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Chamber of Commerce e-Dispatch Page

Leadership Recruitment Underway

Time is running out to join the 2017-2018 class of Leadership Somerset County, a 10-month program designed to nurture new community and business leaders by providing an overview of specific areas of the region and to prepare them to face future challenges. For more information, click here or contact the Chamber at (814) 445-6431. Class size is limited and sessions begin in September. Registration is due by September 1.

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Annual Award Nominations

The Chamber is currently accepting nominations for its annual slate of awards, including three new honors for 2017. Click here for details or see the nomination forms to the right. All nominations must be received by Friday, September 29 for full consideration. Winners will be announced in early October and will be recognized at a special reception Thursday, October 19 at the Somerset Country Club as well as at the Chamber's 77th Annual Dinner Thursday, November 9 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

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Somerset County Tourism Brochure

The Chamber is in the process of updating its Somerset County Tourism Guide. Approximately 60,000 copies of this brochure will be distributed at the Chamber office, area businesses, in more than 80 regional Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau brochure racks, at 14 Pa. Welcome Centers, and in Allegany and Garrett counties in Maryland through Little Mountain Promotions LLC. Inclusion in this guide is free but exclusive only to current paid Chamber members and the deadline to be included in the new brochure is quickly approaching. If you have not yet submitted your updates for your business listing for this publication, please do so immediately. Contact the Chamber for details.

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Upcoming Customer Service Workshop

The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome customer service expert Bill Drury to Somerset as he presents the nationally acclaimed workshop “A Passion for Service: How to Win Customers and Reduce Lost Sales” Thursday, October 26. Drury has served as the national training consultant for the Zig Ziglar Corporation and he speaks, trains and travels extensively and has proven to be one of the most effective and entertaining speakers in the industry. Over the past 15 years, he has given more than 1,000 presentations and the “Passion for Service” workshop has received rave reviews from more than 200 chambers of commerce. Drury will present two identical “Passion for Service” workshops at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at ServPro of Somerset County & Westmont, Somerset. During his presentation, he will discuss how employees can stay motivated; build and maintain a positive attitude; communicate respect to every customer; remember and use customer names; personalize service; listen effectively; make a great first impression;  turn irate customers into the best customers; overcome stress and burnout; and take pride in one’s job. For more information or to register, contact the Chamber. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

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Explore America's Canyon Country

Join Epic Journeys LLC on an eight-day canyon country adventure Oct. 9-16, 2018. Highlights include visits to Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Lake Powell, Antelope Slot Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and the "Strip" in Las Vegas. The tour includes breakfast each day, four three-course dinners and a farewell dinner in Las Vegas. The cost is $2,235 per person (double occupancy) plus airfare, but those booking this trip before Nov. 28, 2017 will only pay $1,999, a savings of more than $200. For more information, click here or call (814) 266-5070.

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Walk 93 Registration Now Open

Join the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial, the National Park Service and Leadership Somerset County for the third-annual Walk 93 Saturday, September 30. Participants will come together at the Flight 93 National Memorial for a ranger-led 2.28-mile walk where they will learn about the Flight 93 story along the way. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour the visitors center before the non-competitive walk begins at 9 a.m. as well as hear from Flight 93 Family member Debby Borza before and after the walk. Proceeds from the event will benefit the development of the Temporary Memorial Trail at the memorial. For more information, click here or contact Friends Development Assistant Brooke Neel at (814) 893-6552.

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HUBZone Program Available

Your business may now be eligible for the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program, which helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. To qualify for the program, a business must meet the following criteria:

  • - It must be a small business by SBA standards
  • - It must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe
  • - Its principal office must be located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” which includes lands considered “Indian Country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act
  • - At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone

Recently, the HUBZone maps were updated and the entire county of Somerset is now deemed a HUBZone. There are several reason being HUBZone certified is beneficial for a company, including:

  • - Competitive and sole source contracting
  • - 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities
- 3% Federal Procurement goal for prime contracts.
For more information, contact JARI program manager Lenora Leasure at (814 254-4022 or

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Chamber Calendar

Awards Reception
Oct. 19, 5-7 p.m.
Passion For Service
Oct. 26, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Passion For Service
Oct. 26, 1-4 p.m.
Copper Kettle Guest House & Haunted Hayloft Mixer
Oct. 26, 5-7 p.m.
77th Annual Somerset County Chamber of Commerce Dinner
Nov. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Contact the Chamber at (814) 445-6431 or to RSVP to these events.

Annual Awards

Each year the Chamber recognizes area residents for their accomplishments and achievements at the Chamber's annual dinner. Click here for descriptions of the Chamber's Annual Awards.
Outstanding Person of the Year Award
Grant B. Miller Award
Betty Haupt Memorial Tourism Award
Harold W. Wheeler Jr. Memorial Humanitarian Award
Somerset County Ag-Business Award
First-Time Entrepreneur Award
Somerset County Young Gun Award
Workforce Education Star
All nominations are due by Friday, September 29. Winners will be recognized at a special reception October 19 at the Somerset Country Club and at the Chamber's annual dinner Thursday, November 9 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

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