South Ace Hardware
Earns Earthwise Certification
Ace Mitch Thompson,
Craig McBride, Donna Hyland
Locally-owned South Salem Ace Hardware
has been officially EarthWISE certified by
South Ace earned the
designation by implementing several environmentally-
friendly practices such as recycled
paper towels and toilet paper, a battery
and technology collection system and
an expanded mixed recycling program.
Pennington, the Waste Reduction Coordinator
at Marion County Public Works Environmental
Services, who administers certifications,
was impressed by the Ace's efforts to
lessen their environmental impact and commit
to sustainable practices.
"Their attention to reducing waste and conserving
resources is just as great as their attentive
customer service," said Pennington.
In the wake of a growing movement for
green practices, Ace wanted to do its part.
These efforts will help the hardware store
reduce their costs and as well as their environmental
impact. Store owner Matt Haddad
is looking forward to adopting the new
"The benefit of sustainable practices are
environmentally responsible, cost-effective
and of benefit to the Salem community,"
said Haddad. "By changing our policies to be
more sustainable, we set a standard within
the hardware industry for a renewed commitment
to green practices."
South Salem Ace Hardware is located at 706
Madrona Ave. SE, Salem, OR 97302. acesouthsalem.
com, (503) 763-6323.
Small Business Gearing up
for 2018 Elections
Oregonians have a proven track-record
of supporting ballot measures
that protect their own pocketbooks.
ANTHONY K. SMITH
OREGON STATE DIRECTOR
The General Election of
2016 was full of surprises.
About this time two years
ago, few Oregon voters
would have accurately
predicted what happened
on election night. Republicans
picked up a seat in
the Oregon Legislature
in a presidential election
year. Voters soundly rejected
Measure 97, the
gross receipts tax on sales
in Oregon. They also
elected Dennis Richardson as Secretary of
State, making him the first Republican state
executive in over 30 years.
Unsurprisingly, Oregon went for Hillary
Clinton, but the rest of the country had
other ideas in mind, electing Donald Trump
as the nation's 45th president. Heading into
the election season of 2018, pundits, pollsters,
and politicos should probably be worried
whether anyone will listen to them. So
many things have happened in Oregon (and
national) politics that "aren't supposed to
happen" there are plenty of reasons for us
to be skeptical of any self-identifying political
expert, claiming to know how things are
going to turn out this year.
However, we do now have a pretty clear
picture of what will be on the Oregon ballot.
This is a midterm election, and neither of
Oregon's two seats in the U.S. Senate are up
in 2018, so your representative in the U.S.
House will be at the top of the ticket. Nationally,
both the House and the Senate are
in play, and the president's party tends to
lose seats in the first midterm election, but
President Trump has proven to be a wildcard,
so anything is still possible.
Back here in Oregon, voters will be voting
for governor, again - for the third time in
six years. When former Gov. John Kitzhaber
was reelected in 2014 for a fourth term, who
could have predicted that now Gov. Kate
Brown would be running for re-election in
2018, after winning a 2016 Special Election
to serve out the remaining two years of the
The 2018 General Election for governor of
Oregon will be a rematch between Democrat
Kate Brown, Oregon's current governor,
and Republican Knute Buehler, a twoterm
state representative from Bend. They
first faced-off against each other in the 2012
race for secretary of state, when, like today,
Brown had the advantage of incumbency
and a significant voter registration advantage.
At that time, Buehler was a political
newcomer, and has since demonstrated an
ability raise money and win elections in a
Democratic district. A recent poll of likely
Oregon voters put this race neck-and-neck.
Control of the Oregon Legislature is also
in question, however, it isn't so much which
party will control the Legislature, but by
how much. The legislative map looks good
for Democrats who are just one seat short
of a supermajority in each chamber. If they
are successful in doing so, they can pass tax
increases on a party-line vote.
however, have put forth several good candidates
in competitive seats, hoping to keep
the numbers the same (35-25 in the House,
17-13 in the Senate) or improve them.
A total of five statewide measures have
qualified for November ballot. One is a legislative
referral on local bonding for affordable
housing projects, two others deal with
immigration enforcement and taxpayer
funding for abortions, and two more are
business-backed efforts to protect Oregonians
from new taxes on groceries and higher
taxes and fees passed by the Legislature.
The two tax policy measures will be of particular
interest to Oregon's small businesses
because both of these measures, if passed,
would have lasting impacts on Oregon's tax
structure. Both are constitutional amendments,
meaning that the Oregon Legislature
cannot simply pass a bill to change them or
repeal them without subsequent vote of the
people. And if history is a good indicator of
where voters will land on these, Oregonians
have a proven track-record of supporting
ballot measures that protect their own
But it seems the past hasn't been a good
predictor of the future, at least in 2016 it
wasn't. The moral of the story here is that
in these uncertain and unpredictable times,
your vote probably matters more than it
ever has before, so regardless of what you
think is going to happen on election day, do
your homework on the candidates and the
issues, tell other people what you think, and
then make sure to vote!
Anthony K. Smith is Oregon state director for
the National Federation of Independent Business.
Where is My Mailing List?...
And Other Stories from Excel Hell
No offense to Microsoft,
but if you're still keeping
your business mailing and
prospect list in Excel, you
are certainly in a special
place called "Excel Hell."
This is a horrible place
filled with lists and worksheets
and mysterious missing
or misaligned columns
that will slowly drive you insane. Worst case
scenario, your precious customer database
could be irretrievably lost. What you need is
a CRM (customer relationship management)
Excel horror stories fill the internet. Everyone
has had the experience of mis-sorting
columns so the mailing list is a nightmare to
recreate. In fear of data loss, you save eight
versions of the list in various folders and
struggled to find the most recent. Worse yet,
if your data is not saved on the cloud and
your computer fails, you probably won't be
sending out Christmas cards this year.
The stories go on and on. Don't feel bad,
even the 2012 Olympics oversold 10,000
tickets to a swimming event due to a spreadsheet
error. It can happen to anyone and it
can ruin your business. Just Google "spreadsheet
horror stories" if you aren't convinced.
What's CRM? It is a Customer Relationship
Management system or tool that helps you
with contact management. Widely used in
sales, CRM systems (especially those stored
on the cloud) are ways to keep track of customer
demographics, conversations with clients/
potential clients and maintain profiles
with notes. Such systems are now more accessible
and affordable for all types of businesses.
Technology experts are suggesting
that CRM systems are going to be one of the
primary places that businesses will put most
of their technology investments in the next
What can CRM do for you? Like many of
your on-site platforms (website, etc.) your
CRM can have a dashboard that allows you
to see all your customer data and link your
email communication and social media profiles
to the account. It could even pull in data
from other public sources. In addition, a
cloud-based system allows you to work from
any computer or phone from any location.
Organized well, it can connect to other professional
applications, so you can sign documents,
gather photos, send bills and track
projects, all in one place.
So, how do you find a CRM system that is
best for you? First, find out what your industry
colleagues are using.
Choosing something that is designed for
your industry and widely used by those in
your field is a good place to start. Check with
your professional association or do a quick
Why wait? You may feel that there isn't
time to research, implement and learn a new
database system. Don't let this mindset hold
Waiting will cost you and while your competitors
are forging ahead with a lightningfast
system, you may be left behind sorting
through note cards, searching Excel and
hanging out in Myspace.
Mary Louise VanNatta, APR, CAE is the
CEO of VanNatta Public Relations a PR, Event
Planning and Strategic Communications firm
located in Salem, Oregon. PRSalem.com, @