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Chamber Board recommends study on municipal spending 
Home & Garden Show winding down booth sales
Business Opportunities Committee to conduct SWOT Analysis
Retail Rountable to assess holiday shopping season
Privilege Pages, Business Bulletin Ads to be paired
Nominations being accepted for Business Execellence Award
Chamber energy program to be discussed at March 3 meeting
Informational meeting to be held on Chamber trip to Ireland
WE-LEaD Spring Workshop sounding very "Fishy" 

Chamber Board recommends study on municipal spending 

If The Chamber expects local municipalities to be receptive to efforts of municipal cooperation, it needs to better understand what potential economies of scale already exist before making recommendations.  That was the sentiment of the organization's Board of Directors at its meeting last Friday. "The Board clearly understands and appreciates the frustrations that our Legislative Action Committee has been experiencing due to a perceived unwillingness on the part of municipalities to enter-in to cooperative efforts," explained Chamber President Joe Hurd. "Rather than creating an adversarial environment, the feeling is that we have some homework to do in providing ways for something positive to take place." The Chamber will explore ways to flesh-out relevant information that will prompt future discussion. "We need to know what we're talking about and we need our membership to gain a true perspective on what compliance and non-compliance each mean to the bottom line of a business," Hurd said.

Home & Garden Show winding down booth sales  
If your business intends to be an exhibitor at the 2010 Blair County Home & Garden Show, it's important that you call Stacy Hoover at The Chamber as soon as possible. "We're in the process of finalizing everything," Hoover noted. "We have some booths still available but they may not last long." The 2010 show is set for March 5-7 at the Jaffa Shrine. This is the 40th year for the show. "It promises to be a great show," Hoover predicted. "The economy has affected it to some degree yet the interest level has remained high. It's a great investment for a business looking to expand its customer base."


Business Opportunities Committee to conduct SWOT analysis 

At its meeting this Tuesday, The Chamber's Business Opportunities Committee will explore new ways of providing Chamber Members with ways to make money, save money and reach more potential customers. "The committee has been effective in creating initiatives like 'Buy the Alleghenies' and the Business Connection," explained Ron Eberhart of The Hite Company, committee chair. "We'll conduct a SWOT Analysis that may flesh-out some additional opportunities."  Anyone interested in joining the committee should contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151.  

Retail Rountable to assess Holiday shopping season 

The Chamber's Retail Roundtable will meet on Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. to discuss the impact of the past holiday season on the local economy and to consider ways that retailers can gain a greater presence in that economy. "Our retailers face some monumental challenges and The Chamber is attempting to help in whatever ways possible," acknowledged Chamber President Joe Hurd. "We're encouraging any retail business to be represented at this meeting so that we can set some strategies that make sense for the entire retail community."  To register for the Roundtable meeting, contact Joe Hurd.  

Privilege Pages, Business Bulletin Ads to be paired 

In order to give more Chamber Members the opportunity to better market themselves to the membership and the community, The Chamber is lowering the cost of its monthly Privilege Pages and pairing them with a chance to gain additional exposure through the growing Business Bulletin network. "Our Marketing Committee encouraged us to find ways to help members position their brands and feature their products and services without attaching a high cost," admitted Linda Stotler, The Chamber's Vice-President of Communication & Marketing.  "The Privilege Pages have always been a good way to reach the 1,000 member-businesses in our organization. Now, for just $200, a Chamber Member can send a privilege page and also have an ad on the Business Bulletin that will link to their Web site." The Business Bulletin is emailed weekly to more than 3,000 Chamber Members. Members interested in doing just a Privilege Page, can do so for $125 (a reduction from the former $175 charge). "We've also created a package that includes a Privilege Page and a Business Bulletin ad for four weeks at just $300," Stotler pointed out. To take advantage of any of these offers, contact Mike McMullen at 943-8151.


Nominations being accepted for Business Excellence Award 
The 9th Annual Business Excellence Dinner will be held on Monday, June 7. The highlight of that event will once again be the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence. The award recipient is identified through nominations made to The Chamber and a panel of judges then makes a recommendation to The Chamber Board, confirming the selection. To nominate someone for the award you can access a nomination form by clicking here. Nomination forms also are available at The Chamber Office. Deadline to nominate is March 12, 2010.

Chamber Energy Program to be discussed at March 3 meeting

If you haven't had an opportunity to hear about The Chamber’s new program that may save you considerable dollars on electricity savings once the rate caps come off in December, you still have another chance. The next meeting to discuss the ChamberChoice Energy Program and hear a presentation by John Bodine of OnDemand Energy is March 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the Devorris Center. Many of our members who have attended our two previous programs have been anxious to sign-on. Come hear the reasons why! Pre-registration is required.  There is no cost to attend. Pre-register online or call The Chamber at 943-8151.

Informational meeting to be held on Chamber trip to Ireland
The Chamber's first-ever excursion to Ireland in October is attracting a lot of interest. So much so that an informational meeting has been set for March 11 at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at the Devorris Center.  The meeting will last no longer than an hour (including questions and answers). There is no cost to attend the meeting and no obligation to sign-up for the trip. Come hear about the many attractions that the Emerald Isle has to offer and how you can be part of it all!  For further information, contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151 or Donna Wilt at Classic Travel (696-3558).

WE-LEaD Spring Workshop sounding very "Fishy" 
Harry Paul, author of "FISH!" and co-author of six other books will be the speaker at WE-LEaD's Spring Workshop, to be held April 20 at the Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown Center . The cost to attend the half-day event is $60 for Chamber Members and $70 for non-members. Exhibit space also is available. For more information, contact Judy Juda at 943-8151 or register online. WE-LEaD (Women Encouraging: Leadership, Education and Development) is a program of the Blair County Chamber.


February 22, 2010

Upcoming Events

Register online

Business After Hours 
Thursday, Feb. 25, 5 - 7 p.m.
Penn State Altoona, William J. Castle Executive Quarters in the Aaron Building, Downtown Altoona

Register here

OnDemand Energy Update 
March 3, 1:30 p.m.
The Devorris Center
FREE to attend.
Preregister here

Home & Garden Show 

The Jaffa Shrine
March 5, 1 - 9 p.m.
March 6, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
March 7, noon - 5 p.m.
Click here for more information 

Workplace Violence Safety presentation

Hollidaysburg State Trooper Jeff Petucci presented Workplace Violence: Awareness and Prevention last Friday at the Hampton Inn, Altoona. The next Safety Program will be held March 26 at the Comfort Inn, Duncansville, and is entitled "You Can't Afford to be Sick or Injured." Lonnie Styles from Blair Orthopedics will give a presentation on "Ergonomics- Preventing Injury at Work," while Dr. Michael Mihok of IMC (a Highmark Company) will present "Infection Control in the Workplace."

Officers, Our Town supporter honored at Breakfast Club 

Agent Anthony Sassano (left) poses with his 2010 Law Enforcement Award with Randy Feathers at last Thursday's Breakfast Club. Sgt. Troy Johannides was also presented with a 2010 Law Enforcement Award, while the Altoona Curve received the 2010 Community Partnership Award. The next Breakfast Club will be held March 11 at The Casino at Lakemont Park.

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 2/22/10
Business Opportunities Committee
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 8:30 a.m.
The Chamber

Retail Roundtable
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 8:15 a.m.
Devorris Center
Golf Committee
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 8:30 a.m.
The Chamber
Coalition of Environmental Sustainability
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 10 a.m.
Devorris Center
LBC Regional Task Force
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 11:30 a.m.
Transportation Committee
Thursday, Feb. 25, 8:15 a.m.
Devorris Center

The Blair County Chamber offers solutions to help businesses meet new challenges as economic demands change. Solutions like ChamberChoice, provide quality employee benefits and services to Chamber Members. For more information on ChamberChoice, call 1-800-377-3539 or email chamberchoice@jrgadvisors.net.


For more information, visit www.blairchamber.com.

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