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Welcome to the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce members' section. This is your section for collaboration and coordination. Keep abreast of important Chamber updates, upcoming events and member announcements. View the newsletter and receive the latest details on Chamber benefits such as our energy program, group health insurance and advertising opportunities.
Special Enrollment Period: Individual & Family Health Insurance - Get Help from the Experts at My Benefit Advisor
It’s not too late to get health insurance or change plans!
On February 15, the Federal and State Marketplaces began accepting applications for Individual and Family health insurance coverage under the COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
This enrollment period is scheduled to last until May 15, 2021.
Most Health Insurance Companies will accept off-exchange applications as well for those not needing or wanting to go through the marketplace. Because everyone is impacted by COVID-19 in some way, anyone who is not covered by an employer sponsored plan is eligible to purchase a new plan.
My Benefit Advisor offers expert help & guidance in choosing health insurance coverage whether purchasing on or off the marketplace.
The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce offers its members access to My Benefit Advisor as a solution for employee benefits, including voluntary offerings. For more information about My Benefit Advisor, visit our website at somco.mybenefitadvisor.com or contact Mycal Jones at (800) 377-3539.
Local Loot is accepted all around the county and can be used for dining or to buy local farm products, wine & beer, golf, bicycles, jewelry, appliances, hotels, outdoor sports, groceries, portraits, haircuts, tractors, clothing, plants, shoes, campsites, theatre performances, pet food, automobile tires, plumbing/HVAC services, home remodeling, auto repair, building supplies, home heating fuel and the list grows bigger by the day.
Local Loot is available in denominations of $5, $10 and $25 and can even be personalized with prior notice. This provides a personal message to staff, customers, family, friends or anyone else on your shopping list. Again, prior notice is required.
To purchase Local Loot, stop by the Somerset County Chamber office at 601 North Center Avenue, Somerset or call us at: 445-6431. What makes Local Loot even better is that the businesses treat it just like cash, so there are no hassles in redeeming it. Plus, unlike a gift card, Local Loot can be used anywhere it’s accepted, which is in a whole lot of places.
The special part of the Local Loot Program is that it keeps the money local, which helps the local economy grow and that provides jobs for local people. Any business can become a Local Loot participant by simply becoming a chamber member and that automatically allows the benefits of membership and that includes Local Loot.
Purchase Local Loot online https://somersetcountychamber.com/our-store/
Check out the 60+ businesses that accept Local Loot! https://somersetcountychamber.com/local-loot/
The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce wishes to honor some local residents for their efforts in this past year. In a year that brought hardship and uncertainty to all of us, we felt it was important to start 2021 on a positive note by presenting the awards.
Outstanding Persons of the Year
All 12 local public school administrators,
Grant B. Miller Award - Brian Whipkey, Daily American
The Betty Haupt Memorial Tourism - 911 Memorial Trail, Thomas Baxter, director
Harold W. Wheeler, Jr. Memorial Humanitarian Award - Volunteers of the Somerset County Mask Project
Somerset County Ag-Business - Harold Shaulis
Entreprenuer of the Year - Jennifer Barkman, Jar the Zero Waste Store
Somerset County Young Gun - Regina Coughenour, Somerset Inc.
Workforce Education Star - Shawn Kaufman, Riggs Industries
In partnership with the Somerset County Commissioners, JIDC will begin accepting applications for the Somerset County COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP). JIDC has been designated to serve grants awarded to Somerset County as part of the county block grant appropriated for COVID Relief in the amount of $831,888.
Businesses within the commonwealth must have a NAICS designation within the Accommodation subsector (721) or Food Services and Drinking Places subsector (722) and where accommodations, food or drink is served to or provided for the public, with or without charge. Other eligibility criteria is as follows:
All Somerset County businesses meeting the above criteria are eligible for a CHIRP grant. Priority will be given to businesses that show greater than 50% reduction in revenue in 2020, had been mandated to fully close by the disaster proclamation issued by the Governor on March 6, 2020, and received no other CARES funding through the federal, state, county or local government level. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis in six (6) rounds or until funding has been fully dispersed. Grants will be awarded in increments from $5,000 up to $50,000.
The application and additional program information can be found on the JARI website at www.jari.com.
Don’t leave any scholarship dollars on the table! This year, we’re unveiling a new tool called the Eligibility Quiz. Students who create an account on our online system will be required to complete the Eligibility Quiz to be matched with all of the right opportunities.
See cfalleghenies.org/scholarships to get started today!
Somerset Country Club - 10th ANNUAL SALUTE TO VETERANS
Free Golf Day - Monday, May 24, 2021
Somerset Country Club is proud to partner with members of Somerset County veterans’ organizations and local businesses to show our appreciation and “Salute our Veterans” by offering a free day of golf to Somerset County veterans on Monday, May 24, 2021. Veterans can bring a friend to accompany them on a round of golf for $25. Not a golfer? Come and enjoy lunch and comradery with your fellow honorees.
For additional information and to register for golf, call Somerset Country Club at 814-445-5179.
In an effort to continue Somerset Country Club’s tradition of honoring our veterans we would like to
Thank and Salute our sponsors for this year and the past years generosity.
If you or your organization would like to be a sponsor please contact Bill Aldom at 814 241-7707
or David Koontz at 814-233-9294 for information.
Beginning April 8, 2021, venue operators that have been impacted by COVID-19 will be able to apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. The program has allocated over $16 billion in grants for shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible businesses must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. If the venue or promoter received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on or after December 27, 2020, the SVOG will be reduced by the PPP loan amount.
Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown
The Learning Lamp’s 12th Annual Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown has opened its “doors” across Pennsylvania with a first ever web-based festival that children, parents, teachers, and libraries can access—not just for one weekend—but for the entire month of April! The annual festival aims to foster a love of reading in children ages pre-k through grade 6. Although we are unable to meet in person this year, the 2021 virtual festival includes customized pre-recorded presentations, storytelling, writing and drawing workshops, and lots of resources and activities from seven, award-winning and New York Times bestselling children’s authors and illustrators who headlined our festival in years past.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The SBA announced that it is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and non-profit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Starting the week of April 6, the SBA is raising the loan limit from 6-months/$150,000 max loan to 24-months/$500,000 max loan.
Tourism and COVID
Tourism groups are pushing the U.S. to eliminate travel restrictions, including exempting vaccinated individuals from testing requirements before entering the country and for the CDC to say vaccinated people can travel safely.
The Wolf Administration is refusing to disclose details of wasted coronavirus vaccine doses citing a decades-old law that it has frequently used to shield the public from scrutinizing its pandemic response.
Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus is offering the following Professional Development courses this Spring:
These classes are being offered virtually through Zoom delivery.
Please see the attached flyer for details, dates, registration, and contact information.
Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association News
Looking for a way to promote or market your business, organization or upcoming event? The Chamber offers a number of marketing and advertising options for members. Details coming soon!