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New insurance opportunities for Chamber members

For the past several years, the Chamber has searched for an insurance package we could confidently offer to our membership.

Providing group health coverage through the Chamber has been one of the largest requests from the membership. Just because we have not rolled anything out does not mean that we have not been actively seeking a program or solution. We have experienced a number of setbacks, but that did not deter us in trying to find a program that would assist the membership. We continue to seek an insurance package in which Chamber members would constitute the group, with a program flexible enough for the variety of businesses in Pagosa.

We are working with M3, a major insurance company based in Wisconsin and Colorado, that is designing programs for large businesses and Chambers. They focus on casualty, worker’s comp employee benefits, life insurance and retirement and investment planning. M3’s Colorado Employer Solution (CES) Health Plan will offer a special group health plan for Chamber members only, with as few as two employees per business participating. If you are a sole proprietor, there are some other options as well. We will give you more information about M3 in the weeks to come.

The CES plan is a high deductible health plan; however, it is different in that it is used in conjunction with a Health Reimbursement Account. The CES plan caps an employer’s liability for claims reimbursement by placing an individual and overall annual limit on the amount available to the members under the HRA, making it unique and extremely competitive. This plan does not limit you to one insurance carrier or limit your medical provider.

Information sessions will be held at the Chamber of Commerce conference room on Thursday, Nov. 18. The sessions will be held at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. We hope these times will give everyone who is interested an opportunity to come by for a 1-1/2 hour presentation with a Q&A session. Please R.S.V.P., as space is limited. This program is good for large and small businesses, private and public sectors. The larger your company, the more potential you have to save your hard-earned money. We are all looking for ways to reduce our insurance premiums or to offer some type of insurance coverage. We hope that interested business owners will be able to attend. Call the Chamber to schedule the time that works for you.

Educational session

Budget Development and Management: What you need to know to manage your business by the numbers.

There will be two important business educational sessions held in November, and it is important that business owners schedule time to attend, or send a manager.

The first session will be an expanded Business Bites luncheon with a continuation of our emphasis this quarter on finance. Terryl Peterson, owner of CFO Services in Durango will give us guidelines for developing a budget and cash flow roadmap, then managing via use of the guidelines. If you are starting a business, expanding a business, or trying to figure out if you’re going to have enough cash to get you through your slow season, you should attend this class. Peterson offers this session through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Leading Edge program and now offers it to the Pagosa Chamber members through our Business Bites series.

The class will be held on the regular Business Bites Tuesday, Nov. 16, beginning at noon. It will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center. The class will last a little over an hour. The price is $20 per person for Chamber members and $25 for non-members. The price includes lunch, worksheets and lots of valuable information.

Peterson was the CFO for Lore International Institute for 15 years. For the past 18 months, she has been consulting for small businesses with an emphasis on tying financial measures to strategy and helping companies succeed. She assists the Southwest SBDC as a consultant and is hoping to bring her knowledge to Pagosa businesses in order to help them achieve higher profit margins and better cash flow management. To register for the class, call the Chamber at 264-2360.

Veteran’s Day

Beginning at 7:30 a.m., the eighth-grade class at Pagosa Springs Junior High School will host their Veterans Day Breakfast at the Ross Aragon Community Center gymnasium. The breakfast will continue until 11 a.m. and is open to all veterans who served our country. I am always amazed at the work these students put into this project and the respect they pay to all our veterans. Come out and share in the ceremony.

Later on in the day, the American Legion Post 108 will hold a ceremony at the American Legion Post on Hermosa Street. The flag ceremony begins at 11 a.m. with a special tribute to those who have served in the post 9-11 engagements. Following the ceremony, there will be a potluck luncheon and everyone is invited. Bring a dish to share and honor those veterans that are at the event.

Fall Fashion Fling

Several of our retail businesses will join forces to present a fall fashion show luncheon Saturday, Nov. 20. The luncheon will be held at Victoria’s Cafe beginning at 11 a.m. and the show is $15 per person including lunch. The stores that will be presenting the fashions are High Mountain Consignment, the Funky Trunk, Upscale Resale and ReSport. Gather the girlfriends and see what great fashions you can create for yourself — all at consignment prices. Tickets for the show are available at High Mountain Consignment and the Funky Trunk.

Membership

We are pleased to announce five new members this week. We start off on the east end of town and welcome Lake and Carolyn McCullough with Earthsense Herbals and Gift Gallery. Located at 144 Pagosa St. this charming store offers teas, extracts, salves and body care items for health and wellness. They also offer fine oil paintings, porcelain sculptures, greeting cards and an affordably priced gift gallery of small but special creations. Making up a gift basket of goodies is half the fun! The store just emanates a soothing and festive shopping experience!.Stop by their shop — you won’t walk out empty handed.

Pedal and Powder’s new location at 527 San Juan St. in the downtown district offers you fantastic cycling and winter sports equipment and clothing. They offer sales, service, rentals, parts and accessories for bicycles and snowboards. They also carry some great maps for trail riding. They are open seven days a week during the snow season and have everything that you could need in a super convenient location. Visit their website at www.pedalandpowder.com or visit their store for terrific customer service.

Closed for a while and now under new ownership, the beautiful and comfortable Boulder Coffee Cafe in the Aspen Village is reopening. Boulder Coffee Cafe offers delicious coffees, Chai drinks, hot drinks, iced drinks and a light menu. Congratulations to Debi and Jerry Hilsabeck on this new endeavor. We’ll let you know about the upcoming ribbon cutting.

We have a new Antler Shed in town — not the antler lighting we knew, but the concept of shedding off the old and starting new. Not a consignment store, the new Antler Shed store is located at 953 Park Ave. where they buy and sell new and used furniture, appliances, household goods, home decor, sporting and outdoor equipment, tools and clothing. It is a store filled with the unique and the usual, including everyday necessities. Men, you now have a fun place to shop for all your home and outdoor activities. Welcome to Pagosa,Tom and Chris Councilor, and thank you for opening up this clever store.

After their hiatus, we also welcome back the incredibly clever design, home and gift ideas presented to us by Linda Love with the Hideout, located in the Silverado Shopping Center next to Bacci and Upscale Resale. The Hideout specializes in western and lodge décor and has home furnishings, clothing, and gift items. Linda also does interior decorating. Stop by her unique store at 117 Navajo Trail Drive.

Renewing are Jann Pitcher Real Estate; Pagosa Springs Real Estate Online with Bonnie Masters; Skywerx Wireless Internet; The Body Shop Total Fitness with Cindy Houston and Justin Stone; Wind Wranglers Balloon Company; Pagosa Experience Rentals; Touchstone Gift Shop; Tree of Life Massage; Pagosa Express Lube; and Navajo Lake Alpacas, located near Ignacio.