Midway Business Association plans May get-together

See why business people in the southern portion of outer East Portland are penciling May 8 in their calendars‚ and learn more about this organization as our weekly series about East Portland business associations continues …

Bill Dayton, Donna Dionne and Dr. Norbert Huntley pitch “50/50” tickets at the Pizza Baron End-of-Summer Cruise-In to raise money for the association’s activities.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
In order to serve businesses and neighborhoods in the southern area of outer East Portland, the Midway Business Association (MBA) was started in 2004.

The service area of MBA is Interstate 205 east to SE 162nd Avenue; and, from SE Harold Street north to Market Street.

“We’re committed to building a strong business association,” said MBA president Donna Dionne. “Working together with the neighborhood associations in our area, Powellhurst-Gilbert and Centennial, we can make a lot of positive changes for an area.”

The political power of these combined associations, Dionne added, can increase city dollars being spent in a specific area. “This translates into better parks, sidewalks, maintained roads, increased property values, and a nicer, more-maintained area to live and work in.”

Guest speakers, such as Multnomah County Judge Thom Ryan, help keep Midway-area business owners and neighbors up to date on important issues.

Volunteering spirit
Although the membership of the association is small, their members volunteer their time and resources to help their local community.

With funds raised at Pizza Baron Cruise-Ins, the association has provided direct aid to their community by–for example–providing refreshments for the Midland Library Dia de los Ninos celebration, as well as purchasing ice cream for the library’s Summer Reading Program; and, helping with the Gilbert Neighborhood Association clean-up, by sponsoring the dumpsters.

Portland Planning Bureau East Portland Liaison, Barry Manning, shows a map that details the Commercial Corridor Study underway.

Signs mark the spot
With a grant from the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations (APNBA), the Midway Business Association has published a directory of all businesses in its area.

And, a later APNBA grant is allowing them to design and install highway signs, welcoming consumers into the area. One sign will be at SE 99th Ave. and Division St.; the other will be at SE 161st Ave. and Division. Each sign will also identify its respective neighborhood.

“The idea is to start branding the area,” Dionne said, “so as a business collective, we can more effectively market to our Midway neighbors.  This will form an identity for the area, and hopefully will encourage neighbors to shop locally and support local businesses first.”

Neighbors invited to participate
“Local businesses create local jobs,” Dionne explained. “A person can live close to and walk to their job. When businesses get involved with their neighbors, we see cleaner and better-maintained properties. This benefits everyone.”

One goal of the MBA is to increase pride in the area, among both neighbors and businesses. “Support those businesses that make a positive impact in that area,” commented Dionne. “Let the businesses know that you appreciate what they are doing.”

Members spotlighted
Wells Fargo Bank – Tammy Williams, Manager
From the beginning, Wells Fargo has been supportive monetarily as well as organizationally, with Tammy volunteering for its events. Ms. Williams has also acted at treasurer for the association’s funds since inception.

Pizza Baron – Bill Dayton, Owner
For more than 30 years, families have enjoyed great pizza and fun at this landmark SE Portland Restaurant. The owner, Bill Dayton, has supported the MBA from the start, provides the meeting place for the association, and is well-known in the community for helping all kinds of civic causes, from sponsoring pizza parties for DHS kids, to helping David Douglas sports teams.

At their Annual Midway Business Association Get-together, community members, dignitaries and business people get to mix and mingle‚ and enjoy great food at Pizza Baron.

Come see for yourself on May 8
Come learn all about this new business group dedicated to helping neighbors and businesses improve the southern end of outer East Portland.

On Tuesday, May 8, Midway Business Association is hosting their Annual Association Get-Together from 11:45 am until 1:00 pm at Pizza Baron, 2604 S.E. 122nd Ave. It’s a mix-and-mingle, drop-in event, featuring a free pizza buffet. You’ll get to meet business people; officials, such as Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams; and neighborhood leaders.

The group also meets on the second Tuesday of most months from 11:45 am until 1 pm at Bill Dayton’s PIZZA BARON Restaurant on SE 122nd Ave., just south of Division Street. Neighbors and interested business people are always welcome. For more information, go to www.midwayba.com.

©2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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