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Business to Business Expo is Friday

The inaugural Business to Business Expo will be held Friday at the Pagosa Lodge from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

This informative, fun and fast-paced event will highlight the many businesses in our community that either do not have store frontage and/or that cater to other businesses.

Also, the chamber will be making several honorary presentations. Four businesses that took the time to apply for and were awarded funds from the Town Tax Rebate program will receive awards. Cindi Galabota, director of the Archuleta County Habitat for Humanity organization, will be honored; she has just been chosen as Executive Director of the Year for Colorado Habitat for Humanity.

The Expo is open to the public, but business owners and managers are especially encouraged to attend. Look for educational information and leads on lending sources through Region 9 and the SBDC. Find out about the Chamber’s new insurance plan through M3 Insurance, offering discounts for those businesses that have two or more employees. Did you know that, if you sign up for Constant Contact through the Chamber, you might be eligible for a discount for this service? Find out about the other Constant Contact services, such as client surveying. Did you know that Mud Shavers Car Wash offers fleet and frequent wash discounts? When was the last time you checked on your merchant credit card rates? Are you getting the best deal possible? Did you know that Toner Mountain Copiers offers rental and purchase plans for office or home copiers? Did you know that you can arrange for wholesale prices on food items if you order in quantity or on a regular basis? Come to the Expo and find out who offers this opportunity. These are just a few of the services that will be represented at the Expo. In addition to the booths available, business owners will be able to speak about their services throughout the evening. There will be a cash bar available from the start of the Expo and a free reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres will begin at 5:30 p.m. Admission to the Expo is also free. Throughout the evening, there will be door prizes given away.

Now more than ever, we need to determine how we can keep our dollars in Pagosa. Businesses will be at the Expo to show you what is available in our community, including graphic and website design, outdoor activities, retail and lodging options for friends and family coming in this summer. Come out and support our businesses, enjoy some networking time, celebrate some businesses and worthy individuals, and have some fun on Friday the 13th.

For more information about the Expo, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360 or director@pagosachamber.com. We look forward to seeing a good crowd at the Expo.

A busy Pagosa weekend

The weekend of May 20-22 is a busy one for Pagosa Springs, as three events kick off our summer season.

The Chamber’s own San Juan River Rod Run Car and Motorcycle Show begins on Friday evening, May 20. The show’s registration will take place at 5 p.m. at the Pagosa Lodge. Residents on their way home can see some of the cars in the parking lot and will get a taste of the beauty of the vehicles and the excitement to come at the Show and Shine on Saturday. The Show and Shine takes place on historic Lewis Street in the downtown area beginning at 9 a.m. May 21. There is quite an extensive list of cars coming from out of the area, including Arizona and Texas. While at the Show and Shine, enjoy food from one of our vendors and live music by The Killens, look for car and other crafts at the vendor area, and partake of the specially brewed classic Pilsner beer, brewed by Pagosa Brewing Co. especially for this car show. It only comes out once a year! The motorcycle area will be alongside the Bear Creek Saloon. Lewis Street will be blocked off, so please make sure you are not parked there or your car will be towed to make room for the Show and Shine. At about 2 p.m., the show will end and we will award most of the trophies for the different classes of cars and the motorcycles.

Also on Saturday, May 21, Town Park comes alive with the first Rapids and Rhythms River Festival. While downtown, walk over to the park where, beginning at about 10 a.m., a white water rodeo, river races and other river events will take place. There will be food vendors in the park, as well as live music until the evening hours. The event should round down about 6-7 p.m. It will be easy to walk from one event to the other and you can visit and shop at our downtown stores and see what is in for the spring season. Admission to the River Festival is free and along with the music, there will also be a beer garden.

If you have time Saturday, you can visit the Builder Association’s Home and Garden Show taking place at the Pagosa Springs High School on Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22. This event is perfect if you are looking to complete some remodeling or landscaping, or do some gardening. Newcomers can also find excellent builders for their new dream home. All types of equipment, services and building materials will be at the show. Admission is $2.

On Sunday, residents and visitors can get one last look at the cars as the owners gather for breakfast at the Plaza Grille for some final awards, then head east on U.S. 160 to Treasure Falls on a “Cruise.” If not otherwise engaged, come out and see the parade of cars as they head out of Pagosa. If you would like to enter your vehicle or motorcycle in the event, contact Stacy Kirby at 264-2360 or info@pagosachamber.com.

Vendor Fee Allowance

Good news for merchants and vendors: Gov. Hickenlooper signed into law a partial reinstitution of the Vendor Fee Allowance. In the past, the fee allowance was 3.3 percent of sales tax collected by retailers to offset their real costs for acting as the sales-tax collector for state and local governments. In 2009, the Legislature took the vendor’s fee allowance away from retailers when tax revenues fell during “the Great Recession” of 2008-2009, and it was not restored. However, beginning July 1, 2011, this fee allowance will be partially restored, allowing vendors to claim 2.2 percent for the next three years. The full allowance of 3.3 percent will be brought back after three years. In times when every bit helps our businesses, this reinstatement of the vendor fee allowance is good news!

Child-only health plans

This year, child-only health plans will be available for open enrollment during the month of August. This means that your children may be eligible for health insurance as long as no adult is on the plan. Insurers are required to issue child-only policies regardless of the child’s health status or condition. As a result of this requirement, only two carriers in Colorado are viable: Kaiser-Permanente and Rocky Mountain Health Plans. There are several reasons why this type of policy may be necessary: the parents may be insured through an employer-sponsored plan, the family may not be able to afford coverage for all members, and life events such as divorce or job loss may also affect insurance coverage.

Children who lose coverage due to a qualifying event can obtain child-only coverage by applying within 30 days of the event. Outside of the qualifying event, a child-only policy can be applied for only during open enrollment — Aug. 1-Aug. 31, 2011.

For more information on child-only health policies, visit the Department of Regulatory Agencies website: www.dora.state.co.us/insurance/consumer/Child_Only_Policies.htm.

Membership

We have renewals to mention this week: Karen Cox and V.A. Poma Ranch in the beautiful Weminuche Valley towards Williams Creek Reservoir; the Riverdance Condo; Colorado Cowgirl Enterprises; Rob Keating and PQC Builders; United Mini Storage; Priority One; Wolf Creek Traders; and the Pagosa Trail Riders.

We look forward to seeing the public at the first Business to Business Expo on Friday at the Pagosa Lodge. Come out and support our local merchants, retailers and in-home businesses. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce.

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