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Volume 5, No. 11

November 2013

Business Kelso Longview

Calendar Wednesday

November 6 – 4 p.m. Ribbon Cutting Bidnear 1333 14th Ave., Ste. 204

Thursday

November 7 – 5 to 8 p.m. Lower Columbia Professionals Bunco Night Longview Eagles #2116 1526 12th Ave., Longview Cost is $20; Register at www.kelsolongviewchamber.org

Friday

November 8 – Noon Ribbon Cutting Aflac 1267 Commerce Ave.

Tuesday

November 12 – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Business After Hours Ashtown Brewing Co. 1175 Hudson St., Longview $15 advance/$20 at door Register at: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org

Thursday

November 21 – 5 to 7:30 p.m. Economic Summit Hosted by Kelso Longview Chamber and Cowlitz Economic Development Council Cowlitz Regional Conference Center 1900 7th Ave., Longview $25 (must register by noon November 18 to attend; no walkups)

Connection Chamber of Commerce

A great start to increasing understanding of STEM By Julia Maglione Communications Manager Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council The first annual science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) festival sponsored by the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC) took place September 20-22 and was a great success. The three-day festival included events in the tri-county area involving nearly 50 organizations that employ STEM professionals. Through hands-on activities, field trips, tours, presentations and experiments, more than 1,800 K-12 students, parents and teachers learned about local businesses and the types of STEM careers they offer. Lower Columbia College hosted a STEM Fest expo Friday evening that featured fun, hands-on science activities led by community and education professionals who work in careers focused on science, technology, engineering and math. By introducing youth to professionals, the SWWDC hopes to enable students to see themselves in the role of engineer, scientist or mathematician, resulting in more students entering STEM career pathways and businesses having access to a skilled workforce.

Why is STEM important?

STEM jobs in southwest Washington are predicted to grow by more than 5,000 new jobs over the next five years. Many of our students, however, are not taking the classes needed to give them the skills for these jobs and our region is not prepared to meet this demand for workers. STEM is not just about collegebound students interested in fouryear or advanced degrees. Many good-paying jobs using science, technology, engineering and math skills require only certification or

Please see STEM, page 3


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Isaacson, Welch join college Foundation board The Lower Columbia College Foundation has appointed two new members to its Board of Directors. Jenny Isaacson of Longview brings a wealth of experience in community service and fundraising to the board. She has served as president of the Longview Junior Service League, volunteer chair for the St. Rose Gala Auction, and co-chair for the St. Rose Capital Campaign. Isaacson earned her bachelor of science degree in physical education at Washington State University, and has worked as a teacher, coach and athletic director. She is currently employed by Salmon Creek Plastic Surgery in VanJenny Isaacson couver. “Having a chance to promote Lower Columbia College is very fulfilling,” she said. “I truly believe in higher education and with all the current and future endeavors this institution is involved with make this an exciting time to be part of the Board. I have met talented and committed people and feel honored to work with all the board members to continue to build on the college’s excellence.” Woodland resident, businessman and community philanthropist Tim Welch is the newest member to join the LCC Foundation board. The Wisconsin native enjoyed a highly

successful career in the book publishing industry. His “garage start-up” company, IPS Publishing, grew into an international venture which helped launch the Accelerated Reading Program, now used in more than 70,000 schools worldwide, including here in southwest Washington. After selling his company, Welch Tim Welch moved to Woodland where he met and married his wife Lee and helped start the Woodland Community Service Center. He served on the CAP Foundation Board of Directors from 2004 to 2013 and created “The Welch Family Challenge” to match public donations to the CAP Foundation up to $350,000. Contributions to that campaign eventually topped $600,000. Welch serves on the Board of Directors for the Stellar J Corporation and is chairman of the Welch Family Foundation. He holds a degree in journalism from Wisconsin State College. “I love being part of a creative team,” said Welch, “especially a team that operates from the notion of ‘This is how it has always been done. Let’s find another way!’”

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Team Bill Marcum, CEO Amy Hallock, Bookkeeper Brooke Fisher, Project Manager Kelso Longview Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce. 105 Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626 • 360-423-8400 To advertise, call Brooke Fisher, 360-423-8400 ext. 16 or e-mail bfisher@kelsolongviewchamber.org. Ad Deadline: 20th of each month.

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

STEM Fest in the News!

STEM, from page 1 an associate’s degree. A few of the right classes in high school or at Lower Columbia College could land our students jobs paying an average of more than $50,000 per year. • Some STEM occupations requiring an AA degree or less: registered nurse, automotive technician/mechanic, carpenter, supervisor of production and operations, workers, electrician, computer systems analyst, supervisor of mechanics, machinist, plumber, pipefitter/steamfitter and welder. Through the ongoing involvement of our local community leaders, business partners and school districts, we will continue to make the progress needed to prepare future generations for STEM careers and get our businesses the skilled workers they so desperately need. Planning for STEM Fest 2014 will begin shortly. If you

are interested in participating through sponsorships, hosting events, speaking at schools or other activities, please contact Chelsea Jackson, SWWDC’s Youth Initiatives Manager, at cjackson@swwdc.org or 360567-1066.

Students from Evergreen Public Schools visited Washington State Patrol District 5 headquarters in Vancouver on September 20 to see how troopers use science, math and technology on the job. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7wf39JjFOk http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/sep/20/crash-courseinvestigative-techniques-STEM-fest/ http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/sep/20/stemfest-mathscience-training-programs/

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Cowlitz Economic Development Council

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step By Ted Sprague President – Cowlitz Economic Development Council

through partnership. In August of this year the Governor’s Office announced an opportunity to join in on a trade and investment mission to China. Travelling with the Governor opens doors we could not open on our own. In addition, when traveling as a delegate in a group the cost of travel is lower. The timing could not be better because when TIPS made its recommendation we did not have any FDI clients located in China. Now we do. We have arrangements in place to meet with clients in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. While in China we will also be able to take advantage of entrepreneur seminars, trade shows and high level receptions that the Governor’s Office is arranging. Also, in the last year, our partners at the Department of Commerce have asked its foreign offices to take a larger role in FDI. Part of the expectations for those staffed in foreign countries includes a FDI component. Another benefit to the mission is spending quality time with our partners in the Governor’s Office, the Department of Commerce and private sector representatives who share our goal of increased business with China, both through export and FDI. All of the pieces are in place for a most successful journey.

Sometimes in life all the pieces fall into place. Our TIPS Strategy Strategic Plan that we completed in August 2010 called on the Economic Development Council (EDC) to take a larger world view of economic development. While keeping our core mission of recruitment, retention and expansion of manufacturing business, we have been more involved in issues with downtowns, education, tourism, quality of place and on and on. One of the areas in the plan we did not put a lot of time or attention to was foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI programs usually entail annual trips to selected countries and cities in order to entice foreign businesses to set up manufacturing operations in the United States. We investigated the opportunities and costs of FDI – annual foreign missions, foreign marketing, translated materials etcetera and found for an EDC our size the return on investment did not pencil. We looked at the Department of Commerce to utilize existing foreign offices, but the economy was at its lowest point of the recession and their offices were solely focused on expanding Washington State export capability. The lasting lesson we learned was the only way a FDI program was possible was

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Anne O’Connor onthemark associates

Bianca Lemmons Cowlitz County Title Company

Michael Julian Kelso Theater Pub

Chris Bailey Lower Columbia College

Clayton J. Bartness, DC Longview Chiropractic Clinic

Chet Makinster Longview City Council

Frank V. McShane, Past President Cascade Networks, Inc. Jerri Henry, President Futcher-Henry CPA Group

Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner Joel Hanson, President Elect KLOG/KUKN/The Wave

Michael Claxton Walstead Mertsching

Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council

Lance Welch PeaceHealth

Steve Taylor Kelso City Manager

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Diane Craft, Vice President Koelsch Senior Communities Linda DiLembo Three Rivers Mall Julie Rinard Community Home Health & Hospice Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank


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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Setting goals and standards for achievement By Chuck Nau Retail Consultant and Sales and Management Trainer Murray & Nau, Inc.

programs? Is there another segment of the population or market (social media? mobile?) you would like to develop or enhance? Identify what is missing between where you are and where you want to be.

In this ongoing economic uncertainty, staying focused, committed and upbeat continues to be an everyday challenge for you and your staff. Coupled with the ongoing efforts to retain client, customer and revenue or service commitments, your staff ’s self-confidence and solid footing may be easily undermined and on shaky ground. How can you best help them and in the process help your small business and yourself? Consider pausing for a moment, stepping back and disconnecting from the constant flow of information, and taking a renewed look at your staff, from top (e.g. you) to bottom. No matter the size or the experience of your staff, your people will want to know how they’re doing, where they stand. Are they doing well? How can you tell when and how it needs to be better?

• What Needs to Happen? What must occur to move you from where you are to where you want to be? Enhancing your web site? Contacting and seeing a larger number of your best customers? What about other small retailers, service providers, or businesses as a possible new target customer market? Launching a new niche product? Establishing a quarterly sales training program? Will enhancing available resources generate the results desired? Making a part-time sales support position full time? Or do new resources and support systems need to be identified, designed and implemented? What benchmarks need to be put in place to identify desired outcomes and results that move you toward your short term or long term goals? What red flags or midcourse adjustments need to be identified to assure success, reduce unexpected slow downs and prevent failure?

• Where Are You? Identify what you have on hand, today. Carefully review your staff, assessing their strengths, weaknesses, and various talents in relation to your current market positions. What support systems are in place within the entire business or service? What products and pricing programs currently exist? Which of them are growing? Which are shrinking? What are your business or service’s strongest selling points? What’s your overall competitive advantage? What do you do better than others, both competitors and other small businesses in your market?

• Measure and Reward. Are your benchmarks clearly defined as measurements for attaining or not attaining your business or service’s objectives? Are they challenging (e.g. a stretch) but not impossible? Are they fair and equitable? Has your sales staff and your staff overall been asked and encourage for some input? Careful! Do not clutter your measurements of success with unimportant parameters. Will quarterly or monthly revenue goals, average transactions or quarterly ‘team’ achievements be your sales benchmark or should you develop other criteria? How will those individuals in support and non-revenue areas be able to measure successful goal achievement? Are you measuring what you want to accomplish? Likewise, are you rewarding your staff for the desired

• Where Do You Want To Be? What are your business objectives, in terms of profitability, sales, growth and overall market expertise, both short term and long term? What opportunities, threats, or obstacles lie in you and your staff ’s path? How do you envision further developing your individual sales people, your staff overall, yourself and your business or service? Are there new product or service offerings and

Please see Nau, page 7

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

© Murray & Nau, Inc.

Nau, from page 6 outcomes in a timely and consistent fashion? Do your rewards allow for continued growth and achievement (sell more, earn more)? Do your rewards also take into account excellent customer service, reduced sales adjustments, new creative ideas or strategies, and individual personal career growth in addition to revenue goal attainment?

Chuck Nau of Murray & Nau, Inc. is a Seattle area based consultant and sales and management trainer. He is a 25-year veteran of advertising, sales, media and management, who knows and understands the everyday challenges of starting up, growing, and surviving in today’s ever changing retail climate. He has spoken to and conducted workshops for a number of local retail and chamber organizations, national publishing groups, national retailers and manufacturers, state press associations, and newspaper groups. Comments and questions are welcome and may be directed to Chuck via e-mail: murnau@nwlink.com or at 425-603-0984.

• Eyes To See, Ears To Hear. Do you continue to fine tune, enhance and develop your resources? Do you encourage your staff to ask their customers, clients, vendors and each other how your small business and its various products or service might consider and subsequently implement ongoing changes to meet the needs of your market? Are you listening to your staff to tell you what YOU can do to fine tune, enhance, and grow the business? More importantly, are you asking your staff what needs to be done to enhance their success, both internally (systems and environment) and externally (training, sales tools, resources)? Do you continually observe the way your goals are achieved in order to prepare for forming new goals and objectives, so that you can continue the process of growth and development at your business or service in the future?

Industrial Buildings and Property for lease Ready to move in or build

• Give Honest Feedback. Tell sales staff how they are doing, sharing equally in success and failure, on a timely and consistent basis. Communicate to them so they can understand where you are, where you want to be, and how you are going to get there. Encourage and support them as you implement midcourse corrections to keep on target. Support an open dialogue for ideas, suggestions, and observations. Let them know when they have arrived. Your staff needs appropriate, carefully considered benchmarks to measure their achievement, thereby giving them an opportunity to make adjustment to their efforts quickly and responsibly by themselves or with assistance from you (and your management team). Setting appropriate, well-thought out “points of reference” enables you to measure staff performance and the progress being made toward the achievement of those goals. Clear and well-developed benchmarks help you and your staff stay focused on the “big picture” and on track and on time to achieve it. Good luck!

Call Liz Newman

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Lower Columbia College

Lower Columbia College IS the smart choice By Chris Bailey President – Lower Columbia College

credits LCC faculty and their willingness to work closely with students for his success. With their help and encouragement, he mastered his courses to achieve success beyond his dreams. That included a $30,000 annual scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (largest in the nation for transfer students) to pursue advanced studies in environmental engineering. Sean is the third LCC student in eight years to receive this prestigious award earned by less than 100 students each year.

U.S. consumers are more value conscious than ever following the recent economic recession. The good news for residents of Washington State is that community colleges offer value (high quality education for affordable tuition) and job security (college graduates earn higher wages and are less likely to be unemployed, according to the U.S. Labor Department). It’s well known that students who live at home and complete their first two years of college at Lower Columbia College save substantial costs, $20,000 per year or more. But did you know that Washington students who transfer from a two-year college to a four-year school do just as well as those who begin studies at a university? This was confirmed by a recent study that looked at 20,499 bachelor degree students who graduated from Washington universities in 2011.*

Students Rank LCC Among The Best

Like Sean, many students rate their LCC experience among the best in the country according to the results of a national survey. The Community College Survey of Student Engagement was completed last spring by 487 LCC students. Their responses ranked LCC in the top 10 percent nationally for Active and Collaborative Learning experiences and for Student-Faculty Interaction. Both categories are significant because research shows that active learning opportunities and relationships with instructors contribute to student success in program completion. Student responses also placed LCC in the top 15 percent for Academic Challenge and Student Effort. This is equally important because it demonstrates that our graduates feel wellprepared for university studies or to enter the workplace.

Transfer Students Excel In All Majors

Community college transfer students made up 40 percent of all the 2011 bachelor degree graduates in the study. They graduated with virtually the same number of credits as those who started as freshmen at a university – an indicator of the smooth transfer between two-year and four-year colleges. Their GPAs were similar as well. Transfer students graduated in all subjects, including:

Opening Doors For Struggling Students

• 47 percent of all business majors • 46 percent of all health field majors • 35 percent of all STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, and math)

In addition, remedial education, offered through their community college, opened the door to a college education for many students. Of the transfer students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree:

These are the same career fields projected to offer strong employment opportunities in our region over the next decade. Sean Gestson is an example of student achievement at LCC. Sean went right to work following high school but after a few years decided that he wanted a more challenging career. He

• 59 percent took at least one remedial course • 43 percent graduated in a STEM field • 53 percent graduated in business

Please see Smart, page 9

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Smart, from page 8

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Molly Collins is on track to become one of those students. Molly was homeless with only an eighth grade education before enrolling at LCC. She earned her GED Certificate in just a single quarter through LCC’s innovative Fast Track GED Program and is now a college student. She has made the honor roll and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology with career plans to assist others, like herself, who need the encouragement to get their lives back on track. Molly has achieved several firsts since enrolling at LCC, including her first job, her first car and her first apartment. According to state employment projections, more than 70 percent of job openings in the next 10 years will require training beyond high school. Employment in occupations that require an associate degree is expected to increase more rapidly than employment related to any other education or training category. For students seeking careers that require a bachelor’s degree, Lower Columbia College’s Regional University Center now offers a local option to complete studies in four degree fields right on the local campus with two more degree programs, business and nursing, scheduled to start next year. For value conscious consumers seeking to improve their lives through education, national and state research and the success stories of LCC students all demonstrate that Lower Columbia College IS The Smart Choice!

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Holiday Tree Lighting This year, the event is on Saturday, December 7th. The parade begins at 5:00 p.m., running down Commerce Ave., Maple, 14th, Broadway and around the Civic Circle by the library, ending in front of the Monticello Hotel. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in their sleigh at the hotel, as the LCC choir sings “Here Comes Santa Claus.� Santa then turns on the lights inside the Civic Circle park with a little holiday magic. St. Nick will be available for kids to visit with, and hot chocolate will be served by the local Altrusa group. Mark your calendars for this wonderful community event!

We need your help! We cannot put on this magnificent holiday event without you! Tree Lighting Fund contributions can be made via our website www.kelsolongviewchamber.org


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Council of Governments

Settling in and making strong connections at the Council of Governments By Scott Patterson Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Executive Director

with many of our community organizations, as well as adding a vibrant international program; LCC is undoubtedly moving forward in a way that will strengthen the educational bedrock

As I’m approaching my fourth month here at the CowlitzWahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG), I’ve had the opportunity to meet face to face with many of you, which has provided me with a better understanding and appreciation for the leadership on display throughout our region. It has also allowed me to learn more about the challenges and opportunities that our region faces. Whether it was talking with Cowlitz County Commissioner Mike Karnofski about the county budget, or Wahkiakum County Commissioner Blair Brady about coming up with enough funding to replace the ferry, or even the Port of Longview and the Cowlitz Economic Development Council about the need to improve the rail and road infra-

of our region for years to come. I also had the opportunity to spend some time with Bill Marcum, President and CEO of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce, as well as plugging into the Chamber’s newly revamped Government Affairs Committee. The committee is being chaired by Ken Grams, who along with Bill’s leadership, is committed to ensuring a strong Chamber voice will be heard at all levels of government. And just to the south of us in Woodland there is some impressive coordination happening with public and private sector organizations through the recently created Woodland Economic Development Group (WEDG) as they look for new

structure along the SR 432 corridor; most of our time together

opportunities to enhance the local economy. I’ve attended a

was spent on discussing solutions and the path forward rather

couple of their meetings now and am again impressed by the

than lamenting the challenges and obstacles.

proactive way they are looking to address issues.

Earlier this summer I met with and toured Lower Columbia

I hope you’re seeing a common theme here. Regardless of

College (LCC) with President Chris Bailey. About half way

whom I’ve been meeting with: our local government partners,

through our meeting and tour I clearly remember thinking to

the ports, the chambers, or even the school districts; the ap-

myself how the college is not just talking about a path forward

proach is similar, with a sharp focus on the path in front of us.

but they were in fact busy implementing it. From complet-

And I can tell you that is what we’re about here at the CWCOG

ing partnerships with four-year universities that will provide

as well. There are of course some very important projects and

many of our students the opportunity to receive four-year

programs our staff is working hard on, and I look forward to

degrees without leaving home to strengthening partnerships

reporting on some of them in future columns.

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Halloween Bash

Oh, My Ghoulish Figure ‘All that Halloween candy goes straight to my hips and makes them just balloon!” was what this character built from the clever mind and around the petite frame of Anna Goff with DIY Party Supplies seem to be saying as she greeted folks at the door of the Empress Estate for the Chamber’s Halloween Bash October 18.

Wild West

Minion Mania

Bill and Brenda Marcum ventured back to Longview’s early days.

Ginny Whiffen, Jessica Baker, Pam Fierst and Andi Elliott couldn’t help but get caught up in the craze created by the movie “Despicable Me 2.”

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Pickup for leaves from city-owned trees runs through January Autumn is a beautiful time of the year, but it’s also called fall for a reason. In a few weeks those golden and red leaves will be dropping on streets, sidewalks and parking lots all over town, clogging drains, creating puddles and slick sidewalks for business owners’ shoppers and clients. The City of Longview wants to help. From October through January, leaves from City of Longview maintained trees only may be placed in the street for pick up by the City’s Street Division. “It is important that we remove fallen leaves from these areas so that vehicles and pedestrian traffic can move safely throughout the city, and to minimize flooding due to clogged catch basins,” Street Supervisor Chris Collins said in information provided by the City. “Our crews use shovels and pitchforks, and street sweepers, front-end loaders and dump trucks, to load and haul leaves to pre-designated areas for composting.” Collins asks that the following guidelines be followed when placing leaves in City streets, which are considered public right of ways: • Place only leaves from City-maintained trees. Yard debris is the property owner’s responsibility. Leaves from non-city owned trees can be taken to the Waste Control Transfer Station through April 15 for a fee. • Place leaves in rows about one foot from the curb to allow for drainage. This also makes it easier for the street sweeper to pick them up. If the sweeper is unable to pick the leaves up, a street crew will remove them with a front end loader. • Do not put branches or sticks in leaf piles as it may damage the sweeper. • Be patient. Leaf pick up is on a structured schedule and will be picked up as soon as possible. • Help prevent flooding on your street by clearing leaves from catch basin grates until City crews are able to pick up the leaves on your street. Any questions about leaf pickup may be directed to the Street Supervisor at 360-442-5620.

Leaves are starting to collect around the base of the RA Long statue downtown.

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Jingle All the Way 5K The Sequel Saturday December 14, 2013

It’s back with bells on! Jingle All the Way to this second annual mega holiday event! Run, walk and be entertained by local musicians. Visit Santa and his holiday friends. Experience the downtown shops and eateries. Festive holiday costumes are encouraged as prizes will be awarded to best individual and group attire. Get on board for a magical evening!

4:00 pm The Rudolph Run/Kids Event

A Backwards Run put on by the Sandbaggers at Commerce & Broadway COST: FREE for Kids 9 and under. No registration required* *Parents must sign waiver for children to participate between 3-4 p.m. at race location

PRIZES: Awarded to top 3 finishers of 9-6 heat and 5 and under heat

5:00 pm 5k Run/Walk

At Commerce & Broadway in Downtown Historic Longview COST*: $25 with shirt/$20 no shirt/$65 Family of 4 including 4 shirts (more family registrations can be purchased for additional $10 with shirt) *A portion will benefit the Chamber’s Lower Columbia Professionals Scholarship Fund

Company Discounts**: $2 off per registration (25-99 employee registrations) or $5 off per registration (100+ employee registrations) **Company Teams must sign up through Chamber Office directly

PRIZES: Awarded to 1st three male and female finishers REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, November 29th (to get a shirt) Registration for no-shirt will be available through day of race REGISTER: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org PACKET PICK-UP: December 13th at the MERK building (Commerce & Broadway) 10am-5pm Questions? Contact (360-423-8400) Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Mind Your Own Business

Three titles aimed at guiding the small business owner By Chris Skaugset Longview Public Library Director

want to help you answer that question. Anthony Tjan, Richard Harrington and Tsun-Yan Hsieh, all successful entrepreneurs and

There is no one way to start a new business, operate an existing one, or create a new entrepreneurial venture. What works for one person may not work for another. Because of that the library offers a wide variety of books and other materials relevant to the current, or future, small business owner. This month I have picked out three titles that you might not have heard of, that might just be right for you. Check them out, or one of the many other business-related titles that can be found at your library today. The first book is Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity by Luc De Brabandere and Alan Iny. The title comes from the often over-used phrase “thinking outside of the box.” The authors argue that you don’t need to think outside of an existing box but instead think in an altogether new box. One example of this is BIC the then maker of disposable pens. When they were looking to grow and expand their business, instead of creating different sized, or colored, pens, they eventually came up with the idea of a new box, a disposable box. In this case they moved into disposable lighters, razors and even phones. Through the authors’ five step solution – doubt everything, probe the possible, diverge, converge and reevaluate relentlessly – they propose a sustainable creative process that will serve an organization in the long-term in this rapidly changing world. So, you want to start a business. The question is do you have what it takes? The authors of the book Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business

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business leaders themselves, analyzed business leaders and their organizations to find out what qualities seemed to show up again and again in successful businesspeople and entrepreneurs. The authors’ study found four qualities that came up again and again, which as the book’s title indicates: heart, smarts, guts, and luck. Written for business newbies and experience veterans alike, the authors accomplish their task and show that all of the successful businesses and leaders that they analyzed had an entrepreneurial profile that was dominated by one of these qualities. Discover your profile and see how you can use that information to achieve the most success. One of the often forgotten, and probably most important, aspects to running a successful business is customer service. Often relegated to the dark, dim background (at least until a customer complains), customer service can be the key to a business’s success or failure. In Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business, authors Frances Frei and Anne Morriss argue that in this rapidly changing business environment, customer service cannot just be damage-control reactions to bad situations but must play an important role in a business’s strategy. Both practical and engaging, Uncommon Service makes a powerful case for a new and systematic approach to service as a means of boosting productivity, profitability and competitive advantage. Use these and all of the other valuable resources available at the Longview Public Library to help start your new venture or help take your current business to the next level.


Give Hope for the Holidays! Come Shop with us & Help Relay For Life! Friday, November 15th, 2013  5pm ~ 8pm  Cascade Title Company  1425 Maple Street, Longview, WA  Come join us for a fun & entertaining evening while   raising money to support our Relay For Life team ,  Cancer Crushers!!!  Tons of local vendors, bake sale, prize  drawings, holiday music, Santa and much, much more!  100% of the prize drawing ticket sales, bake sale proceeds, and vendors fees are donated to our team for Relay For Life! We will also accept monetary donations the night of the event.


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Ambassador of the Month

Chittock selected as Chamber Ambassador honoree for October Russ Chittock was named Kelso Longview Chamber Ambassador of the Month for October. Chittock recently joined the staff at Express Employment Professionals in Longview. Chamber Ambassadors, known as The Red Coats, are an integral part of the Chamber of Commerce. The Ambassador team is made up of active Chamber volunteers whose responsibilities include meeting and

greeting at Chamber events, welcoming new members and assisting at ribbon cuttings and community events. Ambassadors juggle busy professional careers while making time to assist the Chamber at a variety of events year long. If you would be interested in wearing a red coat and representing the Chamber, contact Brooke Fisher at the Chamber office.

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October

Russ Chittock Express Employment Professionals


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Business Toolbox

Eight ways to increase your cash flow By Jerry D. Petrick Certified Business Adviser

accounts receivable early.

Nearly every business owner has heard “cash is king” and/or “it’s all about cash flow” at some point in their business life. The true truth is that how cash flows in your business is vital for you to know, understand, and respect. Every day I hear about cash flow problems from business owners. In virtually any economy, most of us will be having cash flow concerns. These days I’m hearing that sales of most retail businesses are recovering from the lows of a few years ago but are still below pre-recession levels. If you don’t understand the different ways to improve your cash flow, you can get stuck thinking you have no options. If you are having cash flow concerns, chances are it is difficult for you to get a loan from a bank. My clients are constantly finding inventive ways to solve their cash flow challenges. I want to share some of their ideas hoping they will be helpful to you. I’ve broken these down to eight ideas to help your business. Note: Before you take actions to improve your cash flow it is very important for you to understand what your business cycle is – in other words, how money moves in your business – cash inflows, outflows, inventory, profit, expenses, sales etc.

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Create a Positive Cash Flow Cycle: The cash flow cycle refers to the difference in timing between when you pay for products or payroll and when you get paid by your clients or customers. This seems pretty straightforward, but most businesses have staggered timelines between cash in/out flows; you should work to have them work to your advantage. A negative cash flow cycle means you pay out before you get paid. A positive cash flow cycle means you get paid before you have to pay out. One client recently asked her vendors for 30 day terms and got it. It put her into a positive cash flow immediately. Other clients have started to ask for half down before they start the job and some clients offer small incentives for paying

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2

Increase Your Average Sale: If you can get your customers to buy more of your products or services, for more money, and more often you will increase your average sale. When your average sale goes up more dollars go into your bank account. I have one retail client that started carrying more upscale products, increased her prices on some items, and bundled or packaged some products together. She saw an immediate improvement in her cash flow. Do you know what your average sale is? Do you know what items tend to sell together (one item encourages the purchase of another)? Knowing these basic pieces of information can radically improve both your cash flow and profitability if you use them wisely.

3

Increase Your Sales and Marketing Efforts: This is a hard time for building supply companies. One client opened a building supply company before the real estate market slow down. Oops! So, he took a gamble and advertised on TV. It was hard to spend the money, but the results have been increasing sales every month since he opened. Another client doubled her sales force and has increased sales every month through the downturn. There really is a lot of opportunity out there. In many cases you may be facing significantly reduced competition in your markets. How well do you know who your current competitors are and what they are doing? Where are the opportunities to grow your market share?

4

Cut Your Costs: This one seems like a no brainer, however, many of my clients have been slow to do the difficult cost cutting that is required to stay or become profitable. One of my clients was very slow to cut costs. We worked together and talked about each of her regular expenses and explored other ways to get what she needed without spending as much. We found several creative ways to cut costs without hurting productivity or customer service. Sometimes cutting your

Please see Petrick, page 25


Hosted by Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 Location: 1526 12th Ave., Longview Time: 5-8 p.m. Cost: $20 (Must register by Tuesday, November 5th) Register at: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org

Beverage

Food

Prizes

FUN!


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Notes and News

Hospice Thrift Shop seeks volunteers The Hospice Thrift Shop is seeking volunteers to staff its retail thrift store. Volunteers assist four hours a week in their favorite area such as processing or merchandising donations, ringing up purchases or assisting customers. No retail experience is needed; training will be provided. All store proceeds support the nonprofit Community Home Health and Hospice. For more information contact Debbie Peterson, thrift shop manager, at 360-577-6292 or dpeterson@chhh.org.

and 8 p.m., Friday, November 1. You can join the Friends for a $5 annual fee. Applications with fee will be accepted at the door during the presale. The Friends of the Longview Library is a non-profit organization that gives volunteer and financial help to the library. The proceeds from the book sale will be used to provide the library with resources to enhance services and programs. If you are interested in joining the Friends, applications are available at the Longview Public Library. Please call Elizabeth Partridge at 360-442-5321 for more information.

Bazaar and bake sale supports charity Longview gives beautification update Community Home Health and Hospice (Community) hosts its annual holiday bazaar and bake sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at 1035 11th Ave., Longview. There will be raffles, local vendors, Christmas carolers and baked goods. Proceeds benefit Community’s charity care and volunteer programs. For more information contact Sheryl Reeder at 360-5673511 or bazaar@chhh.org.

Another successful City Beautification month has flown by with more than 215 tons of material dropped off for disposal at the Waste Control Transfer Facility. The “free dump month” program encourages Longview residents to clean up their property of unwanted material, including overgrown vegetation in their backyards or alleyways. Since the program began in September 2011, close to 800 tons of material has been collected and disposed.

Friends of the library host book sale The Friends of the Longview Library invite you to browse the thousands of books at their annual book sale Nov. 2, 4 and 5. There are hundreds of subjects to choose from including a large children’s section. All books are for sale at unbelievably low prices. The sale will take place in the Longview Public Library auditorium and is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, November 2; 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday, November 4; and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 5. There is a special presale for Friends members only between 6

Longview photo contest and show set The Longview Recreation Photo Contest and Show is open to all amateur and advanced photographers. Adult and youth divisions will be professionally judged. Photos can be entered digitally or in print. Prints must be mounted, ready to hang and no smaller than 5x7 and not larger than 11x17. String must be attached, framed art will not accepted.

Please see Notes and News, page 21

Facilitating Growth Through Leadership and Action

We are a membership based not-for-profit organization. Join us today! Resources • Access • Partnerships

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1452 Hudson St. • US Bank Building Suite 208 • Longview, WA 360.423.9921 www.cowlitzedc.com


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Turkey Trot prior to Thanksgiving

Notes and News, from page 20 Categories, with black/white and color judged together, will be the following: still life, plant life, scenic, people, animals, creative, general interest, city of Longview parks. There is a limit of five entries per category per division. Cost is $5 each photo or $20 for five entries; youth photos $3. For more information on submitting digital photos check out www.monticellocameraclub.org. This event is co-sponsored by the Monticello Camera Club. Photos can be entered from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, November 3, or 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, November 4, at the McClelland Center, 951 Delaware St. An award reception will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, November 8. The show is open for public viewing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 9, or 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 10.

The Turkey Trot Fun Run and Walk is a non-competitive fun run for runners, walkers and joggers of all ages and consists of one lap around Lake Sacajawea Park. Prizes will be awarded for first place overall male and female, youth, teen and adult. There will be free raffle drawings and refreshments for everyone. Best male and female costume gets a free turkey. T-shirts are available for purchase, indicate cotton or tech shirt. Deadline for shirt order is November 21. A limited number of cotton shirts will be available to purchase on race day. Day of run registration begins at 7 a.m. and the cost will be $10 per registration. If registering online for a shirt, please click the ‘details’ hyperlink under the cost column in your basket to order a shirt. Preregistered participants packets can be picked up at the city’s recreation office between noon and 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 27.

The Sky is the Limit! We started in a garage in April 2007. Twin City Bank has provided us the necessary funding to grow our business into a multi-million dollar company. By early fall Twin City Bank will help us move into our new 15,000 square foot facility with room to continue our growth. Jon Hansen, General Manager Sid Somers and Steve Norby Fabricast Valve

729 Vandercook Way Longview, WA 98632 1-800-319-2265 | 360-414-4101 Creating products to fuel the world

www.knifegates.com

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twincitybank.com


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

CEO’s Message

Cool events blow into town this November By Bill Marcum Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce CEO

The annual Holiday Mixer is scheduled for Tuesday, December 10, at the Red Lion in Kelso. We will have great food, entertainment, great fellowship and fun networking. This is one of our marquee events so plan to attend. The cost is $20 in advance and $30 at the door.

November, wow, wasn’t it just July? We have a lot of fun and informative events planned for the next two months starting Tuesday, November 12, when Ashtown Brewery will be hosting the next Business After Hours. This new brewery will be featuring several of their favorites beverages and I am sure they will be including a holiday brew just for spicing up the gang at your holiday party or event.

The Jingle All the Way fun run/walk, “The Sequel,” is scheduled for Saturday, December 14, with the kids run starting at 4 p.m. and the adults hitting the pavement starting at 5 p.m. Last year we had more than 800 participants and we are planning for even more this year. Group discounts apply so give us a call or go to our website to sign up. Entry includes a long-sleeve runners shirt and a swag bag with all kinds of items from our members along with money saving coupons.

Next on the calendar will be the 2014 Economic Summit, Thursday, November 21, at the Cowlitz County Conference Center from 5:30 p.m. to approximately 7:30. This is a partnership between the Cowlitz Economic Development Council and the Kelso Longview Chamber. We will have some great speakers who will be looking into their crystal ball and forecasting what 2014 will look like in these categories: Business, Education, Healthcare, Politics and Real Estate. Last year we had more than 200 in attendance and the speakers did a fantastic job of explaining how and what would be affected during the coming year. The cost to attend the event is $25 in advance and $35 at the door, so plan to attend and plan early. The deadline to accept early registration will be Monday, November 18.

As you can see we have a full schedule of events during the final two months of 2013. All of the events listed above can be booked via our website, www.kelsolongviewchamber.org. Just as a reminder we have moved to our new location at 105 Minor Rd., in Kelso, site of the previous Visitors Center and home of the “new” Visitors Center and the Chamber of Commerce. We are still digging out of boxes and setting up some displays, but stop by, take a look and say hello when you have a chance.

Trusted.

Since 1982, Cowlitz County Title has been the company the community turns to when buying, selling or refinancing a property. Whether you need title, escrow or property search information, come in for our exceptional service. Leave with the confidence that your real estate investment is properly insured and protected.

Bianca Lemmons Vice President/Manager

1159 14th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632 Phone: 360.423.5330 ■ www.cowlitztitle.com

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Thursday, November 21 5pm-7:30 pm Cowlitz Conference Center Sponsored by

Education Real Estate Healthcare Political

Business

Register Today!!!

www.kelsolongviewchamber.org NOW ONLINE All Credit Cards Accepted

Advance Purchase: $25.00 • At the Door: $35.00 (Fee is non-refundable)


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Kelso

Longview

2013 State of the City of Longview

Vote: It does make a difference

By City Manager By Mayor David Futcher

Bob Gregory

The first Tuesday of November is always a big day. Not only is there an ever-entertaining Kelso City Council meeting that night, but we all get the opportunity to participate in the political process by casting a ballot.

At the October 3 quarterly Chamber of Commerce luncheon it was my pleasure to join Longview Mayor Don Jensen, Kelso Mayor David Futcher and City Manager Steve Taylor to address the Chamber and participate in the annual State of the Cities. We have all endured a difficult time in this economic downturn, but as we had the opportunity to put together this year’s presentation, it was encouraging to be able to talk about all of the exciting projects and initiatives that are under way or accomplished this past year.

Sure, it may not be the same kind of event it once was when we had to physically get to the polling location, but having the opportunity to effect change in our government is important. In an “odd-year” election like this one, some voters figure if there’s no presidential race, there’s no reason to vote. I disagree.

Longview is an incredible community filled with people who are giving of their time and resources that allow us all to enjoy a great quality of place. I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of our community to bring the Shay locomotive back to the library grounds for generations to enjoy. Longview Outdoor Gallery has installed another round of art in our downtown and gifted five pieces of art to the citizens of Longview. Lower Columbia College opened a University Center this past September offering four-year degree opportunities. They will complete the construction of a new Health and Science building and expand the LCC gymnasium to create a fitness center and provide health education classrooms to enhance student experiences and academic opportunities.

It’s great to vote for the president, but you’re one of millions when you do that. And frankly, you probably all know up front which way the state is going before the night arrives. But when it comes to the local races like we have to consider this year, your vote makes a much more significant difference. Not only is local politics where “the rubber meets the road” in the political system, but local politics is much more likely to touch you on a day-to-day basis. The decisions you make and the people you vote for locally may help determine how comfortable your daily commute is, and whether you’re going to get a ticket from a camera along the way. You can help shape the safety of your community, and determine if that library is going to be able to run another year.

We were able to report that the City has weathered the difficult economy by continuing to look for efficiencies such as implementing more affordable health care plans in 2013, reducing services and programs, and continuing to encourage economic development to assure the City is on stable financial footing. These are but a few of highlights from the presentation. If you would like to view the entire presentation, go to www. mylongview.com. I would like to thank the Chamber for this opportunity to share all of the great things that are happening in Longview.

I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, but please take a minute to make sure you get your ballot submitted in time. You do make a difference.

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Petrick, from page 18

Upcoming

costs can be as simple as asking your vendors for better terms and prices – they probably don’t want to lose you as a customer (especially if you consistently pay on time!)

5

Reduce or Restructure Debt Payments: The payments you make on business debts, because they are always paid in cash out of your checking account are an important area that directly affects your cash flow. One client talked to their banker, but the banker was reluctant to refinance or restructure the debt. I told this client that the secret was to talk to a bank other than his own. Banks other than yours view gaining your deposit and loan accounts as a big win. Your current bank doesn’t always appreciate your accounts until they are about to lose them. Needless to say, this client did well in lowering their debt payments and received some other nice perks as well. (Naturally, this becomes a challenge if your loan is not current or in default – restructuring is not the same as a ‘workout’).

6

Reduce or Eliminate Capital Expenditures: One business owner I worked with had a very tight cash flow because she was growing. Growth always creates a drain on cash. She needed equipment and trucks to get to the next level. Buying new stuff was out of the question. She started asking people she knew for what she wanted and got the equipment and trucks for almost nothing. Get creative with your thinking and put the word out – there is an amazing amount of ‘gently used’ equipment and tools available from businesses whose poor cash flow caught up with them.

7

Increase the Productivity of Your Team: I worked with a small business with a tight cash flow that was doing about $900,000 in annual sales but there was very little profit – they were just breaking even. We determined through a break even analysis that if we increased sales to $1,300,000 they could add about $100,000 to the bottom line. When they came back the next year they had actually increased their sales to $1,700,000, but there was still no profit. Based on the numbers, our analysis of the situation was that they hadn’t increased the productivity of their people. When they added new business, their staff costs expanded with their sales. The idea is to find ways for your staff to be more effective, with less effort and cost. Pay attention to what actions in your business actually increase your profit – not just increasing your sales. It is common that you could actually increase your profits without in-

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Best Business Practices Series Sessions for Small Business Owners November 7 – Marketing Strategies: Create a Marketing Plan that Produces December 5 – Washington Health Benefit Exchange for Small Business and Individuals Hear the details and get your questions answered. To register for either event: http://wsbdc.org/training-calendar

creasing your sales at all – you have to know and understand how profits are generated in your business.

8

Increase Your Prices: No I’m not crazy. Psychologically, increasing prices is one of the hardest things for business owners to do. I’ve worked with many non-believers who take the leap with me to explore this option. I convinced one business owner to research the prices her competitors were charging. We found that her prices were at least 25 percent below those of her competitors. We experimented with pricing and found that some items actually sold faster when they were priced higher. One business owner increased his prices by just $1. It added an extra $3,000 a month or $36,000 annually to the cash flow. We all know that “cash is king.” Cash is the key to surviving the tough times and thriving in better times. By working smarter as well as harder you will improve your chances of survival and increase the value of your business. This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick MBA, SPHR, CGBP, PMP and Certified Business Advisor with the Washington State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Longview office. Jerry provides no-cost confidential advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via e-mail at jerry.petrick@wsbdc. org. Check out the SBDC website for more information www.wsbdc.org.


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Ribbon Cuttings

Decorating Headquarters Golden Ladder Interiors opened the doors to its Ocean Beach Highway showroom during October and invited in the Chamber Ambassadors for a ribbon cutting.

Looking Sharp The Chamber Red Coats blended right in with the staff at Sharp Property Management October 11 when they showed up at the Tennant Way business for its ribbon cutting.

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Ribbon Cuttings

Law for All Three Rivers Law Center, a nonprofit law practice, cut the ribbon on its Hudson Street offices October 10.

School’s In Gateway Learning Center owners and staff members joined forces with Chamber Ambassadors to get the tutoring center’s new start kicked off right.

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Business After Hours Hosted by:

Here is a great opportunity to mingle with fellow Chamber members and try some of the unique beers from Ashtown Brewing Company.

Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Location: 1175 Hudson St., Longview Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: $15 advance/$20 at door


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Welcome New Members

Chamber membership has its privileges Celebrate these new Chamber members with us * Gateway Learning Center * Cowlitz County Search and Rescue * Golden Ladder Interiors * Northwest Funding Group * DIY Party Supplies Business Association with opportuni-

• Member Referrals

ties to promote trade through Chamber

• Ribbon Cutting

socials, special events and committee

• Web Site Links

participation.

• Member to Member Discounts

• Annual Meeting and Banquet • Networking Events • Committee Participation • Business Contacts • Quarterly Membership Meetings • Civic Representation • Monthly Business After Hours Business Services include marketing for your business, referrals and access to Chamber publications and research data.

Packages Basic Membership Package – $275 or

• Membership Directory • Tax Deduction

$26 per month. Bronze Membership Package – $500 or $46.66 per month.

• Newsletter • Business Card Display • Use of Chamber Logo Representation through action committees, Candidate Forums and up-todate Action Alerts. • Legislative Representation • Issues Tracking and Information

Silver Membership Package – $1,000 or $86.33 per month. Gold Membership Package – $2,500 or $211.33 per month. Platinum Membership Package – $5,000 or $416.66 per month.

• Task Forces • Candidate Forums

• Mailing Labels

• Legislative Update Breakfast

• Membership Window Decals

• Demographics Publication

Diamond Club Membership Package – $10,000 or $834 per month.

Join today! Call 360-423-8400 29


Kelso Longview Business Connection

November 2013

Business After Hours

Bankers After Hours Heritage Bank hosted the Chamber’s Business After Hours event October 8.

State of the Cities A full house turned out for the State of the Cities address October 3 at the Red Lion.

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Date: Tuesday, December 10th Location: Red Lion Hotel, Kelso Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: $20 advance/$30 at door

Raffle tickets will be sold for a fabulous trip. Proceeds go to the local Community Home Health & Hospice. Register at www.kelsolongviewchamber.org


Apply Now! The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce recognizes that the skills required of businesses today typically demand post secondary education, and has identified that many students in our area are in need of financial assistance in acquiring additional education after completion of high school. As a business organization, benefiting from the contributions the educational system has provided us; we need to assist students in their endeavor to improve their skills for the workforce of tomorrow. Students can apply for the Maria Harris Scholarship or the Lower Columbia Professionals Scholarship on the Kelso Longview Chamber website: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org/applications/scholarship-information AMOUNT It is the intent of this program to award scholarships in the amount of $500 or more. As the funds for these scholarships are based upon the voluntary contributions of our members, the actual amount is dependent upon the level of contributions to the scholarship fund. CRITERIA  The scholarship is to be used at a post secondary institution for tuition.  The student/applicant must be a resident of Cowlitz County.  The student/applicant must demonstrate financial need.  The student applicant must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.25 or better.

Klc november 2013  

Newsletter of the Kelso Longview WA Chamber of Commerce

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