Businesses Melded with the Local Communities at the 2016 Portage Community and Business Night

Businesses Melded with the Local Communities at the 2016 Portage Community and Business Night
By: Caitlin Vanlaningham Last Updated: April 22, 2016

The annual Portage Community and Business Night (PCBN), hosted by the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce, took place at Woodland Park on April 21, bringing in hundreds of visitors for one of the greatest networking nights of the year for the city. PCBN is in its 13th year and it’s the best place and time for businesses to connect with one another, and for the community to see all of the great offerings that are right in their backyard.

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"This event is a great way for local businesses to showcase their products and services to over 700 people from the local community in order to find new customers/clients/leads and prospects," Nancy Simpson, Executive Director for the Portage Chamber said. "It is also a great time to network with others who have small businesses and learn about latest business innovations and trends. With the addition of entertainment, food, raffles and door prizes, it's a great time for the entire family."

PCBN is always bringing out the best in Portage and the surrounding areas. Guests gladly traversed the winding aisles of vendor booths as they got to know their local businesses and organizations that make Portage a growing and prosperous community. Take a look at what some of the businesses involved had to say about the event and all of its networking benefits.

"Symphony of Chesterton is pleased to be part of the PCBN. This is an excellent opportunity for networking and educating other business leaders on all Symphony of Chesterton has to offer. We have reached almost 50% capacity in our senior living Apartments and have admitted over 50 guests through our medial resort since the beginning of March. We are pleased to educate the community on how Symphony is changing the face of post-acute care!" Angela Boland, Director of Clinical Business Development for Symphony of Chesterton

"Our community minded institution enthusiastically decided to participate in PCBN due to the very nature of its purpose. It is a community gathering in which small business has an opportunity to showcase their quality products and services to the community at large. Most importantly it is a time to meet and greet consumers and businesses in providing an opportunity to bond and instill a sense of comradery. We appreciate the Portage Chamber for being a catalyst of such." Jesús Alejandro Cervera, Assistant Vice President at 1st Source Bank - Portage Central Banking Center

"Horizon Bank is very community focused, one of our values is to contribute to the betterment of our communities we live and work in. This event allows us the opportunity to support are local community businesses. It also allows us the opportunity to enhance our business relationships and create new relationships. We like other businesses would like to become a more connected business community." Michael Sarver, AVP Business Banker for Horizon Bank

“Porter-Starke Services annually participates in the Portage Community and Business Night. It’s a great opportunity to network with other local businesses and share what’s new at our organization with the community. At the event this year we’re promoting our Living Health, Balance and Hope Symposium coming up on May 26th, as well as giving out adult coloring books for stress relief.” Elliott Miller, Director, Marketing & Development for Porter-Starke Services

“FirstLight HomeCare of Northwest Indiana knows that there is a need to be met in the community and we want to meet that need, but first we need people to know that we are here to help them. So we come to PCBN to make our presence known to community members as well as to other businesses. We at FirstLight are from the area so giving back to our community is essential to us.” Danielle Webb, Community Care Coordinator for FirstLight HomeCare of Northwest Indiana

"We are taking part as a chamber Member. I have not been in it the last few years because I wanted to be able to attend. This event is amazing for the local businesses! It gives us the ability to be able to promote and demonstrate what we have to offer. Also, it gives the community a chance to see what you can get local without having to go too far... We hope to earn new guests and also get some great 'made from scratch' food that maybe our guests have not tried into their bellies. Also, we want to be able to show case all the things we do for the community and have to offer businesses, schools, faith organizations, and families in need. We love this event and hope everyone loves supporting local businesses. The more we do in Portage, the more jobs it creates for our community. So I hope when we think of spending money it stays here in Portage." Doug Giltrap, Managing Partner Texas Roadhouse Portage

"Town and Country participates in the PCNB every year. Our participation in this event allows us to keep the community aware that we cater. Not only do we cater out of our stores we are a preferred caterer at Woodland Park. We receive several catering events from participating in this event. Many new citizens in Portage are not aware of the catering that we offer. This business night helps us spread our message- it is actually free publicity for us." Brenda Wright, Catering Manager for Strack & Van Til, Ultra Foods, and Town and Country Market

“This is great for the community to help promote business. Many are not aware of a credit union's benefits and that you don't just have to be a teacher or belong to a union to join one.” Devra Leonard, Branch Manager for Members Advantage Credit Union

"Porter’s Portage Hospital and our Occupational Medicine program attend PCBN every year. It’s an opportunity for residents to meet local business leaders and learn about new services now provided in Portage." Kelly Credit, Director of System Strategy and Marketing for Porter Health Care System

"The Portage YMCA loves to support our community as well as other local businesses in the area and we come to PCBN every year to do so. We have a lot of great events coming up this year that we want to share with everyone and this is the perfect place to do it!" Jan Zurek, Fund Development Director at Portage Township YMCA

“It is very important to do community outreach. We are very community minded and by focusing on community first, we can build strong client involvement.” Kimberly Mrak, Executive Director for Brain Balance

“REGIONAL Federal Credit Union loves coming to PCBN! It’s the best place to network and share what’s new and exciting with us. We believe that coming here every year is important because we can connect with our community members, some of whom are our customers, and find out about great new businesses that are opening in Portage as well as current businesses that are thriving.” Irma Torres-Cantu, Vice President Branch Development & Business Banking for REGIONAL Federal Credit Union

“St. Mary Medical Center is committed to the health and well-being of the community and we come to PCBN every year to connect with other businesses and share all of the important services that we offer to the guests who come in. We also have an excellent partnership with the Portage Township YMCA who also care about the community's health and well-being.” Karin Woodside, Community Outreach Specialist, Marketing & Community Relations for St. Mary Medical Center

“We come to PCBN with the hope to increase awareness of who we are and what we do. It’s the first time Jacob’s Ladder has come to this event so we are excited to network and meet people. We also encourage more people to come out and see our new Chesterton location and all it has to offer.” Candace Arvin, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Jacob's Ladder Pediatric Rehab Center

“We have been here for every single PCBN. Everybody is here, you get to mix and mingle. It's so great for Portage and the greatest events put on for the local community by the Portage Chamber.” - Mike Lovings, owner of Lovings Heating & Cooling

“It's important to be a part of the community as well as being front and center supporting the health and well-being of the community. We have a lot of great things going on with Franciscan that we want to share with the people and the best way to do it is right here, face-to-face at PCBN.” - Travis Thatcher-Curtis, Emergency Department Clinical Manager for Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Michigan City

Throughout the night there were raffle drawings and door prizes handed out to lucky participants. Guests were able to play an interesting form of Bingo where they got a special stamp on a “Bingo sheet” when they visited participating businesses. Through this activity they were able to have the chance to win a prize.

The 2016 Portage Community and Business Night started and ended on a successful note, leaving all who took part looking forward to what was to come with the 2017 Portage Community and Business Night.