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There's a very special group of Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce members whom volunteer their time to coordinate TACC programs. It is through their efforts year-round that TACC members are able to enjoy the myriad speakers, invaluable presentations and business-building networking opportunities offered by these programs.

A very heartfelt thanks goes out to the following program Chairs & Co-Chairs:

Art of Business: Candy Messer
Health & Wellness: Shirley Pe & Khryste Griswold
TACC Ambassadors: Todd Trinneer & Leslie Cortez
Small Business Council: Jack Walser & Dean Reuter
Empowered Marketing Group: Theresa Mack
Tech Talks: Krista Magidson & Cory Freitas

Be sure to stay up-to-speed with upcoming programs being offered at the Torrance Area Chamber. Check the "Events" section below and, as always, check the online Events Calendar. Programs are one of the most effective ways to stay connected and maximize the benefits of your Chamber membership.
Surrounding Mayor Waronek is his family; wife Kristine, daughter Madeline and son Marky
Waronek Named Mayor of Lomita
This past Tuesday evening, Mark Waronek was selected as Mayor of the City of Lomita for calendar year 2017. A former Chairman of the Board for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, Waronek continues to be extremely involved in chamber activities and programs. He is a longtime member of the Black History committee and he annually coordinates the Leadership Torrance legislative trip to Sacramento.

James Gazeley, City of Lomita Mayor for calendar year 2016, called for the selection of Waronek as Mayor for 2017. Family members, friends, legislators and business associates applauded as Waronek received congratulations from council members.
Torrance Area Chamber's 2016 Holiday Mixer
Thursday, December 15th
4:30pm - 6:30pm

Scott Robinson Honda
20340 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance

Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to South Bay youth this holiday season; in partnership with Senator Ben Allen's office.

FREE Event | TACC Members & Non-Members Welcome!

Special Thanks to Scott Robinson Honda for Hosting and Sponsoring this year's Holiday Mixer!
Torrance Area Chamber Welcomes Congressional Representatives Waters & Lieu in January
The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce will host the State of the Region on Thursday, January 19th at 11:30am; featuring Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 43rd District and Congressman Ted Lieu, 33rd District.

The luncheon will be held at DoubleTree by Hilton Torrance - South Bay, 21333 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance. Waters and Lieu will present their insights regarding the local impact of national and global issues being dealt with at the Congressional level.

Please contact Donna Duperron at (310) 540-6688 to discuss sponsorship opportunities. Registration for this event will be open on Monday, December 12th.
Labor Law Update - Tips to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Join the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce for the California Labor Law Update on Tuesday, January 24th at 8:00 am at Toyota USA Auto Museum, 19600 Van Ness Ave in Torrance.

Labor Law Update is a panel discussion featuring New California Employment Laws Impacting Business and will offer attendees useful tips to stay ahead of the curve. Moderator Rob Van Lingen will lead the panel to help you gain knowledge on Employment Law and navigating new laws for 2017 from experts in the fields of Law, Insurance and Human Resources.

Please contact Donna Duperron at (310) 540-6688 to discuss sponsorship opportunities. Registration for this event will be open on Monday, December 12th.
Upcoming Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies
Shakey's Pizza
Wednesday, Dec. 14th | 4pm-5pm
3615 PCH, Torrance

Aura Seating by Murti, LLC
Thursday, Dec. 15th |  4pm-4:30pm
23896 Madison St, Torrance
There's always something happening with the Torrance Area Chamber
"Member Monthly" Seeks to Declutter Your Inbox
Up to ten emails per week from one organization is simply too many. That's the driving force behind the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce's new communication platform, "Member Monthly." The newsletter-formatted e-blast will be sent out on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month; featuring promotions, fundraising announcements and events from TACC members.

Is your business looking to promote an upcoming sale? Perhaps you're planning a fundraiser event and need to sell more tickets. Whether you represent a non-profit or large corporation, Member Monthly offers you an effective and affordable opportunity to get your message in front of more than 2,600 active subscribers in the Torrance area.

In a world of fast communication, where the average person receives anywhere from 15-55 emails per day (and oftentimes closer to triple-digits); the Torrance Area Chamber is striving for a more efficient way of communicating with, and on behalf of, our members in 2017.

It is the Torrance Area Chamber's hope that you find this new format convenient and useful, ultimately becoming your "one-stop-shop" for member promotions and offers. For information on how to reserve your space in an upcoming issue of Member Monthly, please contact Leah Hamilton, TACC Communications Coordinator at (310) 792-2339 or via email:
SoCalGas® has Developed a Voluntary Call to Consumers Called a "SoCalGas Advisory"

Every winter the demand for natural gas increases as we heat our homes and businesses. This winter, we are facing limited availability of natural gas locally. That's why we are asking all Southern Californians to work together to help conserve natural gas on certain days.

If a SoCalGas Advisory is called, you can help by lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees, waiting a day to use major natural gas appliances and washing with cold water when possible.  Sign up below to receive SoCalGas Advisories if an advisory is called,  or call  1-800-427-2200  for more information.
California’s Upcoming Minimum Wage Increase - Review Your Practices

On January 1, 2017, California’s minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees. Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees will continue to pay the current minimum wage of $10 per hour.

The increase for larger businesses is a result of SB 3, a bill that will increase the minimum wage in California to $15 per hour by 2022. Small businesses will not be required to begin the scheduled increases until 2018 and will have until 2023 to reach the $15 per hour rate.

Employers need to be ready for the minimum wage increase. Also, employers should remember that state enforcement agencies have made it a top priority to stop employers from engaging in so-called “wage theft,” which includes not paying the minimum wage for all hours worked.

Employers should examine all pay practices that might be affected by the minimum wage increase. Hint: There are more than you might think!

Practices that may need review include overtime rates of pay, exempt/nonexempt classifications, meal and lodging credits, commission issues, notice requirements and more.

Reminder: Employers Required to E-File Paperwork with Employment Development Department

Beginning January 1, 2017, employers with 10 or more employees will be required to electronically submit employment tax returns, wage reports, and payroll tax deposits to the Employment Development Department (EDD).

This requirement will expand to all employers beginning January 1, 2018.

Proposition 64 Stays Out of the Workplace: Reading Between the Weeds

On November 8, California joined several other states in legalizing recreational use of marijuana by adults.

Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years old and over, imposes a 15% excise tax on marijuana sales and establishes a regulatory framework for the sale of marijuana. The provisions related to legalizing marijuana and workplace protections took effect November 9, the day after the election.

Legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes will be a significant change to current law. Even with the passage of Proposition 64, however, several things will not change. For example, smoking or ingesting marijuana in public will remain unlawful, as will smoking or ingesting marijuana in places where smoking tobacco also is prohibited. Similarly, driving under the influence of marijuana will remain illegal.

But what about smoking weed at work? When it comes to the workplace, California employers can take a deep breath of fresh air, because Proposition 64 intends to maintain the status quo for employers seeking to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. In other words, employer policies related to drug possession, use and impairment as well as testing should not be compromised with the legalization of marijuana use under Proposition 64.

IRS Issues Reminders of Deadlines for Filing W-2, Health Care Forms

Forms W-2 and Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting were the subject of recent communications from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS reminded employers and small businesses of a new January 31 filing deadline for Forms W-2. It also extended to March 2, 2017 the due date for employers to provide employees with certain 2016 ACA reporting forms.

W-2 Forms

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, employers are now required to file their copies of Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by January 31. The new January 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.

The accelerated filing date is aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud. In the past, employers typically had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to submit their copies of these forms.

Note: The January 31 deadline has long applied to employers distributing copies of the Form W-2 to employees; that date remains unchanged. Now, in addition to being the deadline to distribute Forms W-2, January 31 is also the deadline to file Forms W-2.

ACA Reporting Extension

The deadline for employers to provide to employees Form 1095-B, Health Coverage or Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage is March 2, 2017 (extended from January 31, 2017).

Not extended, however, was the deadline for employers to file the 2016 Form 1095and Form 1094 (transmittal forms) with the IRS. Employers must file the 2016 Form 1094-B, Form 1095-BForm 1094-C or Form 1095-C by February 28, 2017, if filing by mail, or by March 31, 2017, if filing electronically (required for employers who have to submit 250 or more forms).

In addition, the IRS notice extends “good faith transition relief” for one more year. The IRS will not penalize employers for incorrect or incomplete forms if they can show that they have made “good-faith efforts” to comply with the information-reporting requirements — both for furnishing the reports to individuals and filing with the IRS. According to the IRS, the relief applies to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other information required on the return or statement.

Note: No relief is provided if the employer did not timely file or furnish the reports by the applicable deadlines or did not make a good-faith effort to comply.

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