Small business showcase expands

March 9, 2011

Part trade show, part evening social, part performance; the eighth-annual Small Business Showcase filled the hall at a new location.

The March 3 Chamber of Commerce event drew 40 vendors to the Hood River Armory.

The armory is a larger space than the previous Showcase home, the Hood River Adult Center, and it gave the event something it never had before: a stage.

Chamber officials and members drew business cards for an array of prizes, and the stage gave the merchants an elevated platform to tell attendees about their businesses. It also provided a platform for Jacque and Jacy Johnston of Little Athletes Fitness Fun to demonstrate gymnastics moves.

"This is an excellent event, and a great new location," said Judy Kennedy of Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union.

"It shows community support," she said. "This is about doing business locally. We all want to do what we can to keep money in the community."

The $75 fee for a table is a bargain considering the opportunity meet several hundred people in one evening, according to Kennedy.

Kerry Cobb, chamber executive director, said the Showcase is one of several new and repeating chamber events designed to get people together and learn about who does what in the community.

"All of this is intended to get people together and see how they fit with one another," Cobb said.

Other events include a monthly luncheon starting next month, and the year-old Governmental Affairs Breakfast (see story, this page), and the monthly Business After Hours and Coffee Clatter programs.

The chamber is now up to 425 members, compared to 325 a year ago, an increase of 40 in the past two months.

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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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