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Biz Beat 1-5-2012

Holiday Market vendors we talked to reported the best sales they’ve seen in recent years, and that was confirmed by Kim Still, manager of market promotions at Holiday Market and Saturday Market. Still tells us the reasons for the bump is sales are many, but the general consensus in that the economy is looking better and more people are now aware of how important it is to support the local economy.

Belly Restaurant in Eugene plans to open a second, larger restaurant downtown in April at a location to be announced. Belly’s original restaurant is 291 E. 5th Ave..

Mountain Rose Herbs was honored with three environmental awards in 2011 for sustainability efforts. Mountain Rose was named Wholesaler of the Year by the Oregon Organic Coalition, and won the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce Emerald Award for environmental values. BRING Recycling also gave Mountain Rose the RE:think Award for waste reduction and conservation of natural resources, according to Jackie Logan of Mountain Rose.

Business Oregon has begun accepting applications for awarding $16.5 million in federal small business assistance. The funding from the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative is expected to generate lending up to 10 times the amount received, or an estimated $165 million over the next four years through existing Business Oregon financing programs. Small businesses interested in applying for funds can get more information at Business Oregon’s website, http://wkly.ws/15c

Oregon’s minimum wage increased from $8.50 to $8.80 an hour starting on Jan. 1 and will mean an extra $624 a year for a family with one full-time minimum wage worker. The raise effects more than 100,000 Oregon workers. 

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