Tax talk teaches timely topics, in Parkrose

Here you’ll find three riddles, learn about a Teeny Foods baking company, and find out what the fun folks at the Parkrose Business Association are up to these days …

Wayne Stoll, returning president of the Parkrose Business Association warms up the group with three riddles.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
At their last meeting, members of the Parkrose Business Association (PBA) got together to learn from one another, to network – and to hear President Wayne Stoll tell jokes:

Q. What kind of farm animal goes “oooo”?
A. A cow with no lips!

Q. What do baby sweet potatoes sleep in?
A. Their “yammies“!

Q. Why do dogs make such terrible dancers?
A. They have two left feet!

Oh, sure, you groan aloud while you read them – but we suspect that you – like everyone else who laughed during Stoll’s warm-up at PBA’s February 19 meeting – you’ll be repeating them both at the office and at home like many of the meeting’s 35 attendees did.

In other announcements, Stoll announced that the Parkrose Business Foundation scholarship program was underway, and the committee was soliciting applications. He also alerted members the “phony telephone directory” scam being worked in the area – and to individuals who visit offices and retail stores to steal purses and wallets, and to ‘scope’ it out for a burglary.

The Chair of the 2009 Parkrose Festival and Cruise-in, LeeAnn Bruner, asks for members to join her committee, as the group prepares for the August 1 event.

Stepping into the role ably held previously by Marsha Lee of Copy Express, LeeAnn Bruner – owner of LA Signs – was introduced as the new Chair of the Parkrose Festival and Cruise-in, scheduled for August 1. “We’re already working to have raffle items donated and redesigning the Festival site, and we will be promoting the event using ‘’,” Bruner said.

The owner of Parkrose-based Teeny Foods, Rick Teeny, tells how the banking debacle has stunted the growth of his Teeny business.

Member Moment: Teeny Foods
Teeny Foods, said president Rick Teeny, is a 44-year old-company based in the Parkrose area that has had record volume growth.

“I would have brought samples,” Teeny said, “but I just came from a meeting with our bankers. Although we show good growth and have [decades of] good credit, we’re struggling to get credit. We’ve had a record year; our volume is up 50% over the prior year, and is growing this year – but we still can’t get funding. Bankers say they want to loan money, but tell us, straight up, they are not lending at this time.”

A recent, in-depth inspection by the American Institute of Baking gave Teeny’s facility a grade of 935 points of a possible 980, the second-generation baker reported with pride. “An inspector told us that our company is ‘well positioned’ compared to other facilities in terms of production, and especially sanitation.”

The Teeny Foods plant, located at NE 172nd Avenue and Sandy Boulevard, is equipped to handle about ten times the volume it now produces, he added.

Nevertheless, Teeny said, he’s frustrated with all of the TARP money being doled out, and the promises to help stimulate the country. “This isn’t real; it’s surreal. We could grow by 25% a year, but we’ll have to limit growth to 10%, because the banks simply aren’t lending.”

Asked about his recommendation for business owners, Teeny said, “Save some cash; if you’re are making money today, bank it. I don’t think our ‘rainy days’ are here yet. We may be in for two or three years of ‘bad weather’ ahead!”

Certified Public Accountant Rick Harris talks about taxes.

Tax information imparted
Tax tips from Rick Harris, CPA, were next at the meeting.

“Things are really difficult,” Harris began. “I do a lot of work for non-profits and they are really hurting right now.”

Harris said there weren’t many major changes in the tax code this year. “Depreciation will be a little faster, and there will be some minor changes in retirement plans.

“The ‘First Time Homeowner Credit’ is new, he said. “Created because of the downturn in the housing market.  New buyers will be given a tax credit,  in the form of direct relief,  up to 10% of the cost of the home, up to $8,000. Before, you had to pay it back over 15 years. Now, if you stay in the home for three years, it is forgiven.”

Harris noted that Congress did not continue the tax credit for energy-efficient improvements or appliances in the home. He also talked about bonus depreciation, and an increased cap on allowing business owners to expense hard assets with a new limit of $100,000.

Harris says some of the changes in the tax code are advantageous to businesses, especially during the financial downturn.

In the past, Harris noted that net losses could be carried back for two years. “Now, they’re extending it back for five years. This is good, because a lot of businesspeople are anticipating losses.”

New regulations encourage hiring military veterans, and “the disadvantaged” aged 18-25 who haven’t had a job in 6 months – in each case, with an incentive of up to $6,000 per qualifying employee.

Meet the Parkrose Business Association members
This, one of our favorite business groups, gets together on the third Thursday of each month – March 19, this month – at 11:30 a.m. This month features a networking luncheon, where members and guests can dine, meet, and greet one another.

Note the location: The meeting this month has been moved to Quality Inn & Suites Airport Convention Center, 9727 NE Sandy Boulevard. For more information, see their web site:

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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