News & Events

The Alliance Chamber of Commerce, located in Alliance, Ohio, has been a staple in the community for over 85 years, providing leadership to its members, protecting their interests while promoting its businesses. With a membership totaling almost 400, the Chambers tradition of community leadership continues strong into the 21st century.

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ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY

"Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe" by Tom Batiuk

Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe by Tom Batiuk (rhymes with "attic"), has been selected as the featured read of the One Book One Community program for 2014-15, according to the organization's executive committee.

The book's unique format is a collection of the author's comic strips featuring Lisa Moore, a main character and best friend of Funky Winkerbean, who battles an initial diagnosis of breast cancer and a subsequent recurrence. The book also contains resource material on breast cancer, including early detection, information sources, support systems and health care.

Batiuk, who is a cancer survivor, is the creator of the comic strips Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. He decided to approach the topic of cancer by mixing humor with serious and true-to-life themes involving a main character.

Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe was selected among dozens of books that were nominated by members of the Alliance community, according to Pat Stone, director of Rodman Public Library, who chairs the committee.

"This is the twelfth year of One Book One Community in the Alliance area, and we are always looking for a book with broad appeal and combining the selection with the availability of the author," Stone said. "With Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe we have a book that is quite different from our past selections but provides readers with a combination of elements that will no doubt prompt community discussions."

Stone said the programming leading to the author's appearance will begin Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Rodman Public Library. On that day, two Alliance High School teachers, Jim Christine and Ron Hill will be sharing how a graphic novel is developed and constructed. Further programming is still being determined, according to Stone.

Batiuk has committed to appearing in Alliance on March 26 at 7 p.m. in the Giese Performing Arts Center at the University of Mount Union. He will also be visiting area high schools the following day.

The selected books for the past 10 years for the Alliance area have been The Color of Water by James McBride, Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon, Real Time by Pnina Moed-Kass, Beyond the River by Ann Hagedorn, Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland, One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni, Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson, and The Essay by Robin Yocum.

Batiuk spent several years as a high school teacher before creating "Funky Winkerbean," which is distributed by King Features Syndicate to more than 400 newspapers nationwide. He worked on each "Lisa's Story" story line for about four years, which he says allowed him time to do the research, writing and rewriting that such a complex subject required.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) have charged the SBDC with the goal of helping entrepreneurs start, sustain and grow their business, while promoting the development of an innovative, entrepreneurial culture. We are devoted to assisting aspiring entrepreneurs develop winning companies that create jobs, strengthen the economy, produce a profit and reinvest in the community.

Start-up business candidates seeking assistance from the SBDC are required to attend our Small Business Orientation (SBO). This is a no-cost, two-hour seminar outlining basic knowledge that every entrepreneur should know. This includes resources available to the encountered in business start-up, the business planning process and some of the financing options. Once the SBO is completed, a counseling session can be scheduled with a counselor. Sessions are on an individual basis and are held confidential. All Ohio counselors sign annual confidentiality agreements with the State SBDC office.

In summary, the SBDC is staffed with well-educated, experienced and certified business advisors who are here to assist you. The center provides general management advice and counseling to start-ups and existing businesses throughout Stark and Wayne counties and our services are provided without charge, on a confidential basis. Business owners and potential entrepreneurs are encouraged to take advantage of the services and, when appropriate, recommend the center to business associates and friends.

Please visit www.cantonsbdc.org - email info@cantonsbdc.org or telephone 330-244-3290 for more information.

Chamber News

Join the Eastern Stark County Safety Council Save Money on Your Worker's Comp

Thousands of Ohio employers find value and workers' compensation premium savings by actively participating in their local safety council. The Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Eastern Stark County Safety Council. We passed out over $50,000 in rebate checks to our members in 2011.

The only cost in participating in safety council is the cost of the monthly lunch and the benefits are numerous.In addition to premium savings, the Eastern Stark County Safety Council can help you:

Learn techniques for increasing safety in your workplace;

Learn how to better manage your workers' compensation program;

Network with other employers in the Alliance community;

Access useful, money-saving workers' comp and risk management information.

To qualify for the BWC Safety Council rebate you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

Enroll in local safety council by July 31, 2014

Find a list of Ohio safety councils at ohiobwc.com.

Attend 10 meetings or events between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015

At least eight of the 10 meetings must be safety council meetings. Up to two of the 10 can be external educational options outlined below, but all 10 can be safety council meetings.

A person can represent only one policy number with his or her attendance at a safety council meeting or external training event. The attendance of any employer representative qualifies to meet the attendance requirement.

Employer has the option to gain credit for up to two meetings through attendance at BWC's Division of Safety & Hygiene (DSH) safety training courses or industry-specific training, or another safety council special event, seminar or workshop. Safety council monthly meetings do not qualify for meeting credit for any employer not enrolled in that safety council.

DSH safety training credit is available for training conducted at the Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health (OCOSH) in Pickerington or one of its branches.

No matter the duration of the training or special event, attendance applies toward only one external training credit.

Safety training conducted at the employers' workplace or online does not qualify for the safety council rebate program eligibility.

It is the employer's responsibility to submit documentation to his or her safety council by June 30, 2013, for attendance at non-safety council training or events to qualify.

Documentation must be an official certificate of attendance or transcript.

CEO must attend any one safety council sponsored function or meeting

CEO attendance counts as credit toward one of the 10 required meetings.

If a CEO represents multiple policy numbers, his/her attendance fulfills the CEO attendance requirement for all policies, but counts as meeting credit for only one policy number.

The CEO credit must be fulfilled at a meeting of the safety council in which the employer is enrolled.

Submit semiannual reports for the 2014 calendar year

2-percent premium rebate

O Employers not enrolled in a group-experience rating program, meeting these program eligibility requirements, will receive a rebate of 2 percent of their annual premium and will be eligible for a 2-percent performance bonus rebate.

O Pending BWC Board of Directors approval in May, group-experience-rating program employers who meet the program eligibility requirements will be eligible for a 2-percent performance rebate.

O The rebate offer excludes self-insuring employers, state agencies and employers participating in BWC's group-retrospective program. However, BWC encourages everyone to become active safety council members.

O BWC cannot calculate a performance bonus for employers entering into a third-party transaction in the benchmark period.

O Employers must have active coverage status and no outstanding BWC balance to qualify. Also, employers with active coverage status but an outstanding balance will have the rebate applied to any money due to BWC. In addition, employers may not have cumulative lapses in workers' compensation in excess of 40 days within the last 12 months.

O Employers who meet the participation eligibility requirements will be eligible for a 2-percent performance bonus rebate.

2-percent performance bonus

O Employers who reduce their frequency or severity by 10 percent or more below the previous year's frequency or severity, or employers who maintain both frequency and severity at zero will receive an additional 2-percent refund of their annual premium.

For information about joining the Eastern Stark County Safety Council please call the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce at 330-823-6260.

Rate-Reform Accomplishments Highlighted at Ohiobwc.com

BWC's comprehensive rate-reform effort began in 2007 with the goal of making sure every Ohio employer pays the appropriate rate for their workers' compensation insurance coverage. The key to actuarial soundness is having employers paying rates based on the risk they bring to the system and not one cent more. In just three years, our efforts are paying off.

Since July 2007, Ohio's average base rate stands at $1.95 per $100 of payroll, a reduction of 35 percent - the lowest level in two decades. While Ohio rates once ranked among the highest in the U.S., they are now in the mid-range for the nation at 20th, according to a comparison study by the BWC's Actuarial Division.

Today, more employers are seeing significant cost savings, which is helping to create a more attractive environment for future business investment. You can learn more about the success of rate reform and its positive impact on Ohio firms by going to the Bureaus website at www.ohiobwc.com

Upcoming Events

Business After Hours

The Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend Business After Hours, Wednesday, February 25, 2015 from 5 to 7 p.m. Offices located inside the Christ United Methodist Church at 470 E. Broadway St. Attendees will get the chance to meet Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, and learn more about the Alliance of Churches and Men's Challenge Programs.

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