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GOOD NEWS FRIDAY: May 22, 2020
Bedford County Vietnam Memorial Nearing Completion
As we pause this Memorial Day weekend to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, the county's Vietnam Memorial statue, depicting Medal of Honor recipient Robert Hartsock, is nearing completion. The League of Pretty Good Guys is working to raise the final $30,000 needed to finish the project before the planned dedication later this year.

Volunteers Sought for
Wall That Heals Event
The Wall The Heals traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is coming to Bedford County in July, along with its Mobile Education Center.

The memorial will be available to visit at the Bedford Area School District Track/Athletic Facility July 21-25.

Volunteers are needed to participate in this project.
Weekend Marks Start of Traditional Summer Travel Season
Memorial Day weekend typically marks the unofficial start to summer and vacation travel season, but restrictions in response to the Coronavirus are putting a damper on some summer plans.

For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast. The forecast estimates the number of people expected to travel over the holiday weekend. According to AAA, last year 43 million Americans hit the roads or took to the skies over Memorial Day weekend, the second-highest travel volume since the organization began tracking traffic volumes in 2000.

As restrictions begin to be lifted and confidence in travel returns, destinations like scenic and spacious Bedford County could be among the first places visitors consider. The Bedford County Visitors Bureau has responded to that opportunity with a new look to their website, and a new tag line:

Friendly Social Distancing...since 1771

This unprecedented travel season may also offer a great opportunity to explore our own region and take advantage of the many Staycation attractions and activities in Bedford County! The Visitors Bureau outlines socially-distant, family-friendly offerings in their annual Visitors Guide and online, including driving and walking tours, geocaching & more:
Shawnee State Park Opens to Campers Today
Boat Rentals Open Tomorrow
News from Shawnee State park: Family campsites and the park office will open today (May 22.) The cottages, yurts, and Lakeside Lodge will open on June 12.

Recreational activities such as hiking, fishing and picnicking are permitted. (The beach is closed at least through June 5.) Select restroom facilities are open in day use areas. If you have questions, please call the park office before you visit:
(814) 733-4218

Boat Rentals at Lil' Joe's Rowboats open tomorrow (Saturday, May 23rd) with rowboats, canoes, kayaks and pedal boats available to rent, as well as bicycles, disk golf sets and strollers.
Organized group tenting and pavilions will remain closed through at least June 15 and will only reopen when the county is designated green. All events and all public educational programs are canceled through June 15.

As part of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, playgrounds and amphitheaters will remain closed. More COVID-19 Alerts can be found online:
Voting Ends Sunday - Downtown Bedford Near the Top!
America's Main Street Contest: Downtown Bedford
Near the Top in Votes!
Downtown Bedford is among the top of the semi-final 25 in the America's Main Street Contest and need your vote! What great news it would be amid this pandemic crisis if a Bedford County community earned this distinction and publicity, as well as $25,000 for new Christmas lights!

You can vote 25x per day through Sunday, May 24th. Please vote, vote, vote!
Join the Bedford County Leadership Class of 2020 in helping to alleviate the stress
and financial burden on our community’s most impacted workers!
As servant leaders do when faced with a challenge, the LBC Class of 2020 has pivoted to focus on a new class project to support local business & community heroes. 

The Class is helping to alleviate the stress and financial burden on the community’s most impacted workers during this challenging time.  

Their mission: to use donations raised through an online platform to support essential workers in Bedford County by purchasing and delivering meals from local, family-owned restaurants. 

Through midnight EST, June 5th, donations will be accepted to spread joy & kindness to our community. 

To support the efforts of the LBC Class of 2020, visit their Go Fund Me Page .  
Thank you to Steltek Graphics for making these

Window Sign (12"x18") - $10
Yard Sign with stake (18' x 24") - $20
Color Banner (20"x24") - $20

Order your sign via email.
or by calling or texting Kellie at 814-937-8049. Please include your name, business and request for signs (type and quantity).
 Payment will be made directly to Steltek and we will let you know when they are ready for pick up or delivery.

Bringing PA Back from Coronavirus Crisis
FREE Business Readiness Webinar Series
with Completion Certificate
The PA Chamber Bringing PA Back Initiative now includes a WEBINAR SERIES to help businesses prepare for full restoration of operations, as well as website with a wealth of information for businesses, including information for specific industries.

The FREE, 5-part webinar series is designed to give guidance for getting your organization open for business! HR, legal, safety, and other topics...

As Pennsylvania begins a phased re-opening plan for the state, businesses are doing all they can to prepare for a safe work environment, ensure the safety of their employees and determine how to operate in this new business landscape.

As part of their mission and Bringing PA Back initiative, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is committed to helping businesses come back stronger than ever.

Top experts are bringing this essential training to companies across the Commonwealth. This 5-part webinar series will assist your company in navigating important regulations to guide you through a safe re-opening and help answer some of your critical questions as we move to this next phase.

Upon completion, your organization will receive a Course Completion Certificate which demonstrates that your company has attended all five parts and has put forth a "good faith" effort to educate yourself on those topics of importance to help their business.
Legislative Town Hall Series
BEDFORD COUNTY COVID-19 Status as of May 15th: YELLOW
Mask Clarification Updated

We have received a number calls with questions about requirements regarding masks.

Here is our understanding of this situation after speaking with government officials, PA State Police the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce and other industry leaders across the state of Pennsylvania:

The PA Department of Health mandates masks for businesses licensed through the DOH. If your business is under Department of Health oversight, guidelines provided by the DOH absolutely must be followed and can/will be enforced.

For other businesses, masks are "required" - i.e. strongly recommended by the administration (Governor and Secretary of Health) but as the mask edict is not law and there is no state entity that can/will enforce this guideline. Ultimately the decision of whether or not to require your customers to wear them is up to each individual business.

Outside of legal/political positions, our best recommendation is to follow CDC guidelines for your industry - and understand that if liability protections are put in place for businesses, this and other safety measures could help make your case. And in general, following safety guidelines, whether law or not, may be a factor in future classification of yellow, green, etc. for business operations.

Finally - Please be kind. Each individual person and business has our own level of comfort and fear in regards to the Coronavirus. We each have our own experiences (loved ones who may be more susceptible, etc.) So let's respect one another and each individual's choices. We're #allinthistogether!
Sources for PPE's, Thermometers & More

As businesses look to ramp back up, we should begin considering what the post-COVID-19 shut-down will look like for your business, including industry guidelines concerning issues such as: cleaning/disinfecting guidelines, safety measures, liability, etc.

If your company needs Personal Protective Equipment (PPE's), you can view potential sources of several kinds of products on the state's B2B Interchange Directory.
The Bedford County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present a Reopen Resource for the business community of the Bedford County region. The guide was compiled by the Chamber using resources from the CDC, PA Dept, of Health, PA & US Chambers and other industry leaders. The downloadable pdf also has click-through links to additional resources. We will update the content as conditions dictate. Download by clicking on the document above.
Webinar & Article Series: Refining the New Normal
Coronavirus prevention medical surgical masks and hand sanitizer gel for hand hygiene corona virus protection.
You changed your business to meet the current crisis; however, as restrictions are lifted, what’s next? The governor has developed a system to slowly reopen Pennsylvania red, yellow, and green. What will this mean?
This webinar series explores refining the retail model
for comfortable and safe shopping experiences for customers.
Join Penn State Cooperative Extension
at Noon on one or more of these dates:
Best Practices for the Future: Recorded - Watch
Creating Safe & Clean Retail Interactions: Recorded - Watch


Digital Marketing Best Practices: May 28th - 7pm - Click to Register
PPP Forgiveness Application Now Available

The application for loan forgiveness for those who have received Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) assistance is now available. To apply for forgiveness, you must complete this application and submit it to your lender (the lender who serviced your loan. You may also complete the application electronically through your lender. The form also outlines the documents you are required to retain.
 SBA Now Accepting New EIDL Applications for Ag Only
PPP, EIDL Apps to be Processed on First-Come, First-Served Basis
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have been replenished to provide assistance to small businesses.

CONTACT LOCAL LENDERS FOR ASSISTANCE IN APPLYING. (Some local banks are processing applications even if you are not their customer.)

Update: The SBA is processing EIDL loan applications that were already filed (prior to the previous depletion of funds) on a first-come, first-serve basis.

When (and if) they have processed the applications already in cue, the application portal will open to new applications (except for farms/ag who can apply now.)

We will monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available . If you already have an application filed under the EIDL program, updates may be available through a regional SBA office:

CONTACT INFO - SBA Regional Offices
Harrisburg Office: (717) 782-3840
Pittsburgh Office: (412) 395-6560

Reminder: PPP applications are filed through local lenders (banks, credit unions.) These are to be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis so if you plan to file an application, contact your local lender ASAP, as these funds are expected to again run out, but are still available at the tome of publication. If you have already filed with a bank (prior to the closing of the application process earlier this month) you may want to check back to be sure that your application is being filed if it was not already.

farm landscape
The American Farm Bureau offers resources as well:
Updates on Assistance for Farms,
Agriculture: EIDL Application Portal
is Now Open for You!
The latest Coronavirus Assistance Legislation includes benefits for farms that were not included in the original legislation, including opportunities for low-interest loans through the EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) program. Click for Info.

Note: The EIDL portal is now open for new applications from Farms and Agriculture businesses only while the SBA continues processes the applications already in cue.
Update on Unemployment Benefits for Self-Employed

The portal for Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is now FULLY FUNCTIONAL and able to accept weekly claims.

Benefits are retroactive to the first day of your business shut-down or slow-down.

Things to Consider as you start thinking about Reopening Your Business:
PA Department of Health Resources for Businesses

Visit the Department of Health website for more important information for your business or organization, and that you can share with your employees:

PA Department of Health: 1.877.PA.Health |
The U.S. Chamber offers ongoing trainings and programs to support the business community, including WORKSHOP WEDNESDAYS, Technology Programs, NATIONAL TOWN HALLS, an dmore.

Business Start-Up Boot Camp With $10,000 In Prizes
Ben Franklin Technology Partners and StartUp Alleghenies partners are bringing the Ben Franklin Techcelerator Business Program to the Southern Alleghenies Region!

In the past eight years, more than 150 teams have graduated from Ben Franklin’s TechCelerator program: a rigorous ten-week curriculum that allows participants to explore their business concepts with the benefit of professional guidance – and have the chance to win up to $10,000! 
If you are located in Bedford, Blair, Fulton, Cambria, Huntingdon, or Somerset County, you are eligible to apply for our upcoming 10-Week Business Startup Boot Camp.

The once weekly sessions (2:00 pm – 5:00 pm) will begin on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 and run through September 17, 2020. One-hour mentoring/coaching sessions will also be provided each week. 
Please Note: The program will be presented online using Canvas and Zoom. 
The deadline for applications is July 3, 2020
Free Local Coaching for Small Businesses
A Special Offer for Help from
Business Coach Tim Rooney:

To any small business owner: If this pandemic has you in fear of the now AND the future, I have a special offer. I have retired except for board work and would love to help.

Send me an email with your contact info and we can chat AT NO COST OR OBLIGATION EVER!! We can also see if there is an opportunity to form a "virtual" group of like minded business owners so we can continue the discussion well into the future. Some of you participate in executive groups like Vistage. GREAT!!

We all need a sounding board. Let me know if I can help -
COVID-19 Job Hiring Portal
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvanians looking for work can now find life-sustaining businesses that are hiring through a new online COVID-19 job portal the Department of Labor & Industry launched April 13, 2020.

“Many life-sustaining businesses across Pennsylvania are hiring and this new portal will help connect them with people looking for a job,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “A top priority of L&I is to provide businesses with access to the workforce they need to maintain their life-sustaining operations and help our workers find jobs, especially during this unprecedented and challenging time.”

People seeking employment can visit and select the green “PA COVID-19 Jobs – Hiring Immediately” job portal banner to see active job openings. Selecting the “Apply Now” button for a listed position will redirect individuals to the employer’s website or email where they can apply directly with the employer and speed up the hiring process. ...Continued
Click the SBA logo above for information to help your business deal with some of the financial challenges of the COVID-19 Crisis.
Information includes:

The PA Chamber is our partner for state legislative information and advocacy.
Resources are available from Small Business Development Centers across the state to assist businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. CLICK HERE for Info
The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has established an emergency fund for non-profits impacted by COVID-19.

Important Links to Information
Regarding the Coronavirus:
DCED provides significant resources for businesses relative to the COVID-19 Pandemic, including:

UC Benefits for Self-Employed Portal Now Open. CLICK HERE FOR UPDATE.
Link for Traditional Unemployment Benefits
The Chamber offers the use of our bulk mail stamp and account to our members!
Contact Delrae Hagstrom to review the bulk mail process and to schedule your mailing.

Thank you!
The Chamber is the only organization in Bedford County authorized to provide certificate of origin documentation.
Contact Kellie Goodman Shaffer to arrange for processing.

Thank you!
Blood is needed during this critical time.
Chamber Operations Updates
With Bedford County now in a "yellow" status, the Chamber office is open
by appointment: Monday thru Friday, 10am-4pm (closed holidays)

If you need Chamber services (bulk mail, certificates of origin, etc.)
Please call ahead: (814) 623-2233

The office is not fully staffed daily, as our team also continues to work remotely and can be reached by phone message, checked often or email:

Kellie Goodman Shaffer:
E-Newsletter Distribution Changes Next Week
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the abundance of ever-evolving information that businesses needed to assist you during this crisis, the Chamber transitioned our E-Connection a daily publication for the benefit of our members and subscribers.

As businesses begin reopening, we recognize that your time and focus will change. Therefore, after the Memorial Day holiday, the Chamber's E-Connection will transition to distribution twice per week: a Tuesday e-News edition and a Good News Friday edition.

We will continue to send time-sensitive (important and urgent) updates when needed through our Chambermaster database system, and we continue to be available to answer questions and provide you with information throughout the week by calling 623-2233 or emailing our team at the addresses above.

We have created an E-Connection archive on our website. Constant Contact emails dating back to April 10 are available here .
Businesses Beginning to Re-Open
With Social Distancing

Downtown Bedford
Farmers Market


with Social Distancing/Safety Measures in Place

Support the essential
business of agriculture
(Subject to change depending on COVID-19 Status)
25th Annual Chamber Golf Tournament: Fri. July 24th
We are excited to be planning our 25th annual Golf Tournament, scheduled for Friday, July 24th at Down River Golf Club in Everett. We are working with our host to put all of the necessary safety measures in place to make this event safe and fun for all!

Some of the potential modifications, depending on the state status at the time could include: AM/PM flights, one golfer per cart, pre-packaged meals, etc.

Additional details coming soon! You can now register or sponsor by calling Sarah Ferrari at 814-623-2233 or email:
Be Part of Our Signature Celebration of Spring!
Vendor space indoors is
Call today to participate.
Outdoor space, sponsorships still available.
Visit our Major Partners:

Join us for our 7th Annual Conference
New Date: Tues. August 4th
at the Omni Bedford Springs
Mixer: Monday, August 3rd at SAMA
Keynote Breakfast Panel Announced:

Women of Service:
Leadership Lessons from the Military
Presented by MyAdvisor

Jennifer Judd, US Air Force
Melony Lynch, US Navy & US Air Force
Tina Molski, US Army
Jayme Orr Rhodes, US Army

(Keynote Lunch Speaker Announcement Coming Soon)

Breakout Session Speakers
Full Schedule
Available Here:
August 3rd - Evening Mixer at SAMA Bedford (6-8pm)
August 4th - Conference at Omni Bedford Springs Resort (8am-4pm)

Full Day - $199/Person ($169 for Chamber Members)
Omni Special Conference Room Rate Mon. & Tues.) - $139 with no Resort Fee
(Reserve your room soon! Call: 1-800-THE-OMNI)
Breakfast-Only Member Registration - $49 (Includes Gift Bag, Vendor Visits) Lunch-Only Member Registration - $69 (Includes Gift Bag, Vendor Visits) 
Wed. Eve. Mixer: $20 per person 

Sponsor, Vendor Opportunities Now Available.

2020 Program
& Events Guide
Now Available!
The Chamber is pleased to present our catalog of programs and events for the new year. Sponsorships, exhibitor opportunities, networking, exposure and more. 
Call us to discuss your ideas and goals for 2020 and let us help you customize an opportunity perfect for you!
The Chamber Advantage program promotes buy-local spending habits while serving our membership in multiple ways: 
(1) provide an offer to your fellow members and drive business through your door
AND/OR (2) give this valuable card with dozens of offers to your employees (FREE)
AND/OR (3) use the card for special discounts/offers from local businesses, saving you money while benefiting our local economy.

Call Delrae for more info on how to use this FREE MEMBER BENEFIT

NEW IN 2020: Sponsorship Opportunity (your logo on thousands of new Chamber Advantage Cards! (Call Kellie for details: 623-2233.)
For Your Calendar:
Chamber & Chamber Foundation Save the Dates - 2020
Events Scheduled (may change due to CDC/PA Health recommendations)
Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show (New date to be announced ASAP)
June 20 - Bridges & Barns Farm to Table Progressive Dining Tour
June 23 - Technology Conference 
July 18 - Foundation 20th Anniversary Celebration
July 24 - Chamber Golf Tournament
Aug 3-4 Women in Business Conference
August 8 - Olde Bedford Brews & Spirits Market at the PA Lumberjack & Outdoor Show
September 12th - Bike Bedford County 
Sept. 17 - Business Community Showcase & Fashion Showcase Mixer 
Sept. 24 - Downtown on the Farm
October TBD - Leadercast
Sept. 12 Bike Bedford County (tentative)
November 19 - Annual Dinner & Awards Celebration
November 28 - Shop Small Saturday
December 10 - Holiday Business After Hours & Open House
December 12 - Breakfast with Santa
December 11-13, 17-23, 26-27 - Holiday Nights of Lights   
Byrne and Kelly Concert at Woodhaven (Foundation) - New Date Friday July 2, 2021
Call us at 623-2233 to schedule your...
Ribbon Cutting (Including Virtual Ribbon Cuttings!)
Anniversary Celebration
Key Transfer (New Owners)
We love to celebrate local business milestones!
Chamber Foundation
News & Opportunities
New Date: July 2, 2021 for Concert with
Celtic Thunder's Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly

All tickets sold will be transferred to new date: Friday, July 2, 2021
Tickets: $50
Benefitting the Programs
of the 501-c3
Bedford County Chamber
Education Foundation
You can now register and pay for Chamber events online.
Make sure you have created your ChamberMaster login so you can enjoy the convenience of online registration. 
Here's how:
1) Visit the event calendar on our website and click on the event of interest.

2) Click the green "Register Now" button to take you to the member registration page.

3) If you don't have a password or don't remember it, simply click "Forgot your password?" and follow the instructions to re-set your password. Then complete your registration as a member. (You can also use your email address if you are a registered contact for your company.)

Members receive special discounts and access at many of our events, so registering as a member rather than checking out as a guest is better.

If you have any questions about how to register for an event or create your password, feel free to call 814-623-2233 for assistance.
Chamber Member & Community News
During the Coronavirus Lockdown,
SAMA Bedford is holding Facebook Live Stream classes featuring a variety of subjects, skill sets, disciplines and instructors. Check out the SAMA Facebook page for more info!
Learn more about Victoria House: the area's premier offerings in Personal Care Living: Inclusive pricing, caring staff, beautiful, comfortable rooms that
feel like home.

Bedford County
Chamber of Commerce
203 South Juliana Street
Bedford, PA 15522 - USA
Phone: 814.623.2233
Fax: 814.623.6089