Siuslaw River Boardwalk

Organization Helps Small Business; Banner Carriers Still Needed; Wildfire Awareness Month; Farmer’s Market Coming to Florence

Organization Helps Small Business

People that are interested in starting new businesses are often confronted with problems of capital or finding an organization that could help them with a business loan.  Particularly small business like food trucks or small pet shops.  Business Impact Northwest is an organization that steps in and fills a void particularly for groups that are often overlooked by larger lenders such as veterans, entrepreneurial women, people of color, immigrants or the l-g-b-t-q community.  Phil Jones is the board Chair for Business Impact Northwest.

“We’re providing these to folks who for the most part from traditional banking have been ignored. They’re not invited to those meetings that they’re having, so we make it specific to those folks that they can get the training and assistance they need.”

Jones says typical loans from BIN are less than $40,000 and he says that credit unions are a big part of the picture because of their focus on communities .  Jones says these  grass roots businesses often do well especially for putting people to work

“In our communities that are sort of disadvantaged-type communities, they’ll build the business and they’ll hire from within that community. So it’s sort of a double benefit. They get to grow their business but they’re also hiring in that community that might have been experiencing unemployment. And so it’s great.”

Business Impact Northwest also provides business counseling, business planning and tips for expanding.

Banner Carriers Still Needed

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is still looking for some support for the Rhododendron Parade.  With the increase in membership this year the additional members means more banners for the parade.  Chamber Executive Director, Bettina Hanigan

“We need banner carriers because we have more distinguished sponsors than we have ever had so we need 60 kids.”

For their effort, Hanigan says that they will receive a wristband that will give them access to the carnival that will be here for the Rhody Festival.  Parents should contact the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Wildfire Awareness Month

Governor Kate Brown and nine other governors from western states have joined together to proclaim the month of May Wildfire Awareness Month.  10 states will partner with fire prevention agencies and organizations to increase awareness of wildfires. In Oregon, there will be new public service announcements. The announcements will explain how every Oregonian can take steps to keep their home and the state safer from wildfire.  Kris Babbs, president of the Keep Oregon Green Association, said, “The Governor, along with the Keep Oregon Green Association, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, is seeking the public’s help to prevent human-caused wildfires like the ones that swept the state last summer.”

Wildfires – 45% of which were caused by humans – burned more than 664,000 acres statewide last year, disrupting travel, degrading air quality, damaging trails and destroying homes and other resources.

Farmer’s Market Coming to Florence

Fresh produce, free range chicken and eggs and other fresh and organic offerings will be available beginning May 15th in Florence.  A new Farmer’s Market will be opening on Tuesday afternoons from May until sometime in October.  Mary Shaw is the president and the chief coordinator for the market and she says the market is committed to locally grown and produced…

“Features food from farmers within a 60 mile radius, not just lettuce leaves and turnips but animal products too”

Shaw says that there will also be prepared foods to go that have been made with locally sourced products.  The Market will also carry lamb, beef and local honey.  It will open at 3pm on Tuesdays beginning May 15th.  Located on Bay Street next to the Veterans Memorial Park.