Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Author: Christen Fischer

Annual Dinner Gets Turned Upside Down

It’s been a year like no other…which calls for an event like we’ve never had before. Rather than host the Chamber’s Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner this October as has been the case for over 100 years, the decision has been made to make some major changes to this year’s event. The special events committee put their heads together to come up with a better option, a safer one, but one that still allows us to gather, celebrate, and honor chamber members and their employees.

On Wednesday, October 21st, National Chamber of Commerce Day, the Chamber will host its first-ever Member Appreciation “Mask-erade” Barbecue at St. Florian Event Center in Wintersville from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Our typical nominations, awards, and speakers will be replaced with a night of music, food, and drink both inside and out. Please join us as we honor all of our members and come together to celebrate the resilience, passion, hard-work, and dedication of our business community. Watch your mail and email for more details and your invitation. Sponsorships are also available starting at just $500.

Happy Labor Day from the Chamber Staff

The last few months have tested the resolve of our nation’s workers and entrepreneurs like never before, and that test has yet to end. Since the pandemic struck, our country has been reminded that our workforce is comprised of essential workers in arenas often taken for granted or misunderstood by our economy and culture.

The Chamber has never been more proud to represent its members and the local business community. Your tenacity, patience, and creativity are to be applauded. Our larger employers continue to set a great example, generously supporting local programs and projects, when possible, that boost morale and show their employees and those on the front lines that they are appreciated. Our small businesses keep navigating through ever-changing scenarios with patience and flexibility, working hard to be safe and keep customers safe even when the rules sometimes don’t seem to make sense and their years of experience sometimes don’t seem to matter.

If you are fortunate enough to have Monday off, I hope you have a chance to relax and catch your breath, returning to the final stretch of this challenging year at least somewhat renewed and refocused. If you are open for business, I hope you (safely) see many friendly faces from the local community come through your doors to support and thank you. Regardless of your industry, we consider each one of you important to the success and spirit of the Ohio Valley.

Sincerely,

Tricia Maple-Damewood
President

The Chamber will be closed on Monday, September 7th, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.
Offices will reopen on Tuesday, September 8th, at 9 a.m.

Governor DeWine’s September 1st Press Conference

Below are the updates from yesterday’s press conference with Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted. The next press conference is currently scheduled for Thursday, September 3rd at 2:00 PM. You may watch it live on WTOV9.

In advance of the upcoming Labor Day holiday, Governor DeWine reminded citizens to take safety precautions when celebrating with others outside of their households. Governor DeWine encourages citizens to continue regular hand-washing, social distancing, and disinfecting. The mask mandate in Ohio remains in effect for all 88 counties.

In the weeks following the Fourth of July, Ohio began to see a significant increase in cases caused, in part, by holiday gatherings. Click here to view the graphic shown during yesterday’s press conference demonstrates one example of COVID-19 spread from an Independence Day gathering.

Governor DeWine announced three new traffic-safety efforts aimed at reducing the number of fatalities on Ohio’s roads and better ensuring that Ohio’s young drivers have the necessary skills to safely navigate the streets.

Read More

SBA Helps Women – Owned Businesses Thrive

The SBA is amping up its efforts to support women entrepreneurs in launching new businesses and competing in the marketplace. Connect with the following training and funding opportunities specifically for women:

Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)

The Office of Women’s Business Ownership helps women entrepreneurs through programs coordinated by SBA district offices. Programs include business training, counseling, federal contracts, and access to credit and capital. The OWBO oversees Women’s Business Centers (WBCs). These centers seek to level the playing field for all women entrepreneurs who still face unique obstacles in the business world.

Businesses receiving assistance from WBCs see a significantly better success rate than those without similar support. Find your nearest center.

Funding for Women-Owned Small Businesses

The 8(a) Business Development program helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace. Check with WBCs and local assistance resources for guidance, and our Lender Match tool for finding capital. Women-owned small businesses can also take advantage of SBA loan programs. Our partners offer advice and counseling to help choose the right path for your company.

Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) Federal Contracting program

This program helps women-owned small businesses compete for federal contracts. Understand the eligibility requirements before applying. The SBA also works with federal agencies to increase contracting opportunities and achieve the government’s five-percent contracting goal for women-owned small businesses. Keep an eye out for matchmaking events targeting both the federal and private procurement.

Read More

Governor DeWine’s August 25th Press Conference

Below are the updates from yesterday’s press conference with Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted. The next press conference is currently scheduled for Thursday, August 27th at 2:00 PM.  You may watch it live on WTOV9.

Governor DeWine discussed the recently-issued Director’s Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club, and Professional Sports. The order limits the maximum number of spectators gathered at an outdoor sports venue to the lesser of 1,500 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity. The maximum for indoor sports venues is the lesser of 300 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity. If a venue has more room to permit additional socially-distanced spectator capacity, a variance provision in the order allows schools to request a higher spectator limit by submitting a plan in writing to their local health department and the Ohio Department of Health. The variance plan must include a justification for increased capacity and an explanation of how social distancing will be maintained between family groups. 

It is the responsibility of the school/venue to monitor and enforce the social distancing requirement, prohibition on congregating among spectators, and the other provisions outlined in the sports order.  Evaluating a sports venue’s variance plan may require conversations with school/venue officials and a site visit. The Ohio Department of Health will rely upon local health departments to conduct the first assessment of the variance plan. Variances will not be granted to expand the number of fans beyond family members of both teams and others who may perform during the event.

Read More

Governor DeWine’s August 20th Press Conference

Governor DeWine announced that adult day care centers and senior centers may open at a reduced capacity beginning on September 21 if the facilities can meet certain safety standards outlined in a forthcoming health order. The Ohio Association of Senior Centers and those representing adult day centers nationally and locally assisted in developing the ResponsibleRestart Ohio plan for adult day care and senior centers. The full plan and health order will be posted soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

Governor DeWine announced that a statewide testing initiative for Ohio’s more than 765 assisted living facilities is now underway to offer baseline saliva testing to all staff and residents at no cost to the facilities. The tests can be self-performed or performed with assistance, under the observance of licensed medical staff. Baseline saliva tests are minimally invasive and provide reliable results in approximately 48 hours upon the lab’s receipt. An order requiring all assisting living facilities to participate in the testing initiative will be posted soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Governor DeWine asked the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors to send up to $1.5 billion in dividend payments to Ohio employers this fall. This dividend equals approximately 100% of the premiums paid in policy year 2019. Dividends like this, as well as previous ones, are possible because of strong investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year, prudent fiscal management, and employers who work hard to improve workplace safety and reduce injury claims. 

Read More

Governor DeWine’s August 18th Press Conference

Governor DeWine announced that an order from the Ohio Department of Health will be issued to outline how sports, both contact and non-contact, may move forward in Ohio. The order will apply to all organized sports in the state and will include guidelines for spectators. The decision for high school fall sports to be postponed to the springtime will be left to the school districts.  This order will be available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Governor DeWine also spoke with Dr. Jim Borchers of The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Borchers specializes in sports medicine. He discussed the importance of sports, and its impact on the physical and mental health of young people. Dr. Borchers also reminded parents and students about the importance of immediately sharing information with coaching staff and a doctor if a COVID-19 case is probable or confirmed, and then following the appropriate protocols.

Governor DeWine announced a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Ohio Veteran’s home in Georgetown (Brown County). An employee tested positive, and two other employees may have been exposed to this individual. The Ohio Department of Veterans Services put additional safety measures in place at the home and they are tracking potential exposures. All residents in the unit where this employee works are being tested, as are the residents in the two other units where the potentially exposed employees are assigned.

Read More

Hats Off to Hauser’s Furniture!

The Chamber would like to congratulate Hauser Furniture Company, Inc. on giving the Ohio Valley its all for the past 75 years.

“The 75th year is, without a doubt, a true milestone,” Martin Hauser, owner, told us. “I am very grateful at being the caretaker for this momentous year.”

Martin’s father and uncle began the family business after returning from the European theater at the conclusion of World War II.

“Although my Uncle Sid only lived into his early 40s, he and my father, Paul, set things in place for the business’ success,” Martin said. “I have merely continued to ‘carry the torch.'”

Martin joined the business at 13 years old, during which time he was taught the fundamentals of the operation.

“Foremost in my tutoring was a devotion to customer service,” he recalled. “Frankly, in a small town, a business will only survive a short time without positive word of mouth. All of the advertising and merchandise and good pricing will only go so far.”

Martin has been devoted to Hauser’s success for over 55 years. During that time, he said he’s met and developed some wonderful, valued relationships with countless numbers of Ohio Valley customers. “The ‘buy/sell’ aspect is fundamental to the financial success. But, even more so, the interpersonal relationships that develop are what make the business flourish. That’s what drives a person to open the doors every day.”

Thank you to Marty and his entire crew at Hauser’s Furniture, for being a sterling example of the best that Jefferson County has to offer. We look forward to the next 75 years!

Read More

2020 Virtual Burger Bash A Big Success

The format was very different than in the past, but the 2020 Ambassador Burger Bash held on Wednesday was still a great event, raising important funds to support the Anita Jackson Community Scholarship. Event Chair and Ambassador President, Nicole Adamski from The Inn & Suites At Franciscan Square and Ambassador Vice President, Michael Vok from the Ohio Valley Down Syndrome Support Group worked hard to host a safe and small gathering and still give out lots of impressive door prizes and gift baskets. If you missed the drawing, take a look here from our Facebook Live broadcast, compliments of Pierce Media.

The generosity of all involved in the 2020 Burger Bash was humbling as they stepped up to keep an annual tradition alive during a very challenging time. A big thank you to the volunteers, sponsors and prize donors in addition to all who purchased tickets.

Read More

Governor DeWine’s August 4th Press Conference

Below are the updates from yesterday’s press conference with Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted. The next press conference is currently scheduled for Thursday, August 6th at 3:00 PM. You may watch it locally on WTOV9. 

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring that K-12 children wear face coverings while at school. The new mandate comes after the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter issued a joint letter recommending widespread use of masks in schools.

Exceptions to the K-12 health order for face coverings include: children under the age of 2 years old; any child unable to remove the face covering without assistance; a child with a significant behavioral/psychological issue undergoing treatment that is exacerbated specifically by the use of a facial covering (e.g. severe anxiety or a tactile aversion); a child living with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay who may become agitated or anxious wearing a mask; a child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction

Read More