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BUSINESS UPDATES | Farmers National Bank webinar offers PPP loan forgiveness insight

Among today's business updates: Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber; Ohio State Bar Association; and Penn State Extension.

CANFIELD — Farmers National Bank hosted a webinar this week to provide clarity on how the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness process works.

The webinar was led by Mark Witmer, Farmers’ chief banking officer, with insights and information also provided by additional commercial banking officers. The 22-minute-long webinar can be viewed here

“It’s important that local business owners have a readily accessed resource to ensure they realize their maximum allowable forgiveness,” Kevin J. Helmick, president and CEO of Farmers, said in a news release. “Farmers is pleased to provide this archived webinar that proved helpful to many local businesses.”

Regional chamber now offering
health care plan for sole proprietors 

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, in partnership with the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance, announced this week that sole proprietors are now eligible for enrollment in the SOCA Benefit Plan, administered by Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

Sole proprietors can join with other small businesses for more affordable coverage if they meet the following criteria:

  • They must meet certain underwriting requirements.
  • They must demonstrate they are working more than 30 hours per week.
  • They must submit a cover page for Form 1040 with a Schedule C or Schedule F and a
  • Schedule SE as proof of sole proprietorship status.
  • They must be headquartered and do business in Ohio.
  • The business must be a member of, and in good standing with, an eligible chamber of
  • commerce, such as the regional chamber.

“Our health care program has been one of the strongest in our portfolio for many years, but we had always kept our eye out for a product for one,” Kim Calvert, vice president of Marketing & Member Services, said in a news release. “This new offering for sole proprietors is one more way we can assist our business community, especially during these challenging times.”

The SOCA Benefit Plan allows small businesses to join and share in the overall claims risk. By being part of a larger self-funded pool, sole proprietors have financial protection backed by Anthem’s stop-loss coverage, according to the release.

For more information, call Customer Service Manager Becky Litowitz at 330-744-2131, ext. 1219, or email

Area attorney begins term
on OSBA Board of Governors

COLUMBUS — On July 1, attorney Ronald E. Slipski began a three-year term on the Ohio State Bar Association Board of Governors.

Slipski was elected by fellow attorneys to represent OSBA District 13, which includes Mahoning and Columbiana counties. He is a retired senior partner from Green, Haines, Sgambati Co. LLC in Youngstown and a former staff attorney for the Seventh District Court of Appeals. He is also a past recipient of the OSBA Weir Award for Ethics and Professionalism and a past chair of the OSBA’s Workers’ Compensation Law Committee. In addition to the OSBA, he is a past president of the Mahoning County Bar Association. 

Slipski earned his undergraduate degree at Youngstown State University and his law degree at the University of Akron School of Law.

The OSBA Board of Governors is a 24-member volunteer body that manages the association's business affairs, sets policy, reviews pending legislation and conducts business on behalf of the members of the OSBA.

Penn State Extension offers webinar
on hemp disease management 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Hemp growers and producers can learn more about disease management by attending a live webinar offered by Penn State Extension. 

The webinar, “Hemp Webinar Series: Identifying and Managing Diseases,” will take place at noon July 13. The webinar will address how to identify and manage industrial hemp diseases.  

The webinar is part of a series and is being offered for free. 

To register or to view upcoming webinars in the series, click here or call 877-345-0691.  

For more information, contact Alyssa Collins, director of Penn State’s Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center, at 717-653-6428 or

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