April 2021 Business Connection

Page 1

Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Cowlitz County government, cities and schools will be receiving millions of dollars to hopefully spend on infastructure.

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

k April 2021

Volume 13 • Issue 4 Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626

Federal funding expected to jump start local recovery


owlitz County schools, cities and government are to receive nearly $70 million in American Rescue Plan funding. This money should go a long way in helping Cowlitz County recover from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

Here’s a breakdown of the funding:


Cowlitz County – $21.45 million

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


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

City of Longview – $8.2 million City of Kelso – $2.7 million City of Kalama – $610,000 City of Woodland – $1.4 million City of Castle Rock – $550,000 Longview schools – $17.745 million Kelso schools – $9.758 million Castle Rock schools – $1.7 million Kalama schools – $1.09 million Woodland Schools – $3.390 million This is over $68 million for Cowlitz County in direct funding from the American Rescue Plan Act signed by For more Rescue Plan, see page 2

Getting doors open 100% for restaurant owners should be a priority.

Rescue Plan from page 1

President Biden early in March. Each entity is now trying to figure out the rules for spending the funding. The county and cities have in the past handed out over $10 million to local businesses through grants to assist keeping businesses open and employing local residents during the pandemic. As with any federal funding there are strings attached and I am sure the lawyers for the schools, cities and the County are working to figure out what those strings are and what and how the funds can be used. When I talk with most of our leaders from the big three (schools, cities and county) they all say they would like to spend those funds on infrastructure. Dan Zorn, superintendent of Longview schools, explained at one of our Legislative Briefings he hoped those funds could be used for building maintenance and HVAC units, but the district has more pressing matters as they are working toward a summer school program to assist students with education deficiencies brought on by remote learning through the pandemic. At our most recent Legislative Briefing, Kurt Sacha, Longview city manager, said they too hope to use the funds for infrastructure specifically things that need to be maintained or replaced. But the final list of what the funds can be used for is still to come. He said

half the funds, $4.1 million is scheduled to arrive around May 10. This gives the city council, city attorney and the city manager about a month to work out those issues. The funds need to be spent by Dec. 31, 2024. I am sure there are a million needs in our communities and a million more thoughts on how the funds could be spent. I really don’t think three years is a lot of time to spend those funds judiciously. Sometimes it seems to take years for a permit, and if a major issue like the Longview water system can be part of the funding, it might take more time. I hope the big three can take some time to evaluate the best uses for the funds...uses that can also save local residents and businesses tax dollars over the next few years. I am sure there are many local businesses that could use some of these funds to stay open or recharge their business, but most of the restaurant owners I spoke with this past week just want to get their doors open 100% so they can do what they do best, serve their customers great food.

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There’s a Difference. 2 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021

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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 Marlene Johanson, Vice President Heritage Bank Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel Walstead Mertsching 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

4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021

Kelso Longview Chamber Amy Hallock

Project Manager

Gaining momentum and picking up where we left off


s Washington starts to open up so do the Chamber’s events.

We were excited to host our first Business After Hours in a year at JoJo + CoCo and Wander on March 23. I think other Chamber members were excited to get together as well as we had 84 members attend the event. Last year, JoJo + CoCo and Wander moved into what was formerly known as the Teague’s Interiors building. Their beautiful new location is full of gift items, shoes, and men’s and women’s clothing – I think plenty of shopping was done at the Business After Hours.

Board Fox provided individual food

Our business hosts served servings so guest could safely visit. wine and beer and also hired Board Fox, which specializes in charcuterie boards, to handle the catering. Board Fox put individual charcuterie cones together that made it easy for people to carry around as they visited with other members. We thank Joanna and Marnie for hosting such a wonderful event. April 13 our Business After Hours will be at Teri’s Restaurant. Teri was scheduled to host in April 2020 and celebrate her 15 years in business, but as Washington state shut down so did her celebration. So we are looking forward coming back this year and celebrating her 16 years in business. If you are interested in hosting a Business After Hours in 2022 please contact me at ahallock@kelsolongviewchamber.org



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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, bmarcum@kelsolongviewchamber.org

Business Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick

Certified Business Adviser


Looking to exit your business?

he events of the last year may have you considering exiting business ownership, but you have not given much thought to what that would take. Now may be a really great time to start thinking about pulling that trigger. Transitioning out of your business is a multi-step process that can take from weeks to years depending on the size of the organization and the reasons for exiting. When it comes to planning, how you exit your business is just as important as how you started it. The goal is to maximize the value of your company before converting it to cash and minimize the amount of time consumed. Leaving your business is a process. The length of time required to complete the process is directly related to the complexity of the business and the circumstances underlying this decision to get out of business. It can range from one week for a home-based, sole proprietorship to several years for a corporation forced into involuntary bankruptcy. Disputes and litigation add another dimension to the timeframe. The getting out of business process typically includes the following steps: (You may want to incorporate them in your post-venture plan) 1. Reach Agreement and Obtain Authorization from Owners to Dissolve Your Business Entity. Agreement and authorization to dissolve a business must be established under some acceptable, governing set of rules, such as the bylaws or partnership agreement. It is best to settle disputes quickly and document any terms and conditions that apply. 2. Designate a Leader and Organize a Team. Authority and roles should be clarified. The owner may be the only team member for a home-based business. For a large entity, however; the team may consist of the executive management team and important functional managers whose expertise is not represented: finance, human resources, legal. This group should be as small as possible for efficiency and large enough to include the expertise required covering the basic planning issues. Special consideration is needed if the transition event needs to be kept quiet as in the event of an acquisition. 3. Engage Professionals and Consultants as Team Members. For most small businesses, this group consists of the firm’s legal counsel, CPA, and a business broker or valuation expert. Professional expertise and advice in these areas will contribute to a smooth process and improve the outcome. Perform a thorough review of business and identify problem areas. Establish and maintain a problem list to focus on. Determine the condition of the firm’s records. Review transactions. Problems extend the timeframe and cost money. 4. Prepare a List of Assets and Perform a Physical Inventory. The inventory is very important input to several activities. It is used to establish the value of the business, make decisions, and manage disposition of assets, and it becomes the basis

for tax calculations and tax returns. Perform a valuation of the business. It is difficult to make prudent decisions without knowing the market value of the business and its assets. Prepare a Detailed Plan and Assign Responsibilities •

Develop a Schedule for Implementation. A schedule provides the ability to measure progress, estimate completion of critical steps, and project the end of the process. The schedule is also extremely useful for managing cash flow during this uncertain time.

Release Announcements and Notices. This step is about timing and legal notice. At some point, interested parties must know what is happening: market, competitors, customers, vendors and suppliers, professional service providers, consultants, trade groups, employees, media, creditors, and contractors. The notice should designate an official point of contact for questions or inquiries.

Implement the Plan. This is where momentum and activity builds. Things happen very quickly. Without the planning steps, an important degree of control is lost. When that happens, net value is usually decreased in some substantial way.

Conclude or Transfer Contract Obligations. This process may require approval from contracting parties and involve negotiation of final terms. Office, car, and equipment leases need to be reviewed, addressed, and terminated. The timing of termination dates for insurance contracts and benefit plans are very important to all involved.

Close Operations. The timing of this step is important. There is a time when manufacturing or production must cease, retail sales must end, and human resources are pared down. Each affects cash flow and net value dramatically. Security and maintenance services may be an important consideration from this point on.

Dispose of and Transfer Assets. This is an important tax event. Insurance coverage can be reduced or eliminated. Settle accounts payable and debt obligations.

Prepare Final Financial Statements and Tax Returns. Final financial statements for the business are important to establish the tax implications for assets, gains, and losses conveyed to the owners or other involved parties.

File Articles of Dissolution. State licensing departments require a formal filing to terminate the legal and tax status of the business. Examples are articles of dissolution, certificates of withdrawal, and cancellation certificates. This process also results in a review of tax liabilities and issuance of a tax clearance notice or certificate.

For more Petrick, see page 8 Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021 | 7

Petrick from page 7

Prepare and Issue Special Filings, Notices, Informational Returns, and Taxes. To develop a checklist, retrace your steps taken during startup. Generally, some action is required with all federal and stage registration, taxing, and licensing agencies contacted to start the business. Final submittal of payroll, unemployment, industrial insurance, and other business tax returns must indicate that the business status is closed or changed.

Receive Tax Clearance Notice. File in financial records.

Close Bank Accounts.

Store Business Records. These records should be kept for at least seven years.

Planning and awareness are crucial. The process, timing of events and tasks must be tailored to the type and complexity of the business. Each case is unique because reasons for dissolution differ, and problems that exist or develop are unique to the circumstance. The following is a checklist of items to consider as early in the process as possible. Most of these issues have some impact on the process of getting out of business: Human Resources •

Disputes and employee grievances (if you have collective bargaining agreements the processes and timeliness for notices etc. will likely be spelled out)

Employee benefit plans: incentive plans, benefits, pensions, deferred salary plans, stock options

Tax liabilities: local and state business taxes, payroll, industrial insurance, property, corporate income tax

Audit status

Stock option conversions

Legal •

Warranties/Guarantees: product, service, contracts

Contracts and agreements: assignment, completion, noncompete, confidentiality, nondisclosure, franchise

Contingent legal problems: litigation, disputes, judgments

Strategic alliance agreements and obligations

Labor union agreements

Operations •

Inventory: material, products, work in progress

Physical inventory records

Asset records and list

Purchase orders outstanding

Shipments in transit

Facilities •

Financial obligations

Medical insurance


Business equipment in employee possession – home offices, business cars, cellular telephones


Modifications to secure plant and buildings

Termination notices

Lender lease

Employment contracts and severance arrangements

Storage of assets and equipment

OSHA or EPA filings

Field offices

Finance and Accounting •

Condition and completeness of records

Deposits outstanding

Prepaid accounts: insurance, advertising, utilities

Valuation of assets: intellectual property, work in progress, software, project files, R&D

Condition and completeness of company records: charter documents, minutes, stock records

Documents of title, mortgages, deeds, security agreements

Financial planning: capital gains on asset disposition or sale of business

Business insurance

Bank and investment account(s)

Pensions, deferred compensation plans, benefits

Loans from financial institutions or individual investors

Professional support. CPA, attorney, PR and advertising, marketing, internet host, publisher

List of creditors

Registrations, permits, licenses

Liens and security interests

Storage location of corporate records

Accounts payable and commissions owed

Continuation of board of directors

Account receivables (including bad debt risks)

Termination of business licenses and tax account

Outstanding tax claims, audit processes, or IRS action

Cash flow and expenses related to getting out of business

Business tax planning

8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021


Owners •

Dissolution of business entity

For more Petrick, see page 9

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Petrick from page 8

Ownership of intellectual property: trademarks, patents, trade secrets

Applications in progress: intellectual property, licenses


Stockholders or equity investors

Estate issues

Key person insurance

Marketing and Public Relations

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Sales representative/distributor/broker agreements

Proposals in process of preparation

Proposals submitted

Professional, trade, and telephone directory listings

Public notice of change

Tradeshow and convention commitments

Samples, price lists, and marketing materials in the field

Website •

Transfer/termination of domain names and hosting arrangements

In summary, the process for getting out of business successfully requires the same amount of planning as going into business. While the process should be easier, it is likely to be less enjoyable and more stressful. The best advice for business owners is to think about the future during the early stages of getting into business. Exert managerial influence to ensure that complications and problems which could affect dissolution and net value do not develop into roadblocks. When the time for getting out of business comes, engage the invaluable expertise you will need, and prepare a plan. 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 jerry.petrick@wsbdc.org

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Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021 | 9

Cowlitz County Commissioners Dennis Weber

County Commissioner, District 2

Moving past a 'horrible year' to focus on funding and the future


et me begin by paraphrasing the revered Queen of England Elizabeth II … the past 12 months was an annus horribilis, a horrible year.

Premature Closures. On March 26, we commissioners delivered reports to the Chamber regarding this past year of COVID-19 restrictions and our path forward. In my opinion, the premature closure in Cowlitz County of our schools, churches, museums, libraries, and, most of all, small businesses and restaurants has been a catastrophe for thousands of Cowlitz County residents, both economically, educationally, spiritually, and with regard to mental health and substance abuse. But of course, it wasn’t for state government because the governor made sure that box stores, pot stores, and liquor stores never closed. They just kept generating sales tax dollars for Olympia. Spanish Flu Pandemic Here. As many of you know, I am a retired history teacher and I utilized the digital archives of our wonderful Cowlitz County Museum to learn what I could about the last virulent pandemic to hit our county. It occurred a little over 100 years ago, mistakenly labeled as the Spanish flu. When it first hit here in the Pacific Northwest in the late summer of 1918, schools, churches, and dance halls shut down. Masks were worn in public. Public health officers made dire warnings about impending death. But by early November, as folks realized the pandemic had not killed off hundreds and hundreds of their neighbors and relatives, the restrictions were lifted. Families enjoyed robust holiday gatherings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. By the end of January 1919 deaths finally arrived here. When the epidemic faded away about six months later, 60 lives had been snuffed out, out of about 12,000 folks living here. That would be equivalent to 550 out of today’s much larger population. Then just as today, the community mourned the victims and prayed for their families, just as we remember the tragic victims today and our heroic first responders and healthcare workers. Compared to Other Deaths. Of course, much has changed since then, especially with science and medical advances. I think it should be helpful to place the pandemic in perspective. Our major wars since then (since WW1), including WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, plus the regional wars in Latin America, and Eastern Europe and the seemingly never-ending wars in the Middle East, have claimed so far 500,000 American lives. Over 700,000 Americans have died from AIDS just since 1981, including about 16,000 in 2019. That is the same year that over 600,000 died from cancer and nearly 40,000 died in car accidents. Back in the day, polio killed about 7,000 Americans; nearly half of whom were kids. And, of course as we have been repeatedly reminded, 525,000 died from COVID-19 since last year. Here in Cowlitz County, we are 10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021

now home to 110,000 people and, sadly, we just recently hit the historic milestone of 60 deaths. Remarkable COVID Relief Funding. The Trump administration and the previous Congress sent Cowlitz County – through the State of Washington – close to $12 million to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 which the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has dispersed primarily through the Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC) – thank you Ted Sprague and your staff and volunteers; through Lower Columbia CAP – thank you Ilona Kerby and your staff and volunteers; our health department – thank you Carol Harrison and your staff; and to local schools, and the emergency management system we have in place here. Small businesses and restaurants were by far, the main beneficiaries of close to $8 million, including rent and utility assistance helping landlords. The second relief bill signed into law just before the Biden administration took over, is just now beginning to find its way to us. And earlier this month President Biden and a sharply partisan Congress signed an even larger COVID Relief bill, only about 10% of which is being spent to vaccinate the public, while some $360 million can’t be spent until 2023. Federal Funding in the Last Recession. For someone like me who has been in politics for over 50 years, the speed with which the money flowed from Washington, D.C., to us is quite remarkable. During the last Great Recession, when I was on the city council, all Longview got was money for about 1,000 feet of street paving in recovery money. That was in large part because of the Obama administration’s insistence on funding only shovel-ready projects. With the high cost and uncertainty of environmental regulations, local government just doesn’t have “shovel-ready projects sitting around waiting for funding. One could even argue that Cowlitz County never did recover from that recession. Another $21 Million Headed Our Way. The BOCC has learned that we will receive another $21 million dollars direct from the feds over the next three years and the only strings attached so far is that it cannot be used to pay government pensions or to lower taxes. However, it does appear that more traditional public works projects may be available, such as expanding broadband services in the more rural areas, capital improvements in rural water and sewer systems, as well as helping construct affordable housing. The three of us have made no decisions yet. As for me, I want to be sure that as long as the state continues the unfair closures of businesses or prohibits evictions for nonpayment, we should continue the system of grants and assistance that the CEDC and CAP have gotten very efficient at dispensing. And we For more County Commissioners, see page 11

County Commissioners from page 10

need to continue to reach out to vaccinate everyone in Cowlitz County who wants to get the shots through our health department, clinics and pharmacies. I would also suggest to those at CAP that Meals on Wheels would be one more method to getting the shots to the most vulnerable. Again, all combined the County alone will received around $33 million in federal funds for relief and recovery. Our cities are also getting relief funds, based on a per-capita formula. And we have been told that the state will also make more money available to us as well. I estimate the grand total for our 110,000 will come closer to $40-$45 million combined. I just hope our children and grandchildren will appreciate all this so-called emergency federal spending, because after all they will be the ones paying off the resultant long-term indebtedness. Federal Spending vs. Private Sector. But let’s put that amount into perspective. We should never doubt the resiliency of the private sector. Just one of our big employers, NORPAC, is spending over $50 million alone this year to make improvements at the mill to keep jobs local. And while I complained about the governor picking winners and losers in the economy, I will give him credit for creatively redefining forest products as essential to agriculture and food production. Most of our mills remained pretty fully employed during the pandemic even as market conditions fluctuated wildly. And certainly, all those box stores keep people employed, too. After unemployment here peaked last summer, we are pretty much back to where we have usually been (after least since the mountain blew) – that is about 2% above the state unemployment rate. Before that event, Cowlitz County regularly had the highest employment in the state! Project Thrive. One little known agency that I help oversee is Southwest Washington Workforce – a federal jobs training agency. Its board of directors includes many local employers and developing work skills for potential employees is what they are good at. About 18 months ago we rejoiced over a $3 million innovative grant they received to specifically target potential workers from a culture of poverty in Longview’s Highlands and south Kelso neighborhoods. The whole concept was to get them training through internships with local employers and as their skills and pay grew, their poverty supports would gradually decline – an attempt to provide a true incentive to go to work. Those support programs are so important to those trapped in poverty and include SNAP – the modern-day food stamp program, CHIPS – the health insurance for children program; and TBRA – tenant-based rent assistance program; plus, various housing and childcare vouchers. The biggest obstacle has been the state welfare office, whose workers feel that they do not have the discretion to ignore income caps that normally result in 100% immediate loss of these supports. Heaven forbid we actually get folks working themselves out of poverty! This program is aptly named “Thrive” and is similar to a plan first proposed by the Nixon Administration and his Urban Affairs Adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan around 50 years ago but it

was defeated by a bizarre coalition of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans! County Support for Growing Private Sector Jobs. As I mentioned we now serve 110,000 folks here in Cowlitz County. Our three major paper mills as well as smaller lumber mills, continue to make up the largest source of employment and one of our most important goals as a county is to ensure adequate transportation for the raw materials to get to the mills and out to the customer. Hence, our strong support for the IWOW project at the foot of the Rainier Bridge and for the Port’s industrial rail expansion. And we also continue to support the efforts to bring new jobs to the county to make up for those lost to automation, those including Millennium Bulk Terminals and Northwest Innovation Works, as well as other private sector entrepreneurs we aren’t at liberty to disclose yet. However, because there are so many of us aging Baby Boomers, the mills are followed closely in employment by the healthcare industry – and during some quarters healthcare is No. 1. That may very well be the case when the numbers come in for all of 2020. We need to continue to support efforts to expand healthcare employment opportunities here, along with senior living community developments. Government Employment Remains Healthy. The third largest sector for jobs is government, from the junior taxing districts like the schools, rural fire districts, diking districts, public ports, and the PUD, to the community college, the cities, the County, and local offices for the state and federal government. For taxpayers, that may sound rather ominous. And in fact, there continues to be a need for vigilance in public expenditures at the local levels. One hopeful sign, though, is what we have learned about the need for formal office space. Several years ago, we had a blue-ribbon commission of business leaders warn us to get our repairs and maintenance back on track after the recession because office space needs would continue to grow. With more and more working from home, that pressure for costly, new offices is considerably less than when that commission made that prediction. Even during the pandemic, our tax receipts showed an increase both locally and at the state. What is baffling to me is when our friends in Olympia report that those in control up there still want higher and higher taxes. When the pandemic first began and we received those premature shutdown orders from Olympia, a friend sent me an article about the history of pandemics from The New York Times – not a publication I normally read. The writer reviewed pandemics going back to the Black Plague of the medieval age. They concluded that pandemics end in one of two ways: 1) the scientists reach a consensus that the danger is over (which rarely ever happens) and, 2) people finally decide that we are just done with it and will cope with the consequences of getting back to normal. I suspect here in Cowlitz County we are much closer to the latter.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021 | 11

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Bill Fashing

Executive Director

Bringing attention to Invest Local month


he Lower Columbia Investment Network (LCIN), a program of the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG), the Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC) and other partners are working to promote a series of events and activities in April to support Invest Local month. Watch for additional information from cities, libraries, and others encouraging a month of investing locally. This is a direct offshoot of the Lower Columbia Investment Network.

solicit information on the local economy. You can find the survey at www.cwcog.org if you are interested in sharing your business experience, the survey is open to all businesses to participate each month. This month includes a question about employees’ willingness to return to work. Watch on the CWCOG website for period updates on the results of the Business Pulse Survey effort.

A preliminary list of events is included here. Watch for more events at the CWCOG website.

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. An additional $540,000 is available for small business loans within the City of Longview and surrounding areas. Loans are for new and existing firms desiring to initiate or expand operations in the community. Projects must be within or near the Longview city limits, and the city council may approve loans outside of the city limits.

Invest Local Month Event List: 1. Working Washington Small Business Grants Round 4 – Round 4 opens on March 29 and closes at 5 p.m. PCT April 9. 2. Business Education Classes – The Lower Columbia College has partnered with the LCIN and the CEDC to develop a series of business classes in response to training needs indicated by area business owners and entrepreneurs 3. Shop Local Saturday – April 23 – The CEDC and its partners are hosting monthly Shop Local Saturday events on the fourth Saturday of every month. Each month we host a Facebook event wherein we advertise and update participants. Use the signup questionnaire to register your business. 4. Invest Local Month – Proclamations around the region 5. Kelso Clean-Up Day – Kelso Business Association cleanup day on April 17 6. Summer Event Planning – Longview Downtowner’s will reconvene meetings 7. Find local investment opportunities – The Lower Columbia Investment Network continues to accept applications from business owners and investors who are seeking local investment opportunities Lower Columbia Investment Network Looking to invest in local businesses? Run a small business that needs funding? Learn more about the Lower Columbia Investment Network on the CWCOG website. The network is an alternative to banks or other commercial lenders. The postrecession credit market has tightened, and offers businesses an alternative to borrow money from neighbors, customers and others interested in your success. We are looking for possible investors to join in as well as local businesses seeking funding. Click here for more LCIN information including FAQs for businesses and investors. Local Business Pulse Survey The CWCOG is in month three of a Business Pulse Survey to 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021

Longview Revolving Loan Fund

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 staff and request an application. 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. This program is for serious Longview business borrowers facing lending challenges. Funds are intended to create new jobs, spur economic activity, and strengthen the economy. If your business needs additional funding and has been turned down by a traditional lender, please consider an application. The Longview Revolving Loan Fund application and program guidelines are available online at www.cwcog.org or by request at our office: CWCOG at Administration Annex / 207 North 4th Ave., Kelso, Wash., 98626; or by phone: 360-577-3041. Questions may be directed to Bill Fashing at CWCOG by regular mail at the address above, via email to bfashing@cwcog.org, or by FAX at 360-214-3425. About the CWCOG 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.


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

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

Columbia River Sponsor $1,000

• • • •

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

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

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

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

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

Workforce Southwest Washington

Get a head start on job hunting now


early 20,000 people in southwest Washington are receiving unemployment insurance benefits, including 4,207 in Cowlitz County. The good news is the numbers are declining. We are down from a high during the week of May 10, 2020, of 42,276 in the region and 8,350 in the county.

including connections for housing, food, childcare, work clothing and supplies are available. Contact CoachTraci@ careersnw.org. •

The even better news is companies are hiring and jobs are available. Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) and our partners in the workforce development system are urging people to start their job search now and get a head start to avoid the competition that will come as more people are vaccinated and reopening and recovery continue. Those not ready to start job hunting can make use of the time right now to learn new skills through online training.

Career Karma – this app matches participants to peers, mentors, coaches and technology bootcamps for careers in web development, software engineering, cyber security, digital marketing, and database administration. The first step is a 21-day challenge that will push applicants out of their comfort zone to make some new friends and learn some code. By the end of the 21 days, participants will apply, interview and be accepted into coding bootcamps. Contact CoachTraci@careersnw.org.

Virtual hiring events Companies are hiring right now Throughout the pandemic our business services team has been assisting companies to recruit, hire and train new employees. More positions are opening up daily and currently numerous companies are actively seeking to fill open positions. Steelscape in Kalama has several openings for manufacturing associates, LifePort in Woodland has multiple openings for different skill levels, Community Home Health and Hospice, Koelsch, Koreans Women’s Association, and Amada Senior Care are seeking certified nursing assistants, to name a few. Online postings for jobs paying at least $40,000 per year in Cowlitz County as of March 23 included: registered nurses (42 ads), heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (35 ads), speechlanguage pathologists (15 ads), medical and health services managers (14), computer support specialists (nine ads) and bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists (six ads). Numerous training opportunities With many industries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, people may be wanting to switch careers or improve skills to advance in their industry. WSW has invested in several online trainings and resources to aid job seekers and those in need of training: •

CareerWorks Medical training – Starting April 12. This eight-week, fully remote course is designed for entry-level, nonpatient facing roles. Offering keyboarding, medical terminology and entry-level Microsoft Word/Excel courses. Contact klavalla@esd.wa.gov at WorkSource. LinkedIn Learning – WSW is providing free access to trainings on LinkedIn Learning to help individuals grow their skills and receive certifications that employers are requesting. Access to a career coach and other resources,

14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021

With in-person events limited, the workforce system has been hosting virtual/online job fairs. Similar to an in-person event, companies set up virtual booths and representatives chat with potential applicants. Job seekers can even upload resumes. Registration for companies and job seekers is free. Upcoming events include: •

Healthcare Virtual Hiring Event – April 21. Businesses contact smoore@workforcesw.org o Job seekers can register at https://bit.ly/31cIqyW

Remote Work Virtual Job Fair (statewide) – April 22. Businesses contact ajoyner@workforcesw.org

Manufacturing Virtual Hiring Event – May 26. Businesses contact ajoyner@workforcesw.org

Veteran’s Virtual Hiring Fair – June or July. Businesses contact ajoyner@workforcesw.org

Job seekers with questions about any of these events should contact WorkSource at 360-577-2250 or worksourcesw@ esd.wa.gov.

Job search and employment services WorkSource career coaches have access to employers with current job openings and can help job seekers determine next steps on their career path. Although the physical center is not currently open for in-person visits, staff and services are available online, through email and virtual meetings. Some of the virtual services include: For more WSW, see page 15

WSW from page 14

job search support

Security Department, a different organization.

leads to open jobs

resume writing

mock interviews

Individuals seeking career help or training can visit www. WorkSourceWA.com and check out the online tools and resources or call the WorkSource center in Kelso at 360-577-2250.

workshops and classes related to job preparation

funding for job retraining

fiscal responsibility

connections to housing, childcare, transportation, food assistance and other support services

online training

information related to filing an initial unemployment insurance claim

o They cannot file a claim, determine eligibility or assist with already-filed claims. For help with those go to https://esd. wa.gov/ o Think of WorkSource as the employment office. Unemployment is handled by the Washington State Employment

Help for young adults Cowlitz County young adults ages 16 to 24 who are not in school and are looking for career and employment services or wanting to obtain a GED can get assistance at the Next youth center operating out of Goodwill in Longview. Contact Keely Christ at cw@nextsuccess.org or 360-890-7769 for assistance and visit the website www.nextsuccess.org to learn more. Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), a nonprofit organization, is the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) designated by federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) legislation to oversee the public workforce system in Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Clark counties. Learn more at www. workforcesw.org.


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! https://kelsolongviewchamber.org/https%3A/kelsolongviewchamber.org/news-and-events/squatch-fest-2021-tickets

www.kelsolongviewchamber.org •

360-423-8400 Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021 | 15

City of Kelso

City of Longview

Nancy Malone

MaryAlice Wallis


Picking up the pace as we move forward


ith the opening of our businesses and our city hall we have seen a bustle of activity. This, I might add is a great sight. The activity we are experiencing is

or can be a little bit overwhelming at times considering the fact that we have not experienced this activity for a year. We find our roads are extremely busy. We are in a hurry to get to our favorite shopping location as they have been closed for almost a year or more. We forget to take a breath and slow down. So be safe and cautious in your travels and of your surroundings. Construction activity is happening throughout our cities and the county. In house meetings are beginning to happen, with no significant problems to report. I for one must say that it is good to be able to see the public and my council members. Staff has done a remarkable job at maintaining the distancing requirements with little to no issues. It has been an eye opener for many of us. We have for many years taken much for granted. With this pandemic, we have found that you must be ready for any and everything that can be thrown your way at any given time. The city is doing well. West Main is proceeding as planned, with no significant problems. We will be looking at preservation and repaving on North Pacific from Allen Street to Cowlitz Way. Upgrades to the walkways/ramps will occur at that particular time. No definite timeline has been set for that project. We will be looking at some significant changes to our zoning code as well as the possibility of bringing some new life to our downtown area. The downtown revitalization group will start up in the next month or so, with emphasize in the America in Bloom competition. All interested parties feel free to join in. We also have grant information for the Working Washington Round 4 grant. However, I believe the date for submittal will be after this publication. For that I apologize. There will be a clean up day conducted in our downtown area on April 17. If you are interested in helping please let us know. Everyone is welcome to participate. Spring is in the air, enjoy and be safe. 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021


Continuing the vision for a beautiful city


imagine philanthropist Robert A. Long, founder of our planned City of Longview, in 1923, looking out with great satisfaction (perhaps from Rainier hill) across the vast landscape of Site E, which was to become the City of Longview. The land sat perfectly between two flowing rivers, the Cowlitz and the Columbia, both of which begged for active industry along their shores’ edges. Long’s vision for industry, schools, and a central civic town hub would be on the books as a “planned city”, a City Beautiful, and would include a library, post office, city hall and the Monticello Hotel. I can only imagine the thrill of plans to create a lovely gathering area for families to picnic and play, or take in a swim or day of fishing, on the banks of Fowlers Slough, later to become Longview’s crowning gem, Lake Sacajawea. So much transpired in those early development years; countless hours in meetings and studies with shareholders such as Bell, Vandercook, Nichols, Kessler, Morris, McClelland and Tennant. As a result, in the early 1920s, families arrived in droves to begin establishing themselves along the westside neighborhoods to build their homes and businesses throughout the city. Many individuals that have lived generation to generation here have witnessed the growth of railroads, businesses, hospitals, schools, churches, roads, homes, and the industrious paper mills and lumber companies. The early years of diligence paid off, and those who came to town later said, “What is that smell?” The local townsfolk simply stated, “The smell of money.” Fast forward to present day with a downtown revitalization plan in place, newly paved streets, new parks, new industry, beautifications to Lake Sacajawea, a transit center, continued growth, new neighborhoods, new homes, and lots of multigenerational family ties. Just the other day I spoke with an elderly woman on the phone who grew up in the same neighborhood as my dad and his three brothers. She remembered the “Lloyd boys on Field Street” and it brought a smile to my face. Over the years, our little community has sent people to the legislature, elected countless others to city council, retired and rehired police and fire chiefs, city managers and employees. We became Tree City USA (and now Nation), we have busted out roads to build shopping malls and businesses and have added a beautiful gazebo to R.A. Long’s Jefferson Park. In a few months we will have a brand new 50-acre business park at the Beech Street extension to accommodate aspiring businesses. For more Longview, see page 17

Longview from page 16

We’ll also have a new 911 center, newly paved roads on Oregon and California Way, and, with the hope of our legislative capital fund requests, the reconstruction of Martin’s Dock, and newly constructed bathrooms and sidewalks at Hemlock Plaza at Lake Sacajawea.

adding to the beauty we enjoy here, and how do we perpetuate the growth and vitality of our community? Are we reasonable with our balance between wants and needs? Are we contributing in a positive way? Do we trust in, and support, the stakeholders of today to expand the vision of yesterday for our tomorrows?

I think it is fair to say that Mr. Long and the early city planners would be proud of this little planned city that was put in motion by the awe-inspiring ideas to create a City Beautiful. I feel a sense of pride and gratitude to be a recipient of the great work of the early pioneers. I wonder, what role do we as citizens play to continue

I love our City Beautiful. I marvel at the imagination and ingenuity of the early leaders, thrill at the continued transformations and developments, and I love the opportunity of serving as your mayor. Have courage in all you do, be brave, and be blessed always.

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Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021 | 17

Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Mary Beth Tack

Dan Zorn



In-person learning is best for kids

Coming soon: Full-time, in-person learning

ast month, informed by research and startling data, Gov. Jay Inslee signed an Emergency Proclamation for the Children and Youth Mental Health Crisis in Washington. The proclamation states, “hospitals and health professionals who specialize in the treatment of children indicate that many of Washington’s children and youth are experiencing a significant mental and behavioral health crisis as a result of the ongoing pandemic, which has been exacerbated by continued isolation, difficulty engaging with virtual learning, and lack of regular inperson interaction with educators, school personnel, mentors and peers.” Some of the data shared in the emergency proclamation includes:

n March 19, the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance for schools as it pertains to physical distancing in schools, and the Washington State Department of Health has recently endorsed the changes. This paves the way for schools to open for full-time, in-person instruction. Based on the changes the district announced that we will bring elementary students back full-time five days a week and secondary students back full-time four days a week starting April 19 unless infection rates rise to levels that exceed the guidelines advised by the health department.

L •

At Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane: Acute care admissions to Inpatient Adolescent Psychiatric Unit increased 73% in 2020 as compared to 2019, and acute care admissions to General Pediatric Floor for behavioral health issues increased 68% in 2020 compared to 2019

Seattle Children’s Hospital reported that, unlike before the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now normal for one to two children to be admitted every night at Seattle Children’s for attempted suicide

Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital reported that the 14-day medical admission rate for mental health reasons increased approximately 67% from March 2020 to February 2021; and 60% of patients admitted to medical wards for mental health reasons are age 15-18—40% of these patients are age 14 and younger

The data in this proclamation shares what we already know: in-person learning is best for not only academic success, but also for the general health and well-being of our youth. It is with good reason that the proclamation requires all public K–12 schools in Washington to provide each student with the opportunity to learn in-person at their school, for no fewer than two days per week, by April 19. As of March 1, just 40.9% of Washington K-12 students were receiving in-person instruction each week. Here in Kelso, the safe return to in-person learning has been our goal from the beginning. Our K-2 students have been receiving consistent in-person instruction since Sept. 28, grades 3-5 since Oct. 26, and grades 6-12 phased in from Jan. 25 until all grades were in-person two days a week on Feb. 8. This has been made possible thanks to the great work of the Kelso School District staff and our collective vigilance in following health and safety regulations. As part of our on-going goal of the safe return to full in-person learning, we continue the dedicated practice of our mitigation factors; which now includes free COVID-19 tests at each school. Any teacher, staff, or student showing symptoms on the CDC For more Kelso Schools, see page 19 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021


You might wonder why elementary students will return fulltime five days and week and secondary students full-time only four days per week. Over the course of the pandemic hundreds of students have chosen to remain in full-time remote learning. At the elementary level, where one teacher can teach all subjects, the district was able to dedicate teachers at each grade level to support remote learning. At the secondary level teachers are specialized, so each subject is taught by a different teacher. This means secondary teachers are serving both in-person and remote students at the same time. It is important that one day per week is set aside for middle and high school teachers to connect with remote students and support their learning. The district has worked diligently to make sure safety measures are in place to allow students and staff to return for more inperson learning. The changes include increased fresh air flow in buildings coupled with more effective air filters that can trap virus particles. Students and staff have been wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining proper physical distancing. Custodial staffing has been increased to allow for additional cleaning at every school. In addition to those safety measures, a large number of school employees will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 5 and we offer voluntary COVID-19 testing for students and employees at each of our schools to help control the spread of infection. With all of these conditions met, the district is in a good position to bring students back full-time. This past year has been challenging for our entire community and has been particularly challenging for our students, educators and parents. Nothing can replace in-person instruction where students can interact with their teachers and peers, where For more Longview Schools, see page 19

Longview Schools

Kelso Schools

from page 18

from page 18

they can actively participate in clubs and sports and enjoy the traditions each school has to offer. We are going to do all we can to make the most of the remainder of this school year. Thank you for supporting our schools. Please help keep our county COVID-19 infection rates down by wearing a face covering and adhering to the social distance guidelines when in public. Let’s continue working together towards a better and brighter future for our kids.

list is able to get a free COVID-19 test on-site at their school. All testing is voluntary. Because we know that to achieve our mission of preparing every student for living, learning, and achieving success as a citizen of our changing world includes attending to our students’ mental health, we’re also increasing our counseling staff for the 2021-22 school year to meet the increased need. Now, more than ever, we are stronger together.


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https://www.cowlitzpud.org/ebill Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021 | 19

Lower Columbia College Kendra Sprague

Vice President of Foundation, Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Students in Need campaign begins


ower Columbia College (LCC) welding student, Nicole, a single mom of a 7-year-old was forced to take leave from her job due to COVID-19 challenges. Nicole is a full-time LCC student, a part-time caretaker to her brother who is fighting cancer, a mother, and now a home-school teacher. Thanks to programs at LCC, such as the Student Success Fund, she is able to continue to pay her tuition, continue to work toward completing her degree, and continue to change her life. It is students like Nicole who inspire me and remind me of the transformational power of education. LCC has the ability to change a student’s life. Entire families are impacted by the power of education. Access to an affordable and accessible education is at-risk due to the rising costs of education and the impact the pandemic has had on students’ ability to pursue their educational goals. This is why, now more than ever, Lower Columbia College’s

Service is the difference!


Most in-depth title plant in the county.

Pam McCormick Kristy Norman Phuong Stanyer Bookkeeper/Recorder

Jason Hanson Title Officer

Escrow Officer

Darren Plank Title Officer

Escrow Assistant

Cooper Hart Title Officer

Steve Quaife Branch Manager

Leah Stanley Title Officer

Accurate Reliable Timely Locally Owned 1159 14th Avenue , Longview, WA 98632 360.423.5330 www.cowlitztitle.com 20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021

Student Success Fund is the tool our community needs to help students fulfill their dreams of careers that sustain families. Oftentimes, students struggle with $200 or $300 to cover remaining tuition, fees, tool expenses, emergency housing, heating costs, unexpected child care expenses, and other emergent financial needs. These students are trying to better their lives and their families’ lives through education. Student Success funds allow these students to stay in school when they may otherwise have dropped out. Sometimes the need is as simple as one tank of gas. In 2016, The Daily News formed a partnership with LCC in support of the Student Success Fund by launching the Students in Need Campaign. On behalf of LCC, I would like to thank The Daily News for their tremendous partnership in supporting the future of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties with the Students in Need campaign. This campaign greatly supports LCC’s mission of student success, and has inspired our community to become more involved in transforming the lives of students. We are excited to partner with The Daily News for the sixth year to raise money for the Student Success Fund. The Students in Need campaign launched on March 14 and will run through May 9. All funds raised will help students most at-risk for abandoning their education due to financial hardship. Since the inception of the Student Success Fund in 2012, the LCC Foundation has distributed approximately $490,000 in emergency grants to help over 900 students in need. The average grant is around $500. Now more than ever, these one-time grants have meant the difference between success and failure for many students who are either continuing their education or have become proud college graduates. The Daily News featured a story of Adelina, an LCC graduate, who received one of these grants and transformed her life. Read Adelina's story here. I am incredibly inspired by students like Adelina who have shared their stories with me and the impact LCC has made on their life. I am so grateful to the community for the incredible support of the Students in Need campaign over the last six years. This year, The Daily News set a goal to raise $30,000 for its sixth annual campaign. Your gift, large or small, holds the potential to change a life and make an impact in your community for years to come. You can make an online donation by visiting the TDN Students in Need. Learn more about the Student Success Fund and how you can make a difference.


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Calendar April 2021 Sunday







1 Chamber



Ambassadors, 7:30am, Columbia Bank


5 Legislative








13 Chamber

14 Chamber





19 Legislative








27 Chamber




Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Briefing, 7am, ZOOM

Executive Board, 9am, ZOOM BAH@Teri's, 5:30p

Board Meeting, Noon, 1pm, Mill City Grill

Education Foundation, 8am, ZOOM

May 2021 Sunday






Saturday 1




5 Chamber

6 Chamber





11 Chamber







18 Chamber













31 Memorial Day

Executive Board, Noon, ZOOM BAH@Cowlitz Title Board Meeting, Noon, 1pm, Mill City Grill

Chamber office closed

22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021

Education Foundation, 8am, ZOOM

Ambassadors, 7:30am, Columbia Bank

Longview Downtowners Lindsey Cope

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

Ding! Ding! Grants open for Round 4


he fourth round of Working Washington Grants opened March 29. Please be advised the application period is only open until 5 p.m. April 9. You can go to https:// commercegrants.com/ to review eligibility and prepare the required documentation you will need to provide. I will be available to help businesses through the application process if needed. I have undergone training and seen the new and improved platform for applications. This platform is mobilefriendly and significantly more accessible. The state has used yes or no questions, drop-down menus, and multiple-choice options whenever possible. These grants are aimed at for-profit small businesses in industries that have hard costs associated with their operations and faced the most significant challenges to paying those hard costs due to mandated closures. Hard costs include things like rent, utilities or payroll.

Our focus is on your business. We’re committed to serving your banking needs, providing capital and guiding you in taking advantage of every tool we have at our disposal to help your business. Contact one of our business banking experts or visit HeritageBankNW.com to learn more. Kelso | 1000 South 13th Ave. 360.423.7800 Longview | 927 Commerce Ave. 360.423.9800 Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

HeritageBankNW.com |

We encourage all eligible brick and mortar businesses that were required to close or significantly reduce operations due to public health and safety measures to apply. We are still working toward securing more local funding to help our businesses that are still in need. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page or reach out to be included on our email lists where we publish those opportunities as they arise. Beyond COVID-related funding, we are working with Lower Columbia College and the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments on upcoming training for small businesses related to marketing and advertising, accounting and cash management, and business planning. These classes will be offered at little to no-cost. Attendees will bring their own laptops or tablets and will work on their business in real-time. Stay tuned as those dates are announced. Shop Local Saturday is officially the fourth Saturday of each month in downtown Longview and for all of Cowlitz County. This month’s Shop Local Saturday is April 24. The Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC) and its partners are hosting monthly Shop Local Saturday events on the fourth Saturday of every month. To participate we have created a questionnaire that is primarily for businesses that have a brick-andmortar 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 at cope@ cowlitzedc.com. Please finish the form in the link below 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 us those changes to be listed within the event. http://cowlitzedc.com/shop-local-saturday-business-sign-andquestionnaire We are organizing our first Kelso Clean Up for 2021 from 9 to 11 a.m. on April 17. We will meet at Kelso City Hall and then will disperse into smaller groups to divide and conquer. Bring gloves and grabbers and wear weather appropriate clothing. Please plan on wearing a mask and observing social distancing as appropriate. We hope you are all staying healthy, happy, and safe! Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021 | 23

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

Giving rhyme and some reasons for celebrating poetry month


s I write this column, it is nearly April (and will be by the time you read this) and for those of us in the world of libraries and literature, it’s National Poetry Month.

You may have listened to the beautiful, poignant, and perfect for the time poem by Amanda Gorman at the inauguration. Poetry is something that’s not fiction but not truly nonfiction either. Some say it reveals a deeper truth about our lives and the universe. Others say it tells a story just in a very different way. Others might say it rhymes. The last one may be true but I just threw it in there to see if you’re awake. Over time, and I think partially due to the growth in the area of fiction, poetry has fallen somewhat out of favor. This is unfortunate because well written poetry can evoke every emotion, memory or deep-seated feeling that we experience. It can be whimsical like Shel Silverstein or gritty like William Stafford, or just plain beautiful like Shakespeare or Shelley. Just like there are many different authors and styles in the various genres of fiction, this is equally true in poetry. Sometimes, you just have to find the right poet or poem to open up your world in new, and exciting way. So, join me in celebrating National Poetry Month at your Longview Public Library (and while you’re at it you can celebrate National Library Week, April 4-10). You can also celebrate with us on April 21 as we welcome back the former Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken to Northwest Voices. Below are a few of the many poets and collections that you can find there.

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My favorite of the modern poets is Mary Oliver. I recommend checking out her book “Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver” which gives you a broad selection of her work to explore as she writes about such things as faith, existence and the creatures which fill our lives with joy. Of course, no column would be complete without our own Poet Laureate Joseph Green. The former Lower Columbia College instructor has been creating amazing poems of time and place for many years now. His collection, “Greatest Hits: 1975-2000” is a wonderful place to get introduced to Joe’s work. While many people know him for his work as a lepidopterist and his works on the natural world, Robert Michael Pyle is also a very accomplished poet. All the lush language of his other works gets condensed down into a potent dose of beautiful writing and imagery. For Bob’s work I would recommend “Chinook and Chanterelle” as well as his latest collaboration with photographer Judy VanderMaten, “The Tidewater Reach: Field Guide to the Lower Columbia River in Poems and Pictures.” I mentioned former Washington Poet Laureate Flenniken in my introduction and I would recommend her poetry without question. Her recently published book “Post Romantic” is a delightful collection of her latest work and gives you both an example of what she does, but what poetry as a whole can do. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Nikki Giovanni is another amazing poet whose work will touch in ways, both good and bad, that show how powerful words, in the right hands, can be. Her latest work is a collection titled “Make Me Rain: Poems and Prose” and if you are looking for more, we have many other works by her as well. Finally, if you’re just not sure about poetry or what all the fuss is about, an excellent title about poetry and how to read a poem. “Don’t Read Poetry: How to Read Poems” by Stephanie Burt is the first title I’d like to mention to you. Burt offers an accessible introduction to reading, understanding, and appreciating poetry. She dispels preconceptions about poetry shows readers how to find more poems once they have some poems they like.

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 March Beauty Within Studio

Miranda Daughdrill 1318 Commerce Avenue Longview, WA 98632 360-703-2000 beautywithinstudio@gmail.com

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

Reality One Group-Katie Keaton Katie Keaton 1322 Commerce Avenue Longview, WA 98632 360-751-6258 katiekeaton@gmail.com

• Monthly Business After Hours

Business Services include marketing for your business, referrals and access to Chamber publications and research data. • Mailing Labels

Fidelity National Title

Matthew London 1700 Hudson Street No. 201 Longview, WA 98632 360-619-8615 Matthew.londen@fnt.com

• Membership Window Decals • Member Referrals • Ribbon Cutting • Website Links • Member to Member Discounts • Membership Directory • Tax Deduction • Newsletter • Business Card Display • Use of Chamber Logo

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

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

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021 | 25

News & Events

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

Cowlitz County's first podcast network

Locally owned radio stations KLOG, Cookin’ Country and 101.5 The Wave have started this area’s first local podcast network, The Cowlitz Podcast Network. General Manager John Paul said, “many people have great ideas for podcasts, but may not want to invest in the equipment, or know the steps to take to get started. The Cowlitz Podcast Network will make it easy to be your outlet for producing and promoting your podcast.”

Kid’s Fish In is presented by Longview Early Edition Rotary with special thanks to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mount St. Helens Bass Masters, Cowlitz Game and Anglers, Lower Columbia Fly Fishers and the Coastal Conservation Association. The cost is $10 per child and includes lunch. Registration is open. Preregistration is required and sessions fill fast. To register call 360-442-5400, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or online at mylongview.com/recreation

The Cowlitz Podcast Network has built a top-of-the-line podcast studio that can be rented to local nonprofits, experts in a field or anyone who has a great idea for a podcast. The studio comes complete with multiple mics and editing software.

Retailers optimistic as customers return

Once the podcast is complete, the broadcast network will use the massive reach and marketing arm of KLOG, Cookin’ Country, 101.5 The Wave and digital advertising to market the podcast to tens of thousands of potential listeners. Podcasters can even sell ads to run within their own show and keep the revenue.

Not only can stores welcome more customers one year into the pandemic under the state’s Phase 3 recovery plan. The nation’s three producers of coronavirus vaccines are expected to triple production this month, according to the Wall Street Journal. Washington Retail (WR) followed the news by sending a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health Umair Shah requesting expanded vaccine eligibility from grocery workers only to all frontline retail workers statewide by the end of this month.

Learn more, get a tour of the studio, become a sponsor or book studio time at www.cowlitzpodcast.com.

Myklebust named Firefighter of the Year Koll Myklebust was named the 2020 Longview Firefighter of the Year.

The qualifications for Firefighter of the Year focus on character, commitment to excellence in public service, caring for others, promoting professionalism and teamwork in our organization nd doing things large and small on a daily basis that improve the lives of co-workers, friends, family and the community. Myklebust has worked in public service for 31 years, and has served the City of Longview for the past 26 years, first at Longview Police Department, before deciding to switch careers and join the Longview Fire Department in 2007. Although Myklebust retired in December 2020, he continued mentoring new firefighters and command staff and also served on numerous interview panels, project groups and committees. Outside of work, he is a part of the 828 Coats for Kids program. At Castle Rock High School, he helps coach football, wrestling and track. Other examples of Myklebust’s commitment to his community include serving as a deacon at the Emmanuel Lutheran Vacation Bible School and helping with Castle Rock Clean-Up Day events. He has served dinners to those in need at the Community House and he has been a part of the Bill Ammons lunch program.

Kids welcome to Sacajawea Fish In

Longview Parks and Recreation encourages youth ages 5-14 to participate in the annual Kid’s Fish In at Lake Sacajawea April 24. The lake will be stocked with more than 2,500 trout. 26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2021

Written by Washington Retail

There’s new optimism on two fronts now that retailers statewide are operating at 50% capacity.

In the letter, WR CEO Renée Sunde noted that strong acceptance of vaccinations by our diverse retail workforce could assist in leading the way during the next crucial months, further adjusting safety restrictions and speeding economic recovery. In Seattle, where mandated government shutdowns have contributed to the permanent closure of 260 downtown businesses the past year, retailers and shoppers are optimistic that stores can welcome more customers. “The increased operational capacity allows us to increase staffing levels and to invite more customers into our stores to enjoy shopping for that special piece of jewelry for themselves or a loved one,” said Theresa Treat, vice president, People Services for Ben Bridge Jewelers. “Less waiting outside in line puts the joy back into making a purchase and increasing business.” Treat added that vaccinated employees are more comfortable at work. “They are telling us that their stress levels are starting to decrease. They feel more in control of what happens to them. This is all good news not only for our company, Ben Bridge Jeweler, but the retail industry in general,” she said. Blake Garfield of Bedrooms and More in Seattle hopes the faster pace of vaccinations will encourage more shoppers to visit. “Vaccination is good for business,” he said. “It means more potential buyers are getting comfortable visiting brick and mortar stores. I’m excited to be eligible for my vaccine in the coming weeks or months.” For months during the pandemic response, vaccines have been the key toward protecting health and enabling economic recovery. The news there is promising. The U.S. monthly output for the three authorized vaccines is expected to reach 132 million doses for March, nearly triple the 48 million in February, according to estimates by analysts at Evercore ISI.

It's Teri's estaurant's 1 5 - y e a r , ma k e t h a t 1 6 - y e a r Anniversary! Since we couldn't gather like we had planned a year ago!

Business After Hours A ri 1 , 5 to m Food, Prizes, Drinks, Networking, Fun! $15 in Advance, $20 at the Door

Join Us: 3225 Ocean Beach Hwy., Longview Register Online: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org

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 ahallock@kelsolongviewchamber.org

Business After Hours Feels So Good to be Back!

It was such fun to see everyone again at our Business After Hours March 23, hosted by JoJo+CoCo Boutique and Wander. Chamber members, who arrived in shifts to accommodate social distance guidelines, check out merchandise. Between the food presented by Board Fox and the shopping there were plenty of good things. Best prize ever! One of our sQuatch backpacks.

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Business Connection Advertising Rates Effective January 1, 2020 Kelso-Longview Business Connection monthly newsletter is published the first of each month, posted electronically on our website and over 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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The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this month. Interstate Wood Products, Inc Kelso Eagles No. 1555 Lower Columbia CAP Newrock Homes, Inc Northwest Auto Specialist, Inc Retirement Strategies Silver Star Sports Bar & Grill Superior Tire Service, Inc Woodland Chamber of Commerce

Ribbon Cutting All We Want

We've been hoping to get back to business and now we can. That means our Ambassadors are back on the streets welcoming new businesses to our community. All You Want and More opened its doors in downtown Longview.

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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

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.

Cowlitz Black Bears' Kevin Tayler and Kerri Gutteau excited about opening day. Joanna Asplund of JoJo+CoCo Boutique. Danielle Johnston with Huntington Learning Center Miranda Daughdrill from Beauty Within Studio Vashti Langford with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe Kelso City Manger Andrew Hamilton

Stream Your Chamber Connection live at www.kedoam.com

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