Foster business owners ‘reinvent’ their business association

Second in our weekly series‚ see how, and why, business people “invest” their time to revive a business association serving the southern border of outer East Portland…

Libby Barg shows Foster area businesspeople the plans for the area in Lents known as the “Freeway Land” property.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Established in 1986, this association encompasses the 400 businesses along SE Foster Road from SE 50th Ave. to 122nd Ave., and extends along the side streets to Powell Blvd., Holgate Blvd., or Woodstock Blvd., whichever is closest.

The Foster Area Business Association is in the process of reinventing itself.

The FABA Board and its members are exploring several ideas to create a more effective, economically-improving area in which to live, work, and own property and a business.

Visiting from the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association, Ken Turner shares ideas with members of the Foster Road district. This is a good example of how outer East Portland business districts often work to help and support one another.

This volunteer-led association is now in the process of developing a marketing plan. They are working with PDOT and Portland officials on ways to slow down traffic, as a long term goal.

To increase community spirit, members told us they are considering holding a Festival at Laurelwood Park.

New President Nancy Chapin (center) leads a group discussion at the Foster Area Business Association meeting.

Important to their community
“A business district’s neighbors can make or break the district,” commented Nancy Chapin, FABA’s President, “by decisions to shop, eat, work, and help with clean-up and beautification of their area. The neighbors’ and their associations’ help and commitment to create a ‘place’ there, through events and activities, that highlight, attract, keep, and create viable businesses and an attractive, welcoming district.”

Highlighted businesses
The Day Music Company ì This firm has been selling musical fun on Foster Road since 1923. They are keeping up with the times musically and instrumentally, and started an ‘open mike’ on March 1st in their theater.

Over the years, the employees of a family-owned SE Foster Road business, Lansing Linoleum, have provided thousands of ice-cold cups of “Lansing Lemonade” at the Lents Founders Day celebration.

Lansing Linoleum Here’s another a good example of a family-owned firm with strong community roots. Anyone who has attended Lents Founder’s Day has enjoyed a cold cup of Lansing Linoleum Lemonade during the afternoon!

Support your Foster Rd businesses
This dedicated, and growing, group of volunteers meets every month at different locations. To get involved, call The Support Group at (503) 774-2832.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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