NEWS BREAK December 2016
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 25 and December 16, 2016.

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 prize drawings held on various days during the contest. A $100 Portage Green drawing will be held on December 2 and December 9 and the $500 Portage Green Grand Prize drawing will be held on December 16.
Cookie Walk
The Cookie Walk adds delicious fun, mixed with a bit of exercise, to the holiday season in Portage! The annual Cookie Walk will be held on Saturday, December 3 from 9am to Noon. Walkers can collect cookies from 26 Chamber member businesses this year.
How the walk works: People can come to the Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St., and purchase a cookie box for only $5. The box includes a map featuring the participating businesses with specials they may be offering. At each location, a person with the cookie box can pick up a cookie and look around the store. The Chamber is selling 120 boxes this year.
For more information, call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242. 
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.

Looking to learn more about the digital advertising world?  Can these types of ads benefit your business? Join us and become familiar with how digital advertising can help your business. Kevin Streetar of  'Amplified' will be joining us to give you some insight into digital advertising.
You will learn: what a responsive website is; about search engine marketing (paid search); about search engine optimization (organic search); how programmatic display advertising works; ways to market your business by using targeted mobile ads; about online video platforms.
Kevin Streetar, Digital Marketing Consultant with Amplified Digital, has over 25 years of consulting with direct clients and advertising agencies. He helps clients to connect with their customers and potential customers using proven digital marketing techniques. Kevin has developed campaigns that coordinate digital marketing with traditional marketing media for specific categories such as auto and agriculture - as well as other small, medium and large retail businesses. He has also worked on statewide campaigns for clients such as Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Ho Chunk Nation.
Location:  Dino's Restaurant
Date: Tuesday, December 6
Time:  Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: pay for your lunch at the restaurant

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 11-16. Please have your lights on. Judges decision is final.
  • Judging is based on curbside appeal only for homes and both inside and outside for the businesses.
Click here for an official Holiday Lights Decorating Contest entry form.
Image courtesy Canadian  Pacific Railway
Holiday Train
Every year, the Canadian Pacific Rail Holiday Train travels through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks. This year, the train arrives at the Portage Amtrak station, 400 W. Oneida St., on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 1:15pm. 

You're encouraged to make a donation to the local food bank -- either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation. All contributions will stay local.

The Portage Rotary will be hosting a free Brat and Hot Dog Feed, along with cookies and hot chocolate (while supplies last). Come early and join in the fun!
Board welcomes Nellen
Thank you to Charles Poches of the Portage Community School District for serving on the Chamber Board of Directors. As Poches' term comes to an end at the end of December, the Chamber welcomes Linda Nellen of Madison College, who was nominated to join the board by the Board of Directors. Nellen will begin serving her term as an education representative on January 1, 2017.   
Welcome New Chamber Members

Saint Gobain Performance Plastics
2316 W. Wisconsin St.    Portage, WI 53901
Arpi Aprahamian at 608-742-8541
Saint-Gobain transforms raw materials into advanced products for use in our daily lives, as well as developing tomorrow's new materials. Saint-Gobain products provide customers with the highest level of performance which is the result of creative ideas and innovative technologies.

Dungarvin Wisconsin
2802 Coho Street, Suite 101    Madison, WI53713
Kori Kicmol at 608-316-7670
Dungarvin is a national organization of privately owned companies that are dedicated to providing high quality, community-based supports to people with varying support needs:
Intellectual & developmental disabilities, mental health, behavioral challenges, traumatic or acquired brain injury, significant medical challenges, children & their families, and specialized services.

Love's Travel Stop
W9493 County Hwy CS      Poynette, WI 53955
 Jonathan Norcross at 608-635-2944
Love's provides professional truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access to clean and safe places to purchase gasoline, diesel fuel, travel items, electronics, snacks and more, as well as a selection of restaurant offerings. On-site Love's Truck Tire Care centers offer roadside assistance, tire care and light mechanical services for professional truck drivers. Showers, CAT scales and other services for professional truck drivers are also available.

Brakebush Brothers, Inc.
N4993 6th Drive     Westfield, WI 53964
Duke Vair at 608-296-2121
Since 1925 our family business provides customers safe and high quality chicken products. Our customers prosper through our innovative solutions and highly personalized relationships.

Business Profile - World Finance
We have been meeting the needs of our customers since 1962. For the past 54 years World Finance has been helping people realize their finance goals by offering fixed rate and payment loan solutions. With branches nationwide we are part of the communities in which we serve.
Our branches are staffed with friendly, knowledgeable associates who understand your needs and are available to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your loan options. World Finance emphasis has always been quality customer service and a drive to build strong personal relationships with our customers. Many of our loans today are from existing customers who like our hassle-free process and personal services.
Some other services World Finance offers our customers are through Fortegra Platinum Motor Club which includes benefits such emergency road service, flat tire repair, battery charge, enhanced lockout service, auto repair reimbursement, emergency ambulance expense. World Finance also offers tax services. Let us help you make early tax filing stress-free by scheduling an appointment with us today. Meet with our professionals to prepare and file your taxes before April 15, 2017 and you could walk out with up to a $1500,  0% interest advance (on qualifying Tax Returns) the same day.
Last but not least, World Finance is always looking for Branch Service Representatives. Are you ready for a rewarding career in customer service? At World Finance, we value our Associates and love to promote from within. We have over 30 locations in the Wisconsin area, so take your first step in your World Finance Journey. To find out more, call us or  stop in at any of our branch locations.
Our Portage branch is located at 2555 New Pinery Rd., Suite 4, and our number is 608-742-0135. We at World Finance look forward to being your professional representative for all your lending and tax needs.
Two Rivers Coffee available for hosting events
Two Rivers Coffee is available to rent after hours. Host your holiday party here, an event or business training seminar.

Contact Nate for details at 608-216-8040. Two Rivers Coffee Co. is located at 224 W. Wisconsin St. in downtown Portage.
Great gifts at the Mercantile
Come in and see what's new at Giggles for Kids! Books and toys are arriving each week this month at the Mercantile, 117 W. Cook St., in downtown Portage. While in the store, please check out the cheese and sausage at Artisan Foodie and all the other great gift items for Christmas.  

Store hours are: Sunday, 10am to 2pm (between now and Christmas), Monday through Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm. For more information, call 608-745-5768.
Building Facade Improvements
The America's Best Communities (ABC) grant award that Portage received as a quarter-finalist has supported some nice programs and projects in our community. 

The latest product of the ABC grant award, a matching loans funds program, now exists for the purpose of upgrading and improving the exterior front, side and rear facades of existing privately owned businesses.The loan program will facilitate completions of many smaller scale exterior improvement projects. 

Funding for this program was made possible through the City of Portage and Portage Area Chamber of Commerce's participation in the America's Best Communities competition, sponsored by Frontier Communications.

Brakebush seeking applicants
Brakebush Brothers, Inc., is a food manufacturing/processing company, founded in 1925 that is involved in further processing (cook/freeze/package) of poultry products. They are currently seeking applicants to fill various productions shifts. For more information, click here to view more information.
Host an 8th grader for a day
Bob Meicher, principal of Bartels Middle School in Portage, is looking for businesses to host an 8th grader for a day or part of a day. Each semester, 8th grade students take part in a job shadow day. Students pick an area that interests them, make some calls to set-up the day, make the visits, then reflect on their experiences.

If you're willing:
1.  Please provide your company's name
2.  A brief description of what your company does or what a job shadow for your company or position would entail.
3.  A phone number and name of person to call to set up the visit (the student will make the call).

Call Bob at 608-742-2165 if you are interested in this opportunity or would like more information.

Love's seeks team members
The brand new Love's Travel Stop in the Poynette / Dekorra area is seeking full and part time team members to come grow with us! We are now hiring for the Convenience Store, Hardee's Restaurant, and Tire Care Center. We offer great benefits including medical, vision, dental, and disability 
insurance, quarterly bonus programs for all employees, 
401k, and paid vacation after six months. 

Come work in an outstanding work environment, with opportunity for advancement! Apply online at

ds healthcare
DSH seeking archives & anecdotes spanning its 100 years 
Divine Savior Healthcare is celebrating 100 years in May 2017. They are actively compiling personal anecdotes, artifacts and archives to tell the story of Divine Savior. 

If you or someone you know could serve as a great resource to this project, please contact Haley Gilman at 745-5165 or
Ribbon Cuttings & Groundbreakings

A ribbon cutting was held at World Finance, 2555 New Pinery Rd., to welcome this business as a new member of the Portage Chamber.

Their mission is to be of service to their customers. 

Get the strength of a national financial institution and the personal services of a local neighborhood branch for all your lending and tax services.

For more information, call 608-742-0135.

A ribbon cutting was held at Aldi, 2941 New Pinery Rd., to welcome this new business to Portage. 

Smart shoppers know they can save time and money at ALDI without sacrificing quality. 

Find award-winning products, a variety of fresh and organic produce, a gluten-free line and how a quarter can save you dollars. 

A ribbon cutting was held at BonBon & Bordeaux, 201 DeWitt St., to welcome this new business to Portage. 

Welcome to BonBon and Bordeaux! A new boutique with specialty wine, chocolate, gourmet foods and unique gifts. They are honored to be part of the Portage community and look forward to meeting you.

For more information, call 608-617-0936.

Chamber December meetings & events
2   Holiday Shopping Giveaway Drawing    4pm
3   Cookie Walk    9am-Noon
6   Chamber Business Luncheon at Dino's
7   Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank   8am
9   Holiday Shopping Giveaway Drawing    4pm
10  Culver's Breakfast with Santa  (tickets required)
16  Holiday Shopping Giveaway Grand Prize Drawing    4pm
23 & 26 Chamber office closed for Christmas
30  Chamber office closed for New Year

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!

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 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. 

December Community Events
Spread the word about your events by posting them on our website
1   Love Light Celebration at Tivoli
1   Wisconsin IANDS meeting at Portage Public Library
2   Local Artist Showcase at Portage Center for the Arts Drury Gallery
3   Carolers at Two Rivers Coffee Co.
3   Photos with Santa at Edgewater Home & Garden
3   Cookie Walk
3   St. Mary Holiday Craft & Vendor Fair
3   Elf School Party at Portage Public Library
3   Holiday House at Portage Presbyterian Church
3-4  "Sorry! Wrong Chimney!" Dinner Theater at Northwoods Banquet Hall
4   Gale Singers Holiday Concert
4   Holiday Dinner at Seventh Day Adventist Church
4   A 'Blue Christmas' Worship Service at Portage Presbyterian Church
5   Portage Presbyterian Church Mission Trip Fundraiser at Pizza Ranch
6   Chamber Business Luncheon at Dino's
7   Arthritis Seminar at LaVita
7   Red Stocking Day at Women's Civic League
7   Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
7   Advent Wednesday Worship at Portage Presbyterian Church
9-10  Holiday Cookie Walk at Pierce's Marketplace
9-11   "The Christmas Gift" at Portage Center for the Arts
10  Breakfast with Santa at Culver's
10  Meat Raffle at Jack's Tap
10  Kiddie Christmas at Historic Indian Agency House
10  Holiday Hand-Made Market
10  Columbia County Humane Society Bring Your Paws to Santa Claus
10  Portage Shopping Extravaganza at The Ball Room
10  Meat Raffle at Jack's Tap
10  Portage Presbyterian Church Mission Trip Fundraiser outside Corner Pocket
10  Historic Living Windows
10  Christmas Music Show at Portage Presbyterian Church  
11  Christmas Caroling Party at Portage Presbyterian Church
14  Advent Wednesday Worship at Portage Presbyterian Church
14  Sauk Columbia SHRM Meeting at Monk's at The Wilderness
16  Bingo at Our House Senior Living
16-18  The Christmas Gift at Portage Center for the Arts
18  Youth Christmas Program at Portage Presbyterian Church
18  Christmas in a Barn Worship Service at Heinze Farm
24  Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Portage Presbyterian Church
25  Christmas Day Service & Dinner at Portage Presbyterian Church
26  Portage Sharing Supper at Wayne Bartels Middle School
31  New Year's Eve Party at Cascade Mountain

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