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Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

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Get tools you need to open safely

June 2020

Volume 12 • Issue 6 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

k CONTACT US

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ssociation of Washington Business (AWB) has announce the launch of a new website with key resources for businesses that are starting to reopen. The Rebound and Recovery page is a valuable resource for employers and is designed to help Washington businesses safely welcome back employees and customers. The website, located at www.reboundandrecovery.org, features an online portal to connect Washington businesses with ‘Made in Washington’ manufacturers producing personal protective equipment (PPE), plus a toolkit for small businesses to help prepare their physical spaces for reopening and assist in communicating new health and safety protocols with employees and customers. The site is free to use and available to all Washington businesses.

PPE Connect is an online portal to connect small businesses with local, made-in-Washington protective equipment in the quantities (including small orders) that they need. Many similar online ordering platforms, like the ones launched by Amazon and even the National Association of Manufacturers, list PPE available in large batch orders. This accommodates the needs of state governments or large corporations ordering masks by the thousands but does not allow small businesses with only a few employees ready access to the crucial PPE they need to reopen. This is why AWB launched the PPE Connect directory.

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

The Business Tool Kit helps small businesses prepare their employees and physical spaces to safely welcome back employees and customers. The tool kit contains downloadable, customizable templates that employers can use to create everything from a Safe Work Plan and store signage to social media content and physical distancing floor stickers. “As more parts of Washington’s economy come back to life, we know employers will need help locating personal protective equipment like For more Open, see page 3

Kris Johnson AWB President


■ PHASE 2 BUSINESSES AND SERVICES • Recreation: Outdoor recreation involving 5 or fewer people outside your household (camping, beaches, etc.) • Gatherings: Gather with no more than 5 people outside your household per week • Travel: Essential travel and limited nonessential travel for Phase 1 and 2 permissible activities • Businesses/employers:

People in high-risk populations are strongly encouraged to limit their participation in these Phase 2 activities and business services. High-risk populations are currently defined by the CDC as: • Persons 65 years of age and older; • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions (particularly not well controlled), including: •

People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma,

People who have serious heart conditions,

People who are immunocompromised,

People with severe obesity,

People with diabetes,

People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and

Pet grooming

People with liver disease; and

Restaurants/taverns <50% capacity and table size no larger than 5 (no bar-area seating)

People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

Remaining manufacturing

Additional construction phases

In-home/domestic services (nannies, housecleaning, etc.)

Retail (in-store purchases allowed with restrictions)

Real estate

Professional services/office-based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged)

Hair and nail salons/barbers

• •

2 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020


Open from page 1

face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer,” AWB President Kris Johnson said. “This is both an urgent need and, we expect, an ongoing need as we adjust to a ‘new normal.’ So, we wanted to make it easy for employers to not only find the PPE they need, but also make it easy to support Washington manufacturers of these products. The PPE Connect portal is designed to do just that — connect Washington businesses with Washington manufacturers of PPE.”

Approximately 40 Washington manufacturers are listed in the database today, making items such as face masks, face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizer. The number of manufacturers and types of products is expected to grow. The toolkit gives small businesses a road map to navigate this difficult time. Many of our local businesses are days or weeks away from opening to the public. This toolkit is designed to equip your business with the information you

need to safely reopen your doors, and to communicate how you are taking action to protect workers and customers to build public confidence. The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce website (www. kelsolongviewchamber.org) has a Covid-19 Resources link at the top of the page that has links to resources you might need to get your business ready to open to the public included is the Rebound and Recovery page at www.reboundandrecovery.org. The Association of Business has done a great job of putting these tool kits together to help all Washington businesses get back to doing business.

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.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020 | 3


Chamber, LCP delivers on scholarship promise

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n May 11, Chamber of Commerce Project Manager Amy Hallock and Lower Columbia Professional (LCP) member Karen Sisson delivered scholarship checks to Longview and Kelso area 2020 seniors. “I got to drive around playing Ed McMahon and surprise local graduating seniors with big checks to help with their education,” said Hallock in an email, referring to the television host known for handing out American Family Publishers sweepstakes awards. “It was so much fun to see their faces and the excitement from their parents when they opened the door.” Every year in May, the Chamber host its Crystal Apple Education and Pillars of Strength Business awards to celebrate Chamber members, community educators, volunteers and graduating seniors for the work they have done over the last year. Due to COVID-19 and the governor’s stay at home order this year’s event was cancelled, but thanks to a year’s worth of fundraising efforts by the Chamber Education Committee and LCP, $13,000 was available to distribute to graduating seniors. Hallock and Sisson drove 70 miles over four hours to surprise 13 scholarship recipients. “So even though life had come to a halt we still wanted to celebrate

❝ I got to drive around playing Ed McMahon and surprise local graduating seniors with big checks to help with their education. Amy Hallock them for their accomplishments,” Hallock said. “The Chamber board and staff would like to thank our Chamber members, Ambassadors, event host, volunteers, Education Foundation and Lower Columbia Professionals for the amazing work they are doing and the positive difference they have made to the Kelso-Longview community,” Hallock said. Please see scholarship winners on page 5

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Congratulations to our 2020 Chamber Scholarship Winners!

The Chamber Education Foundation awarded $13,000 to some very deserving graduating seniors.

Kate Sprague, Mark Morris

Tyler Kooiman, Mark Morris

Piper Nguyen, R.A. Long

Heather Gower, Mark Morris

Daniela Valencia, Kelso

Katie Bartlett, Kelso

Ada Beasley, R.A. Long

Simone Pool R.A. Long

Drew Tack, Kelso

Jacob Olson, Kelso

Ryan Ransom Three Rivers Christian

Emily Coordes Kelso

Keely Morgan, R.A. Long


Longview Public Schools Jill Diehl Director of Career and College Readiness

Partnerships built quality learning opportunities

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s I begin the last few weeks of my final year in the Longview School District, I want to thank the community of Longview for the partnerships that have allowed me to build quality learning opportunities for our youth. As a principal, I developed Discovery High School into a unique learning environment where students have a place to belong while achieving graduation. Because of a shared vision and partnership with Lower Columbia School Gardens an empty lot behind the school became a thriving greenhouse and horticulture program. Through a partnership with Goodwill, we were able to re-engage students who had dropped out of high school and help them earn a GED while training for a career. As director of career and technical education, a partnership with Weyerhaeuser allowed me to put high technology STEM labs into each middle and high school so that students could be exposed to project-based learning in automation, robotics, and computer

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coding. A partnership with JH Kelly allowed me to expand a manufacturing program at Mark Morris High School into a state recognized apprenticeship preparation program in construction trades. At R.A. Long High School, a $1.2 million state grant and partnership with a construction team from JH Kelly allowed me to develop a state-of-the-art robotics/drone engineering lab and a biomedical science lab where partnerships with medical practitioners prepare students for medical careers. Each of these accomplishments has been strengthened through the partnership of the district with the Chamber of Commerce, CEO Bill Marcum, and leadership of the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Business Education Foundation. The amazing leaders on this team developed a STEM Network of education and business leaders to build future employment opportunities for youth. The team designed Cowlitz Business Education Connection (CBEC) a website that innovatively connects youth and industry to career connected learning opportunities. The team collaborated with community businesses and industries to host a Career Expo event for students to explore regional career opportunities. We hosted an annual Pillars of Strength celebration to recognize leaders in business and education while providing numerous scholarships to graduating seniors. I am grateful for the partnerships that have allowed me to build opportunities for youth that will strengthen their futures and contribute to a future economic base for Longview. I am grateful for the meaningful relationships I have developed here and I will sincerely miss Longview, but a piece of my heart will always remain here.

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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

1/16 Page 1/8 Page 1/4 Page 1/2 Page Full Page

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2"x2.5" (*Includes ad on website) 4"x2.5" (*Includes ad on website) 4"x5.25" (*Includes ad on website) 4"x10.5" (V) or 8" x 5.25" (H) 8"x10.5" (*Includes ad on website)

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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Lower Columbia College Chris Bailey President

Reasons to start or continue your education at LCC during the COVID-19 pandemic

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e are all experiencing the many downsides of this horrific COVID-19 pandemic. Many are dealing with economic hardship as a result. However, there

are numerous reasons why it may be the perfect time for many to start or restart their education through Lower Columbia College: ▶ People with college degrees are less likely to lose a job during an economic downturn; ▶ Most classes are available online so that you can stay safe at home and loaner technology should be available from the college for those who need it; ▶ Currently enrolled students can apply for emergency financial assistance to help with expenses including childcare, rent, tuition, and books;

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computer. tablet. phone. sign up today at 360.423.2210 or https://www.cowlitzpud.org/ebill

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▶ Even though we can’t all be on campus together right now, LCC is ready and willing to help you virtually; ▶ You can improve your English skills, work on your high school diploma, or prepare for college level studies in online Transitional Studies classes for just $25 a quarter (with scholarships available); ▶ Summer quarter is our shortest quarter of the year, which means you can finish faster (and still have time to catch some rays); ▶ LCC offers a wide range of transferable online courses in the summer that are perfect for students on break from a university (without the university price tag); ▶ The new Washington College grant, which kicks in on July 1, guarantees full funding for families of four, making up to just over $50,000, with partial funding for families making up to $92,000; ▶ If you are not sure moving away from home to start college in the fall makes sense right now, LCC offers a wide variety of transfer courses and programs at a fraction of the cost of most universities; and, ▶ If you are stuck at home because your university is operating remotely, you could potentially save thousands of dollars by taking online classes at LCC and transferring the credits. Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” There have never been better funding opportunities for those enrolled at Lower Columbia College. In addition to federal financial aid, and the new Washington College grant, LCC also has its Student Success Fund, which provides grants to students in need of a little additional assistance, and nearly $1 million dollars in direct aid to students available under other grants and federal stimulus funding because of the global pandemic. Please share these opportunities with your loved ones. Remember, about 50 percent of all baccalaureate degrees are obtained via local community colleges. “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”


SummerWorks Summer Youth Employment Program

Looking for candidates? We connect businesses to qualified young adults for paid summer jobs.

Your Business Can Benefit Get pre-screened, motivated candidates. Gain new energy and insight from the next generation. Develop the leadership and management skills of your existing employees as they supervise and coach interns. Strengthen your company brand by reaching a new audience. Get assistance with a diverse array of general tasks or projectbased assignments.

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r e m sum sy! ea hires

Candidates complete basic work readiness skills training before coming to work at your company. Your company receives 100 hours of work assistance.

Program Overview

Referred & Screened

Skills Training & Mentoring

Built Around Your Needs

Motivated candidates, ages 16 to 21, from Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties.

Before being placed at your company, candidates complete 40 hours of workskills training, job shadowing and informational interviews.

Interns work a total of 100 hours over the summer (approximately July and August).

Each intern is screened to be a good ďŹ t for your worksite.

Interns are provided a supportive mentor to help ensure they succeed at your job.

You and your intern decide the hours and days per week, depending on your business needs. You supervise and direct your intern and approve a time sheet.

To get involved or learn more, contact: Clark County: Becky Mohagen, becky.m@nextsuccess.org, 360.952.3453 Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties: Christine Katon, christine.katon@esd112.org, 360.355.3119

Investing in the future of Southwest Washington Business

SummerWorks is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Washington Relay 711. These services were developed in partnership with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. SummerWorks is an initiative of Workforce Southwest Washington.


Cowlitz County Commissioners Joe Gardner County Commissioner, District 3

Covering COVID costs with relief funds

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ocal governments in the state will receive nearly $300 million from funds passed down from the federal stimulus program known as the “CARES Act” (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act). Cowlitz County has been awarded approximately $5.8 million, which is separate from the direct allocations to each city. Special purpose districts such as fire districts for example were not directly allocated funding. Costs incurred by these districts in response to COVID-19 would be eligible to be reimbursed from the county’s allocation. The allocation methodology and amounts for each jurisdiction were determined by the state’s Office of Financial Management. Allocations were based on 2019 population estimates for each of the local jurisdictions. According to Department of Commerce program guidelines, Coronavirus Relief Funds may only be used for costs incurred by local governments in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency during the period of March 1, 2020 through October 31,

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2020. Under the CARES Act, the Coronavirus Relief Funds may be used to cover necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency, costs that were not already included in the governmental entities budget. While there is some amount of flexibility as to allowable uses, local governments are not allowed to use these funds to replace lost revenue. This will have impacts for the county and the cities as we contemplate budget adjustments as a result of reduced revenues. Needless to say, we are approaching budget decisions with a great deal of caution as we monitor revenues such as sales tax. There are six eligible cost categories specified from the Department of Commerce. Five of the six categories are specific to public health and local government’s response to COVID-19. The sixth eligible category provides for the opportunity to assist small businesses. Per Department of Commerce guidelines, this would include “expenses associated with the provision of economic support in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.” The county has been communicating with the Cowlitz Economic Development Council and the cities, seeking input as we prepare to establish a process to provide assistance to small businesses impacted in our community. The BoCC has yet (as of this article written on May 22) to make specific decisions regarding the county’s allocation of CARES Act funds as we have only recently received these guidelines. More information will be forthcoming.

Deanna Cornelison

Kristy Norman Escrow Officer

Escrow Officer/LPO

Jason Hanson Title Officer

Megan Wheatley

Escrow Officer

Darren Plank Title Officer

Dyann Crayne

Title Officer Title Plant Administrator

Leah Stanley Title Officer

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Buiness Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick Certified Business Adviser

F

Renegotiating a lease in times of the COVID-19 virus

or most businesses, their facilities lease is the largest fixed cost they have. The COVID-19 virus disaster has shifted rent from being 4-12 percent of gross revenue, to more than gross sales in some cases because of the crisis. Getting some relief is critical to the survival of many businesses – perhaps your business is at risk. Business owners only have limited choices: • Somehow find the money to pay the rent • Work with the landlord to get a break of some sort; or • Face the consequences in the default and remedies sections of the lease agreement – (which often include potential personal liabilities). What tools do business tenants have? When there is disaster funding available, (Small Business Association Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and some Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) proceeds may be used for rent. Accessing unused portion of an existing credit line is a possibility for some. Tapping into other financial resources: ■ cash reserves, ■ home equity, ■ cash call from owners/partners, ■ liquidate inventory or other assets, ■ a sympathetic, optimistic, and wealthy relative, ■ advances from customers, ■ extended payment terms from suppliers. How to approach your landlord Keep your landlord posted on your business activity. In extraordinary circumstances like COVID-19, many landlords are open to working out compromises and concessions that in a normal market they would immediately dismiss. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! And, HAVE A PLAN! Tenants need to have their act and “ask” together. What does the tenant’s business look like (financially) in different scenarios? What can they afford for their space? If they do get concessions, what can they offer in return? 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020

And, importantly, what is the value to the landlord long term by helping the tenant survive? Keep in mind; this is an “ask” – the landlord has a lease – they do not have to make any accommodations. Rent Deferral, Postponement – if a tenant is in communication AND has a plan for recovery, this approach has potential with many landlords. If a tenant can explain why revenue is down and can explain how a break in the rent will help them survive, it the potential for a win-win proposition. Landlords want tenants to succeed. Re-tenanting is both expensive and carries real risks. Asking for a break of 25-75 percent of the rent with a plan for repayment is easier for a landlord to work with than dealing with a tenant silently not paying. Remember that the landlord is a business too – mortgages, operating costs, turnover, and management costs. A compromise may be worthwhile if it will help the tenant survive. The simplest structure is taking the amount of the rent break and spreading it over remaining periods of the lease. It is all negotiable, so you can work to have it fit the tenant’s need for recovery. The payback portion can scale up much later, proving a ramp up of the payback is doable. For example: some restaurants are assuming 6 to 18 months to get back to “normal.” My own sense is this new market environment will take 12 to 24 months to resemble what we were familiar with prior to the pandemic. Have a plan. Show how what is being asked for can help the tenant make it to the long run. Rent Forgiveness, Abatement – less likely, but some landlords can provide a real break of part of a month or more of rent, where the tenant doesn’t have to pay back, if the tenant has a good history of paying and reasonable likelihood of surviving. Landlords with a good working relationship with their tenants and, ideally, relatively low debt service, are the most likely to be able to accommodate this deeper level of assistance. From the landlords’ perspective, this is sometimes looked at as advanced tenant retention. A month of free rent in the middle of a term, if they believe it will make a difference to the tenant’s survival, is better than dealing with a vacant space in what will likely be a weak landlord’s market for the rest of 2020. Regardless of the approach, there are some common approaches that often improve outcomes: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! And, HAVE A PLAN! For more Petrick, see page 13


Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 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

Petrick from page 12

If your landlord does not know what is going on with the tenant’s business; that there are plans and strategies to get it back on track, then the landlord is left to speculate. Human nature being what it is, this often leads to even worse scenarios in the landlord’s mind. In that dire context you can see why the landlord would be hesitant to warmly receive a request for a rent break. With open communication and a logical plan (and a bit of selling on the value of the tenant’s business), odds are much better for some meaningful relief. Understand the lease and the landlord’s position. o The landlord has a lease. o They are a business. o They do not have to make any accommodations. This is a negotiation, a sales process. Frame it in terms that make clear what is in it for them. With a plan, the request will be in the context of the business surviving – a landlord understands that perspective. Landlords want tenants to be successful – that’s how rent gets paid. It is very expensive to turn over space – tenant improvements, vacancy costs, brokerage fees, the risk of another business, how that business fits with the other tenants. All risky. An established tenant is valuable, and worth helping by the landlord – if they understand how the assistance will likely help the tenant be there for the long run. Additional reading links for small business COVID-19 lease issues: https://communitycapitalny.org/negotiating-with-your-landlord-during-covid-19/ https://www.natlawreview.com/article/client-alert-rent-relief-considerations-timecovid-19

Marlene Johanson Heritage Bank

A good overview from a landlords’ legal perspective:

Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors

For a broader commercial real estate perspective:

Nancy Malone Mayor of Kelso Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media

https://shipmangoodwin.com/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Guidance-Real-EstateLeasing https://www.jll.com.co/en/trends-and-insights/research/covid-19-global-real-estateimplications This article was compiled using multiple sources by Jerry Petrick, MBA, and certified business adviser with the Washington State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Jerry provides confidential business advisory services by appointment at no cost to the client. He can be reached at jerry.petrick@wsbdc.org.

Tom Rozwod NORPAC Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council Michael Vorse Minuteman Press Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020 | 13


City of Kelso

City of Longview

David Futcher

MaryAlice Wallis

Councilman

Mayor

The passion of the coronavirus

The road ahead will take endurance

ou might think this article is about the quarantine-fueled baby boom coming our way at the end of the year, but that’s not the case. We’ve learned a lot over the term of this pandemic, and one thing that’s for sure is that passions are high where the COVID-19 response is concerned.

his month marks the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. I had just turned 14 in 1980 when my world as a teenager turned upside down. Dealing with the effects of two inches of powdery, gray ash covering every inch of town, wearing face masks in public, the interruption of school, the closure of stores and restaurants and the devastation of ash in pipes, drains and city streets was more than difficult for the citizens. Sound familiar? I don’t recall who the mayor or county commissioners were at the time or who was in charge of “my” world, but I do know that having to wait for three full days to take a shower was pure anguish. In the middle of the third day I admit I couldn’t take it any longer and I threw my teenage-self into the shower and soaked in the luxurious warmth until my mother abruptly turned off the shower and scolded me for turning on the water and for being an irresponsible citizen.

Y

When lockdowns and closures first started, it seemed that most folks accepted – however reluctantly – that life was going to be different for a while, and that saving lives was worth some temporary loss of normalcy. As time has passed, however, the group of those frustrated with the encroachments on their freedoms and rights has grown. The battle between the vigilant protectors of health and the defenders of our constitutional freedoms has expanded into Kelso’s council chambers the last few meetings. At our May 19 meeting, a resolution was proposed that would have directed Kelso staff not to enforce the state’s closures. While this was mistakenly described by media in Portland, Seattle and beyond as a decision that would have allowed Kelso businesses to open up, that was never the case. If opening businesses were within the purview of the council, the opportunity would be tempting. Our economy needs businesses open again to survive. But in the end, I’m thankful that responsibility isn’t up to our council. Council’s job is to make legislative decisions of budget and policy to help the city run effectively. All too often, you see the legislative bodies of other jurisdictions become distracted by trying to opine on issues outside of their jurisdiction. For instance, Seattle’s council has discussed resolutions against war, against drilling in the Arctic, for Bernie’s Medicare for All bill, and against junk mail. These kinds of considerations inspire heated debate, accomplish nothing for the jurisdiction, and are a waste of the council’s time and consideration. Too often, items like these have begun appearing on Kelso’s agenda. They inflame constituents – or as in the recent case, residents throughout the state – on either side, with nothing to be gained but symbolic and meaningless victories. They create unnecessary discord within the body and the community. These types of items should stay in the social media echo chambers, not in council chambers. Council’s time would be much better spent on efforts that bring the community together and enhance the quality of life and opportunities for its residents. 14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020

T

In early March of 2020, as mayor of Longview, I signed a proclamation designating the Cowlitz County Incident Management Team as the lead for discussions, decisions and dissemination of information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for our county. This team of more than 40 people is a broad and diverse group of leaders who represent all facets of our county and its citizens. I appreciate the time, effort, and expertise of this team working tirelessly to provide insight, direction, and clear and consistent messaging to our citizens in this time of crisis. Not withstanding, time seems to be dragging on through this pandemic as we all yearn for the hustle and bustle of life and business. At times I have felt like my 1980 teenage self; a bit impatient and ready to be done with COVID-19 once and for all so we can all get back to our normal lives. Through many years of decision-making and watching other leaders lead, I have learned that not all decisions are popular or well received. The precautionary measures by which we have been asked to abide are being provided in good faith for our health and safety and are meant to protect, not subject. However, it is sometimes difficult for everyone to make responsible, unselfish decisions and show kindness to those in our community that may choose differently – particularly when some decisions may appear to put us in harm’s way. That harm may be physical, financial, emotional, or a myriad of other risks that are part of this trial we are all going through. So, what is next for all of us? Know that as we receive more information about our ongoing level of risk, we are identifying every available opportunity to get business and life moving again in our community and are pressing our state leaders to acknowledge our efforts and our resolve. Last month I spoke For more Longview, see page 15


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

Longview from page 14

of the desire to cling to HOPE – but what comes after hope? I believe it is endurance. While I know that endurance is subjective, it is that resilience inside each of us that helps us to pull up our boot straps and keep moving forward, despite overwhelming challenges. It is that quiet place of resolve that says we will move forward – together; we may not know how, but we will try with the hope of succeeding. I have seen the human family rally around each other in situations that seem insurmountable and still come out the victor. Whether it be going back to work, moving forward with intended plans or shifting gears to a new adventure, that steady beacon of hope has placed us on this path. Now, let us all endure! Thank you trusted community for all of your efforts during this storm we are facing. Thank you for trying, and for helping our community be a place we can be proud of and worth fighting for. Please continue to have hope on this path of endurance. I look forward to seeing you there!

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

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020 | 15


2020

January 14: Specialty Rents February 11: Wheeler & Columbia Ford March 10: Kelso/LV Elks April 14: Teriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s May 19: Cowlitz Title June 9: Port of Longview July 14: American Workforce Group August 11: Mint Valley Golf Course September 15: Rotary October 13: Farm Dog Bakery @ Life Works November 10: Monticello Park Prestige December 8: Holiday Mixer

CANCELLED


Calendar June 2020 Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1

2

3

4 CANCELED

5

POSTPONED Leadership Boot Camp 2.0

6

7

8

9 CANCELED

10

11

12 POSTPONED

13

14

15

16Chamber

17

18

19

20

21

22

23Chamber

24

25

26 POSTPONED

27

28

29

30

Business After Hours – Antidote

Executive Board Meeting, Noon, Mill City Grill Board Meeting, Noon, Mill City Grill

Ambassadors Meeting

Leadership Boot Camp 2.0

Quarterly Luncheon – Kelso Elks Lodge New date 7/24

July 2020 Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

1

2

Friday

Saturday

4 3 CANCELED GoFourth Festival

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14Chamber Exec.

15

16

17

18

19

20

21Chamber Board

22

23

24 Quarterly

25

26

27

28

29

30

31 Island Bingo –

Board, Noon, Mill City Grill/BAH– American Workforce Group Meeting, Noon, Mill City Grill

Luncheon – Kelso Elks Lodge

Kelso Elks Lodge

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020 | 17


Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Bill Fashing CEO

Census: 10 minutes to answer 10 questions

C

ensus 2020 is still under way and your help is needed to spread the word. The census takes around 10 minutes to answer 10 questions to ensure a fair share of funding over the next 10 years. This is the 24th census in the history of the country. Every decade over the last 240 years, we as a country have participated in the U.S. Census. This civic responsibility affects our lives every day and directly affects the amount of funding our community receives through federal allocations. It affects how we as a community plans for the future and our level of representation in government. Specifically, data from the 2020 Census are used to: • Ensure public services and funding for schools, hospitals, and fire departments. • Plan new homes and businesses and improve neighborhoods. • Determine how many seats your state is allocated in the House of Representatives. What you can do • Go to the Washington Office of Financial Management census website to access a number of resources and capture a postcard or other material that you can send out to your employees, coworkers, and other associates. • Post information on the importance of the census on your social media accounts. Click here for ideas.

emergency approval from Office of Management and Budget to solicit input through an online survey link to 13.8 million homes over 12 weeks beginning early May. The work is intended to measure employment, spending, food/housing security, education disruptions, as well as physical/mental wellbeing during COVID-19 pandemic. Watch for an official Census Bureau email or text about the new “Household Pulse Survey” that might be coming to you. Economic Development Under the CARES Act Recovery Assistance program of the Economic Development Administration the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) through its designated Economic Development District (EDD) is poised to receive a supplemental EDA partnership-planning grant. The funds will be used on activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, or respond to economic injury as a result of coronavirus. The work will include a mixture of efforts including the development of a disaster recovery and resilience economic development plan for the region. The CWCOG will add staffing to assist in disaster recovery for area businesses, governments and other stakeholders. Staff will also provide technical assistance and capacity building for member organizations, local businesses, and other local stakeholders impacted by coronavirus. If you are interested in learning more or engaging in the efforts, please feel free to volunteer by calling me at the CWCOG offices at 360-577-3041.

• Complete your census if you have not already done so. Self-response to the census through the last week of May was strong. The Cowlitz County response rate was at 65.7 percent of the households while the national average was 59.9 percent. Please do what you can to help us reach a full count of households in Cowlitz County. Household Pulse Survey The Census Bureau has recently kicked off a new program relating to COVID-19. I received a call recently asking if an email requesting input on a Census Household Pulse Survey. Always look closely at all of the surveys you receive before responding, but this one is for real. The Census Bureau has received 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020

About the CWCOG The CWCOG is a governmental planning and services agency composed of local governments in southwest Washington state. It’s board consists of representatives from Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties but it serves throughout the region including Grays Harbor, Lewis and Pacific counties as well as Rainier, Ore. It provides a forum for members to work together on issues with crossing jurisdictional lines and creating cooperative solutions. In addition, the agency provides planning, technical assistance, and grant resources in the areas of transportation and economic development, contracts to provide long-range community development planning, and coordinates insurance pooling to select members.


News & Events A Message from the Census Partnership Team

Update Leave. The Update Leave operation, which was restarted on May 11, is expected to be completed throughout the state by the beginning of June. Census workers are delivering invitations and questionnaires to those households that did not receive them when all field operations were suspended in March as a result of the COVID-19 virus. This operation will affect about 5 percent of the households in the state, primarily more rural areas and households with PO boxes that do not receive mail at a physical address. Census Extension. The Census Bureau has officially requested statutory relief from Congress to add 120 calendar days to the requirement to deliver final apportionment counts. Under this request, the bureau would extend field data collection and selfresponse to Oct. 31, which would result in data to be delivered to the president by April 30, 2021, and to the states no later than July 31, 2021. This is just a request and must be approved by Congress before any change to operations is made. Call Center Capacity Increased. As of April 14, the bureau is increasing the capacity of its call centers and is reinstating the callback option for the phone lines. The callback option – callers can leave a message and receive a timely call back from a census taker – will be available in all languages. Questions about ZIP Codes. Some people have asked why their mailing addresses do not seem to match where they live. The Census Bureau does not use mailing address for a residence to assign housing units to the proper political jurisdiction or census geography. Instead, the bureau uses the physical location of a housing unit to assign it to the proper geographic area. The bureau recognizes that the post office “city” names associated with a ZIP may differ from the legal municipality or district in which the housing unit is actually located. Census Phone Calls. Occasionally, the Census Bureau follows up with phone calls to ask questions about completed questionnaires. This is done to make sure no one is left off the census or is counted more than once. These phone calls are conducted by a contractor to the bureau called Maximus. If you think you missed a call from the Census Bureau or received a call but want to confirm it is legitimate, please call 844-809-7717 (English) or 844-809-7718 (Spanish). Rumors. There is a rumor going around the country that census responses might be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits, including any potential stimulus package. This is false. Please continue to check the rumors page at https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/rumors.html for updated information. COVID-19. The U.S. Census Bureau is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 virus and is following the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities. We appreciate your support and patience as operations are adjusted.

This message was shared by Bill Fashing who is working with the Census

2020 Response Rate Map Track your community’s self-response progress on the 2020 Response Rate Map. Live data is updated every day about noon. Please note that the 2020 map data does NOT include anyone counted via the group quarters or transitory locations operations, and other special operations in remote or certain tribal areas. It also does not include responses collected during the non-response follow-up operation. As of May 25 the response rate for the entire state was 65.4 percent, meaning that 65.4 percent of all households have answered the census! Congratulations to Clallam County which became the sixth county to reach its 2010 response rate milestone! Congratulations Class of 2020! ​ Commencement Speech. Graduations looks different this year. The Census Bureau recently partnered with iHeart Radio to offer a commencement address podcast from bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham who talks about the importance of the census to young adults. Census and the Future. From finding a new job to continuing your education here are five ways an accurate census will shape the next 10 years of your life.

Our focus is on your business. 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 Longview | 927 Commerce Ave. 360.423.9800 Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

HeritageBankNW.com |

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020 | 19


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

Useful resources while waiting for Phase 3

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hile our county has recently moved into Phase 2 of the Governor’s recovery program it will be Phase 3 before the library can even think about opening our doors. In the meantime, we are working on a curbside pick-up model that we hope to unveil in early June. Since it will still be a little while until we can talk more about our physical collection, and let you begin to take those things home, I thought I would share the same column from a couple of months ago about our digital resources. There is no better time to discover what your Longview library can offer you outside of our brick walls. During this crisis, we will continue to send out information, and some fun things as well, about what your library can do for you. We will be offering story time on most days at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook live. Either follow the library on social media or check out our website for more information. We are also still answering questions via our Ask a Librarian form on the website. Finally, from the library’s website (www.longviewlibrary. org) cardholders can access a number of different e-resources in e-books, e-audiobooks, movies, music and more. Longview library card holders can borrow best-selling and classic titles for free anytime with a valid library card, and enjoy on all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android phones and tablets, and Kindle. E-books can be read immediately on any device with an Internet browser and all titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period. There are no late fees! Washington Anytime Library (Libby) The Longview library is a member of the Washington Anytime Library, powered by Overdrive, bringing you thousands of e-books and e-audiobooks that can be read in a browser on your computer or with the free Libby or Overdrive app on your phone, tablet, or other device. Many items are also available in Kindle format to be read on Kindle e-readers or in the Kindle app. Download the Libby app for your device (iOS, Android, Windows 10, some Chromebooks). If Libby isn’t supported on your device, download the free Overdrive app. Hoopla Hoopla is a web and mobile library media-streaming platform for audio books, comics, e-books, movies, music, and TV. Hoopla allows library patrons to download or stream media content. Your Longview library card gives you five Hoopla checkouts per month. Set up an account on the Hoopla website or download the free Hoopla app from your device’s app store. Hoopla also works with Alexa, AppleTV, Roku, and more. See Hoopla’s help page to find out more. Tumblebooks for Adults For a limited time, TumbleBooks is providing our community with free access to several of their e-book databases. Click the links below to be automatically logged in to the library account. Head on over to our kids’ page for TumbleBook offerings for children. AudioBookCloud: Streaming audiobooks for all ages. 20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020

Romance Book Cloud: unlimited and unrestricted access to a huge selection of romance e-books. Newspapers, Databases, and e-learning You can also access a number of databases as well including Consumer Reports, Lynda.com, and NewsBank to name a few. Auto Repair Source Repair and maintenance information on various models from 1954 to present. Consumer Reports The Consumer Reports database provides complete, independent, expert ratings and recommendations on appliances, cars and trucks, electronic gear, and much more. The Patron ID is your entire library card number. Lynda.com from LinkedIn Lynda.com is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through the Longview library subscription, cardholders have access to the Lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts. NewsBank Access World News: Find global information on topics related to business, economics, education, government, health, homework help, international studies, politics, science, social issues, sports, STEM and more from a variety of news media featuring newspapers, videos and web-only content. ProQuest Research Library ProQuest Research Library provides one-stop access to more than 4,000 periodicals from one of the broadest, most inclusive general reference databases ProQuest has to offer. Search from a highly respected, diversified mix of scholarly journals, trade publications, and magazines covering over 150 academic disciplines. Reference USA Detailed information on more than 12 million U.S. businesses; 102 million U.S. residents; 683,000 U.S. health care providers; 1 million Canadian businesses; and 11 million Canadian residents. All you need to access all of these e-materials and resources is your library card number (which is on the back of the card; all 14 digits and no spaces) and your pin, which should be the last four digits of your phone number. If you can’t find your card or can’t remember if you have one, please contact us through the Ask A Librarian part of the library’s website (www.longviewlibrary.org). If you don’t have a library card, go to the library’s website where you can fill out an online application and get a number to begin using these resources today.


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


Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Mary Beth Tack

Dan Zorn

Superintendent

Superintendent

Celebrating the Class of 2020

T

he Class of 2020 is unlike any other. They entered the world in 2001, the year of the biggest terrorist attack in the United States, and they are going through the major life milestone of graduating high school during a 100-year pandemic. The celebrations for this milestone of graduating high school, necessarily, are looking different for them. And it’s not just graduation, there are several senior events that have had to be modified during the school closure and stay at home order. In Kelso School District, to keep things as normal as possible, all 2020 senior events are being aired or dropped to email or website for viewing on the originally planned date and time. The virtual events are being produced digitally by a combination of our advisors and staff and KLTV. Any certificates or awards will be mailed to students after the virtual event. Here are some of the ways we’re celebrating the Class of 2020: • Graduate Name and Tassel Filming – took place May 7-14, KLTV filmed graduates in full cap and gown saying their own name and moving the tassel over. They also filmed the speeches and music and are putting it all together for a virtual graduation ceremony that’s as close to the traditional event as you can get. • Senior Honor Cords Awards – took place May 21, Honor Society officers conducted a candle lighting ceremony and recognized students. • Senior Scholarship Night –June 3 at 6:30 p.m., honoring seniors who have achieved scholarships and academic achievements. • Department Awards –June 4 at 8:30 a.m., department awards and the Spirit of the Hilander will be presented. • Baccalaureate Ceremony –June 4 at 7 p.m., nondenominational service presented by Cowlitz County Ministerial Association. Special musical performances, scripture readings, and a speech will be included. • Graduation Ceremony –June 6 at 1 p.m., this will air on KLTV Comcast Channel 28 and on kltv.org. • Graduation Party – Aug. 6, details to be announced. If you happen to see a member of the Class of 2020, tip your cap and wish them well. This exciting time of life is one they will always remember, and they will be Hilanders for life. 22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020

Planning for next school year underway

I

n the midst of the school closure Longview Schools continue to work hard to educate and celebrate our students. We are also busy planning for next year.

Since mid-March, the business of managing a school district has been chaotic and filled with constant problem solving. How do we launch and sustain remote learning? How can we celebrate our graduating seniors in a safe and memorable way? What will the next school year look like? I’m very proud of the district employees and how they have risen to the challenges. It has taken an ongoing, significant effort from every school and administrative department to support our kids and families. Remote learning efforts are going well. Our teachers quickly transitioned from traditional teaching methods to online learning and printed packets. The creativity displayed by teachers in keeping students engaged in learning activities has been amazing. Parents and families have done a great job working with teachers to get kids connected and keep them learning. I cannot thank parents enough for supporting our schools. Significant thought and discussion went into celebrating the Class of 2020 and the graduation ceremonies. The district kicked off celebrating our seniors with a Friday Night Lights event. Since then, we’ve been posting photos and videos of our kids on social media and the district website. The district is partnering with KLTV to produce a virtual graduation ceremony for each high school. The high schools are also doing limited in-person events, such as a cap and gown pick up event, giving parents a safe opportunity to take photos of their graduate. We are also working with KGW Channel 8 on a salute to seniors, which will air in June. Planning for next year is underway. State officials are working on several plans for the start of the 2020-21 school year. We have begun preparing for several scenarios to assure our readiness for whatever direction we are ultimately given by the state. This could mean a normal start or it could be a combination of in-school and remote learning. We’ll get more information to the community as the definitive details become more clear. Finally, it’s important to recognize a group of outstanding For more Longview Schools, see page 23


Longview Schools from page 22

employees who are retiring this year. Each of these folks put their heart and soul into helping our kids learn and I’m forever grateful for their efforts. Kathy Bailey, Vickie Giles, Cliff Jennings, Linda Miles, Hanh Nyguyen, Francine Swett, Marjorie Castle, Jane Gutridge, Marita Loch, Sharon Moore, Karen Powell, Lori Clark, Sharon Jacobs, Greg McCormick, Lynn Nelson and Mary Sundberg. Thank you for supporting our schools.

“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

Bring your business to Fibre Federal for Business Plus Checking, Business Online Banking, Remote Deposit, low-cost loans, and incredible member service. 360.423.8750 1.800.205.7872 www.fibrecu.com

Federally insured by NCUA

Banking made easy

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020 | 23


2020

Monday, August 17, 2020

Shotgun at 1 p.m.

Thank you John Paul for this great photo!

The Game is On! A fun day is scheduled! Make your Reservations Early!

Early Entry Fee: $500 per Team of 4 (Price goes to $600 on August 7) $125 per Individual ($150 after August 7) Includes: Lunch, driving range, $5,000 putting contest, awards ceremony, steak dinner, 18 holes of fellowship, $10,000 hole-in-one opportunity, a great tee prize and two carts per team. Lesson included! We will give you a call the first week of August to secure the people playing on your team.

Register at www.kelsolongviewchamber.org or call the Chamber at 360-423-8400

360-423-8400

www.kelsolongviewchamber.org


News & Events

News and events come from our website and press releases. To see more visit kelsolongviewchamber.org

Strobel awarded with Certificate of Municipal Leadership

Longview City Councilwoman Hillary Strobel recently received a Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC). AWC’s Certificate of Municipal Leadership program recognizes city elected officials for accomplishing training in four areas: Roles, responsibilities and legal requirements; public sector resource management; community planning and development; and effective leadership. “Our Certificate of Municipal Leadership program helps mayors and councilmembers sharpen the tools they need today to understand the legal landscape, plan for the future, manage their resources, and foster strong relationships,” said AWC Chief Executive Officer Peter B. King. “The elected officials who earn this certificate demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and a desire to bring new ideas back to their community.” Strobel completed more than 30 hours of training to earn this distinction. She has been a council woman since January 2020, and

is currently a business consultant and investor. Strobel also is an advisory board member for several companies, and previously was the community manager for a business resources network.

Longview traffic signal improvement project update

The City of Longview has contracted with Northeast Electric, LLC to construct improvements to the traffic signal equipment on Washington Way and 15th Avenue in June and July. Work will begin June 1. The intersections on Washington Way that will be affected are 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and Commerce Avenue. The intersections on 15th Avenue that will be affected are Washington Way, Broadway, Hudson, Hemlock, Florida, Fir, Delaware, Douglas, and Tennant Way. The contractor anticipates a minimum of one day of work for each intersection. Minor delays, lane closures, and four way stops will be part of the traffic control at each intersection. Order of work is subject to change based on construction progress and weather. In order to avoid delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes.

FOR LEASE

Interstate 5 Exit 32 Spencer Creek Business Park PortofKalama.com/available-properties 360 673-2379 Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020 | 25


Tune in toâ&#x20AC;¦

Your Chamber Connection Recorded on Wednesdays 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Listen from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm KEDO 1400 AM or 99.1 FM Featuring your hosts: Carey Mackey - Red Canoe Credit Union Karen Sisson - Stewart Title Shawn Green - Longview Kelso Servpro Marc Silva - Columbia Bank


The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this June. Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts Craig Stein Beverage Dahl McVicker Funeral Homes Entek Corporation Life Mortgage Noelle A. McLean, Attorney at Law Pacific Lumber & Shipping Company Papé Machinery PNE Construction Red Canoe Credit Union – 15th Ave Red Canoe Credit Union – 30th Ave Safway Services, Inc. Searing Electric & Plumbing Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park The Dog Zone Umpqua Bank Walmart

News & Events

News and events come from our website and press releases. To see more visit kelsolongviewchamber.org

Governor opens more counties to qualify for expanded retail Written by Washington Retail Inside Washington Retail Gov. Jay Inslee recently permitted retailers in 10 additional counties to qualify for limited in-store sales under Phase 2 of his gradual reopening plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Inslee’s Safe Start plan, the new counties will become eligible if they have less than 10 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day span. The announcement offers hope to many retailers who had taken steps to operate safely while not having the chance to reopen for business after Inslee imposed a Stay Home Stay Healthy order that forced many retailers across the state to close for more than two months. Inslee has allowed stores in more rural counties to open first while his stay-home order issued on March 23 remains in place elsewhere through May 31. The latest counties eligible to move to Phase 2 operations include Adams, Clark, Clallam, Island, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Thurston, San Juan and Spokane. The Governor had previously allowed other smaller rural counties to apply for permission to engage in limited in-store sales. The Governor’s latest announcement means that in total, 22 of 39 counties statewide could be eligible to reopen for limited retail sooner than his original reopening timetable. Besides retailers, under Phase 2, other types of businesses that could reopen early include restaurants and various professional and personal services such as barbers, hairstylists and tattoo shops to attorneys, architects and IT professionals provided they have safety protocols in place. Retailers will not be allowed to exceed 30 percent of store capacity under Phase 2 protocols. Washington Retail has worked closely with the Department of Commerce and Governor’s staff offering industry specific guidelines and a Safety Operational Plan for retailers. In a news conference last week with the Governor, Washington Retail CEO Renée Sunde expressed confidence that retailers across the state were getting prepared and are ready to allow limited in-store shopping. A full list of state reopening guidelines can be reviewed here. A third phase would permit gatherings of up to 50 people and the resumption of indoor sporting activities. Libraries and museums could reopen while bars would be permitted seating up to 25 percent capacity while movie theaters and indoor gyms could resume business at 50 percent capacity. A fourth and final phase would allow resumption of most public gatherings such as concerts and larger sporting events, but social distancing measures would remain in place. Inslee has said he wants to maintain at least three weeks of space between allowing movement to a new phase of operation. Sources: Governor’s Office, Seattle Times Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2020 | 27

Profile for Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce

June 2020 Business Connection  

June 2020 newsletter of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

June 2020 Business Connection  

June 2020 newsletter of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce