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Business Hall of Fame Honorees Announced
Executive Committee Approves Five New Members
Chamber Supports Legislation to Assist Non-Profits
Small Business Savings at Crux of Chamber Advocacy Effort
Congressman Shuster to Speak at August “Breakfast Club”
Informational Meeting on China Trip is August 25th
Still Time to Register for Chamber’s “Five Rivers” Cruise
Blue Card Discounts

Business Hall of Fame Honorees Announced
The 2015 Business Hall of Fame inductees and the recipients of the General Business Awards of Distinction were announced today by the Blair County Chamber. Four businesses – Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Lena’s Café, New Pig Corporation and The Village at Morrisons Cove – will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the annual dinner, set for October 19th at the Blair County Convention Center. A former business, Alaskaland, will be inducted in the Heritage category. Recipients of the General Awards of Distinction are: Furniture Unfinished, Mamie’s Café and Bakery, and Peterman’s Flower Shop in the Excellence in Small Business category. HalenHardy, JMG Systems and Serviam Construction were identified as Young Emerging Businesses. Honorees for Technology are Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School, Blair Companies and Value Drug Company. Albemarle Corporation and American Eagle Paper Mills won Sustainability Awards and the Bavarian Aid Society will be recognized for Community Service. One additional recognition, the Committee Choice Award, will be named in a few weeks.

Executive Committee Approves Five New Members
Five businesses were approved for Chamber membership by the Executive Committee of the Chamber Board on July 16th. The five are: Brookmere Wine Bar of Altoona, Collette Vacations of Moon Township, CMP Energy of Philipsburg, Re/Max Results Realty Group – Mariska Eash, and Williams & Williams Logistics of Altoona. The Chamber membership currently stands at 1,044.

Chamber Supports Legislation to Assist Non-Profits
The Blair County Chamber joined an effort with other members of PA Gives to seek support from Senators Casey and Toomey on tax extenders legislation that could help non-profit organizations to continue to access donations from individuals who would have to pay taxes on them otherwise. The PA Gives coalition is dedicated to preserving the charitable tax deduction through an ongoing dialogue with policymakers of both parties. The Blair County Chamber, through its Committee of Non-Profit Businesses, is a charter member of PA Gives.

Small Business Savings at Crux of Chamber Advocacy Effort
Earlier this year, the Department of Labor proposed a rulemaking that expands what is considered fiduciary investment advice under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This would negatively impact small business retirement plans. The Blair County Chamber has signed-on to a letter to the Department of Labor from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asking that those rules be reconsidered since it reduces the options that small businesses would have to preserve existing pension funds.

Congressman Shuster to Speak at August “Breakfast Club”
Congressman Bill Shuster will be the keynote speaker at the next Blair County Chamber “Breakfast Club,” scheduled for Friday, August 14th at 7:45 a.m. at The Casino at Lakemont Park. The format of the Congressman’s remarks will be a Q&A session with questions being submitted in advance from within the Chamber Membership. Richard Fiore, Jr., who chairs the Chamber’s Legislative Action Committee, will ask the questions. “With so many important issues that impact business facing this Congress, it’s appropriate that we would have the Congressman here to help sort things out,” Fiore noted. The cost to attend the Breakfast Club is $18 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.
Corporate sponsor of the August Breakfast Club is the Altoona-Blair County Airport.

Informational Meeting on China Trip is August 25th
Back by popular demand is the Blair County Chamber’s trip to China. The nine-day excursion will take place from April 7-16, 2016 and will once again be conducted through Citslinc. The price remains incredible at $2199 (including flights, meals and all accommodations at 5-star hotels.) The only significant change from the three previous Chamber trips is that the flight originates at Dulles Airport instead of JFK – a real plus to our travelers. The Chamber will hold an informational meeting on Tuesday, August 25th at 6:00 p.m. at the Devorris Center for Business Development. To register for that meeting, call The Chamber at (814) 943-8151. 

Still Time to Register for Chamber’s “Five Rivers” Cruise
The Blair County Chamber is heading to Europe in late Fall for its first-ever river cruise. The cruise is being done in cooperation with Heritage Travel. The special wine-themed “5-River European Cruise” will depart from the Chamber Office in the Devorris Center for Business Development on November 3rd, will fly from Dulles International Airport for an overnight flight to Prague and will return on November 13th from Paris. The trip will include one-night sightseeing stays at 5-star hotels in both Prague and Paris with the river cruise in-between. The Chamber trip will feature excursions on the Vistava, Main, Rhine, Moselle and Seine rivers via Avalon Waterways “Visionary,” considered the finest river vessel in Europe. The Visionary accommodates just 128 guests. Brochures on the 5-River European Cruise are available at the Chamber Office and at Heritage Travel. Call (814) 946-1600 for more information.

Blue Card Discounts
To see a complete listing of the Blue Card discounts available, please click here.  To have an offer listed, contact The Chamber at 943-8151.  There is no fee to offer and have a discount listed.


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July 20, 2015

Upcoming Events

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Business BEFORE Hours
Wednesday, July 29
7:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Home Helpers

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Breakfast Club
August 14
7:45-9:00 a.m.
The Casino at Lakemont Park

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Backbone Bash
Friday, August 21
5:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Tavern 27 at Park Hills Country Club

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Business After Hours
Thursday, August 27
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
PC Works Plus

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Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 7/20/2015

Non-Profit Steering & Marketing
Tuesday, July 21, 8:30 a.m.
Home Nursing Agency

Small Business Partners
Wednesday, July 22, 3:30 p.m.
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