A monthly lunch for business owners aids communication, eases concerns

Several leaders of the Boring Community Planning Organization (CPO) acted on their instincts nearly a year ago, forming the Boring CPO Business Lunch.

This group began to meet informally for lunch the day after each month’s nighttime CPO meeting. The daytime gathering served to keep business owners informed, especially out-of-town owners who couldn’t attend the nighttime meeting.

Steve BatesCPO Chairman Steve Bates was amazed the first time he discovered how many businesses there are in Boring. TriMet’s study showed just over 300 businesses, and Bates said he has identified more than 280.

His purpose with the CPO as well as the business lunch is to bring the community together in ways that benefit all residents and businesses.

“If we’re going to build a spirit of community,” Bates said, “we need to know what kind of businesses we have here so we can do business locally and keep our money local.”

Bates said a number of Boring business owners are present during open hours, but return at night to their homes in neighboring cities. That makes it more difficult for those people to participate in CPO meetings.

“Each (CPO Business Lunch) meeting is a networking opportunity,” Bates said, “where people can get to know each other and understand what other Boring businesses are doing so we can work on promoting local businesses.”

To that end, Bates has gained permission from more than 70 of the 300 Boring businesses and compiled a Boring business directory on the Boring CPO website. Bates is adding more as contacts are made with local entrepreneurs.

One purpose of the website list is to make information available to Boring residents about the products and services available locally.

About 15 different business owners have attended the business lunches, with an average attendance of about 10.

But Bates is not satisfied with 10-15 because he knows there are many more businesses that also aren’t represented at the CPO meetings.

“It has been very educational (at the lunches),” he said, “finding out about some of the businesses that we have here in Boring and getting to know their owners.”

One unique fact about many Boring businesses, Bates said, is that several businesses may exist at the same address. For example, Connie Mueller, who owns the antique store in downtown Boring, also is a home builder and a licensed contractor.

To accomplish any community goal, Bates says, communication is important among the businesses and residents of Boring. That’s one purpose of the CPO, but it also is a goal of the business lunch group.

“Communication is part of community,” he said.

Bates doesn’t believe people need to be involved in both groups, unless they choose to be, but he just wants local people to be involved in their community and to work together with their neighbors — whether they be businesses or residences — for the betterment of the entire community.

To that end, he is providing a synopsis of what happens at each month’s CPO meeting at the following day’s business luncheon. That action keeps those who were unable to attend the CPO meeting informed about what is impacting both residents and businesses.

Bates is finding that email communication is working well in Boring, and he is using it to obtain quick action on various concerns within the community.

Bates has extended an invitation to all business owners in the Boring area to become more involved in making their community a better place and to be involved in their governance, not just when there is an issue of specific importance but also at other times.

That would help people stay up to date on what is coming that could affect the community, and be a part of any corrective action.

The next Boring CPO Business Lunch is scheduled at noon Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Red Apple Restaurant, 28300 Highway 212 in Boring.

For more information, call Bates at 503-663-6271 or visit

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