The Cycle At Work, But Let's Keep It Going

Over a year ago now there was a group of chamber members and concerned small business owners who came together to talk about what it means to do business in a small community. These business owners are some of the most generous people this area has to offer, always giving to important causes and supporting local sports teams or other youth oriented activities.

There is a cycle that is supposed to work.

business cycle.jpg

Many of these businesses were starting to notice a dangerous shift in mindset that was throwing off the cycle that is supposed to work.  This cycle is so dependent on all the parts to work that it is difficult to pick which part to start with, since all of them are equally important. Let's just start with Building A Better Community.  This first step, is really an ongoing goal, the idea that keeps the cycle turning. It's what should prompt the community to act and should be a conscious business decision. In this cycle Building A Better Community directs the community in supporting local businesses. These businesses are what make our community unique and they notoriously keep local dollars spent local.  With the action of the Community Supporting Local Business we start to see Local Small Businesses Succeed. They may be able to employ more people or they might be able to improve local infrastructure through repairs made to their building. But ultimately Local Small Business Success should lead to those Businesses Generously giving to their community. The cycle can grow and blossom and have profound impacts. 

But does this happen here?

With the Main Street closed many of our small businesses that occupy our downtown are feeling the pinch. Sales are down, way down. Joe & Jenn of Padrone's Pizza & Pub have a business downtown that has been greatly effected. They have, however, also experienced something tremendous during this difficult time: the cycle at work.  Some of their best customers have reached out and have showed up during this time of need. A local patron recently came and bought hundreds in gift cards to give to co-workers this Christmas and decided to all bless the hard-hit serve staff and bar tenders by leaving a hefty tip. Even a local "Big Bad Corporation" ordered a large number of pizzas to feed their staff, saying something along the lines of, "you guys have always been good to us and we want to help you out." This is community at work, this is the cycle making its way around to complete the circle. Joe and Jenn believe the out pouring from their patrons and from the community can be attributed to their efforts of supporting the community over the past 10 years they have been in business in Greenville, PA. 

Recently in a meeting with other downtown businesses, Joe mentioned the need of addressing the community in starting local. Unknowingly, what Joe is proposing is the very thing those businesses first mentioned were working on. We are having our "for such a time as this" moment. 

It's time to launch our START HERE campaign.  A couple of points to get the ball rolling:

  •  It's about educating both businesses and community with the hopes of creating good locally minded habits.
  • We understand that our local small businesses do not have everything and will not meet all of your needs, but the idea behind it is in the name, we should at least "Start Here". Start local and get what you can from your small businesses... make that part of your routine.
  • There are many reasons why Buying Local Matters. Keep an eye out for campaign materials sharing those points. They will be on posters, post cards, and businesses cards for you to keep in your wallet as a reminder.

There is work to do.

Creating habits like starting local before your go some where else is not easy. It is sometimes changing years and years of "convenience" excuses and apathy. But why don't we start finally? So let's start here. 

Keep supporting your downtown businesses who are hurting right now. Let's make a concerted effort to keep them alive, especially those who have demonstrated their part in the cycle: Business Generosity -> Building A Better Community

It's Happening

We need you! It's time! It's happening!

If you are interested in helping make the Road Block Bashes a success, please join us for a special meeting at the Chamber of Commerce today, Wednesday, September 9th at 5pm to discuss how we can make the most of these events! We need people who both have great ideas and who are doers!! There is also a Greenville Downtown Business Association meeting at Steph's Corner Pub & Grille on Monday, September 14th at 8:30am to plan for the events as well. We hope that you will come out and join us in making the most of this road closure and are excited for the opportunity to make this happen!

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Chamber Picnic & Float

Thank You Carried Away Recreation!

For the first Chamber Picnic in probably a long time, Carried Away Recreation floated chamber members down the Shenango for a FREE 1 mile trip! The group that floated was then joined by other members at a nearby pavilion in Riverside Park for a potluck. It was a great evening of fun for the whole family and even some networking!

This float was the first experience kayaking for some members, and for many, their first time down our beautiful river! Some got wet, but everyone had a blast.

Board member Bob Piccirilli  (PNC) kept the hotdogs and hamburgers coming off the charcoal grille. Kids of chamber members in attendance played at the playground nearby. And the conversation flowed. We might have to start a little earlier next year in order to not feel the pressure of ending at DUSK when the park closes. 

So the question is... where were you?

Get a float in before the season is over!

This guy really likes to float down the river with Carried Away Recreation!

This guy really likes to float down the river with Carried Away Recreation!


"Promoting the economic well being of the Greenville Area and its citizens."

That is the important take away from the Greenville Area Economic Development Corporations mission statement. This brief article serves to share what is happening at our local economic entity.

GAEDC has been focusing much of its attention lately to the building of a hotel. Jim Lowry says, "its been talked about for decades." Last year a feasibility study was completed and what it showed was promising. Greenville could clearly support a 60+ unit hotel with visitors coming from business related stays to families and alumni of our local college.  Many of our visitors right now are staying elsewhere in Mercer County. It looks like the hotel project is 80% complete (much of which included securing local investors). A site has been picked, but the permitting will determine securing the proposed placement. 

The corporation has been developing a great partnership with the Greenville Reynolds Development Corporation over the past few years as well, with Marcegaglia (the old Damascus site) nearing acquisition. The two entities have been working on this deal for some time and once complete, remediation will begin to bring it up to an ACT 2 clearance from the state. The site already has a development client expressing interest in the site for expanding their business. Additionally, the GAEDC and GRDC have been exploring a joint venture in building a multi-tenant facility within the development park. 

The Trinity site continues to be a point of curiosity within the community. The GAEDC maintains monitoring of the remediation progress of the North and South plants. They also continue to work with Trinity in identifying the best use for the properties. As the community eagerly awaits, I, your chamber office manager, would like to remind you, our community reader, that good things come to those who wait (insert winking emoticon).

As a current tenant at the chamber offices, the GAEDC, GACC, GUSBDC as well as our newest addition, Heather Maurer with Representative Mark Longietti's office, continues to work well in cooperation as each entity can benefit and strengthen each other without duplicating services. 

The GAEDC welcomes new board members this year: Chris Wright (St. Pauls) and Brad Rutledge (Pennex). 

Have more questions? Feel free to stop by the office anytime and Jim Lowry or myself would be happy to assist you!

It takes a community...

Most residents probably don't realize the partnership that is needed for our beautiful downtown-scape to be adorned with hanging baskets of flowers. These welcoming bouquets placed along main street have four major organizations working together to make it happen. It first starts with the local group SPIGOT (Show Pride In Greenville Our Town), a small team of locals dedicated to using their gardening talents to benefit the community. They are the facilitators and organizers of "operation: hanging baskets". Next, the borough is needed to hold up their end of the deal, namely our hard working street department guys have to make sure all of the brackets that hold up the hanging plants are tightly secured and replacing any that need replaced. When the time is right, the baskets are ordered and are hung with the help of the street department. Next we move on to the maintenance of these plants. Left for a week with out water, we would have an ugly picture painted for any visitor to our downtown. The Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce is the next partner needed as it houses the water buffalo that is used to keep these plants from drying out in the heat. Lastly, we have the help of Keystone Charter School showing the importance of volunteerism and setting the example by coming out several times a week to take that water buffalo around and water the plants. Who knew! And  just to have hanging baskets downtown! So take notice to the small things and the good things. Thank those who are committed to the work necessary to make this area a better place and find ways you can help out!

It really does take a community, the whole community, to keep us on the course for that #1 spot on the list of Best Towns in Pennsylvania (thank you Record Argus for that encouraging yet still very realistic article in Wednesday's paper). We do have room to grow, so don't give up! It's not easy, but keep going! When you are ready to throw in the towel, look for that other person or group who is willing to come along side you and make it happen! Thank you to all of our community partners who are working to make the Greenville area a great place to live, work and recreate! 

From Start To Open

When Evian Zukas-Oguz was asked to describe the experience of opening her new store, Life's A Yarn, her first words were "Well, it took longer than I expected." This is a common sentiment among people who are committed to realizing their dream and this perseverance is a trait any entrepreneur must have. 

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Small Business Growth Series

The 2015 Small Business Growth Series is off to a great start. Several members expressed the desire for some good, hearty learning opportunities and the Buy Local Committee at the Chamber responded. What happened was a partnership series with the Chamber, the Gannon University Small Business Development Center and Thiel College as host, offering seminars in the areas of Social Media Marketing, Customer Service, E Commerce and Websites, etc. 

Amanda Kochirka, a Business Consultant with the GUSBDC, was guest presenter at our first session: Social Media: A Business Must or Not. With 35 local small and medium businesses in attendance, the space was full and learning was to be had. We hope that you will join in on the upcoming sessions held the third Wednesday of every month, ending with a "putting it all together" session in November 2015. Plus, did I mention that there is an excellent breakfast buffet? Grow your business this year with these outstanding learning opportunities! Register for the next session here.  View the full series schedule here. Don't know where there at? View the map here.

From the very start, we see our members taking hold of what was shared that morning... just look!

2015 EXPO A Success!

Thank you for joining us this year for our Business & community EXPO! This year we had a great turn out and had even more vendors participating than in years past. The air was full of beautiful music and great conversation as the community came out to experience the expo.

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5 Things for 2015

Great Things for 2015

We are committed to bringing the best value to your membership. Not only do you strengthen our business community and enhance our standard of living, but your membership builds on what we are able to offer you in terms of services. We are excited that you will be joining us for another great year and there are certainly things to look forward to. Here are 5 tips for membership in 2015. And as always, a chamber is only as strong as its members. We encourage your participation this year!

1. Add A Perk This Year

    One of the ways local businesses can benefit from chamber membership is through accessing special perks only offered to other members. If you have never participated in this way, this is the year to do it! If you have an existing perk, maybe it is time for a change.

2. Share Your Good News

     Include new and exciting things that are happening with your business in the e-Newsletters. We love hearing about the accomplishments of our members! It will also be shared on our Facebook page: Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, PA

3. Spread The Word 

     Market your events by using your FREE 6 e-Blasts this year. When you send your event information, it will also be added to our events page on our website.

4. Look For New Added Value

     Last year we upgraded our Annual Dinner event, B&I Day Golf outing, did even more this year with Small Business Saturday, brought you better information on our e-Newsletters and started adding video relevancy with our Business Next Door series (which we are continuing to improve upon). This year we are looking to introduce a Small Business Growth Series (a group of educational seminars) and launch an Enhanced Membership Program. Look for additional information in the coming months; we are excited about these additions!

5. Set Up An Appointment To Meet

      It is the goal of both Fred Kiser and Ben Beck to visit chamber members more frequently. We want to continue to educate ourselves on who we represent and work with you on how to best engage with the chamber. Help us out by setting up an appointment.

Launching A New Brand Identity

On Friday morning, December 12th, 2014, Connect Hearing formally celebrated its new identity with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The former Family Hearing offices at 109 Woodfield Drive, who have been apart of this community for over 35 years, may have a new sign out front, on the door and in the offices, but their excellent and competitive services have not. With over 300 offices national wide, Connect Hearing boasts it strong brand with the local customer service of house calls, friendly and knowledgeable staff who care for each patient that walks through their doors. Joyce Geisel and Angie Unger of Connect Hearing were joined by patients Glenn Bishop and Boneta Morrison as well as others for the celebration. Connect Hearing is open 5 days a week from 8:30am to 5:00pm


From Left to Right: Glenn Bishop, Joyce Geisel, Angie Unger, Ben Beck and Boneta Morrison

Grand Opening!

Congratulations to The Bent Fork on your long awaited Grand Opening today! Be sure to make your way out to 31 Sixth Avenue in Greenville for a truly unique experience with "a fusion of two palates".  

31 Sixth Avenue 
Greenville, PA 16125

(724) 638 8008

Monday: Closed 
Tuesday: Closed 
Wednesday: 11:00am - 8:00pm 
Thursday: 11:00am - 8:00pm 
Friday: 11:00am - 9:30pm 
Saturday: 11:00am - 9:30pm 
Sunday: 11:00am - 6:00pm

Thank you & Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Chamber Member,

    With Thanksgiving next week, and during a time of reflection where we remember all of the things we are thankful for, we want to say Thank You. Thank you for doing business in our community of the Greenville Area and in such a way that makes our community unique. Thank you for investing in our community and taking the time to serve where you serve. Thank you for participating in activities, building the relationships that make this town strong. Thank you for serving on committees that take time and serve to enhance and grow our community. Some encouragement: It matters and it makes a difference! Our future generations and the future of our area benefits greatly from all that you do, tirelessly. Keep doing it! At the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, we are thankful for our members, because you are making a difference and make this place we live special. We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.                                                                                                     


                                                                     Ben & Fred 

Lawrence Mercer Athena Honors Six 'Pioneer' Women

Two Greenville women were recently honored at the 4th Annual Athena International Women’s Leadership Day Celebration in West Middlesex which was featured in The Business Journal this month. Read the two excerpts about our Greenville honoree's below. Read the full article here.


Hodge graduated from Thiel College in 1950 and earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling at Slippery Rock University. She served on the Greenville Borough Council 16 years, eight as president. She was on the Mercer County Planning Commission more than 20 years, and in 1996, was recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Thiel College.         

Julian was the first woman in Pennsylvania to be a borough manager -- a position she held in the Greenville Borough 17 years. In addition, she has been active as a member or officer in the Pennsylvania Borough Managers Association, Mercer County Boroughs Association and Greenville Public Library, among other groups.


Congratulations to both of you!

The Email Charter

Emails are one of the most commonplace forms of communication when doing business. Whether it is used for spreading short and to the point memos, sharing information, creating an online dialogue between colleagues or a cheaper, faster way of disseminating your newsletters with customers and other contacts, email is king. However, this popular form of communication competes with hundreds of other emails that filter through our inboxes. The email charter includes "10 rules to reverse the email spiral" and help save our inboxes! Check it out here! Number 10 just might be our favorite.