Building a Better Business Community
02/06 Power Your Potential
02/15 Chamber Luncheon
02/16 Full Circle Young Professional Meeting
Congratulations to the Chamber Member of the Week for January 15 -19.
just celebrated their 14th year in business in the Portage community in October of 2017. The business is owned by Dave and Shannon Burhans, residents of Portage for over 20 years. Both Dave and Shannon have been involved in the community through several different service organizations. They have raised their two children here as well. The two are also supported by long time employee, Emily Calvillo.
The eState offers onsite jewelry repair, including ring sizing's, soldering, stone setting and stone replacements. Dave has been a bench jeweler/goldsmith for over 25 years. They also replace watch batteries and do band replacements or adjustments. The store offers a full line of fine jewelry, both new and antique.
The eState also deals in coins, gold & silver bullion, and paper currency. They buy and sell, but most importantly, they offer free evaluations. You'll also find an array of collectible items in the store ranging from autographed sports memorabilia to fine porcelain collectibles. If you have something you think is valuable or if you just need some information, please call or stop by.
We are kicking off 2018 with a Triple Mingle/Ribbon Cutting! The January MidWeek Mingle will be on 1-24 - a celebration of three recent building renovations
: Register On-Line
4:00p- 4:40p @ La Cabana (6510 US Hwy 6, Portage)
4:40p - 5:20p @ Buffalo Wild Wings (6530 US Hwy 6, Portage)
5:20p - 6:00p @ Boost Mobile (6534 US Hwy 6, Portage)
Power Your Potential
The Greater Portage, Duneland, and Hobart Chambers are coming together to offer a morning of
and networking to our members on 2-6-18. The morning will feature re
gistration beginning at 7:30. After
will be the Keynote Speaker-Leslie Plesac. From there, we will have rotations to three breakout sessions-Speed Networking, Head shots, and a presentation from the South Shore Leadership Center. Limited seating - reserve your space today! Register online
or call the Chamber Office, 219-762-3300.Leslie's Bio
Register now for Fishing Show
The Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their 2nd "Fish-On" Portage's Annual Fishing a
nd Outdoor Show on February 24th and 25th. Please see the links below for Fishing Show information. Forms should be returned to the Chamber Office. Reservations and Sponsorships may also be completed online.
Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso will be having a 3 Chamber Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on February 22nd at 5:00pm.
us in welcoming Journey Senior Living to the community!
Registration open for Portage Community & Business Night
The Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their 15th annual Portage Community & Business Night on April 19th, 2018 from 4pm-7pm. Early Bird registration is now open.
to register today and save $20
Space Available for Rent
Office space is available within the Chamber Building for rent.
The location includes: Private Lobby Area, Private Bathroom, 3 private rooms
, Separate Entrance, Snow Removal,
Utilities and Garbage are included. The rent for this location is $650 per month and is roughly 675 sq.ft. If you are interested in seeing the available space please call the Chamber office at 219-762-3300 or stop in during business hours, Monday-Friday 8a-4:30p.
The Legislative Lowdown
Erosion Issues Plague Lake Michigan Shoreline
Senator Karen Tallian
Erosion issues plague many beaches along Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline, and have done so for quite some time. These issues have persisted long before the recent collapse of the observation deck at the Portage Riverwalk and Lakefront. Two weeks ago, I filed legislation that would help to address some of the erosion issues along our lakeshore.
Senate Bill 178
would require any sand taken from Lake Michigan, under the authority of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, to be deposited on Indiana beaches. My intent is to use Lake Michigan sand to conserve the beaches along our lakeshore, ensuring their longevity and safety for years to come. I have yet to receive a hearing on this bill, but I am hoping that the erosion and collapse we have witnessed this past weekend will demonstrate the urgent need that we face in our communities. You can follow my efforts here
or any legislation before the Indiana General Assembly here. More information
Porter County Council Elects New Representation
Porter County Council
At the Porter County Council's Reorganization meeting Andy Bozak (R) was elected President along with Jeremy Rivas (D) being elected Vice President.
Bozak said his priority as president will be to make sure communication is open and flowing between himself and others both inside and outside county government.
Among the accomplishments he is most proud of is the $30 million loan to cover a major renovation of the North County Complex in Portage; renovation work at the courthouse, county administration center and Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso; and three of the top bridge projects.
The council also helped establish a $20 million loan aimed primarily at addressing the severe drainage problems that have plagued the wider South Haven area, he said. The council also provided pay raises of at least 4 percent to county government employees.
Free Reading Screening
Brain Balance Achievement Center is offering a Free Reading screening for your child.
Come to our center on January 18 & 25th from 5:00 pm-6:30 pm to experience a tour and receive a FREE Reading Screening and Eye Tracking Evaluation for your child. Please RSVP by calling (219) 850-4839. Walk-Ins are also welcome!
Bonner Senior Center
The Bonner Senior Center offers different activities each month. Coming in January there will be bingo, rock painting, blood pressure testing, and much more. Please see the
calendar of events
Board Seeks Community Member
Portage Township Education Foundation
As a Portage community member, you have an exciting opportunity to support the Portage Township Schools! Consider becoming a Board Member for the Portage Township Education Foundation! The Portage Township Education Foundation provides funds for the Portage Township School (PTS) employees who submit grants. These grants provide unique learning experiences for students which are not able to be funded through the typical school budget. The funding for these grants largely comes through our fundraising efforts. Please send your name, email, phone and occupation to the Portage Township Education Foundation (PTEF) at email@example.com. We hope you can join us!
Give It Up, Quit Smoking Class
Portage Township YMCA
St. Mary Medical Center's Quit Smoking Class will be on Wednesday, January 17th. Join Jonathon Guerrero, PharmD, BCPS, for an informative discussion about how to stop smoking. Find out about treatment options including lifestyle modifications and home remedies, medications, alternative therapies, current guidelines and recommendations. For more information please contact Health and Wellness Coordinator Danny Gonzalez, RN, at 219-764-7217.
Fierce Fitness Opens
Portage Twp. YMCA
Portage, IN - On Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Fierce Fitness Nutrition held their grand opening inside of the Portage Township YMCA. Fierce Fitness is owned and operated by Danielle Paetsch, Portage YMCA Group Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer as well as a Power Nutrition Ambassador. Soy and whey-based protein shakes using Herbalife and Power Nutrition products are available for purchase by YMCA Members and Non-Members.
Danielle has her B.S. in Family & Consumer Science from Ball State University and is a NESTA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, NESTA Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified in Silver Sneakers Cardio Fit as well as First Aid/CPR/AED. In 2014, Danielle was diagnosed with Obstructive Lung Disease and began treatment, fearing she would never be able to step foot in the gym again. After participation in the research clinic at the University of Chicago Medical Center, she had been given another chance to live life to the fullest. The idea of opening her own shake shop began back in early Fall 2017 when a couple YMCA Board Members started using Danielle's Power Nutrition products and suggested she offer them at the Y. The rest is history.
AC478 International Accreditation
The Pangere Corporation
The Pangere Corporation is one of 10 contractors-and the first iron workers union contractor--in the nation that has earned the AC478 Metal Building Assemblers Accreditation from the International Accreditation Service (IAS). IAS is an internationally recognized accreditation body. Accreditation from IAS provides independent verification that businesses, organizations, and governmental entities are competent and comply with industry and/or international standards. AC478 is the standard to recognize metal building assemblers committed to excellence.
"The purpose of the International Accreditation Service, Inc. on-site assessment is for the metal building assembler to provide evidence that they are following the management system and inspection practices and related criteria in AC478," stated Sandi McCracken, IAS Senior Manager. Ms. McCracken further stated, "This includes evidence of following safety plans, training programs, inspection protocols, and the organization's method of determining compliance with contract documents. The Pangere Corporation is commended for meeting the requirements of the IAS AC478 program and for being the first iron worker union contractor to become an IAS AC478 Accredited Metal Building Assembler."
Taltree Arboretum & Gardens and Purdue University Northwest annouce $12 million partnership
Taltree Arboretum & Gardens Foundation's Board of Directors; Damien and Rita Gabis, the founders of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens; and Purdue University Northwest (PNW) today announce a unique partnership in which the Taltree Arboretum & Gardens Foundation and the Gabis family will donate the arboretum and its more than 300 acres to the university.
PNW will continue to operate the property, to be renamed Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest, as an arboretum for public, educational, conservation and recreational use.
The gift to the university is valued at approximately $12 million. It is the largest donation in the history of the PNW campuses to date. Read More
A New Direction in a New Year!
The Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) will continue to provide business advising and counseling for anyone wanting to start a new business, or grow their existing small business, but will do that on an appointment basis in 2018 instead of on the third
Wednesday morning of each month as in the past. Bill Gregory, Business Advisor with the SBDC, will be available to meet with clients or prospective clients at the Chamber office, at their convenience and by appointment. There is never a charge for these services.
If you are interested in meeting with Bill, call the Chamber office, call Bill directly at 219-742-2351, or email him at
to schedule an appointment.
Numbers Don't Lie: Culture... How the "Softer-Side" can Impact Your Bottom Line! Chrisanne Christ, Centier Bank and Craig Menne, General Insurance Services. January 17th.
Is Your Workplace Safe?
Date: January 18; 1pm Eastern
Safety and risk reduction are critical for organizations of all sizes. They can save lives and limbs-PLUS, add to your bottom line!
In this webinar, learn how to create and implement a safe workplace culture compliant with the Department of Labor and Occupational Safety Health (OSHA) standards.
You will learn:
OSHA requirements and how to meet them;
How to set up a safety committee or appoint a safety coach;
How to manage accident investigations;
Available technology options;
Where to find free resources
Digital Marketing Trends in 2018
Date: January 23; 1pm Eastern
Digital marketing is changing thanks to widespread ownership of smartphones, ever-increasing data and video streaming, combined with a cultural desire for digestible and personalized content. Do you know which trends will impact YOUR organization in 2018?
Join us as we explore the top trends that small businesses should be paying attention to and some simple ideas for incorporating them into your overall marketing strategy.
By the end of this session, you'll have a cutting edge on:
Uncover the Untapped Revenue in Your Business
Date: January 25, 2018; 1pm Eastern
What do Starbucks, Disney and Apple have in common with your small business? After attending this session, you will all use a similar method for taking your business to the next level.
During this webinar, Jeremy Weisz unveils a step-by-step blueprint of identifying the untapped revenue lying dormant within your business.
You will discover how to:
Use predictable methods of generating more revenue while creating a consistent flow of clients;
Quickly shift from one-client-at-a-time work, to serving many clients at once;
Ethically "borrow" from big name companies so your product offerings match theirs;
Effortlessly convert prospective clients into your higher-level offerings;
Position yourself as a top, trusted expert, and make it easy for customers to say "Yes."
5 Biggest HR Mistakes Small Businesses Make
(& How to Fix Them)
Dates: February 1st; 1pm Eastern
Understandably, as a small business owner, you are singularly focused on increasing sales and servicing customers. But with growth often comes the need to hire - and along with that, the burden of complying with complex federal, state and even local employment laws.
It's a burden that can be tempting to ignore, until your business is faced with a government investigation or an employee lawsuit. And then it's too late.
This workshop addresses five potentially crippling HR mistakes small-business employers make every day:
Treating independent contractors as if they are employees;
Not properly verifying employees' eligibility to work in the U.S. (I-9);
Not paying employees correctly;
Practicing or allowing 'accidental' discrimination or harassment;
Not displaying mandatory employee postings
We'll explain the related regulations in simple terms and provide practical tips to help you comply.
2018 Vision Project
South Shore Leadership Center
Dates: February 6th and 7th
February 6th Cocktail Party - 5pm-7pm - TBD
February 7th All Day Event - 8am-5pm - Halls of St. George
This program invites experienced and seasoned leaders to join a cohort of individuals to discuss and delve into regional assets and the issues we face. The event will discover initiatives and recommend actions to advance the Region. Participants can expect a series of high-level presentations offering inspiration and benchmarks from around the United States. Presenters may include: Governors, Mayors, CEO's for Cities, Venture Capitalists, Futurists/Scientists, Technology Leaders, National Foundations/Philanthropies, Faith Leaders and more.
The theme for 2018:
Developing the Region as a Tourist Destination - What This Really Means!
Depending on what you would like to attend, make sure to purchase a ticket for both days or just the main event on February 7, 2018.
The cocktail party will kick off the excitement for what attendees are about to learn. Appetizers and cocktails will be served, and we will give you a sneak peak into your day long program on February 7, 2018, Your day will start with 8am breakfast, followed by lunch at noon, and many fascinating experts touching on the topic of tourism in between.
Introduction to Quickbooks Online
When: 9 a.m. to noon Friday Feb. 9
Topics: Analyzing reports, error detection, fixing the Dirty Dozen Errors and improving productivity. Practical tools and tips are included.
When: 9 a.m. to noon Friday Feb. 23
Topics: Establishing closing procedures, setting up user security, verifying balances, making journal entries & other adjustments as well as archiving & securing QuickBooks data.
All workshops will be at: Purdue Technology Center of NWI, 9800 Connecticut Drive, in Crown Point 46307
Cost: $60 for 1 workshop, $110 for 2 workshops and $165 for all 3 workshops.
More information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (219) 644-3513.
Activities and Promotions