Easton Area Chamber Chair
March is upon us and we at the Easton Chamber really look forward to this month!
So far this year, we have been busy with ribbon cutting ceremonies, networking, and chamber service events to help ‘master membership’ and grow a great business in the Easton and Forks Town- ship areas. We are also in the process of surveying our members for feedback on how the Easton Chamber can provide value to them.
One of our premier events takes place this month, and that is the Easton “State of the City” & Breakfast with Mayor Sal Panto. This great event is held at Lafayette College Marquis Hall on Friday, March 20, starting with a breakfast buffet at 7:00 AM followed by the pro- gram at 8:00 AM. Mayor Panto takes on ‘celebrity status’ and does a fantastic job every year giving us a review of what is happening in the great City of Easton, as well as his vision and plans for the future. This is a ‘must go’ event, so put it on your calendar and join us. It is sure, as always, to be a sell-out! Be well and see you on the hill at Lafayette!
Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp.
The Chamber Executive VP
Affiliate Chambers & Councils
Prepare to tantalize your taste buds for a delicious month ahead and plan to come out to Pocono Mountains Restaurant Month “Taste of the Poconos”: April 13- May 8, 2020. Bring your appetite and visit your favorite participating restaurants in all four counties of the Pocono Mountains or expand your horizons and try someplace new!
During this month-long promotion, restaurants will showcase a variety of delicious cuisines for lunch or dinner that will be sure to satisfy any palette. Check out who is participating and download their menus at PoconoRestaurantMonth.com or DiscoverCarbon.com for Carbon County restaurants. This is an excellent opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends while you support local businesses!
Pocono Mountains Restaurant Month “Taste of the Poconos” is brought to you by the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp., the Pocono Chamber of Commerce, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of the Northern Poconos and the Greater Honesdale Partnership.
Kristian M. Schafer
Bethlehem Chamber Chair
As you read up each month looking for what’s happening in Bethlehem, I wanted to share some good news- Madison Stephan has joined the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce as our new coordinator! Welcome to the Bethlehem team Madison!
As you look to plan out your calendar, please join us for State of the Schools on March 13th with Superintendent Dr. Roy, where our Bethlehem community and business leaders will come together for a school district update from Dr Roy. We will hear from mental and behavioral health experts on the health of our students & future employees. Breakfast and networking are included; starting time is 7:30AM at our Historic Hotel Bethlehem. You won’t want to miss this incredible program!
The weather isn’t the only thing heating up as we move into March. Bethlehem is on fire, and continuing to build momentum on both sides of the river! This month’s BethleGEM is a business that joined our Community about a year ago, and through its innovative approach, and incredibly hospitable team, has grown to become an invaluable partner to our community- The Factory LLC!
Based in a one of a kind, custom built 40,000 square foot innovation and scale-up facility in our booming Arts District, The Factory provides partner companies with support and resources so invested capital can be used for growth. Rich Thompson and his team are creating the next generation of opportunities for entrepreneurial innovators in the Lehigh Valley in the food, beverage, and pet health industries! They leverage life experience with strong intellectual acuity, and provide expertise in areas like product development, manufacturing, distribution and logistics, finance, legal, social media, and more! The Factory truly is a unique approach to building value and taking your business to the next level. Mind you, it’s not for start-up businesses, and with the capacity to help 20 businesses right here in the Lehigh Valley, 5 lucky businesses are already setting up roots here in Bethlehem for future growth and success! I’m telling you, if you get a chance, head over to The Factory. Take a walk around, and you’ll feel the entrepreneurial energy in the air, and know exactly why the Factory will be a community partner for many, many years to come!
Young Professionals Council
We are already nearing the end of the first quarter of 2020. What have you accomplished? Are you succeeding with your goals for the New Year? Let the Young Professionals Council help you get there!
Are you looking for new ways to maximize your time and potential? Build your leadership skills? Get your resume critiqued and/or up- date your professional headshot?
Then register now for our YPC Leader- ship Summit on Thursday, March 5th at Moravian College from 7:45 am to 12 pm. Our speakers include Jonathan Hurta from King, Spry, Herman, Freund, & Faul, LLC, Yvette Johnson from Just Born Quality Confections, and Michael Hawkins from Netizen Corporation. Also, there will be a panel discussion including experienced professionals from AmericaVen, Olympus, B.Braun, and Fulton Bank. This event will provide you an opportunity to network, receive valuable content and advice from seasoned professionals, engage in discussion helping you overcome your biggest obstacles, and brush up your professional portfolio.
Are you looking to expand your net- work and meet other professionals in the Lehigh Valley?
Make sure you attend our free YPC Meet and Greet event on Thursday, March 28th from 5:30 to 7:30 at The Pudding Bar in Easton.
Interested in getting involved?
Being a part of a Chamber board has many benefits. You receive the opportunity to contribute to a greater cause within your community, help other professionals and businesses achieve their goals, gain exposure and build your network, and continuously learn from a set of peers within different roles and industries. I truly feel the greatest benefit I have received from volunteering with the Chamber are the friendships I have built throughout the years. It’s a wonderful support system professionally and personally that wouldn’t be here without my involvement on the YPC board. Contact me or YPC President, Sarah Finney-Miller, for more information on how you can get involved!
Girl Scouts of Eastern PA
March is a pretty important month for women. We celebrate a number of notable events, people, and ideas during this 31- day period. Of course, March is Women’s History Month, as designated by Congress in 1987. Lots of firsts for women in our national government happened in March, including the first female member of Congress taking her seat in 1917 (Jeannette Rankin); the first female member of the U.S. Cabinet (Frances Perkins in 1933); and the first female U.S. Attorney General (Janet Reno in 1993).
I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the fact that Girl Scouts of the USA was founded on March 12, 1912. Girl Scouts is the world’s largest leadership development program for girls and the Girl Scout Cookie Program is also the world’s largest girl-led entrepreneurial program.
Speaking of the world at-large: #EachforEqual is the theme of this year’s Inter- national Women’s Day on March 8. The theme is based on the idea that while we are all responsible for our own actions and thoughts, collectively, we can have a tremendous impact on the world to effect massive change and bring about gender equal representation in the board room, government, media coverage, health arena, etc.
Why is all of that important to us here in the Lehigh Valley? Because we all have the power and responsibility to help improve the lives of women – ourselves, our co-workers, our daughters...which can only lead to a better Lehigh Valley for all of us!
One last shameless plug – an easy way to help yourself or a woman in your work- place: buy a ticket to the LV Women’s Summit on June 4th at the Wind Creek Event Center! Early bird pricing ends March 31, so commit early to coming to hear our phenomenal keynote – award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien!
FitNFree 4 Life
Gig Economy, Side Hustle, The Entrepreneur Economy...have you heard any of these terms recently? Think Uber or renting a room with AirBnb. By definition, they all pretty much mean the same thing; an alternative source of income. As more and more traditional jobs are going away, and people are experiencing loss of income, more and more families are looking to make a living in a non-traditional way. I remember going to school and hearing, “do well in school,” “get a good job and stay there until you retire.” Today that mentality no longer serves most people. Technology is a huge factor in the downsizing of major corporations. With the surge of online sites such as Amazon, retail stores and jobs are quickly being eliminated. College students are struggling to get jobs in their career fields and many are saddled with debilitating student loan debt. With these challenges comes huge emotional and financial stress.
So what are the options? Try to find multiple part-time jobs to stay financially afloat? People don’t have enough hours in the day to take on multiple jobs to keep up with the mounting pressures. This also results in loss of precious family time. Try to start a brick and mortar business? That takes money and time and is risky.
Here’s where the Gig Economy comes in. It’s a way to build an Income Producing Asset and do something you are passionate about. It’s about working with teams of people just like you who are looking for more income to have the lives they dream of living. A great example of successful groups of people doing this are the Millennials and Generation Z. They want the freedom to work where they want, when they want and with whom they want. They want to travel when and where they want with no ceiling on their ability to earn! Let’s not forget the Baby Boomers thinking about their retirement. Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans have nothing saved for retirement!? This is an amazing vehicle for them to accumulate enough money to afford the type of retirement they deserve. Having that Side Hustle or Side Gig, could make a huge difference not only in how they spend the rest of their lives, but drastically improve their quality of life in retirement. And what about the moms or dads who want to stay home and raise their children? So many of them need to contribute to the family income and in doing so, miss those precious “firsts” in their child’s life. The evidence points to the viability of this Entrepreneur Economy.
So a few suggestions if you are looking for the right Gig. Find something you are passionate about, something where people see real tangible results, something that is emotional, something that is consumable and something that will create a residual stream of income. Look for a rock solid company to partner with and make sure you are making the best use of your time investment. Times are changing and now, more than ever, we all have the opportunity to create multiple streams of income and take control of the quality of our lives.
Have you ever wished you had something to almost magically mitigate any anxiety, stress or pain and still be able to function 100% throughout your day? Welcome to the world of CBD. Unfortunately, due to an incredible amount of carefully orchestrated misinformation, CBD has been demonized because it’s derived from either hemp or cannabis which produces a mild to severe psychoactive effect due to another component called THC. THC and CBD are just 2 of about 150 compounds called cannabinoids produced by these plants.
However, there are major differences between both plants and the cannabinoids they produce. While CBD and THC both provide a wide variety of significant medical benefits, it is only THC which produces the “high” or psychoactive effect. CBD does not produce any mind altering or psychoactive effects. This is exactly why it has become so popular. It has shown to be extremely powerful in providing relief to many types of ailments ranging from mild to severe pain and inflammation, anxiety and stress as well as sleep issues and many more. The difference between hemp and cannabis is that hemp produces only a fraction of the amount of THC as cannabis, but in some cases has significantly more CBD and other potential cannabinoids.
The industry stands against a big problem. The lack of oversight. Where we come from, the medical marijuana is extremely regulated. From seed to sale tracking, to rigorous testing requirements ensuring product efficacy, to how the products are marketed, packaged and sold. The wide open “hemp CBD” market has literally no regulations. As long as the product contains not more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, it is considered “hemp” not “cannabis” and is not subject to ANY further evaluations like we see with cannabis, which is ludacris. This is the root of the problems with CBD and the entire reason why we left Oregon to form Smooth Roots. CBD is not the problem, the people in the industry are.
Ronald J. Young, Jr.
M.P.A., PA Department of Transportation
Engineering District 5
Roundabouts are frequently installed to address intersections with safety issues but may also be installed to improve traffic flow as well as other reasons such as traffic calming, and to facilitate pedestrian mobility.
The main characteristics of a modern roundabout include: generally circular shape; yield signs at the entrances; geometry that forces slower speeds; and counterclockwise circulation of traffic. Also, unlike traffic signals, roundabouts do not depend on electricity to function, so they are not susceptible to power outages.
PennDOT reviewed data for 11 roundabouts at intersections that were previously stop or signal controlled, and the review showed:
· Fatalities were reduced by 100 percent (from two to zero);
· Serious injuries were reduced by 100 percent (from seven to zero);
· Minor injuries were reduced by 95 per- cent (from 19 to one);Crashes causing only property damage decreased by percent (from 49 to 48); and
· Overall crashes dropped 47 percent (from 101 to 54).
PennDOT’s District 5 opened round- abouts last year at US 222 and PA 662 in Berks County, and at the intersection of Broad Street, River Road, Foxtown Hill Road and the Interstate 80 Exit 310 ramps in Monroe County.
Roundabouts are planned on the US 222 corridor at US 222, PA 863 and Schantz Road in Lehigh County, and several locations in Berks County. Learn more about these and other projects at www.projects.penndot.gov.
Although roundabouts are safer and typically more efficient than signalized intersections, in many cases they may not be the best option due to topography or other reasons, such as property impacts, capacity issues and proximity to other intersections. Additional information on roundabouts can be found by searching at www.penndot.gov, key- word “roundabouts.
Riverview Bank Chair
Can you believe we just completed our 12th year in a row of providing support to our community partners for neighborhood beautification projects? Applications are available now through May 31, 2020 for proposals for new projects throughout the greater Lehigh Valley. Local government, including counties, cities, boroughs and townships, are eligible to apply along with municipal and redevelopment authorities, and non- profit organizations. If you have a project in mind that will be visible within your community, shows collaboration with others, supports business retention or expansion, is consistent with local revitalization strategy, improves existing or develops new facilities and will leave a lasting impact on your main
street or neighborhood, we want to hear from you. Think about outdoor seating, pole banners, lighting, signage, landscaping, bike racks, murals and holiday decorations. What public space do you use most? Last year we heard from so many of you - from Alburtis to Allentown, Bath to Bethlehem, Carbon County to Catasauqua, Coopersburg to Easton, Emmaus to Hellertown, Macungie to Nazareth, Slate Belt area, Monroe county and New Jersey! Twenty-eight awesome improvements like hanging baskets, decorative lighting, historical signage, flags honoring local heroes, park expansion and more.
Like I said it’s been a great run – and we aren’t done yet.
Brenda de Paula
Lehigh Valley Health Network
Did you know that mental health conditions are incredibly prevalent among founders/entrepreneurs? This is based on a study by University of California, San Francisco researcher Michael A. Freeman, MD, and collaborators. Some refer to this phenomenon as founder’s burnout.
As a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board member and an advocate for health, I want to share a resource that may help you in your entrepreneur journey. Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Department of Psychiatry developed a mobile app to provide a centralized resource center for behavioral health information. Through a generous grant from the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust, the app was developed on the Guidebook platform, and serves as a complementary tool to manage behavioral illnesses and conditions. The app offers a list of emergency resources, programs, information about medicines, therapeutic and support groups, self-help strategies, signs and symptoms of mental health illness, and more.
If you feel this free app would be valuable to you, here’s how to download it:
1. Go to your App Store or Google Play
and search for “Guidebook.”
2. Download the “Guidebook” app.
3. Search for “LVHN Behavioral Health.”
4. Click on the app and access the resources.
For more details or questions about the app, please contact Paul A. Siegfried, Behavioral Health Education Specialist with LVHN, at Paul_A.Siegfried@lvhn. org.