Any company anywhere with a computer and modem is now just a mouse-click away from doing business in the Valley.
John Hanson, president of the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, unveiled the organization’s new World Wide Web home page this week. The Internet site provides a complete directory of all businesses that are chamber members, along with information about the services they provide and how they can be contacted. General information about the Valley is posted there as well.
“It opens up our membership to the global market,” Hanson said, estimating that between 35 and 40 million people currently have Internet access.
In the future, the service could also serve as an e-mail address for all chamber members.
Some of the best bells and whistles, though, benefit anyone who logs on. The home page is linked to other Web sites, allowing users to check out several news services, monitor the status of parcel shipments or get the latest area census information.
Links to Olympia will even provide up-to-the minute information on legislative action. Users can get the skinny on new bills as easily as state lawmakers.
“Frankly, the limits to it are our imagination,” said Ray Murphy, the Chamber’s executive director.
He said services like this will make other popular gadgets obsolete in the near future.
“I think the fax machine will be like the hula hoop, something that just passed through,” Murphy said.
Lawton Printing and United Lithographers designed the Web site. Its Internet address is http://www.NWvisitor.com/special/ valley.htm.
Future Shop’s future
The Future Shop, Canada’s largest retail electronics chain, is getting closer to signing a deal to build a 40,000-square-foot store at 115 N. Sullivan Road.
Gary Vanhoff, one of the site’s owners, said he expects Future Shop to file for a building permit sometime in January. He said a lease agreement has yet to be signed, but he’s “99 percent sure” the chain will build there.
Gary Patterson, Future Shop’s chief financial officer, confirmed the company plans to open a store there sometime in 1996, but added the deal isn’t finalized.
Patterson said the company’s North Side store, scheduled to open in the spring or summer of 1996, will be located at Northpointe Plaza. Instead of putting up a new structure, the company will renovate the former Smith’s Home Furnishings building.
Future Shop, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, has already opened 17 stores in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The 13-year-old chain operates 63 stores in Canada.
The company sells computers, home office equipment, audio and video products, appliances and compact discs.
Craft, tea shop open
The Brambleberry Cottage & Tea Shoppe recently opened at 122 N. Argonne Road.
The business specializes in the sale of imported teas, hand-made gifts and bee’s wax candles.
Partners Melanie Lenhart, Dawn Kiki and Cindy Wolfe also offer classes in quilting, decorative painting and candle and soap making.