March 2014
2014 Portage Business Expo and Job Fair
How can Chamber member businesses help you? Check out their latest offerings in products and services during the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo and Job Fair on Thursday, March 20 from 3pm to 7pm at the Best Western Conference Center, 2701 South CX.
The event is brought to the Portage community through major sponsorship from the Portage Daily Register. Frontier Communications and AmericanWay Assisted Living is also sponsoring the event. 


A Job Fair is a new addition to the event this year. We are encouraging job seekers to bring their resumes as the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will be on hand to help people with their resume skills and answer questions. Members can also meet potential hires.
Check our web event page for an updated list of vendors. Connect with these members who have already signed up for the event:



Super 8

BrightStar Care

Northwoods Inc.

Markent Solutions

First Weber

Portage Daily Register

Frontier Communications

Portage Lions Club

The ARC Greater Columbia County americanway 2 logo

Remedy Intelligent Staffing

AmericanWay Assisted Living


Space is limited. Deadline to sign up is Friday, March 7. If you would like to be a vendor at the event, please click here for an application. For more information, please call 608-742-6242. 

Welcome New Members

Towns & Associates, Inc.

126 Water St., Baraboo, WI  53913

Jennifer Baird at 608-356-8757

A full-service, publishing and design company, celebrating 30 years in business.


Mike's Meatery

2219 W. Wisconsin St., Portage, WI 53901

Mike Ebben at 608-742-3372

Meat market and sandwich shop smoking meat daily.


Karate America

125 Lodi St., Lodi, WI  53555

Jon Plumer at 608-592-4800

We are a full-service martial arts facility teaching 3 to 63 year-olds.


Chamber Member Profile

portage lumber Portage Lumber is coming up on their 61st Anniversary. We would like to thank all of our friends, family and neighbors in the community for continuously supporting us throughout the years. We'd also like to take the time to mention a few features about our store that we've added over the years to help benefit you and allow us to offer you the best possible service.


To start with, we've added our Price Match Promise. Our Price Match Promise is a guarantee that if you find a lower advertised price on an identical product from a competitor, we will match it for you. Just bring in the current advertised price and we'll match it for you on the spot, no rebates, no store credits, no fuss.


Have you heard of our Best Rewards loyalty program? If not, stop on in and ask one of our friendly associates about this money saving program. The best part, it's FREE! For every dollar you spend, you'll receive dollars back towards future purchases. You can also save 10% OFF of your initial purchase. See our store for full details on this program and how it works.


Aside from these programs, we have a number of services to allow you to take care of all of your home remodel/renovation/building needs in one stop. We have a newly remodeled Home Décor showroom with Interior Design Specialists on hand to help you pick out the right products for your décor & budget. We also have a tool Rental Center with over 100 different items to rent for your convenience, including tables, chairs, tents & a bounce house for your event planning needs. Not to mention we have propane exchange, screen & window repair, re-key locks, home delivery, FREE ship to store shipping, UPS shipping, Penske truck rental, a full Pro Sales staff on hand, and many other features to cover your home improvement needs.


Ladies Night Event--Thursday, March 13

Lastly, we invite all of you ladies out there to join us for our First Annual Ladies' Night Out on March 13, 2014. The event will be held at our store, 1009 E. Wisconsin St, and will run from 6:30pm until 9pm. The event is FREE, but you must register at Portage Lumber by March 5. Stop in, give us a call (742-7186) or send us an email ( to RSVP. This event will include FREE appetizers & refreshments, FREE massages, photo booth fun, local vendors showcasing their latest products, DIY classes/workshops for around the home projects, test out power tools with our DeWALT rep, and a FREE gift to the first 40 ladies through the door. Come join us for food, fun & some useful tips!

March Business After 5
Mix and mingle with fellow Chamber members at our March Business After 5 at Eye-Deal Eyewear & Aspirations Salon & Day Spa.  Located as neighbors at 215 & 213 W. Cook Street in downtown. 'See' the latest in eyeglass fashions and check out the products and services Aspirations offers to have you 'looking' your best!


Don rick web





205 Vino Wine Bus Tour and more!!
205 Vino's 3rd Wine Bus tour takes off on March 8. This is a full day of fun. The bus leaves at 1pm and returns at 8pm. Seats are $40, cash or checks only please. Stops along the route include Fawn Creek Winery in the Dells, LaGrotto Wine Bar in Lodi, Plate & Barrel Wine Bar in Sun Prairie, Johnson Sausage in Rio, and 205 Vino for fun and appetizers.
Don't forget that 205 Vino, 205 DeWitt St., is a great place to host your next event. Rent our semi-private room or talk to us about gatherings outside our normal operating hours. For more information, call 608-742-2058.

Tube Town FUNdraiser opportunity at Cascade Mountain

Are you looking for a fundraising opportunity that is easy to administer and fun for the participants? Perhaps the Tube Town FUNdraiser is right for you or your organization. Invite your group to go tubing at Cascade Mountain anytime after 4pm Monday-Thursday. One half of the tubing ticket sales from your group will be returned to you in the form of a check. It's fun and easy!  Feel free to call 608-742-5588 x1316 with any questions.


Portage Lions Club Radio Auction

The Lions are holding their annual radio auction on March 22 from 12:30pm to 4pm. The fundraiser helps to support pre-school vision screening, eye exams, glasses for the needy and transportation of eye tissue to and from the Eye Bank in Madison. Other projects include scholarships, annual Easter Egg Hunt, donations to the Safety Patrol Trip, the High School Athletic Fund, Santa's Workshop and many others. 


Click here for a list of this year's auction items.

summit logo Portage Family runners up in Summit Credit Union Competition

Since Summit Credit Union's Project Money kick off in June 2013, runners up Nicky & Troy Cross, and children, Josie and Chance, from Portage, and three other contestant families, as well as the community members who followed their progress, learned how to do more with their money and achieve financial success.  Collectively, the four competing teams boosted their savings by $40,484 and reduced their debt by $62,916.


"To live our lives deliberately in order to achieve our goals and dreams is so important," said Kim Sponem, president and CEO of Summit Credit Union.  "The Project Money contestants made very deliberate and difficult decisions over the past year. They changed the way they did things, which is very uncomfortable, at first. They found that the little things make a big difference. While Project Money is a contest, it is really about making changes that will put people on a solid course toward reaching their dreams and being financially stable for their families."


Stacey and Brandon of Prairie du Sac were named winners of the 2013 Project Money competition and received the grand prize of $10,000 at the finale reception held by Summit Credit Union on Feb. 18.  Each of the Project Money runners-up also walked away with $2,500. Visit to learn more about each participant's journey and final results, as well as to learn about the next Project Money Challenge.  Applications for the 2014 program are available at Summit's web site and will be accepted until March 15, 2014. 

Got News?

What is your business up to? Pass along information and corresponding photos to and let us help spread the word about the great things your business or organization is doing. The deadline is the 20th of each month. 


shelly cibulka ad sept 2013
Portage Depot print for sale 

A limited number of Russ Porter Portage Depot prints (shown right) are now available at the Chamber office for pick up, checks in the amount of $50 payable to the Portage Canal Society.


Russ Porter was born in Chicago, attending the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He started as a draftsman for General Electricity X-Ray Corp.  His interest in railroads brought him an associate editors job for Model Railroader Magazine.  Working from a home studio in Milwaukee and later in a restored Pullman Car North of Wisconsin Dells, Russ painted hundreds of paintings of trains, depots and great lakes ships. 


In 1997 Russ published " America's Rails," a book of railroad history including his photographs and paintings. He was declared one of America's foremost railroad artists by the National Railroad Museum in 1997. The museum still caries many of his lithographs. 

Chamber seeking 2014 events

Are you organizing an event you would like others to know about in 2014? The Portage Chamber is encouraging you to submit your 2014 events. Place your event on the Chamber website calendar of events. You may enter your event by clicking here. Please note: Your event submission will take a while to appear as the Chamber office first reviews the submissions before approving them to appear on the web calendar. For more information, please call our office 608-742-6242.


Wellness program at Portage Public Library

You want to serve nutritious meals to your family, but healthy food seems so expensive!  You would like to take time to cook better meals, but you're so busy--who has time to cook?  Join Becky Gutzman, WNEP-UW Extension, to look at how much convenience really costs.  You will cook and sample a skillet meal, and go home with several ideas for easy meals your family will love.


Registration is required (for this program only). Call 742-4959. The Eat Well, Columbia County!: Homemade Skillet Cooking program is held at the Portage Library on Thursday, March 6 from 6:30 to 7:30pm. Bring your children for the youth program scheduled for the same time.


Get out and enjoy winter at the HIAH grounds!
snowshoe-couple.jpg The Historic Indian Agency House invites the public to explore the Historic Indian Agency House Nature Trail by cross-country skis or snowshoes during our Snow Shoe Days. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, you must stop by the Visitor's Center to sign in before you hit the trail. (This will helps keep track of visitation and help ensures safety!)  
Last chance on March 8th. Hours are 9am to 3pm, with event dates dependent upon weather and snow cover. Call 608-742-6362 or email to make reservations for your family, Scout troop, or yourself.
Due to the generosity of the Great Circle Foundation, HIAH has acquired several sets of beginner's snow shoes--in a range of sizes (including adult, young adult, and children's, ranging from a weight limit of 25 to 250 pounds). Borrowing will be treated on a first-come, first-serve basis--but we will do the best we can to accommodate you!  Snow Shoe Borrowers must report to our Visitor's Center (20 minutes before your reservation time is suggested) for check-in, and for a brief tutorial before heading out.
This opportunity is FREE--whether you utilize our snow shoes or have your own.
Customer appreciation month at VIBE Salon & Spa
Put your BEST face forward with a customized Bioelements facial!  The entire month of March is customer appreciation at VIBE Salon & Spa, 218 W. Wisconsin St....that means half price facials!  Start Spring with a face that radiates health and beauty in addition to learning tips to keep your skin looking GREAT!  Call 608-742-8423 to reserve your facial today.
Help available to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace
Portage has a couple places offering assistance to those who want to enroll for health insurance. The Madison Enrollment Assistance office is providing assistance at the Portage Public Library from 10am to 3pm on Wednesdays through March 26. Stop in at the front desk or call to make an appointment at 608-826-7309.

New Year-New You PartyLite opportunity event

Do you need extra cash to pay off holiday bills?  Could you use an extra $600-$1000 each month?  Do you love candles? Come check out the New Year-New You PartyLite Opportunity Event happening Saturday, March 1 from 10am to 1pm at the Portage Public Library meeting room.


There will be a business presentation from 10:30am-11am to learn about the company and fill out an application/interest survey. On-site interviews will take place from 11:15am-1:30pm.  Please call ahead to schedule an interview before time slots fill up. For questions or to schedule an interview please call Amanda at 920-737-7804. For more information, visit


March Community Events
Spread the word about your event by posting them on our website!! 
15  Cody Clausen Trio at Portage Center for the Arts at 7:30pm
15  Miss Heart of Wisconsin Princess Program 12pm-3pm at Portage High School
15  Miss Heart of Wisconsin Pageant 6pm to 8pm at Portage High School
18  Home Health United Hospice Volunteer Training  8:30am-4:30pm
22  Girl Scout Time Travelers Event at Agency House, 10am-12:30pm; 1:30pm-4pm
22  Portage Lions Club Radio Auction at St. Mary's   12:30-4pm
For more information about these events and more, click here.
Ribbon Cuttings

A ribbon cutting was held at MMFitness for Women (formerly Curves), 2305 W. Wisconsin St., to welcome this new business to Portage. 
For more information, call 608-566-1454.



March Chamber Meeting & Event Dates 

5th       Youth Leadership session at Culver's Headquarters   8:30am

11th     Business After 5 at Eye-Deal Eyewear & Aspirations Salon    5pm-7pm

20th     Business Expo & Job Fair at Best Western 3pm-7pm     

Give Portage Green Gift Certificates As A Gift
Portage Green Gift Certificates make an excellent gift. Used just like cash, the certificates can be purchased from the Portage Chamber in $5, $10 and $25 increments. Recipients of the Portage Green may redeem them at these participating Chamber member businesses. By buying Portage Green Gift Certificates, you are helping to boost local business by keeping thousands of dollars right here in Portage. For more information, call the Chamber at 608-742-6242.
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is providing leadership for
 building a healthy economy and a high quality of life in the Portage Area.
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NEWS BREAK is a monthly publication of the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce.  Please contact the Chamber if you have news about your business that you would like to include in the next issue. 
 Our deadline is the 20th of the month.  Email your news to