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News & Notes
The Chamber staff wishes you a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday!
Our offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4 and Friday, July 5th.
Don't feel like cooking this 4th, check out the Chamber Store which has discounted gift cards. Get a $50 Building 24, Emily's, Judy's on Cherry, Peanut Bar, Slick Willy's, Stokesay Castle, The Works or Yellow House gift card for $40, or a $25 Stokesay Castle or VF Outlet card for $20, plus lots of other great deals from local businesses! Visit GreaterReadingChamber.org to order TODAY!
As a reminder, there is no Business@Breakfast in July. Our next Business@Breakfast will be held on Wednesday, August 7th at The Inn at Reading.
NEWS & NOTES
Gov. Tom Corbett signed a nearly $29 billion 2013-14 PA Budget (General Appropriations Bill) before the deadline on Sunday night. The Senate and House will be in session to finish other bills related to the budget such as the 'tax code' bill. The phase-out of the Corporate Stock & Franchise Tax (CSFT) will not occur as planned by 2014 instead it will be reduced and hopefully phased out by 2016. There will also be no reduction in the Corporate Net Income Tax (CNI). However there is pending legislation to address the tax appeals process, eliminate family owned business inheritance tax and allow a carryover provision under Net Operating Loss (NOL). Other major initiatives: a modern, safe and reliable transportation system that is key to our economy and requires transportation funding, liquor privatization to get government out of the business but stay involved in the enforcement process, pension reform required to deal with unfunded liability and Medicaid all require our legislators to take action. They will likely adjourn for the summer recess and return in September. To stay connected on these key issues, send a message to your legislators about how their action or lack thereof will impact you and learn more about the budget go to GreaterReadingVoice.com.
PA Budget Link:
Tax Code Link:
Transportation Funding Link:
Liquor Privatization Link:
Pension Reform Link:
GOLD STAR FOR YOU
Kudos to these outstanding newsmakers
Weidenhammer, a provider of IT services, announced it has been recognized by UBM Tech Channel as a part of CRN's 2013 Solution Provider 500 list, which identifies the top technology integrators in the U.S.A. and Canada based on revenue size. Formerly known as the 'VAR 500', the Solution Provider 500 (SP500) ranks the highest producing solution provider organizations in the IT channel from hardware sales, software sales, and managed IT services. Weidenhammer placed 392 in the annual ranking.
Ben Franklin TechVentures® (BFTV) hosted an event celebrating its building expansion earning the Gold rating under the United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for new construction. The event was held in the Lutron Lobby of Ben Franklin TechVentures and featured remarks by Janet Milkman, Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, as well as R. Chadwick Paul, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania; Christa Duelberg-Kraftician, AIA, LEED AP+BD&C, Principal, Spillman Farmer Architects; and Anthony Scarcia, LEED AP, President and Chief Operating Officer of Allied Building Corporation. LEED is an internationally recognized standard that promotes sustainability in building design, construction, and operation.
To be featured in the Gold Star for You newsmakers section, send your news, accomplishments and achievements to Melissa Varone.
YOU + CHAMBER = HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
Look who's celebrating their Chamber Anniversary
Highmark Blue Shield
Creative Management Concepts
Entech Engineering, Inc.
Kutztown University Foundation, Inc.
Mountain View Supply & Rental
Sweet Street Desserts, Inc.
William Fox Munroe, Inc.
American Cancer Society Berks County Unit
American Red Cross - Berks County Chapter
Bellairs Real Estate
Caron Treatment Centers
Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.
Long, Barrell & Company, Ltd.
Masano Bradley - Attorneys at Law
Reading Health System
Crowne Plaza Reading
Junior Achievement of Berks County, Inc.
Bob Fisher Chevrolet, Inc.
Edwards Business Systems
Electric Coil Service, Inc.
Jaw Manufacturing Company
The Loomis Company
Automotive Service, Inc.
M.J. Earl Company
E.G. Smith, Inc.
Stevens & Lee
Berks Engineering Company
Carpenter Technology Corporation
Lamar Outdoor Advertising
M & T Bank
UGI Utilities, Inc.
WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER
Say hello to the following new members
Amy Himes DBA Kind Massage
3608 St Lawrence Ave
Reading PA 19606
Contact: Amy Himes
Applied Industrial Technologies
835 William Lane
Reading PA 19604
Industrial Equipment & Supplies
Contact: John Mauro
Burge Flare, LLC dba Closer to the Sun Tanning
840 N Park Rd
Wyomissing PA 19610
Contact: Alyse Burge
Decorating Den Interiors
Mohnton PA 19540
Contact: Yvonne Staskel
9999 Hamilton Blvd
Breinigsville PA 18031
Contact: Hayden Craddolph
Toshiba Business Solutions
7035 Schantz Rd
Allentown PA 18106
Copiers - Sales, Service & Supplies
Contact: Fred Eberly
Visionary Insurance Partners (VIP)
2525 N. 12th St
Reading PA 19605
Contact: Lura Bare
Walnut Creek Lawn & Landscape Services, LLC
162 Groff Rd
Bernville PA 19506
Contact: Jason Krause
From our members to our members
Judy's on Cherry - Farm to Table: Thursday, July 11th. We will be featuring locally raised and wherever possible, organic produce, cheeses, and sustainable proteins. Dinners include four courses for $35 per person or four courses plus local wine pairings, $50. Call 610.374.8511 for reservations today!
SafeGuards Foster Care is offering placed youth with community-based work experiences over the summer months. This program assists at-risk youth in developing employable skills that will promote success as they transition to adulthood. Youth are compensated by the program while providing a benefit to area businesses. If your organization would like to provide a work experience for youth during the summer, please contact Jennifer Mongi at 610.372.1484.
Information to help your small business grow
At a recent Expert Exchange of Entrepreneurs, owners of Hair On The Avenue Dave and Debbie Meas shared their journey from having a Job to a Business. After two years of planning, Debbie started her Job as a hairdresser because of her passion for beauty. The business was based out of the couple's home because they thought it would make life easier when they eventually started a family.
They started with 4 employees and $100K in sales in 1993, and have since grown the business to 31 employees with $1.5 million in sales. It hasn't been an easy road to success, but it's been a busy one. Since the salon was based out of their home, Debbie was always working. Lesson learned, when you have a home-based business, it is very hard to walk away from your work.
One day Debbie said to Dave that she wished she would not have started the business out of their home. Dave silently agreed but would have never shared his feelings with Debbie. He took that as an opportunity to go out a buy a building for the new salon - where Hair On the Avenue salon is currently located. Second lesson learned, do your due diligence when it comes to the cost of improvements. They spent more than the budgeted amount on retrofitting the salon.
With 30 hair salons on the 'Avenue' they managed to put Hair On the Avenue on the map by spending 15% of their sales on Advertising. During the early years, with the help of an aggressive advertising campaign they would bring in 90 new guests per month. They still continue to advertise but at a smaller percentage of their sales. Third lesson, spend money on advertising; it truly does help generate new business.
What makes them successful is their partnership - Debbie works in the business, and Dave works on the business. They each have their own defined roles within the Business. In the end, they are growing their clientele by differentiating their salon with a personal touch approach. Dave and Debbie stress the importance of building relationships with their guests and giving back to the community.
GOVERNMENT & COMMUNITY ISSUES
Stay connected ~ Take action
|Penn Street Bridge Rehabilitation Open House: July 10
The PA Department of Transportation has begun planning and design work to rehabilitate the Penn Street Bridge. You are invited to a Public Open House Plans Display on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Schmidt Training and Technology Center on the Reading Area Community College Campus.
Information about Women2Women
|The Power of Dreams - it's all about Engagement!
Are you engaged in your life - personally or professionally? When was the last time you were excited or energized about pursuing something you wanted? When was the last time you thought of your dreams? Have you forgotten them or simply pushed them aside (for how many years now?)? Perhaps you're worried you may fail because following dreams pushes you out of your comfort zone. OR maybe, you push aside your dreams because life is crazy and you can barely keep things balanced as it is, so what you want falls to the bottom of the pile. Sound familiar?
Let's spend our time together dreaming again - to be completely aware of what we want. When we pursue our dreams, we become engaged in the moment and in daily life. Research tells us when we are engaged, we have more energy, passion and enthusiasm and daily life is approached with a positive attitude. In other words, we're simply happier on many levels. As mentors and mentees, we can encourage and support one another to not only dream again but to also have the courage to pursue those dreams.
||'A dream is in the mind of the believer, and in the hands of the doer. You are not given a dream, without being given the power to make it come true.'
Our next mentoring gathering is on Wednesday, July 10th, starting at 4:30 at our Center for Business Excellence. FREE to attend - register here.
LIVE, WORK & PLAY
in Greater Reading
Berks Encore @ Nite, will be offering the session 'Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance' on Thursday, July 11 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Medical Center's Franciscan Rooms A&B in Bernville. 'Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance' will be taught by certified Berks Encore APPRISE staff. To register for the course or for more information on this session or other Berks Encore @ Nite sessions being held throughout the year, contact Rodney at (610) 374-3195 ext.208 or email RGuistwite@BerksEncore.org.