CHAMBER NEWS
February 2018
U.S. CHAMBER TO SHARE NEW TAX LAW CHANGES AT CHAMBER'S ANNUAL FORECAST BREAKFAST

By: Chamber President/CEO
Joe Kleinknecht

This year’s event will not only feature speakers from the area but will also have representatives from the U.S. Chamber here to explain the changes to the tax laws. There will be a question and answer period during this portion of the program.

A limited number of sponsorships for the March 6, 2018 Annual Economic Development Update & Business Forecast Breakfast are still available for $150 (includes two tickets to the event, recognition in program and acknowledgement during event). If you would like to become a sponsor, or would like more information, please contact Joe Kleinknecht at the chamber office, 419-468-7737 or via email, ceo@galion-crestlinechamber.org .

The cost to attend this year’s event is $15 per person and reservations need to be in by February 23rd. Click HERE to make your reservation or call the Chamber office.
JOIN US FOR A CUP OF COFFEE & CONVERSATION!
Don't miss this great networking opportunity. Free and open to everyone.

The topic is never the same. Grab a seat, enjoy light refreshments and relax as you socialize and meet other area business leaders and decision makers.

Chamber Chat is held the first Wednesday of every month at 8am at the Candi Bar in Galion, located at 125 Harding Way East.
OHIO BWC Announces ‘Better You, Better Ohio!’ at Galion Avita

Stacy Harrington, an employer services specialist for the Bureau of Workers Compensation office in Mansfield, addressed a group of local employers and businesses representatives Friday, January 26th at Galion Avita Hospital to introduce the new ‘Better You, Better Ohio’ program currently being introduced across the state, a program that will launch February 1st.

Better You, Better Ohio! will target employees of businesses with 50 or fewer workers in construction, manufacturing, agriculture and other industries that experience higher injury rates on average than others. Funded by BWC’s strong investment returns and operated by ActiveHealth Management, the program will be available Feb. 1.

Employees approved through a registration process will receive a $75 gift card after undergoing a health risk assessment and biometric screening. Participants will then have access to digital coaching, educational materials, wellness tracking tools, a mobile app and other resources.

Better You, Better Ohio! is the health and safety component to BWC’s Third Billion Back initiative, the $1 billion premium rebate the agency issued last year to Ohio employers.
“Enrollment is a simple, paperless process, and there is no charge to employers or employees,” Morrison continued. “All we’re asking of employers is to help spread the word. We know a healthy workforce contributes to a healthy business, so if we can create that environment across this state, Ohio will be better for it.”  
GALION, CRAWFORD COUNTY NOW HAS A SCORE MENTOR

Mike Mateer was recently accepted as a SCORE mentor in the Galion, Crawford County area. SCORE works closely with Chambers to provide free and confidential business counseling tailored to meet the needs of small businesses. SCORE also offers workshops, free or for a modest fee, for both start-up entrepreneurs and in-business small business owners.

The North Central Ohio Chapter of SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is part of a national nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of the nation’s small businesses. SCORE volunteers serve as “Counselors to America's Small Business.” North Central Ohio SCORE provides free and confidential business counseling tailored to meet the needs of your small business and your personal objectives. North Central Ohio SCORE also offers workshops, free or for a modest fee, for both start-up entrepreneurs and in-business small business owners. SCORE volunteers are real-world professionals with time-tested knowledge who donate thousands of hours to help small businesses succeed. Counselors are experts in such areas as accounting, finance, marketing, management and business plan preparation. North Central Ohio SCORE is comprised of more than 20 volunteers that provide guidance and counseling to entrepreneurs in five counties in the North Central Ohio area.
For more infromation, contact the Chamber office or to learn more about SCORE click HERE: https://northcentralohio.score.org/
Riordan McClain Appointed to the 87th District of the Ohio House

The 87 th  District of the Ohio House of Representatives now has a new leader to plea its residents’ cases in Columbus.
Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky took his oath of office this week and filled the seat that represents Crawford, Morrow and Wyandot counties and portions of Marion and Seneca counties.

The seat was vacated by former representative Wes Goodman.

McClain was appointed by the House Republican Caucus over nine other candidates applying for the position.

“I’m honored. There was a large list of candidates. I’m Honored to have been selected by the committee and I’m excited to get started and ready to hit the ground running.”

Click HERE for the entire article.
Chamber Welcomes New Ambassador

 The Chamber is excited to announce that Kitty Herold has recently joined the Chamber Ambassador Team. Kitty will be assisting with and reaching out to our members about upcoming Chamber events.
Kitty Herold was born in Galion and moved shortly after to Colorado due to her family's military obligations. Her family moved frequently, living in Ohio, Colorado, South Carolina, Florida and before they settled back in Ohio after her father retired from the navy.

Kitty started working in the banking industry in 1999. She joined United Bank in April of 2004 as a full-time teller in the Lexington Avenue Kroger's Branch and has worked her way up to her most recent promotion to the Branch Manager of the Crestline Office.

Kitty has two daughters, a 19-year-old, Faith Gregory, and a 3-year-old, Chloe Herold. She currently resides in Crestline with her husband Clayton Herold.

She enjoys helping people and that is why she loves her job!
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR OHIO SAFETY CONGRESS & EXPO

The 2018 Ohio Safety Congree & Expo is March 7th to March 9th at the Columbus Convention Center. Click here to view event information, including the event schedule, hotels, directions and free online registration.

Days one and two (Wednesday & Thursday) offer general sessions, educational sessions and the Expo Marketplace. Day three (Friday) delivers full-day workshops and in-depth training. Attend the number of days which best meet your training needs.
NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS

Ken & Rhonda Davis (Associate Members), Galion, OH

The Yellow Rose Retreat , 223 Harding Way West, Galion, OH, www.yellowrosegalion.com
East of Chicago Pizza ; recently did a complete remodel at their store at 759 Carter Dr., Galion. 
Rex Cramer; owner of Quays Drugs Inc ., was recently appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of Galion Building & Loan Bank. January 1, 2018 also marked Cramer’s 35 th anniversary at Quays.
Do you have an anniversary, new associate or employee, sign, or business update? Contact Joe or Miranda at the Chamber Office, 419-468-7737 or email mjones@galion-crestlinechamber.org so we can add your business to the Member Spotlight in our next Newsletter.
The Chamber held a ribbon cutting Friday, January 26th at Dear Downey located at 107 Harding Way East, Galion. Dear Downey speacializes in custom clothing and gifts, offering screen printing workshops.
Community Opportunity Now Live

The Crawford Partnership is pleased to share Community Opportunity, a new and innovative resource to connect local businesses with local talent. Community Opportunity is a comprehensive website for students, job seekers, and area businesses alike to connect, network, and find/share employment opportunities within our community.

Local businesses can build free profiles and post job openings at no cost! Start your company’s profile today: www.communityopportunity.com

This tool is also free for students and job seekers. The goal of Community Opportunity is to ensure that everyone in our community is aware of the career paths available. For more information, contact Erin Stine, Crawford Partnership Community Development Director, at estine@crawfordpartnership.org .
GALION CITY COUNCIL STARTS NEW YEAR WITH A COUPLE NEW FACES

Galion City Council had it’s first meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, January 9th in the second floor council chambers at the Municipal Building, 801 Harding Way East.

Two new city council members present. Mike Richart, is the new 3rd Ward representative. Richart, of 748 Richardson Ave., replaced Jim Hedges. Richart can be reached at 419-617-9145 or via email at mikerichart.3rdward@gmail.com.

The other new council member is Tammy Siclair-Erlsten, of 312 Wildflower Dr., who represents the city’s 4th Ward. Siclair-Erlsten replaces Susan Beam. Siclair-Erlsten can be reached at 419-512-1201 or via email at erlsten.council@gmail.com.

Carl W. Watt remains council president. Watt lives at 318 Wildflower Drive. You can reach him via phone at 419-468-4388 or 419-561-1900. Email the council president at carlwatt@galion.city.

For City Council contact information is available by clicking HERE .
Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program

Guidelines FY’18

The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program (“Voucher Program”) is an employer-driven program designed to provide direct financial assistance to train workers and improve the economic competitiveness of Ohio’s employers.

The Voucher Program is designed to offset a portion, via reimbursement, of the employer’s costs to improve the skills of its incumbent workforce. The Voucher Program will provide reimbursement to eligible employers for specific training costs accrued during the course of training.

Eligible employers must demonstrate that by receiving funding assistance through the Voucher Program their business will not only obtain a skilled workforce, but will also improve company processes and competitiveness.

Click HERE for more information.
A Different W-2 Scam and Other Alerts
     FIRST: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning employers to be on guard against the Form W-2 phishing scam as tax season gets underway. The scheme defrauded thousands of taxpayers and hundreds of organizations last year, and the tax agency worries it will be worse this year. It calls the W-2 scam "one of the most dangerous phishing emails in the tax community."
    The Form W-2 scam is narrowly focused. Cybercriminals identify a target -- a large company or organization -- then conduct research to learn the names of those in charge of payroll or personnel files. They then assume the identity of one of the organization's top executives, spoof their email account, and request copies of Form W-2 for all employees from an unsuspecting payroll officer. For an identity thief, this form is solid gold. A W-2 contains an employee’s name, address, Social Security number, income, and withholdings. It's all the information a criminal needs to file a fake tax return and have the refund transferred directly to himself.
    Warn your executives and payroll staff. DO NOT SEND COPIES OF W-2s to company leaders based on an email request! Verify the request with a phone call FIRST!
   NEXT: The Opioid Epidemic is a disaster – and sellers of unproven treatments can cause tragedy. There’s one thing people struggling with opioid addiction need: the facts. The FTC and SAMHSA (HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) have issued a downloadable fact sheet advising consumers that dietary supplements, including herbal blends, vitamins, and minerals, have not been scientifically proven to treat opioid dependence or ease withdrawal. Products that promise miracle cures or easy results can waste time and money and may even be dangerous. Unproven treatments promoted with deceptive advertising claims may hinder recovery and perhaps even lead to relapse. A more effective first step for people struggling with dependency – and for family and friends eager to offer support – is to call SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP, for free 24/7 referrals and information. Another option is SAMSHA’s confidential online treatment locator.
     NEXT: Double Crown Coffee Machine Franchise. They claim to offer premium coffee machines that will be placed in high traffic areas (hospitals, hotels, etc.). The company promises it’s buyers that it is a solid, long term investment, and asks $7,000 for a machine. BBB is receiving complaints from consumers saying the machines do not work and contact with the owner, Tony Cena, remains unanswered. The company promises to find excellent locations for the machines but consumers say the locations are worthless. Their business website is currently down. A previous company, Coffee Vending Pros, charged $17,000 for their machines. We don’t know if they are connected but the advertisements for franchise opportunities with both companies are identical. We suspect other coffee machine franchises just like this with new names will be popping up soon.
     FINALLY: Ultra Rare Apparel Alert . BBB Serving Connecticut is cautioning consumers about an online retail site based in Cheshire, Connecticut that sells t-shirts, sweatshirts, jogging pants and backpacks. According to consumers’ complaints, Ultra Rare Apparel charged for products they did not ship, failed to provide transaction confirmations or tracking numbers, ignored consumers’ phone calls and emails, and neglected to respond to BBB complaints. Some customers detail losses in the hundreds of dollars. Ultra Rare Apparel has an F rating on its BBB Business Review. A total of 87 complaints have been filed against the company. Forty-one of these complaints are now closed. Though Ultra Rare Apparel failed to respond to any of them, six complaints were closed as resolved after consumers told BBB that they had received their merchandise. Another 46 complaints against the business are still going through the complaint process. Other consumers submitted 34 reviews about Ultra Rare Apparel, all of which were negative.
GALION CITY COUNCIL