chamber logo

Portage Area Chamber of Commerce
November 2021
Costume Contest To infinity and beyond! The Downtown Portage Business Improvement District and the Chamber of Commerce held a costume contest at Commerce Plaza last Saturday. Kids were able to visit various businesses in downtown following the Costume Contest for trick or treating. Thank you to Century 21 Affiliated of Portage for donating prizes, Portage Theatres for donating treat bags for the kids and to the judges for picking the winners!
Bee Alive Yoga Chamber Member Week
Bee Alive Yoga is offering free access to any Chair Yoga, Yoga and/or Belly Fusion class to Members of the Portage Chamber of Commerce for the first week of November (November 1-8).

Use discount code “PACC” at checkout online to receive free access or say PACC if you wish to purchase over phone or in person. Call Bee Alive Yoga, 230 W. Wisconsin Street, at 608-745-9333 or email for questions.
November Chamber Business Luncheon
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is offering another way to develop more customers and build relationships 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 at our Business Luncheons.
Luncheon Information
Rob Walz, President of Cascade Mountain will be our guest speaker. He will share with us information about their upcoming winter season to include new projects and details about how they are welcoming tourists to our community.

Location: Dino's Restaurant 
Time: Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: order your lunch at the restaurant 
Date: Tuesday, November 2, 2021

There is limited seating; please RSVP to the Chamber at 608-742-6242. Online Registration is here.
Storybook Art!
Join Miss Angie & Miss Patti for Storybook Art in the Portage Public Library Children’s Program Room on Monday, November 1, from 3:30pm to 4:15pm. Children will listen to a book and then create art inspired by that book!

This month's book is "Ish" by Peter H. Reynolds. Registration is required for this free program. The class is for children Kindergarten through 2nd Grade. Class size is limited. Call 745-4959, ext. 211 to sign up.

Family Drum Circle
Gather with Mark Soriano and Tom Gill and make music with percussion instruments in the Portage Public Library Children's Program Room on Saturday, November 6 from 10am to 11am. There will be a limit on people allowed at this event. Call 742-4959, ext. 211 to reserve a spot!

Technology Programs for Beginners
Join us to learn how to use technology including computers, laptops & smartphones in a program series for adults at the Portage Public Library in the Bidwell Room on Monday, November 8 from 1pm to 2pm.
This free program will include: Parts of the computer; Using the Internet; Understanding Microsoft Office
Register in advance; 15 spaces per class; call 608-742-4959.
Customer Appreciation Weekend at Main Street Consignment
Shop Saturday. November 13 and Sunday, November 14 for 20% off storewide during Customer Appreciation Weekend celebrating Main Street Consignment’s 1 Year Anniversary! Shoppers are also entered the entire month of November to win $100 shopping spree.

Store hours are Tuesday through Friday,10am-5pm; Saturday 9am-4pm & Sunday 10am-3pm. Main Street Consignment is located at 1 Main Street. For more information, call 608-566-1644.
Radio Christmas Show with PACT
This moving holiday show recreates the experience of attending a recording of a 1940s radio show broadcast on Christmas Eve during World War II. Using period songs and stories inspired by actual veterans, World War II Radio Christmas transports the audience to another time, brought to you by such generous sponsors as Vaseline Hair Tonic and Ipana Toothpaste.
An inspiring look at strength in the face of hardship, this play is a reminder of the importance of coming together for the holidays. This is a live radio play with music, 60-70 minutes, directed by Sheril Lannoye.

Performances are held at Portage Center for the Arts, 301 E. Cook Street, on November 12,13,19 and 20 at 7pm and November 14 and 21 at 2pm. Adults tickets are $15 and students $5. Call Portage Center for the Arts for tickets at 608-742-5655.
Alzheimer's & Dementia Caregivers Conference
Enhance your understanding of Alzheimer's or related dementia; how it affects those who have it; and how to effectively deal with it day-to-day.
Dementia Caregivers Share Their Stories
Keynote Speaker: Lynda Markut, Caregiver, Educator, & Author
An essential guidebook for anyone who must attend to the needs of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Learn from members of caregivers’ support groups and hear candidly about the challenges they have faced at every step in the caregiving process from early symptoms to advanced stages.
Date: Thursday, November 4, 9am to 1pm, Virtual Presentation, Event is free.
Registration deadline is November 1. Contact ADRC at 608-328-9499.
Portage High School Warrior Holiday Bazaar
Come check out this Holiday Bazaar with over 35 great vendors on Saturday, November 6 from 9am to 2pm at Portage High School Gymnasium, 305 East Slifer Street.

The event is free to attend. Please call 608-745-8545 for more information.
Veteran's Dinner at Portage Elks Lodge
Veterans are welcome to enjoy a free meal at the Portage Elks Lodge 675, 201 W. Conant Street, on Friday, November 12.

For more information, call 608-742-6040.
Harvest Dinner - Drive Thru
The Portage Presbyterian Church will be holding a Drive-Thru Harvest Dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, including apple or pumpkin pie, on Saturday, November 13 from 4:30pm until gone.

The dinner is $15 per person. Portage Presbyterian Church is located at 120 W. Pleasant Street. For more information, call 608-742-6006.
VFW Auxiliary Post 1707 Quarter Auction
VFW Auxiliary Post 1707 will be hosting a Quarter Auction on Saturday, November 13. This to raise funds for their scholarship and to help in our community. Entry tickets are $5 per person and include a paddle for bidding!

Tickets can be purchased from vendors and Auxiliary Members prior to the event or at the door. What is a Quarter Auction? Auction items will be put up for bid at 1, 2, 3 or 4 quarters. As items from each vendor are presented, bid by placing the correct amount of quarters in the bowl provided and hold up your paddle. If the auctioneer picks your paddle number from the bucket, you win the current item(s) being auctioned for just a few quarters that you placed in the bowl. If you have 2 paddles, then you put in the number of quarters for each paddle, and so on.
VFW Post 1707 is located at 215 West Collins Street. For more information, please call 608-742-5350.
Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting
The Downtown Portage Business Improvement District is excited to be hosting the Holiday Parade on Friday, November 26 at 6pm. The tree lighting will immediately follow after the parade at Commerce Plaza.

All area schools, churches, businesses and private parties are encouraged to participate and help celebrate the holidays with us. All are welcome to help make this a grand community event!

New parade route: The parade will begin at the intersection of MacFarlane and Cook Street by St. Mary's Church then proceed east down Cook Street to Adams Street, where it will end at Market Square. Click Here for the parade registration form. Email Madleen at or call 608-742-6242 with any questions.

Portage Presbyterian Church Chili Dump
Portage Presbyterian Church is holding their famous Chili Dump at Commerce Plaza during the Holiday Parade on Friday, November 26 beginning at 5pm, so get there early because its while supplies last and it goes fast. Sponsored by the Portage Presbyterian Church. For more information, call Nancy Schaper at 608-742-7242.

Small Business Saturday Specials
Come support our local businesses today on Small Business Saturday, November 27!

Portage Theatres Food Pantry Show
The Portage Theatres will be hosting a free movie with a non-perishable donation to the Portage Food Pantry on Saturday, November 27 at 10am. Portage Theatres is located at 322 W. Wisconsin Street. Visit

Meet Santa's Reindeer
Come to Commerce Plaza in downtown to see who pulls Santa's sleigh! Get your pictures with Santa and his reindeer on Saturday, November 27 from 11am to 2pm at Commerce Plaza. There is a $15 fee per photo with the reindeer.
Citywide Cookie Walk 2021
The Citywide Cookie Walk will be back this holiday season! The Portage Chamber is holding the Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 4 from 9am to Noon. The Chamber will be making 180 cookie boxes available for purchase beginning Monday, November 22. The cost of the box is just $5.

People who purchase a cookie box will also receive a map featuring locations of the participating Chamber member businesses and promotions they are offering. More than 20 businesses are estimated to participate this year.

If your business is interested in participating, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242. We are asking each business to provide 180 cookies (store-bought or homemade, as the Chamber is selling 180 cookie boxes) and to provide a deal or special good for that day or an expiration in the future.
Welcome New Portage Chamber of Commerce Members

Heritage House of Portage Assisted Living
2685 Airport Road, Portage WI 53901
Paula Barans at 608-745-3312
An assisted living apartment complex that offers a la carte services such as medication management, diabetic care, etc. Caregivers are duty 24 hours and nurses on call.     
Toys for Tots!
Toys for Tots season has begun! If you are interested in having a Toys for Tots box at your business, please call 800-831-8629 to speak with Haley Melby, Marketing Coordinator, Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative or email
Employment Imperative: Tackling Workforce Challenges!
Live Zoom Event on Tuesday, November 9
If you’ve noticed challenges with hiring employees in the last few years, you are not alone. Businesses across the state of Wisconsin have struggled with recruitment and hiring in a wide range of industries, and a variety of environmental, historical, and economic factors have lead us to these challenges.
In this session, we’ll translate regional data into your day-to-day by understanding how long-term trends are impacting the current labor market and how one local business is responding.

As part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development, Matt Kures specializes in researching regional economic analysis, labor force, socioeconomic impact analysis, and industry sector competitiveness. For this presentation, Matt will focus on precipitating factors and impacts, such as: labor-force participation, employment by industry, population demographics and migration, automation/computerization, and more.

From there, Todd Spencer, V.P. of Human Resources at TriEnda Corporation will share his corporate perspective, including challenges he has seen as an employer, how employee recruitment has shifted since the start of the pandemic, addressing employee motivation and company culture, and more.

•         1:30-1:40 Steve Sobiek, Director, Business Development & Planning for the City of Portage
•         1:40-2:45 Matt Kures, Community Development Institute at the UW-Madison, Division of Extension
•         2:45-3:15 Todd Spencer, V.P. of Human Resources at TriEnda Corporation
•         3:15-3:30 Q&A

This event was developed by the Innovation Champions Group (ICG) with Columbia, Sauk, and Marquette Counties in mind; however, any Wisconsin business is welcome to attend.

Schedule & location: 1:30-3:30pm live virtual event via Zoom
Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Fee: No cost
Get your custom framing order in early!
Robert Condon of R. Condon Gallery & Studio is reminding you to get any Christmas custom framing in early! As a bonus, mention this Chamber newsletter, and you will receive 10% off your custom frame order.

R. Condon Gallery & Studio is located at 223 West Cook Street. You can reach Roberta at 608-617-1733.
Shop Giggles for Kids in the Mercantile
Shop Giggles for Kids this holiday season! The store is well-stocked with Springbok puzzles, toys have arrived from Haba, Hape and JuraToys and storybooks and activity books are arriving soon from HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Usborne/Educational Development Corporation.

Be sure to stop by and choose from a fine selection of great toys for kids for Christmas. Giggles for Kids is located inside the Mercantile at 117 W. Cook Street. For more information, call 608-745-5768.
Veteran's Day Event at Portage High School
Come to the Portage High School Gymnasium and help recognize our Veterans on Thursday, November 11 from 2pm to 3pm.

Portage High School is located at 301 E. Collins Street. For more information, please call 608-742-8545.
Register to Bell Ring
Last year, local Salvation Army Bell Ringers raised around $40,000. Volunteer to Bell Ring in your Community! All donations raised stay local to help your neighbors in need.

If you or someone you know is interested, please call the Portage Area Kettle Hotline at 608-617-3237 or click here to register. For questions, email
Do you live alone?
A daily wellness, safety check is now available known as No One Alone. This phone call is confidential, free and available to you.

For more details, please call 608-742-3588.
Live Music at the Portage VFW
Come and hear live music every Wednesday evening at VFW Post #1707, 215 W. Collins Street.

The VFW is open Wednesdays through Fridays in the evening, 4:30pm-8:30pm. For more information, call 608-742-5350.
Elks Hoop Shoot
All youth between the ages of 8 and 13 as of April 1, 2022 are invited to participate in the Elks Hoop Shoot happening at John Muir Elementary School on Saturday, November 13 from 8am to Noon. Registration starts at 8am. The event free to participate.

For more information, call Dan at 608-742-6040.
Lunch Break Series, Ribbon Cutting at PCA
The November Lunch Break (formerly Brown Bag Lunch) will feature Rock N Wool Winery Owner/Winemaker Shaun Lapacek at Portage Center for the Arts on Thursday, November 18 at Noon. The Portage Chamber will celebrate the return of the series with a ribbon cutting.

Lapacek believes in the concept of terroir; Wine should reflect the land that gives birth to it. You will learn more about this Wisconsin Winery, located on 40 acres of vines and pines! Portage Center of the Arts is located at 301 E. Cook Street. There is a $5 admission fee at the door. Call 608-742-5655 for more information.

Opening Reception for Four Friends/Four Media
The Opening Reception for the exhibit Four Friends/Four Media, the works of Liz Gregory, Vicky Hanson, Kathleen Jahn and Peg Napralla will be held on Friday, November 5 from 4pm to 6pm at the Drury Gallery inside Portage Center for the Arts.

The exhibit--featuring hand-built pottery, acrylic, oil, and mixed media art, watercolor, and pastel, hand-made artisan glass jewelry, tableware, ornaments and more--is free and open to the public and runs until November 26.
Lilac Shop Holiday Market
Come to the Lilac Shop Holiday Market and see some new vendors along with some of your favorites from before on Saturday, November 20 from 9am to 3pm. For more information please check out the Facebook event, Lilac Shop Market. The Lilac Shop Studio is located at 242 W. Edgewater Street.

For more information, call 608-617-9066.
Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk
Come out and join the Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25 at 8am.
The race will start and finish at Portage High School. There is no fee, but participants are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Food Pantry.

This event is sponsored by the Portage High School Cross Country Teams. For questions, please call Kristin Considine at 608-963-0137.
Create a Mixed Evergreen Porch Pot
Join us for this workshop to create your own evergreen porch pot at Edgewater Home and Garden on Friday, November 26 from 10am to 2pm. Create a beautiful mixed evergreen pot for your front steps or porch! Fee based on materials used.

Wreath Decorating Workshop
Join us for this workshop to decorate a fresh evergreen wreath at Edgewater Home and Garden on Saturday, November 27 from 10am to 2pm. They will help you, step by step, making a beautiful wreath that you can be proud of! Fee based on materials used.

Edgewater Home and Garden is located at 2957 Highway CX. Visit
or call 608-742-6558.
St. Mary Free Thanksgiving Dinner
Come enjoy a delicious turkey dinner with all of the trimmings on Thursday, November 25 from 11am to 1pm at St, Mary's School Gym, 309 W. Cook Street. Call the St. Mary Parish Office at 608-742-6998 to make a reservation or to arrange delivery to a residence in the Portage area.

Donation of pies are greatly appreciated and can be brought to the Parish Office anytime Wednesday, November 24 or Thursday morning to the school gym.
Termination of BounceBack Check Program
The Columbia County District Attorney's office received notification that BounceBack is discontinuing its Check Enforcement Program due to a recent decision by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They will work with the county on winding down cases that have already been referred to them, but they will not be accepting any new cases.

It is up to you whether you wish to continue accepting personal checks at your business. There are a number of companies who will handle civil collection services for you, for a fee. The District Attorney's office may prosecute criminal worthless check violations, but the matter would have to be investigated by your local law enforcement agency first. The focus of a criminal prosecution is holding the offender accountable, not collection of the worthless check. That may be part of the outcome, but it is not guaranteed.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please reach out to Brenda Yaskal, Columbia County District Attorney at 608-742-9650.
Portage renews Bronze Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation
28 communities in Wisconsin receive designations
Portage has again received a Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation. Portage had previously received a designation in 2018 and this renewal is recognition of continued work and program towards improving local health.

This program is intended to recognize and encourage achievements in health improvement in Wisconsin communities, and to promote cooperation across multiple sectors.
The Healthy Communities Designation program is designed to be accessible to communities of all shapes and sizes, both rural and urban. The definition of community is broad and can include counties, municipalities, neighborhoods and other self-defined, place-based communities in Wisconsin. The program uses a three-tiered approach – gold, silver and bronze – which are meant to provide a trajectory and serve as a guide for communities as they continue to strive toward better health.
Build Financial Confidence in Your Business
Even if you've described yourself as "not a numbers person" in the past, you can learn your business' financial landscape in order to make smart decisions about the future of your company. This "101" series will help you master the basics so that you can move forward with confidence.
Week 1: Basics of Financial Management
Week 2: Analyzing & Interpreting Financial Statements
Week 3: Budgeting & Profit Planning
Week 4: Managing Cash Flow
Learn more & Register! Build Financial Confidence in Your Business starts November 3, 2021 - in person!
Portage Area Caring Tree
The Portage Area Caring Tree is ready for another year. Your help and support is appreciated for the coming holiday season. Click Here to access the form to be given to families in need. In order to receive pertinent information as far as siblings, sizes, special needs, etc. it is necessary for the forms to be filled out by the parent or guardian and returned as soon as possible. All information remains confidential.

The application deadline is November 25. The Caring Tree tags will be placed in bank locations as soon as they are received.
Vickie Greenwold, The Portage Area Caring Tree: PO Box 384, Portage WI
November Chamber Meetings and Events
3 Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank at 8am
18 Ribbon Cutting at Portage Center for the Arts at Noon
Want to submit an article for this newsletter?
The Chamber's monthly newsletter deadlines the 20th of the month. Members are always welcome to let others know: about new products and services; introduce new associates or promotions; provide updates about their industry or business; give helpful tips; promote a sale or event. For more information, call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Submit your Events!
Are you planning an event this year? Get it posted on our web community calendar at One of the most popular viewed of the Chamber website pages, the calendar allows you to submit your own events.

Simply click this link and submit your events. If you have questions, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242.
Spread the word about Portage!
Use #portagewi in your social media posts.
Check out the Chamber's YouTube Channel HERE
Job postings on
Check out these job postings on our Chamber site from our member businesses. You are welcome to post job openings your business may have at any time. Call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 for more information.
Text PORTAGE to 51660
to receive information about upcoming Portage events
Join a Service Club - Meetings subject to change
Rotary - Meets Mondays at Noon at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Lions Club - Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 5:30pm at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd., summer month meetings change locations
Kiwanis - Meets on Wednesdays at Noon at Pizza Ranch, 2905 New Pinery Rd.
Optimists - Meets on Tuesdays at 7am at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Elks - Meets 2nd & 4th Tuesday at 7pm; 4th Tuesday only during July and August
Women's Civic League - Meets 2nd Wednesdays of the month at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce | 608-742-6242 | |
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"