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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at parade next Thursday

Normally, Business Bites is scheduled for the third Tuesday of the month. However, the third Tuesday of March falls on a very important filing date for all accountants. Since our topic this first quarter is focusing on financial matters and in particular on tax tips, we needed to change our date to accommodate Pagosa’s very busy accountants.

The March Business Bites has therefore been moved to March 22, at the Chamber board room instead of the Ross Aragon Community Center.

The topic is still the same, with business owners able to garner some last-minute tax tips before the regular filing deadline. Wayne Wilson, of Wilson, Rea, Beckel and Associates, CPAs, will be the guest speaker. He will review some of the major tax changes and focus on tips especially for home-based businesses and sole proprietors. Many home-based or sole-proprietor businesses do their own taxes. Wilson will highlight some of the eligible deductions and provide other small business tips. If you have a question concerning what might be appropriate, this would be an excellent mini-seminar to attend.

The March 22 Business Bites will begin at noon and last until 1 p.m. The cost is $5 for Chamber members and $8 for non-members. Lunch will be served. Please R.S.V.P. so enough food can be provided. We thank Wayne Wilson for taking time out of his busy schedule, especially at this time of the year, to help direct our business owners. For more information or to sign up, call the Chamber at 264-2360.

St. Patrick’s Day parade

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held Thursday, March 17. The parade will be begin at 4:30 p.m. and run on U.S. 160 from Sixth Street to Second Street, with staging for the parade at the high school. The highway will be swimming with green as over 25 floats take to the streets. Tout your business, bring recognition to your organization or just come out and compete for some of the awards. There will be cash prizes awarded for the Best Float, the Greenest entry and the Most Bizarre entry. A $5 entrance fee is requested. You can have a form faxed to you or obtain your registration forms at the Chamber of Commerce. This will be spring break week and a lot of people will be out watching the parade, so make the most of it. Get out and celebrate on this day when everyone is Irish. Let’s make it a green one!

Community Communications Coalition

The Chamber thanks all of the representatives of entities who came out for the first Community Communication Coalition meeting on Thursday, March 3. Representatives of more than 40 community groups attended, as did individuals interested in moving forward in a positive direction and minimizing redundancy of duties.

The first focus is to try to determine the strengths of each group, whether there is redundancy of efforts, and projects and service gaps in the community. A subcommittee has undertaken this study, which will be very important to the next steps of the group. Another subcommittee has been formed to review a topic that comes up frequently: special Events. Lauri Heraty, co-owner of The Source has volunteered to put together a website so various groups can communicate.

Baby steps will be taken; we will try and move this group forward to better the communication between the different organizations, identify some common priorities, and find ways to better utilize our strengths. If you are interested in receiving meeting notes, being on the communication e-mail list, or attending the next meeting, contact me at director@pagosachamber.com. The next meeting will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center on Wednesday, April 6, at 4 p.m.

Rural Entrepreneurship Marketplace

Before we know it, the fourth annual Colorado Rural Entrepreneurship Marketplace will be in Pagosa Springs, on Oct. 7 and 8. Monthly meetings are being held to plan this conference. The next meeting will be at the community center on Friday, March 10, at 10 a.m.

Business owners and interested parties have gathered together to plan this conference. There will be a variety of intense training tracks for the novice business owner, the seasoned owner or the business owner wanting to get to the next level — and even a day’s worth of tracks for our youth. The various tracks include Technology, Financial, Business and Community Development, Marketing and Agriculture. Speakers are being chosen to lead these various educational sessions. There will also be a number of important vendors offering information on financing, obtaining government contracts and improving manufacturing. There are also many different opportunities to sponsor a portion of the Marketplace.

If you are interested in helping to plan this important conference for our community, contact me at the Chamber or attend the next planning meeting. RFPs will go out shortly for projects such as catering, design and printing. Look at the Chamber website in the next two weeks for this information and check out your weekly Updates & Reminders. If you cannot attend the planning sessions, but have an idea that you would like to communicate, contact or e-mail me.

Event reminders

Fish fries. Beginning Friday, the Knights of Columbus fish fries at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street are back. These fish fries will occur every Friday until April 15. The meal consist of delicious deep-fried catfish, fresh French fries, coleslaw, hush puppies, ice cream and a beverage. The cost is $10.50 for adults, $9.50 seniors and $6 for children 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Also look for discount coupons for the fish fry all over town, including here at the Chamber and in The SUN. When attending the event, you can also buy a chance to win a free dinner at another time during the season. So, there are lots of opportunities for savings this year — don’t miss out! Bring the family and eat in or take a couple of meals home.

Dog sporting events. Now here’s something you don’t see around Pagosa all the time — winter dog sporting events, including dog sledding, skijoring, and cani-cross. Events take place Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13. There will be a variety of races where dogs pull you on skis, or where dogs pull you on snowshoes. Cash prizes will be awarded after all events are concluded on the 13th. There will also be musher prizes for the dog sledders. The races will be held at the West Fork Trailhead and this is a terrific event for spectators. Take a break from skiing, experience this exciting sport and cheer on the two-legged and four-legged athletes.

Membership

We welcome two new businesses this week to the Chamber.

Lots of activity and conversation is going on about the new Old Town Market. Old Town Market will offer natural and organic groceries and produce including items from local producers. Grab breakfast, lunch or dinner snacks at the gourmet deli. Old Town Market will offer co-op memberships entitling customers to discounts and special information. They will be opening soon and we’ll let everyone know when the ribbon cutting will be!

We also welcome the Durango based nonprofit organization Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado. This organization provides support to nonprofits through donor funds, grants and nonprofit organization support. We look forward to them becoming involved with our newly formed PANPO group (Pagosa Area Nonprofit Organizations). For more information on how your nonprofit might benefit from assistance from the Community Foundation, contact Elizabeth Marsh at 375-5807.

We welcome back the following renewing members: The Overlook Mineral Spa; Healing Waters Resort & Spa, formerly known as The Spa Motel; H&R Block; Sunetha Property Management; SW Property Trust with Scott Tonges; Axis Health System in Durango; San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging; Archuleta County Extension; and AAA services, AAA Travel and Insurance with Cathy Neill, in Durango.

We would like to remind members that another newsletter will come out at the beginning of April. Inserts for this newsletter will be due Monday, March 28. Newsletters contain important information and great offerings from local businesses. The cost for a newsletter insert is only $50 plus the cost of printing, and we need 650 copies. For more information, contact Kimberley at 264-2360.

Welcome visitors enjoying spring break in Pagosa Springs. The snow is fantastic and we thank you for choosing our community for your vacation Have a safe and fun time in our town!

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