Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Tea & Tree Party

Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Kamerer Musuem* 427 North New Street, Historic Bethlehem
4 to 6 pm (Open House Venue)

Holiday Tea & Tree Party

Get into the Holiday Spirit with Friends and Support the WBC'S Scholarship Program!!

  • Admission and Tour of the Museum with the world-renowned Doll House Collection
  • Great networking in unique atmosphere
  • Gift Bag to first 50 attendees night of event
  • Holiday Tea & Beverages with Edible Delights
  • Opportunity to bid on beautifully decorated holiday trees with gifts
  • Automatic entry into drawing for $250 Pampering Package
            Proceeds benefit the WBC's Scholarship Fund

                       Thank you to our contributors:
                Capital BlueCross- CHIP
                        Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
              Avon Products, Christine's Secret Garden, Cetronia Ambulance Corps,
               Concannon, Miller & Co., PC, M&T Bank, Vision Accomplished LLC
                    Laura Azzalina

                   $25 a person
   To Register contact:    Danielle Joseph 
                               daniellej@lehighvalleychamber.org

            

Daily Briefing, 11/30/2009

Good morning everyone!  Welcome back from what was hopefully a great Thanksgiving break.  Now that the turkey has been eaten and there are plenty of leftovers in the fridge, here is today's Daily Briefing.

Good news for the Bethlehem Sands, as the casino's parent company is raising money to resume its casino construction in China - which means that the resumption of the rest of the casino complex's construction (including a hotel and retail space) may not be too far off.  In Northampton County, members of County government are considering selling Gracedale, the county nursing home.  And in Easton, the Greater Easton Development Parternship will be investigating whether or not residents are interested in forming a Downtown Improvement District, in which downtown residents and businesses would pay for improvement services.

In statewide and national news, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey has found himself in an interesting position - as a pro-life Democrat, how will he handle health care reform proposals when it comes to possibly extending government benefits to those who are seeking abortions?  Meanwhile, debate will start on the health care bill in the Senate today.  Also in the Senate, a bipartisan group of ten Senators has said they will oppose increasing U.S. debt ceilings without the formulation of a better plan to manage the rising national deficit.  And, don't forget, today is Cyber Monday - the first Monday after Thanksigiving that is the biggest day of the year for online sales.
Business Matters airs tonight at 8:00pm on WFMZ-TV - the topic is Race and the Obama Administration.  Two hot topics, particularly when merged together, as they have been in many conversations and debates.  Check out the Business Matters blog for more information.

That's it for now!  Have a great day and we will see you later.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

30% OFF TICKETS for The AT&T - A Lehigh Valley Christmas in Concert!

One of the best and most fun Chamber events of the year is The AT&T - Lehigh Valley Christmas in Concert.  This event features a wide variety of music and is an absolutely outstanding time.

Now, we are very pleased to offer this deal EXCLUSIVE to our blog readers and the followers of our various Social Networks.  Use the code LVXMAS to order tickets at 30% off!

The concert is Sunday, November 29, 7pm at Allentown Symphony Hall.  Any questions, please E-mail Miriam Huertas at miriamh@lehighvalleychamber.org.


Performers include: Zen For Primates, Hector Rosado and Ensemble Siete Latin Jazz, Blackwater Celtic Music, Jake Kaligis and The New Constitution, Two Part Invention, Don Cunningham and The Cabinet, Dave Fry, The James Supra Band, Large Flowerheads, the debut of The Lehigh Valley Community Choir, and many more musicians- plus, an All-Star Finale.  

Don't miss this year's festivities - get your ticket today and join the celebration!

Great Letter to the Editor on The Chamber's energy program

Thanks to John Hayes of the East Penn Chamber of Commerce!  For more information on the Chamber's electricity program, check out the website.
----

While much has been written about electric choice for residential customers in the Lehigh Valley, these same rate hikes would also increase rates for businesses by up to 36 percent when rate caps expire Jan. 1. But businesses can secure rate relief if they act soon.

Now is the time for businesses to take advantage of competition and keep our residents employed. This will be essential to keeping our small and large businesses in business as our economy recovers from the recession.

At the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber, we are working with a competitive supplier to help members get the most value from their energy strategy. The Chamber has already evaluated suppliers and negotiated contracts to give our member businesses the best deal possible through Constellation NewEnergy. Most businesses don't have the resources or expertise to do this themselves. We urge Valley businesses to consider our energy program and compare it to offers from outside brokers and consultants.

Whether a business is a Chamber member or not, they need to look at how electric competition can work for them. Businesses can lock into rates before the caps expire. Whether your company is small or large, you need to take steps now to protect yourself in the future. For more information, please contact the Chamber at 610-841-5836.

John M. Hayes

Zionsville

The writer is president of the East Penn Chamber of Commerce.

Holiday Mixer at the Roxy Theatre!










Holiday Mixer!

Friday, December 4, 2009
5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
7:30 P.M. Movie: “White Christmas”

Roxy Theatre
2004 Main Street, Northampton, PA

Join us for the annual Holiday mixer and show at the historic Roxy Theatre! Network with fellow chamber members while enjoying light Holiday refreshments. At 7:30 P.M. when doors open to the public, a free ticket for a nonperishable food item or canned good helping to stock the Northampton Area Food Bank
will allow you to sit back and view the film
“White Christmas”.


Contact Marlyn Kissner at marlynk@lehighvalleychamber.org or 610-841-5806 to register for the event!

The Latest Business Matters schedule

Monday, November 23, 2009:  Do you know Tom Knox? He wants to be your next Governor!

Monday, November 30, 2009   Race and the Obama Administration
  • Jude-Laure Denis (Obama for America)
  • Bernie O'Hare (Lehigh Valley Ramblings blog)
  • Michael Donovan (Cedar Crest College)
  • Ron Angle (Northampton County Council)

Monday, December 7:  He's Your Auditor General but he wants to be your Governor--meet Jack Wagner!

Monday, December 14:  Should the public be funding the arts?
  • Sharon Lee Glassman (Civic Theater of Allentown)
  • Joe Hillard (The Lehigh Valley 9-12 Group)
  • Jeff Parks (ArtsQuest)
  • Julian Stolz (PA Right to Work)

Monday, December 21: "Meet the man running the Valley's largest employer---Dr. Elliott Sussman" 

Monday, December 28"Before the Government takes over Healthcare, what can we learn from Massachusetts?"
  • One-on-one interview with Bob Miller (Pegaesus Advisors)

Monday, January 4:  "Governor" Chris Doherty? He's Mayor of Scranton but Wants Your Vote to be Executive of PA!

Daily Briefing, 11/24/2009

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Direct Energy announced yesterday that they will be the third company to sell energy in the PPL area when deregulation begins next year.  In Allentown, the city's Directory of Community & Economic Development, Joyce Marin, announced her resignation yesterday.  Marin and her husband will be moving to Spain, where Marin's husband was offered a job.  In Allentown, the city has not yet sold any of the properties necessary in order to balance its budget; the Mayor says that there are preliminary agreements of sale on some of the properties.  Meanwhile, south of us, there was bad news for the city of Reading, which found itself rising from 63 to 37 on a nationwide list of most dangerous cities.  The most dangerous city in America is Camden, New Jersey.

In national news, a new report shows that 23% of all Americans are "underwater," meaning that they owe more on their homes than the total value of their homes.  In stimulus news, one of the more popular stimulus programs run by the Small Business Administration has proven to be too popular - the program to guarantee loans and wave fees has officially run out of money.  And, with the biggest shopping day of the year coming up later this week, a survey released yesterday showed good news, as shopping turnout is expected to increase 16%.

Business Matters aired yesterday, featuring a one-on-one interview with businessman and Democratic Candidate for Governor, Tom Knox.  You can catch the show online later today and check out the Business Matters blog for more information.

That's all for now!  We'll be back with a couple entries later today, and then we are out of here until after Thanksgiving.  Happy holidays to all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is your employeer of a Chamber member? You are a member too!

One of the things that we talk about at The Chamber is making sure that our membership is aware of the many benefits of Chamber membership.  For small or medium sized businesses, its relatively easy to make sure that all employees are aware of what Chamber member benefit and savings programs are available.  Of course, as the employees in a business increase, it gets increasingly harder to make sure that all employees know what Chamber membership means to them.

Chamber membership can have an incredible return on investment for member businesses - up to 750%, in fact.  However, for employees, there are options as well.  In addition to having the option to attend all Chamber events at membership prices, you can also take advantage of the many exclusive discounts given to Chamber members by other Chamber businesses.

You'll be hearing more on this subject later, but the one thing we really want to get across is that if your employer is a Chamber member, then so are you!

Daily Briefing, 11/23/2009

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The Bethlehem Sands celebrated some new additions and features this weekend, with 250 slots, two new restaurants and a new lounge opening.  In Easton, the city is set to become the new home to the National High Schools Sports Hall of Fame Museum, though other cities experiences should offer a cautionary tale.
In national news, the Senate voted over the weekend to begin debate on the controversial health care reform bill.  60 voted to open debate, while 39 opposed the measure in a party-line vote. 


Business Matters airs tonight, featuring a one-on-one interview with businessman and Democratic candidate for Governor, Tom Knox.  The show airs tonight at 8:00pm on WFMZ-TV - you can check out the Business Matters blog for more information.

Well, looks like there isn't a whole lot going on today!  It must be the upcoming holiday.  Anyway, have a great day, and we'll see you soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lehigh Valley Companies with 100 Employeers or More

This is a very interesting list that comes to us from our friends at the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.  The highlighted companies are members of The Chamber.

Easton vs. Phillipsburg - in golf??

We just had a great event at the new Infini-Tee Golf Center, featuring a golf-throw down between Easton and Phillipsburg.  A new twist on an old rivalry.  The story below will air on Service Electric's "Sports Scene."  Check it out:

Daily Briefing, 11/20/2009

Good morning everyone! Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Attorney John Karoly was found guilty of mail fraud and money laundering yesterday.  He was accused of steering a charitable donation to a charity he controlled and using the donation for personal and business expenses.  He faces up to nine years in prison and more than $2 million in fines.  Chamber member Crayola broke ground on a solar farm plant in Forks township yesterday; the plant should start generating energy by next year.  In Bethlehem, Mayor Callahan is pushing for a $10 million line of credit to cover the costs of construction projects.  In Emmaus, the successful Main Street Program is looking at achieving new goals after fulfilling their already existing ones.  PBS-39 has announced that they are donating $80,000 in air time to Northampton County, allowing the county to promote whatever they want.  There was good news for the Lehigh Valley International Airport, as the Airport announced that their traffic increased for the fourth-straight month.

We have one Chamber event today: a Small Business Council breakfast on marketing for small businesses.

Also, just in case you missed it yesterday: The Chamber is now hiring.

That's it for now! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Chamber is hiring!

Hi everyone,

There is a new job opening at The Chamber - the description is below:
-----

Borough Business Revitalization Program Coordinator

General Description
This position is directly accountable to the President or his/her designee of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and is responsible for assisting in the development and organization of Main Street initiatives in assigned boroughs throughout the Lehigh Valley.  This position works closely with the Chamber Foundation, Lehigh and Northampton Counties and the participating communities to implement initiatives that foster economic revitalization and quality of life improvements that benefit the downtown communities of the Lehigh Valley.

Essential duties and responsibilities (other duties may be assigned):
·        Works with community based steering committee, comprised of volunteers from the business, non-profit, residential and public sectors to develop, implement and maintain viable grassroots vision and strategic plan. 
·        Facilitates interaction with community stakeholders to encourage broad-based support of the program and its various initiatives. 
·        Advocates on behalf of Main Street merchants and property owners to various regional and local agencies, such as the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, private Foundations, county Departments of Community & Economic Development, etc.
·        Seeks funding from the public or private sector in order to ensure program continuity and long-term sustainability, as well as to complete identified improvement projects.
·        Works closely with Borough governments to identity and implement priority projects that promote downtown/borough revitalization.
·        Acts as liaison to government and businesses to identify resources and requirements for businesses; identifies state and county programs that can serve business community; assists in the development of financial programs and incentives for downtown revitalization.
·        Responsible for the development and implementation of the Facade Grant program.
·        Works closely with other urban staff at The Chamber and throughout the Lehigh Valley to share information and create a collaborative problem solving environment.
·        Builds partnerships with community organizations to implement initiatives of the Borough Business Revitalization Program.
·        Educates interested parties on the Main Street Approach, downtown initiatives and importance of downtowns and Main Streets to the community.
·        Works closely with Pennsylvania Downtown Chamber, Chamber Foundation, Lehigh and Northampton Counties to ensure efficient program delivery.

Qualifications
Strong interpersonal and team-building skills, able to motivate volunteers with diverse skills and interests, excellent verbal and written communication skills, organizational and supervisory experience, ability to multi-task by working on various projects at once and produce work within short-time periods and the ability to interface with multiple agencies and individuals.  General computer skills, an interest in historic preservation and valid drivers’ license is required. Economic Development or Main Street Managerial and marketing experience preferred.   Please forward resume with cover letter and salary requirements to:

Mike Schlossberg
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 205
Allentown, PA 18101
Phone:  484-809-1796
Fax: 610-437-4907

Please note:  This position is a one year position; however, the program may be extended beyond one year, dependant upon funding. 

Deadline:  Thursday, December 11, 5:00pm

Making status updates easy

One of the most common complaints about social networking, if not the most common complaint, is that it takes too much time.  To do it right, many people argue, requires too much time, especially if you are active on multiple social networking services. 

Its true that social networking is an additional "thing to do," though I'd argue the time investment it more than worth it.  However, many services exist that can help you reduce the time required when using any (or many) of these services.

One of those websites is Ping.  Ping allows you to push your status updates to multiple services - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, AOL Instant Messanger and over 100 other services.  This can be a huge time-saver and make your life much easier.

The only potential problem with it, as far as I can tell, is that you need to be careful with your updates.  There are different expectations with different services (Facebook is more personal, LinkedIn is more professional, and what is appropriate on one service might not be appropriate on another) and different technical requirements (you can only post an update of 140 characters on Twitter, so if you use Ping with Twitter and any other service, an update of more than 140 characters won't be displayed right on Twitter).

Still, on the whole, this is a great service!

Daily Briefing, 11/19/2009

Daily Briefing,

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing:

In a report issued at a press conference yesterday, Auditor General Jack Wagner found that the risky "bond swaps" cost Bethlehem Area School District taxpayers millions and recommended that future bond swaps be banned as being to risky.  State Senator Lisa Boscola (D-18) said she would introduce that legislation.  In Lower Mount Bethel Township, officials were able to hold off a tax increase, though that will likely end next year.  In Emmaus, officials are attempting to avoid a tax increase next year, though doing so is appearing more and more difficult.  In Bangor, officials announced that they are seeking historic designation for the Borough as part of the revitalization process, of which The Chamber is a partner through our Borough Business Revitalization Program.  In Northampton County, County Councilman Ron Angle and Wilson Borough Councilman Tony Verenna were both elected to the Bangor Area and Wilson Area School Districts two weeks ago, despite holding other elected offices.  Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli believes that this is illegal and has issued orders seeking to remove both from their legislative offices.

In state-wide news, a constitutional amendment introduced last week would make it illegal for teachers to strike.

In national news, a new study shows that those enrolled in a mortgage counseling program are 60% less likely to lose their homes.  Meanwhile, the Senate version of health care reform costs $849 billion over the next 10 years and would reduce the deficit by $130 billion, according to numbers from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Today will be another busy day at The Chamber with four events: a mixer and Grand Opening at the new Made in Brazil restaurant in downtown Allentown, a mixer at Sam's Club in Nazareth, a webinar on Microsoft Office and an Easton Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast featuring a presentation on bank loans.

And that's it!  Have a great day and we'll catch you later.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Bugbee Productions made an outstanding video for The Chamber on our Foundation.   The mission of the Chamber Foundation is to revitalize the urban cores of the Lehigh Valley.  Check out the video:

Daily Briefing, 11/18/2009

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Mortgage delinquencies are on the rise in the Lehigh Valley, increasing to 4.5% this past quarter (compared to 4.2% last quarter and 3.1% last year).  Five Lehigh Valley companies received grants from Ben Franklin Technology Partners yesterday.  The grants will be used for a variety of purposes.  A temporary census office has opened in Lehigh County - and the office is looking to temporarily hire 700 workers.  In Easton, the manager of the West Ward revitalization effort is retiring, and the program is looking to hire a new manager.  Also in Easton, the city held a public meeting to discuss the possible construction of a new intermodal facility that would connect Easton with New York.

Many state officials receive pay raises each year based on cost of living increases.  However, deflationary pressures, their may actually be a cost of living decrease - which would mean that our elected officials would see no pay raises this year.  In other political news, State Representative Sam Rohrer (R-128) announced yesterday that he will be running for Governor.

We have two Chamber events today: a Western Lehigh and East Penn Chamber of Commerce joint luncheon on why businesses should have wellness programs and an open house and mixer at Stratix Systems.

That's it for now!  Have a great day and we'll see you later.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Want an advertisement to 40,000 on WAEB?

The President & CEO of The Chamber, Tony Iannelli, does a weekly radio spot on WAEB with Bobby Gunther Walsh.  Part of his apperance, in addition to discussing Chamber events, is to raffle away business certificates, tickets, goods, etc.  In exchange for prizes, Tony mentions your business, sale, grand opening or other event on the air to over 40,000 listeners. 

If you are interested, contact Lorie at the Chamber - 610-841-5802 or lorier@lehighvalleychamber.org.  You do not have to be a Chamber member to participate. 

Daily Briefing, 11/17/2009

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

President Obama is set to start a national listening tour in Allentown - he will be in the city on December 4.  The details of the trip have yet to be announced.  In Northampton County, County Council is debating ways to reduce County Executive Stoffa's proposed one mill tax increase.  Possible solutions discussed included selling of county parks and Gracedale, the County Nursing Home.  A report by the Morning Call showed that casino lobbyists spent significant amounts of money in an effort to legalize table games, with the Sands Bethlehem spending $307,000 in their lobbying efforts.  A new ranking of best value colleges added Muhlenberg, Lehigh and Lafayette, with all three school's making the cut for Kiplinger's list of best valued private schools.  Meanwhile, WFMZ runs a story on how local agencies are still feeling the results of state funding cuts.

Business Matters aired yesterday, featuring a one-on-one interview with former New Jersey Governor and Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman.  The show will be available online at the Business Matters website later today, and you can also get more information on the show at the Business Matters blog.

Today is a busy day for the Chamber, with four events taking place:  a Women's Business Council lunch program on the importance of social networking, a Dale Carnegie training on "Closing the Sale," a LeBEAM Mixer and a Phillipsburg-Easton mixer and competition at Infini-Tee.

That's all for now!  Have a great day and we'll see you later.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Small Business Council Golf League!

Start working on your short game and networking handshake for the... Spring Golf League!


When: Every Wednesday beginning April 21, 2010 through July 21, 2010.  
Where: Wedgewood Golf Course.
Tee-Times: 3:15-5:00 p.m. 
Cost: $299 includes season opening tournament, greens fees, season ending tournament & banquet, weekly contests & prizes, and tips at the range. 

Interested in participating?  Contact Danielle Josephs at daniellej@lehighvalleychamber.org or 610-841-5851.



Interesting statistics about Lehigh County: growth in urban vs. suburban communities

Hi everyone -

In the course of applying for an grant for the Chamber's Borough Business Revitalization Program, we compiled some interesting statistics about growth in Lehigh County over the past 20-30 years.  The information below came from the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, and specifically their municipal profiles report.  Check this out:


  • Property values: From 1991 - 2009, the assessed value of properties in Lehigh County has grown from $6,524,152,450 to $9,145,293,800, a growth of 40.2%.  During that time period, suburban Townships had their property values grow at a rate of 64.7% - yet, urban municipalities only had their property values increase 13.9%.   
  • Tax rates:  Among the 25 Lehigh County municipalities, the average tax rate is six mills.  In townships, the average tax rate is 2.1 mills; however, in urban communities, the average tax rate is 11.8 mills.
  • Population Growth: In 1980, the population of Lehigh County was 272,349; in 2010, the estimated population will be 342,932, a growth of 21.6%.  However, during that same period, townships have grown 57.9%; cities have grown merely 3.9%
Pretty interesting, huh?

Daily Briefing, 11/16/2009

Good morning everyone! We hope you had a great weekend. Here is today's Daily Briefing.



In an interesting state-wide poll, 67% of Pennsylvania residents fear the H1N1 vaccine more than they fear catching H1N1 - and only 46% plan on getting the immunization.  Another state-wide poll shows confusion and division over health care reform: President Obama receives better poll results than congressional Republicans on health care (47% - 21%), but 62% of the public find the reforms to be very confusing. 

In national news, General Motors is apparently set to start paying back government loans it received as part of the auto-bailout package last year; it could have the loans paid off by as much as four years early.  Meanwhile, CNNMoney.com reviews six possible signs that our current economic recovery may again turn into a recession.

Business Matters airs today, featuring a one-on-one interview with former New Jersey Governor and Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman.  The show airs tonight at 8:00pm of WFMZ-TV.  For more information, check out the Business Matters blog.


That's all that we have for today!  Have a great day and we'll see you later.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Daily Briefing, 11/13/2009

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

At a Chamber President's Roundtable yesterday, Dr. Elliot Sussman, President of the Lehigh Valley Health Networking, discussed a variety of issues related to health care, noting that the current health care proposal will not reduce costs.  In Bethlehem, the Morning Call runs a story on the controversial "Hot Dog Guy" and Bethlehem's street vendor policy, noting that after months of debate and controversy, the city still has no real laws governing street vendors.  Meanwhile, about fifty people joined in a rally at Congressman Dent's office in Bethlehem yesterday, attacking his vote on health care.  Mayor John Callahan, a Congressional candidate, also joined the rally.

There was a huge development in an ongoing corruption probe case yesterday, with Attorney General Tom Corbett announcing the indictments of ten Republicans, including former Speaker of the House, Representative John Perzel.  The Bonusgate case stems from allegations that public resources were used to further the campaign and political ends.

Slow news day today!  We should be back later today.  See you then!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Need a document uploaded to the web?

We put this on our Twitter website yesterday but thought it was worth doing a full-blown entry on.  Many small businesses have websites but don't have the capability to upload files from programs like Word, Excel, Power Point, PDF, etc., to that website.  This can be a challenge - I know that there are plenty of times that I've wanted to directly upload a form to a website but it hasn't been possible.

Scribd makes that incredibly easy.  Check out the website - what it allows you to do is upload a file that is already on your computer.  The file is uploaded to its own URL, which you can then link to in an E-mail or from a website.  This makes document and file sharing easy, particularly if a file is to big to E-mail or if you just want to E-mail the file to the general public. 

The website also has a social networking component - that is, you can set up a profile and follow users, allowing you to see when people or companies that are interesting to you have uploaded a new document for you to view. 

A useful website, with a social networking component - not a bad combination!!

Daily Briefing, 11/12/2009

Good morning everyone! Here is today's Daily Briefing.

According to reports by the Morning Call Bethlehem Police Commissioner Randy Miller will be leaving the city to join Northampton County as its new Sheriff.  In local tax news, Lehigh Township passed a preliminary budget yesterday that holds the line on taxes.  And at DeSales University, William Poole, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, spoke about the possibility about another financial crisis caused by government spending, debt and bailouts. 

In national news that could affect us all, local drug company Sanofi Pasteur says that there is no danger with its H1N1 vaccine and that the company will be able to deliver 75 million doses to the general public by the end of the year.  An interesting national poll released yesterday by the Pew Research Center showed that only 52% of Americans would like to see their Congressional representative reelected - while only 34% would like to see a totally new Congress.  The last time the anti-incumbency rating was this high in America was in 1994 and 2006 - when Congress switched parties.  There is some good news on the economic front, as foreclosures were down 3% in October - leading some to speculate that another aspect of the economic crisis is over.

We have another busy day at The Chamber, with three events today: a President's Roundtable with Dr. Elliot Sussman, President of Lehigh Valley Health Network, a grand opening at Best Buy in Phillipsburg, NJ and a mixer at Creative Closets.

That's all for now!  Have a great day - we should be back later.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chamber Awards - Annual Meeting

One of the things that we do at The Chamber that we feel is very important is presenting awards to the business community.  The reason it matters is because we firmly believe that the business community deserves recognition for their work, not only in the private sector, but in terms of their public contributions and the family-sustaining jobs that they provide.

To that end, we thought it was worth a blog entry to discuss what awards we give out and the 2009 winners.

Annual Chamber Awards Presentations: The highlight of The Chamber Annual Meeting! Awards are presented for Business of the Year, Chamber Champion, Milestone Award, Volunteer of the Year and the Community Partners Awards.

The Community Partner Awards honor individuals and companies that work for the betterment of the entire Lehigh valley. These are people and businesses that know we are stronger together than we are alone.
• Drew Maron – Maron Financial Solutions – Allentown
• Barry Fisher – WFMZ – Allentown
• Walt Sanders - PergolaWest, Inc. – Center Valley

The Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award honors an individual who serves the Lehigh Valley community through service on a Chamber of Commerce board or committee primarily because they choose to do so. A member of The Chamber who embraces his or her participation as responsibility that comes with membership.
• Henriette Frey – St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network

The Chamber Foundation Award is presented to a successful and esteemed company or organization that is well-known to operate with integrity and that has been a long time member and premier supported of The Chamber and its mission and goals.
• Lee Butz – Alvin H. Butz, Inc.

The Milestone Award is presented to a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce who has reached a high point of superior commitment to the Lehigh Valley, its businesses and residents.
• Ironton Phone Company (100 Years) – Bill George

The Business of the Year Award was created to recognize an organization that demonstrates successful business operations, displays broad interest and involvement in community affairs, and brings a notable measure of pride to the Lehigh Valley.
• The Lehigh Valley IronPigs Kurt Landes

PLUS:

The SBC Excellence in Business Awards – We will re-recognize the 2009 award winners at our Annual Meeting. (Suggest listing all the previous winners in the program).
• Jack’s Glass (the company with 1-25 employees) – Donna Braden
• Vistacom, Inc. (the company with 26-100 employees) – Jack Ferlino

Chamber Annual Meeting Awards 2008

1. Community Partner Award # 1 - Bob Gilly – D’huy Engineering
2. Community Partner Award #2 - Brett Morrow - Morrow & Morrow Attorneys at Law
3. Community Partner Award #3 - Fred Rentschler - Rentschler Chevrolet-Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge
4. Volunteer of the Year Award #1 - Phyllis Bindics - Bindics Custom Embroidery
5. Volunteer of the Year Award #2 - Mary Kositz - First Star Savings Bank - Bath
6. Wildlands Conservancy presents Ark Award to the Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative
7. Milestone Award to Roxy Theatre (75) - Richard C. Wolfe
8. Chamber Champion Award – KIM SNYDER
9. Business of the Year Award - Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network


Chamber Annual Meeting Awards 2007

1. Volunteer of the Year Award to Bob Friedman
2. Community Partner Award #1 – Brent Peters – East Penn Bank
3. Community Partner Award #2 – Neville Gardner – Donegal Square
4. Community Partner Award #3 – John Simon – General Supply Company
5. Wildlands Conservancy presents Ark Award – LVIP – Jeffrey Feather accepting
6. Milestone Award – Good Shepherd – Sally Gammon
7. Chamber Champion Award – PenTeleData – Scott Hoppel
8. Business of the Year Award – CF Martin & Co. – Chris Martin


Chamber Annual Meeting Awards 2006

1. Community Partner Award #1 - Laura Azzalina, Sovereign Bank
2. Community Partner Award #2 - Gene Clock, Iobst Travel Services
3. Community Partner Award #3 - Lafayette College, Dan Weiss
4. Wildlands Conservancy presents Ark Award - Alvin H. Butz
5. Milestone Award - ArtsQuest
6. Rising Star Award - John Yurconic Agency
7. Business of the Year Award - Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Lehigh Valley

Daily Briefing, 11/11/2009

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Allentown, the City Controller and members of Council disagree with the Mayor's assessment of casino revenues for the budget - and the disagreement would leave the city about $1 million in the red for next year.  In the Saucon Valley, the teachers' strike may be over, but specifics still remain in terms of what the specifics are of the deal that brought the strike to an end.  In Upper Macungie, a widening project of Route 100 and Route 78 will now be put on hold until next year.  Rain and bureaucratic delays are apparently to blame.  In Bethlehem, the city has proposed a new zoning code that would ban the conversion of single family homes into multi-family units and set new height restrictions, among other changes.  In Northampton County, the Controller has said that prison officials violated the law by destroying reports.

In state-wide news, there is another official entry to the Governor's race - Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty, who is running as a Democrat. 

In another sign that the national recovery is still taking time when it comes to the labor market, a new survey released shows that their are 6.1 job seekers for every vacancy.  That number is up 1.7 from the beginning of the recession.  In health care news, the Senate is apparently set to bring up their version of the health care reform next week, even though it remains questionable as to whether or not the Democrats have the 60 votes that will be needed to end debate and vote on the bill.  Meanwhile, former President Clinton addressed Senate Democrats yesterday, urging them to pass the reform bill.


We have two Chamber events today - a Southern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce breakfast at Penn State Lehigh Valley and an informational meeting about the Chamber's upcoming trip to Tuscany.

That's all for now!  Have a great day and we'll see you later.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Don't tweet your vacation plans!

Many of us - many, many, many of us - use social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook to discuss the latest in our lives.  That's all well and good, and these tools can obviously be incredibly useful for keeping in touch with our friends and finding out the latest in their lives.

However, there are dangers of using these mediums - especially if you talk to much.  Just check out the multiple different articles on the topic - specifically, the dangers of Tweeting your vacation plans.  Robbers are adapting to social media just like the rest of us and using Twitter to search for people are on vacation - then Google to look up your address.

We can keep this entry really brief by summarizing it: don't tweet your vacation plans.  Doing so may get you robbed.

Welcome, new members!

Hi everyone -

I am pleased to welcome to following new members to the Chamber.  For a full listing of our membership, check out our Membership Directory.


Minuteman Press of Easton
705 Village at Stones Crossing
Easton, PA  18042
(610) 923-9266
Business Type:  PRINTERS, PUBLISHERS & GRAPHICS



Alliance Insurance Services LLC
3409 Sullivan Trail
Easton, PA  18040
(610) 258-3000
spellegrino2@rcn.com
Business Type:  INSURANCE



American Atelier
301 North Front Street
Allentown, PA  18102
(610) 439-4040
Business Type:  MANUFACTURING



Andesa Services, Inc.
3435 Winchester Road, Suite 401
Allentown, PA  18104
(610) 821-8980
www.andesaservices.com
Business Type:  INSURANCE



AnyLabTest Now - Allentown
4144 W. Tilghman Street
Allentown, PA  18103
(610) 398-8333
www.anylabtestnow.com
Business Type:  LABORATORY & ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING



AnyLabTest Now - Easton
3812 Easton Highway
Easton, PA  18045
(610) 746-1980
www.anylabtestnow.com
Business Type:  LABORATORY & ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING



Best Buy
1202 New Brunswick Avenue
Phillipsburg, NJ  08865
http://stores.bestbuy.com/1538/
Business Type:  RETAIL SALES



City Entertainment Systems
859 South Cottonwood Road
Walnutport, PA  18088
(610) 767-3742
cityent@ptd.net
www.cityentertainment.net
Business Type:  SOUND CONTRACTORS



Complete Chiropractic
5930 Hamilton Boulevard, Suite 8
Allentown, PA  18106
(610) 841-2204
www.completechirocenter.com
Business Type:  CHIROPRACTORS



DeLorenzo's Italian Restaurant
1210 Knox Avenue
Easton, PA  18040
(610) 438-6026
info@delorenzosrestaurant.com
www.delorenzosrestaurant.com
Business Type:  RESTAURANTS & CAFES



Elite Image Printing
1866 Leithsville Road
Hellertown, PA  18055
(484) 239-9260
eip@rcn.com
Business Type:  SCREEN PRINTING



Enze
P.O. Box 311
Center Valley, PA  18034
(484) 863-3000
jane@enze.us
www.enze.us
Business Type:  ADVERTISING, MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS



Equipmed Services
2042 Fairfield Avenue
P.O. Box 735
Bethlehem, PA  18016
(610) 691-4410
rschmidt@equipmedservices.com
www.equipmedservices.com
Business Type:  WHOLESALERS



Frontier Communications
100 CTE Drive
Dallas, PA  18612
(570) 631-3666
www.frontier.com
Business Type:  TELECOMMUNICATIONS PRODUCTS & SERVICES



Fulton Financial Advisors
2005 City Line Road, Suite 200
Bethlehem, PA  18017
(610) 332-7148
www.fultonfinancial advisors.com
Business Type:  FINANCIAL SERVICES



Keller Williams - judy p. arnold
2901 Emrick Boulevard
Bethlehem, PA  18020
(610) 704-7170
Business Type:  REAL ESTATE APPRAISALS, DEVELOPERS & SERVICES



Law Street Associates
1985 Easton Avenue
Bethlehem, PA  18017
(610) 554-9135
www.weichertcommercial.com
Business Type:  REAL ESTATE APPRAISALS, DEVELOPERS & SERVICES



Lehigh Valley Engineering, Inc.
1 West Broad Street, Suite 500
Bethlehem, PA  18018
(610) 866-3820
lve@lve.cc
www.lve.cc
Business Type:  ENGINEERING



Lehigh Valley Expo, Inc.
862 North Fenwick Street
Allentown, PA  18109
(610) 433-3577
chrisoflvexpo@aol.com
Business Type:  PARTY RENTALS & SUPPLIES



Made in Brazil
904 W. Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA  18101
(610) 740-9299
Business Type:  RESTAURANTS & CAFES



Minuteman Press of Allentown
1729 Tilghman Street
Allentown, PA  18104
(484) 223-3311
www.pikewood.com
Business Type:  PRINTERS, PUBLISHERS & GRAPHICS



Minuteman Press of Bethlehem
123 East Broad Street
Bethlehem, PA  18018
(610) 865-9946
Business Type:  PRINTERS, PUBLISHERS & GRAPHICS



National Communication Xchange, Inc.
4969 Hamilton Boulevard
Allentown, PA  18106
(484) 350-4271
sales@ncx.com
www.ncx.com
Business Type:  TELECOMMUNICATIONS PRODUCTS & SERVICES; COMPUTER SALES & SERVICES; COMMUNICATIONS & CONSULTANTS; INFORMATION SERVICES TECHNOLOGY; INTERNET SERVICES & TRAINING; TELECOMMUNICATIONS PRODUCTS & SERVICES; WEB DESIGN, CONSULTING & HOSTING



Office of Samina Wahhab, M.D., Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
1255 South Cedar Crest Boulebard, Suite 1100
Allentown, PA  18103
(610) 770-7676
aaswahhab@yahoo.com
www.drwahhab.com
Business Type:  PHYSICIANS & SURGEONS



The Party Girls
17 Grove Street
Easton, PA  18045
(610) 253-1441
www.thepartygirlsusa.com
Business Type:  PARTY RENTALS & SUPPLIES



Pizza Chef
501 Village At Stones Crossing
Easton, PA  18045
(610) 258-5800
Business Type:  RESTAURANTS & CAFES



Realty Abstract Inc.
779 Third Street
Whitehall, PA  18052
(610) 266-7130
realtyabstract@rcn.com
www.realtyabstract.com
Business Type:  TITLE COMPANIES



Robinson Plumbing
331 North 27th Street
Allentown, PA  18104
(610) 351-9889
robinsonplumber@yahoo.com
www.robinson-plumbing.com
Business Type:  PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING



Rocky Urich Productions
P.O. Box 833
Emmaus, PA  18049
(610) 657-5829
julia@ruprovideo.com
www.ruprovideo.com
Business Type:  AUDIO/VIDEO PRODUCTION, EQUIPMENT, REPAIRS & SALES



R.S. Piazza Associates - Design Consultant
309 Mercer Street
Phillipsburg, NJ  08865
(908) 454-7992
Business Type:  ENGINEERING



Stanley Vidmar
11 Grammes Road
Allentown, PA  18103
(800) 523-9462
vidmar@stanleycustomercare.com
www.stanleyvidmar.com
Business Type:  STORAGE & WAREHOUSING



The Storage Center on Sullivan Trail
1350 Uhler Road
Easton, PA  18040
(610) 258-6770
amiace@ptd.net
www.storagecenteronsullivantrail.com
Business Type:  STORAGE & WAREHOUSING



Stowaway Self Storage 5246
P.O. 5246
North Branch, NJ  08876-8889
(908) 707-4045
www.stowawayselfstorage.com
Business Type:  STORAGE & WAREHOUSING



Thomas A. Hails Company Inc.
2374 Seipstown Road
P.O. Box 967
Fogelsville, PA  18041
(610) 285-5300
www.thomashailsco.com
Business Type:  INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES



Unity House
119 West Fourth Street
Bethlehem, PA  18015
(610) 691-1580
cshafer@salisb.com
www.unityclubhouse.com
Business Type:  PSYCHOLOGICAL & COUNSELING SERVICES



Valley Prosthetic & Orthotics Inc.
2200 West Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA  18104
(610) 770-1515
info@valleypo.com
www.valleypo.com
Business Type:  MEDICAL SUPPLIES



WebTechCFO, Inc.
P.O. Box 361
Bethlehem, PA  18015
(267) 386-8172
http://www.webtechcfo.com
Business Type:  ACCOUNTING & BILLING SERVICES; BUSINESS CONSULTANTS, DEVELOPERS & INCUBATORS



Whispering Hills Apartment Community
2940 Fernor Street
Allentown, PA  18103
(610) 797-7771
Business Type:  APARTMENTS, LEASING & RENTALS



Hill Street Children's Center, Inc.
417 Lincoln Avenue
Walnutport, PA  18088
(610) 767-4102
hillstii@verizon.net
www.hillstreetchildrenscenter.com
Business Type:  CHILD & ADULT CARE & SERVICES



Coordinated Health Brodheadsville
Route 115 & Switzgable Road
Bethlehem, PA  18017
(877) 247-8080
Business Type:  MEDICAL SERVICES, DEVELOPMENT & RESEARCH



Coordinated Health East Stroudsburg
505 Independence Road
East Stroudsburg, PA  18301
(877) 247-8080
Business Type:  MEDICAL SERVICES, DEVELOPMENT & RESEARCH



Coordinated Health Easton
400 South Greenwood Avenue
Easton, PA  18045
(877) 247-8080
Business Type:  MEDICAL SERVICES, DEVELOPMENT & RESEARCH



Coordinated Health Surgical Specialty Center - Allentown
1503 North Cedar Crest Boulevard
Allentown, PA  18104
(610) 433-4376
Business Type:  MEDICAL SERVICES, DEVELOPMENT & RESEARCH



Coordinated Health Surgical Specialty Center - Highland Campus
2310 Highland Avenue
Bethlehem, PA  18020
(877) 247-8080
Business Type:  MEDICAL SERVICES, DEVELOPMENT & RESEARCH



Business Type: 



Business Type: 




Daily Briefing, 11/10/2009

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

There are a couple of pieces of Easton related news today - first, Easton will now be the home of the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum.  The Museum will be build on Third Street, next to a bus depot, parking garage and additional offices, shops and restaurants.  Easton has also agreed to pay the widow of Jesse Sollman $5 million in a wrongful death suit.  Solomon was a police officer who was killed in an accidental shooting at Easton Police Headquarters.   In Northampton County, a report by Controller Steve Barron shows that overtime costs are costing the County $1.5 million a year, an excessive amount according to the report.  In Valley wide news, home sales have increased 30% - but the average price dropped more than 10%, while the median price dropped nearly 5%.  Meanwhile, municipal budget numbers are starting to come out - in Bangor, the proposed budget would increase taxes 15%.

In Harrisburg, a bill is being introduced that would ban texting while driving.  In national news, its no secret that the House and Senate each have proposed very different versions of health care reform, and WFMZ runs a story on the differences between the two versions.  Meanwhile, 41 House Democrats have vowed to vote against any health care bill that has prohibitions against abortions.

We have a busy day ahead of us today, with three Chamber events - a mixer with the Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce, a Grand Opening at And The Sign Says and a General Membership Meeting of the new Business and Commerce Association of Forks. 

Lastly, Business Matters aired yesterday, featuring an interview with Senators Argall, Boscola and Mensch.  You can watch the show online and visit the Business Matters blog to learn more.

That's it for now!  Have a great day and we'll catch you later.