Small business funds are a positive follow-up to the market's wild ride

August 17, 2011

Tuesday's announcement that Oregon can receive $16.5 million in State Small Business Credit Initiative funds is good news. It will be great news if those funds spur private lending, which then prompts investment and leads to additional jobs in the Gorge.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal S. Wolin explained that the funds will provide "critical support to state-level programs that help expand small-business lending and spur private sector job creation."

In theory that's a good thing. Now it's up to Oregon and other states to put the money to work.

It takes capital for businesses to expand. The SSBCI funds, in part, are designed as in impetus for private lenders. States use the federal funds for programs that leverage private lending to help finance small businesses and manufacturers that otherwise are not getting the loans they need to expand and create jobs.

More specifically, some of Oregon's allocation will go to the Oregon Capital Access (CAP) Program. CAP helps lenders make more commercial loans to small businesses and provides capital for start-up or expansion - funds for most business purposes.

Coming off Mr. Toad's wild ride - otherwise known as the recent activity of the Dow Jones Industrial Average - it's good to get news about a program that could help in the economic recovery and not spark more uncertainty.

Kids times 3

Fun! Games! Ice cream!

Certainly Aug. 19 will NOT be one of those days when people can say "There's nothing to do for kids in this town."

Not one but three family-oriented events are happening in Hood River on Friday:

The library's ice cream party (details on page A5, Library Notes)

Kids' Carnival at Hawks Ridge - children 12 and under and parents are welcome from 9-11 a.m.

Family Fun Day at Jackson Park, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Details on page A1.)

The organizers behind all three deserve credit for putting together these free fun events. We'll try to hit all three and even provide some video ( to give readers a feel for what looks like a frenzied day.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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