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The Business Briefs are short items about what's been going on lately with Inner Southeast Portland businesses

Southeast businesses blindsided by "Venture Portland" changes: The city-sponsored small business assistance and promotion nonprofit, "Venture Portland", to which all neighborhood business associations belong and represent on its 30-person Board, were sent a letter on April 30 announcing, "2019-20 Board seats terminate today. . . Effective immediately we will contour our Board from upwards of 30 seats to a maximum of 12. This hands-on working Board will remain in effect for the next 18 months, at minimum." Expressing the view of many of the suddenly-disenfranchised business districts, Thad Davis of "Payroll On Time, Inc.", President of the Woodstock Community Business Association (WCBA) responded, about the dismissal of the 30-person representative Board, "This appears adverse to the current Venture Portland bylaws in several ways. Was this decision ratified by the Board? If not, what was the process for this decision? Was there influence from the City Liaison or Prosper Portland? Does this negate membership rights to elect Board Members?" The organization has a half-million-dollar budget to help support local business districts. The new City Liaison to Venture Portland, appointed by Mayor Wheeler, is reportedly Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who previously sought to end the official city recognition of Portland's 95 neighborhood associations without having notified them of the effort. Brian Rapp, local tax professional, shares tax tips and answers questions at the Assn. of Home Businesses online ZOOM meeting on June 18 starting at 6:30 p.m.; RSVP to attend.Local tax expert gives a look-ahead at next year's taxes: In this unprecedented business environment, what should you know about, and prepare for, in next year's taxes? The speaker at the June ZOOM meeting of the Sellwood-based Association of Home Businesses is Brian Rapp, CPA. In this changing world, it is more important than ever to evaluate how you are utilizing those in your professional network, including your CPA.  Many CPAs provide more than tax preparation services in the form of business consulting, accounting advice, and tax planning.  For this presentation, Brian will be discussing ways to maximize deductions, relieve the burden of accounting, as well what questions you should ask your CPA to find out if he or she is the right fit for your business. Don't miss this conversation, along with the usual camaraderie, at the June 18th meeting of the AHB – online at 6:30 p.m. If you'd like to join this online meeting, please email your request to – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Folks who RSVP will be given a ZOOM link and password prior to the event. No charge for attending; but without your RSVP you cannot obtain the link to join the meeting. "Opa Pizzaria" in Sellwood shifts focus to Italy: When Opa Pizzaria opened at 13th Avenue at Nehalem Street a decade ago, it offered "Greek pizza". However, the business changed hands in 2018, and is now owned by Daniel Kupper. Until now it has kept the name, but it's announced that effective June 1 it will change its name and focus: It will become "PieVino", and now will offer "gourmet pizza and wines that compliment them – for both the budget, and the sophisticated palate." The building has been remodeled, and the menu revamped – all inspired, according to the owner, "From hours of study in Rome, and the Tuscany region of Italy." For more information, the shop's telephone number is 503/238-7255. PBOT offers temporary "loading zones" to Southeast businesses: Scott Kelly, Chair of SMILE's Transportation Committee, advises that the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is offering temporary 5-minute "loading zones" near small businesses to assist in restocking during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. If more than one small business in the same location wants to share such a space it is more likely to be granted. To learn more about the program, or to apply for one, go online – https://tinyurl.com/ych3vzey Arleta Library Bakery Café closes after 15 Years: Chef and owner Nick Iannarone announced on May 5 the permanent closure of his restaurant, the Arleta Library Bakery Café. "It is with immeasurable sadness that we are announcing the permanent closure of our little hole-in-the-wall café," explained Iannarone in an online letter to his regulars.  "This has been a gut-wrenching decision, and one we are forced to make given the uncertainty of COVID-related timelines and the safety measures needed to operate in this challenging environment." Iannarone opened the Arleta breakfast and lunch café 15 years ago, when he noticed an open opportunity in his S.E. Foster area neighborhood, which he described at the time as a "café desert". Having spent many years working in restaurants, he always wanted to start his own business. The place became more than just a brunch joint – it morphed into a scrappy community gathering place for neighborhood regulars, while also garnering critics' praise for dishes like the biscuits & gravy, blue ribbon coffee cake, and signature Sicilian hash, and even was profiled on national TV.


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