Biz Beat 1-23-2014

Rental owners in Eugene can take advantage of EWEB’s renewed zero-interest loans and rebates for ductless heat pumps and other upgrades. A lot of older rental units have electric ceiling heat, baseboard heat or wall units that suck a lot of juice. Renters usually get stuck with the high EWEB bills, but we know some rental owners who approached their tenants and asked them if they would be willing to pay more rent in exchange for cheaper, better heat and air conditioning. The deal can pencil out well and add property value. Former EWEB commissioner Bob Cassidy wanted EWEB to make this a more formal program years ago with active outreach to both renters and rental owners. It’s starting to happen with a mailing that went out to rental owners recently. Check out or call 685-7199. 

 “Building Bridges Between Business and Education” is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Jan. 24, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 10th and Willamette. Speakers include Robin Scott of the Lane Workforce Partnership, Kim Thompson of the Oregon Employment Department, Bob Halligan of Willamette Valley Company and Laurel Henry and Eric Cullendar of South Lane School District. See or call 485-7433.

The Red Lion Hotel on Coburg Road will be closing after 51 years, and a farewell party is planned from 6 to 9 pm Friday, Jan. 24, followed by karaoke up to closing time. The Red Lion’s lounge has been a party and karaoke scene for years. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, a Colorado-based natural and organic food store, has leased the 3.5 commercial acres from the Hewitt family and plans to redevelop the site. The chain also has a store in Corvallis.

The ninth annual Good Earth Home, Garden & Living Show is coming up this weekend with doors opening for the three-day show at 5 pm Friday, Jan. 24, at the Fairgrounds. Exhibitors have been moving in and setting up since Tuesday. Donations at the show for programs aiding families recovering from disaster will be matched up to $10,000 by ShelterBox USA. Call Berg Productions at 484-9247 or visit for more information.

We hear another tobacco and vapor shop opened in Eugene earlier this month. Cascade Tobacco & Vapors at 1410 W. 7th Ave. offers all-natural tobacco, e-cigarettes, e-juice (the liquid used in vaporizers) and accessories. Hours are 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday. Call 515-6089. 

Catholic Community Services has launched its annual Winter Clothing Drive, which runs Jan. 15 through Feb. 17. Donations of winter coats, socks, mittens, hats, blankets, linens and shoes will be distributed free by CCS to homeless and low-income families at its community service centers in Eugene and Springfield. Collection boxes have been set up at more than 30 area churches and organizations, and any business or organization can participate by setting out a collection box. The clothing drive also accepts cash, which will be used to purchase winter clothing for those in need of assistance. Visit to make a donation.

SmartUps at the Pub will meet from 5 to 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Oregon Electric Station, 27 E. 5th Ave. Speakers will include Doug Porter of designPORT and David Schroeder of RelianceCM on the topic, “Prototype, Design & Commercialize.” See for registration. The next meeting will be Feb. 27.

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