Friday, April 24, 2009

RE/MAX All Seasons Celebrates New Location

RE/MAX, the number one seller of real estate in the United States, continues to provide experienced, full-time seasoned realtors to serve buyers and sellers in northern Idaho. At the RE/MAX All Seasons’ new location at 509 N. Fifth Avenue, owners Fred Frost and Paula Kamp are pleased to offer customers top-notch service with easy-access parking at a centralized location in downtown Sandpoint. They invite the general public to come visit their new offices on Saturday, April 25th for their grand opening celebration from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pictured are owners Frost and Kamp cutting the ribbon amongst the RE/MAX All Seasons team, the Chamber Ambassadors, and business associates. For more information, call (208) 255-7400 or visit

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Small Business Lending Drops 57%

The Small Business Administration is still drawing up guidelines for its forthcoming emergency loans program, a stopgap measure intended to shore up small businesses struggling to keep up with payments on existing debt. But the agency recently confirmed an unexpected twist: Businesses with current loans backed by the SBA won't be able to use new loans to cover payments on existing SBA debt.

The upcoming program requires the SBA to create a new "business stabilization" program to back loans of up to $35,000 to small businesses "experiencing immediate financial hardship." (Source: Money/ Learn more...

Courtesy of the BBB

SBA, Recovery Resources & How To Apply

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is designed to have a significant impact on small businesses, providing tax incentives and financing opportunities to help businesses create jobs.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes the Small Business Association (SBA) part of the solution, providing it with specific tools to make it easier and less expensive for small businesses to get loans and boost liquidity in the credit markets.

Visit for information to help business owners gain access to recovery programs. Visit for detailed information on stimulus programs.

courtesy of the BBB

Friday, April 17, 2009

Idaho Business Review's "Best Places to Work in Idaho" Awards

Idaho Business Review's "Best Places to Work in Idaho" Awards honored many of our own Chamber members. Visit to read the full article.

Conterfeit Bill Alert

The City of Sandpoint Police Department has issued an alert for all downtown businesses that there are counterfeit $5 and $10 bills in circulation. They do have some leads but no suspects at this time, according to Police Chief Mark Lockwood. The bills are the "new" editions and have been scanned and then copied on to parchment paper. The $5 bill is not bad, but the $10 bill is a poor copy. However, "in a handful of cash it could get by a clerk," says Chief Lockwood. If any businesses suspect they have received a fake bill, immediately contact the Sandpoint Police Department at 265-1482.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pedro's at the Panida Celebrates New Location

Pedro’s at the Panida celebrated with the Chamber Ambassadors at their new location next to the Panida in downtown Sandpoint. Pedro’s, a retail shop specializing in natural fiber fashions, has a mix of items including women and children’s clothing, blankets, teddy bears, socks, pillows, hats and mittens, purses, sandals, jewelry, and more. The store is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pictured is owner Lisa Larson cutting the ribbon with the Chamber Ambassadors. For more information, call (208) 263-6200 or visit

Ilani Celebrates 5 Years at Stepping Stones Wellness Center

J. Ilani Kopiecki, BA, CMT & CST, celebrated five years with other wellness practitioners at the Stepping Stones Wellness Center, located at 803 W. Pine Street. Ilani offers massage, energy, and cranio-sacral therapies including therapies for children to reduce stress and anxiety, release chronic pain, and relieve discomfort from migraine headaches or TMJ Syndrome. Pictured is J. Ilani Kopiecki cutting the ribbon with business partners and the Chamber Ambassadors. For more information about Ilani’s services, call 208-610-2005.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

BBB Alert: Deceptive Calls by National Yellow Pages Online

BBB wishes to alert you about deceptive telemarketers attempting to get you to renew your company's online Yellow Pages listing. Businesses continue to report that National Yellow Pages Online of Russell, IL, uses misleading and confusing statements to obtain agreements from businesses to pay almost $390.00 for renewals of online business listings. Complaints also allege that the company implies inaccurately it is associated with the Yellow Pages telephone directory. Visit for full article.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lisa Ailport Recognized as Volunteer of the Month

On April 9th the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce honored Lisa Ailport as Volunteer of the Month for giving of herself to make this a better place to live and work.

Lisa Ailport is the land use planner for Ruen-Yeager Assoc. Inc. and volunteers as the secretary/treasurer of the Chamber’s Women in Business committee. Not only does Lisa support women in business through the Chamber, but she uses her knowledge to help others. Recently she worked to represent a single mother in her application for a conditional use permit to open a day care center, and she did this work on her own time without charge.

“She serves completely with enthusiasm and grace,” said chairman Marcia Phillips, “and offers herself to support, to labor along side, and to encourage others.”

The Chamber is especially pleased with the professional and personal development taking place through the Women in Business monthly luncheon gatherings. Both personally and professionally, Lisa has played a major role in supporting business in the Greater Sandpoint area.

Photo Caption: Women in Business chairman Marcia Phillips recognizes Lisa Ailport on behalf of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Month.

Chamber Welcomes Sandpoint Salon

Sandpoint Salon, located at 111 N. 1st Avenue, is a full-service hair salon providing natural nail services, facial waxing, gel nail enhancements, UV tanning and spray tanning. They provide special parties of four or more and walk-ins are welcome. They are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and before and after hours by appointment only. The public is invited to attend their grand opened set for Saturday, May 2nd. For more information, call 255-1316 for tanning or 255-2277 for the salon. Pictured is owner Pat Story amongst staff, friends, and supporters including Ali Dodson, Willow Birks, Dawn Meyer, Tysh Brunner, Pat Story, Ashley Hallett, Bob Story, Nicole & Eric Rust, Mariel Story, and the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chamber Congratulates New Owners of Pend Oreille Insurance & Financial Services

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors celebrated with new owners Stefanie Nostdahl and Jodie Corless. Located on Highway 95 North in Ponderay, Pend Oreille Insurance & Financial Services is an independent full line insurance agency offering insurance for personal and business needs including life and health in addition to retirement planning and estate planning. With over 60 years of combined experience, they broker with multiple companies to meet the needs of their clients. Pictured from left on front row is Ambassador Clem Hackworthy, Ambassador chairman Carol Warren, Ambassador Ilani K., owners and licensed agents Stefanie Nostdahl and Jodie Corless cutting the ribbon, Debbie Edlund, and Ambassador Peggy Shadel. Pictured from left on back row is Chamber membership account executive Lee Hoge, Kathy Perry, Julian Stevens, financial planner Don Morton, Penny Brown, Amy Lunde, Michelle Anderson, and Ambassador Diane Miller. For more information, call (208) 263-2169 or visit

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Six Rivers Market

Inspired by community members, Six Rivers Market is a local food cooperative and year-round farmers’ market with producers from across the Idaho Panhandle and beyond. As a cooperative, Six Rivers Market helps create a sustainable food economy. Participants can order food online and drop-off and pick-up products every Wednesday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Sandpoint Business & Event Center, located at 102 S. Euclid Avenue. Pictured is market manager Vicki Reich cutting the ribbon with Meadow Summers. They celebrated at their first pick-up on April 8th amongst community supporters, producers, and the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. For more information, visit or call (208) 596-0740.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Real Value of Joining a Chamber of Commerce

A Research Study by the Shapiro Group

"Advocates of chambers of commerce have long believed that when a company is active in its local chamber, it is doing the right thing not only for the community but for its own success as well. While there is plenty of evidence to show the impact of chambers of commerce on their communities, it is much harder to find data that quantify the impact of belonging to a chamber. This study, commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives with support from Small Business Network, Inc., is designed to do just that: determine the real value to companies in terms of consumer outcomes of joining and being active in their local chamber of commerce. Do consumers really support businesses because they are chamber members?"
-an excerpt from the report

Click the link above to read all about the importance of Chamber Membership and the value it can bring to your business.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bill Jhung to speak at Chamber Power Lunch Thursday

“Becoming the Business of Choice in Your Market” is the topic at the Chamber’s upcoming Power Luncheon on Thursday, April 9th. Bill Jhung, Director of the Idaho Small Business Development Center, will discuss how businesses can stand out from the crowds in this lean economy.

“In this new economy, there aren’t enough customers for everyone,” said Jhung. “For many businesses, it has been difficult to maintain their margin and cover their overhead,” he said. Jhung said there is an intense pressure to discount to stay afloat in this economic climate. He will change conventional thought and discuss how businesses can stand out in the crowd and be profitable.

The luncheon will be held at the Community Room, located at 414 Church Street, at 11:45 a.m. The cost is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members, and reservations can be made online at or by calling (208) 263-0887.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bonner County's Got Talent Competition

Deadline for entry to the first annual Bonner County's Got Talent Competition is April 15th at 5 pm PST! For more information, visit or call us at 263-0887.

A talent show of 12 finalists who will compete for prizes will be May 2 at 6:30 pm at the Sandpoint Events Center, in the auditorium.

Join us for the show, or enter your best talent! All ages and talents welcome, as long as the performance is family friendly!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Better Business Bureau ALERT

Deceptive Calls Being Made to Missoula and Inland NW Businesses

Chamber is NOT Fundraising

Thanks to the Missoula Chamber of Commerce for this report/warning The Missoula Chamber received a call this morning from a Missoula resident who reported that she was contacted late last night by someone who said they were "raising money for the chamber." Thankfully, she did not give them any money but they did tell her that they would send her a self-addressed stamped envelope in order to send her donation.

This is yet another scam misusing a chamber's good name. Be wary of deceptive pleas for funds via phone. If the call uses the name of a local organization or association you are aware of, state that you wish to confirm with that group that they are soliciting at this time, end the call, and contact the official entity to verify the validity of the call. If you want wise giving tips, go to:


If You Follow Caller's "Orders," Switches Your Account

Are you a business with a credit card processing machine? Listen up. A regional bank contacted BBB to relay that its business clients with credit card processing equipment on lease with them are being contacted by a third-party sales center not affiliated with the bank telling businesses that they are with "merchant services"-a generic term used in this industry to encompass a variety of services to clients. The caller goes on to tell the business that their credit card processing machines are outdated and/or out of compliance.

When asked questions about this, the caller threatens the business that they are breaking the law, etc. and if they don't comply with what they are about to tell them, they are breaking the law. If the caller gets this far with the business, they then high pressure the business to go to their machine and punch in a series of numbers. Supposedly, this will place them back in compliance, and will update their machine.

The red flag about this scenario is that when the business owner follows the caller's instructions 1) they are actually transferring their service to the company calling. It has been reported to BBB that Spokane, Colfax, and Pullman businesses have received these types of calls.

If you ever receive a call about your credit card processing equipment, you may want to save your conversation for your legitimate and contracted leaser of the equipment. If your processing equipment is leased through your bank, and you receive calls from other entities using high pressure tactics, threats, or rudeness, we strongly suggest that you end the call, don't answer any questions, and don't say yes or agree to anything. Report the incident to your legitimate processing agent and BBB (so we can warn others). If you feel you have been wrongfully deceived into switching leasing agents, file a formal complaint for resolve with your BBB as well as your state Attorney General's Office.