News and information about CAN DO for the community, investors, volunteers and board members.
Best Cigar Prices CEO Greg Fox said part of the company's mantra is “to treat employees with respect, recognize and reward them, listen to them and, most of all, set them up for success in a safe and enjoyable environment.” When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company proved just how important that mantra is by focusing on keeping employees safe and taking a proactive approach to implementing serious safety measures, including providing more than 100 meals a day, six days a week for employees and their families and offering free personal protective equipment.
Although Fox was forced to furlough 33 of the 86 full- and part-time employees that work at Best Cigar Prices and its Best Cigar Pub restaurant, he retained the head chef and has been offering the free meals to all active employees and their families every Monday through Saturday since mid-March.
CAN DO is among several Greater Hazleton businesses and organizations to serve as leading donors for a new microgrant program that's being launched to help local small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress, Greater Hazleton Civic Partnership and other members of the Greater Hazleton COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency (R&R) Task Force are establishing the Small Business Emergency Relief Microgrant Program. All funds raised will be dedicated towards a microgrant program for local, small businesses within the Greater Hazleton area that have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CAN BE is joining other members of the Hazleton Innovation Collaborative (THInC) and the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center to sponsor the May Marketing Series designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs navigate the waters of web and social media development and management.
The May Marketing Series will be hosted by Ryan Hertel of Socialocca, a digital marketing agency based in Wilkes-Barre. The six-part series will be held online every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. throughout May. Each week will feature one information session and one interactive Q&A session on a different topic.
Attendees do not have to participate in each session and can select the ones that are of most value to them and their business. Registration is required, as session space is limited, and can be done by visiting the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Events page at https://web.hazletonchamber.org/events?oe=true and selecting the session date from the calendar listing.
The May Marketing Series schedule is as follows:Tuesday, May 5 at 2 p.m. - How to Build a Website That's Better for Your Customers.
Thursday, May 7 at 2 p.m. - Q&A: How to Best Connect with Your Audience Through Your Website.
Tuesday, May 12 at 2 p.m. - Setting Up Your Social Media for Accessibility and Success.
Thursday, May 14 at 2 p.m. - Q&A: How to Grow Your Engagement on Social Media and Beyond.
Tuesday, May 19 at 2 p.m. - Getting E-Commerce Ready: How to Set Up and Process Online Payments.
Thursday, May 21 at 2 p.m. - Q&A: Lessons Learned. Series Review.
The office of State Rep. Tarah Toohil and the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO) have been working together to stabilize food resources to help those in need throughout Greater Hazleton during the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative has been conducted with various food banks throughout Greater Hazleton and Toohil said the focus is on serving as many people in need as possible during this difficult time.
“Our office has been working with CEO to prepare our community with stable food pantry resources. We are trying to stabilize as many food banks as possible, as the need for food is growing as our community is faced with high unemployment and loss of income during the COVID-19 disaster declaration,” Toohil said.
In addition to supplying food, there was a need for corrugated boxes to make it possible to deliver the meals throughout the area. CAN DO assisted with the collection and delivery of more than 500 boxes for the project. The boxes came from several companies throughout CAN DO's parks, including PSI Container, Packaging Wholesalers, International Paper and others.
Toohil said, “We were able to set up 500 meals to be delivered last week but then there was an issue with needing delivery boxes. We are grateful to Nancy Stasko from CAN DO for immediately reaching out to the local employers to fulfill the need. We have an excellent group of community resources and we are glad that they were so immediately responsive. This is what makes the Greater Hazleton area a great community.”
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a contagious disease that is rapidly spreading from person to person in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. COVID-19 can be transmitted from people who are infected with the virus even if they are asymptomatic ortheir symptoms are mild,such as a cough. Additionally, exposure is possible by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching one’s mouth, nose, or eyes.
In light of the impact COVID-19 is having across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, CAN DO would like all business and industry throughout Greater Hazleton to know its staff is on hand to assist those who need guidance accessing the various funding programs available to help continue their operations or connection to resources in the event they need to temporarily close their doors.
Representatives from the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Association discussed workforce development education and training opportunities at the latest Humboldt Park Association meeting hosted by American Eagle Outfitters.
As a Certified Economic Development Organization for Luzerne County, CAN DO has assisted companies in preparing grant applications that have resulted in local companies obtaining millions of dollars in funding for expansions and upgrades at their facilities. Although this process usually takes months to complete, CAN DO staff worked diligently to help Milkhouse Creamery LLC prepare an application in just two weeks that resulted in a $318,000 grant for the local dairy company.
CAN DO, Inc., announced it has promoted Jocelyn Sterenchock to Director of Economic Development. Sterenchock has served as CAN DO’s Coordinator of Entrepreneurial Services since September of 2017. In addition to continuing to manage CAN DO’s entrepreneurial development, she will be responsible for workforce development and many of the organization’s marketing initiatives as part of the new position.
Sterenchock will continue to manage all entrepreneurial development duties and responsibilities for both CAN BE and the CAN BE Innovation Center, which includes providing leadership in the procurement and management of programmatic funding for CAN BE in addition to oversight of all leases for tenants within the facility. She will also continue to develop and manage support programs for entrepreneurs and provide leadership for the overall promotion of entrepreneurship in Greater Hazleton primarily through THInC (the Hazleton Innovation Collaborative).
CAN DO, a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO) for Luzerne County, has announced the newly released interest rates from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan programs.
SBA 504 and PIDA are two revolving loan funds that assist in the growth of businesses of all sizes in Pennsylvania. They provide long-term, low-interest rate loans to eligible businesses that commit to creating and/or retaining full-time jobs. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, land and building costs, machinery and equipment costs, refinancing of existing commercial real estate and/or equipment debt and working capital.