Springfield, MO

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Heard On The Street

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MANUFACTURED AWARD. As you can see on the front page of the Business Journal, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce June 4 named its 1998 Small Business of the Year. But there's no time to rest. The chamber is now accepting nominations for the 1998 Manufacturer of the Year. Chamber member companies are eligible and will be judged on the basis of staying power, business management philosophy, response to adversity, innovative products or services, and community involvement. The deadline for nominations is July 1. Information and a nom-ination form are available from Greg Williams at the chamber, 862-5567.

FATHER MOWS BEST. North Town Mall and South Oaks Centre, both managed by Gumberg Asset Management, are giving away a riding lawn mower to some lucky Dad. Any father is eligible to sign up at either shopping center for the 10 horsepower, 30-inch Murray riding mower. The mowing machine, provided by Wal-Mart, will be given June 20 to one of the two finalists from each respective center. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Call Vivian Brown at 831-5283 for more information.

HEALTHY DOSE. More than half the presenters at the upcoming hearing of the Region VII Regulatory Fairness Board are representatives of home health care agencies who have had problems with Wellmark, HICFA or Medicare, said Scott George, who represents the southwest Missouri area on the board. The board's purpose is to hear the concerns of small business over enforcement of rules by agencies like Medicare, the Internal Revenue Service and others. This hearing will be at 10 a.m. June 8 in St. Louis. Anyone can testify about concerns with a regulatory agencies, but priority will be given to pre-scheduled speakers. If you cannot make it to the hearing, but would like to voice your concerns, or if you would like more information, you can call 888-REG-FAIR any time and leave your comments.

SMALL BIZ FRIENDLY. NationsBank was recognized June 1 as the top Small Business Administration lender in southwest Missouri at the SBA's Kick-off Breakfast for National Small Business Week. The rankings were determined by the number of SBA loans approved for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 1997. NationsBank approved 78 loans for $6.3 million in that period, said Kelly Polonus, a NationsBank spokeswoman. "NationsBank has a reputation for being an aggressive SBA lender," said James R. Combs, branch manager for SBA in Springfield, in a NationsBank release. "With the established network of branches in southwest Missouri, we expect NationsBank to remain a top-producing SBA lender."

ACCESSIBLE MUSIC. A settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Andy Williams Moon River Theater will result in better access for handicapped folks in Branson. A Michigan woman who uses a wheelchair brought a complaint against the theater under the Americans with Disabilities Act because she could not get to her seat. A release from the feds said the theater's management acted to remedy the problem as soon as they were notified of it. Among the fixes, the theater will triple the number of accessible seats, lower the public telephones and install alternate stalls in the bathrooms. The Justice Department release said two other properties in Branson have reached settlements to comply with provisions of the act, and other theaters and restaurants are being investigated for complaints. "Visitors with disabilities deserve the opportunity to enjoy all places of entertainment in Branson," said Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Bill Lann Lee, in a release. In an unrelated aside, Lann Lee was a presidential pocket appointment to the post while Congress was in recess earlier this year. Legislators had refused to confirm his appointment in a tussle over affirmative action.

SLICE OF NICE. The ninth annual Wing Ding to benefit Easter Seals will be June 11 at University Plaza Convention Center. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. Fourteen local restaurants Hooters, TGI Friday's, The Tower Club, James River Grill, R.P. McMurphy's, McGuffey's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Coyote's Adobe Cafe, Clary's American Grill, Cartoons, Classic Sports Bar, Domino's, PP's Glenstone Grill and Tony Roma's will compete for the titles of "Best Wings in Springfield," and "People's Choice Best Wings." Judges are Dianne Elizabeth, SBJ; Mitch Baker, Sunburst Media; Gary Whitaker, Springfield 33; Mayor Lee Gannaway; Sarah Overstreet, Springfield News-Leader; and Ron Davis, 417 Magazine. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at participating restaurants or at the door. To reserve a table for eight for $150, call Easter Seals. For more information, call Lisa at 882-6500.

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