January 2018 NewsBreak
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce
Portage Chamber Annual Awards Celebration
It's time to recognize businesses and individuals for outstanding work and contributions. We invite you to join us at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Breakfast and be part of the Business Event of the Year!

This year, the awards celebration will be held as a breakfast at Dino's Restaurant on Wednesday morning, January 31. The featured speaker will be John Koskinen, Chief Economist of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, having served in that capacity in the administrations of both Governor Scott Walker and Governor Jim Doyle. He is a life long public servant, having amassed nearly 40 years working for the state of Wisconsin.

Network and get to know your fellow Chamber members while we recognize some of the activities of
exceptional businesses and people whose service or performance positively contributes to the
quality of life in the Portage community. We will be recognizing nominees in five
categories: Business Excellence Award (20 or more employees); Rising Business Star Award;
Community Service Award; First Impression Award; and the Susan Weyh Business Excellence Award (less than 20 employees).

Nomination forms are due back to our office by Friday, January 19. Click here for the awards nomination form. Click here to register for the breakfast .

Bank donates toward Pauquette Park pavilion
The Bank of Wisconsin Dells and Community Bank of Portage, Member FDIC, recently donated $5,000 toward a band shell to be built in Pauquette Park, presently being fund-raised by the Portage Service Club Association (PSCA).

“Our bank continues to be a strong supporter of the community,” stated bank president, Jon Bernander. "We see this wonderful project as one that will truly benefit the entire Portage area and one that will further enrich community pride.”

The funds raised by PSCA will go toward a pavilion, handicap accessible restrooms, four-foot wide sidewalk, and enhance the park’s overall amenities.

“Portage Service Club Association is grateful to Community Bank of Portage for the generous donation of $5,000 to go toward the building of the pavilion at Paquette Park,” said PSCA President, George Beasley. “It demonstrates wonderful community support from the bank.”

Anyone interested in donating to the project may contact PSCA President, George Beasley, at 608-742-5757.

Pictured from left back row, Marianne Hanson of the Portage Chamber, Anastasia Kinney of Community Bank of Portage, Mike Hurd of PSCA, Jon Bernander of Bank of Wisconsin Dells, Nancy Beasley of PSCA, Ben Brancel of Bank of Wisconsin Dells Board of Directors, Heather Meyer of Community Bank of Portage, and from left front row sitting, George Beasley and Nancy Schaper of PSCA.
Submit Your 2018 Events!
Are you planning an event for next year? Get it posted on our web community calendar at www.portagewi.com. One of the most popular viewed of the Chamber website pages, the calendar allows
you to submit your own events.

Simply click this link and submit your events. If you have questions, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242.
Welcome New Members

Agrace HospiceCare
5395 E. Cheryl Parkway Madison, WI 53711
Tracy Buglass at 608-327-7209
Agrace is a nonprofit, community-based health care agency providing hospice and palliative care services in private homes, and in skilled nursing, assisted living and other community residential facilities across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

First Centennial Mortgage
230 W. Cook St. Portage, WI 53901
Sue Foley at 608-541-0010
We are known for providing their clients with a variety of loan products, competitive rates, industry-leading underwriting turn times and a highly-efficient loan process and support team.

Portage Odd Fellows Wauona Lodge 132
306 E. Carroll St. Portage, WI 53901
Zach Lewis at 608-617-5932
Non-profit organization, community action helping neighbors and community.

culvers logo
Breakfast with Santa
Thank you to Culver's Restaurant for providing another great breakfast this year.
February Business Luncheon
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is offering another way to network with your fellow Chamber members and make those important connections that can help you in your business or career. Bring your business cards, brochures, or anything you wish to share with other members.

Luncheon Information
Presenter: Darryl Teske of Columbia County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization that provides a voice for abused and neglected children under the legal protection of the court system. Advocates are court appointed volunteers who are appointed by a judge to promote the best interests of a child. The volunteer provides a judge with the relevant information about the child to help the court make a sound decision about the child's future. These volunteers offer children trust and consistency during the complex legal proceedings. CASA is funded at the local level through charitable foundations, businesses, civic organizations, private contributions and others.

Date: Tuesday, February 6
Where: B & B Hitching Post, 2503 W. Wisconsin St.
Time: Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: Pay for your lunch at the restaurant

Business Profile - Agrace HospiceCare
Founded in 1978 by volunteers, Agrace is a nonprofit, community-based health care agency with the mission of partnering with patients and families to improve quality of life throughout serious illness. We provide hospice and palliative care services in private homes, and in skilled nursing, assisted living and other community residential facilities across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Our offices are located in Madison, Janesville and Baraboo, Wisconsin; and in Rockford, Illinois. In its 38-year history of providing quality care, Agrace has served close to 50,000 hospice and palliative care patients. In 2016, patients at Agrace ranged in age from 3 days old to 108 years old. We serve over 800 patients each day. 

Although the Medicare Hospice Benefit covers the costs of care for approximately 92% of patient days in our in-home and inpatient programs, uninsured and underinsured patients are never denied needed care. Patients without caregivers or with compromised caregivers are never turned away. Community contributions through the Agrace Foundation’s Care for All program allow Agrace to provide services to uninsured and underinsured patients based on demonstrated financial need. We believe that everyone deserves to have access to Agrace’s personalized, supportive care, regardless of who they are or whether they can pay.

For more information, call Agrace HospiceCare at 608-327-7209.
Record Sales Pace Continues for WI Housing Market
Existing Home Sales In 2017 Expected To Top Last Year's Record
By Brady Carlson
Wisconsin's real estate market is still on track for a record sales year. The Wisconsin Realtors Association reported 77,216 sales of existing homes between January and November in its November housing figures.

At that pace, the state should surpass last year's record of 81,797 sales. Economist David Clark of Marquette University said there are fewer houses on the market compared to 2016, but demand for housing has stayed high all year.

"When a house goes on the market it doesn't stay very long, given the high level of demand," Clark said. And that demand continues to drive up housing prices.

The median price of a single-family home stood at $170,000 last month, up 5.6 percent from November 2016.

Clark said the housing supply should eventually increase, but when that will happen isn't clear. "At some point baby boomers are going to start selling their homes at a faster pace than they have been," Clark said. "That's primarily as a consequence of health and retirement-based decisions. Ultimately those properties will find their way onto the market."

The Wisconsin Realtors Association reported last month's sales of existing homes were up 4.2 percent compared to November 2016.

Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2017, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.
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Rhyme chosen as a 2017 Elite Dealer
ENX Magazine and ENX The Week In Imaging announced that Rhyme has been selected as a 2017 Elite Dealer. This annual Who’s Who of the office technology dealer community, which has been bestowed upon the industry’s leaders since 1988, will be featured in the December issue of ENX Magazine.

The 100-plus 2017 Elite Dealers were selected based on numerous criteria, including growth initiatives, innovative marketing programs, outstanding customer service, charitable contributions to the community, progressive workplace cultures and adaptability to an ever-changing market.

“We’re pleased to present the 2017 Elite Dealers and congratulate this year’s honorees for their remarkable entrepreneurial spirit and accomplishments in a challenging marketplace and for leading their dealerships toward the path of continued success,” said Susan Neimes, managing editor of ENX Magazine and ENX The Week In Imaging.
Entrepreneurial Training Grants Available
Entrepreneurial Training grants are available now for the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center program starting February 1.

Who is the grant for?
-Entrepreneurs starting a new business
-Entrepreneurs who need to brush up on their business training
-Entrepreneurs who want to complete a business plan
-Entrepreneurs who need financing for their business

The time to apply for the next Entrepreneurial Training Program is now before it fills! 
APPLY NOW for this special grant program. This grant includes the BizSmart Series of Classes, Individual Coaching and business plan development designed to help entrepreneurs develop business skills, create a roadmap for their business and attract financing.

WMC, NAM partner on Manufacturers Marketplace
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing trade association in the United States, announced the debut of the Manufacturers Marketplace, a new and first-of-a-kind digital marketplace featuring interactive listings and detailed information on more than 300,000 leading U.S. manufacturers, including more than 9,000 in Wisconsin.

“The Manufacturers Marketplace is a valuable tool for all manufacturers in Wisconsin,” said WMC President/CEO Kurt R. Bauer. “Our goal is to empower manufacturers of all sizes to realize their potential, and this tool makes it easy to find potential supply chain partners that best fit a company’s unique needs.”

The Manufacturers Marketplace works by including businesses of both large and small in the Marketplace — whether they are a member of the NAM or a leading state manufacturing association. As manufacturers access the Manufacturers Marketplace, they are prompted to search and then claim their listing. From there, registered users are prompted to expand their listings with detailed information, including additional locations, certifications, equipment, capacity and much more.

As businesses add information to the listings, the Manufacturers Marketplace becomes an even more powerful tool — a tool that enables manufacturers of all sizes, sectors and points in the supply chain to find and be found, mitigate risk for their business and increase visibility among the largest pool of potential partners.
For more information on the Manufacturers Marketplace, visit www.wmc.org/ManufacturersMarketplace.
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Business Day in Madison 2018
Register now for Business Day in Madison, happening on Wednesday, February 28 from 7:30am to 4pm at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center.

This year's featured speakers are Sharyl Attkisson, Guy Benson, Greg Gutfeld and Governor Scott Walker (invited). Early Bird Pricing through January 26, 2018: $145 per person; $1,100 table of 8.
After January 26, 2018: $175 per person; $1,300 table of 8.

For event details and to register, click here.
Federal Tax Reform
According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, this legislation would result in an increase in the long-run size of the U.S. economy by 1.7 percent, 1.5 percent higher wages, 4.8 percent larger capital stock and the addition of 339,000 additional full-time jobs.

Key Provisions
-Lowers the corporate rate to 21% effective January 1, 2018, down from 35%, the highest in the industrialized world.
-Moves the United States to a territorial tax system eliminating the double taxation that companies that do business oversees face and encouraging the repatriation of overseas income.
-20% deduction for pass-through businesses (S-Corps, Partnerships, LLC, Sole Proprietorships) on the first $315,000 of joint income creating a maximum marginal tax rate on that income of 29.6%. This provision expires on December 31, 2025.
-Allows businesses to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment for five years.
-Eliminates of the corporate alternative minimum tax.
-Preserves the research and development tax credit.
-Increases the standard deduction from $6,350 for a single filer to $12,000, and from $12,700 for a joint filer to $24,000.
-Increases the child tax credit from $1,000 per child to $2,000. The first $1,400 is refundable.
-Limits the state and local tax deduction to the first $10,000 in taxes paid for property, income, or sales tax.
-Preserves the charitable tax deduction and the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners with existing mortgages. For new homeowners the mortgage deduction will be available up to $750,000.

If you have questions about the federal tax reform, please call Cory Fish, WMC Director of Tax, Transportation and Legal Affairs at 608-258-3400.
spring hiah web
HIAH caps off amazing year
The Historic Indian Agency House had a year full of accomplishments, setting up for more events on the grounds in the future. By starting a new orchard this year, educational workshops, such as making apple cider and apple pies, can take place within five years. By planting over 600 bulbs, the gardens will become a wedding venue. Quilts from the 1830s found in the basement were researched and a new archival storage area was created. In addition to these developments, the Caretaker's Cottage was removed and a new security system was added. Visitors, whose numbers were up about 20% from the prior year, will continue to enjoy great programming, including the Evening Spirit Walk Tours, the Summer Speaker Series and Garlic Festival.
Wisconsin Safety and Health Conference & Expo
The 2018 Wisconsin Safety and Health Conference & Expo will be held on April 16-18 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center. Featured speakers include Deadliest Catch Captain Keith Colburn (Wizard) and Lori Schneider, the first person with multiple sclerosis to summit Mt. Everest and the first with MS to complete the Seven Summits. Stay tuned for more details.
Looking for a Hot Deal? See our list?
Check out our Hot Deals webpage for deals our Chamber members are
offering. Have a Hot Deal of your own you want others to know about? Post
your deals on our webpage and join the Hot Deal brigade! There is no charge
for posting a Hot Deal, so post away!

If you have questions, call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 to get started. Click here to see the specials that are currently running!
Journey Mental Health meeting challenges
Journey Mental Health accomplished much in 2017. They were a finalist for a Wisconsin Innovation Award and program successes abound. Their Clinical Assessment Unit enrolled its 1,000th participant in the Alcohol Biomarker Program, designed to reduce repeat OWI offenses. Re-arrest rates were 6.1 percent for those completing the program versus 17.2 percent for those who did not complete the program, keeping roads safer.
As they enter their 70th year, the need for Journey’s specialty services continues to grow. They will continue to provide mental health and substance use disorder services for Dane and Columbia County residents with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders. They have served these vulnerable citizens for seven decades, and will meet the challenges ahead in an effort to continue this work. But, they need your help.
As the new year begins, they hope that you will make it your New Year’s resolution to learn more about them. If you have questions about Journey, contact Brian Miller, Journey’s Chief Development Officer, at 608-280-2682, or by email at brian.miller@journeymhc.org to arrange a tour or a speaker at your workplace or place of worship.
12-Hour Sale at Anytime Fitness
The Biggest Sale of the Year is going on today from 9am to 9pm at Anytime Fitness where you can join for just $1 with new personal training options. For more information, contact Anytime Fitness, 2800 New Pinery Rd., at 608-745-0250.
Ribbon Cuttings
A ribbon cutting was held at Saddle Ridge Golf Course to welcome new owners Margie & Dave Druce as well as the opening of Johnny B's, John and Liz Bliese at Saddle Ridge.

They thank the Saddle Ridge community for the warm welcome and are very humbled by the showing of support from everyone.

They have daily lunch specials starting at 11am Monday thru Saturday with Sunday morning breakfast from 8am-11am. Features are wood-fired chicken on Thursday, Friday night fish fry from 4pm-8pm and Saturday wood-fired prime rib from 5pm-9pm. They also do catering! For more information, call the golf course, 100A Saddle Ridge, at 608-742-2181.
Wine & Spine Open House
Blau Family Chiropractic & Integrated Wellness is hosting an Open House to welcome Dr. Jessica Dredske to the team. Meet the doctors and staff, tour their facilities and enjoy some snacks and wine on Thursday, January 11 from 5pm to 7pm. For more information, contact Blau Chiropractic, 641 Latton Lane, at 608-742-1300.
January Chamber Meetings & Events
10 Ribbon Cutting at First Centennial Mortgage 9am
11 Ribbon Cutting at Blau Chiropractic 5pm
22 Launch Portage - Young Professionals Tubing at Cascade Mountain 4pm-9pm
31 Annual Chamber Awards Breakfast at Dino's 7:30am
Health & Wellness Event
You are invited to attend the Portage Community Health & Wellness Event on Tuesday, January 16 from 4pm to 7pm at Rusch Elementary School, 117 W. Franklin St. Several local businesses and organizations will be available to share information with community members that may help them improve/maintain their health and wellness. Click here for more event details. For questions, contact Ann Fenley from the Optimist Club of Portage, at 608-235-4769.
Art Opening at R. Condon Gallery
There will be an Art Opening for fiber artist Lisa Binkley at R. Condon Gallery, 223 W. Cook St., on Friday January 5 from 5pm to 7 pm. Lisa's artwork will be on display at the gallery and available for viewing through the month of January on Sundays and Mondays from 10am to 3:30pm. For more information, call 608-617-1733.
Spaghetti Dinner
Make room for a delicious St. Mary's Home and School Spaghetti Dinner, happening Saturday, January 27 from 4:30pm to 7pm at St. Mary's School, 309 W. Cook St.
Children 12 and under are $5 and adults are $8. For more information, call 608-742-6998.
La Vita
Start the New Year off right with 18 days of savings! Join La Vita for only $20! If you sign up for a La Vita membership through January 18, you pay $20 for your enrollment fee and monthly dues for the whole month of January. Normal monthly dues will apply starting February 1, 2018. *Enrollment and monthly due special rates only apply during the special dates, through January 18, 2018.

Regular enrollment rates and prorated membership dues will continue beginning January 19, 2018.
Membership Sales Hours: Monday-Friday, 7am–7 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am-2pm.

Membership pricing can be found at DSHLaVita.com. For more information, call La Vita Membership Services at 608-745-3800.
January Community Events
5 Opening Reception for Once Upon a Lake Display at Portage Center for the Arts (exhibit through 27th)
5 Art Opening for fiber artist Lisa Binkley at R. Condon Gallery
5 Dungarvin Hiring Event
6 Babysitting Basics at Divine Savior Healthcare
6 Family Fun event at Portage Public Library
6 Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble
7 Bingo at VFW
8 Card Making Workshop at Portage Library
10 Columbia Sauk SHRM meeting
10 Ribbon Cutting at First Centennial Mortgage
11 Wine & Spine Open House at Blau Chiropractic
11 Ribbon Cutting at Blau Chiropractic
11 'Smart' Cookie Sale at DSH
16 Portage Community Health & Wellness event at Rusch Elementary
16 Stationery Class at Portage Library
18 VFW Meat Raffle Night
19-31 Connections Artwork at Tivoli
21 Bingo at VFW
22 Launch Portage: Cascade Mountain Tubing event
22 Melted Crayon Art Class at Portage Library
25 Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle at Portage Center for the Arts
25 Griefshare Support Group at Portage United Methodist Church
25 Needle Felting Sheep Workshop at Historic Indian Agency House
27 Spaghetti Dinner at St. Mary's School
28 Student Recital Series at Portage Center for the Arts
28 Portage Sharing Supper at Wayne Bartels Middle School
31 Annual Chamber Awards Breakfast at Dino's Restauant
31 Endeavor Sharing Supper

Weekly Recurring Events
Beer Bucket Bingo at Jack's Tap every Monday at 6:30pm
Portage United Methodist Church Bible Study at Heritage House, Tuesdays at 10am
Portage United Methodist Church Worship Service at Heritage House, Tuesdays at 11am

Portage Area Chamber of Commerce | 608-742-6242 | pacc@portagewi.com | www.portagewi.com