In this email edition:
Think Local for Last Minute Christmas Shopping!
After all of the damage done to small businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees now face new restrictions that threaten their livelihoods.
Please support local small businesses this holiday season. You can shop in stores, curbside or via delivery, and please consider gift cards. Most of these workers are our neighbors and they deserve our support.
A great example of new local shopping is Drasdis & Son, which is now open in Pottsville. The shop is a men’s clothing store.
With help from my office, PADCO and the City Redevelopment Authority, Drasdis & Son completely renovated the former Bike & Board Shop on Market Street.
Congrats to Joe & Joseph Drasdis on their redevelopment of a blighted building in downtown Pottsville. Joe is only 25 years old and already is a budding entrepreneur!
You can read more about their business here from the Pottsville Republican.
Another great example of local shopping is the Our Town Foundation in Hamburg, which has been working for almost two decades to restore and preserve the downtown area. These efforts have brought shops and restaurants to the area. You can learn more here.
Governor Wolf’s New Orders Have Massive Impact on Restaurants & Workers
The President and CEO of the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association released this statement on Governor Wolf’s recent shutdown of indoor dining and private events.
In a Letter to the Editor in the Pottsville Republican & Herald, Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill) criticized the latest restaurant/bar restrictions from Governor Wolf and spoke of the impact they have on local employers and employees. You can read it here.
Dairy Farmers Receive COVID-19 Relief Funds
Many dairy farmers suffered heavy losses and were forced to discard milk during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,500 Pennsylvania dairy farmers who were forced to dump milk due to market changes and supply line disruptions were awarded a total of $7.6 million in direct relief payments last week to mitigate their losses.
The payments were made as part of the Dairy Indemnity Program, which was created by the Senate and funded by the federal CARES Act. Lawmakers also provided $16 million in funding in the recently enacted state budget for programs created by the General Assembly in recent years to support the agriculture industry.
Grant Funding Available for Non-Profit Veterans Groups
The 2020-21 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) is accepting grant applications for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) will award up to $800,000 in VTF grants to non-profit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs across the state. Grant applications must be received no later than 2 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 27, 2021.
You can learn more here.
New restrictions have made dining at restaurants an even tougher challenge, impacting these local businesses and workers.
Visit https://www.carryoutpa.com/ to find restaurants offering takeout, curbside, & delivery.
Past Senators: Joseph Depuy Davis (1825-1907)
Joseph Davis was born in Allentown, but his family later moved to Reading. His father was a lawyer and helped teach him law. Davis attended law school in Philadelphia before graduating from West Point. He graduated with Civil War generals Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and A.P. Hill. Davis then opened his own law practice.
Joseph Davis served during the Mexican-American War and fought in many of the most important battles of the conflict. He then returned to his law practice, but the Civil War called him back into action. His actions in the Civil War led to him being promoted to Colonel.
After the war, Davis went back to his law practice. He eventually ran as a Democrat for State Senate where he served from 1867-1874. After his time in the Senate, he became solicitor for the Texas and Pacific Railroad in Texas. He ultimately returned to Reading, where he passed away in 1880.
You can read more about him here.
COVID-19 Charts: Schuylkill and Berks
Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Berks and Schuylkill Counties.
Argall Report: New Tax Credit Provides Opportunities in Manufacturing
The newest edition of the Argall Report focuses on a recent workshop discussion conducted by the Senate Majority Policy Committee and the House Majority Policy Committee to discuss Act 66, the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program.
This bill was an achievement in bipartisan collaboration to improve the economy of Pennsylvania. My friend and colleague Senator John Yudichak (I-Carbon/Luzerne) worked tirelessly for months to achieve an agreement between Republicans and Democrats, business and labor, the House, the Senate, and the Governor. The result of all this hard work was a new law which will create thousands of good paying jobs to sustain Pennsylvania families. As a major energy producer, Pennsylvania is helping to drive this nation into prosperity and the jobs created along the way have great potential to assist our more economically depressed areas.
You can watch the report here.
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