Midway business leaders host fête

See who came to speak at this ‘mixer’. And, learn about the upcoming Annual Meeting, next week on June 14 …

At the first of their after-business-hours events, folks network during this Midway Business Association social.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Members and guests of the Midway Business Association (MBA) typically meet at noon, on the second Tuesday of the month.

But, not long ago, on May 11, this organization’s supporting business owners and managers in the outer East Portland “Midway” area gathered for their first quarterly networking “mixer” social hour, at Duke’s Country Bar and Grill on SE Division Street.

Welcoming guests as they arrive is Midway Business Association President Dr. David Day, DC.

“Having an event like this is important to businesspeople in this area, like me, because we are trying to help our business owners thrive in an environment that is getting increasingly difficult in which to do so,” remarked MBA President Dr. David Day, DC, of Day Chiropractic.

“We also want to take advantage of the growth in this area, rather than get discouraged by the negative aspects of growth such as traffic congestion,” Day told East Portland News. “So, if we can keep businesses engaged, and to see this expansion as offering new opportunities, we’ll all be happier. We’re trying to connect with owners to help them see the opportunities, and grow.”

“Some areas of the long-established commercial area – and an officially recognized neighborhood business district for about a decade – have fallen into decline,” Day mused. “We want businesses to take pride in their properties, because that helps neighbors – our customers and clients – realize that they are part of a thriving area.”

The support of Venture Portland provides business districts such as this one with resources to help support activities – including this business mixer, Day pointed out.

Liam Frost Portland, Policy Director City Commissioner Nick Fish, Jeff Plew of Duke’s Country Bar & Grill, and Venture Portland Executive Director Heather Hoell, all stand ready to greet arriving guests.

Helping out at the event was Venture Portland Executive Director Heather Hoell. “We’ve begun the East Portland Pilot Project, supporting six established East Portland Neighborhood Business Districts, including Midway Business Association,” she remarked.

“Each of the six organizations is provided with an ‘organizer’, a Venture Portland employee, who works with them 10 hours per week,” Hoell explained. “They also received a $4,000 grant.

“We think the ‘organizer’ can be very important to the organizations, because we’ve hired some exceptional staff,” Hoell commented. “While the money is the same across the districts, and so is the support – and what they choose to do with the money is up to them to decide,” she said.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish says he’s still protecting small business people from higher license fees.

Speaking to the about 25 people who attended the event, Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish started out by telling how he stood up to Mayor Charlie Hales regarding business license fees.

“I draw the line; I will not raise taxes on businesses,” said Fish.

“We’ve made the license fee structured so a lot of small businesses can be exempt altogether,” Fish said. “My view is that when the City is in a second year of a record surplus, and the economy is booming, the ‘optics’ are not right for the City to say that they need to raise taxes on small businesses to fund new investments, when these businesses are doing their best to live within their means.”

Commissioner Fish says that, while it’s imperfect, he’s supporting the upcoming “Gas Tax”.

Speaking before the Portland City Budget was released, Fish observed that there was $35 million of “untagged money” in the current budget. “I don’t think it sets a very good precedent to raise taxes on businesses, to cover even more spending. I don’t think it’s a good idea, and I’ve said so.”

This great business organization – seen here celebrating Small Business Month at their May meeting, welcome guests to come have free pizza during their June Annual Meeting.

Midway Business Association meets on June 14
Come learn about this business group, dedicated to helping neighbors and businesses improve the southern end of outer East Portland, at their Annual Meeting on June 14.

Business owners and mangers are invited to come by for a free pizza luncheon and learn more about the association. Their meeting runs from 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Bill Dayton’s PIZZA BARON Restaurant on SE 122nd Ave., just south of Division Street. For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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