The Join Us on the Frontier Edition |January 26, 2018
The January After Hours & Business Meeting  Edition
Dear Members,
Every day we all seem to be juggling more and more, and so I thank you in advance for making time in your busy day to read these updates. There is no better way to stay informed of Chamber and member business news then right here within. We appreciate it. With that, now onto the business at hand:
The January After Hours and Chamber Business Meeting is our cover story this week as the event is only days away. Our friends at Frontier, inside Fort Andross at 14 Maine Street in Brunswick, will be welcoming us into their new café space for the Chamber After Hours from 5pm to 7pm on January 31. Please register today to help us with a head count if you could.   January CAH Registration link Again, registration is not required but it is a HUGE help for head count and space planning.

Additionally, the After Hours will be our bylaw mandated Annual Meeting of the Membership . The primary piece of business will be the introduction of the 2018 Board of Directors and slate of officers which we will be asking for acceptance of. The members present will be asked to vote on the slate as the primary piece of business. We expect the business meeting will take less than 10 minutes, and will occur at precisely 6pm. No need to register for this portion of the night, however, if you would like a name tag we encourage you to register with the link above and a name tag will be waiting for you (no need to register twice for both- you’ll only get one name tag). 

Here are the rest of your SMMC News & Notes for Friday, January 26, 2018:
Chamber Updates:
Big Guest Guide Push, Less than 40 seats left for Women's Kickoff Breakfast & More
Look for Dedicated News & Notes Early Next Week for 2018 Guest Guide
We are producing our own guest guide in 2018 with new content, a new title and a new concept for what guides can be but we have done a poor job of sharing that message with all of you. This project is important enough that we will be dedicating a News & Notes next week to answer many questions about this project. Please do not ignore that edition of the newsletter as it will be packed with great new info. In order to get the guest guide ready for May, we need to do some serious work from now until the end of February to make sure the content and advertisements are ready to go. The only way we can have the information ready for the designer in time for a March 1 design start date is to get involvement from all of you now. Please take a look at that update which will go out on Tuesday.   
Women’s Group RSVP Update and Poll Reminder!
The Valentine’s Breakfast Kickoff event for the new iteration of the Women’s Networking group has been finalized. The event will be Wednesday morning, February 14 from 7:30AM to 9:00AM and the cost to attend will be $20.00 which includes your seat (one of 80), a full Downeaster Buffet breakfast of scrambled eggs, red bliss potatoes, fruit, bacon, assorted breakfast breads, Wicked Joe coffee and juice. 
Over 45 seats have already been spoken for, so don’t wait to register or you may miss out.  Kickoff Breakfast Registration

All registrants will receive a confirmation e-mail with payment options.  (BTW if you have registered and haven’t responded yet to the follow-up payment options e-mail please do so- thanks). 

The program will consist of a welcome introduction from the organizing team, unveiling of the group’s new name and logo, and introduction of the first two exciting events in the series. 
After that we will introduce our guest facilitator who will lead us through an exercise of deciding what the final two events of the year will be for this group, with some committee suggestions available and suggestions taken from inside the room. Come with an idea of what type of events you like and would like to see! We are hoping for lots of suggestions and open conversation.

Re-Naming Poll- Closes Jan. 31, Vote Today
The Women’s Networking Group, as a name of our committee, is changing. There are two ways to vote:
1. You can vote using the poll below (just press the button of your choice)
2. You can find a link to the same poll here
Option 2 is perfect if you want to share the poll with your friends, and we encourage you to do so. (BTW if you aren’t near your e-mail and you want to show the poll to friends, the easiest way to do that is to jump on the SMMC Facebook page and a link to the poll is right there)
Fair warning, the poll layout on the link is slightly odd. This is our first poll on the SMMC website, and it has confused some, so let me quickly explain that the five options are on five separate lines (some are not seen until you scroll down), simply highlight your favorite name from the five choices and click submit. The poll closes on January 31, so we have time to create a logo for the kickoff event on February 14.
News & Notes Submission Deadline for Next Edition is Wednesday at Noon
There is a leadership summit in Bethel next Thursday and Friday that is a time for business leaders and legislators to get together to hear about statewide economic development issues and discuss partnerships needed to advance these projects in a positive way. Therefore I will be writing the weekly edition of the News & Notes on Wednesday afternoon, for a scheduled release midday on Thursday. Please send me your information by Wednesday at Noon for inclusion in next week’s edition.  
What name do you like best?
SMMC’s Women’s Network
Women In Local Leadership (W.I.L.L.) or W.I.L.L. Power
PULSE for Women (People United for Leadership, Strength & Empowerment for Women)
The Women’s Network of Bath/Brunswick
Women In Leadership (W.I.L.) or W.I.L. Power
Member Updates: New Personal Tax Law FAQ, Sexual Harrassment Policy Workshop, New Volunteer Opportunities Monthly Listing & More
Home Sales Report for 2017: Best Sales on Record
Anecdotally we have heard about home sales and the real estate market surging lately, and here is an article that backs up some of that. Good information for any business to have.

Doing Your Taxes in 2018- A Couple of Articles to Look At
At our Board Meeting this week, I was discussing with our soon-outgoing Treasurer Bob Langworthy of Management Accounting in New England, about how the tax laws have changed the work he is doing in 2018. He said that he is hearing from all across the industry, local CPAs are getting a ton of questions that people have right now- which isn’t unexpected with high profile tax changes.   

I asked Bob, if he wouldn’t mind, if he could pass along any articles he has come across that he thought answered some of the Frequently Asked Questions. The e-mail Bob sent is below.  Now the following in no way is a comprehensive look at the new tax law, but it should give you an idea of some of the changes affecting you. As always, the best way to get your answers is to reach out to any of the tax professionals in our region who do outstanding work. A list of our tax professional members can be found on the SMMC Member Directory. 

Here is the e-mail Bob sent me with the accompanying articles and embedded links:
Cory,
Here are two articles that cover the new tax bill well:

Times Record Debuts a New Monthly Volunteer Opportunities Page Sponsored By ReMax/Riverside
The Times Record is pleased to announce the monthly publication of a new Volunteer Opportunities page, sponsored by RE/MAX Riverside of Topsham. All local non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit their volunteer opportunities at no charge on a monthly basis.

“Non-profit organizations are an important part of our community," Times Record Publisher Michelle Lester said. "We are proud to create a forum for them to solicit volunteers from our generous readers and appreciate the financial support of RE/MAX Riverside, which makes this page possible.”
The page will be published on the fourth Friday of each month. The deadline for submissions is one week prior. The first page will publish on Feb. 23.

Organizations should clearly describe the volunteer opportunity, the date(s), time(s) and location(s) — if applicable — in 75 words or less. All submissions need to be emailed as text with no attachments or artwork to remaxriversidevolunteerpage@timesrecord.com . Questions may be sent to that email address as well. The Times Record reserves the right to edit or reject any submissions to honor the original intent of this page.
Maine Innkeepers Association and Maine Restaurant Association Jointly Offering a Sexual Harassment Policy Workshop on February 13 in Freeport
From the event announcement:
Do you have a sound Sexual Harassment Policy in place? Do you feel your employees are properly trained as well as safe? If you are unsure you should plan on attending our seminar.
Details:  The Maine Innkeepers Association & Maine Restaurant Association, in conjunction with the Education Committee of the Associations, are pleased to announce the first of our annual series of educational seminars for 2018, "Ready-to Use Sexual Harassment Policy Training." This event will be held on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at the Harraseeket Inn, Freeport.This is an all-day seminar and is scheduled to run from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm and includes lunch. The cost for the seminar is $69 per person. The Harraseeket Inn has extended a fabulous room rate of $125 for those needing to stay over. Please contact the Sales Department directly and ask for the Maine Innkeepers rate. 207-865-9377. Attendees will leave with a compliant harassment policy template that is customizable to meet individual needs.  Registration link

Segments include:  Discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace (How to identify risk areas, handle complaints, create an effective harassment policy, and train employees and supervisors) and a Legal update (Review of recent hot issues relevant to the hospitality industry, including substance abuse in the work place, marijuana in the workplace, social media, public accommodation including issues surrounding service dogs).

Presented by:  Leora Kirk is an experienced Human Resources professional who has worked with both for-profit and non-profit organizations and Katy Rand an attorney who has worked in human resources and management in the private sector, Katy Rand brings hands-on experience to her practice. Her client work primarily involves employment law, with a focus on discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage / hour issues.
Mark your calendars, save the date and if you have any questions please call Jennifer at the Maine Innkeepers Office at (207) 213-2060 or send us an e-mail at jennifer@maineinns.com

Updated: United Way Encourages Use of Midcoast Ca$h Tax Preparation Program- Partners Recogonized
Midcoast CA$H Provides Free Tax Preparation by IRS Certified Volunteer Tax Preparers. Keep 100% of your refunds without worrying about hidden fees or unexpected charges. Generally, individuals who make less than $54,000 are eligible to have their taxes prepared and e-filed for free. To see if you qualify or schedule an appointment at tax sites in Bath, Brunswick, or Wiscasset, call (207) 699-0752. If you’re outside this area, visit www.cashmaine.org or call 211 to find a site near you. Appointments are being scheduled now!

Midcoast CA$H is a partnership of community leaders and industry experts working together to help empower individuals and families to achieve long-term financial stability. Members of the Midcoast CA$H Coalition include: Bath Housing Authority, Bath Savings Institution, Bowdoin College, Camden National Bank, CEI, Davenport Trust, First Federal Savings, Goodwill Industries of NNE, Internal Revenue Service, John T. Gorman Foundation, KeyBank, Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission, Mid Coast Charitable Foundation, New Ventures Maine, Norway Savings Bank, The Gathering Place, United Way of Mid Coast Maine.

Mark Your Calendars: Data Protection & Security Seminar by the Federal Trade Commission and Internal Revenue Service, Feb. 1
“Protecting Sensitive Business and Customer Data: Practical Identity Safety Practices for Your Business” is a free webinar for small businesses presented by the FTC & IRS on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 1PM (EST). 
Webinar Description: Identity thieves target small businesses to steal passwords, bank account information, Social Security numbers and more.
Join us for a free webinar to learn about:
• Protecting your customers, employees and business against ID theft
• Imposter scams targeting businesses
• Business cybersecurity practices
• Responding to a data breach
To register, click here Problems registering? Contact here

Mark Your Calendars: Going Back to School? Merrymeeting Adult Ed Academic Success Seminar, February 8
Merrymeeting Adult Education is offering a free course for those interested in attending college that will prepare them to be a successful college student and award 3 college credits. To be a successful college student one needs to have a tool box of skills. Along with other adults preparing for college, participants will learn these skills and avoid the pitfalls that can happen when they aren't prepared.
 The Academic Success Seminar will run on Thursdays, starting February 8th, 2018, from 5:30-9 pm, on the Southern Maine Community College, Brunswick Campus. This course is paid for with funds from the Maine College Transitions grant and is free to all students. Students are required to pre-register by calling the Academic Advisor, Paul Elisha, at 729-7323, ext. 3.
Calendar of Events:
BDA's Next Simply Social tonight! Ice Bar opens tonight!
Click here for the full SMMC Event Calendar

January 27
Preschool Fair, 10:00 AM Topsham Public Library , Topsham. Sorting among the many available options can be a daunting and time-consuming project The Preschool Fair helps you to get an idea of what preschool options are available in the area, and to match your child with the preschool setting that most meets your individual goals and circumstances. Many area preschools will be in attendance! Stop by, chat with representatives, and pick up brochures and information. Children are welcome!

Joy of the Art Reception, 1:00 PM Topsham Public Library, Topsham.   Join us for refreshments, community, conversation, and of course, inspiring artwork as we kick off our tenth JOA exhibit! The show will feature original artwork by year-round Maine residents, both amateur and professional. Prizes will be awarded in categories including mixed media/other media, oil, acrylic, pastels, and watercolor. The JOA exhibit will be on display until February 24th. Come in and vote for your favorite for the People’s Choice Award any time before February 21st.

January 30
Dementia Conversations with the Alzheimer’s Association, 10:00 AM The Highlands, 30 Governors Way, Topsham.  When someone is showing signs of dementia, it’s time to talk. Often, conversations with family about changing behaviors can be challenging and uncomfortable. This program provides tips for breaking the ice with your family so you can address some of the most common issues that are difficult to discuss: going to the doctor for a diagnosis or medical treatment, deciding when to stop driving, and making legal and financial plans for future care. Sign up for this event

January 31
Midcoast Senior College’s Winter Wisdom Series: Venice: Where Did the Stones Come From?, 12:15 PM Curtis Memorial Library Morrell Room, Brunswick. Venice: Where Did the Stones Come From? Travelers to Venice, Italy usually think about water and light, but what about the stone? In Maine we have land-based quarries and also quarry islands. Unlike Maine, Venice seems to be a city of islands and lagoons, wood and mud, without quarries or good sources of stone. Thus begins a search for the sources of stone for Venice, and discovery of many side trails and stories. Gary Lawless has a B.A. from Colby College and honorary Ph.D. from USM in Humane Letters.

Midcoast Senior College's “Winter Wisdom 2018” is a free lecture series is sponsored by The Highlands. All lectures are open to the public and are held at Curtis Memorial Library on Wednesdays (12:15 pm to 1:45 pm) in January and early February 2018. Attached is a full description and below is a snapshot of the scheduled lectures. Further details may be found at our website: www.midcoastseniorcollege.org  

January After Hours & SMMC Business Meeting, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Frontier Cafe (14 Maine Street, inside Fort Andross), Brunswick.   Please join us for our January After Hours at the new Café space inside Frontier at Fort Andross in Brunswick on January 31, 2018 from 5pm to 7pm! This very special After Hours will not only showcase a new space at Frontier but also it will be doubling as our annual meeting of our membership.  Register for the After Hours

February 1
Introduction to Self-Employment- A Free Webinar with New Ventures Maine, 12:00 PM Online from your own computer , Statewide (contact Brunswick center FMI)
This one-hour webinar with New Ventures Maine will help you decide if self-employment is the right choice for you. The class covers the pros and cons of owning your own business, the steps needed for start-up, the major elements of a business plan, and the many resources available to help you succeed . Register for the free class   For more information, contact jenn.dobransky@maine.edu  or 386-1664. For information on classes and services with New Ventures Maine in Brunswick, online, and around the state, visit www.newventuresmaine.org


Have a great weekend! Enjoy the thaw!
The SMMC News & Notes are generously sponsored by: 
Cory King | SMMC | (207) 725-8797| executivedirector@midcoastmaine.com | www.midcoastmaine.com