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Chamber of Commerce e-Dispatch Page

Legislative Reception December 14

Join the Chamber for a legislative reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 14 at the Somerset Country Club. Federal and state legislators as well as Somerset County's commissioners have been invited to attend. The event will allow guests the opportunity to meet and talk with local business and community leaders as we get ready to begin a new year. There is a fee to attend and pre-registration is requested by Friday, Dec. 9 by contacting the Chamber at (814) 445-6431 or Sponsorships are also available. Click here for a registration form.
The EADS Group
Penelec FirstEnergy
Seven Springs Mountain Resort/Hidden Valley Resort/Laurel Mountain Ski Resort

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Member Dues, Update Forms

Be on the lookout for 2017 Chamber membership dues statements, which were mailed the first week of December. Chamber members renewing membership will receive a 2% discount if dues are paid by December 31. NEW THIS YEAR: Monthly and quarterly payment options available. We have restructured our dues schedule to make it easier and more understandable. In the process, some members may see a slight decrease or increase in annual dues. If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber for more information.

Members will also receive update forms for both their directory/website listing information and basic member information in a separate mailing in mid-December. This will be the only notice you receive to update your membership information for both the 2017 member directory publication and the Chamber's online membership directory.

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2017 Festivals & Events Brochure

Copies of the 2017 Somerset County Festivals & Events Brochure are now available at the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce and online. Contact Missy Holiday at (814) 445-6431 or to request bulk quantities for distribution at your location.

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See Paris, Normandy With Epic Journeys

The Chamber has partnered with Epic Journeys for a tour of France May 12-20. On this nine-day trip, tour Paris, Normandy, Brittany and Chateau Country as well as other sites. For more information and a detailed itinerary, click here or contact Cynthia Watters at (814) 266-5070.

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Local Disaster Response Group Forming

The Somerset County Department of Emergency Services invites non-profit and faith-based organization who are/or wish to become involved in response and relief efforts during times of disaster in Somerset County. This effort will become known as the Somerset County Disaster Response Group and the meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, December 12 in the Somerset Vol. Fire Dept. social hall. If your organization would be interested in participating but cannot send a representative to attend this event, contact Shar McCoy at (814) 445-1515 or

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And The Winner Is...

To encourage attendees to register early for its 76th Annual Dinner, the Chamber offered those who registered by October 24 the chance to win a $100 prize. Jim Knepper (right) of Knepper Insurance Group was the lucky winner. Chamber Executive Director Ron Aldom presented Jim with his prize, $100 in Local Loot certificates, on December 2. Congrats, Jim!

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Somerset Co. Blind Center Fruit Baskets

Celebrate the season and support the Somerset County Blind Association through the organization's annual holiday basket fund raiser. These festive fruit baskets, made with seasonal fruit from Cascio's Fruit Market, are $24 for large baskets and $17 for small baskets. Orders are due by 3 p.m. Wednesday, December 14 and baskets must be picked up between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 21 at the Daily American. To order, click here or contact Rob Stemple at (814) 267-5702 or

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54th Annual Christmas Cotillion

Join the Somerset Welfare League in honoring this year's group of young women in our community at the 54th Annual Christmas Cotillion Thursday, December 29 at the Somerset Country Club. This year's group of honorees will be presented at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $40 per couple or $10 per person aged 18-21. RSVP before December 21 by contacting Rose Passaniti at (814) 233-9891 or For dinner reservations prior to the Cotillion, contact the Somerset Country Club at (814) 445-5200.

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Vote To Support Sept. 11 Memorial Trail

WE NEED YOUR VOTE! You helped us become Hockeyville and win money for the Cambria County War Memorial. Now, help us win $100K to help develop the September 11th Memorial Trail between the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville to the Great Allegheny Passage. The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is one of three finalists in the NRG Gives contest. Vote for free as many times a day as you can until December 9 by clicking here:

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Boys & Girls Club Annual Campaign

Help support the Boys & Girls Club of Somerset County through its annual campaign. Click here for more information.

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Tax Rating in Pennsylvania Improves

In a recent report from the Tax Foundation, Pennsylvania’s overall business tax climate improved its ranking from 28th to 24th, tying the Commonwealth with Hawaii for the largest leap in the rankings from last year to this year. The non-partisan Tax Foundation credited the improvement to the elimination of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax (CSFT) at the end of 2015.

The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, as a part of a statewide coalition of chambers across the Commonwealth, worked tirelessly for over a decade to get this critical tax eliminated. This tax was job killing as it discouraged employers from expanding or locating in PA, since we were one of a few states across the country that taxed both net income and the assets of the employer. The response to the elimination is shown clearly in the report from the Tax Foundation.

We truly appreciate the efforts of Governor Wolf and all the legislators from both sides of the aisle who worked to eliminate this costly business deterrent. It also should be noted that over 130 businesses and organizations across the state as a part of CompetePA, played a major role in this effort. CompetePA, is a business coalition under the auspices of the Pittsburgh Chamber and the Allegheny Conference that was created in 2005 to provide advocacy for business-related issues, including the elimination of the CSFT. The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of CompetePA and represent key issues for our business community.  

Pennsylvania still has a lot of work to do to improve the business climate in our Commonwealth and there is a lot of optimism based on the success of the CSFT. Next up would be the Corporate Net Income Tax, which right now is the second highest in the country and also the cap on the Net Operating Loss Carryforward, which has a profound effect on startup businesses – something very critical for Somerset County.

It takes a coalition of chambers and businesses working together to accomplish goals that will affect the future of our Commonwealth. That, along with the continued support of our local legislators will continue to make the future of PA better now and in the future. Your support of the chamber allows us to advocate change that will benefit our businesses.

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Update On New Overtime Rule

A federal court judge has issued a preliminary injunction, halting the implementation of the Department of Labor's new overtime rule that was set to take effect December 1. The court's actions temporarily suspend the new rule from taking effect until it can make a ruling on the merits of the case. For more information, click here. Furthermore, the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals answers these questions:

What is the immediate effect of the court’s injunction?

Any employer who has not yet put into effect their plans to comply with the new regulation does not have to – the reason for those plans has been blocked. If employers have put compliance plans into place, they will have to decide what they want to do, but the only obligation is to comply with the previous salary threshold of $23,660/year, $455/week. Going forward, employers will not have to comply with the Department of Labor’s regulation unless something changes and they hear differently.

Is the injunction permanent?

No, the court’s action is a preliminary injunction, which means it could be lifted at a later date. The Department of Labor has also indicated their intent to appeal the decision. However, the timetable of their appeal is unclear and it’s uncertain whether they will be able to act before the Trump administration takes office on January 20.

Is Congress planning any action?

Congress is weighing its options to permanently repeal the rule. However, to be successful, any congressional action must be signed by the president. Therefore, it is unlikely Congress will act before President-elect Trump is sworn in on January 20.


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