CHAMBER NEWS
January 2018
2017 YEAR IN REVIEW

By: Chamber President/CEO
Joe Kleinknecht


2017 was a busy year for the Chamber, we saw the retirement of 25-year employee Judy Dyer and the hiring of Miranda Jones as Member Engagement Director.

We saw our membership grow by 32 members, the third largest growth in the last 11 years.

We also were involved with 18 ribbon cuttings, which is the most we have had in the 15 years I have been here.

We continued to see membership retention rates over 90% for the 13 th consecutive year.

We introduced a 2017 Galion Community Guide, promoting local businesses.

We saw growth in our programs as we continued to hold our Chamber Chat sessions the first Wednesday of every month at 8:00 am at the Candi Bar in Galion. We held our 2 nd Annual Manufacturers Breakfast in October at the Galion High School Cafetorium, where we honored local manufacturing employees. We began Third Friday’s in Galion, which ran from May to August which involved the Uptowne business district, vendors and various groups entertaining at the gazebo. We initiated the first Small Business Saturday in Galion, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which was a huge success for our local business community.

We saw our members save over $700,000 collectively through our Affinity Programs with our Electric & Natural Gas program with Alternative Energy Source, Workers Compensation Discounts through CareWorks Consultant’s Inc., and our Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Chamber Healthcare Program.

We saw the addition of many new businesses in both Galion and Crestline, including the new 62-unit Sleep Inn & Suites at SR 598 & Brandt Rd., Arby’s on Portland Way N., Tim Horton’s, Cake & Icing and Ohio Specialty Services on Harding Way W., Bistro 217, Planet 14 and Layland Electronics on Harding Way E. and the relocation of The Topia to the public square in Galion.

In Crestline, we saw the opening of Hempy Water on W. Main St. Depot Deli on N. Seltzer St. was purchased by Mike and Mark Zappa, owners of Lorain Music.

I want to take the time to say, “thank you”, to my fellow chamber employees, chamber board of directors, the entire chamber membership and the many volunteers that help make the chamber the asset that it is to the “business community”.

A special “thank you” to all the elected officials, city and village employees and the Crawford County Partnership Team for their continued hard-work throughout the year.

I look forward to working with all of you in 2018, to seeing continued growth in the Galion and Crestline areas, as well as all of Crawford County.
13 th ANNUAL CHAMBER
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE & AUCTION 
 
Over 220 Chamber Members and their guests attended the 13 th Annual Holiday Open House and Auction held December 7 th at the St. Joseph Activity Center in Galion.

The tables were adorned with beautiful holiday decorations and favors. The Galion Community Hospital Nutritional Services provided an array of great food.

Immediately following the silent auction and the raffle drawing, Craig Miley of Miley Realty and Auction served as auctioneer for the live auction which featured nearly 50 items.

Raffle winners included, Ron Nelson ($1,000), Jerry Morasko ($750), Ray Barnett ($500) and Les Renne ($250).

Christmas music was played on the juke box, which was donated by Lorain Music for the live auction throughout the event. High bid on the juke box was $900.

This year’s auction items included a family membership to the Galion Community Center-YMCA, advertising packages, OSU items, gift baskets, gift certificates, a couples athletic pass to all Galion and Crestline home sporting events, jewelry, a 50” TV, Blue Jacket tickets, an amazon fire tablet, old US route 30 sign, (2) combination Gas & Charcoal Grills, an OSU glider, engraved granite tiles, jacuzzi suite rooms at Sleep Inn, a Bucyrus copper kettle, a year’s supply of pizza from 5 local pizza shops and much, much more. 

The event was all made possible by the generosity of our Corporate Sponsors, our members that donated auction items or money to purchase auction items, our volunteers and all those in the attendance that helped make the evening a huge success.

Mark your calendars now for next year’s event, scheduled for December 6, 2018.  
Galion Community Guide is now ONLINE!

The community guide for Galion, completed in 2017, is now available online.

If you missed the advertising deadline for this edition, we will be updating the online version quarterly. We can add new businesses, or update existing ads for those currently included in the community guide.

Contact the Chamber office at 419-468-7737 for pricing and the next deadline for this unique advertising opportunity.

Click HERE for the Online Edition of the Galion Community Guide.
Chamber Welcomes New Ambassador

The Chamber is excited to announce that Sarah Capretta has recently joined the Chamber Ambassador Team. Sarah will be assisting with and reaching out to our members about upcoming Chamber events.
Sarah is originally from Gahanna, Ohio, moving to Galion in 2005 to raise her family. She has been with Family & Community Services since 2016 and is currently the Assistant Director for their Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Sarah enjoys volunteer work and has been heavily involved in many community events and organizations, specifically organizing Galion’s Pickle Run and most recently chairing the Come Home to Galion committee. She has 3 children, Kaya, Jillian and Dominic.
NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS

Galion Depot, Inc., Galion, Ohio 44833 (associate member)

Joe Armstrong , Business Banking Relationship Manager, Key Bank, 42 N. Main St., Mansfield, Ohio 44902, 614-460-3474
MILL CREEK NURSING & REHAB: recently welcomed new Administrator, Fred Rowe.  Mill Creek was also recently recognized by US News and World Report as being one of the best nursing homes in Ohio! Check HERE to learn about this prestigious award!
RETIRED SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM: recently welcomed Eric Palmer as their new RSVP Coordinator over Crawford, Marion, and Morrow Counties.
GALION-CRESTLINE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Chamber CEO/President Joe Kleinknecht recently presented Victoria Carmean from the Humane Society Serving Crawford County with a check from the donations that were collected from Chamber Members during the 2017 Holiday Open House & Auction. To learn more about the Humane Society Serving Crawford County click HERE .
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 Saturday, December 2nd at Bistro 217 , located at 217 Harding Way East, to welcome owners Steve & Holly Rose to Uptowne Galion. The Bistro offers a new menu featuring paninis and pastas and is now open for dinner daily.
The Chamber held a ribbon cutting Friday, December 1st at Planet 14 at 137 Harding Way East to celebrate their grand opening. This arcade will be a great addition to the Uptowne business community, attracting both kids and adults to the area!

Full story in the Telegraph Forum HERE 
Join Us for a Cup of Coffee and Conversation.
Free and Open to All!
Project Applications Now Being Accepted for Downtown Grant

Crawford County has received a $300,000 Downtown Revitalization Grant through the CDBG program, to be spent in Galion.

Project funding is available to property owners within the target area at a cap of $10,000 per owner. The target area consists of six blocks bordered on the north by Church Street, Liberty Street on the east, Walnut Street to the south, and Union Street to the west.

The City of Galion’s goal is to assist at least 20 owners with addressing code violations and making improvements to building facades. More projects will be funded as money allows. Grant funding must be spent by December 2019.

GRANT APPLICATION: Click HERE

For More Information from the City of Galion click HERE
Standard Mileage Rates for 2018 Up from Rates for 2017

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2018 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
·          54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
·          18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
·          14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate and the medical and moving expense rates each increased 1 cent per mile from the rates for 2017. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously. These and other requirements are described in Rev. Proc. 2010-51 .

Notice 2018-03 , posted today on IRS.gov, contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 14-Dec-2017 
Theft of Your Tax Refund and Other Alerts
     FIRST: THEFT OF YOUR TAX REFUND! Are you looking forward to getting your tax refund in the new year? Tax identity thieves may be looking forward to getting your refund too.
    Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number (SSN) to get a tax refund or a job. You might find out it’s happened when you e-file your tax return and discover that a return already has been filed using your SSN. Or, the IRS may send you a letter saying more than one return was filed in your name, or that IRS records show you have wages from an employer you don’t know. Every year BBB talks to victims of tax identity theft. They file their return and discover that someone else has already received their refund!
    With all the data hacks we have seen in 2017 (such as Equifax, Verizon, Yahoo and many others) your SSN and other personal information may be already stolen. Your best protection against Tax Refund ID theft is simple; filing your taxes as quickly as possible!
    But beware. Rushing to file can mean mistakes like underreporting income which may require filing an amended return later. 1099 and K-1 statements may not arrive for weeks. But experts encourage you to get organized so you can file as soon as all statements arrive.
  • Review your last tax return. That can provide a good framework for this year, in terms of deductible expenses to tally and official documents (W-2s, 1099s, etc.) to expect. Note any changes, say, if you switched jobs, or opened a new investment account.
  • Make a list of key documents you'll need, so you can check them off as they arrive and see at a glance what you are still waiting on. Be proactive about calling or emailing to track down a late document.
  • If you have moved this year, reach out to any employers, financial institutions and other entities sending you key forms, to make sure they have your current mailing address and contact information.
  • Start gathering receipts and records for potentially deductible expenses, like charitable donations or business expenses.
  • Monitor online accounts. Some entities only make tax documents available online, rather than mailing a copy; others offer online access well before they send paper copies in the mail.
   If you think someone used your SSN for a tax refund or a job — or the IRS sends you a notice or letter indicating a problem — contact the IRS immediately. Specialists will work with you to get your tax return filed, get you any refund you are due, and protect your IRS account from identity thieves in the future. Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. Report the fraud. Make a police report or send an IRS ID Theft Affidavit Form 14039 and proof of your identity, such as a copy of your Social Security Card, driver’s license or passport. Be sure to keep copies of all your letters and notes of any phone calls, including the name(s) of the people you talked to.
GALION CITY COUNCIL