March 2021 Business Connection

Page 1

Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

With social distancing in place and limitation rules, our March 2021 BAH will look different than our February 2020 event.

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

k March 2021

Volume 13 • Issue 3 Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626


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

We're back! With restrictions and limits but it's a start


irst of March 2021. Seems like the year is just starting as we prepare for our first Business After Hours since... well, last March. JoJo+CoCo Boutique and Wander Footwear Store will be hosting the event March 23. To meet the governor’s restrictions of 25 percent capacity in a retail business, we will be handling the event a little different this time. To maintain our 36-person limit inside at any one time, you will be asked to register for a one-hour time slot. We have designated three one-hour segments for the After Hours: 4:30-5:30 p.m., 5:30-6:30 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. When you go online to register please select which BAH segment you would like to attend. When we get to 36 in a segment it will close and show sold out. See our ad on page 28.


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

I want to thank Joanna Asplund and Marnie Harris for their willingness to be the first this year to host a Business After Hours and try out our COVID format. They were our February 2020 BAH host and then our February 2021 host, which was pushed to March, and now finally they will be able to show off their new location at 1267 Commerce Ave., in Longview. Chamber Board of Directors member Wendy Kosloski, owner of Teague’s Interiors, has provided a great location, giving up some of her business floor space to provide JoJo+Coco and Wander with two beautiful store fronts–one facing Commerce Avenue and one facing Hudson Street. Wow! What a great job they have done with paint, window displays and merchandise to create a beautiful and inviting store front. I know it is not the norm, but I hope you will plan to attend, see this beautiful downtown business for yourself and enjoy some food, beverages and meet two very energetic people who are doing great things in downtown Longview. Cost to attend is the same $15. Call the Chamber to get registered or go online. For more Chamber, see page 2

Chamber from page 1

Later that same week we are hosting our first Membership Quarterly Meeting (normally a luncheon) since March 2020. However, we are not able to host it in person due to the same restrictions by the governor. Instead, we are hosting a virtual event March 26 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. You can grab your lunch, sit down in your comfy office chair, login and listen to County Commissioners Dennis Weber, Arne Mortensen and Joe Gardner talk about how Cowlitz County will begin the Road to Recovery. The platform for this online event is REMO. If you want to take a look at it just click here. The Membership Meeting series will continue throughout the year on the Cowlitz: Road to Recovery theme with speakers from different divisions like health care, government and business who will be assisting Cowlitz County as it moves out of the pandemic and into a better quality of life locally. Future dates are June 25, Sept. 17 and Nov. 19. We hope to have those as in-person lunch meetings but if that is not possible, we will continue with the REMO platform. If you are interested in attending please contact the Chamber or you can again, sign up online at www.kelsolongviewchamber. org. Oh, by the way, we had 88 active cases today in Cowlitz County. The Road to Recovery has started...keep it up.

The Elks–March 2020 was the Chamber's last BAH before shutting down for COVID.



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Kelso Longview Chamber Amy Hallock

Project Manager

Big News: sQuatch Fest is coming in July


ike Sasquatch, our 2021 sQuatch Fest has been elusive. Blame it on the pandemic. We knew January would be too soon so we tentatively made plans for April. Now it’s March and vaccines are being distributed and stay-home orders are being loosened but bringing thousands of people into a confined space– well someone had to put a big foot down–so we rescheduled– AGAIN. But we are glass-half-full people and we know this event is important to bringing some “normal” back to the community, so... sQuatch Fest WILL TAKE PLACE, I am being super optimistic, July 30-31 at the Cowlitz County Event Center–outdoors in the fresh air and wide-open spaces where sQuatch and masked attendees can roam free (with proper safety protocols in place). We’ve lined up two days of speakers and activities. We are expecting more than 90 vendors, selling everything from food

to foot molds. Bring the little ones because Kids’ Cave returns. The corn hole tournament is back, so be prepared to cheer for your favorite team. sQuatch isn’t the only thing these parts are known for, we’re a logging community, right? Right! So, limber, or lumber, up. We’re going to have wood carving, rock climbing and axe throwing. It will likely be hot! Especially for sQuatch, but that’s a great reason to stop by Brew Mountain and sample an ice-cold beverage from one of the 15 local breweries that will be on tap. Follow the sQuatch Fest event page on Facebook to stay up to date as we add speakers, vendors and activities. This will also be the place to grab tickets. Check out our event ad on this page and our sponsorship ad on page 11. This event is just too big to miss!


Friday, July 30, 4 pm - 9 pm & Saturday, July 31, 10 am - 8 pm

Cowlitz County Convention Center

Great line-up of speakers • Over 90 vendors Over 15 breweries in Brew Mountain • Kids’ Cave Great food vendors and more! • 4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021


Want to earn up to $1000 for an hour of work?

Apply Now for Scholarships from

Vocational School Technical School Trades College/University Students seeking any type of post secondary education can apply for the Maria Harris Scholarship or the Lower Columbia Professionals Scholarship. In 2020 a total of 13 scholarships were awarded! Must be a full-time student taking 12 credits or more. Must be a resident of Cowlitz or Wahkiakum County. Must demonstrate financial need (Maria Harris only). Must submit 2 letters of reference: one from a community member and one from an educator. Letter should address character, personality, academics or community involvement. Must describe future education goals, plans for financing your education and community involvement. Must be used within one calendar year of the following term.

Application Deadline is April 16, 2021 For more information and to register please go to Tax deductible donations to our scholarship fund are being accepted. EIN #20-5812042

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chris Roewe, President Woodford Commercial Real Estate Lisa Straughan, President Elect Express Employment Professionals

Cowlitz Economic Development Council Ted Sprague President

More COVID relief on the way

Frank Panarra, Past President Foster Farms Marlene Johanson, Vice President Heritage Bank Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel Walstead Mertsching


ov. Jay Inslee recently signed the $2.2 billion COVID relief bill. Out of that money, $240 million is dedicated to small businesses. I want to emphasize all of the rule making surrounding this legislation is not complete yet, but I wanted to give you an outline of what the grant program will look like. The Department of Commerce hopes to have all of the rules complete and an application for grant funding on its website in early March. Some detail that is not complete yet but aligns with how Commerce is setting the rules–the business had to have at least $25,000 in revenue for 2019, but not over $5 million in revenue. Any money received in prior Working Washington Grants Rounds 1-3 will be subtracted from a Round 4 grant. More details to come... Here is a link to all of the detail for the bill.

Duane Dalgleish Cowlitz PUD

Highlights of Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1368

Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson

PROGRAM A: $150,000,000 to be used to help businesses “maintain their operations”. Criteria includes those whose gross revenue was under $5 million for 2019.

Keenan Harvey City Council, Kelso

PROGRAM B: $90,000,000 to be used “solely to assist the reopening of businesses that temporarily totally closed their operations”. Criteria includes those whose gross revenue was under $5 million for 2019.

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

6 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

“Closure” is defined as a business that “was actively engaged in business, and as a result of the governor’s proclamations 20-25.8, issued on Nov. 15, 2020, through 2025.12 (“stay safe-stay healthy”), temporarily totally closed operations.” Once an application is approved, Commerce will have to confirm whether they’ve received a prior Working Washington grant and then reduce the new grant by that total (subsection 5, p. 6) “The department must conduct outreach to underrepresented and unserved communities observed from prior rounds of awards. The department must ensure equitable distributions of grant funding, including considerations for geographic location and businesses owned by members of historically disadvantaged communities.” (subsection 4, p. 6) Successful grantees must use the funding for costs incurred between March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. They are able to expend grant funding for any eligible expenses occurred within the aforementioned time frame. Any expenses outside of the March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 time frame would not be considered reimbursable. Commerce is not requesting receipts as a part of the grant award in the event of an audit the business must show proof of expenditures. Any expense due to the impact of COVID-19, including personal protective equipment and payroll are eligible, as long as they have not been previously funded. Ineligible expenses would be lobbying, alcohol–other than for inventory needs of their business, salary increases, bonuses, and dividends to owner(s) or investor(s). Additionally, costs already reimbursed previously by federal programs (e.g., Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program) are ineligible for reimbursement through this grant award, as well as expenses previously reimbursed by any of grant or loan program (double-dipping), and personal expenses.

Connect with Legislators Legislative Briefing Breakfast Begins Monday, January 25, 7am, via Zoom

And continue each Monday throughout the Legislative Session John Braun

Senator 20th Legislative District

Each week, contact is made with our local legislators, either in person or by conference call, for an update on the bills and issues currently under consideration. Gary Chandler from the AWB is our main source of information as to what is going on in Olympia from a business perspective.

Jeff Wilson

Senator 19th Legislative District

As a business leader, you often feel the impact from some of the decisions made by our State Legislators on your ability to do business in Washington State. These breakfast briefings give you an opportunity to discuss personally with your elected officials issues that impact your business and seek options that provide for better business operations in Washington. Ed Orcutt

Representative, 20th Legislative District

Gary Chandler, VP with the Association of Washington Business leads a very lively discussion about proposed bills that can affect your businesses bottom line.

January, 25- (105 day session) Legislative Update Breakfast Monday’s During the Session Virtual Zoom Meeting 7:00 a.m.

Contact the Chamber for Zoom instructions.

Pete Abbarno

Representative 20th Legislative District

Jim Walsh

Representative, 19th Legislative District

May - December Legislative Committee Meetings First Monday of each month Location for 2021 — TBD

Joel McEntire

Representative 19th Legislative District

360-423-8400 or email Bill Marcum,

Business Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick

Certified Business Adviser

Increase value by building a better business


oday more than ever you are facing a barrage of challenges and a changing environment in which your business operates. However, the fundamentals are still there–kind of like economic gravity; waiting for you to work WITH them versus denying they exist. Keeping focused on productivity, profit, cash, and areas where change could lead to improvement builds financial strength that raises your business’ value. The more valuable your business the more options you have for growth, collaboration, and successful exit (liquidity event). Let’s look at some of the core business elements to glean some benefits going forward. PRODUCTIVITY Productivity–how effectively your business uses resources to produce sales–is a foundation for business success. Whatever business you are in, driving sales requires managing resources such as people, equipment, inventory, and space effectively. Wise businesses first maximize sales opportunities, finding the best ways to generate and convert leads. Next, they deliver sales using as few resources as possible without sacrificing customer satisfaction. They contain costs thereby increasing profits that fund growth. PROFIT Most business owners are clear in their intent to make a profit, but some set their sights higher than others. How much profit do they need? Is a living wage plus a reasonable return on their investment enough to sustain their business? The key is to be clear and specific with yourself regarding your desires/requirements for profits and at what level. A general sentiment of “more is better” or “as much as I can” are not terribly useful when putting plans in place to achieve your expectations. CASH Is it possible to have profit, but no cash? For many businesses, the answer is an overwhelming “YES!” There are some very good reasons for this phenomenon. Cash comes in and cash goes out over time. If your business is seasonal, you know that your need for cash fluctuates over the course of the year. You can spend cash and collect cash without ever making a profit. Still, you need the cash. I have worked with many companies who are experiencing record sales but have no cash–YES, it is possible and avoidable.

FINANCIAL STRENGTH A viable, successful, and valuable business can pay the bills when they come due. It uses other people’s money to create opportunity–not to make up for deals gone bad. Having a longterm financing plan and using a line of credit properly is critical to your financial strength. Borrowing decisions are critical to financial strength. Still, financial strength is not something you manage–it is the result of managing other things well. Which other things? Productivity, profitability, and cash. And if you get it right, it drives value, the Holy Grail in business.

5 Steps to a Better Business I recommend you perform a deliberate review of your business. This is a straightforward process to assess your current situation and developing a plan to improve your business. The process works best when the leadership team (not just the owner or manager) are involved. When the entire team is engaged in developing the plan, they will more naturally and willingly implement. What people “write” they tend to “support/ underwrite”. Follow these five steps: 1. ASSESS FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE – Review financial ratios, income statements and balance sheets. Based on the trends and on how you stack up against their peers (benchmarks), make lists of what you do well and not so well. 2. PRIORITIZE ISSUES – What are the most important things to work on now? Improving productivity, profit, cash flow, financial strength, leadership, systems? What opportunities are there to grow or improve? 3. BRAINSTORM STRATEGIES – What drives success on the priority areas? Are you working on these today? If not, what is getting in the way? What needs to change for you to become even more successful? 4. SET MEASURABLE GOALS – Choose goals based on your business priorities. What metrics can effectively measure improvement? As you move forward, comparing your actual results to these goals provides objective feedback as to whether you’re doing the right things and executing well on the drivers of success. For more Petrick, see page 9

8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

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Petrick from page 8

5. ENGAGE THE TEAM – With goals in hand, reflect on the brainstorming about the success drivers and write down the plan. In choosing long-term and short-term action items, consider these questions: •

What must you do differently to achieve your goals? What activities are worth repeating?

Who is responsible for each action item?

What support and resources will you need?

How will you review progress against the goals and keep the team on track?

What if things don’t go to plan?

Who will hold the leader accountable?

Just how much time do you want to spend with bad data? NO TIME AT ALL!

This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick, certified business adviser with the Washington State University (WSU) Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Jerry provides no-cost, confidential business advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via email

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Cowlitz County Commissioners Joe Gardner

County Commissioner, District 3

Maintaining county's many facilities a daunting and demanding job


he County continues to address on-going facility needs. While the goal is to address maintenance and replacement as proactively as the budget will allow there seems to be

no shortage of items falling into the “surprise” category. In other words, “shtuff ” happens. In an effort to spotlight some of the recent/current facility projects the following are a few items (mostly planned and a few surprises) that have come before the Board of

Late last year the Commissioners approved a project to upgrade lighting in the grandstands and the Expo Center arena. The total cost of the project was $47,514.27. The majority of this project was paid from a Department of Agriculture grant in the amount of $37,800. Another project approved last year and recently completed involved the Health and Human Services building. Proper heating

Commissioners. Currently, the County’s largest project is the construction of a new morgue. In December the Commissioners signed an agreement with Woodburn Construction in the amount of $3,567,000 to build the new 8,600-square-foot morgue. Construction is currently scheduled for completion in December of this year.

Service is the difference!

and cooling in the building were unable to be maintained due to failing duct work. The duct work was replaced at a cost of $95,443.66. Recently, a compressor on one of the jail’s heating and cooling roof top units failed and had to be replaced at a cost of $6,842.73


Most in-depth title plant in the county.

including tax. The Public Works department solicited bids to supply and install a new transformer at the fleet shop in order to use a generator for back-up emergency power. The County received proposals from vendors on the Small Works Roster resulting in the work being done in the amount of $12,197. In the Hall of Justice, flooring in the squad room of the Sheriff ’s Office is in need of replacement. The Commissioners approved a contract to install a new vinyl floor at a cost of $7,231.89. As well, a

Pam McCormick Kristy Norman Bookkeeper/Recorder

Escrow Officer

Megan Wheatley

Steve Quaife Branch Manager

Escrow Officer

window in the lobby on the second floor needed replaced. The total cost of replacement was $3,643.86. Other projects on the horizon are roof work on the jail, the Health and Human Services building and the “Boathouse” (small building neighboring to the Hall of Justice used for training and the jail work crew).

Jason Hanson Title Officer

Darren Plank Title Officer

Cooper Hart Title Officer

Leah Stanley Title Officer

Accurate Reliable Timely Locally Owned 1159 14th Avenue , Longview, WA 98632 360.423.5330 10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

While these projects may not be glamorous, they are important and do utilize many of our tax dollars. It also needs to be noted the County has a small facilities department but I can attest to their dedication, ability and work ethic. The work they do day in and day out is among the most important in the County.


Fri., July 30, 4 pm - 9 pm and Sat., July 31, 10 am - 8 pm

Cowlitz County Convention Center


Mount St Helens Event Sponsor



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

Hoffstadt Bluff Sponsor $2,500

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

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

Columbia River Sponsor $1,000

• • • •

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

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

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

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

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Rd Kelso, WA 98626 (360) 423-8400

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Bill Fashing

Executive Director

Charting a future for economic vitality


or each of the last two years the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) has conducted an economic vitality survey throughout the region. The purpose of the work is to gather information on what the current residents think of the vibrancy of the region, which can lead to needed action to enhance the vibrancy of the region. In 2020, questions were added seeking input on the region’s recovery from the pandemic. The collected information will be used to assist the CWCOG and other agencies in their planning efforts. This information will play strongly into the development of the CWCOG Economic Development District Economic Resilience and Recovery plan currently under development. Participants were asked to consider the regional aspects of the issues in the survey. This article will address a few of the key findings. A copy of the full survey results can be found at www. under the document library. According to a recent publication on the topic of economic vitality, the National Issues Forums reports that, “Many describe a vital community as one that has a combination of some of the following characteristics: it is comfortable and safe, with good quality housing and infrastructure and low crime rates; has “good” jobs with benefits; is experiencing growth in population, jobs and wages; has strong civic organizations; is proactive; and is diverse and flexible enough to withstand economic change. At the same time, they often say vitality is as much a sense of a community feeling “alive” as it is a list of numbers.” With that background we could argue either way on the level of vitality in the region but there are definitely bright spots in our regional outlook. You can review the entire document titled “Economic Vitality: How can we improve our communities” here. The respondents to the survey were spread across the region from Woodland to Cathlamet and beyond in western Wahkiakum County. Over half of the participants have lived in the region for more than 20 years and over half were employed full time. About 20 percent of the respondents have lived here less than five years. A few charts are included to provide a visual approach to the data provided by the regions’ residents.

In the following graph on the next page residents rank the region’s assets. The greatest number of respondents agreed that the Natural Habitat of the area is one of the region’s greatest assets, with over 80 percent of participants selecting it from the list. About 50 percent of respondents noted Recreational Opportunities as one of the region’s greatest assets. Area ports as economic drivers, proximity to the Portland metro area, and the sense of community of the region were also highly valued. Affordable housing, education resources, the road system and economic vitality were infrequently noted as an asset for the region. Compared to 2019, Natural Habitat remained as the most commonly selected asset, although over 10 percent more participants noted its importance in 2020 (83 percent) compared to 2019 (71 percent). Recreational Opportunities also moved up in the importance ranking. Similar to 2019, Economic Vitality remained last on the list with only 6 percent of respondents thinking of it as a regional asset.

The chart to the top right shows the topics needing investment ranked by priority, using the average ranking score, with the highest priorities at the top and the lowest at the bottom. Maintenance of area roads, sidewalk maintenance, new sidewalks, and bridges were the top results for new investment.

Respondents could also select Other as an answer, which allowed them to freely type in their responses. These were tallied and grouped together into categories. These categories were: Close to I-5 (4 percent), Jobs/Industry (4 percent), Available Land (2 percent), and Transportation other than I-5 (3 percent).

The format of this question changed from last year’s survey. Last year’s version was formatted as a simple multiple choice with the option to select multiple items; this year it had participants rank the topics to better show priorities.

For more CWCOG, see page 13

12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

CWCOG from page 12

after the first set of restrictions was announced in March 2020, but before the second set in November 2020. About 25 percent of respondents reported that they, or a family member, were unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and of those who were unemployed, 56 percent were still without work at the time of this survey (July-September 2020). Forty-two percent were unemployed for 1 to 4 months and only 4 percent were unemployed for less than a month.

The top three regional challenges identified by participants include providing adequate high-wage job opportunities, providing a suitable range of housing options, and substance abuse. Providing access to adequate broadband internet increased by 20 percentage points from 2019. The importance of broadband access to area residents, businesses and schools continues to draw attention. The shift in the ranking of the broadband issues moved it from being the ninth most commonly cited concern to tie for fourth, indicating a greater attentiveness to the need for access to adequate broadband throughout the region.

About 13 percent of respondents reported closing their business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Stay Home, Stay Healthy orders. About 18 percent reported not having to close their business. For 69 percent of participants, this question was not applicable. For those affected, over 45 percent of businesses closed for 1 to 4 months, about 23 percent permanently closed, about 23 percent were still closed at the time of the survey (July-September 2020) but planned to reopen, and about 7 percent were closed for less than one month. About 26 percent of respondents are considering or have acted on plans to create alternative sources of income, like starting their own business, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Gwynn Guilford and Charity L. Scott, “The pandemic closed hundreds of thousands of businesses across the country. But now applications for new U.S. businesses are rising at the fastest rate since 2007. Why? A mix of necessity and opportunity.” It appears that the region is also seeing some of that same new business growth. Local Business Pulse Survey The CWCOG is in month two of a Business Pulse Survey to solicit information on the local economy. You can find the survey at www. if you are interested in sharing your business experience, the survey is open to all businesses to participate each month. Month two includes a question about employees’ willingness to return to work. About the CWCOG

Finally, there were several questions regarding the impact of the pandemic on the region. These questions work to assess the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region. The responses were gathered

The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments is a governmental planning and services agency composed of local governments in southwest Washington state. Its 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. The CWCOG serves as a Census Affiliate.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021 | 13

Workforce Southwest Washington Kevin Perkey

Chief Executive Officer

Collaboration of Workforce boards and business is key to equitable recovery


esilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” If I were to pick one word to capture the essence of our local business community, it would be resilience. We all know the impact this pandemic has had on our local companies. Businesses who are the lifeblood of our local economies are fighting hard to safeguard their employees, keep their businesses open, and turn the page on the pandemic and its subsequent economic recession. Over the past year, the team at Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) has worked closely with our business community to understand the impacts of the pandemic on their firms. We’ve joined with our Board, economic development, chambers and community-based partners to quickly provide access to resources, financial support and a reliable shoulder to lean on. Part of this work has included: • Hosting virtual hiring events across industries where we’ve connected 172 job seekers and 42 companies looking for highlyskilled labor right now. • Taking cues from the crucial work coming out of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (Advancing Workforce Equity Reports), WSW and our Greater Portland/Vancouver Metro regional partners, Worksystems, Inc. and Clackamas Workforce Partnership, are developing a Quality Jobs framework that centers equity across our work, serving as the catalyst for an equitable economic recovery across our region. • We continue to leverage the partnership muscles of our Board to routinely convene business leaders across our community to advise, shape, and support our investments as well as our policy and advocacy agenda, working together for a prosperous and equitable recovery. The pandemic has laid bare numerous issues that have been bubbling under the surface for years. Among them, wage and gender disparity and the lack of accessible and affordable childcare. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics all 156,000 jobs lost in December 2020 were held by women. Our country cannot afford to have half of its population not working because of these issues. Critically, our local business partners recognize the importance of high-quality childcare as an essential part of their recovery and longterm growth. Pre-pandemic, we had begun the development of an employer-led childcare model with our Board and business partners in Cowlitz County, taking lessons from our colleagues in Texas and across the country. Once the pandemic hit and our economy slowed 14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

Businesses seeking to hire, please reach out to get a booth at these virtual events!

Upcoming Virtual Workforce Events • Cowlitz County Resource Fair – March 24 • Healthcare Hiring Event – April 21 • Statewide Remote Work Virtual Job Fair – April TBD • Veteran’s Hiring Fair – June or July down, our business community across the region (and the country) realized with greater urgency the importance of this work. During the initial phases of our work, we conducted interviews with our business community to assess the demand for childcare, ascertain if efforts had been taken to address the lack of childcare availability and gauge the willingness of interviewees to participate in developing approaches to increase childcare capacity. As a way to share what we’ve learned, we recently released our first phase findings, WSW’s “The Business Case for Childcare.” We are currently inviting prior participants back to the table to work on developing a public-private model to increase childcare capacity. If your company is interested in this work, reach out to our Director of Business Services Darcy Hoffman at As I look ahead, rapidly expanding the availability of highquality affordable childcare, hosting effective virtual hiring events, elevating business leaders who drive equity, diversity and inclusion in their firms and developing new career pathway networks across industries are all critical to our local and national success. Now, perhaps more so than ever, is the time to double down on our efforts, working hand-in-hand with our business community to rapidly reemploy, reskill and rethink how we collectively invest in and support hard-working Americans and our shared goal in creating a new equitable economy for our country. Kevin Perkey is the CEO of Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW). Reach him at WSW leads the public workforce system in Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Clark counties.

2021 January 12: OPEN February 9: March 23: JoJo CoCo & Wander April 13: Teri’s May 11: Cowlitz Title June 8: Port of Longview July 13: American Workforce August 10: Rotary Clubs September 14: ServPro 10 year Anniversary October 12: Farm Dog Bakery Life Works November 9: Capital National Title December 14: (Holiday Mixer)

Interested in hosting a Business After Hours in 2021? Contact the Chamber at 360-423-8400 or email

City of Kelso

City of Longview

Keenan Harvey

MaryAlice Wallis

City Councilmember


In-person meetings mark fresh start

2020 produced big wins for the city

year and two months into my tenure as a freshmen city council member, my reflection of being on council is vastly different than prior municipal leadership teams. Proposing new ordinances and city legislation has proven to be a challenge on a virtual platform. This has truly been a learning experience that has helped me grow not only as a city leader, but as an active member of the Kelso community. Balancing differing opinions on how we should handle our city’s response to the COVID pandemic while trying to grow as a city has proven to be a huge hurdle that we as a council have been trusted to overcome.

e’ve had our big snow, and now eagerly await the blossoms of spring and the time when the city begins flourishing again with activity and events. Even though, for the most part, we’d rather not even mention 2020, let’s peek back, if only for the sake of rejoicing, at some of the wins we’ve witnessed in the City of Longview during 2020, and a then take a glimpse at some of the great opportunities to look forward to in 2021.


The future of the COVID pandemic is looking promising for our city’s businesses and for our council. Phase 2 of the states’ reopening plan allows councils to meet in person at a 25 percent capacity, so I am excited that our meetings starting on March 2 will be in person. This has given myself and other council members a seemingly fresh start on how we will be fighting for the safety and security of our community. This fresh start has allowed myself to re-evaluate and prioritize issues that are important to our city and now that we are meeting in person, I look forward to listening to citizens input on how we can improve and grow. Myself and some of the other council members have already proposed new ordinances to help our city and hopefully grow to our true potential. I look forward to seeing all of you in person and I hope some of you take some time to come to our meeting to give input on how we can improve Kelso for the better. With our motto “We Are Kelso” in mind, I believe COVID has taught us how truly great our community is and how resilient we are. The start to 2021 allowed us to put 2020 in the past. Let’s continue to thrive and look out for one another.


2020–Ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings, traffic signals, business and housing lots… Oh my! • Win! Harlie’s Hoops–a full-sized, covered outdoor basketball court located on the shores of Lake Sacajawea, adjacent to the Elks Memorial Building on Kessler Boulevard is open for public use. • Win! Legends Indoor Firing Range–a 50-yard, world-class indoor firing range located on California Way will partner with Longview Police Department for law enforcement training and will also offer services for public recreational use. Construction to begin in the spring. • Win! RiverCities Transit–New transit center located on 12th Avenue offers offices for training, six new biodiesel buses and new bus routes. • Win! Beech Street Extension–46-acre Longview Business Park offers 14 buildable business lots with the potential of producing hundreds of jobs and attracting $111 million in private investments. It is nestled in between California Way and Oregon Way on Beech Street. • Win! New Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standard curbs are located at 10th Avenue/New York Street, 11th Avenue/ Vandercook Way and the corners of 30th Avenue to Ocean Beach Highway. ADA accessible doors were installed inside City Hall in front of the Finance and Community Development offices. The complete reconstruction of 46th Avenue has begun, and the reconstruction of 432/411 on/off ramp at Tenant Way/3rd Avenue is nearly complete. • Win! Traffic signal synchronization along 15th Avenue and Washington Way is complete.

1157 3rd Avenue, Suite 218

1157 Longview, 3rd Avenue, WA Suite 98632 218 1157 3rd360.952.3100 Avenue, Suite 218 Longview, WA 98632 Longview, WA 98632 360.952.3100 360.952.3100 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

• Win! The Alabama Street temporary homeless encampment entrance was cleared of garbage and waste. Cowlitz County and the City of Longview have partnered on a homeless pilot project. • Win! A new city plat at Mt. Solo Estates Phase 1 is now available for 14 buildable single-family lots. For more Longview, see page 17

Longview from page 16

Looking ahead in 2021 for the City of Longview: • Events are coming! Council approved over $65,000 for community sponsored events in 2021 including Go Fourth, Squirrel Fest, sQuatchFest, Crafted Festival, Unique Tin Car Club and Centennial Celebration and these organizations Columbia Artists Association, Longview Downtowners, Active Transportation, Cowlitz County Historical Museum and Southwest Washington Symphony. • Sections of Oregon Way will receive a fresh new surface with funds from the Transportation Benefit District fund. • Council approved no utility rate increases for 2021. Council

also supported a small business business and occupation tax relief program for Longview businesses to partake of during the COVID-19 pandemic. • The 2021 legislative funding requests for the City of Longview include a renovation and revitalization proposal for Lake Sacajawea’s Martin’s Dock, sidewalks at Hemlock Plaza and restoring and repurposing lake rest room facilities. There is so much good to look forward to. Let’s be grateful for all the little things that make life wonderful and recommit to share kindness with all.



Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021 | 17

Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Mary Beth Tack

Dan Zorn


We're teaming up for kids' sake


or several months many of us in education have had a growing concern for students’ academic, physical, and mental well-being as the isolation of remote learning has noticeably taken a toll on our youth. Studies show in-person learning is what’s best for kids, and we agree. Which is why Kelso School District and Longview Public Schools recently developed a joint awareness campaign to encourage people in the community to practice recommended safety protocols to get (and keep) students in school in person. To help spread the word about practicing good health safety habits we created several promotional ads using photos of local students that feature one of three key messages: •

Wear a mask to keep kids in class.

Stay six feet apart to give kids a good start.

Washing hands is neat to keep kids in seats.

The iconic Rosie the Riveter is used as the theme and basis for the artwork for its empowering nature and strong parallels. In a challenging time of war, need, and desperation in America, when so many had to make great sacrifices, women answered the call and filled vital roles. Rosie is the symbol of that “can do” effort. The COVID-19 pandemic is also a challenging time of need and desperation. We are not at war, but we are battling COVID-19 and many things left in its wake. The bravery and willingness of Rosie and other women to do what they had never done before in support of the greater good is an inspiring thing. This campaign calls on the essence of that greatness, bravery, and willingness in hopes of helping everyone in our community understand that they, too, can do things they may not feel comfortable doing—wearing a mask, keeping their distance, etc.—in support of the greater good, which in this case is slowing the spread of COVID for everyone, and giving kids the in-person education they need and deserve. The campaign includes posters, social media, newspaper guest editorial, newspaper news story and local radio station mentions. What started as a two-district campaign quickly grew into seven area school districts: Kelso, Longview, Wahkiakum, Castle Rock, Woodland, Toutle, and Kalama. We are honored and proud to be part of this effort, teaming up for kids’ sake. You can learn more about the campaign and see posters at we-can-ksd. 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021


High schools reopen with hybrid model


elcome back students!

We have a great news to report from Longview Public Schools. Students at all grade levels are now in hybrid in-person learning. While our goal of getting kids back in school full-time, five days a week has not yet been realized – we are now one step closer. Longview elementary schools have been successfully serving our younger students since early January and with the decline in the community infection rate, the district was able to return middle school students to hybrid in-person learning on Feb. 22. On March 1, Longview high school students returned to class in a hybrid in-person learning model. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome our kids back to class. The district spent significant time and energy implementing safety protocols so our schools can be a healthy and safe place to work and learn. Employees from across the organization have done a great job figuring out how to transport, teach, feed, support and care for students safely so they can return to class. We feel good about welcoming our kids back and are confident our schools can operate safely. In concert with the Department of Health, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) sanctioned four abbreviated sports seasons. The fall sports season is underway now with student athletes playing football, golf, volleyball, tennis and cross country. The district is working closely with school athletic directors, coaches and advisers to provide the support needed to conduct sports and activities safely. Providing students opportunities outside the classroom is an important part of learning and growing up. Our kids have missed out on many things because of the pandemic, so we are committed to finding ways they can safely participate in sports and activities. Our strong partnership with the Longview Police Department continues. The district partners with Longview Police Department to station a school resource officer (SRO) in each of our high schools. One SRO is focused on safety at R.A. Long, while the other is focused on safety at Mark Morris High School. The safety of our students and employees is a top priority and we are appreciative of our relationship with local law enforcement. For more Longview Schools, see page 19

Longview Schools from page 18

A new venture you may not know about is the Longview Virtual

academy is doing great work serving local students and The Daily

Academy. We started the virtual academy in September 2020 with a

News recently published a great story titled, “Finding where they fit:

goal of serving students who need a different school setting to thrive.

Students have success in first year of Longview Virtual Academy.”

We anticipated supporting 25-30 local students in the new virtual learning program and ended up having about 70 students enroll. The

Thank you for supporting our schools and working hard to keep the community infection rate down.

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 | March 2021 | 19

Lower Columbia College Chris Bailey President

All hail, the Fighting Smelt!


hen you think of Lower Columbia College (LCC) and “dynasty,” most minds go to the incredible LCC Red Devil baseball team. In my 10 years here, LCC’s baseball team has won several Northwest Athletic Conference Championships (including the last three). Twice during my tenure, the LCC Red Devils ended the season ranked in the Top 10 in the country for community colleges, placing 10th one year and eighth two years later. This year alone, we sent pitchers and players to Division I programs including University of Washington, Washington State University and, baseball powerhouse, Louisiana State University. But over the past several years, another LCC competition team has emerged as a new campus darling: the LCC “Fighting Smelt” speech and debate team. Just last month, the Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt speech and debate team took third place in overall team sweepstakes out of 23 competing colleges at the Aztec Invitational Tournament, hosted by San Diego State University. This result showed that the Fighting

Ilinca Slabu of Longview won the gold award and was named top speaker in open IPDA (International Public Debate Association) debate. Slabu also finished fifth in persuasive speaking, fourth in informative speaking, and eighth in extemporaneous speaking. Cumulatively, these results made her the runner up for the Dr. Paul Gaske Award, which is presented to the top individual competitor in both speech and debate events at the Aztec Invitational. Molly Mahoney of Kelso won the Bronze award and was named fifth speaker in open IPDA debate. Mahoney also finished third in impromptu speaking, fourth in persuasive speaking, and sixth in after dinner speaking. Reagan Gosselin of Longview was the novice champion of informative speaking and novice co-champion of persuasive speaking. Gosselin also competed in IPDA debate. Jagger Norris of Longview was the novice champion of extemporaneous speaking. Norris also competed in IPDA debate. Penelope Anderson of Napavine placed third in novice extemporaneous speaking and fourth in novice informative speaking. Anderson also competed in IPDA debate and was named second novice speaker.

Our focus is on your business.

Nyssa Miller of Toledo placed fourth in novice impromptu speaking. Miller also competed in extemporaneous speaking and IPDA debate. Also representing Lower Columbia College at the Aztec Invitational was Destiny Losolla of Longview.

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 to learn more. Kelso | 1000 South 13th Ave. 360.423.7800 Longview | 927 Commerce Ave. 360.423.9800 Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

Smelt stack up competitively against top programs from around the country as they prepare for end of season national tournaments. |

20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

In January 2020, Fighting Smelt coach and communication studies instructor Alex Brehm was honored by the Northwest Forensics Conference with the Judge Educator Award. The award is presented annually to a coach who supports speech and debate students from all the colleges in the community with feedback, encouragement and positive spirit. Last year (2019-20), the Fighting Smelt claimed the conference team championship, capturing the Northwest Forensics Conference Division III gold medal. The team also captured the IPDA third place award for all community colleges. This national ranking was based on the team’s success throughout the season. The Fighting Smelt continue to look forward and hope to compete this year for a national championship. Smelt Proud!

Chamber Membership Meeting Friday, March 26, 2021 Virtual via REMO 11:45 — 1:30 pm Cowlitz County has been hit hard over the past 12 months by the pandemic. Unemployment at record highs, loss of revenue to the county in sales tax, property tax collection, loss of local businesses, community frustration and fear continue to be a concern. Businesses need to be open, commerce needs to start up again. Cowlitz County like every other county in our state has had its hands tied during the pandemic. Things are starting to move forward. How can Cowlitz County government help this happen?

$15 Registration

Register at:

Dennis Weber Commissioner Cowlitz County

Arne Mortensen Commissioner Cowlitz County

Joe Gardner Commissioner Cowlitz County

Calendar March 2021 Sunday







1 Legislative


3 Chamber

4 Chamber




8 Legislative







15 Legislative

16 Chamber






22 Legislative

23Chamber Board



26 Cowlitz:



29 Legislative



Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Education Foundation, 8am, ZOOM

Executive Board, Noon, ZOOM

Noon, Mill City Grill Business After Hrs JoJo/Coco, 4:30-7:30p

Ambassadors, 7:30am, Columbia Bank

Road to Recovery, REMO, 11:45am1:15pm

April 2021 Sunday







1 Chamber



Ambassadors, 7:30am, ZOOM


5 Legislative


7 Chamber






13 Chamber






19 Legislative








27 Chamber




Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Executive Board, Noon, ZOOM BAH@Teri's

Board Meeting, Noon, ZOOM

22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

Education Foundation, 8am, ZOOM

Longview Downtowners Lindsey Cope

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

Shop Local Saturday becomes monthly


he Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC) and its partners are hosting monthly Shop Local Saturday events on the fourth Saturday. Each month we host a Facebook event where we advertise and update participants. We also work with our partners including, but not limited to, KUKN/KLOG/THE WAVE, The Daily News, Bicoastal Media, Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce, Kalama Chamber of Commerce, Woodland Chamber of Commerce, our cities, and county for marketing and advertising. As we begin recovery through COVID, we also will be working on advertising outside of the local area. If you are a downtown Longview business, you will be listed on the downtown Longview event AND the Cowlitz County event. To participate we have created a questionnaire that is primarily for businesses that have a brick-and-mortar location or have a commitment to be a vendor within one. If you are an online store but are interested in growing your business or partnering with a brick and

mortar–email me. Please finish the form to be listed in the events monthly. If you have a Facebook page, your page will be tagged in the post. We will include your general location and hours. If one month or every month you have a “special” of any kind, you can email those changes to be listed within the event. Each business will also be responsible for advertising to their customers through their channels of participation. If your business requires assistance with how best to do this, reach out. We will help you. You do not have to be a paid member of the CEDC or the Downtowners to participate. The more the merrier. We encourage everyone, not just the businesses, to go to the Facebook events and mark “going” and to share, share, share. Taking a few moments out of your day to interact with the event can create waves of publicity to help our local businesses owners at no cost to them. For more Downtowners see page 31



IT’S A BREEZE! CALL ERIC YAKOVICH (360) 673-2325. GROW YOUR BUSINESS TODAY AT THE PORT OF KALAMA. Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021 | 23

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

Phase 2: Serving Longview library patrons in a variety of ways


s our southwest Washington area moved into Phase 2 of the governor’s plan, the Longview library was able to open its doors again to the public. I want to make sure that you caught the reference of opening our doors again. Just because our doors were closed does not mean that we hadn’t been serving the Longview community, and beyond, as we have since we opened our doors in April 1926. While our doors were closed, many exciting and innovative things have happened to improve how we can provide service to you now and into the future. One of the first things we did was increase patrons Hoopla maximum checkouts from five to 10 a month, giving them much needed access to digital materials. We continued to add more items to the Washington Anytime Library. To help our students, we worked with the Longview School District to create library records for each student based upon their student number that allowed them access to all our digital materials and online databases including a newly purchased tutor platform to help students from home with their homework needs. In June of 2020 we began our drive through service which allowed you the ability to put materials on hold, and then when the materials were ready you could pick them up during scheduled drive through hours. This gave access to our materials in a time when we couldn’t give access to the building itself. The program has been so popular that we are continuing it in this new phase and beyond. To help new patrons get access to our materials we created an online form for registering for a library card. Staff would process the registration and issue the card number to the new borrower so they can use their new card right away even if they don’t have the physical card. We also began doing virtual story times on Facebook, gardening programs on YouTube and found other ways to present programs and information to the community that, again we will continue to do in the future. This will include Northwest Voices events and other speaking events. We created craft programs for children and adults and connected them via QR code to YouTube videos showing how the crafts were done. We provided for mobile printing that people could print to our printers and then pick up through the drive through. 24 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

We have had large family events in the drive through including a very popular visit from Santa and an even larger costume event at Halloween. All the kids participating received a free book, and candy, without ever leaving the safety of their cars. Through this all we have worked diligently to provide safe access to library services. Now that we are in Phase 2, we are once again opening our doors to the public in a way that will allow access to browsing and getting library cards. The key to this, once again, is to do it in a way that protects the library staff and the visiting public. To do this we are currently opening our doors, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2-4 p.m. We are allowing up to 20 people in the building at a time for up to 20 minutes. We want to make it safe and easy for you to remember. In the next few weeks, we should be adding computer service to the mix. We will have three socially distanced terminals available for short-term use and printing. We are continuing our drive through hours and still are encouraging people to use it whenever possible. Continuing on the theme of more digital materials we will soon be adding Value Line online as well as the genealogical resources Heritage Quest and Ancestry from ProQuest. To come and visit us we have a short list of rules to follow outside of being one of 20 people in the building and only remaining 20 minutes. A mask or facial covering must be worn at all times. No one (except under the age of 2) will be allowed into the building without a mask, though we will be happy to help you through our drive through service. Only one person (or family) on the elevator at a time. Keep a socially distant six feet from staff and other patrons. No food or drinks will be allowed during this time. Holds must be picked up at the drive through. Finally, we are not accepting cash payments at this time. Any fees must be paid by check or credit/debit card. It’s been a long mask-covered road, but we are excited to be welcoming you all back to the building and know that if we all stick together and keep ourselves and others safe, we will one day be ready to go back to a wide-open library with even more ways to access our materials, our services and our programs. Thank you for your patience and support throughout this unprecedented time.

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.

Look Who Joined in February Vibe Cannabis Co. Rebecca Cooper 2200 Talley Way Kelso, WA 98626 509-699-9851

• Annual Meeting and Banquet • Networking Events • Committee Participation • Business Contacts • Quarterly Membership Meetings • Civic Representation

All You Want and More LLC D. Wolfe 1246 Commerce Avenue Longview, WA 98632 360-601-4537

• Monthly Business After Hours

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

Representation through action committees, candidate forums and up-to-date action alerts. • Legislative Representation • Issues Tracking and Information

Consistent Courteous Complete Title and Escrow Services

• 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

1425 Maple Street • Longview, WA 98632

360.425.2950 Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021 | 25

News & Events

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

Reps. Walsh and McEntire to host virtual town hall meeting March 6

Reps. Jim Walsh and Joel McEntire, 19th District, are inviting citizens to join them for a one-hour virtual town hall meeting March 6 at 4 p.m. to discuss issues related to the 2021 legislative session. “Remote legislating not only affects the nature and quality of bills being considered, it also limits my time with the most valuable resource I have as a lawmaker: constituents,” said Walsh, R-Aberdeen. “Hosting a virtual town hall is a great way to hear from the people we represent. I look forward to an engaging and lively meeting, with plenty of discussion on the public policy being debated and decided this year in Olympia.” “Washington State was designed with a government that relies heavily on citizen involvement. These town hall events are a fantastic way to let your voice be heard,” said McEntire, R-Cathlamet. “With the session being virtual, this is an important opportunity to talk with the citizens of the 19th District. I urge constituents to take the time to participate. Their input allows us to better advocate for southwest Washington.” The remote town hall event will be conducted using the Zoom platform. Those who would like to participate must preregister for the conference by going to or Joel. Both websites have a drop-down bar that links to the registration for the virtual town hall meeting. The conference can only accommodate the first 500 attendees, so participants should register early.

Port of Kalama names Harbison to Board of Commissioners


The Kelso-Longview Visitor Center reopened in February. Hours are limited to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Please wear a mask if you decide to stop by. We look forward to seeing you soon! construction of the American Cruise Lines dock, the guest dock expansion in the marina and continued planning for the new public market facility. The Board of Commissioners sets policy and provides direction for the Port. Regular meetings take place at 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.

The Port of Kalama’s Board of Commissioners selected local resident and Cowlitz County Utilities Manager Patrick Harbison, to fill the vacant District 2 Commission seat. Harbison was selected from a pool of six local residents, each of whom participated in one-on-one interviews during a special commission meeting held in February.

Phase 2 – City of Longview buildings opening to public

“We were fortunate to have a slate of outstanding residents who showed interest,” said Commission President Randy Sweet. “In the end, we felt Patrick’s education, business acumen, and experience in the public sector would be of great value–particularly with the number of projects the Port has ongoing.”

In an effort to reopen safely and securely, all current safety guidelines for maintaining a safe environment will remain in place for both employees and customers, to include face coverings and social distancing requirements.

Regarding his selection, Harbison said, “I want to thank the Commissioners for the confidence they have placed in me for the next 10 months. I have much to learn and hope to earn the trust and support of voters along the way. Commissioner Basso left a hole in the hearts of many, and I can only hope to fill a portion of what he meant to us all. I’m very grateful and look forward to the challenge.” Harbison’s appointment comes during a year that will see continued growth at the Port, including the development and

26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021

As the region moves into Phase 2 of the “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery”, the City of Longview will be reopening all city facilities to the public in a limited capacity.

Although City facilities will be opening in this limited capacity, we are still encouraging customers to utilize the City’s technology where available.

Longview Public Library offering WiFi hotspots lending program

The Longview Public Library announces the launch of its mobile

For more News, see page 27

News from page 26

WiFi hotspot-lending program, expanding free internet access to patrons beyond the library building. With this new service, patrons are invited to “check out the internet,” just as they would check out a book or other library resource.

hotspot, call the library at 360-442-5300 or visit the library online at

Hotspots are portable, easy to use and provide a connection to the internet by using nearby cellular towers to create a wireless network that can be shared between mobile-enabled devices. Signal strength will vary based on the physical location of the hotspot.

Kelso is accepting applications for fireworks stand permits.

“The goal is to keep people connected to remove barriers to digital access and expand connectivity options in our community,” library Director Chris Skaugset said. “With students live-streaming classes, adults attending virtual meetings, and so much of daily life online, the need for service has never been higher.” The program is funded with a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the Washington State Library. The Library currently has 13 hotspots. Hotspots check out for a six-week period and cannot be renewed. There is no fee for the service. Borrowers must be 18 or older and have a valid Longview Public Library card. For more information, or to reserve a WiFi

The City of Kelso announced in early February it is accepting applications for fireworks stand permits.

Due to the size of population, the City of Kelso is limited to allow for three fireworks stands each year. Permits may be granted, or denied, based upon the city manager’s assessment of the applicant’s experience and demonstrated record together with other factors that are determined to be in the best interest of, and benefit to, the community. All applications to operate fireworks stands must be made no later than May 2. For additional information, please contact Traci Howard at 360-423-0900 or

“PeaceHealth saved my life.” Chris Wills, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center is recognized as a regional leader in heart care by the Foundation for Health Care Quality. Learn more:

Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021 | 27

Business After Hours

Tuesday, March 23rd Hosted by:

1267 Commerce Avenue , Longview We can have up to 36 guests at one time . You will be asked to sign up for a time slot when registering : 4:30 to 5:30, 5:30 to 6:30, 6:30 to 7:30

$15 registration - includes food , drink , prizes , fun ! Please wear a mask

Register online at www . kelsolongviewchamber . org

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 6,400 emailed to local business professionals, city and county officials. To be included in this monthly email, 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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8-10 Issues $70* $105* $140* $245* $480*

12 Issues $50* $75* $100* $190* $400*

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Dimensions (*Includes ad on website) (*Includes ad on website) (*Includes ad on website) (V) or 8" x 5.25" (H) (*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 is preferred. JPEG accepted at high resolution(at least 300 dpi). Non-Members of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, please add 30% to above rates. To advertise or request additional information please contact: Amy Hallock at 360-423-8400 or or CEO Bill Marcum at 360-423-8400 or

Advertising Agreement


Business Name: _____________________________________ Phone: ____________________________ Contact Name: _________________

___________________ Cell: _______________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________ Zip _______________ Email: _____________________________________________ Fax: _______________________________ Number of Issues: 12 month agreement


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Plus Web Ad: 300W X 100H. Ads can be changed monthly. Signature__________________________________ Ad Rep Signature___________________________


Tune in to…

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

The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this March. All Out Sewer & Drain Service, Inc Baker Lumber Company, Inc Brusco Tug and Barge, Inc Carl's Towing Service & Repair, Inc Carlson's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc Coldwell Banker Bain Cole's Appliance Repair Comfort Inn Community Home Health & Hospice DBA Interiors Plus JH Kelly, LLC Life Works Longview Orthopedic Associates, PLLC Longview Public Schools McDonald's of Longview - 38th Avenue Ocean Beach Animal Hospital Pacific Fibre Products, Inc Paperbacks Galore, Inc Real Living The Real Estate Group Somerset Retirement Home and Assisted Living Viking Automatic Sprinkler Company Wasser & Winters Company William (BJ) R Boatsman



Your Chamber Connection EVERY Wednesday on KEDO 1400AM

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

a New member Ryan Cooper brought good vibes from the Vibe Cannabis Co. into our studio. b Jennifer DesArmo with Harlie's Angels talked about the long list of items the nonprofit has been up to. Stream Your Chamber Connection live at Longview Downtowners from page 23

Cowlitz County Shop Local Saturday

information in the CEDC column page 6.

Downtown Shop Local Saturday

We are working with Lower Columbia College, Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments, and other stakeholders on small business education courses, Lower Columbia Investment Network, and the Longview Revolving Loan Fund. Additionally, we will be reconvening the Kelso Business Association and Longview Downtowners for meetings rather than email correspondence.

Beyond Shop Local Saturday, the CEDC has been keeping up with developments out of Olympia regarding funding–$240 million has been dedicated to small businesses. We want to emphasize the rule making surrounding this legislation is not complete yet. The Department of Commerce hopes to have the rules and an application for grant funding on its website in early March. Please pay attention to our Facebook page for details as they roll out and feel free to share this with your network. There is also

Last, but not least, we are always looking for additional financial assistance for our small businesses during this time and hope we will have something soon.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | March 2021 | 31

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