All posts in Chamber Blog

God’s Little Garden Too Welcomes New Manager


God’s Little Garden is pleased to welcome back Nicole Shreve, who has taken the position of Store Manager of God’s Little Garden Too, a satellite store of the main location at the Cranberry Mall.

Nicole returns after completing her bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Nutrition from Clarion University. She previously worked with the Cranberry Wellness Center, attached to God’s Little Garden in the Cranberry Mall, in client consulting and marketing.

God’s Little Garden Too, located at 3273 S. Main St. in Sandy Lake, has new business hours. They are Monday and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. 4 p.m. and Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. Contact God’s Little Garden Too at (724) 376 5076 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ GLGtoo/.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s August 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Tech Tip: Photography


Photography is everywhere. Photography is art, a fun hobby, and a business tool, and useful for advertising, entertainment, and personal life. Pictures can communicate many messages through their different uses. As a business, knowing how to take a good picture can greatly aid the messaging and overall look of the media you produce.

An easy tip for good photography is to avoid camera shake or blurry photos. Camera shake happens when the camera user doesn’t stabilize the camera well enough. One of the best ways to ensure that camera shake doesn’t happen is to use a tripod, but since this is not always possible another tip is to make you body stable by holding the camera with arms tucked close to your sides. Keeping the cameral still helps to ensure images are clean and crisp, which further aids in making business photography look professional.

Another way to make your business photography pop is to be mindful of the type of images used and the message they send. Making sure that pictures are in line with the mission of a business is key to the overall brand. One way to do this is by using pictures of real people, places, and things around the business area.

Stock photography can be helpful at times, but taking pictures for your business rather than using stock photos will humanize the images and help draw customers into your business.

We discussed photography at our Tech Talk in July, and we invite you to join us on August 16 when we will discuss “Online Crisis Management.” Tech Talks are on the third Friday of each month from 8-9 a.m. at the Chamber.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) August 2019 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

Hagan Offers “Hardware as a Service”


Does the thought of buying a computer, server, or other hardware for your office scare you because of the high upfront cost? Hagan Business Machines offers Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS), allowing you to get up-to-date technology without the burden of high up-front costs. You’ll experience:

• No large capital expenses

• Affordable monthly payments

• One monthly invoice for everything

• Easy to add-on technology as your needs grow

• Reduction in IT expenses and downtime

• Working with modern, security supported equipment and software

Haas helps small & medium sized businesses get the most from their tech investments. Let Hagan handle the IT equipment so you can focus on running your business. For more details visit www.hagan1.com or contact John Cascio before purchasing your next computer at jcascio@hagan1.com or 814-724-4601.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s August 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Member Spotlight: Shawgo Real Estate


” We love it when a plan comes together.”

Dana Shawgo is the owner of Shawgo Real Estate LLC in Franklin. Shawgo Real Estate started 26 years ago and was formally known as Sherry Shawgo Real Estate.

In 2018, Dan bought the business off of Sherry and continued the great traditional of helping clients, customers, and friends buy and sell real estate. They take great pride in their customer service and always seek to serve their customers first.

In 2017, Shawgo purchased a drone and obtained an FAA license to help with aerial images for their listings. They also started experimenting with 360 degree imaging. In 2018 they perfected the 360 degree images and moved onto virtual reality showings, virtual floor plans, and the distribution of 100’s of free virtual reality headsets to perspective buyers.

Another asset of Shawgo Real Estate is their enclosed trailer to help clients move after the sale, and their mascot that they have affectionately named “Super House.”

Dana says that he loves Venango County because of the community feel, beautiful homes, festivals, and gorgeous destinations such as the bike trail, river, and parks.

One way Shawgo is investing in their community is through their Earthcam, which showcases Liberty Street in Franklin and can be found on their website. It shows live feed enabling viewers to see a lot of the Franklin festival activity using this unique camera system. Everything from Applefest to Light up Night, including parades!

Be on the lookout for a new Shawgo office. They have announced that they are adding a new office but have not yet revealed the location.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s August 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Young Professionals in the Community


We very much appreciate the help of young professionals through FLEX committees and events, including the Bike ‘n Brew and Ice Cream Social during Oil Heritage Festival. We also love seeing our members out in the community involved with other organizations!

We often hear “we need more young people involved,” which can be frustrating, because we see young professionals out and about all the time. Some organizations where FLEX members volunteer and serve as board members include the Oil City Arts Council, Barrow-Civic Theatre, Venango County Humane Society, Oil City Main Street Program, United Way of Venango County, and the Oil City and Franklin Rotary Clubs.

As longtime volunteers begin to retire and move out of their positions, there are many opportunities for young people to fill their shoes and take leadership roles. While it can be hard work and sometimes intimidating, it just takes a willingness to step up and help organizations continue to run and serve our community.

Community involvement is a learning process and new volunteers aren’t expected to know everything immediately. It takes time to learn how meetings are run, events are planned, and volunteers work together, but don’t let that keep you from playing a part.

Are you a young professional looking to get more involved in the community? Or are you a seasoned professional interested in having more young people participate in your organization? Join us at the FLEX Mixer on August 22, where all professionals are invited to network with FLEX members (see more information). If you’d like to get more involved with FLEX, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our officers and committee chairs.

Thanks again to all the young professionals who volunteered at our recent events! See more photos on the back of the newsletter.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) August 2019 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.