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Category: Business

Chamber members preview 2019 legislative pipeline

By ERIC A. HOWALD

Of the Keizertimes

Details are still hazy on potential legislation that could have a major impact on business during the 2019 Oregon legislative session, but Jenny Dresler, director of grassroots with Public Affairs Counsel, tried to read the tea leaves during a Keizer Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, Jan. 29. 

With a Democratic wave sweeping through the Legislature in November 2018, “legislators feel they’ve been given a mandate to push an agenda,” Dresler said. “One can look at the election results and understand that, but businesses will get steamrolled if they do not speak up.”

Dresler said Public Affairs Counsel, a lobbying firm, and Oregon State Chamber of Commerce are monitoring developments on several issues. 

Some of the legislative movements sparking heightened interest include:

• Tax proposals involving hospitals and insurance providers to cover the costs of Medicaid.

• Cap-and-trade discussions that revolve around how the state will manage harmful emissions.

• A proposed $2 billion revenue package to support reforms throughout public schools. 

• A paid family and medical leave tax that might affect businesses as small as one employee. 

• Proposals that could create increased liability concern for small business.

• Increases to the corporate minimum tax and excise taxes on goods like alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. 

• A subsidizing tax on businesses with more than 50 employees enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP).

Dresler said the cap-and-trade discussions often appear to affect large manufacturing, but legislation could reach much further down the line. 

“The Oregon Farm Bureau is concerned about fuel prices, natural gas and electric. If you are an energy-intensive business, through something like refrigeration, it could be a significant policy,” Dresler said. 

Dresler said the state chamber of commerce is sending out newsletters every Monday with calls to action on specific proposals. Business owners can sign up for the newsletter at www.oregonchamber.org. She also suggested using a new service called Voter Voice, info.votervoice.net, to track legislation as it moves through the Capitol. 

Regardless of how business owners choose to get involved, she said, messages should be crafted around personal stories. 

“Go [to a legislator] and tell a personal story. Tell the stories to your representatives and senators and they will talk to colleagues,” Dresler said. 

She urged constituents to personalize form letters whenever possible.

“You are all playing an out-sized role in your community. Testimony is incredibly effective, either in person or in a letter, but keep it personal,” she said. 

New owners, new space for Keizer gym

By ERIC A. HOWALD

Of the Keizertimes 

Keizer’s Snap Fitness location has new owners and will unveil a new expansion at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26. 

Personal trainers Cameron Tadlock and Carrie Strong recently purchased the franchise location from the previous owner and have added nearly 1,500 square feet of “functional fitness” space. 

“The stuff we have in there is colorful and fun and its the perfect way to supplement the regular gym stuff. Looks more like a daycare center for adults,” said Tadlock. 

Functional fitness focuses on balance and coordination through movements like kneeling, squatting, running, jumping and more. It’s completing the circuit found in traditional gyms that focus on cardio and lifting, Tadlock said. 

The new space will have seven stations outfitted with equipment like punching bags, sandbags, tire flips and battle ropes. It also has 57 feet of turf surface and a sled push. 

“I am so unbelievably excited. When I got into fitness, I was so bored. You’re stuck between science and very creative marketing. I think most gyms are done wrong, we’re supposed to be here to help people,” Tadlock said. 

Tadlock became a certified trainer almost 10 years ago after a career in retail management. While working in construction, a friend encouraged him to go to a gym and he dropped 70 pounds and it put him on a new path. 

He’s been part the Keizer Snap Fitness location, 5442 River Road N., since 2011. 

In addition to the new space, Keizer’s Snap Fitness offers cardio and weight machines, personal training and a special room where members can cue up one of more than 350 training programs on demand. 

For more information, call 503-400-6344. 

A groundbreaking First Citizen

By ERIC A. HOWALD 

Of the Keizertimes

As Vickie Jackson accepted the title and award of Keizer’s First Citizen at a banquet Saturday, Jan. 19, she called out the previous First Citizen honorees in a line in front of her. 

“They set the example for me to follow,” said Jackson. 

Jackson was one of four award winners during the banquet, which is an annual event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. Kyle Juran, owner of Remodeling by Classic Homes, was honored as Merchant of the Year. Brian Aicher was presented the Service to Education Award, and Larry Schmidgall was given the President’s Award by current Chamber President Bob Shackleford. 

Jackson’s list of community involvement threatened to have presenter Joe Egli reaching for a glass of water, but the longtime owner of AccurAccounts broke new ground in one of Keizer’s older institutions. 

Jackson became a member of the Rotary Club of Keizer in 1990 – just two years after the club began admitting women – and served as the first woman president in 1998-99. She served as president again in 2014-15. 

“Rotary taught me how to give back to the community and how to be comfortable speaking in front of all you with all these bright lights,” Jackson said. 

Aside from Rotary involvement, Jackson has longstanding engagements with the Keizer and Salem chambers of commerce, Gubser Elementary School Parent-Teacher Club, the Whiteaker Middle School Mom and Dad Squad, the McNary High School Graduation Party, the Distinguished Young Women of Keizer program,and the Chemeketa Community College Advisory Committee. She’s also had a guiding role in the Keizer Big Toy project and the McNary High School Turf project. 

“The list goes on and on,” said Egli. “In addition to that, she’s hosted nine exchange students and has an impeccable reputation.”

Depending on the specific group or organization, Jackson is able to provide an undercurrent of consistency in otherwise high-turnover efforts, the McNary Grad Party being one of them.

Jackson started as an employee of the business she now owns, but said her community involvement is what’s helped it grow. 

“I didn’t try to make it get bigger, it happened because I met people in the community and they would want our help, too,” Jackson said. “That’s my message as First Citizen: if you have an opportunity to give back, find a way to do it. The benefits far outweigh the few minutes you give.”

Jackson lives in Keizer with her husband, Randy. They have two sons, Nicholas and Cody. 

Juran was honored for his involvement in city- and chamber-based committees and for the Classic Homes team going the extra mile to design and build a playhouse that was auctioned off during the 2018 KeizerFEST to raise money for the Keizer Network of Women Giving Basket Program. Juran also led the recent redesign on the new Chamber of Commerce office on River Road N. 

“Thank you for this and I appreciate the chance to work here in Keizer and work with the Chamber,” said Juran in accepting the award. 

Aicher is a longtime coach of Keizer youth and was commended for always giving extra time and attention to athletes beyond his involvement in boards and committees and contributions to major projects. 

“This is a tremendous honor and an even bigger surprise. I’ve coached a lot of people who are every bit as deserving of this as I am,” Aicher said. 

Schmidgall, Shackleford’s personal choice for the President’s Award, is a driving force behind the scenes of KeizerFEST and decorating River Road North for the holidays. For more than a quarter of a century, Schmidgall has helped stage parades, erect the KeizerFEST tent and drive dignitaries along the parade route. He also mans the forklift that allows other volunteers to hang holiday ornaments from the streetlights along River Road North each year. 

Schmidgall only reluctantly took the mic after having his name called. “Very unexpected. Thank you,” he said. 

Merchant of the Year champions integrity

By ERIC A. HOWALD

Of the Keizertimes

Larry Jackson wasn’t surprised to be named Keizer’s Merchant of the Year in 2018, it was something he worked toward. 

“I grew up in Keizer and volunteering at the fire district, the candy cane day and the breakfasts. I remember the dads who helped build Keizer Little League Park and being there for the kids,” Jackson said. 

In the year since his name was announced, Jackson’s presence in the community hasn’t dwindled in the slightest. He is a regular fixture at just about any community effort in Keizer and Salem. While he is more likely to be found working behind the scenes than in photo ops, the relationships he makes through involvement have allowed others to tap into resources they might not otherwise have known were available. In addition to the extra-curricular activities, Jackson’s Auto Body, the business he co-owns with his cousins Jerry and Carol Jackson, celebrated its 60th anniversary and the third generation of family owners. 

“It gets a little complicated – sometimes very complicated – mixing business and family. But when I talk to other people in family businesses, most don’t get this far,” Jackson said of the milestone.

It was a busy year to say the least, but the Merchant of the Year title was more of a capstone in a long journey. He’d been working toward it for eight years, which is as long as he has been working on sobriety.

Jackson started working in the shop at 14, when his dad woke him up and told him he was going to work on the first day of his summer vacation. From that point until he graduated from McNary High School in 1984, he split his time between a part-time job at Orcutt’s IGA and the family business. 

“When I started at 14, I painted the buildings and swept floors and did some of the prep work on paint jobs, but I wanted to get into the shop and repair things,” Jackson said.

In a field more and more dominated by technology, car body work still requires a personal touch. 

“I always felt I was good with my hands and collision work takes a feel. You have to sand to a happy medium before something can be repainted, and I liked pounding on something from time to time,” Jackson said.

He started full-time in January 1985 and rose to co-owner in 1998. By 2010, Jackson’s dependency on alcohol was consuming him. He spent New Year’s Eve 2010 in a hotel by himself, a few miles away from his actual home. 

“I didn’t want to drink, but wasn’t able to not drink,” Jackson said.

By the end of the first week of 2011, he checked himself in to Eugene’s Serenity Lane.  On his first day in Eugene, a guest speaker shared his story and Jackson connected with it on almost every level. He left the bottle in the rearview and set his sights on staying busy. He found outlets in the Keizer Chamber of Commerce as well as Salem Chamber of Commerce.  

“It was service and it was a way to keep moving,” Jackson said. “People are looking to get involved and do things, we have to give them an opportunity to. It’s not about the business I own, it’s about volunteering and then you go to a store a month later and you meet someone who was working alongside you and you have a new relationship, and it keeps going from there.”

The first time he decided to wrap gifts for the Keizer Chamber’s annual Giving Basket Program, he was the only male on site. That’s changed in the intervening years, thanks mostly to social media, but Jackson does his part by showing up, the same way he saw other adults do when he was a kid. 

In recent years, he’s found himself among a new generation of Keizer leaders—including Bob Shackleford, the current Keizer Chamber president—who picked up the volunteerism baton from their parents). But, he also thinks more can be done. 

“The Keizer Network of Women (KNOW) do a great job of bringing young girls into what they do, I want to get the young boys involved in doing the right thing,” Jackson said. 

For the Merchant of the Year, that is the heart of what integrity means: doing the right things even when no one is looking. Jackson also walks the talk, he celebrated his eighth year of sobriety on Jan. 5.

One of his regular gigs is speaking with others battling alcoholism at Serenity Lane and through visits to the Oregon State Correctional Institution. Any effort that taps into the issues surrounding alcoholism is likely to find an action-minded supporter in Jackson. 

“There were a lot of people worried about me and thought I was going to die, but I want to be someone with a legacy of hope. I know where I was at during the lowest point and I know where I am now,” he said.

 

Committee will examine city’s available land, potential uses

By ERIC A. HOWALD

Of the Keizertimes

The City of Keizer embarks on yet another growth-related discussion when the Buildable Lands Supply and Housing Needs Analysis Advisory Committee meets for the first time on Monday, Jan. 14. 

Input from all residents is encouraged during the advisory committee meetings. The Jan. 14 meeting begins at 6 p.m. 

What Keizer can actually expect in terms of growth is currently a topic of some debate. Because Keizer shares its Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), past growth forecasts were issued for the entire area contained within the shared UGB.

Keizer is receiving additional funding from the state to look at the issues because Keizer is now labeled as a severely rent-burdened city. The designation means that more than a quarter of renter households are paying more than 50 percent of the household gross income on rent.

In the overall picture, Keizer is just over the line that triggered the designation, but the city is required to address the issue. City officials must convene a public meeting to discuss the causes and consequences of the of rent burdens, the barriers to reducing rent and possible solutions. 

The issues the advisory committee will examine hit a nerve for Keizer residents. Finding volunteers to serve in these types of advisory capacities is typically akin to pulling teeth, but more than 30 applications were received to serve. 

It led to the formation of an 11-person committee, up from the originally needed seven people. James Hutches, Danielle Bethell, Ron Bersin, Blaze Itzaina, Carol Doerfler, Felicia Squires, Nick Stephenson, Stefani Iverson, Rick Kuehn, David Dempster, and Mike Kerr are all expected to be part of the committee. 

Committee members will forward recommendations to the city council even though they will not have any direct authority to enact them. 

Housing needs

The current population for the combined cities is roughly 204,000 people. In 2032, the population is expected to swell to approximately 308,000. Until recently, there was no agreement as to how much of that growth Keizer would be expected to absorb. 

Now, Keizer and Salem have determined an amenable split, but it will still need approval from state officials. Given that Keizer comprises just 15.6 percent of the UGB, Keizer’s revised 2032 growth estimate is about 48,000 people. That is still about 10,000 more than residents than are currently in the city, and it will likely require a seismic shift in current approaches to housing. 

The state requires that every city have enough housing to absorb the residential growth, and Keizer is coming up short on almost every level. 

Buildable lands

The advisory committee will be reviewing Keizer’s housing lands as well as housing needs. That component includes vacant land, lands that are likely to be redeveloped during the planning period, land ready for construction within a year of receiving a building permit, and lands with other constraints such as wetlands and environmental sensitivity. 

According to a 2011 report provided by the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, Keizer’s current boundaries included only about 60 acres of vacant land, most of which is zoned for commercial or industrial use. Slightly less than 12 acres is zoned for mixed use. Some of those spaces have since been turned into low- or medium-density developments.

Pair sought in Boucher’s theft

Police and the Boucher family are seeking help in the identification and arrest of a man who shoplifted an undisclosed number of items from Boucher’s Jewelers on Dec. 22. 

The suspect, described as an Afican American male in his 20s or 30s and more than 6 feet tall, was chased from the store to a waiting sedan on Churchdale Avenue about 5 p.m. 

He wore black sweatpants that had three white stripes on the back of the right calf, white shoes, black hoodie sweatshirt with a dark green Carhartt beanie on under his hood. He had a gold watch and a black glove on only one hand. He carried a light grey and black backpack during the theft. 

The driver of the sedan is a person of interest and was described as an Indian woman with a distinct accent, 20s or 30s, heavier set with dark hair pulled back into a low bun, 5-foot-6 or shorter, wearing black Seattle University shirt, black leggings, and black slides for shoes, with large black purse.

Development news tops Year in Review

It should probably be no surprise that the three biggest stories of 2018 had to do with development. It’s something of a sign regarding how starved Keizer is for a diversity in shopping, eating and entertainment. But big things were happening outside that realm as well. For the first time in years, thanks to a parks services fee, the city officials got to argue what work it wanted to do in its parks instead of how to say, ‘No.’ A equal fee helped fully staff the Keizer Police Department in almost a decade. There were some hits, one enormous miss, and a lot in between. This is the year that was 2018 in Keizer news. 

In-N-Out plans Keizer location

In August, a development manager for In-N-Out Burger quietly took a seat in front of the Keizer City Council and announced the corporation was looking place its first Portland-area location in Keizer Station. 

“The Keizer location will serve as a new benchmark and entry into Portland and other metropolitan areas,” said Kori Seki. 

Seki dropped the news because the business needed a sign code adjustment allowing for additional signage on awnings. One of the signature markings on In-N-Out buildings is palm trees along the edges of its awnings and it wouldn’t have been allowed under previous rules. 

Keizertimes posted the news on Facebook within minutes and, by the following morning, the news had spread across every major news outlet in the Willamette Valley and some even further afield. 

Earlier in December, In-N-Out filed location plans with the city. The restaurant will be 3,995 square feet with a drive-thru and outdoor seating. The address will be 6280 Keizer Station Blvd, behind Outback Restaurant. The plans will now go through permitting and be assessed system development charges.

In-N-Out serves up burgers, fries and shakes with a not-so-secret assortment of special orders. 

Waremart by Winco arrives

Keizer residents and Winco shoppers from all around rallied to bring a version of the discount grocer to the Iris City. The idea’s champions found out in 2016 that their calls had been heard, but the doors didn’t open until 2018. 

With more than three dozen early, eager shoppers lined up outside the entrance to Keizer’s newest grocery store, Waremart by Winco, store manager Derrick Dukes unlocked the doors 30 minutes earlier than planned. Traffic into the store was non-stop for several days as the regulars and the curious stopped in to see what Waremart brought to Keizer. 

The store ended a drought in grocery shopping options within city limits. Roth’s IGA closed in 2012 reducing Keizer to just Safeway and Albertsons. Albertsons and Safeway then merged and Albertsons closed its Keizer location in 2015. The former Albertsons at Creekside Shopping Center was converted to a Haggen, as the Washington-based grocery store chain undertook an ambitious growth streak to take advantage of the merger between Safeway and Albertsons. Haggens’ plans fell apart spectacularly and, by September 2016, Haggen closed.

Cinema deal unspools

There were building plans in the can, a signature on a lease and promises of recliner seating and the ability to pick your spot without a mad rush. Then, with something like Thanos’s snap, it all went away. 

We’re talking, of course, about the Keizer Station cinema deal that dissipated when construction costs soared above expectations. After more than two years of planning, cinema owner Chuck Nakvasil pulled the plug on plans to locate a cinema off Keizer Station Boulevard in July 2018. 

Nakvasil cited “substantially higher” bids for construction of the nine-screen complex as the reason for pulling out of the lease. The termination was permitted under the terms of a lease agreement with the city that was contingent on successful financing of the project. Nakvasil had to have a signed lease to apply for financing and confirmed bids to finalize the financing of the project. 

The deal would have been a first for the city, which planned to retain ownership of the property and use the income to help offset payments to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). Some limited improvements were made to the property in anticipation of the cinema construction. Keizer City Manager Chris Eppley hoped that those efforts would make the space more appealing to the next business with an interest in the space. 

Going courtin’

Chamber, city will seek to woo Costco

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Last week, the Salem City Council rejected a proposal to relocate Costco further south along Interstate 5. Now the Keizer Chamber of Commerce and Keizer City Council will be sending letters to Costco asking them to consider a move to Keizer.

Jonathan Thompson, chair of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee, told   Keizer city councilors that the chamber’s board had voted to send a letter to Costco asking them to consider Keizer in its relocation efforts. He requested that the city do the same.

“While we probably don’t have space within city limits, there is space around Keizer and maybe something we can weigh in and help with,” Thompson said. “It’s also a good idea to let Costco know that somebody still loves them and wants them.”

By consensus, the council agreed to draft a letter to Costco expressing support.

“I think that it’s an exceptionally good idea to provide good feedback to that business. Costco has a great outlook in terms of how they treat employees and treat their customers,” said Councilor Bruce Anderson.

At a Salem City Council meeting Dec. 10, the group nixed plans for Costco to move from its current location off Hawthorne Avenue to a new space on Kuebler. Neighbors of the planned shopping center turned out en masse to express their displeasure with the proposal.

According to Salem Reporter, opponents couched their dissent in the traffic impacts to the surrounding area and said a Costco was not in line with original proposals for the space. The council voted against allowing the Costco move 5-3, but the decision will likely end up being appealed to the state’s land use authorities.

There is no immediately-apparent space where Costco could move in Keizer’s current boundaries. The plans submitted to the Salem City Council called for a 166,000-square-foot store and a 30-pump gas station.

Still, Thompson said a potential move could be a consideration as Keizer considers growing its Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

Keizer Development Director Nate Brown said that would still be a stretch.

“We would have to document a specific land need for retail, but our current need is only minor.[Changing the UGB] is all tied to the land need and how is it justified,” Brown said.

Brown said a more likely space would be across I-5 from Keizer Station, but that land is also controlled by Salem and comes with significant floodway and floodplain issues.

Still, Brown said he would be happy to reach out to Costco’s development team and “tell them what we’ve got.”

Mayor Cathy Clark said this didn’t mean Keizer would be willing to bend over backward to bring the retail giant to the city.

“We’re not giving away the store, that’s not how we operate. We don’t pay to have businesses come here. We are the gift that keeps on giving with a $2.08 tax rate,” Clark said.

Attracting Costco to Keizer already has one high-profile, Keizer-minded proponent in Oregon Rep. Bill Post.

“I am working behind the scenes with city, chamber and other officials to see what we can do to help Costco find Keizer,” Post wrote on social media after hearing news of Salem’s decision.

Willow Lake golf range under new mgmt.

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Keizer residents Rich and Heather Howard have stayed busy since purchasing the Willow Lake Golf Center and Driving Range on Nov. 1.

But none of those days have really felt like work.

“I’ve worked seven days a week, 13 hours a day since we’ve owned it and I don’t feel like I’ve worked a day,” said Rich, who has played golf for 40-plus years and wanted to own a business like Willow Lake for nearly as long.

“When I lived in Hillsboro there was a driving range and I loved that place and I thought I’d really like to have something like that of my very own,” Rich said. “I didn’t just want to own a business. I wanted to own a business that was in an industry that’s a passion of mine, something I can pour my heart into.”

When the Keizer driving range went on the market, Heather, a McNary graduate, encouraged her husband to follow his dreams.

“I’m all about following your dreams,” Heather said. “It was his dream. He had doubts and I just said make your dreams come true and do it.”

In his early 20s, Rich wanted to be a teaching professional but never followed through with it.

However, he’s now working towards becoming a PGA teaching professional. Willow Lake will also partner with the McNary Golf Club professional teaching staff to provide lessons at the range.

The driving range is a family business. Marlene Parsons, Heather’s mom and a Keizer city councilor, has worked at the front desk answering phone calls.

“It’s amazing just to see everything that’s brought this place together and it’s going to be really great for families in the community,” Heather said. “Keizer is a family.”

While Rich is the golfer in the family, Heather is bringing her career as a massage therapist to the range.

The Howards also expanded business hours and plan to add beer, wine and food options to go along with on-site massage and golf-related stretching and fitness programs.

“We’re maintaining many of the programs that existed here and building on them,” Rich said.

With the weather getting colder, outdoor propane heaters have been added to the range.

The Howard’s also want to enhance their retail space and have discussed building a miniature golf course on the property and adding golf simulators.

“We’re looking at everything, Rich said. “Lots of outside the box thinking is taking place. It’s super exciting to think about where this place is now, where we’re going to take it. We’ve got a great community to be a part of.”

The Willow Lake Golf Center, located at 6020 Windsor Island Rd. N., is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony and Keizer Chamber Greeters on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8:30 a.m.

Longtime Keizer businessman launches new consulting effort

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Rick Day sold his Keizer-based business, Advantage Precast, in July 2017 and he’s now writing the next chapter in his career.

“I’ve done consulting work, during the past 15 or 20 years, but I’m turning it into my primary business with Focus Consulting,” said Day.

Through Focus Consulting, Day is looking to assist small businesses and non-profits with their growth or succession plans, but trying to keep the cost reasonable. Whereas some consultants might charge $60,000 a year, Day is charging a flat fee of $500 a month or 5 percent of the business moving forward.

“$60,000 a year is a full-time employee and a small businesses can’t afford it. $500 a month is a small amount, but I want to provide way more value than that. I can do return on investment analysis for equipment, purchasing other business and market analysis,” Day said.

Day’s experience in business and capitalization is no small thing. At the peak of the economy, he owned a dozen companies and was managing 50 properties. He had to sell off many of them to keep Advantage Precast afloat, but even the losses he suffered came with lessons.

“I used to think I needed things, but after losing almost everything in the recession I realized I wanted some money to cover expenses, some money to travel and money to put into charity,” said Day, 57.

It also helped him realize that not every business owner’s goals are the same. Those experiences now inform his consulting practices.

“I’ve always assumed that most people want financial security and freedom and to be able to walk away from their business someday. That’s true for a lot of business owners, but with farm and forest industries, the owners are looking at sustainability and keeping a culture alive,” Day said.

With Focus Consulting, Day offers a free initial consultation and leaves it up to business and non-profit stakeholders to decide whether they want to move forward.

“With small business, I assess what the owner or the family hopes to accomplish, who their competitors are, what assets they possess and and where their processes might be more efficient. We’ll look at what financial security looks like for them and what succession they need to plan for. I will also be honest in my assessment. I’m not getting paid to sit around and blow kisses at anyone,” Day said.

With non-profits, Day said his long history in the Salem-Keizer area has connected him with the businesses positioned to assist charitable efforts, but he feels he can make a bigger impact the earlier he gets involved.

“With non-profits, I want to talk conceptually about what options we can bring to the table as far funding and construction resources, and then look at what can be done to generate additional revenues alongside those projects,” he said.

The success of the consulting business feeds into Day’s other project, Advantage Holdings. Through Advantage Holdings, Day purchases local homes on the lower end of the spectrum and acts as an interim bank for low-income families.

“Sometimes I pay to have the homes fixed or I loan the families the money needed to have them repaired. Once we get them moved in with low down payments and low monthly payments, I encourage them to get to a credit union or bank and refinance. After that, the home is theirs,” Day said. “I’ve been lucky enough to do well and, through Advantage Holdings,  I get people into homes. That changes lives, they become part of the community and a solid family unit. It makes a world of difference.”

For more information about Focus Consulting, contact Day at [email protected] or call 503-999-1736.  The business is located at 2195 Hyacinth Street N.E., Suite 110B.