this is the way everyone should run their lives, help your community, and it doesn’t have to be the Chamber of Commerce.  Many of you already do it, rather it is your Church, Little League, Food Kitchens or whatever you are doing ,  Frank is saying to do more, and good things will come back to you.  Please give me feedback on this, and if these results have happen to you. 

So stop on down to our Main Street location at 121 Main Street and have a cup of coffee, and give us your ideas.  Please pass the Blog on to your friends.

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