Monthly Archives: August 2016

Photo Contest

Planning stages for the 2017 Chamber Business directory are well underway!  In addition to having more copies circulated around town, we are offering a photo contest:  your photo could be featured as the cover photo!!

Whether you are an avid photographer or simply love using your camera phone, you have the opportunity to capture what you consider the best thing about living in the Williston Area and submit it for the contest!

Our chamber business directory is a resource that people can come back to again and again.  Besides having information on the businesses in town, it has information on the City, the County, the Chamber, the Community, and more.  You can advertise your business in addition to being listed and found twice –  by name and category.  If you missed out last year, make sure you don’t miss out again.

More information about the photo contest will be out soon, keep up-to-date on the photo contest and business directory in our weekly newsletter. If you are not currently getting the newsletter you can sign up here.

Contact the Chamber (557-6000) if you are interested in advertising or want to be listed in the business directory.

Don’t forget about our online member directory where you can easily find area businesses that offer just what you may need.

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New Overtime Rule – Why you should care…

In 2014, the Department of Labor started to make some changes.  This is a must research, must understand rule that will affect most, if not all, of your businesses.  As business owners it is critical for you to understand this rule and prepare.  Come December 1st 2016 some major changes will happen.

At first glance it may seem relatively common sense.  President Obama updated regulations – the Fair Labor Standards Act – attempting to protect more workers and get more money for the middle class.  Many sites you visit sing its praises.  How it is Good for everyone and that people deserve more pay for more work.

According to the Department of Labor

The final rule will:

  • Raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year), ensuring protections to 4.2 million workers.
  • Automatically update the salary threshold every three years, based on wage growth over time, increasing predictability.
  • Strengthen overtime protections for salaried workers already entitled to overtime.
  • Provide greater clarity for workers and employers.

However, not all agree on this rosy point of view.  There are actual repercussions that many businesses and employers will face.  In response to the rule, employers will need to either: pay more overtime, raise workers’ salaries above the threshold, limit workers’ hours, or some combination of those choices.  While this has been identified as plenty of options, the US Chamber and others feel it will hurt small businesses and not really increase wages:

The Cold Hard Reality claims shocks to both workers and workplaces on how this will actually impact us in our everyday reality.

Whichever side you find yourself on, it is an issue we need to address.  Do your research now.  Determine how it will affect your business moving forward.   Once December hits there will undoubtedly be changes.  Be ready.

Sign Ordinance Update

Beginning in 2014, the City of Williston’s Planning and Zoning Department went about updating the sign regulations that had not been updated since 1983 – in an effort to modernize regulations and to allow for greater overall signage for businesses.

The Chamber (under Scott’s leadership), along with others, were intricately involved in the comments and meetings on the draft ordinance in 2015.  During the planning stages the Chamber worked to ensure that public comment, particularly from our members’ business concerns was heard.

Since then, the planning department has adjusted the ordinance to reflect the changes.  Please take a look at our news section to see the full memo and updated ordinance.  If you think that this may be affecting your business and would like to comment, please contact the Chamber or the planning department directly – particularly with any questions on the ordinance itself (call 701-577-8104 or email planning@ci.williston.nd.us).  Note that a public hearing on this ordinance will be held SEPTEMBER 19th at 5:30pm at City Hall.  Again, the memo with highlighted changes from 2015 and the full ordinance can be reviewed here.

Guest Blog-Recycling in North Dakota

Garbage. How often do you think about it?  When the can is getting full and you hope you’re not the one who gets stuck taking it out?    When you see the sign for the landfill? Maybe you don’t think about it at all.  But unfortunately, it’s something that affects us all – the city, county, our area, and our environment…good thing there is recycling in Williston!

The North Dakota Recycling Services Facility can recycle many different items:

CARDBOARDchamley jpeg

TIN

ALUMINUM

WHITE PAPER

NEWSPAPER

MAGAZINES

All of these can be dropped off 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.  We also offer a pick-up service to many of the local businesses to make recycling easier for them.  North Dakota Recycling Services is a privately run recycling facility that has been operated for the past four years. We took over from public works when they no longer wanted to/or had the man power to run the program.  We are not funded by the City of Williston or any other grants.  We operate solely on what is brought in by recycling these materials, which unfortunately is not always paying for itself, but is very rewarding.

North Dakota Recycling works in conjunction with its sister Company, Chamley Pipe & Salvage.  At Chamley Pipe and Salvage, we recycle wood and scrap metal of all kinds.  Between both companies we are currently keeping approximately 500,000 pounds of recyclable materials out of the local landfill each month.  YES! ½ MILLION POUNDS EACH MONTH!

You can imagine how much more could be recycled if everybody in Williston knew about the center and what we can do!

Will Chamley and his partners support the recycling program in the City, many times out of their own pockets, in hopes that the recycling program here in Williston can continue to grow and encompass more types of recyclables in the future, such as glass and plastic.  Please help us spread the word!

North Dakota Recycling ServicesIs it time to clean out your own homes or businesses?  We are heading up a drive again at the end of August for the collection of E-Waste.  Our April drive collected 40,000 pounds of electronics to send to a special recycling facility to dispose of the toxic chemicals contained in them – keeping them from contaminating our soil and in turn our waters.  Please see the event flyer and help us keep electronics out of the landfill.

We are also working on partnering with businesses to place collection containers for aluminum at locations that make it easy to participate; and the proceeds from the collections will be donated to the local charity “Bras for a Cause”.  We chose this charity because all the money stays local, to help cancer patients with costs not normally covered by insurance.

I hope you have found this information useful and I hope you can pass it on to your co-workers and friends.

Thank you for spreading the recycling word!

-Brenda Wollan

Chamley Pipe and Salvage

Rich in Opportunities

August is a busy month – and I don’t just mean the back to school rush.  The Williston Area is abundant with community events, not to mention all our member businesses doing great things and the Chamber still very busy at work for you….

Just take a look at our calendar of events!  From numerous Chamber events such as Business after Hours next week, the Teachers Reception at the end of the month, and monthly committee meetings, to community events like the Babe Ruth Series, festivals, concerts and much more –you won’t get bored in this town!   There are events that have gone on for years, and some that are brand new!  Maybe you’d like to join a committee to be more involved.  The Chamber offers so many opportunities for you and your business!

But our calendar doesn’t include all the great things that are occurring in our area.  Some aren’t one-time events, they are ongoing.  We have the county’s emergency plan update, the city’s comprehension plan update, the expansion of the renaissance zone, area road improvements, and the sign ordinance update – just to name a few.   There are also great things that our member businesses offer.  Our member to member newsletter is filled with that information but there is so much more!

Keep tuning into the blogs to find out more of what is happening so you can determine how it may impact you and your business.  We plan to keep you informed of all that the Chamber, our members, and the Williston Area has to offer.  Remember the Chamber is always working on behalf of our members!

If you have something you’d like to share, write a guest blog and email it to us!

Knowledge is power and the Chamber is your resource and your advocate!

Stay tuned.  Stay informed.

-Janna

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