NEWSBREAK   November 2015 
Holiday Shopping Giveaway 
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce along with Downtown Portage Inc. and the Business Improvement District are again organizing the Portage Holiday Shopping Giveaway contest to encourage shopping at participating businesses this holiday season between November 27 and December 18.

The contest is simple: Shoppers who purchase goods and services at participating Holiday Shopping Giveaway businesses can bring their receipts to the Portage Chamber during the contest time frame. Based upon the amount of a receipt, the shopper will be awarded chances to win the three prize drawings held on various days during the contest. Two $100 Portage Green drawings and one $500 Portage Green drawing will be held this year.

Last year, more than 40 of our Chamber member businesses participated in the contest. If you are a business interested in participating this year, please call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Treats on the Streets sponsorships available
Consider being a sponsor. $100 donated to Downtown Portage Inc. guarantees you or your business name on one of six tables used for Treats on the Streets. Contact Diana Haertel at 608-742-2020 or 608-477-3533.
girl-lights.jpg Holiday Lights Decorating Contest
The Portage Area Chamber of  Commerce wants to recognize the hard work and efforts that you put into enhancing your home and business for the holiday season.
We are looking for the most festive outdoor holiday decorations. Decorate with lights, incorporate music and just have fun! One home and one business winner will be selected. Each will receive a $100 Portage Green Gift Certificate. Winners will be announced the week of Christmas. You can check out the light displays; we'll have the addresses of entrants posted on our webpage. 
  • Judging based on the creative design, use of lighting and accents.
  • Judging will take place on the evenings of December 14-19. Please have your lights on. Judges decision is final.
  • Judging is based on curbside appeal only.
Click here for an official Holiday Lights Decorating Contest entry form.
Holiday Parade & Tree Decorating 
Coordinated with the Business Improvement District, Downtown Portage Inc., and the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, the Holiday Parade happens on Friday, November 27 at 6pm. The parade will proceed down Conant St. right on Wisconsin St, left on to Cook St. to Adams St. where it ends.

Santa will light the Community Tree after the parade at Commerce Plaza with caroling and music of the season. Compliments of Downtown Portage Inc.: hot, steamy beverages and cookies will be available on the streets along the parade route and the Portage Presbyterian Church will hold their Chili Dump at Commerce Plaza.
You are welcome to be a part of the parade. We ask that entries be lighted and have a theme. Click here for a parade entry form.

Welcome New Chamber Members 
Sheri's Jewelry & Glassworks
Portage, WI
Sheri Padula at 608-729-0569
We offer various products ranging from Artisan jewelry, custom home decor
and garden decor such as teacup bird feeders and candles.
9001 Dumke Road  Portage, WI
Brad Tenbarge at 920-728-2635
We have the world's largest and most sophisticated transportation network for crude oil and liquids and the second-largest wind generator and one Canada's largest renewable energy companies.

plastic-place-ware.jpgNovember Chamber 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. 

Speaker: Tina Hallis, Ph.D., founder and owner, The Positive Edge  
Topic: Decoding People's Personal Perspectives - Shifting the Way You Think to be more Positive
Our brains are wired to focus on, dwell on and remember all the "bad" stuff. This increases our stress and can cause us to lose our motivation, our resilience and decrease our overall wellbeing. Tina will share tips and strategies from Positive Psychology that make it easier to be optimistic and upbeat and improve communication, teamwork, resiliency to change, and work culture.
Location: B & B Hitching Post 
Time: Tuesday, November 3       Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: pay for your lunch at the restaurant
Tina's Bio: Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is the founder and owner of The Positive Edge. During her 20+ years working in Biotechnology, she worked in small start-up companies and large corporations, from R&D to Operations. In 2011, she discovered a new science called Positive Psychology that focuses on how we can all live our best lives.  

Please RSVP to [email protected] if you are planning to attend.   

Help wanted at Suzy's

Suzy's Steak & Seafood is looking for friendly and dependable part-time waitstaff, dishwashers, bartenders. Apply in person at Suzy's, 2711 County Highway CX.

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!
Wine Walks now legal
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marianne Hanson (fourth from left) was at the state capitol to see Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sign legislation officially declaring Wine Walks legal in the state on October 21. The Portage Chamber looks forward to hosting the Portage Wine Walk on Friday evening, April 29, 2016.
school_supplies_desk.jpg American Education Week
American Education Week is November 16-20, 2015. During this time we are celebrating education and honoring individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.
We are asking you as a Chamber member to be involved by offering a special promotion for our educators. You can choose to run a special one day during that week or offer a special all week long. An example: Offer all educators that week receive 10% off any product or service.
If you are interested in participating, please contact the Chamber office at 608-742-6242. 
Manufacturing Career Tour Day
Portage High students visited local manufacturing facilities as part of an initiative to make students aware of the wide varieties of quality vocational opportunities available in the manufacturing sector. Students toured Rayovac, St. Gobain, EK Machines, Flambeau and Anteco as part of this Manufacturing Career Tours Day event held on October 21.

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce along with Columbia County Economic Development (CCEDC) and Portage High School celebrated October as Manufacturing Month by hosting this event. The three entities partnered together last fall to organize the Career Fair at Portage High School. The plan going forward is to have the Career Fair and a manufacturing touring day alternate each year.
Business Profile: Hart & Olson Family Dentistry
Hart & Olson Family Dentistry specializes in providing comprehensive dentistry to patients of all ages. Our Doctors are skilled in all aspects of general dentistry from the simplest treatments like sealants and resin fillings to the most complex such as root canals, crowns and implants. We offer the best possible dental care in a setting that is welcoming, relaxing and familiar. Aside from providing beautiful smiles, we have a talented, dedicated team that takes great pride in providing outstanding service and genuinely cares about all of our patients.

The talented and dedicated team includes Dr. Gerald Hart, a Marquette University graduate who spent his early career in Oshkosh and Wisconsin Dells, and Dr. Olson, another graduate of Marquette University who joined the practice in 2006. In 1989, Dr. Hart bought the retiring Dr. William Laing's building and dental practice at 318 DeWitt Street, cared for patients there for 15 years, then built a new office at our current location at 225 Gunderson Drive.

Our office has grown and adapted to the ever changing world of medicine and dentistry. In 1989 we used x-ray films, paper charts and silver fillings. Today we use digital x-rays, computerized charting and filling material that matches the shade of your teeth. Everything we use, from the filling materials to the crowns we provide, revolves around the most up to date standards and technologies. As patients live longer and their medical history becomes more complicated, we stay in close contact with medical doctors regarding our patient's care. The methods of anesthesia have also evolved: dentistry really can be painless. Today's dentistry allows us to provide the highest quality care in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

There is no "typical" patient in dentistry: All patients bring different concerns, problems and expectations (and, unfortunately, fears) relative to their dental care. Our goal is to individualize their care to best address all of these factors. Our business has grown through the development of very personal relationships with our patients. We currently see many three generation families and, in at least one instance, four generations. Given the intimate nature of dental care, it's the relationships that differentiate our practice. More than 75% of our referrals come from our existing patients.

We look forward to being at the forefront of new developments in dental care and technologies while retaining the hometown feel and family atmosphere that our patients have come to know. We also want to continue our involvement in the community, serving the dental needs of those who live here, including charitable dental care for those who qualify, and supporting the healthcare and school systems, as well as other community service needs and fundraisers.

We are also looking forward to welcoming a third doctor, Dr. Brian Hart, who will be joining the practice in June of 2017! Please visit our website at to see the wide range of services we provide.

Bridal Pond fountain update 

Funding for a new fountain at Pauquette Park is near the halfway point, reaching $3300 with a recent $200 donation from Pat Halasz, and with contributions from Just Me - Monique Warnke, Jerry & Claudette Braun, Charlie Mantey, the employees of Don-Rick Insurance, BMO Harris Bank, plus a matching donation from the Portage Service Club Association.


The Portage Chamber thanks the individuals and businesses for their generous support. Members of the Service Club Association are Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, Optimists and Chamber. Estimates for a new fountain are just over $6,500. The Portage Parks & Recreation Department offered installation and maintenance.     


Contributions can be sent payable to the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce (memo: fountain) and mailed to 104 W. Cook St., Portage, WI 53901. Call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242 for info. 

UW-Small Business Development Center class
We have 2 upcoming classes that can help you develop your idea and plan your business!
The Lean Start - Business Model Canvas Creation: In this course you will learn and use the Business Model Canvas to pinpoint customer segments, test assumptions and obtain feedback from potential customers. The Business Model Canvas will help you determine if there are holes that need to be filled in and if your idea is feasible.

The Business Model Canvas is a tool that can save you time and money before going all in and developing an idea that still needs perfecting. Monday Evenings; 6:30pm-9pm; Nov.16 & 23; $85

I've researched my idea - what is my next step? Register for Writing the Business Plan             
In this course you'll create a plan for your new or existing business. You will go through each section of the business plan and complete a draft to use as a road map for your business and help you obtain financing. Monday and Wednesday Evenings; 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm; November 30, December 2, 7 & 9;$199

Click Here to register or by calling 608-262-3909.
Office Space Available
Build to suit on Washington Street, approximately 1400 square feet. Contact the Chamber at 608-742-6242 if you are interested in more information.
goodwill logo
Leslie retiring from Goodwill
Barbara Leslie, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin, the organization operating the Goodwill store and donation center in Portage, is retiring at the end of this year, after nearly 45 years of service with Goodwill. She has held several managerial and executive positions in the areas of rehabilitation, human resources, retail, and operations, and has served as president and CEO for the past 22 years. Barb's commitment to Goodwill's mission and those it serves, business acumen, and leadership have served the organization well and have prepared it for the future.
Click here for a summary of a conversation Barb Leslie had regarding her retirement and some key points Barb would like to share with the public. Goodwill is located at 2902 American Legion Dr. in Portage. Call 608-745-0616 for more information.
Ribbon Cuttings 
A ribbon cutting was held at R. Condon Gallery & Studio, 223 W. Wisconsin St., to celebrate this new business in Portage.

R. Condon Gallery features the work of Wisconsin artists and the paintings and hand woven basketry
of Portage artist Roberta Condon. Each item is unique and there are items in all price ranges.

For more information, please call 608-617-1733.


Portage Chamber November Meeting and Events 

3    Chamber Business Luncheon     11:30am; speaker at Noon
4    Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank    8am
6    Ribbon Cutting for Sheri's Jewelry and Glass at Chamber office   8:15am
10   Business After 5 at Pizza Ranch     5pm-7pm
26-27   Chamber office closed for Thanksgiving
27   Santa Fly-In at Portage Airport    10am
Give Portage Green Gift Certificates
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.

Got News?

What is your business up to? Pass along information and corresponding photos to [email protected] 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. 

November Community Events
Spread the word about your events by posting them on our website!
2-30    'Cats, Critters, Callagrams & the Natural World' exhibit at Portage Center for the Arts
3         Chamber Business Luncheon
4         Portage Lions Scholarship Fundraising Event at Pizza Ranch
4-7      Divine Savior Gift Shop Holiday Sale
5         Chair Yoga at the Portage Public Library
5         Our House Senior Living "All Things Senior Expo" at Ho-Chunk Gaming WI Dells
5         Painting Flowers in Watercolor class at the Mercantile
6         'Escanaba in da Moonlight' Dinner Theater at Northwoods Banquet Hall
6         Opening Reception exhibit at Portage Center for the Arts
6         Portage Rotary Club Draw Down Hoe Down at The NorthShore
7         Friends of the Portage Public Library Card Table Sales
7         Portage United Methodist Women's Bushel Basket Bazaar 
8         Ladies Night Out at Walsh's ACE Hardware
8         'Escanaba in da Moonlight' Dinner Theater at Northwoods Banquet Hall
8         Portage Bridal & Shopping Extravaganza at The Ball Room
10       Business After 5 at Pizza Ranch
12       Chair Yoga at the Portage Public Library
12-15   'Little Shop of Horrors' at Portage Center for the Arts
13-14   Portage Art of Marriage Conference at Portage High School
14-22   Mid-States Poker Tour at Ho-Chunk Gaming WI Dells
14        Harvest Dinner at the Portage Presbyterian Church
19       Women's Night Out at Divine Savior Healthcare
'Little Shop of Horrors' at Portage Center for the Arts
21       Hunter's Widow Shopping Extravaganza at VFW
26       Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Mary's Church
27-28   Portage Theatres Free Kids Movie
27       Portage Presbyterian Church Chili Dump at Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting
27       Santa Fly-In at the Portage Airport
27       Holiday Lighting Parade & Tree Lighting
28       Santa's Real Live Reindeer
30       Portage Sharing Supper at Wayne Bartel's Middle School    
For more information about these and other events, go to 

Organizing an event or having a sale?

Submit your event or sale to us and have it appear on the Chamber website calendar of events.You may enter your event by clicking here. Please note: Your 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.

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 [email protected].