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Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! By the time you read this, you may have done quite a bit of Christmas shopping on Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday. I’m hoping you are trying hard to shop in Helena for the holidays, instead of too many online purchases. Help keep our local businesses “in business” and keep your dollars local.

The two Steve’s Cafes in Helena are coming under new ownership. Steve and Penny Vincelli have sold the business to their son Steven. Steven plans to keep the cafes at the same high level of service and great food that you all have come to know and love. They have been voted the best breakfast in Helena for many years and Steven plans to keep that reputation.

Ridgeline Accountables, located at 3734 McHugh Lane in Helena, has joined the chamber. They can be reached at 406-422-4745. Patty Sodja and Kay James can help you with all your accounting needs. Their mission is to help small businesses and individuals with their financial needs. They provide accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, full HR services and tax preparation.

Give Harold Krei, owner of Krei Drywall and Painting a call if you are doing any projects that require work on your walls. They specialize in new construction, commercial, residential, and specialized coatings. He can be reached at 406-431-3504

Made to Move Chiropractic will be opening soon at 1050 Helena Ave Suite 5. Their goal is to improve your overall wellness so you can live an active life. They help you move better, feel better and perform at your best. Dr. Aaron Jones has more than 15 years’ experience treating children to late adulthood. He specializes in athletic performance, physical rehabilitation and sports injuries through tailored treatment, a functional approach to movement and at-home stretches and exercises. They can be reached at 406-594-5859. Dr. Aaron Jones has more than 15 years of experience in chiropractic care, treating a wide-range of needs for clients ranging from children to late adulthood.

Traditionally, I like to add some things to be thankful for at this time of year!

1. Helena is one of the most giving communities in Montana, which makes it such a wonderful place to live. Event after event, week after week, year after year - this community steps up and supports the hundreds of causes, organizations, events, and programs that are in need or fundraise in order to stay functional. The recent turkey drive for the Food Bank is a perfect example. I’m so thankful that Helena’s citizens care about the less fortunate and about the quality of life for all.

2. I am thankful for the arts and culture that our small city has to offer. The high quality of our performing arts and visual arts is so impressive. Just one trip to Grandstreet Theatre, the Helena Symphony, the Myrna Loy, the Holter, Archie Bray, Starz on Stage, or the many fabulous studios and galleries, and you can’t help but be impressed.

3. I am thankful for the education in our city. K-12 schools are full of caring and hardworking professionals working to ensure our children get an excellent education. It is so great to see three stellar new schools going up and all the schools receiving new security and technology. We have two of the best secondary schools in the state. Carroll College is definitely a jewel for our city as a highly acclaimed academic school complimented by many programs and top notch sports programs. You gotta love the Saints! The Helena College - University of Montana has become the best two-year facility and has an ever-growing student population. It is geared to meet the needs of students (traditional and non-traditional) and the needs of business.

4. I am thankful for our unique and amazing downtown. Nowhere else in Montana will you find such a fun and welcoming urban town center. A stroll or shopping excursion along the gulch gives you such a sense of belonging and the feeling that you are in some faraway destination. Part of my love affair with the downtown is the interesting and inspiring architecture. The downtown continues to evolve and modernize with the additions of the micro-breweries, wine bars, and new restaurants and eateries.

5. Last but not least, I’m thankful for the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce who is working hard every day to meet the needs of local business and our community.

Cathy Burwell, President/CEO

Helena Area Chamber of Commerce

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