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Multiplier effect sessions: businesses working together

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, there will be two free sessions that business owners can attend to help improve their exposure and collaboration efforts. It will also be a time when you can look at networking with other similar businesses, be mentored by another successful business owner and discover ways you can analyze and improve your business.

Now more than ever, people are looking at the way they do business, how they run their businesses, seeing if there is a better or more diversified way they can do business. This seminar and a continuing networking capability is designed to help all business owners think outside the box and work better together.

Rich Lindblad will lead us through the process in two seminars: one from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and the other from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The sessions will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center. Hopefully, one of these sessions is scheduled at a time that fits your schedule. There are many opportunities to improve the way we do business, cross-market and collaborate. There are businesses already working this way, but there must be more efforts made. Rich will roll out a variety of ideas in simple terms.

We will also provide an opportunity for owners of similar businesses to get together and start a networking group called the Group Networking Initiative. Start-up businesses (one year or younger), growth businesses (three to five years), nonprofits, Lone Eagles (home-based, with fewer than five employees and doing 40 percent of their business out of the community) and any other types of businesses we can identify will be the focus. Like-tenure businesses can work through problems and ideas, and collaborate with mentors who can give advice and who have been through some of the situations others may be facing. The mentors will be able to give some direction on business plans, accounting and cash flow issues, and other business concerns.

If you have ever thought that you might be “too close to the forest to see the trees,” these are the seminars for you. If you have an idea, bounce it off a group and get some honest and productive feedback.

Even if you don’t join a networking group, the Multiplier Effect is a great way to get some new ideas for your business. Walk-ins are always welcome, however, we would appreciate an R.S.V.P. call to the Chamber, just to make sure there is comfortable space and snacks enough for all. Call 264-2360 and designate a time you would like to attend. Remember, these sessions are free.

During the first quarter of this year, the Chamber will focus our business sessions on collaboration and better financial understanding. The upcoming Multiplier Effect session will take the place of the regular Business Bites luncheon for February. We will continue with the lunch sessions in March. For more information about any of these classes, contact the Chamber.

Upcoming events

We have several fun events coming up this next week that will introduce our residents and visitors to some local “flavor.” Start out your Saturday, Feb. 20, with a free sushi cooking class with author and vegan caterer Tess Challis. Beginning at 10 a.m. at Joy’s Natural Food on the west side of town in the Silverado Shopping Center, Tess will show you how to prepare regular and “inside-out” (Uramaki Zushi) sushi. Come sample Nori rolls with some tasty dipping sauces.

Also on Saturday, the new owners of Pagosa Pottery, David and Cadance Green, will host a ribbon cutting at noon at their store in the Pagosa Country Center, Suite G, near the westside City Market at noon. The first 50 children at the ceremony will receive a free mini mold that they can paint and decorate.

Close out Saturday at Artisans of the Southwest at the opening of the Community Art Show, with both professional and amateur artists displaying their work. There will be various artworks including jewelry, photography and canvas works. The reception begins at 3 p.m. and runs until 6. While at the reception, don’t forget to vote for the People’s Choice Award. You can vote for your favorite piece until March 1. There will be an awards reception from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2. The gallery is located at 175 Pagosa Street.

On Friday, Feb. 26, there will be a fun benefit concert at Wild Spirit Gallery for the new Pagosa Animal Advocates. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. when the doors open and the music, by Bluegrass Cadillac, will begin at 7. There will be food, beer, wine and music, and entry involves a $10 donation at the door. Love animals? This group could be for you. For more information about the Pagosa Animal Advocates or the event, call 264-9453.

This month is also the first SunDowner of the 2010 year and it will be held at Pagosa Pub Works on North Pagosa Boulevard on Feb. 24. This event is for Chamber members and invited guests. Invitations were sent out this week. SunDowners are a great opportunity to network with other businesses, especially these days and especially if you do not have a storefront business.

Membership news

We have two new members to welcome to the Chamber this week, starting off with TJ’s Family Cafe. TJ’s is located on Bastille Drive just behind the Buffalo Inn. Enjoy a home-style breakfast or lunch without paying a fortune. Ruby, Angie and Robert are cooking up tasty traditional sandwiches and burgers, and fabulous omelets and chicken fried steak. This is also a cozy place for a small party or meeting, especially on the seasonal patio. Also, check out their catering options or takeout by calling 731-6052.

Also joining this week is Cool Water Plumbing with Mike and Linda DiMuccio. Cool Water Plumbing specializes in hydronic heat. They also install and work on radiant floor and baseboard heating, solar heating, boiler service and repair and frozen pipes repair. Whether it is new construction or a remodel project, Cool Water Plumbing, with their 38 years of experience, can work on your project. Give them a call at 731-0988 or 264-0270.

Renewals this week include Pagosa Springs Inn and Suites; Colorado Cowgirl Enterprises; Colorado Cowboy Catering; Holladay Auto and Truck Repair; Leo Milner with Milner Chiropractic at The Springs Resort; Perry Schjolin with PC Servant; Personal Touch Home Services with Paula Craig; Judy Cole with Sew What?; and Pagosa Office and Storage. In the non-profit sector, we have the San Juan Conservancy District, Pagosa Baptist Church and Region 9 Economic Development District. Our associate member this week is Visitor Center volunteer Jean Sanft.

We want to thank all the hard working groups that helped make this year’s WinterFest a very active weekend. The Pagosa Nordic Club, with James Dickhoff, did a stellar job with all the Nordic races and trail grooming. Thanks to The Springs Resort for filling a gap for the younger crowd with the Slide and Soak Rail Jam — Hot Springs Boulevard was certainly rocking on Saturday. Many thanks to the High Country Lodge for sponsoring the “Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race,” and kudos to all the Pagosa Penguin Plungers for their bravery in plunging into the 34-degree San Juan River waters to help our non-profit community. The other evening events such as Soup for the Soul, the Red Cross dance and the ballet were certainly nice additions. We will work to keep this winter weekend event growing in our community.