Chamber News
September 2021
What is a Chamber of Commerce?

The best way to spread the word about your business is by making connections. Whether you're new to the community or a veteran company that has been around for decades, your reputation grows as you engage in other influential entities within the community.
That's why so many businesses choose to join the chamber of commerce. We are a resourceful organization that is made to help local businesses thrive. Our mission is to promote the growth and success of our area businesses.
So, what is a Chamber of Commerce?
The earliest chamber of commerce in the United States came about on April 22, 1912. They named it the US Chamber of Commerce, and it still exists today. Yet it's not the oldest. The first chamber of commerce ever created came about in 1599 in Marseille, France. Its purpose was to gather merchants, industrialists, traders, and craftsmen in order to discuss and tackle community challenges. The chamber of commerce was a place of unity, even among competitors. Their voice soon became a persuasive power amidst public authorities and the community. So much so that more would pop up throughout the centuries, and even throughout the world.
Local chambers, like ours, tackle both issues and trends taking place in their community as well as offer resources and services to help local businesses succeed. It isn't just a goodwill effort, but an effective strategy.

Consider these statistics from American Business Magazine:
·       44% of consumers are more likely to think favorably of businesses who are members of their local chamber
·       63% of consumers are more likely to buy products or services from businesses who are members of their local chamber
·       Consumers view chamber of commerce members as trustworthy and are 12% more likely to believe their products or services are better than competitors
So, what Does a Chamber of Commerce Do?
Chamber of Commerce organizations are not out-of-the-box, cookie-cutter setups. Every chamber is unique, with different benefits, resources, and opportunities. However, the end goal is the same: to serve as an influential voice and power that stands for the wellbeing of the local business environment. This includes helping to promote local businesses and improve their growth. From regular networking and volunteer events to promotion and marketing packages, your membership will gain you access to opportunities to make connections, meet potential new clients, and gain exposure for your brand.

Here are 8 reasons to become involved and join.
1.     Being a Chamber of Commerce Member Gives You Credibility
As a local chamber of commerce organization, we have a reputation for standing up for the local community and its economy. As a result of your membership, consumers trust you more. This leads to more positive impressions of your business. Those seeking products or services related to your own will lean more toward your brand when faced with various options.
2.     Chamber of Commerce Memberships Provide Exposure
Gaining exposure is hard, especially if you're a new business. You have to find ways to permeate your brand into the community, so consumers know who you are and what you offer. With a Chamber of Commerce membership, you gain resources that make this much easier. If you browse various chamber websites, you'll note they all house a digital directory. Members are featured on these directories, which are used frequently by individuals and businesses within the area. New members are also given various forms of exposure when they sign on for the first time. This may include exposure through physical newsletters, e-newsletters, social media posts, and other forms of publication.
3.     Chambers Provide Numerous Networking Opportunities
There is no lack of networking opportunities through the chamber. From committees to Chamber Chat to ribbon cuttings and more, you'll find various opportunities to connect with other businesses every single month. Most of these events are free or heavily discounted to members, making them an affordable way to network. The connections you make can lead to new customers or partnerships.
4.     Chamber Members Receive an Influential Voice on Large-Scale Issues
A Chamber of Commerce does more than serve as a marketing vehicle for local businesses. It has an important role in local government affairs as well. We serve as a voice for the local business owners and industries. This includes addressing issues that may arise with new ordinances, resolutions, fees, taxes, costs, or assessments applicable to the businesses they serve. When you join the chamber, you become a part of that voice. Your role is relevant, and your opinion becomes part of the many contributed voices that form the chamber's views.
5.     It's Like a Massive Rolodex of Untapped Contacts
Take a moment to consider just how large your chamber's directory is. We currently have 343 members, that includes business, industries, non-profits, individuals, and organizations. Now imagine having those contacts for your business. How advantageous would it be? The chamber is a community within itself. It brings its members together to not only benefit the community but also to benefit each other. Through various events, you will meet, network, and connect with a wide array of influential professionals. It's up to you to make the connection, of course, but the opportunities are aplenty. Many businesses grow their customer base and their network through chamber sponsored or hosted events.
6.     Chamber of Commerce Memberships Open Doors to Referrals
Chambers are businesses just like you. Part of their job is linking companies and individuals to the resources they are seeking. This includes a slew of calls and emails, some of which may be looking for a solution that your product or service can offer. When you're a chamber member, you become one of the organization's resources. When a need arises that your business can help fill, your chamber is likely to refer you. Why? Because that's part of our core mission. We support our members just as our membership supports our daily operation.
7.     There are Numerous Opportunities to Engage the Community
Chambers actively arrange and execute events, many of which are covered by the press. By becoming an active member who attends, sponsors, or hosts these events, you can get your moment in the spotlight as well. They are great opportunities for positive exposure. Engage your community and make a difference while promoting your business at the same time. It's a win-win advantage.
8.     You Have Affordable Access to Promotional Tools
Most chambers offer promotion and publicity packages to help you grow your business. This may include ribbon cuttings, sponsorships, or advertising. Members are offered these packages at a price that is often much lower than what it would typically cost to execute. It's a perk for being part of the chamber's organization.
Get Involved with Your Local Chamber of Commerce
While there are many events chamber of commerce organizations put on that are free to the public, you reap the best benefits when you sign up and participate as a member. From directory listings to spotlight features, exposure, and sponsored events, you can gain access to valuable promotional opportunities at a fraction of the cost it would take to do them yourself. Plus, a chamber having numerous connections within the community, you will find that your ability to make a local impact grows exponentially. Learn more about our membership benefits and make your plans to get involved.

NI4 Design, 515 McDonald Ave, Galion. (419) 462-5124. Logo and Advertisement Design, Custom Illustration, Business Cards, Postcards, Yard Signs, and Banners.

Cintas, 1275 Research Road, Gahanna. (419) 953-7066. Uniform Programs, Entrance and Logo Mats, Restroom and Cleaning Supplies.

Dom's Auto Detailing, LLC, Galion. (419) 565-8042. Auto Detailing, Auto Refinishing.

Crestline Railroad Community Center, P.O. Box 317, Crestline.
Community Foundation.

Buckeye Workforce Development, Galion. (419) 961-1265. Business Consultant, Workforce Development, Training & Coaching.

Rush Woodworks,(419)569-2370. Hand crafted wooden American Flags.
BWC News

BWC Data in the NIOSH Science Blog
Landscaping is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. Young and newly hired workers are at an increased risk. A recent study conducted by BWC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found workers age 34 and younger experienced 50% of serious injuries in the industry. Injured workers were also likely to have only brief job tenure. These findings suggest better training and supervision of new workers could be crucial to worker safety.
Learn more by reading this NIOSH Science Blog, “Workers’ Compensation Data Sheds Light on Hazards in Landscaping,” co-authored by Steve Naber, Division of Safety & Hygiene's Business Intelligence & Analytics Manager.

BWC Safety Talks
The BWC website has 57 Safety Talks designed for safety leaders to help you increase safety awareness and improve performance in your organizations. We add more talks regularly, so be sure to check the site for new materials.

Deadline Approaches for COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program
Funds are still available for the COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program. Eligible facilities have until October 15 to apply.
The program provides reimbursement for eligible applicants to help cover the costs of inspections, assessments, maintenance, and improvements to indoor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to control the spread of COVID-19. It also provides reimbursement for secondary devices designed to destroy bacteria and mold, and to inactivate viruses.  
3-Day, Free Small Business Virtual Summit
September 13-15
The SBA and SCORE are partnering to host a three-day virtual summit for National Small Business Week 2021. This free, annual online summit is offered to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and those aspiring to start their own businesses.
Don't miss this great event! Each day will include educational webinars, networking opportunities, and exhibitor booths offering free resources.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for more than 50 years.
Because our work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and thanks to our network of 10,000+ volunteers, we are able to deliver our services at no charge or at a very low cost. Find out more about our mission, vision and values.
Safety Council Mega Meeting – Leading From Your Heart!

You want to achieve zero-incident culture for safety—who doesn’t? But what does it really take to get to that point? For starters, it takes great leadership, coaching, and engagement. Learn seven contemporary and empirically based principles that will move your people from superficial compliance to deeper and more durable forms of personal commitment to safety.

Presented by: David J. Sarkus, Founder of David Sarkus International, Inc., a leading health and safety management consulting and training firm.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Microsoft Teams does not support Internet Explorer. We strongly recommend that all attendees join this Live event using Microsoft Edge or as an alternative Google Chrome.
To have your event put in the Upcoming Community Events for October, please email a flyer and link to the event to by September 27.
September 2, 2021
Ohio Pays Off Federal Unemployment Loan, Saving Employers from Unemployment Tax Increase
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced yesterday that the State of Ohio has initiated the repayment of nearly $1.5 billion borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits to eligible Ohioans during the pandemic. This repayment will prevent future tax increases for Ohio employers that would have been needed to pay off the loan.  

Repayment of the loan to the United States Treasury is being paid in its entirety with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Had the $1,471,765,771.37 loan not been fully paid by Sept. 6, the federal government would have charged 2.2777% interest on the debt, which would have led to increases in unemployment taxes for Ohio employers. 

“I'm not willing to let our employers bear the unemployment debt burden caused by the pandemic. By repaying this loan in full, we ensure that Ohio businesses won't see increases in their federal unemployment payroll taxes,” said Governor DeWine. “Without this added tax burden, our employers can invest more money into their businesses and hire more staff. I’m grateful that we were able to work with the legislature to use this federal recovery money to avoid further hardship for Ohio’s businesses.” 

Governor DeWine recommended to the Ohio General Assembly in April that ARPA funds be used to repay the loan before the accrual of interest to prevent the increase in unemployment taxes. The General Assembly included the repayment provision in House Bill 168, sponsored by Rep. Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) and Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta), and Governor DeWine signed the bill into law on June 28, 2021.
“Paying off this loan will reduce the cost of hiring for Ohio employers, especially small businesses that can’t easily assume the additional cost,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “When we make it less expensive to put people back to work, it creates more jobs now and for years to come.”

“I would like to thank Governor DeWine for his leadership on this important issue,” said Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Stivers. “Punctually paying off the unemployment loan prevents a 50 percent increase on Ohio employers' federal unemployment payroll taxes in 2022 – totaling an estimated savings of over $650 million for employers over the next three years. It goes without saying but this would have been a debilitating increase for many Ohio businesses.”

This fiscally conservative strategy to repay Ohio’s loan and prevent tax increases is in stark contrast to the approach used to repay Ohio’s unemployment loan resulting from the economic downturn in the late 2000s. 

“During the previous recession, Ohio borrowed funds through another federal loan to cover unemployment payments, and was forced to pay more than $258 million in interest over time,” said Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder. “By repaying this loan and avoiding interest, we are strengthening Ohio’s economy which is good for employers and employees alike.”  

“There is an economic development benefit to using federal dollars to pay back unemployment borrowing. By doing this it shows Ohio cares about the small business community by preventing them from paying an unfair penalty on their unemployment insurance premiums that they had no control over. This will give Ohio an advantage over states that chose not to do so. We want to thank Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and the legislative leadership for providing this meaningful relief,” said Roger Geiger, Ohio executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Repayment of the loan began on Monday and requires several cooperative steps between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM). These include certifying the debt by OBM and transferring the funds by OBM to the Ohio Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The final transfer from the Ohio Treasurer to the United States Treasury is expected to be complete by today. 
September 3, 2021
Husted Announces Launch of
Industry Sector Partnership Grant Opportunity

Program supports collaboration between businesses, education and training providers

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, yesterday announced the second round of the Industry Sector Partnership (ISP) Grant opportunity. This program supports partnerships that help bring Ohioans into the workforce pipeline while meeting the needs of job creators and the local economy.

A new application period is open with just over $2.45 million available for new and existing industry sector partnerships, as funded through the recently passed state operating budget. ISPs can be located in any region of Ohio, as long as the focus is on an in-demand sector, such as manufacturing or technology.

“Industry Sector Partnerships work because we connect educators and businesses in a common mission of helping students and adults earn the skills they need to secure a meaningful career,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “We can’t leave this important connection to chance. The role state government can play is to help fund and build these local partnerships so educators know what to teach, businesses have access to home-grown talent and Ohioans earn higher wages and have more job security.”

Industry Sector Partnerships are designed to develop workforce strategies specific to a given region of the state, with the goal of driving collaboration between local businesses, education and training providers, and community stakeholders.

“A skilled workforce continues to be a cornerstone of our economic strategy, and Industry Sector Partnerships develop targeted solutions to address regional workforce needs,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Department of Development. “We are committed to providing the resources all Ohioans need as they build a career.”

The application period for the second round of the ISP grants runs through September 30, 2021 at 3:00 PM.

To apply and learn more about the Industry Sector Partnership Grant program, visit:

Congratulations to Buckeye Workforce Development ! The Galion-Crestline Area Chamber was happy to be a part of your Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! Buckeye Workforce Development offers business consulting, workforce development, training & coaching.
Rus- Men Farms- Thank you to Rus-Men Farms for 200 years of farming! We appreciate all of your hard work and helping to provide locally grow and raised food for the community.
Flower Cart Florist- Congratulations to Flower Cart Florist on celebrating their 25th year this year!
Galion Public Library- Miss Sheila has worked at the Galion Public Library for 45 years. Thank you, Sheila for your commitment and service!
Do you have an anniversary, new associate or employee, sign, or business update? Contact Miranda or Candy at the Chamber Office, 419-468-7737 or email so we can add your business to the Member Spotlight in our next Newsletter.

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