Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare - What say you?

OK Chamber members let's hear what you have to say about the newly passed Healthcare bill. Will this be a help or disaster for small business and/or business in general? Or are we looking at the same scenario as Social Security where the original intent has become so diluted and convoluted over time that the program has become a hyper inflated social program that is constantly on the edge of financial disaster?

Tell us what you think.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Central Connecticut/Greater Bristol Chamber Announces Annual Dinner Award Winners

It is our pleasure to announce this year’s Chamber of Commerce Award winners. These people and organizations will be honored at our annual dinner on June 9th at the Aqua Turf. They are as follows:

Distinguished Business of the Year Award - COVANTA
Service Business of the Year Award - COMCAST
Small Business of the Year Award - Parkside Café
Special Service Award - New England Spring & Metal Stamping Assoc
Health Care Services Award - Dr. Michael Ptaszynski
E. Bartlett Barnes Distinguished Service - Jack Driscoll
Volunteer of the Year - Jack Sand (Posthumously)
“Spirit” of Bristol Award - Team ESPN

Each of these organizations and individuals has contributed enormous amounts of time and effort to the Chamber and to the community. While we are saddened that we cannot present the volunteer award to Jack Sand we are very pleased that his son Steve will be accepting the award in his memory.

Congratulations to the Interservice Council Awards Dinner Winners

It’s that time of year again when the Chamber assists with the annual Interservice Club Council awards dinner. This year was the 31st annual dinner and it was held on St. Patrick’s Day (the 17th) at Nuchies.

Before I congratulate the winners, on behalf of the Chamber and the all of the organizations involved I like to thank Mayor Ward for attending the dinner; Whit Betts for doing a great job as the chair of this year’s event; and, Minister Kristen Kleiman of the First Congregational Church of Bristol for providing the invocation.

I also want to thank Linda DiMatteo from our staff here at the Chamber for handling the heavy lifting in the background. And of course staff member Joyce Lukasewski for event night support and as always, our volunteer photographer Ed (Digital Ed) Pelkey.

Here are the clubs and organizations that participated this year along with their individual winners. When you see these folks in the community please be sure to say thank you for their dedication and unselfish commitment to their organizations and the community. We are better for their efforts.

Bart Barnes Rotarian of the Year - Terry Pelletier
Quotarian of the Year - Diane Ashworth
Exchangite of the Year - Gerald Blanchette
Bristol Woman of the Year - Irene Taylor
Kiwanian of the Year - Jim Mascaro
Unican of the Year - Tim Rosetti
Lion of the Year - George Rindfleisch

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunday Liquor Sales - What do you think?

All politics aside (as the issue appears dead for this year), what does membership think about Sunday liquor sales? Do you think this would increase overall tax revenues or would they just stay the same? How about wine in addition to beer in groceries stores? I've seen it both in other New England states and down south and the choices are usually very good and some stores have very diverse wine selections. Come on business people tell us what you think.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bill 63 - Paid Sick Leave

This is bill is back again from last year. The state senate correctly never brought this bill to a vote last year and hopefully the senate will recognize that this bill will do nothing but make our anemic jobs situation in the state only worse and will table it once again.

That said the bill did pass through the Labor & Public Employees Committee (6 to 4 vote)and will now most likely move to the Judiciary Committee. We’re told the emphasis of the bill is a public health issue to avoid those who work in food services (restaurants, etc.) to not come to work when they are ill because they are either hourly employees or their employers lacks a documented sick day policy.

Track the bill at:

So employers what do you think?

Bill 429 - "Most-Favored-Nations clauses in Medical Provider Contracts

Bill 429 came before the Public Health Committee of the state legislature last week. The bill would remove the ability to use "Most-Favored-Nations" clauses in contracts between commercial insurers and medical providers such as Bristol Hospital. The goal is to foster more competition by not allowing insurance providers that have a commanding market-share to further control the market through pricing advantages that cannot be shared. You can see the body the bill at the following link:

What does membership think about this approach and do you think that this bill if passed would help with competition and help drive down insurance costs?