Troy’s Business after Business
By Brian Baxter
The Troy Chamber of Commerce met on Wednesday, Sept. 25 to give an update on Autumn activities.
Chamber Vice President, Sharee Miller, presided at this meeting held at The Silver Spur. The Troy Chamber proudly lists over sixty-six individual company members at this time, and it is growing. Miller introduced Troy City Councilwoman and Yaak Valley Forest Council (YVFC) representative, Shawna Kelsey. Kelsey gave an overview of the upcoming Troy Farmers Market and Yaak Valley Forest Council’s Apple Festival at the Troy museum grounds.
Kelsey then went on to describe a few activities she is working on that involve efforts of both YVFC and Troy City Council. These efforts included the Main Street Montana Program; improving internet services in the Troy area; education and access to health care; looking into broadband access; writing grants; outward expansion of Troy’s internet; and working on the United States Department of Agriculture grants that are due in the springtime.
Miller gave an update on Troy Chamber activities. She informed the group that the Chamber’s building opening would be delayed, but that they will have a person or persons at the building in the relatively near future. The Troy Chamber will be applying for a grant to hire seasonal temporary workers to be stationed part-time at the building, most likely starting next spring. Local businesses have kindly donated some furniture for the building, with Managhan’s donating a couch, and All Systems Go donating some computer equipment. Miller also mentioned that the Troy Public Library had recently received grants to do some remodeling, and will be tentatively expanding some programs in November. The library will also be holding a few family game times.
Next, Miller introduced guest speakers for the evening’s presentation, Jesse and Tearsa Kidwell, who have a new business in Troy titled Montana Pawn and Feed. The business is located at Third Street and Kalispell Avenue, and their phone number is 295-5888. The Kidwells co-presented their talk on the subject of Small Business Strategies. Both grew up in families that ran independent businesses while raising large families. Tearsa stated that she and Jesse were following suit by running their new combined business while raising a combined family with seven children.
Jesse started off by saying how much they loved the community, and said, “Troy needs new businesses.” The couple’s idea was to establish a larger and more diverse Pawn Shop and Feed Store in the old City Annex building. Mr. Kidwell shared with the group that he and his wife came up with a list of their top five strategies. The first, the Kidwell’s explained, was to come up with a relatively simple plan. And to keep in mind that they may not get a bank loan. They emphasized that they tried to be realistic, and to project the time it might take to establish the business and to begin to make a profit. They also considered that they had to think about a potential summer boom and winter lull. Economically, the two wondered if they would make a profit; if they could afford to take salaries from the business; and / or if they could pay themselves as hourly employees.
Point two was to remain flexible, but keep their vision for the business alive. Jesse mentioned the rubber band effect. Strategy number three that they brought up was to saturate your market. The couple further explained that as new business owners they may have to charge less than their competitors. The fourth strategy that Jesse and Tearsa had contemplated was to make folks feel as though they are getting something special. And they emphasized that extra care and extra consideration were a large part of that concept. And last but not least, the Kidwells noted that new business owners must be confident that they will succeed, must be dependable, and must certainly believe in your vision. Visit the Troy Chamber’s website at www.troymtchamber.org, email them at troymtchamber@hot mail.com, or call 295-1064.
Bow Wow Bash Oct. 19
KPFL volunteers hold items donated for the upcoming Bow Wow Bash. Photo courtesy of Marge Sullivan.
Volunteers are busy gathering items and getting ready for the 18th Annual Bow Wow Bash. Through generous donations from businesses and individuals in the local area, there will be a wide variety of items to bid on. The Bash will be held Oct. 19 at the Libby VFW at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come in, browse the auction items, and place bids on silent auction items. Dinner will be served at 6:30 and the live auction will follow after.
The cost is $20 for one or $35 for two. Tickets are available from KPFL volunteers or by calling 293-6801. Please purchase tickets by Oct. 14 so the caterers have the correct number for those attending. You must have a ticket to enjoy the meal which will be catered by Raeanne Canavan this year.
Kootenai Pets for Life (KPFL) is 100% volunteers and 100% of money raised or donated goes to the care and feeding of the animals, and maintaining the shelter. Every animal that comes into the shelter is spayed or neutered and is up to date on vaccinations before being released for adoption. KPFL was started in 2001 by a group of concerned citizens to provide a humane, no kill shelter for the stray and abandoned pet population of the Libby/Troy area. It is a non-profit organization providing shelter, assisting our community with spay and neuter, animal foster care, veterinary assistance and education. KPFL’s IRS Employer Identification Number is 81-0543796.
KPFL has adopted out over 3,600 pets and facilitated the spaying or neutering 8,250 pets. Microchipping was started in 2012, and every pet leaving the shelter is microchipped for easy identification. The spay or neuter of feral cats was started in July of 2011, and over 750 feral cats have been spayed or neutered.
As an all volunteer organization KPFL is always looking for volunteers. Anyone that loves animals is welcome to come visit the shelter, find out what KPFL does, and learn how they can join in and help. The shelter is located at 125 County Shop Road in Libby. Shelter hours are from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday when volunteers are at the shelter doing their work. KPFL is closed to visitors on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Sundays, they are open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. If these hours do not work for you, please call 293-KPFL (5735) and make an appointment for another.