October 2020 Business Connection

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Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

In 2020, the usual fun of our business and education awards was missing.

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

k October 2020

Volume 12 • Issue 10 Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626

STAFF

Bill Marcum, CEO Amy Hallock, Project Manager Pam Fierst, Office Manager Joelle Wilson, Social Media Service

Pandemic creating some budgeting pandemonium

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ike many of you, October is the time of year when we begin budgeting for 2021. I don’t know about you, but my budget was a mess for 2020, and how do you plan for 2021? Will things be back to normal? What will normal look like?

Typically, Chambers’ revenue comes from dues from its members (about 50 percent) with the remaining 50 percent coming from events–sponsors for those events and ticket sales from event attendance. The only events we really managed to salvage this year were sQuatch Fest, which took place pre-pandemic in January, and the Chamber Golf Classic, an outdoor event which we moved from June to August.

k CONTACT US

360-423-8400 kelsolongviewchamber.org To advertise, call Bill Marcum 360-423-8400 or bmarcum@kelsolongviewchamber.org Ad Deadline 20th of Each Month

Below, I’ve compiled a list of the revenue-generating events we were not able to host this year. Keep in mind several events the Chamber hosts are break-even, not generally revenue generators. One of those is Boot Camp. Nineteen classes offered for about $5 per class does not make up the expense associated with each presentation, but we feel it is very important to provide opportunities for our local business owners and managers to expand their knowledge in areas that help them run a more profitable business. 2020 Events Canceled Due to COVID-19 Boot Camp – 19 classes, over three courses, covering the topics of boardmanship, human resources and leadership Quarterly Luncheons – All membership luncheons: March, June, September and November Lower Columbia Professionals – Host 6-8 events that generate $15,000 to $20,000 in scholarship for local students Business After Hours – Monthly since March. These events promote the local business For more Budget, see page 2


Budget from page 1

which is hosting. Generally, 100 people attend these events each month. Building Bridges Tourism and Business Expo – Nearly 100 local businesses and tourism organizations fill the event center to promote their services and products to each other and local attendees. Pillars of Strength – The business and education awards banquet brings together more than 250 business and education leaders to recognize and show appreciation to our local teachers, administrative staff and business movers and shakers. Island Bingo – A fun event with 20 games, 20 sponsors and 230 people enjoying an evening of bingo. All in all, we host about 50 events a year, and that does not include the 30 to 50 ribbon cuttings our Ambassadors attend. We are hoping to carry on the Jingle All the Way 5K Dec. 12. Pam Fierst, our office manager, is working to secure sponsors and the Lake Sacajawea permits we need to hold this event; however, we might need to be in the state’s Phase 3 before we get the go-ahead. Stay tuned. Our Project Manager Amy Hallock is working on sQuatch Fest 2021. She has secured two dates–the traditional last weekend in January, Jan. 29-30, and as a precaution April 2-3. Both dates are locked in for the Cowlitz County Event Center. Last year, sQuatch Fest brought in nearly 4,000 people and 90 vendors. We were able to fill Brew Mountain with 15 breweries and reportedly two hotels full of guests. So, as I mentioned, it’s the start of budgeting... guessing really...I may need to do two budgets, one that includes all the events, and hope we can do them, and one that well…is an even bigger guess...a budget without any events!

Childcare topic of research Lack of reliable and affordable childcare is a crisis across the country and in our region. It impacts not only families but businesses and the economy. Parents cannot go to work and maintain a job without adequate childcare. Having employees that cannot be relied upon because of inadequate childcare can increase employee turnover and job performance. Our partners at Worksource Southwest Washington (WSW) are investing in research to get a clearer understanding of the business needs in Cowlitz County. WSW has contracted with Exigy Consulting to interview companies about childcare and the barriers it may be creating for companies to attract job candidates and retain employees. The results will inform WSW and partners about needed investments that will support families so Cowlitz County companies have a stable and reliable source of talent to fill their jobs and can depend upon their employees showing up because they have reliable childcare. If the lack of reliable and affordable childcare has an impact on your ability to recruit and retain employees, we would like to talk to you. Please contact Alyssa Joyner with WSW at ajoyner@ workforcesw.org. Alyssa will facilitate a connection to Exigy for a brief conversation.

safe, open AND ready. Your health shouldn’t wait any longer. The care you need is safe with us. Make an appointment at peacehealth.org/getcare.

2 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020


Discover

100

1920-2020 portofkalama.com

Did you know something fishy happened here in Kalama? Something fishy happened where the Port of Kalama sits today. The Doty Fish Company was hatched in 1895. Built right on the Columbia River, fishermen could unload their catch directly to the processing plant taking advantage of the deep-water port—a feature the Port of Kalama capitalizes on to this day. Through the intersection of the river and rail, the world got a taste of Pacific salmon. Yum! We hope you’ll enjoy this entertaining video celebrating our 100th birthday! Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

https://portofkalama.com/fish-on/


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(360) 575-9804


Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Cowlitz Economic Development Council Ted Sprague President

Frank Panarra, President Foster Farms Chris Roewe, President Elect Woodford Commercial Real Estate Lisa Straughan, Vice President Express Employment Professionals Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel Walstead Mertsching Nick Lemiere, At Large Edward Jones Christine Schott City of Longview Councilmember John Paul KUKN-KLOG-101.5 The WAVE Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson Marlene Johanson Heritage Bank Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors Nancy Malone Mayor of Kelso

In spite of the madness, companies still looking to move to Cowlitz County

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t the Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC), we continue to be focused on recruitment, retention and expansion of ALL Cowlitz County businesses. To this point we have administered nearly $3 million in grants

and rent relief programs. We are prepared to administer another nearly $200,000 in Working WA Small Business Emergency Grants (deadline for applications was Oct. 2) and an additional $1 million in Cowlitz County CARES Act Grants that the County Commissioners should be approving at the end of September. These two programs are prioritizing businesses that have not received any COVID relief funding to this point and/or plan to use the money to create jobs. If you or someone you know could take advantage of one of these opportunities, please have them follow the CEDC on Facebook and check www.cowlitzedc.com often for updates. While all the madness surrounds us, we are seeing a resurgence in companies looking to locate in Cowlitz County. A message I continue to hear is folks are looking to move out of large urban areas and would prefer to be in a smaller city or community. We could see a significant bump in local job creation over the next few years. Thank you to all of you that submitted written comments, attended a webinar or phone meeting to support the over $2 billion Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) project.

Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth

One of the many things this pandemic has reminded us is how vital jobs are. Jobs not

Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media

from the manufacturing sector and projects like NWIW pay for the services which hold

Tom Rozwod NORPAC

fire departments, roads and so on and so on. Let’s not forget, the Department of Ecology

Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council

leapt over every hurdle. From zero liquid discharge, low emission technology and

Michael Vorse Minuteman Press

high standard for development projects for all of the western United States. For more

Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner

only sustain families they also give us a sense of pride and purpose. Capital investment society together. Without private investment we could not afford schools, government, has done a very thorough environmental review for the last six years and NWIW has mitigation for all greenhouse gasses created in Washington state, the company has set a information on the project please go to https://nwinnovationworks.com I hope you are well through the pandemic, wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands. Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020 | 5


Business Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick Certified Business Adviser

Ready for the holiday season?

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Being nimble and creative are vital

iven the heavy concentration of sales in the fourth quarter, many industries are well into the planning and buying cycles for seasonal inventory; for others, now is prime time to think carefully about how you will manage your resources (time, money, people, space, and inventory) for the upcoming retail selling season. What will the 2020 holiday season look like? Will it be focused on basics? Will customers be craving change and able to afford the discretionary purchases as in the past? What will this mean to your product/service offerings AND what will your competitors and prospects do? Ensuring there is a cycle of targeted planning and activity taking place throughout the year will help your business take advantage of these seasonal peaks. It is critical for businesses to establish and maintain an ongoing marketing and planning calendar to make sure they are not surprised by critical issues like cash flow. Note: In light of the pandemic, fires, and economic slowdown overall, I suspect you have been on heightened alert regarding the dynamics and changes in your business. To that end, these suggestions are even more crucial today.

challenges you can anticipate and resolve. Planning is key to ensure that sales opportunities are maximized and that the bestselling inventory from the year is ready and available–knowing what items are most profitable in addition to which sell through best is critical. Selling lots of items that lose money is not a winning strategy! [Tying cash up in inventory is dangerously expensive] To ensure you have stock available for shipping when it’s required, use your calendar and count back from each event to when you need to: • Identify what inventory you will need (60 days prior) • List key inventory (45 days prior) • Have 100 percent of inventory listed (30 days prior) • Have sold/dispositioned half seasonal inventory (15 days prior) NOTE: If suppliers are relying on international shipping, check-in 150 days in advance to get confirmation that they will have the stock you plan to be selling.

There are several key steps to implement to maximize the opportunities for your business.

Follow these suggestions as you contemplate the readiness of your own business.

Keep Everything Up to Date

Research

Remove and refresh all sale items and promotional content from websites once sales are over – nothing is more frustrating to prospective customers than out-of-date web promotions. Nothing says your business is “irrelevant” than out-of-date promotions or last season inventory offerings. These “truths” are more pressing than ever when you have limited/modified in person selling opportunities. Make sure your strategies/tactics translate effectively online and on mobile platforms.

Create the list of vendors to be used

Check status of or apply for customer status with vendors

Contact each to inquire about seasonal purchases, get order and shipping schedules

Get a list of price points, FOBs, volume discounts, off invoice allowances, rebates, prompt payment discounts and dating programs

Review last year’s figures, examine what worked well and identify causes for peaks in sales activity. This will help you understand what seasonal peaks are likely in the year ahead to take advantage of based on last year’s success. This year will not likely look like last but there are key clues into what will work best given the realities of the current conditions.

When the vendor says they don’t offer those, insist that they do and demand the information

What bundling/cross selling opportunities do your offerings present for you and your team to train and sell to?

Prepare Orders

Keep stocked up (virtually or in person–be confident in your supply chain) for those critical times: Analyze items in the inventory that sold better than others for specific events or times of the year and ensure there is enough stock in place in the upcoming year to meet this demand again.

Put above vendor info on an excel worksheet for scheduling and order development

Break this down into quarterly plans: Having quarterly plans reduces the possibility of retailers overestimating on the amount of stock needed for a quarter, as well as ensuring popular items are available at the right time–also, helps identify cash flow

Contact the sales department for each vendor and ask for order recommendations, velocity reports and promotion schedules

Create an order calendar for each vendor using info from sales

6 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

For more Petrick, see page 7


Petrick from page 6

Go back to the excel worksheet and run the numbers for each vendor, with landed costs.

Determine EOQs (economic order quantities) for each vendor / merchandise category

Develop a pro forma order for each vendor and send to the sales rep for confirmation of availability and current pricing

Use the order confirmations to set up an order and receiving schedule and receiving report for each shipment

Spiff up your social media presence–cultivate impactful customer testimonials

Receiving / Stocking / Follow up •

Use the receiving schedule and purchase orders to check in incoming shipments, document overages, shortages, misships and damages

Use the receiving schedule to create a stocking schedule to advise stockers when and where to display the seasonal merchandise / POP

Finance •

Use pro forma orders to arrange invoicing dates, dating programs and vendor credit

Document and liquidate or donate residual inventory, use documentation as a basis for next year’s orders

Discuss additional needs with lender

Place orders

Survey customers for insight into consumer satisfaction with the seasonal program

Marketing •

Use the receiving schedule to develop the marketing schedule

Lead times vary by category and customer base, poor neighborhoods time promotions for the first of the month, etc.

Work with outreach channels, prepare and proof collateral materials

Make arrangements / order / buy for direct mail, blow ins, web based and POP

Your competition is on heightened alert for opportunities and weaknesses. Make sure you are prepared to take advantage of your strengths and cultivate your customers throughout the year – they and you will benefit. This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick, MBA and certified business adviser with the Washington State University (WSU) Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Jerry provides no-cost, confidential business advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via email jerry.petrick@wsbdc.org

Your Locally Owned and Operated Community Bank • Checking, Savings and CDs • Business Loans • Construction Loans • SBA Loans 729 Vandercook Way, Longview

(360) 414-4101 www.twincitybank.com

There’s a Difference. Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020 | 7


■ UPDATED CHAMBER SCHEDULE October 7 – Business and Tourism Expo, CELED County Conference Center CANCowlitz D Bakery, 5:30-7:30pm October 8 – Business After Hours, Dog NCELE CAFarm D

ELE October 16 – Chamber’s Island Bingo to Haunted Bingo CANCchanged

November 7 – Bingo Hunt, Around Town, 1-4pm D

LE November 10 – Business After Hours, Monticello CANCE Park Prestige, 5:30-7:30pm LED Luncheon November 20 – Quarterly Membership CANCE

December 8 – Holiday Mixer December 12 – Jingle all the Way

8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020


It takes a community to raise a curtain. Your $38 will make a difference. STRANGELY QUIET.

Imagine for a moment sitting quietly in an empty Columbia Theatre. Sit there long enough and you can feel the history of past performances echoing off the walls—a renowned musical group, a stand-up comic, a Broadway touring show, dance, classic film—or as important, the memory of watching someone very close to you spread their joyful, youthful wings. At the Columbia Theatre it is quiet these days. Strangely quiet for an organization used to lighting up the night some 80 times a year. Our world has changed. But, pausing to think about what kind of future we want is not a bad thing. And I hope you believe the Columbia Theatre should be a part of that future. SATURDAY APRIL 18, 2020

HERE’S WHAT I AM ASKING.

This fall marks our Columbia Theatre Association’s 38th year and we are going to need your generosity now more than ever to get through. If you have already made a gift to the Columbia Theatre this year, thank you!!! If you have not gotten around to it yet, won’t you consider renewing that gift and kicking in an additional $38—that’s $1 for every one of the 37 years the association has been a part of this community, and then one more dollar just to bet on our future! If you have never given at all—your gift of $38 can make all of the difference in the world especially as we move beyond these times into a new and bright chapter.

WE’RE STILL HERE.

A lifetime of memories—that is what the Columbia Theatre and the Columbia Theatre Association is all about. You see, the building is just bricks and sticks and plaster and paint without the performances made possible by more than 150 volunteers, sponsors, a dedicated, professional staff, and 400 generous Friends. We’re still here and we will be back with a terrific 38th season this fall. Please help to make that possible. Thank you. Gian Paul Morelli, Executive Director

P.S. ANOTHER REASON TO SUPPORT.

The Federal CARES Act includes a $300 “above the line deduction” for all taxpayers. That means if you pay taxes, you can deduct a $300 donation to a nonprofit, no matter what you earn! This deduction applies to individuals, and households (but not Donor Advised Funds). All gifts made in 2020 are eligible.

www.columbiatheatre.com • 360.575.8499


Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Bill Fashing CEO

Alternative lending funds available The Longview Revolving Loan Fund was recently recapitalized and has funds to lend! Serious borrowers facing lending challenges should apply. Funds are intended to create new jobs, spur development, and strengthen the economy. If your business needs additional funding and/or has been turned down by a traditional lender, please contact me at the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) via email at bfashing@cwcog.org or via phone at 360-355-0344.

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The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (COCOG) in partnership with the City of Longview, received CARES Act funding through the Economic Development Administration to supplement the existing Longview Revolving Loan Fund. An additional $540,000 is available for small business loans within the City of Longview and surrounding areas. Loans are for new and existing firms desiring to initiate or expand operations in the community. Projects must be within or near the Longview city limits, and the city council may approve loans outside of the city limits. Since the program’s inception, over $2.2 million has been loaned creating and retaining over 630 jobs in the community. A complete application and supporting materials are needed for consideration. The Longview Revolving Loan Fund application and program guidelines are available online at www.cwcog.org or by request at: CWCOG at Administration Annex / 207 North 4th Ave., Kelso, Wash., 98626. The phone number is 360-577-3041. Questions may be directed to me at CWCOG by regular mail at the address above, via email to bfashing@cwcog.org, or by FAX at 360-2143425.

here to access the survey. Please share this with your stakeholders, family and friends. Reponses to this survey will inform the development of the 2021 update of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the region. Survey is open through Oct. 16.

Transportation The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Board of Directors approved the 2021-24 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP) for the Longview/Kelso/Rainier Metropolitan Planning Area in September. The MTIP is prepared every year in cooperation with area cities, counties, transit operators, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). The MTIP identifies urban projects that are ready for implementation in the 2021 to 2024 time period for which federal funding has been secured, are WSDOT or ODOT projects or are regionally significant regardless of funding source. The primary purpose of the MTIP is to identify and document federally funded transportation projects that are to be included in WSDOT’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) or ODOTS’s STIP. A geographical representation of current and previous years projects can be viewed at the CWCOG’s web site. Click here for access to the Web Map. The tool also includes all of the projects in the five-county Regional Transportation Planning Organization Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP). A copy of the joint MTIP/RTIP document can be found on the CWCOG website.

Economic Vitality in Uncertain Times The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments is conducting a Regional Economic Vitality Survey. The purpose of this survey is to provide information to the CWCOG to assist in its efforts to improve economic vitality and quality of place throughout the region. This survey is a follow up to the 2019 Economic Vitality Survey, which was available July through August 2019. The CWCOG plans to continue this annual survey for the next several years in an effort to document the progress within the community. Thank you for your participation and feedback. Click 10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

About the CWCOG The CWCOG is a governmental planning and services agency composed of local governments in southwest Washington state. The CWCOG Board of Directors consists of representatives from Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties but it serves throughout the southwest Washington region, including the City of Rainier, Ore. It provides a forum for members to work together on issues crossing jurisdictional lines and creating cooperative solutions.


2021

* Fri., Jan. 29, 4 pm - 9 pm and Sat., Jan. 30, 10 am - 8 pm

Cowlitz County Convention Center

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES • • • • •

Mount St Helens Event Sponsor

$

10,000

Logo on all marketing material as sQuatch Fest Sponsored by “Your Business Name” Named on all radio, print and social media advertising 10' x 10' booth space at the event Logo on website, Facebook, newsletter and print advertising 100 collectible tickets to event with lanyards

Hoffstadt Bluff Sponsor $2,500

• Logo on marketing material & social media • 25 tickets to attend both days • Display banner and booth space at event Hoffstadt Bluff Sponsor Options • Cornhole Tournament - Battle of the Borders • Kids’ Cave - logo on Kids’ Cave • Tickets - logo on back of tickets • Brew Mtn Beer Fest - banner in beer fest • Mug Sponsor - logo on mug • Decorations - banner in MSH room • Speaker Sponsor - banner on stage

Ape Cave Sponsor $500 • Logo on print ads • Exposure on social media • 5 tickets to sQuatch Fest Ape Cave Sponsor Options • Drink token - logo on token • Wristband - logo on wristband • ICE Sponsor

Columbia River Sponsor $1,000

• • • •

Logo on print ads, mention on social media Banner displayed at event 10 tickets to sQuatch Fest Vendor table

Columbia River Sponsor Options • Volunteer T-shirts - logo on back • Wine Glasses - logo on glass • Stage - banner on stage • Friday Night Speaker Dinner

Elk Meadow Sponsor $250 • Supporter of sQuatch Fest • Logo on print ads • 2 tickets to sQuatch Fest

Don’t delay! Register now for these sponsor opportunities!

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Rd Kelso, WA 98626 (360) 423-8400 www.kelsolongviewchamber.org * In case of continued restrictions, back-up dates are Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3


Workforce Southwest Washington Alyssa Joyner Senior Project Manager – Manufacturing

WSW secures grant for services to support South Kelso and Highlands neighborhoods

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esidents of the South Kelso and Highlands neighborhoods will soon have additional resources and services to help them obtain a job or keep an existing one.

In August, Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) obtained a $25,000 grant from the Mason E. Nolan Community Fund through the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington to provide vital support services such as childcare, transportation and housing assistance to individuals as they pursue education, training and employment. This is the second $25,000 grant the Community Foundation has provided for services to these neighborhoods. “Parents are unable to keep a job without access to reliable childcare and transportation,” said Kevin Perkey, CEO of Workforce Southwest Washington. “These supportive services are crucial to the success of individuals seeking to improve their skills to get a job, advance or retain employment. These generous grants from the Community Foundation enable the workforce system to provide complete wrap-around services to help people in the neighborhoods as they seek to provide for their families.” The Community Foundation grants are in addition to the $1.6 million WSW, as the local workforce development board, has been investing in the neighborhoods since October 2019 when it secured the governor’s federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Statewide Activities funds. To date, approximately 37 residents have benefited from this initiative, attending WorkSource workshops and receiving training in a variety of areas, including soft skills, technology, commercial driver’s license (CDL), and certified nursing assistant (CNA), among others. Cowlitz County Habitat for Humanity is providing mentoring and networking through its Neighborhood Resource Coordination Council (NRCC). Helping individuals build a network aids in their professional development and career advancement. Residents of South Kelso and the Highlands neighborhood wanting information about this initiative and no-cost job and employment services should contact WorkSource’s Talent Development Specialist Stephanie Moore at 360-578-4220 or stmoore@esd.wa.gov for details. The initiative includes a business component designed to improve employee retention by providing companies access to a retention and engagement coach who assists current workers with improving their skills and connecting them to supports in the community for help with housing, transportation and other challenges that might impact their ability to work. Five companies are currently participating, and 15 employees are being assisted, while more than 25 individuals have received referrals to community resources for help with rent, unemployment insurance and utilities. Companies can get assistance from a retention and engagement 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

Workforce services available for adults and youth job seekers

Finding a new job is not easy. However, help is available through our local workforce system. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our local workforce system has been providing services and assistance to adults and youth looking for a job or training to advance in their careers. Although the physical WorkSource and Goodwill centers are not currently open for in person visits, staff and services are available online, through email and virtual meetings. Some of the virtual services available include: • job search support • leads to open jobs • resume writing • mock interviews • workshops and classes related to job preparation • funding for job retraining • fiscal responsibility • connections to housing, childcare, transportation, food assistance and other support services • online training • information related to filing an initial Unemployment Insurance claim (they cannot file a claim for you, determine your eligibility or assist with already-filed claims) To get started, visit www.WorkSourceWA.com and check out the online tools and resources or call your local WorkSource center in Kelso at 360-577-2250. Young adults ages 16 to 24 can contact Vicki Wood at victoria.w@ nextsuccess.org or 360-890-7759.

coach by contacting Amryn Scott at WorkSource at ascott@esd. wa.gov or 360-726-2930. By investing in the adjoining neighborhoods, WSW hopes to address three concerns: (1) residents say finding and keeping work is challenging due to travel expenses and limited childcare availability, (2) nearby companies report difficulty recruiting and retaining a local workforce, and (3) as their wages increase, individuals may fall over the “benefits cliff ” and lose access to services such as childcare or housing, further impeding their ability to keep a job and continuing the cycle of poverty. WSW’s proposal was one of four in the state to be accepted for the governor’s “Economic Security for All” (EcSA) povertyreduction pilot project, which runs from July 1, 2019, to March 31, 2022. Alyssa Joyner is the Senior Project Manager for Manufacturing at Workforce Southwest Washington. Reach her at ajoyner@ workforcesw.org or 503-410-0408.


Shop Local Businesses with a

t n u H

November 7, 2020 1 to 4 pm Be a Sponsor! Game Sponsor (18): $100 plus a prize valued at $100 or more. You will be a location for BINGO participants to stop and get their BINGO number. Your logo, name and address will be on the BINGO card and your name will be mentioned on social media. Black Out Sponsor (1): $250 donation plus a prize valued at $250 or more. The Black Out Game Sponsor will be on marketing material and your logo will be on the game cards. You will be a stop for players and your business will be mentioned on social media. VIP Sponsor (1): $350- BINGO players final location to claim prizes. Your logo will be on marketing material as well as game cards. Your business will be mentioned on radio and social media advertising.


City of Kelso

City of Longview

David Futcher

MaryAlice Wallis

Councilman

Mayor

Making the city better – for free

Current times are a test for bravery

ometimes it’s easy to focus on the challenges we face. I took a minute to consider the things I’m thankful for as they relate to my council work. It was easy to identify some of the positive aspects of the job, like having a strong and knowledgeable staff, and fellow councilmembers with a passion for improving the city. But one that struck me as particularly important was the role that volunteers play.

020 is surely a banner year for testing our mettle and demanding our bravery. In a challenging environment that changes almost daily, we are called upon to either step up to the task, or be beaten down by it. There are so many that have had virtually insurmountable conditions placed on their daily lives–and yet, I see many of those brave souls stepping up. Venturing out of the familiar and into the void with strength and resolve is leading out, and being brave. Times like these call upon us to do things that we never imagined we would be capable of doing, requiring skills we may never have known we have; and they can push us beyond limits we have set for ourselves–sometimes to our betterment, and sometimes to our detriment.

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We’ve been missing a lot of the normal activities we’d expect in Kelso, like the Highlander Festival and the related parade. But those are events that would not take place were it not for a cadre of volunteers that plan, organize, operate and clean up after the festivities. These folks have helped turn our event into one that is the second largest of its kind in the state. Those may be the most significant evidence of the good work our volunteers provide, but they are far from the only ones. I appreciate the contributions of our volunteer board members, like the library and parks boards, the planning commission, and the folks who put on events like our Christmas tree lighting. These integral parts of our city would not function as well without their participation. Without volunteers, you would have no skate park, spray park, softball fields, baseball fields, downtown events…and the list goes on and on. Volunteers keep the city cleaner, too, whether it’s a Rotary club or another community group that cleans an adopted street, or one of the dedicated citizens who pick up trash as they take their daily walks. At any time of the year, it’s a good idea to turn our thoughts to gratitude. I want to give a big thank you to each of the helping hands that make Kelso a better place.

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Being brave is putting your best foot forward regardless of your inadequacies, putting on a fearless smile and being all-in on the situation at hand. Being brave has no lesson manual. You just do it, recognizing that sometimes bravery is not necessarily bold, but meek–but no less strong. You pull up your bootstraps and make whatever needs to happen, happen–but in the context and spirit of respect, teamwork, and collaboration. I have been thinking of the faces of bravery in the past few months, particularly on the front lines of a pandemic, fires, military strife, civil unrest and social upheaval–from hospital staff, firefighters, police, civic leaders and grocery industry workers, to all of those in industries and callings that put themselves in harm’s way in order to serve others. The overt acts of heroism are astounding–and humbling. Other acts of incredible bravery are found in ordinary parents who, with little warning, have been thrust into homeschooling their children in a virtual setting; and employees who now work from home trying to make the world right from their family kitchen tables amongst bowls of Cheerios; and those business owners who have been forced to shutter their doors, or lose employment, or any of the other devastating ramifications of the COVID-19 challenge. Whatever hand the fallout of 2020 has dealt to you so far, consider yourself brave for deciding every day to stare down the specter and keep moving forward no matter what. Your efforts to continue on in the face of the stress of this unprecedented time are commendable and inspiring.

1157 3rd Avenue, Suite 218

1157 Longview, 3rd Avenue, WA Suite 98632 218 1157 3rd360.952.3100 Avenue, Suite 218 Longview, WA 98632 Longview, WA 98632 www.amadaseniorcare.com 360.952.3100 360.952.3100 www.amadaseniorcare.com www.amadaseniorcare.com 14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

Amidst the multi-faceted challenges that continue to beset us, we can still be both responsible and brave as we find opportunities to support our community and keep moving forward toward living our lives as we should be able to live them. Consider the following ways to safely serve our citizens and participate in our wonderful community while practicing socially responsible health recommendations: 1. Add your voice. Nothing beats the doldrums more than serving; For more Longview, see page 16


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Lower Columbia College Kirc Roland Athletic Director

Red Devils pause during an incredible run of athletic success

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rotocols. Business leaders and the community at large hear that word way too much these days. COVID-19 protocols are essential to conducting business. The Lower Columbia College Red Devils are back to business and they are fully on board with the protocols. Through the leadership of the LCC administration, the student/ athletes have been allowed to return to campus to begin workouts and training toward what will hopefully be a busy spring of athletic contests in the wake of the pandemic. The Red Devil volleyball team and women’s soccer team would usually be almost halfway through the season by now. Instead they will play a season that runs from March to June. The men’s and women’s basketball teams will start in March and the baseball and softball teams will also get started in March. It will be a busy spring with all six LCC sports competing at the same time. The number one priority is keeping the student/athletes safe. Part of that is the players’ mental state and returning to campus is certainly helping with that. This is a golden time for Lower Columbia athletes, pandemic or not. The program was the first in Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) history to win the Presidents Cup for overall academic excellence the same school year as winning the Athletic Directors Cup for on field/court excellence. It shows the commitment the campus has for athletics and what it can bring to our community. The

Devils have won the AD Cup three straight seasons and are poised to win yet another Presidents Cup with a score that was higher than last year. I’ve recently been asked, “Will the fans be able to come to the games this spring”? All I can say right now is stay tuned. We are hopeful and if not, we will continue to provide high quality streaming services so fans can follow the games at lccreddevils.com. I would like to thank the Lower Columbia Foundation for allowing the LCC student/athletes to be the recipients during the recent Give More 24 event. Many people don’t realize that our program, with huge help from the Foundation, must raise our own scholarship funds. Thank you! We feel it’s a great investment in our college, our community and most importantly our young student/athletes. I would love to meet with any Chamber member who would like to be a part of our incredible success. I’ve always believed that you should make the “big time” where you are. To me, the Lower Columbia College Red Devils are big time! We are still on to host the 2021 NWAC Baseball Championships this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Many of our other tournaments won’t happen because of COVID-19. But we are back! We’re here and we’re proud! And we’re following the protocols!

Longview from page 14

and fortunately, the Longview boards and commissions have many openings. Put your skills and creative talents toward the betterment of our city. Apply online at MyLongview.com

and making room for the new Satellite Police Station, the Columbia Theatre is getting a fresh coat of paint and the Longview shooting range is permitted to build.

2. Get lost on an art walk. Visit the Longview Outdoor Gallery located in downtown Longview and enjoy the new podcast audio tour of the 21 beautiful sculptures. Podcasts are available on Apple or Spotify. Check it out on http://longviewlog.org/

5. The show must (eventually) go on. We yearn for, and look forward to, so many of our favorite pastime events. The City Council recently approved over $130,000 of the lodging tax tourism funds to go back into the community in 2021-22, supporting our beloved events like Squirrel Fest, Go Fourth Festival, sQuatch Fest, Unique Tin Car Show and Crafted Brew Fest. Other allocations went to entities such as Columbia Artists Association, Longview Downtowners, Cowlitz Historical Museum, Southwest Washington Symphony Orchestra, Longview Active Transportation and the Longview Centennial Celebration. Something tells me these events will be well attended and welcomed in 2021!

3. Enjoy lunch outside. In an effort to help local restauranter’s expand their seating due to the COVID-19 indoor restrictions, the City of Longview offered local eateries free permits to allow outdoor seating. A perfect excuse to try a new place to eat. 4. Rejoice in Longview’s growing pains. Harlie’s Hoops has officially broken ground, Archie Anderson Park is getting rid of old structures 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020


Business Connection Advertising Rates Effective January 1, 2020 Kelso-Longview Business Connection monthly newsletter is published the first of each month, posted electronically on our website and over 7,000 emailed to local business professionals, city and county officials. To be included in this monthly email, simply call the Chamber office at 360-423-8400. Size

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All ads include full color and any design work. Deadline is the 21st of the month prior to publication. Digital files: PDF, Tiff and JPEG. Non-Members of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce please add 30% to above rates. See back for size examples. To advertise or request additional information please contact Amy Hallock at 360-423-8400 or ahallock@kelsolongviewchamber.org or CEO Bill Marcum at 360-423-8400 or bmarcum@kelsolongviewchamber.org.

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Kelso Public Schools Mary Beth Tack Superintendent

Timeline for bringing students back to class

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hile Kelso School District has worked diligently at creating a robust remote learning platform, the safe reopening of schools for in person learning has been our ultimate goal. The school board approved our Hybrid Timeline transition plan on Sept. 14. The transition plan allows for a slow and cautious return to in person learning, beginning with K-2 students coming to school in person two days a week starting Sept. 28. The plan phases in students in groups (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) over seven weeks. The health and well-being of our staff and students is always our top priority. We will continue to keep in daily contact with

18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

Department of Health and closely monitor local infection rates to be sure our progression toward full in person learning is done safely. We are posting weekly updates on COVID-19 activity in Cowlitz County each Tuesday on our website at bit.ly/ksd-fall2020. You can monitor our community’s progress along with us and know if our plans are on track or being pushed back. We are truly excited to see students back in schools as long as health conditions allow. Onward.


Longview Public Schools Dan Zorn Superintendent

The district is prepared to return to classrooms

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ongview Public Schools is prepared to return to in person learning when the health conditions allow us to do so. We have been working extremely hard to implement safety and security procedures for our employees and students and are looking forward to getting kids back in person. Since school started in early September, the school district has had two goals: 1) provide an outstanding remote learning experience for all students and 2) move to in person learning as soon as it is safely possible. Infection rates in Cowlitz County improved throughout August and have continued to be good in September except this last week when infection rates began to rise. We are continuing to closely track the infection rate data and closely following the guidelines outlined by the state and county departments of health to determine when it is safe to return to school. The Longview school board was scheduled to discuss Sept. 28, when we might begin bringing our kids back to school and return to in person learning.

The plan is to bring kids back to in person school is stages. We will start by serving pre-kindergarten through second graders using a “hybrid model”. In a hybrid model, students are divided into two groups to reduce the number of children physically on school grounds. Students will attend school in person two days per week and continue distance learning three days a week. We are starting with our youngest students because they receive the least benefit from remote learning, and according to health officials, are the least likely to carry and transmit the COVID virus. If countywide health conditions remain stable, third through fifth grade students are likely to return to school in person a week or two after the pre-kindergarten through second graders. Again, the district will use a hybrid model for safety reasons. A couple weeks after all the elementary students are back to school, the middle and high school students will head back, also in a hybrid system. Many people are asking if it is safe to go back to school in person. For more Longview Schools, see page 23

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Mind Your Own Business (At The Library) Chris Skaugset Director – Longview Public Library

New program lets you sample titles from the comfort of your home

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ince last month, we have made a couple of exciting changes that I can’t wait to share with you. No, unfortunately, we aren’t open to the public yet. I think I speak for the entire Longview Public Library staff when I say that we can’t wait to open our doors again.

President – and Why it Failed” by Brad Meltzer and Jon Mensch. The bestselling authors of “The First Conspiracy”, which covers the secret plot against George Washington, now turn their attention to a little-known, but true story about a failed assassination attempt on the sixteenth president.

The first change that I want to tell you about is our new Library Sampler program. This is for all of you browsers out there who miss walking up and down the shelves in your favorite areas of the library. If you go click on this link (http://longviewlibrary.org/ sampler.php) you will be directed to a form that you can fill out. You can let us know what type of materials you want (i.e. books, DVDs, audiobooks, etc.) and then what type of genres or subjects that you are interested in (i.e. New Books, history, sci-fi, etc.). You can also tell us how many items you would like us to pull for you. Various staff members are doing the selecting and will choose items that we believe fits your selection criteria. We might also follow up with an email if we’re not exactly sure. In any case, we will let you know when your items are ready and that you can pick them up during our drive through hours. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to read/watch/listen to them and you can simply return them. You can also contact the person who did your selection and give them other information that may help them better select for you if you choose to do it again.

“World Beneath Their Feet: Mountaineering, Madness, and the Deadly Race to Summit the Himalayas” by Scott Ellsworth. A saga of survival, technological innovation, and breathtaking human physical achievement–all set against the backdrop of a world headed toward war–that became one of the most compelling international dramas of the 20th century.

This isn’t anything new; libraries have been doing this forever. Libraries call it readers advisory and it’s something most of us love to do. This leads me the second piece of news, which is we’ve expanded our drive through hours to include Saturdays from 11-2 p.m. (adding to our already existing hours of Monday 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesday 1-4 p.m., and Wednesday 4-7 p.m.). We have an amazing number of great new books on our shelves ready to be checked out. To give you a little taste of what we currently have, I’ve included a few of those titles below to whet your appetite. You can put them on hold and then pick them up in the drive through when they are ready. Be safe and healthy. “Eat a Peach: A Memoir” by David Chang. From the chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix’s “Ugly Delicious”, this is an intimate account of the making of a chef, the story of the modern restaurant world he helped shape, and how he discovered success can be much harder to understand than failure. “Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History” by Kurt Anderson. When did America give up on fairness? The bestselling author of “Fantasyland” tells the epic history of how America decided big business gets whatever it wants, only the rich get richer, and nothing should ever change–and charts a way back to the future. “The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America’s 16th 20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

“The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers” by Emily Levesque. The story of the people who see beyond the stars–an astronomy book for adults still spellbound by the night sky. “500 Miles from You: A Novel” by Jenny Colgan. What happens when two medical professionals, an ex-Army medic from a village in the Scottish Highlands and an inner-city nurse from inner city London, switch jobs for three months and become unlikely pen pals? “Utopia Avenue: A Novel” by David Mitchell. The longawaited new novel from author of “Cloud Atlas” tells the story of the strangest British band you’ve never heard of. This is the unexpurgated story of Utopia Avenue’s turbulent life and times; of fame’s Faustian pact and stardom's wobbly ladder; of the families we choose and the ones we don’t; of voices in the head, and the truths and lies they whisper; of music, madness, and idealism. “Ghosts of Harvard: A Novel” by Francesca Serritella. Cadence Archer arrives on Harvard’s campus searching for answers about her brother, a schizophrenic genius who leapt from his dorm room window the year before. As her suspicions mount, she begins to hear voices herself–three ghosts that walked the hallowed halls of Harvard, each from a different era of American history. Does she share Eric’s illness, or are these voices real? And, if she listens to these ghosts, will they lead to her brother–and the truth–or will they lead her down a path of her own destruction? “Love” by Roddy Doyle. Two old friends reconnect in Dublin for a dramatic, revealing evening of drinking and storytelling in this winning new novel from the author of the Booker Prize winning “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha”. As the two friends try to reconcile their versions of the past over the course of one night, Doyle offers a delightfully comic yet moving portrait of the many forms love can take throughout our lives. “The Evening and the Morning” by Ken Follett. From the No. 1 For more Library, see page 23


2021 January 12: February 9: March 9: April 13: Teri’s May 11: Cowlitz Title June 8: Port of Longview July 13: American Workforce August 10: Rotary Clubs September 14: ServPro 10 year Anniversary October 12: Farm Dog Bakery Life Works November 9: December 14: (Holiday Mixer)

Interested in hosting a Business After Hours in 2021? Contact the Chamber at 360-423-8400 or emailahallock@kelsolongviewchamber.org


Cowlitz County Commissioners Dennis Weber County Commissioner, District 2

Commissioners’ strategies on flood control, Inslee’s shut down orders, and the budget

A

Federal Funding for Flood Control Measures ollowing months of work behind the scenes, County Commissioners have succeeded in securing $870,000 in federal funding for sediment monitoring and raising the Toutle River dam. In the rather arcane federal budgeting process, the action required bipartisan collaboration between Rep. Jaime Hererra-Beutler, Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell, as well as two federal agencies: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of Budget and Management. Last month we received word that Congress has directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to “re-program” $870,000 in budgeted funds from other programs to these actions. The federal budget office had dropped the funding for the sediment monitoring back in 2015.

Earlier in September, Stevens County commissioners were stripped of their offices for violating state laws on how they funded homeless programs there. Not only did they personally have to repay the money and their own legal defense costs, but they are now banned from ever holding public office again.

After local governments provided funding to the Corps for last year’s monitoring, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) hired a lobbying firm familiar with the region to coordinate efforts to alter the federal budget. (That firm has represented the City of Longview successfully for years.) Last winter they arranged a face-toface meeting with the budget office bureaucrat responsible for Corps funding. When I presented him with aerial photos showing the growing number of sand bars in the Cowlitz River below the Toutle and explained the threat to the lives and businesses in the county, he promised to work toward a funding change. He later described to our lobbyists that it was the best presentation he had ever had.

Budget Woes – A Cautionary Tale

The “reprograming” was the first step. It adjusts the current federal budget. Now comes the second step–adding these programs to the next federal budget now being written by congressional spending committees. Because a flooding Cowlitz River affects so few congressional districts, it continues to be a heavy lift before those committees. We owe a big thank-you to Rep. Hererra-Beutler, Sen. Murray and Sen. Cantwell for getting us this far. Commissioners Avoid Removal from Office Anger over unfair pandemic shut-down orders from Gov. Jay Inslee boiled over at a recent BOCC meeting. For months commissioners have been approving resolutions demanding that more small businesses and other activities be allowed to open. With weekly infection statistics plunging after a post-July 4 high, we were advised by local emergency preparedness officials that personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies are now ample and we decided to allow the local emergency declaration to expire at the end of September. But according to our lawyer, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Doug Jensen, a more recent resolution written by Commissioner Arne Mortensen contained language that would violate state laws. Consequences would be severe, he warned, including criminal prosecution by his office and, upon conviction, removal from office. 22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

After removing the offending language from the resolution, the Board passed the resolution demanding that Cowlitz County be opened up, with Commissioner Mortensen abstaining. We continue to work with our health department to make our case in Olympia. And we have consistently maintained that personal safety measures, including social distancing must be continued to defend against the pandemic.

Each fall the BOCC considers budget requests from elected county officials and department heads. This requires balancing those requests against available resources generated by taxes and fees. Counties heavily rely on property taxes that require a vote of the people to exceed the 1 percent levy lid set by state law. Because relatively few major stores are located outside of cities, revenue for counties from sales taxes is very limited. Only a growing economy helps us meet costof-living increases in order to maintain basic government services. So as the pandemic recession has slowed economic activity, our Finance Director Kurt Williams has been closely monitoring revenues coming into the county. At first we anticipated delays in payment of property taxes at the end of April as well as slumping sales tax revenue. Surprisingly, even with payment deferral options available, County Treasurer Debra Gardner reported that property tax payments came in pretty close to budget expectations. Relatively few property owners opted for a deferral. She explained that escrow companies (covering most home mortgages) generally paid on time, as did most major industrial property owners. We rely on cash reserves to pay our bills between the property tax deadlines in April and October. Williams continues to be concerned about sales tax revenue. There is a two-month lag between when sales taxes are paid in the stores and the revenue arrives locally. The tax is first paid to the state by retailers and then the state sends the cities and county their portions. Again surprisingly, sales tax revenue collection so far this year is exceeding last year’s rate. Williams speculated that this was a consequence of quick federal action sending checks to families, payroll protection grants to businesses, huge expansions on unemployment insurance, and generous COVID-19 relief grants for small businesses, renters, and local governments. The shut-down orders have also resulted in spending increases at box stores like Lowe’s and Home For more Commissioners, see page 23


Longview Schools from page 19

According to the Washington State Department of Health, it is safe to start in person learning as long as infection rates are between 25 and 75 per 100,000 residents. As of this writing, infection rates had been within these guidelines for the past several weeks but this week they began to rise back to the 75 per 100,000 residents range.

“Quality and Personalized Service” “When initially opening a business account, we looked for a financial institution with similar values of quality and personalized service. Fibre Federal Credit Union was a natural fit. They’re known to work really well with local business owners, so that’s where we started.” Lynne Hopkins, Weatherguard Office Manager

Since March, the school district has navigated through some very turbulent times, but we are prepared and ready to start serving students in person when the health conditions allow us to do so. I am very proud of the work of our staff members as they have done an outstanding job serving our kids remotely while we are waiting to be able to return to in person learning. If you have questions about our schools or reopening plans please contact me.

Library from page 20

New York Times bestselling author, a thrilling and addictive new novel, a prequel to “The Pillars of the Earth”, set in England at the dawn of the Middle Ages. Follett’s masterful new novel takes us on an epic journey into a historical past rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate that will end where “The Pillars of the Earth” begins. Finally, we have many new titles by bestselling authors such as James Patterson, Daniel Silva, Danielle Steel, Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Alexander McCall-Smith, and many more.

Commissioners from page 22

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However, Williams continues to be cautious. “Now that the federal supports are coming to an end, we need to be careful in case consumer spending drops off. Unfortunately with that twomonth lag in sales tax reporting, we won’t know for sure until later this year,” he advised. “I suggest the Board consider asking departments to prepare plans for possible cuts for next year’s budget.”

Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020 | 23


Calendar October 2020 Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

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7 Business/Tour Expo, Conference LED CANCE Center

8 Ambassadors Meeting, 7:30am, Columbia Bank BAH-CANCELED

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13 Chamber

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16 Haunted LED CANCE Bingo

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27Chamber

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31 Halloween

Executive Board, Noon, Mill City

Board Meeting, Noon, Mill City Grill

November 2020 Sunday

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4 Education Foundation, 7:309am

5 Ambassadors Meeting, 7:308:30am

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7 Bingo Hunt,

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10 BAH, D E L Monticello Park CANCE Prestige

11 Veterans Day

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17 Chamber Executive Board, Noon, Mill City

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20 Quarterly Membership LED CANCE Luncheon

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24 Chamber Board Meeting, Noon, Mill City

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26 Thanksgiving Chamber Offices Closed

27 Thanksgiving Chamber Offices Closed

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24 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

1-4pm, around town


The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this October. Anderson & Anderson Advisory, LLC Better Business Bureau C's Photography Cowlitz Economic Development Council Cowlitz Indian Tribe Epson Portland, Inc Erickson Glass Company Kellogg Supply, Inc Lower Columbia Economic Development Council Motion Industries, Inc Mount St. Helens Creation Information Center

Ribbon Cutting Looking Good

Our Ambassadors are back, out and about serving the community and welcoming new Chamber members like Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant Sondra Sampson.

Pathways 2020 Prestige Senior Living Monticello Park Progress Center Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center Sessions Plumbing & Heating, Inc Three Rivers Christian School – High School Campus

Sondra Sampson Independent Beauty Consultant ADVANCED Skincare Consultant

“I truly believe that serving customers is on of the great factors that sets us apart from every other company.” Mary Kay Ash Longview, WA ♥ (808) 554-8353 https://www.marykay.com/ssampson3

Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020 | 25


News & Events

News and events come from our website, press releases, and public information shared with us. To see more visit kelsolongviewchamber.org

State’s 2021 minimum wage reaches $13.69; impacts overtime, salaried execs The state’s minimum wage will increase to $13.69 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2021. The change is significant this year because it also impacts wages paid to some salaried employees exempt from overtime and other protections under state law.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws. The minimum wage applies to most jobs, including those in agriculture. This is the first year L&I has returned to calculating the minimum wage since 2016. For the past four years, increases were mandated as a result of passage of Initiative 1433 that year. The 2021 minimum wage is based on a 1.39 percent increase over the last 12 months in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The state minimum wage applies to workers age 16 and older. Under state law, employers can pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15. For 2021, that will be $11.64 per hour. L&I also reminds employers: Tips and service charges do not count toward paying that worker’s

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state minimum wage. Farmworkers can’t be paid less than the minimum wage, even when paid on a piece-rate basis. Regardless of how an employee is paid, the rate of pay must be at least the current state minimum wage. Seattle and SeaTac each have set their own minimum wage. Check with those cities for additional information. For salaried professionals Salaried executive, administrative and professional workers, and computer professionals must earn a salary above a minimum specified amount to remain overtime exempt. That amount will increase in 2021. L&I changed the minimum amount these exempt employees must earn when updates to the state overtime rules took effect July 1. The salary thresholds are now based on a multiplier of the minimum wage. In 2021, those thresholds are: For small businesses with 1-50 employees, an exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, or $821.40 a week ($42,712.80/year). For large businesses with 51 or more employees, an exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.75 times the minimum wage, or $958.30 a week ($49,831.60/year). There are also changes in the thresholds for exempt computer professionals paid by the hour. Because the new state thresholds will be more favorable than the federal threshold of $684/week ($35,568/year), Washington employers will have to adhere to the state thresholds in 2021. Complete information about the minimum wage is available on L&I's website, as well as details about overtime, rest breaks and meal periods. There’s also a minimum wage announcement online that employers can print and post.

Deanna Cornelison

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Escrow Officer/LPO

Megan Wheatley

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L&I investigates all wage-payment complaints. More information about wage and hour laws and workplace rights, including filing a complaint, is available from L&I. Employers and workers may also call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.

2021 salary thresholds set for overtime exempt employees Jason Hanson Title Officer

Darren Plank Title Officer

Dyann Crayne

Title Officer Title Plant Administrator

Leah Stanley Title Officer

Accurate Reliable Timely Locally Owned 1159 14th Avenue , Longview, WA 98632 360.423.5330 www.cowlitztitle.com 26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

With the announcement of the state minimum wage for 2021, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has calculated the new state minimum salary thresholds for overtime exempt employees. The new thresholds will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021. For more News, see page 27


New Members Add your business to our growing membership. Call 360-423-8400 Today!

Business Association with opportunities to promote trade through Chamber socials, special events and committee participation. • Annual Meeting and Banquet • Networking Events • Committee Participation • Business Contacts • Quarterly Membership Meetings • Civic Representation • Monthly Business After Hours

Business Services include marketing for your business, referrals and access to Chamber publications and research data. • Mailing Labels • Membership Window Decals • Member Referrals • Ribbon Cutting • Website Links • Member to Member Discounts • Membership Directory • Tax Deduction • Newsletter • Business Card Display • Use of Chamber Logo

Representation through action committees, candidate forums and up-to-date action alerts. • Legislative Representation • Issues Tracking and Information • Task Forces • Candidate Forums • Legislative Update Breakfast • Demographics Publication

Membership Packages Basic • $275 or $26 per month Bronze • $500 or $46.66 per month Silver • $1,000 or $86.33 per month Gold • $2,500 or $211.33 per month Platinum • $5,000 or $416.66 per month Diamond Club • $10,000 or $834 per month Nonprofit • $180 or $18 per month

News from page 26

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, L&I has determined the minimum wage for next year will be $13.69 an hour, up from $13.50 an hour in 2020. That new minimum wage will impact some employees exempt from overtime and other protections of the Minimum Wage Act. Employees defined as executive, administrative and professional, as well as outside salespeople and computer professionals must perform certain duties and usually must earn a salary that meets or exceeds a minimum specified threshold. L&I changed how this minimum threshold is determined when updates to the state overtime rules took effect July 1. The salary thresholds are now a multiplier of the minimum wage. Using the 2021 minimum wage, L&I has calculated the salary thresholds taking effect Jan. 1, 2021: Small businesses (1-50 employees): An exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, or $821.40 a week ($42,712.80/year). Large businesses (51 or more employees): An exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.75 times the minimum wage, or $958.30 a week ($49,831.60/year). In addition, the new minimum wage changes the 2021 thresholds for computer professionals who are paid by the hour. Because the new state thresholds will be more favorable than the federal threshold of $684/week ($35,568/year), Washington employers will have to adhere to the state thresholds in 2021. The threshold multiplier will be phased in until it reaches 2.5 times the minimum wage in 2028. At that point, increases will be determined by any changes in the minimum wage caused by inflation. As part of its education and outreach efforts, L&I is offering webinars to help employers and employees understand the rule changes. The webinar begin with a 45-minute presentation by outreach specialists from L&I’s Employment Standards program, followed by 30 minutes for questions and answers. You can register at L&I’s calendar of workshops, events and webinars. Look for “Overtime Exemptions Training Sessions (Webinar)” in the “Event Title” pull down menu. L&I has also developed an array of digital tools. They include an online course plus facts sheets, case examples, technical documents, and threshold implementation charts that can be found at L&I’s overtime resource center web page. You can read the complete rules in WAC 296-128, sections 500-545. For additional information, you can contact L&I’s Employment For more More News, see page 30 Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020 | 27


Tune in to…

Your Chamber Connection Recorded on Wednesdays 11:00 am to 12:00 noon Listen at 6:00 pm KEDO 1400 AM or 99.1 FM Featuring your hosts: Carey Mackey - Red Canoe Credit Union Karen Sisson Shawn Green - Longview Kelso Servpro Marc Silva - Columbia Bank


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Your Chamber Connection EVERY Wednesday on KEDO 1400AM

Join our hosts Carey Mackey, Red Canoe Credit Union; Karen Sisson; Shawn Green, ServPro Longview/Kelso and Marc Silva, Columbia Bank for local guests and current events. Would you like an opportunity to be on Your Chamber Connection? Contact Bill or Amy at the Chamber 360-423-8400.

a Amy Hallock and Shawn Green model their custom masks from Copies Today b Claire Beck, program coordinator for Problem Gambling Cowlitz Indian Tribe c Laurel Murphy with Longview Outdoor Gallery d Paul Bricknell, Cowlitz County Chaplaincy Awareness to suicide e Josh Most and Treavor Eades promoting the DeRosier Golf Tournament

Stream Your Chamber Connection live at www.kedoam.com

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More News from page 27

Standards program at EAPRules@Lni.wa.gov or toll free at 1-866219-7321. You also can sign up to receive email updates on the overtime employment rule changes and other wage matters at Lni.wa.gov/ wagenews.

matters as well as customary partisan politics. Rules and regulations at a glance: (LMC 16.13.030 Section 1403) •

Political candidates must register their intent to place temporary political signs with the city clerk and provide a deposit of $50 as a guaranty that the signs will be removed

City of Longview general guidelines for temporary political signs

During campaign season, the landscape blooms with a special kind of flower–the political sign. Unlike wildflowers that are welcome most anywhere, putting campaign signs at some locations is illegal. So before you plant that sign, learn the law and keep Longview safe and beautiful. What you need to know (RCW 47.42.080(5)–When conducting a campaign for public office, please keep in mind that it is illegal to place signs on public property (parks, medians, city owned property, etc.) or within the right-of-way of state highways such as Ocean Beach Highway, 1st and 3rd Avenues, Industrial Way, Tennant Way, etc. “Temporary political signs” include those signs pertaining to nonpartisan elections, bond measures, initiatives, and similar

within ten (10) days after the election. •

trees, telephone poles, traffic signs, and other objects on the right-of-way. •

Temporary political sign faces may not be larger than four feet in height and eight feet in width.

Temporary political signs that are six feet or more above grade are subject to design and construction requirements.

Except for state highway right-of-ways, temporary political signs can be placed upon the planting strip/public right-ofway subject to the following regulations:

Our focus is on your business.

It is illegal to place or post any temporary political sign on

• Have the adjoining property owner’s permission to do so. The temporary political sign cannot impair the site of vehicles, bike riders or pedestrians at intersections.

Temporary political signs within a sight triangle can be no taller than 42 inches.

Temporary political signs cannot hang over the street, alley or sidewalk.

Temporary political signs can be no closer than four feet to the improved portion of the street.

We’re committed to serving your banking needs, providing capital and guiding you in taking advantage of every tool we have at our disposal to help your business. Contact one of our business banking experts or visit HeritageBankNW.com to learn more. Kelso | 1000 South 13th Ave. 360.423.7800

violation to the above listed rules and regulations, or if it is posing a traffic hazard, it may be removed by the City without prior notice. All costs associated with sign removal including possible fines will be paid by the sign owner. Temporary political signs must be removed by the candidates or their designee within ten days after the election. Contact us–For more information about the specific rules

Longview | 927 Commerce Ave. 360.423.9800 Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

Sign removal–If you’ve placed your temporary political sign in

governing campaign signs, please call 442-5000, or call the Code HeritageBankNW.com |

30 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | October 2020

Compliance Division at 360-442-5093. For a more detailed fact sheet, visit the City of Longview website at www.longviewcode.com


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