November Business Connection

Page 1

Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Washington state continues to nickel and dime business.

Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

k November 2021

Volume 13 • Issue 11 Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626


Price of doing business in Washington keeps rising

Bill Marcum, CEO Julie Rinard, Project Manager Pam Fierst, Office Manager Maxine Nightcourte, Social Media Service


o help fill state coffers, costs continue to rise for local businesses that have been forced to restrict occupancy, hours and even close during the past 18 months. Seems the only business growing its business is the state of Washington–with revenues approaching the $6 billion range over what was originally budgeted. The fact they call it revenue frustrates me–it is pure and simple taxes. Taxes paid by you, me, and businesses in Washington state. Retail sales tax collections increased 16.3% year over year and Business and Occupation (B&O) tax collections increased 22.4% year over year.


360-423-8400 To advertise, call Bill Marcum 360-423-8400 or Ad Deadline 20th of Each Month

Our state minimum wage will be $14.49 in 2022–second only to California. Arkansas and Minnesota are tied at No. 16 at $10 with 21 states still at the unbelievable low federal minimum wage of $7.25. Unemployment insurance in Washington is third highest at a $472.62 average benefit per week. Only Hawaii and Massachusetts are higher. Average Workers Compensation benefits in Washington are No. 1–$766.59 per covered worker and going up 3.1% in 2022. Washington State Labor and Industry (L&I) calls this a modest increase. Percent of all taxes paid by business in Washington state is 49.6%, ninth highest in the country and going up. And businesses, like all of us, pay to have products delivered not just to them, but then delivered to customers. Washington’s fuel tax is .494 cents per gallon, fourth highest in the U.S. For more Taxes, see page 2

Taxes from page 1

Below is the chart that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Minimum wage for an exempt (salaried) employee will jump from $42,712 to $52,743 or $10,000. An increase of $5 per hour based on 2,000 hours per year. But look at the next few years $54,132 in 2023, $62,920 in 2024 and $64,116 in 2025 and continuing to $85,020 in 2028. This will be double the federal requirement. And to top all this off businesses will also have the Long-Term Care (LTC) tax to collect and based numerous columns from multiple newspapers this tax to employees of .058% or .58 cents per $100 is not sufficient to keep the program solvent. Not to mention you only can opt out once and that date is now past... yes, in your lifetime, once! Meaning people who are not going to work for at least the next 10 years (like those planning to retire soon) or people who live in another state (Oregon/Idaho) will pay into the fund and will never qualify. If you pay into the program and retire to say Arizona, you also do not qualify. So, if the fund is

not sustainable who do you think will fill the bet is local businesses. I don’t think there will be many exempt workers by 2025 and possibly there will be far less jobs as businesses go out of business or decide the costs are just too great. However, right now there are more job openings than people to fill them. Memberships’ top issue in running the business right now is staffing. How can that be? The numbers would suggest there are enough people on unemployment right now to fill all the jobs that are open. I know that will never happen, but sure seems like there would be a line out the door of people looking for employment. So, business owners are struggling... with tax issues, wage issues and staffing. Yet they are there for all of us, every, with November approaching and holiday shopping starting up, it is more important than ever to support your locally, family-owned businesses.

Salary threshold implementation schedule Salary thresholds for overtime exempt workers are a multiplier of state minimum wage for a 40-hour workweek 2022 Salary thresholds

Small businesses: $1,014.30/week ($52,743.60/year) Large businesses: $1,014.30/week ($52,743.60/year) When the rule takes effect

For employers with 1-50 employees

For employers with 51 or more employees

Multiply minimum wage by ... Projected salary threshold

Weekly (Annual)

Multiply minimum wage by ... Projected salary threshold

Weekly (Annual)

July 1, 2020

Jan. 1, 2021

Jan. 1, 2022

Jan. 1, 2023

Jan. 1, 2024

Jan. 1, 2025

Jan. 1, 2026

Jan. 1, 2027

Jan. 1, 2028










$675 ($35,100)

$821.40 ($42,712)

$1,014.30 $1,041* ($52,743.60) ($54,132)

$1,210* ($62,920)

$1,233* ($64,116)

$1,414* ($73,528)

$1,443* ($75,036)

$1,635* ($85,020)









$675 ($35,100)

$958.30 ($49,831)

$1,014.30 $1,189* ($52,743.60) ($61,828)

$1,210* ($62,920)

$1,387* ($72,124)

$1,414* ($73,528)

$1,603* ($83,356)

$1,635* ($85,020)


Note 1: Salary thresholds after 2022 are projections based on forecasted changes in the Consumer Price Index. These projections have been updated from previous versions. Note 2: This table does not apply to computer professionals paid by the hour who have higher minimum wage multipliers.

Upon request, foreign language support and formats for persons with disabilities are available. Call 1-800-547-8367. TDD users, call 711. L&I is an equal opportunity employer.

2 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

PUBLICATION F700-207-000 [09-2021]

2021 Small Business


Friday, November 5, 12 and 19 Friday Mornings via Zoom ★ 7:30 am - 9:00 am NO COST TO ATTEND

November 5 - 2021 Retail Trends – Growing your Business during the Holidays Join Renée Sunde, President and CEO of the Washington Retail Association The Retail Industry is experiencing significant changes – a renaissance of sorts. Retail is not going away but reinventing itself as it responds to consumer demands and current market realities. The Association represents members in all 49 legislative districts and serves as the primary stewards of Washington’s retail experience, advocating for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. Renée has over 30 years of experience leading teams and, prior to taking the helm at Washington Retail, she served as Economic Development Director for the City of Olympia and on the Regional Planning Council’s Transportation Policy Board. As Deputy Director of the Thurston Economic Development Council, she helped to develop and launch the region’s Center for Business & Innovation.

November 12 - Looking Ahead – Finishing Strong Join Anthony Anton, President and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association Executive at the Washington Hospitality Association, a member-based organization that works at the state and local level to find proactive solutions to the challenging issues facing the hospitality industry and its workforce. We provide our members with programs, services and the information they need to deliver great local experiences, to ensure the success of their employees, and to help their communities thrive. The Washington Hospitality Association became the state’s second largest trade association in 2016 when the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association joined forces in a combined association.

November 19 - Budgets, Taxes and New Legislation (New wages, New taxes, be prepared) Join David Futcher, Managing Shareholder, Futcher Group CPAs David has run his own business in our area since 2004. He has also served as Kelso Mayor for 10 years and was on the city council for 16 years. He is always prepared to help local businesses navigate the ever changing tax environment that can cause a business to struggle. If you are business owner or if you are starting a business, David and his team can provide the expertise and guidance that small businesses need in order build a strong foundation for their future. Know what’s coming in 2022, be prepared, plan and grow your business.

There is no cost, No limit to how many can attend from your business. You must register at to received the Zoom Instructions.

Sponsored by:


Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chris Roewe, President Woodford Commercial Real Estate Lisa Straughan, President Elect Express Employment Professionals Frank Panarra, Past President Foster Farms

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Julie Rinard

Project Manager

Volunteers with impact


hamber volunteers are doing great things! This season, we are especially grateful for the volunteers who take on many roles, often behind the scenes. We’re putting the spotlight on two long-standing groups that have a

Marlene Johanson, Vice President Heritage Bank

significant impact with Chamber members.

Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank

plan themed events to raise funds for scholarships. How do they run five events a

Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel Walstead Mertsching

scholarship applications, and help with Pillars of Strength when scholarships are

Duane Dalgleish Cowlitz PUD Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson Keenan Harvey City Council, Kelso Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors Nick Lemiere Edward Jones Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth John Paul KUKN-KLOG-101.5 The WAVE Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media Tom Rozwood NORPAC Christine Schott City of Longview Councilmember Marc Silva Columbia Bank Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council Michael Vorse Minuteman Press Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner

Lower Columbia Professionals (LCP) is a growing group of 21 volunteers who year, volunteer at Jingle All the Way, run Brew Mountain at sQuatch Fest, review awarded? It starts with commitment to the purpose of distributing scholarships to Kelso and Longview high school graduates. LCP meets once a month from September through May. Individual LCP members take on leadership roles such as chairing a fundraiser or coordinating the procurement of raffle baskets. They set goals and form a team to carry out the details for each event. We see them go above and beyond their initial commitments and they enjoy celebrating the results. The Chamber Ambassadors have a long history of welcoming new businesses to the Chamber. Did you know the Ambassadors were organized back in the 1980s? There are currently 20 members, and the group is expanding. Easily recognized by their red coats, no doubt you’ve seen them in photos and videos. When we have a ribbon cutting celebration, the Ambassadors always show up – many times stopping what they were doing during a busy workday. What are Ambassadors doing behind the scenes? Each new Chamber member is assigned an Ambassador Champion. Champions call, visit, get to know the business and make introductions. They take the time to encourage the business to understand and utilize all of the Chamber benefits that are available. Ambassadors are known for engaging Chamber members and raising awareness of member businesses. Volunteer activities are a powerful way for you to promote your business. Our volunteers strengthen their existing relationships and broaden professional networks. Volunteer work translates what your employees learn back into the workplace. Teamwork, project planning and communication skills are developed. LCP and the Ambassadors are catalysts for Chamber growth. They welcome anyone interested to attend Chamber events and visit their meetings. You’ll also receive a warm welcome and an introduction to the benefits of volunteering. We appreciate businesses who permit their employees to volunteer with us. The next time you see a Chamber volunteer, take a moment to thank them for what they do. Volunteers are making an impact on our business community and we are grateful!

4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021


APRIL 2022 The Kelso Longview Chamber

and its Education Foundation along with every school district in Cowlitz County, including Wahkiakum School District, is planning a Job Shadow Day in April 2022. Our goal is to have over 100 businesses who agree to host one or more students at their business. Please click on the link below and help us with our planning as we attempt to help students become more aware of the career opportunities in our local communities.

105 Minor Rd, Kelso, WA 98626 360-423-8400 •

5 K R U N / WA L K Friday, December 10, 2021

6:00 pm

at The Civic Circle in Longview

Costume Contest: Friday, 5:30 pm at the Monticello Hotel Packet Pickup: Thursday, December 9, 10:00 am - 5:30 pm at the Monticello Hotel Late Registration: Day of Race: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm




th year




to register * by November 30

Register online at

Great art is great for business An exciting project is underway for our area. World-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly has designed a sculpture for our community to be housed in the Longview Public Library and a local group – Art Renaissance Team (ART) – is collaborating with the library to bring it here. Chihuly, a native of Tacoma, is considered an icon of the art world for his glass sculptures in museums, galleries and public spaces all over the world. His public exhibitions continue to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors. Having Chihuly’s art in our community will be equivalent to having a work by Michelangelo. He is an artist of historic significance for his contribution to glass art. Imagine what a public work of art by an artist of this caliber could do for the community? It is a great opportunity to help establish Cowlitz County as a destination location, drawing visitors and tourists travelling along I-5 who want to stop and see the Chihuly art, look around the area and spend money. Developing the arts in Cowlitz County is a significant step in creating a cultural mecca with a thriving arts community, which also flourishes economically and attracts business and professionals to the area. Having Chihuly’s art here is a significant step in that direction. The goal is to have the art in place for the Longview Centennial in 2023 and community support is needed to make this happen.

Learn more about the project at The proposed Chihuly art can be seen at the Longview Public Library or at Teague’s Interiors at 1309 Hudson St., in Longview. The ART team is also available to give presentations or meet with businesses or individuals about the project. Contact us at 360-430-2836. Retha Porter ART chair

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

(360) 414-4101

There’s a Difference. Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 7

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Bill Fashing CEO

CWCOG Economic Development District business resources


he Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) has recently finalized its Business Recovery Toolkit for area businesses. The Toolkit is designed to serve as a guide to support businesses continuity and their ability to weather varying economic conditions. The Toolkit is divided into six segments that build upon each other; the segments can be addressed independently and prioritized by need. The Toolkit also contains snapshots of local resources and services available to businesses, many of which are offered at no cost. The CWCOG is available to connect businesses with service providers in the region that can assist at all stages of the business lifecycle. Check for additional information.

Gap Funds available for Longview area businesses The CWCOG, in partnership with the City of Longview, has received CARES Act funding through the Economic Development Administration to supplement the existing Longview Revolving Loan Fund. Funds are currently available for small business loans within the City of Longview and surrounding areas. Target loans range from $20,000 to $100,000. Loans are for new and existing firms desiring to initiate or expand operations within the community. The Loan Advisory Board will consider application for businesses in the City of Longview city limits, and the City Council may approve loans outside of the city limits. This lending program is intended for businesses that cannot otherwise obtain traditional bank financing. These loans provide access to capital as gap financing to enable small businesses to grow and generate new employment opportunities with competitive wages and benefits. Anyone desiring to participate in the program can contact the CWCOG and request an application or access online at business-finance/. 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. Questions may be directed to me at CWCOG via email to 8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

Helping to Improve Broadband Speed tests offered by the state broadband office help to document the quality of broadband access and can improve grant eligibility for new investment in broadband infrastructure. Take the broadband speed test at your home and office to help provide information into the process. The speed test is ongoing and can be accessed here: washington-statewide-broadband-act/speedtestsurvey/. Watch the CWCOG website,, for updates on the effort.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy The Council of Governments received CARES Act funding to assist with the economic recovery and resiliency of the region. The pandemic has taken a significant toll on the residents, businesses, nonprofit sector and local governments over the recent months. Residents have dealt with new stressors; businesses have gone without revenues, while nonprofits and local governments have been tasked with a wide variety of recovery challenges and funding shortages. Commercial corridors are rapidly changing, and businesses have shut down in many locations. Other businesses working to ensure survival by seeking out and implementing new strategies. As a region familiar with significant economic adjustments, the business community understands that actions in the coming year will greatly affect the overall economic well-being of the region long into the future. The CWCOG is finalizing efforts on an Economic Recovery and Resilience Plan. The effort has identified a regional work plan to assist in providing ongoing direction and focus to the recovery efforts. The plan will also assist in providing insights and guidance into preparing for and dealing with future events and crisis situations that may affect the region in the years to come. The plan includes goals in six areas and the CWCOG will be hosting an implementation planning session soon. The six areas are outlined below. Workforce Development. Workforce development is a foundational pillar of economic development. Priorities in this focus area include making investments in training and upskilling the region’s workforce, which will stabilize the region’s economy and position the region to be more competitive for business growth. For more CWCOG, see page 9

CWCOG from page 8

Small Business and Entrepreneurship. For this plan, small business and entrepreneurship goals were addressed separately from business development to ensure the unique needs of these important constituencies were met. Small businesses were also particularly hard-hit by the pandemic and the economic downturn. Priorities include business planning to improve resiliency, improving access to capital, and deepening relationships between entrepreneurs and the business community.

learning, with many rural and underserved areas left behind. Business Development. When thinking of an economic development resiliency and recovery plan, naturally businesses are one of the first thoughts that come to mind. The plan’s business development goals and priorities focus on strengthening and developing the region’s legacy and aspirational industry clusters, as well as deepening and expanding supply chains to build a more resilient economy.

Placemaking and Community Development. Talent is drawn to communities with high quality of life factors, including vibrant downtowns and outdoor recreation. To capture this talent, as well as make communities more desirable for existing talent, the region needs to prioritize placemaking and community development initiatives.

If you are interested in playing a role in the effort or want additional information, please call me at 360-577-3041.

Tourism and Outdoor Recreation. The region experienced an influx of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic drawn to the abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities. The fourth focus area expands on the priorities outlined under the community development goals to enhance the region’s amenities for residents and tourists, who may be attracted to the region permanently.

The CWCOG is a governmental planning and services agency composed of local governments in southwest Washington state. Its Board of Directors consists of representatives from Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties, but the organization 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.

Infrastructure. As Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties move forward with their long-term vision for resiliency, infrastructure investments, ranging from transportation to utilities to broadband, must remain a regional priority. Broadband was a significant constraint for the region during COVID-19 when the world shifted to virtual work and

About the CWCOG

2022 Friday, January 28 and Saturday, January 29

Cowlitz County Event Center 1900 7th Ave., Longview VENDORS!

Sell your merchandise at the 2022 sQuatch Fest! Help us to welcome 3,000 attendees! Click here for Vendor Application. For more information, contact Julie Rinard at 360-423-8400 or

Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 9

Business Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick

Certified Business Adviser

Thoughts on business succession


he last two years have brought about many new and some longstanding business challenges/questions/issues. Perhaps the area getting more focus than ever is “what next for my business?” Many factors have combined recently to encourage, maybe for the first time, business owners to consider how/when they will exit the business that has been a big part of their life for a long time. Below, I have gathered some common considerations for successful, thoughtful business succession. These elements and ideas have been refined over time and represent a complete set of points for business owners at any stage of business ownership to consider. Please consider yourself and your business as you take-in these concepts and determine what, if anything, they mean to you.

Is your management team developing to take on more responsibility?

What is the status of your strategic planning for the next five years?

Have you considered how your personal financial planning and the timing of transitioning your ownership need to be in sync?

If you had to transition, what would you like to see happen to your business?


Fear – lots of positive and negative outcomes and issues can be identified, complex issues to deal with for the first time, value may be less than needed, don’t want to deal with which child to put in leadership, lots of horror stories from friends who sold, too many lawyers!

Feel Trapped – personally responsible for the line of credit, family wants to get it cheap, a third-party sale may cause loss of employment for dedicated employees, key customer relationships are personal.

What’s Next? – no hobbies or outside interests, friends and social circles are all related to the business, no more fishing and hunting trips paid for by the company, “I am what I do – your identity is tied to your work/company.”

It Can Wait – feeling healthy, good economic times, best profits ever, industry growing, management handling day to day with lots of free time


No regrets on the part of any current and future owners when the transition is completed

Relationships are as good or better after the transaction as they are before the transaction

Think win/win


10,000 people a day are turning 65 in the United States

Baby Boomers own 65% of the private businesses in the U.S.

Boomers were born from 1946 to 1964, so currently are 56 to 74 years old

Typically, 75% of an owner’s net worth is in the business

76% of Baby Boomers plan to transition their ownership over the next 10 years (representing 4.5 million businesses and $10 trillion in wealth)

NOTE: It is likely there will be MANY more sellers of businesses than buyers! Transitions to next generation of family-owned businesses: •

30% to the second generation

12% to the third generation

3% to the fourth generation


Have you identified how you will transition the ownership of your business?

Do you know what your business is worth?

What is happening in your industry with consolidation and acquisitions?

10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

REALITY CHECK: Remember – The ownership WILL transition someday, either by design or default. Not planning for transition will certainly cause loss in value – and likely considerable heartache for you and/or others. INITIAL STEPS OF A SUCCESSION PLAN •

Define and align goals

Establish timeline, vision of outcome

Business assessment

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), strategic plan, five-year financial plan

Management team abilities and bench strength

Business valuation – formal or informal

Value enhancement options

Personal financial planning

Exit options analysis

For more Petrick see page 11

Petrick from page 10

Defining action plans


“Free Cash Flow” determines (Return on Investment) ROI and possible payment plans

Key components increase salability

Positive sales trends

Customers, markets, product lines

Family members

Management buyout

Can gift or grant stocks

Consider impact on children that are not in the business

Healthy gross profit margins

Assure financial reporting, operating systems, advisory board is in place to improve likelihood of ongoing business solvency

Cost reductions and price increases possible

Low concentration of major accounts

Typical note from seller will be five to seven years with payments from company cash flow

Selling and administrative costs that can be diluted with growth

Consider three- to five-year partial buyback, staying in control to keep an outside sale as an option

Clean Balance Sheet – see it through “banker’s eyes”

Current Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable

Other shareholders

Fixed Assets reconciled and clean

Price and terms typically in the shareholder agreement

No shareholder receivables or loans

Consider strengths of remaining shareholders prior to finalizing transaction third-party

Operating Expenses properly accrued

Warranties, commissions, inventory/accts receivable reserves

Entrepreneur, competitor, strategic buyer, private equity

Long-term debt coverage reasonable with cash flow

Use a business broker for under $5 million of value (10% fee) or merger and aquisition firm for over $5 million of value (4-6%) fee

Debt to equity in acceptable range – 2.0 or less


Normalize financials for presentation to potential buyers

Purpose is to give the TRUE cash flow and equity positions of the company for valuation purposes

Remove personal expenses

Income Approach

Building rent at market rates

Multiple times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) or discretionary earnings

Salaries for owners at market rates for equal responsibilities

Personal assets removed from balance sheet

Market Approach – Similar businesses, similar market

Off balance sheet or fully depreciated assets are identified

Asset Approach

Interest on shareholder loans at market rates

Net book value, market value

Value Ranges: fire sale vs. strategic sale

Employee buyout, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), co-op, Initial Public Offering (IPO), recapitalization, liquidation



PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING (Key step in the exit planning process) •

How long do you need to work?

Strength of the economy, capital gains tax rates

What salary and distributions do you need prior to the sale?

Availability of debt/financing, legal/regulatory, market/industry

What value do you need to receive for the company?

What tax planning is needed to receive needed after tax proceeds?

WHAT DRIVES VALUE – BUSINESS TIMING Growth stage, historic trends, future prospects WHAT DRIVES VALUE – PERSONAL TIMING •

Owner’s energy level, age, health

Owner’s personal involvement, passion, transition assistance

Owner’s financial situation/needs/resources


Cash flow drives the valuation


S Corp and C Corp issues

If possible, convert to S Corp to avoid double taxation

Capital gains tax rates vs. ordinary tax rates

Inheritance taxes

For more Petrick, see page 13

Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 11

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


Toolbox kits for business

’ve mentioned before that the library has an area within it that we call the Small Business Hub. It’s a place where we’ve located small business-related books, information about starting a business and contacts throughout Cowlitz County. We also have a dedicated computer nearby with our Small Business Plan Builder database (which you can also access from the comfort of your own home) that walks you through the steps necessary to start a small business. One part that I haven’t written much about our Small Business Toolbox kits. These kits are collections of books and other library materials as well as information related to several subjects that you might be looking for help on as you start, continue, or grow your small business. Below you’ll find descriptions of the kits and what can be found within each of them. Each of these can be checked out with your Longview Public Library card. Please come visit the library today and discover these and many other resources, services, and programs to help you and your small business. The first kit that I want to tell you about is the Start Up and Business Plans Toolbox. So, you have an idea for a business, or are just interested in working for yourself, this kit will help guide you through the process of turning your dream into reality. The five items included in this kit are “The Lean Startup”, “Business Plans Kit for Dummies”, “The Small Business Start-Up Kit”, “Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business”, “Successful Business Plan”, and “The Art of the Start 2.0” (book on CD). Also, included in this kit, and all of the other kits, is a white notebook that includes specific information on the topic geared to our city, county and state. The next kit is the Financing and Accounting Toolbox. All of your questions about financing your small business and keeping your financial records can be answered in the items located in this kit. Included in this kit are “Profit First”, “The Art of Startup Fundraising” (MP3 Audio CD, “Crack the Funding Code”, “Small Business Taxes for Dummies”, “Accounting for the Numberphobic”, and “The Crowd Funding Myth”. Third is the Marketing and Online Marketing Toolbox. We all know how important marketing these days is, especially in this growing digital marketplace. Learn what you need to know about making your business the most successful it can be with these resources: “Methods of Persuasion: How to use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior”, “Marketing Rebellion: The Most 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

Human Company Wins”, “Building a Story Brand: Clarify your Message so Customers will Listen” (MP3 Audio CD), “This is Marketing: You Can’t be Seen Until you Learn to See”, “The Social Media Marketing Workbook: How to use Social Media for Business”, “The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money”, and “Stand out from the Crowd”. The Leadership and Employee Development Toolbox is another kit that you may need. Human resources can be difficult, whether it is developing yourself as a leader of your team or helping your employees reach their potential. Learn what to do, and not to do, using these resources: “The Dichotomy of Leadership”, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, “Radical Candor”, “Leaders Eat Last”, “The Making of a Manager”, and “It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work”. Next is the Women Entrepreneurs Toolbox. Everyone with a dream for a small business or an actual business faces many challenges. However, these challenges can be very different for a woman than a man. Included in this kit are valuable resources for the potential female entrepreneur: “Getting Noticed”, “The Confidence Code”, “Thinking Like a Boss”, “The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit”, and “Lean In” (book on CD). Last, but certainly not least, we have a kit for Spanish language speakers called Recursos para Pequeñas Empresas. An important part of the American dream is the idea that immigrants may come to the United States and make a better life. With our growing Spanish language speaking population, we wanted to include a kit to help them achieve their goals. Included in this kit are the following titles: “Inicie su Propia Corporación: La Razón por la Cual los Ricos Tienen sus Propias Empresas y los Demás Trabajan para Ellos”, “El Nuevo Manager al Minut”, “La Ganancia es Primero: Transforma tu Negocio en una Máquina de Hacer Dinero y Logra una Rentabilidad Inmediata”, “Todo lo que Nunca Quiso Saber Sobre Contabilidad, pero Necesita Conocer: Nociones Elementales de Contabilidad para Todos”, “El Mejor Negocio del Mundo: Descubra Cómo Puede Crear un Negocio Rentable Haciendo lo que Más Disfruta,” and “Empieza con el Porqué: Cómo los Grandes Líderes Motivan a Actuar”. So, if you are interested in starting a small business or just want to learn more so that you can be more successful, then turn to our Small Business Toolbox kits as a starting place.


Our Commercial Loans aren’t automated or handled online. It’s all person to person. We simplify an otherwise complicated process by navigating our members every step of the way. We offer commercial real estate loans, construction loans, vehicle and equipment loans, and business lines of credit, all designed with your needs in mind.

Melissa McDaniel, Commercial Loan Officer

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 800.205.7872 Federally insured by NCUA

Petrick from page 11

Gifting rules and caps

Estate planning trusts etc., etc., etc.

Key – get the right people on your team!

CPA, CFP, wealth adviser, tax attorney, estate planning attorney LIFE AFTER YOUR EXIT •

No. 1 deal killer – not knowing what is next after the deal closes

Understand the value you can bring to:

• The company you are selling

• Nonprofit organizations

• Issues you have passion about

Establish a plan looking forward to what’s next will help get through the traumatic change in life after you sell your business



Wrong timing

One buyer is no buyer

Increased taxes

Leave problems with family members

Possible liquidation

Sleepless nights!


Lower risks

Maximize valuation

Wealth preserved

Reduced uncertainty

Lower taxes


Protect legacy

Happier stakeholders

Peace of mind!

In this article I’ve provided several aspects for you to consider – whatever your situation and preferences PLANNING is the key to increase the likelihood you will transition both yourself and your business in a healthier, happier fashion. The Washington Small Business Centers are here to assist you at any stage of your transition. If you have questions about any of these ideas or want help with your business’ transition, please contact Jerry Petrick with Washington State University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for confidential, no cost professional business advisory services. Contact Jerry via email:



Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 13

Workforce Southwest Washington Darcy Hoffman Director of Business Services

Construction industry workforce plan focuses on attracting new talent and retention


n the next 10 years, more than 15,000 new construction jobs are expected in the region. One-fifth of the region’s construction workforce is at, or nearing, retirement age and the need for construction workers is intensifying. To help businesses address the growing need for employees, Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) and its partners in the Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative (CWWC), recently released the region’s 2021-2023 Construction Workforce Plan. The plan is the result of months of effort by the CWWC Regional Construction Industry Panel comprised of contractors from throughout the six-county SW Washington-Portland Metro region, trade organizations, labor, workforce boards, training providers, WorkSource staff, educators and other industry-supporting organizations. In early 2021 the Panel discussed ongoing challenges and began engaging companies in development of the regional, industryspecific workforce strategy. The Panel identified and prioritized several high-level strategies the public workforce system could deploy to effectively support contractors, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship programs. The draft plan was shared with community stakeholders for comment and to identify areas of alignment and collaboration with existing initiatives. Creating a regional construction plan allows us to identify common industry workforce challenges, coalesce around shared goals and align the efforts of the public workforce system to make a greater overall impact for the sector. The plan outlines four priority areas of focus to support the workforce needs of the construction industry: 1. Connect youth to jobs, training and apprenticeship opportunities in construction

Over the past five years, the Panel and the workforce system have been implementing a regional construction workforce plan. This is the update of that Plan, along with descriptions of accomplishments to date. A few accomplishments from the 2018-2020 plan: •

Industry Panel partner organizations created a visual roadmap for youth audiences of the construction pathway process, including work experience, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship options.

Since 2016, more than 300 women and people of color have graduated from local partnering pre-apprenticeship providers through regional workforce investment grants.

CWWC developed as an industry messaging platform, approach and materials to raise awareness of existing programs and opportunities.

Increasingly, southwest Washington contractors are partnering with the K-12 system to host paid summer interns.

2. Advance equity and diversity in the construction industry 3. Improve retention of existing apprentices and workers 4. Connect “career changers” to jobs, training and career opportunities in construction The region’s current and future building trends are rapidly increasing the demand for skilled tradespeople. Coupled with the anticipated large-scale retirements from the industry and the need to create opportunities and attract women and more diverse candidates to the construction trades becomes evident. Panel members will guide implementation, plan oversight and evaluation of the results and impacts of plan initiatives. If you would like to know more about the panel and get involved to influence, participate and help to lead this work, please reach out to me. 14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

Construction is one of four key industries of focus in our region. Along with manufacturing, healthcare and technology, careers in construction offer excellent pathways to jobs paying self-sufficient wages with benefits. WSW can assist companies that are struggling to recruit, train or retain workers. Please contact me for a consultation. Darcy Hoffman, director of business services for Workforce Southwest Washington can be reached at dhoffman@workforcesw. org, 360-608-4949.

City of Kelso

City of Longview

Keenan Harvey

MaryAlice Wallis

City Council Position 5


Communication issues or procedural issues?

Mayor's role involves wearing many hats

receive many questions about why it seems that city councils seem to frequently have communication issues? While there is no official answer, I have been pondering this question for the two years I have been on council in the hope to come up with a solution and/or an answer. The City of Kelso’s meeting strictly follow Robert’s Rules of Order as many know, we meet twice a month and while our meeting is in session, we must strictly adhere to Robert’s Rules. Most of our prep work comes prior to our meetings, which means we usually attend our meetings knowing how we will vote with minimal questions asked during the meeting.

hat do you do as mayor?” After nearly two years as mayor of Longview, I still get asked that question. It’s a great question, and the answer partly lies in the way a city’s governing body is structured. There are two different ways a mayor can function depending on how the city is set up.


As elected officials, we are also strictly governed by the OPMA (Open Public Meetings Act). Council members cannot meet in groups outside of regular scheduled meetings and discuss city business without violating the OPMA. We also can’t have a series of small gatherings or communications, electronic, or in person, with the majority of council, without our communications constituting a “serial meeting.” This makes it very difficult to communicate amongst members of council. Adding in Zoom communication factors, limited public testimony because of COVID fears, and, let’s face it, some elected officials not doing their homework, or putting in minimal effort, communication as an elected official can be very difficult. So how do we fix it? How do we give our city manager, good directives and clear guidance on how council thinks our city should be run? Well at our meeting on Oct. 5, I brought up the discussion on how I believe we can overcome these hurdles. My proposal was to have workshops as a council where we discuss growth and development in the city. Workshops allow us to speak amongst ourselves more freely, while the meetings are still open to the public to receive input, and while no decisions can be made at workshops, at least, our council can openly and freely discuss how to grow our community. I am in favor of meeting more often than our regular scheduled council meetings instead of just relying on minimal prep work and limited discussion to give clear and concise direction to which we believe our city should be run. In the next few months, I believe you will be seeing a series of workshops, in addition to our regular scheduled meetings, where we will be discussing the growth and development of the City of Kelso. I would encourage all community members to get involved in these workshops to aid in our growth and development of Kelso. Because let’s face it, all roads to Longview, our county’s largest city, lead through Kelso, so we have a responsibility in Kelso to represent our whole county well. 16| Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021


In government-speak, there are “strong” mayors and “weak” mayors, which denotes how much authority is given to the mayor role based on the form of city government. A strong mayor operates in a council/mayor form of government, where the mayor is elected by the people, has strong executive powers, and directly manages the city staff/departments. You’ll see this kind of mayor on TV or in the media as the spokesperson for the city that makes executive decisions. In contrast, a weak mayor operates in a council/manager form of government (this is how Longview is organized), where the mayor is elected by the council body, but the power of the role is limited. The mayor is head of the city council and works with the council to make policy, which is then carried out by the city manager, who directly manages the city staff/departments. The city manager is hired by the city council and is the council’s one employee. The term weak mayor is not a reflection of the effectiveness of the duties of the mayor in that form of city government. Part of my role as mayor does include “cutting ribbons and kissing babies”, which is a fantastic way to celebrate the wins that come through the dedicated work of the council; but a large portion of my time is spent presiding at council meetings to make policy, communicating consistent positive messaging with the city manager, council and staff, and keeping the lines of communication open and transparent with community and business leaders, and with county and state elected officials. In Cowlitz County there are five cities, the two largest of which (Kelso and Longview) have a weak mayor, or council/manager form of government. The remaining three cities (Kalama, Woodland and Castle Rock) have a strong mayor, or council/mayor form of government. So, what does all this mean to the citizens of Longview, and what do I do as mayor? When I was elected mayor by my council peers in January 2020, I took an oath of office to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington, and all local ordinances, and that I will faithfully and For more Longview, see page 19

Come network with us!

BUNCO! A benefit for the Lower Columbia Professionals Scholarship Fund

PNW Meatheads BBQ is hosting games, raffles, giveaways prizes, great food and a no-host bar! Join us at

3061 Ocean Beach Hwy First time Bunco Player? We will teach you! Call 360.423.8400 Or visit us at the Chamber! Register Online at




6pm to 8pm 21 & older

$20 includes food

Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Mary Beth Tack

Dan Zorn



Answering the need for technology update

Career path offerings– future focused success

iving in this pandemic era has taught us to adapt and adjust to changing learning models and needs, particularly in technology. Before COVID-19, Kelso School District had Chromebook carts for students to share, and internet access—as well as the ability to filter internet content—was offered only in school.

ongview Public Schools has surpassed the state high school graduation rates for the past four years. This is not a fluke and is by design and due to a lot of focused work. Graduation rates are high partly because our schools offer educational choices that are relevant and of interest to our students. After high school many of our students go on to trade schools, college, serve in the military or seek apprenticeships. No matter what path students decide to take, Longview Public Schools provides a solid foundation that helps them achieve their future goals.


Over the last 19 months, adjustments have continually been made to improve our technology in four areas: device access, internet access, internet content filtering, and device support. In 2020-21, the district acquired enough Chromebooks for every student to have one, and boosted internet access with internet cafes in schools, parking lot Wi-Fi, and hot spots. We also added a student helpdesk and comprehensive on- and off-site internet content filtering. This year (2021-22), we continue to offer Wi-Fi in certain parking lots, and have ramped up our online safety monitoring even more. We use a variety of tools to control online access and monitor usage. Currently, our digital safety tools include: •

Our filter, Linewize, blocks categories of websites that are considered unsafe or distracting. This filter also generates red flag warnings to the appropriate staff if students persistently engage in searches that signal unsafe or unhealthy behaviors. These may be shared with school counselors who would contact parents if needed.

In addition, we use a monitoring system called Bark that scans Google Drive and Gmail for dangerous words or content. Building administrators receive emails for severe Bark alerts and follow up as appropriate.

Many teachers use Classwize, which allows them to monitor student online activity to make sure students are on task when online.

We allow YouTube to most students, but it is a version that has a strict level of filtering.

Only secondary students have access to Gmail accounts. For safety, we block outside senders (with a few exceptions) to all students but seniors.

Probably the most important tool we use to keep our students safe is education. Students receive internet safety lessons at all grade levels. They receive this in library, STEAM, technology, and health classes where they learn how to stay safe online and be good digital citizens.

The additions and adjustments we have made in student technology over the last 19 months have made our district able to quickly respond to changing learning models, should they arise. I am so proud of all our team has done, and continues to do, to prepare every student for living, learning, and achieving success as a citizen of our changing world. #WeAreKelso 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021


In the past decade, the number of course offerings in advanced placement, career and technical education, and college in the high school has increased significantly to provide our students greater choice and opportunity, which gives them a competitive edge. In Career and Technical Education (CTE) alone, course offerings have increased 40% and now serve sixth-12th grade students. Courses are grouped under focus areas like health sciences, business and marketing, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, family and consumer sciences, skilled and technical, and agriculture and natural resources. Considerable investments have been made through generous grants, local corporate donations and the support of unions, which has allowed our schools to provide state of the art equipment and curriculum. Some of the recent classes added to the program in the last few years include biomedical science, pre-apprenticeship in the trades, robotics, culinary arts, and horticulture. Today, students are able to begin exploring elective classes in middle school and take advanced placement classes in high school where they can earn college credit. Other college level courses are offered through the College in the High School Programs. And of course, we have a strong relationship with Lower Columbia College where several our juniors and seniors attend through Running Start to work toward their Associate of Arts Degree. The opportunity to explore different career options is essential for our students. Career exploration is a foundational activity in CTE courses starting in the middle school years. Students get an opportunity to learn about their interests and find career possibilities that match those interests. We are very grateful for the support of the Kelso/Longview Chamber of Commerce and our local business partners for their efforts to provide a spring career fair and job shadow opportunities for our students. This sets the groundwork for eventually offering work-based learning internships in the future. This last year, we ran a flipped internship where the company comes to the school instead of the student going to the company. We are grateful to Gibbs and Olson for bringing their civil engineering project to our schools. Flipped internships are not new but were incredibly important to our students through the COVID remote For more Longview Schools, see page 19


Longview Schools

from page 16

from page 18

impartially perform and discharge the duties of the office of Mayor according to the law and the best of my ability.” As Longview’s mayor, I want to affirm to you that I take that charge seriously and am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in the office that I hold. I was elected to represent the people, and I do all I can in my power and authority to weigh public policies and facilitate community action that furthers a consistent respect for our city code, and for our state and federal constitutions. I continue to work tirelessly for our community each day, and I offer my time to citizens through calls, emails, and regular office hours and have pledged to be transparent, impartial, and accessible to the council and citizens of the city. In a nutshell, it is about connecting dots, building relationships, proposing solutions, and finding opportunities to better serve the citizens. Thank you for your trust, support, and grace as I continue to work in your service.

learning experience. These offerings are made possible through cooperation between the Longview School District, the Kelso/ Longview Chamber of Commerce, and the Southwest Washington STEM Network. Skilled trades, which is defined as an occupation that requires a training/apprenticeship program and certification like that of an electrician, instrumentation tech, HVAC tech, welder, machinist, automotive tech, power line worker, esthetician, or dental hygienist, to name a few, require prerequisites often earned in high school before a person can enter an apprenticeship program or trade school. Students who choose this route need to meet many of the same prerequisites as students entering a university, with many of these trades requiring successful completion of core classes offered in high school, and the ability to pass tests, especially in the math and sciences. Longview Public Schools continues to strive to provide courses that are relevant in today’s world and of interest to our students. We are proud to be offering cutting edge classes not found in many school districts in the state to help give our kids the skills and knowledge they need to have a competitive edge toward their future employment.


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Save the ! Date

Friday, December 10, 2021 The Civic Circle


HERick reg E to iste


Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 19

Lower Columbia College Chris Bailey President


The unsettling decline in male student enrollment

ur state’s 34 local community and technical colleges play a key role in serving the diverse students and communities in our state and in restarting our economy.

These institutions provide people of all ages and backgrounds

the enrollment process, with a lower proportion of the male applicants getting through the online New Student Orientation and on to register for classes.

the skills to reinvent themselves and create a strong workforce—

Once enrolled, males also perform less well than females in

especially the people who have been most affected by COVID-19.

terms of earning a “C” or better in their courses. Although this

But a recent “dive into the data” reflects some disturbing trends

situation has improved somewhat since 2018-19, the academic

regarding our male population in both Cowlitz and Wahkiakum

achievement gap is still considerable. When fully online classes


are analyzed separately, males again do less well than females.

The “male melt,” a decline in the number of male students attending colleges or universities, has been a national and statewide problem in higher education, particularly for public, twoyear institutions. But the problem is accelerating and even more pronounced in our local community. The downward trend in male enrollment at Lower Columbia College (LCC) started long

Females also progress from term-to-term (persistence) at a higher rate than male students. Finally, there is a large discrepancy between completion rates between men and women. In 2020, women completed at a rate 14% higher than their male counterparts. Why does this matter? For the LCC campus, it means

before the pandemic, then got worse when COVID-19 hit. Male

less diversity in perspective in its classrooms. For the male

enrollment is now at a historic low: in terms of headcount, the

population, it means less success. There is a direct correlation

proportion of male students at Lower Columbia College dropped

between education and earning potential. People with a college

to just 28% in the 2020-2021 academic year. This compares to

degree can earn, on average, $1.2 million more during their

a community and technical college male enrollment rate of 42%

lifetime than someone with a high school diploma alone. (Source:

state-wide for Washington community and technical colleges.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020.) For the economy, it means fewer

At LCC, the proportion of total FTE (Full Time Equivalent)

workers to fill the skill requirements of our local companies.

being generated by men has declined significantly in the past

Meanwhile, many sources suggest that the proportion of jobs

decade. FTE is how enrollment at the colleges is counted. The

requiring some education beyond high school is going to continue

“total FTE” category includes not only state-funded college

to rise.

students but also students who attend via contracts like Running Start, a dual-credit program with our area high schools. At LCC, males generated 40% of total FTE in 2012-13, compared to just 29% in 2020-21 (1,349 vs. 742 FTE). Where is LCC losing men? The decline starts at the beginning

In response to the “male melt,” Lower Columbia College will work with local school districts, in an attempt to change the current trends. Activities will include early career exploration activities, and a greater LCC presence in the schools to promote post-secondary education. LCC is also working with districts to

of the enrollment pipeline. For fall 2021, 69% of the applicants

create greater dual credit opportunities. Finally, LCC will expand

for enrollment at LCC were women, and just 31% were men.

its partnerships with unions and industry to connect employers

The gap between men and women continues to grow throughout

with qualified workers.

20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

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

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

Look Who Joined in October Affordable Dentures & Implants Dr. Kristin Kaelin 100 Triangle Shopping Center, Ste.185 Longview, WA 98632 360-425-5110

He Brews Coffee Roasters Joseph Brown 1000 Spencer Creek Road Kalama, WA 98625 360-921-1898

Mt. St. Helens Gifts

1254 B Mt. St. Helens Way Castle Rock, WA 98611 360-274-7011

National Write Your Congressman Anna Freitas 1707 NE 37th Avenue Camas, WA 98607 206-715-1260

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 | November 2021 | 21

Cowlitz County Commissioners Arne Mortensen

County Commissioner, District 1

Commissioner replacement continues


ast month I wrote about the vacant commissioner position and the process to resolve the vacancy. That process still is unfolding because Dennis (Weber, District 2) and I have not agreed on one specific candidate. While the due date for a decision is Nov. 2, with Dennis outside of the country on vacation, it appears that the governor will be making the decision of whom to appoint. The three candidates under consideration (in alphabetical order, Rick Dahl, Tamara Jones, and Christine Masters) will be forwarded to the governor on Nov. 2. I do not have a timeline beyond that.

with plans to build an overpass at Hazel Street to provide good, safe access to the area on the Cowlitz River side of the train tracks. This support recently took the form of a formal hearing required to initiate the process of condemnation (eminent domain) of three properties that, although in the county, are required as part of the overpass. This issue is yet another complexity of jurisdictional responsibilities. By the way, the money to build the overpass comes from a state grant aimed at improving safety at railroad crossings. The total project is an astounding $29 million.

In the meantime, because there is only one Commissioner available, the County must operate without a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) until at least one more Commissioner is found, either by appointment or by return from an extended vacation. Until that time, no regular business requiring board approval can take place. One Commissioner can act only in the narrow case of a state of emergency declared by the governor.

In news about the 2022-23 budget workshops, here are some decisions taken by the BoCC:

The County has supported the City of Kelso as it moves forward

Consistent Courteous Complete Title and Escrow Services

No levy shift (do not take money) from the road fund. Last year the BoCC took $3.05 million from the road fund.

The BoCC is not taking the allowed 1% increase in property tax revenue growth.

The charge/rent for operating the landfill is $7 million.

$100,000 is granted to the Cowlitz County Conservation District.

Several temporary positions in law and justice have been authorized to deal with the extra load of the Blake decision and the backlog due to COVID lockdown.

None of the above becomes official until there is a public hearing on the budget and the final budget is adopted in December. Prior to that, also there will be final adjustments to the 2021 budget, but these are in the regime of final reconciliations (fixes). The BoCC continues to stand by its County employees and does not mandate forced vaccinations. Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving to all.

1157 3rd Avenue, Suite 218

1425 Maple Street • Longview, WA 98632

360.425.2950 22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

1157 Longview, 3rd Avenue, WA Suite 98632 218 1157 3rd360.952.3100 Avenue, Suite 218 Longview, WA 98632 Longview, WA 98632 360.952.3100 360.952.3100

2022 Friday, January 28, 4 pm - 8 pm Saturday, January 29, 10 am - 8 pm

Cowlitz County Event Center ✱ 1900 7th Ave., Longview WA

Don’t miss these presenters:

✱ David Paulides ✱ Dr. Jeff Meldrum ✱ Ron Morehead ✱ Shane Carson ✱ Host Craig Yahne

✱ Brew Mountain Beer Garden

✱ Themed Merchandise Vendors ✱ Food Carts ✱ Kids Cave


David Paulides

Dr. Jeff Meldrum

Ron Morehead

Shane Carson

Tickets available at:

For more information, call (360) 423-8400



Large land site perfect for lodging/hospitality, retail, etc.

• CONVENIENTLY LOCATED OFF I-5 Just 30 minutes from PDX & the amenities of Portland

• 45 ACRES OF PRIME, SHOVEL-READY LAND Environmental permits & road improvements in place

• COMPETITIVE UTILITY RATES + INCENTIVES Designed to promote growth & ensure your succes




(360) 673-2325





2 3


Ribbon Cutting, Affordable Dentures & Implants, 11:30am

Your Chamber Connection radio show 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

Lower Columbia Professionals, 4pm, PNW Meat heads BBQ

Small Business Boot Camp, Retail Trends: Growing Your Business During the Holidays, 7:30am, ZOOM

9 10 12

Ribbon Cutting, He Brews Coffee Roasters, 11am

Your Chamber Connection radio show 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

Small Business Boot Camp, Looking Ahead: Finishing Strong, 7:30am ZOOM Ribbon cutting, CCRC The Mediation Center, 4pm

Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

2 8

Chamber Ambassadors, 7:30am, Columbia Bank

Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

Lower Columbia Professionals, 4pm, Explorer Brewing Co.



Jingle All the Way, LV Civic Circle, 5:30pm late registration; Race at 6pm


Chamber Exec. Board, Noon, Mill City Grill

Chamber Executive Board Meeting, Mill City Grill, Noon


sQuatch sQuad, Mill City Grill, 4pm Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM


16 17

4 5

Holiday Mixer, Longview Country Club, 5:30-7pm

Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

sQuatch Squad, 4pm, Mill City Grill

Ribbon Cutting, Mount St. Helens Gifts, 11am LCP Bunco, PNW Meatheads BBQ, 6-8pm



Small Business Boot Camp, Budgets, Taxes & New Legislation, 7:30am, ZOOM



Ribbon Cutting, YMCA Family Zone, 11am

23 24 25 26

Chamber Board Meeting, Mill City Grill, Noon Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

Chamber office closed; Thanksgiving Holiday

Chamber Board, Noon, Mill City Grill

Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

24 29

Christmas Eve, Chamber office closed

Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM


New Year’s Eve, Chamber office closed

Chamber office closed; Thanksgiving Holiday

Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 25

Longview Downtowners Lindsey Cope

President; also Vice President Cowlitz Economic Development Council and Facilitator Kelso Business and Community Association

Shop Small Business Saturday in November


owntown Longview

Festival of Trees will be available for viewing from Dec. 1-3 at a

Put away those costumes, pack up those pumpkins, skeletons, and creepy crawlies because it’s officially

variety of locations downtown. Come take a stroll and admire the

shopping season! What better place to get that shopping done,

creativity and beauty that will be auctioned off for charity. Our annual Christmas parade will take place Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.

than in downtown Longview. Kicking off with Small Business

For those who want to be in the parade, registration is open now

Saturday Nov. 27. This national day promoting small businesses and


shopping local will feature sales, prizes, pop-up vendors, raffles,

We will introduce our downtown Elf on the Shelf, which will be

and more. Mark your calendar today and follow the fun at www.

featured in a different store every day between Dec. 7 and Dec. 18. We are also thrilled that our new website will go live this month along with our digital campaign promoting historic downtown Longview outside a 50-mile radius of the city. This is made possible

On Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, we will have a photo opportunity. Dec. 11 will feature Santa in the Merk from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. More details will be announced soon. We are also working together with the city on a variety of

by the Longview Tourism Advisory Committee’s grant award.

initiatives including parking, extending Streetscape, and tourism.

Thank you, City of Longview.

We are currently meeting by Zoom. Anyone interested in the

Following Shop Local Saturday, the Junior Service League’s


computer • tablet • phone Sign up today and receive a $ credit


partnership, promotion, preservation, and development of downtown Longview is welcome to attend. The meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. We are hopeful to be able to move back to in-person meetings later this year. Until then you can find the meeting information under events on our Facebook Page @downtownlongviewwa.

Kelso Business and Community Association The Kelso Business and Community Association (KBCA) met via Zoom on Oct. 28. We discussed the ongoing inventory of public art, parks, flowers, Shop Local Saturday, way-finding signs, banners, and the holiday season. You can find our meeting information on Facebook @kelsoBCA. Anyone interested in making Kelso a little better through business and community initiatives including making Kelso an America in Bloom City for 2022, shop local programs, working with our stakeholders on how to better attract businesses of all sizes, increasing tourism, and more is welcome. This group is focused on positive actions and creating solutions as a team. If you are interested in the Cowlitz Economic Development

Sign up today! Call 360.423.2210 or 26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

Council (CEDC) or any of our partner projects reach out to Ted Sprague, CEDC President, at or me, CEDC vice president, at

Ribbon Cuttings Thank you to these Ambassadors who participated in ribbon cuttings for The Main Event Party Store and Longview Soccer Club in October! Josh Carter KLOG-KUKN-The Wave Diane Craft Koelsch Communities Crystal Garrison Fibre Federal Credit Union

Welcome New Member Longview Soccer Club

Kelly Godden Specialty Rents & Events Carrie Guitteau Cowlitz Black Bears Marlene Johanson Heritage Bank Katie Keaton, Pam Whittle Realty One Group Pacifica Nick Lemiere Edward Jones Eric McCrandall Family Health Center Carrie Medack Diamond Residential Mortgage Jennifer Penfold Country Financial

Welcome New Member The Main Event Party Store

Teedara Wolf Cowlitz PUD

Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 27

News & Events

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

Holiday consumer spending may shatter previous records in 2022

Washington state as they prepare to meet this heightened consumer demand.

The leaves have fallen and the air is getting crisp as we head into a holiday season predicted to shatter previous records. During the months of November and December, taxable retail sales are expected to grow between 8.5% and 10.5% over the 2020 season.

Weather conditions have traditionally factored into holiday sales, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a high likelihood of a La Nina pattern, bringing cooler and wetter weather in the north. This phenomenon has often been associated with more robust retail sales and most certainly could be a factor for the 2021 holiday season.

Written by Renée Sunde, president and CEO

So, what’s impacting consumer behavior? Consumers are the drivers, and they are well-positioned as incomes have continued to rise and savings rates are still strong today. Due to the holiday disruptions over the past 20 months, Pent-up demand is driving shoppers to prioritize gifts for family and friends. Customers are also planning to shop earlier this year, with 49% of holiday shoppers saying they have already begun shopping at the end of October. Around half of the early shoppers say they simply want to avoid last-minute shopping, while 36% don’t want to miss out on essential holiday items. Retailers are making significant investments by working with critical links at ports and shipping and transportation companies – responsible for getting products to the warehouse for last-mile delivery. Retail companies are expected to hire thousands of seasonal workers in

– from Inside Washington Retail

Paid Family and Medical Leave’s 50% rate increase another effect of COVID

Written by Rose Gunderson, vice president of operations and retail services Layoffs triggered by COVID-related curtailments are partially to blame for yet another increase in the payroll tax. The Employment Security Department is proposing to increase payroll taxes by 50% to fund the Paid Family and Medical Leave program in 2022. The current 0.4% payroll deduction was set when the Legislature enacted this program in 2018. The overall rate shared by both For more News and Events, see page 29

The Seattle Comedy Competition is BACK! Watch comics square off against each other in hilarious competition. It’s Americas biggest touring comedic festival and YOU are a part of it.

Columbia Theatre Longview Box Office: 360.575.8499/ Follow us on Facebook & Instagram 28 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

News and Events from page 28

employers and employees and is expected to increase to 0.6% next year. The rate is determined by the ratio of the trust fund balance divided by the total wages paid in the previous year. Unfortunately, the resulting ratio could have been impacted because of the dramatic changes in paid leave claims and wages precipitated by COVID-19 illnesses, curtailments, and layoffs. Employees fund 100% of the paid family leave premium and 45% of the medical leave premium. Employers fund 55% of the medical leave premium. Because of the disparity in usage for family leave versus medical leave, employees will incur a nearly 74% rate increase, and employers will see about a 10% rate increase According to ESD’s data, benefits paid for family leave claims have been about twice the benefits paid for medical leave claims for the past 15 months. That disparity results in a much steeper rate of increase in employees. These increases are in addition to the recently announced hikes in workers’ compensation rates, the implementation of the 0.58% payroll tax to fund the long-term care trust, and possible increases in unemployment insurance taxes to replenish the unemployment insurance trust fund.

As WR predicted, the ripple effects of COVID-related layoffs and curtailments will continue for 2022 and beyond. – from Inside Washington Retail

Kelso Rotary hosts holiday light festival at Tam O'Shanter Park The Rotary Club of Kelso, in partnership with Cowlitz PUD, will host Kelso Rotary Lights in the Park starting Dec. 16. This signature winter event is a one-mile drive through of spectacular light displays at Kelso’s Tam O’Shanter Park. Come see Santa, penguins, elves, reindeer, holiday trains, gigantic snowflakes, and lights, lights and more lights. The festival is open to all. The Rotary Club of Kelso will be asking for a suggested donation of $5 to enter the event. The light show continues through Dec. 23 from 5-9 p.m. (10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). For more News and Events, see page 31

Keep up with the latest on your heart.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 29

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News and Events from page 29

RiverCities Transit honors two employees on WSDOT Wall of Fame RiverCities Transit Operator George Gorman and former Transit Manager Amy Asher were recently honored during the virtual Washington State Transportation Conference. George is a team player who always has a ready smile. He continually provides excellent service, whether assisting a passenger or picking up an open shift for a dispatcher. One of George’s fellow operators noted, “He always goes above and beyond and is always willing to lend a helping hand. George is friendly, and his passengers love him.” We couldn’t agree more. His supervisor notes George’s accident-free and complaint-free record as a great example of his dedication to doing his job well. Amy is a model leader, who sets high expectations for her team, and leads by example with her vision, integrity, positive attitude, and compassion for employees and customers. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, she relentlessly secured masks and sanitizer, ensured barriers were installed on all buses and vans, and perhaps most impressively, kept all of her employees working during the shutdown without any loss of hours or benefits. RiverCities Transit takes pride in honoring Amy for her seven years of outstanding leadership. WSDOT created the Wall of Fame program to recognize exemplary transportation employees for their dedication, innovation, customer service, and professionalism.

Study ranks several small Washington cities as some of the best in the U.S. People who live, work and play in Washington know that it is a special place. Now, several communities across the state, including Longview, are being recognized as some of the best in the country. WalletHub is a personal finance website that generates national rankings and studies every year. In its 2021 Best Small Cities in America study, the city of Sammamish ranked at the top of the list for the second year in a row.

25,000 to 100,000. The full list and criteria are available online. – from

Beech Street from 14th Avenue to California Way opening to traffic Beech Street from 14th Avenue to California Way in Longview will be opened to traffic Oct. 28. It is a complete street with two travel lanes, one middle lane, bike lanes, and sidewalk facilities. Travelers should expect some delays for the next few weeks as the contractor is working on minor items that still need to be completed on this project.

Cowlitz PUD prepares for Holiday Parade and Civic Circle Lighting Dec. 4 Cowlitz PUD’s Connect to Community Committee will be organizing the Longview Downtowners’ Holiday Parade and Ceremonial Civic Circle Lighting Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. with the float line-up beginning at 3:45 p.m. This is the 40th year for the twilight parade. There is no charge to enter the Christmas parade, but the Longview Downtowners would appreciate any contribution to help expand the decorations from downtown Longview to the Civic Center. To register visit The parade route will be from the Cowlitz PUD at Commerce Avenue and Fir Street, down Commerce to Maple Street, left on Maple, left on 14th Avenue and right on Broadway Street to the Civic Center and right at the Civic Center in front of the library to the Monticello Hotel for the annual Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting–approximately 1 mile.

More than a dozen other small cities across Washington also made this year’s list, scoring above the 70th percentile. In no particular order, those cities are: Redmond, Bothell, Kirkland, Olympia, Shoreline, Marysville, Longview, Maple Valley, Issaquah, Edmonds, Bellingham, Lake Stevens and Walla Walla. WalletHub’s study is based on a number of criteria—including economy, education, health, public safety, affordability and quality of life. WalletHub’s list is focused on cities with populations between

Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 31

Your Chamber Connection Radio Show Wednesdays at 6 pm KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

Alice Dietz, Cowlitz PUD

Sondra Sampson, Mary Kay consultant

Karen Sisson, host, Ken Dale, Community Health Partners/Cowlitz Free Medical Clinic, Tina Moore, Fidelity National Title

Contact Julie Rinard at 360-423-8400 or to schedule your interview

Alisha Jolma, Sho'Me Real Estate

Tim Doyle and Nancy Morgen, The Main Event Party Store 32 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021

Lynn Platt and Dr. Kristin Kaelin, Affordable Dentures and Implants

Tune in to…

Your Chamber Connection Broadcast Wednesdays at 6:00 pm on BiCoastal stations KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Access a commercial-free recording of any show at Featured hosts: Shawn Green, ServPro of Longview/Kelso Elisha Jolma, Sho’ Me Real Estate Carey Mackey, Red Canoe Credit Union Tina Moore, Fidelity National Title Marc Silva, Columbia Bank Karen Sisson

November 9th 5:30pm to 7:00pm


PNW Meatheads BBQ 3061 Ocean Beach Hwy, Longview, WA Come enjoy bbq snacks, appetizers, domestic drafts, wine and drawings for gift baskets! Guests may participate in jokers wild & 50/50 for $1 per ticket. a portion of the proceeds go to elks charities! You must be present to win the drawing at 8pm!


$15 in advance $20 at the door

The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this month. Beacon Hill Rehabilitation Bob Beal Insurance Agency Inc – State Farm ”Heritage approaches us with solutions before we come to them with problems.” - Scott Holley, Eddyline Kayaks

Unique solutions for unique businesses

Building Industry Association of Clark County Columbia River Reader Davis & Associates, CPAs, PS

We provide a deeper level of personalized service that helps us tailor the right solutions for the way you work.

Eldon Robbins Auto Sales, Inc | 800.455.6126 |

Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

Service is the difference!

Longview Downtowners


North Pacific Paper Corporation/NORPAC Performance Sheet Metal, Inc Prographyx

Glenda Beam Escrow Officer

Amy Hoyer

Leah White

Escrow Officer

Escrow Assistant

Steve Quaife

Branch Manager

Stageworks Northwest Super 8 of Kelso/Longview

Escrow Assistant

Michelle Mortensen

Jason Hanson

Darren Plank

Carrie Staggs

Title Officer

Policy Typist

Title Officer


Pam McCormick

Bookkeeper/Recorder Campbell Order Desk/Receptionist

Leah Stanley Title Officer

Melinda Gottfryd

Policy Typist

Three Rivers Mall

Breshae Brunette Megan Howerton Title Plant Admin

Title Typist

Most in-depth title plant in the county. Accurate Reliable Timely Locally Owned 1159 14th Avenue , Longview, WA 98632 360.423.5330

Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2021 | 35


January 11: available , February 8: People's Injury Network Northwest March 8: CCRC-The Mediation Center April 12: Cowlitz Indian Tribe May 10: Kelso Longview Elks Lodge #1482 June 14: Canterbury Park July 12: Fidelity National Title August 9: The Jewelers Bench, Inc. September 13: available October 11: Farm Dog Bakery/Life Works November 8: available December 13: (Holiday Mixer)

Interested in hosting Business After Hours in 2022? Contact the Chamber at 360-423-8400 or email

Holiday Mixer 2021

Tuesday, December 14 Longview Country Club 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


25 in ce advan



at the door

Ticket includes two beverages and delicious food from the Longview Country Club as well as entry into some great raffle prizes. Come and celebrate the holiday season with us! Register today at:

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