Small businesses throughout the Columbia River Gorge have discovered an opportunity to be more proactive in both aligning their values with their business practices as well as building a bigger clientele. They are united under the Gorge Owned (GO!) Business Network, a membership-based organization with a mission to advance Gorge-owned businesses, non-profits and community members with a commitment to a sustainable and prosperous community.
GO! provides education opportunities, practical solutions and valuable connections for local Gorge businesses. Running a small business can be more than a full-time job. By collecting information and providing a space for discussion and learning, GO! makes doing business easier and more rewarding for it’s members.
Falling in line with our Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification goals, being a part of the GO! network is not only a benefit for Wet Planet, it is a joy.
Strength in Local Numbers
Operating a whitewater rafting and kayaking center has a widespread impact on the local economy. While the primary focus is providing an enjoyable and safe adventure down the Gorge’s most spectacular whitewater rivers, guests can also purchase souvenirs in the gift shop and eat a BBQ lunch by the riverside. Each of these services requires partnerships with other businesses.
“As a business owner in a small community, I realize it is important to work together,” comments Jaco Klinkenberg, Wet Planet co-owner and GO! board member. “We can help each other by seeking out products and services locally, and solving simple operational problems. Small businesses have to invent the wheel everyday, why not help each other out?”
GO! and Eco-Certification
The Gorge Owned Business Network is a natural extension of Wet Planet’s sustainability policy.
As a member of the GO! network, Wet Planet is excited to take a united stand for the sustainable use of our local resources. Sustainable Travel International, a leader in global tourism development, has helped Wet Planet create new practices and procedures, ultimately leading to the Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification. GO! events help Wet Planet share our successes and failures with other small businesses and gain perspective on alternative solutions.
Todd and Jaco, owners of Wet Planet, feel strongly enough about supporting these initiatives that they also volunteer their time as board members for the organization.
However, Wet Planet owners and employees will tell you that being a GO! member is just another way of enjoying the place we all call home and the community of people who live here.
Green Drinks Networking Events
Spend an evening with your favorite Gorge Owned business leaders at GO!’s monthly Green Drinks networking event for business professionals, community leaders and residents interested in sustainability issues.
The next Green Drinks is hosted at Skyline Hospital in White Salmon, the only locally owned and operated hospital in the Gorge, on Thursday April 12th, 2012. John Longfellow, the Recycling Coordinator for Klickitat County Solid Waste Department, will be discussing recycling options and programs available in the county.
- Beer provided by White Salmon’s favorite brewer: Everybody’s Brewery
- Light snacks provided by 10 Speed North Coffee House from their new catering menu
- Great views overlooking the Gorge and networking with the Gorge’s sustainable businesses leaders
- FREE and open to the public!
Green Drinks at Wet Planet
We are excited to host another summer Green Drinks event at our riverside headquarters on the White Salmon River. This year’s event – on August 9th, 2012 – will highlight the restoration work on the White Salmon River. PacifiCorp expects the complete deconstruction of Condit Dam by early September. Come learn about the transition to a free-flowing river during August’s GO! Green Drinks event.
Author Susan Hollingsworth writes for Wet Planet Whitewater, Canoe & Kayak Magazine, American Whitewater, and any other river-related publication she can find.