Fair to help with uncertain financial times

Community Fair

This is a time of uncertainty for many people — some jobs are being cut back while others are being reduced in hours. In addition, many have questions about refinancing their home, obtaining a business line of credit and foreclosure. To help, the Chamber of Commerce will join with other entities in the community to host a half-day seminar to try and answer some of these questions and give the community the tools needed to ride the wave during these uncertain financial times.

The seminar will be held at the Community Center on Wednesday, Jan. 21 from noon to 5 p.m. The fair will host bankers, mortgage companies, staff from the Archuleta County Department of Human Services and the school district, town and county representatives, the Chamber, and other nonprofit organizations. In addition to providing employment information, agencies will be present to answer questions on certifications needed for particular jobs such as substitute teaching, bus driving, heavy equipment operation, and more.

As a business, if you want a line of credit, how do you go about getting one, and can you even get one these days? Experts will be on hand to answer your questions. If you are even slightly concerned about being unable to make your mortgage payments, don’t get behind the eight ball. Find out how to take preventative steps now! If you need immediate emergency assistance, find out how you can qualify and where to go. Need help with Archuleta County Department of Human Services? Qualified staff will be on hand to answer your questions confidentially.

There are still opportunities and lots of people available to give you accurate information and help you with a plan. If you are a business that would like to attend as you are looking for employees or would like to take applications for the near future, please call Mary Jo at the chamber at 264-2360. We want to continue to work with people and support them to the best of our ability. Questions about the fair can be directed to the Chamber or Don Ford with Community United Methodist Church at 264-5508.

12 months of Christmas

The chamber serviced one family in December and is continuing to “adopt” one family a month throughout 2009. If you know of a family that needs assistance with supplies, food, or has a special need, please contact the Chamber at 264-2360. We will need to know the need and the special circumstances. The family may not be chosen in January but will be added to a waiting list as we work with one family each month.

I would like to thank the businesses that assisted with donations or significant discounts for December: Goodman’s Department Store, Pagosa Candy Co., Liberty Theater, the Outfitter, the Humane Society Thrift Store, Edelweiss Needlework Chalet and Colorado Dream Homes. If you are interested in participating as a business or as a citizen, please give us a call.

An Enchanted Evening

Just the phrase of “some enchanted evening” elicits thoughts of a magical night, and the Chamber is out to make sure you have a special evening! The annual membership meeting has been set for Saturday, Jan. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. Our new venue this year is Winslow on the Shire, three miles south on U.S 84, formerly the Echo Manor Bed & Breakfast.

This stunning property has been renovated inside and out, and most Pagosa residents have not had the chance to see inside yet. Now is your opportunity! There will be multiple levels to explore, all laden with food, provided by the Alley House Grille. Another local business, Pagosa Brewing, will be providing some of the beverages at the cash bar. There will be opportunities to win door prizes, such as a free yearly membership, tickets to the Passport to Wine & Food Festival in the fall, a yearly SunDowner admission, tickets to next year’s annual meeting celebration and more.

A special ambiance will be set with the music of Rada Neal. Her wide range of musical selections will entrance and excite you as you listen to her musical magic all throughout the evening. We’ll even have a place for you to dance if the mood takes you.

Another big part of the evening will be the announcement of the Citizen and Volunteer of the Year awards and the Pagosa Pride awards. The winners have been chosen, but mum’s the word until the event. We will also say goodbye to two board members, and it will be the last chance you have to vote for three of the six board candidates. These candidates will represent the business community for the next three years, so it is important to vote. You may vote at the chamber — one vote per membership. Profiles of the candidates are on-line at www.pagosachamber.com.

Tickets are available at the Chamber for $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Evening attire is preferred, although this year, you may dress up in the “Some Enchanted Evening” costume of your choice. There will be prizes for the best costume as well! So, while costumes are welcome, they are certainly not required! Questions can be directed to anyone at the chamber at 264-2360.

Membership News

We have all renewals to welcome back this week — CCC Sleigh Rides, Wolf Creek Anglers and Snowmobile Tours, Hometown Insurance Professionals of Pagosa Springs, Mountain West Insurance, Primerica Financial Services, the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs and their thrift store, Navajo State Park, Our Savior Lutheran Church and school, San Juan Symphony and Joanne Irons.

We appreciate everyone’s renewal and we expect to see many members at the upcoming membership meeting. We will roll out the exciting new events the chamber is creating this year, thank some key citizens in our community, and provide an evening of fun, romance and enchantment. Non-members are welcome at this event — perhaps you will see why it is important to join the chamber, support the business community, and meet other members to network your business.