Washington—May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.
The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.
The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:
The PPP was created by the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to eligible small businesses to keep American workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. The documents released today will help small businesses seek forgiveness at the conclusion of the eight week covered period, which begins with the disbursement of their loans.
Click Here for Application and Instructions.
With the increase in unemployment benefits, unemployment fraud is on the rise. The Seattle Times reported that over 700 fraudulent claims were reported this month, adding up to over $1.6 million.
How does this impact employers and what should you do?
Pay attention! When you receive a notification of an unemployment claim…read it! Have you laid off that individual? Are they still working for you? Many employers, especially under the current conditions with layoffs abounding, are inclined to dismiss the notification, as they don’t plan to contest the claim. This is dangerous, as it may be the only way the fraud is identified in a timely manner. While it may take time to sort through the paperwork, track who is working, who is not, how many hours, etc., it is worth the effort!
Contact employees! Communicate with impacted employees to verify the information. Did they apply? If they did not apply, refer to the reporting steps below. If they did apply and they are still working, then you have a completely different disciplinary issue to discuss with the HR Hotline!
Notify IT! Let your IT department know of the fraudulent claim so that system security can be checked to ensure that the data breach did not come from your end. If it did, it should be addressed immediately and a data security attorney or your cyber security insurer should be contacted, and employees must be notified.
Report it! Employers should promptly notify the Employment Security Department (ESD) that the employee is still working, and the claim is suspected to be fraudulent.
Provide the steps below to affected employees. Cyber-crime investigators are recommending the following steps for anyone who knows, or believes, they are a victim of unemployment fraud:
Step One – Contact HR
Step Two – Contact WA State ESD
Step Three – File a Police Report
Step Four – Contact Credit Bureaus
Step Five – FTC & IRS
Step Six – Keep Your Notes
If you have reason to believe someone has applied for unemployment benefits using your information or used a scam to obtain your private information, the ESD urges you to make a report at esd.wa.gov/unemployment/unemployment-benefits-fraud.
Please be aware that you will need the following information:
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to impact our region, we want to keep you informed on the work the American Red Cross is doing to fulfill our mission and support our partners during this health crisis.
Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is challenging individuals and families in new ways. Mental health first aid, the practice of recognizing and responding to people experiencing crisis-related stress, can be used to help yourself and others to cope in the face of stressful events.
To help, the American Red Cross is offering a free Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19 online only course during the pandemic.
The course content is based on guidance from the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This online course is designed for anyone interested in learning techniques for supporting mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. Topics include:
Humanity in War
Also now available online: a free course to train policy professionals, government officials, academics, and the general public on the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.
This course prepares participants to recognize key concepts in international humanitarian law, including:
Critical need for Diverse Blood
Right now, African American blood donors are critically needed to help patients battling sickle cell disease following a significant decrease in diverse donors amid this coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately, since mid-March we have seen the number of African American blood donors drop by more than half. Understandably, we believe this number has decreased in large part due to blood drive cancellations at businesses, churches and schools, as well as disproportionate COVID-19 infection rates for African Americans compared to other ethnicities.
While we recognize this challenge, the Red Cross needs the help of African American blood donors to ensure a diverse blood supply. Blood transfused to patients with rare blood types, like those with sickle cell disease, must be matched very closely to reduce the risk of complications.
Without a readily available blood supply, sickle cell patients can experience severe pain, tissue and organ damage, acute anemia and even strokes. Furthermore, sickle cell patients are at high risk of serious complications from coronavirus infection and blood transfusion can be a lifesaving treatment for these patients.
This is the time to take care of one another, and blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of those in our community. If you are feeling well, please make an appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
MultiCare Occupational Medicine provides three screening & testing services for employers to support restarting employment and our economy. These can be useful for employers to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure at work, so long as the employer and employee are aware of their limitations. There are no screening or test tools currently available which guarantee an employee will not spread COVID-19 at work.
If you decide to use one or more of these tools, we hope to be your provider. But regardless where you source the services, we want you to have the facts needed for an informed decision.
Symptom & Temperature Screen:
The medical provider relies on patient-provided symptom answers and a temperature reading to determine if symptoms are of concern or not. This screen is not indicative of past exposure, nor a guarantee the individual is not infected or a contagious carrier of the virus.
Antibody Serology Test:
CDC guidelines on Antibody testing:
PCR Nasopharyngeal Test:
Antibody Serology Test:
All these services are “snapshots in time.” The individual may be exposed and infected after the service is performed.
For questions, more information or to enroll for services:
Tel: 888-580-5513 opt 1
Pierce County Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program has expanded its criteria to help more Pierce County businesses!
The Pierce County Council expanded this loan program on April 21, 2020 to include employers with up to 20 employees for businesses located anywhere in Pierce County, including incorporated cities. New criteria is as follows:
Find out more here Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program
COVID-19 Leads to Greater Employer Focus on Response Planning, Employee Education and Flexible Work Arrangements, Alera Group Study Finds
COVID-19 is leading many employers to implement or re-evaluate their infectious disease response plans, ramp-up their employee communication efforts, and offer flexible work arrangements to address childcare and remote work challenges, a new Alera Group study finds. The Alera Group COVID-19 Employer Pulse Surveyexplores the impact of the pandemic and offers insights into how employers throughout the country and in various industries are navigating employee health, benefits and human resources issues in the changing landscape.
The study identified five key findings:
See Survey Results
Lapse in Appropriations Notice: SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.
EIDL applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
To learn more about other relief options available for small business, click here.
SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have issued this joint statement appealing to Congress for additional funds to pass.
The U.S. Chamber unveiled its Save Small Business Initiative to address the immediate needs of the small business community, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery in the wake of the economic destruction of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to a call to action for the larger business community and government to help small businesses, the four-part campaign includes supplemental financial assistance, advocacy, resources, webinars and guides, and research.
The U.S. Chamber Foundation is supporting the supplemental financial assistance by launching their Save Small Business Fund. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the U.S. Chamber Foundation will be providing $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities.
Applications for the Save Small Business Grant Fund will open this Monday, April 20, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. ET. There are several eligibility requirements which can be foundhere. We encourage you to share this information with your members so they can apply for a supplemental grant if they are eligible. Chambers of Commerce may also apply if they meet the eligibility requirements
For more information on the Save Small Business Grant Fund including qualifications, the application process and FAQs, please click here.
PSE is making $11 million in funds available to help our customers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes customers who recently became unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work. Please feel free to share this to any people or organizations who might find it helpful.
The $11 million are carry-over funds under PSE’s Low Income Program. With approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, PSE made revisions to its program to make these funds available to a broader group of customers. This program will be available to PSE’s residential customers in Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties, who meet the household size and income criteria. More information on the criteria, and how to apply can be found via our website www.pse.com/covidhelp or via the attached form.
In addition, PSE continues to offer payment plans, allow customers to change a bill’s due date and not charge late fees. PSE will continue to offer its other assistance programs, including the Warm Home Fund, PSE Home Energy Lifeline Program and Weatherization Assistance Program for income-eligible customers. A Customer, co-Customer on the PSE bill, or a customer care agent acting on a Customer’s behalf must first submit a complete and accurate application to the Company.
TACOMA, Wash. – The Tahoma Business Environmental Award is presented annually by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber to a local business for its outstanding environmental stewardship.
This year’s award recipient is Courtesy Auto Service & Tire of Tacoma
Courtesy Auto took great steps in 2019 to reduce their carbon footprint in Pierce County. Some key features include:
Visit Courtesy Auto for more information.
More information on their green business practices can be found here
The Chamber is proud to recognize forward-thinking businesses and organizations throughout Tacoma and Pierce County. Congratulations, Courtesy Auto!
The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is a member-based, business and economic-growth organization, dedicated to making the South Sound the best place to do business in Washington State.
According to the Pierce County Health Department, Pierce County currently 14 cases of COVID-19.
POSTPONED SIGNATURE EVENTS
Out of an abundance of caution, for the rest of March the Chamber is postponing events with more than 100 attendees.
EVENTS THE WEEK OF MARCH 8
Check our events page for the latest information on individual events.
CLICK HERE FOR CHAMBER EVENTS
PIERCE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT INSTRUCTIONS FOR BUSINESSES
The Pierce County Health Department has provided instructions on how to prepare for COVID-19 in your business.
In addition, as of March 10th, TPCHD is recommending additional precautions for the most vulnerable populations. Those at higher risk include:
The TPCHD “does not broadly recommend that organizations cancel public gatherings, keep people who are not sick home from work or close schools.”
CLICK HERE FOR MORE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TACOMA-PIERCE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
WASHINGTON COVID-19 CASES BY COUNTY
Washington State Health Department is a good source for updates on COVID-19.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
This month, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber recognized local employers who are committed to making health and wellness a priority in their workplaces through the WorkWell Awards. Through a selection committee, the nominees were placed by implemented changes to the following categories – healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco cessation.
WORKWELL GOLD AWARD: Received by an employer who has implemented changes to all three categories – healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco cessation.
In 2019 Pierce Transit held 3 physical activity challenges; 2 that were team based . One of the challenges was administered via an app to entice those who use their smartphones to make it easier to participate. Pierce Transit hosted local 5k’s for staff at community parks with trails. .
Pierce Transit updated their vendor agreement to ensure healthy food choices were provided and ensured sufficient refrigerators were available to staff as well as an onsite kitchen for meal prep/cooking.
Pierce Transit revamped their tobacco cessation program with the intent to increase the promotion of the program in 2020.
WORKWELL SILVER AWARD: Received by an employer who has implemented changes to two of the three categories – healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco cessation.
Greater Tacoma Community Foundation
They provide their employees the opportunity to take a health survey through their health insurance for a free Fitbit. Employees also participated in the South Sound American Heart Association Walk in September.
To combat unhealthy food options in the workplace The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation continues to offer healthy eating options to their staff, adding fresh fruit and a monthly healthy snack delivery from SnackNation.
The Doty Group
The Doty Group encourages physical activity in a way that fits the lifestyles of their employees. Employees often pair up to visit downtown gyms and studios as workout buddies. They have a wellness program that rewards health screenings and good habits with a $100 gift card.
Tax season is a particularly high-stress time of year for employees at the Doty Group. And it’s easy to develop poor snacking habits during the long working hours. To combat this, the Doty Group makes sure their offices are well stocked with with fresh vegetables and fruits. Although the midnight oil might be burning, the emphasis remains on staying healthy.
WORKWELL BRONZE AWARD: Received by an employer who has implemented changes to one of the three categories – healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco cessation.
Better Business Bureau Northwest & Pacific
The Better Business Bureau Northwest is known for its accreditation of businesses, but it can’t do the work of its mission without great employees The BBB revamped the healthy snacks they provide for their employees including adding more fresh produce for snacking and adding dispensers for trail mix, granola and healthy cereal.
The YWCA has a wellness committee with a budget to promote health and wellbeing for staff as well as all our program clients. They buy everyone on staff a copy of Trauma Stewardship since they work in domestic violence and the work is hard with many stories of violence that can cause vicarious trauma. The YWCA cares that their staff takes care of themselves.
ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION ADVOCATE AWARD: Received by an employer who provides encouragement and incentives to their employees for using active transportation.
Effective programs include Kaiser Permanente’s robust commute program implemented in 2019, which including discounted ORCA passes, carpool and van matching, subsidized vanpools, commute concierge service, monthly awards, and a $5/day cash incentive for employees who are taking alternative transportation to/from work.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
In 2019, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department began a smart commute incentive program to offer personal holidays based on their employees use of active transport to work, such as walking, biking, or by bus or carpool. Along with this, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s ORCA Choice program was created to make it easier to ride the bus, and designated parking spaces for carpools and vanpools. They happily report that these efforts, on top of effective marketing and carpool match making have removed at least 16 cars from their parking lot, along with all related miles, gas, and emissions that go with them.
HAPPY HEART AWARD: Received by an employer who demonstrate a broad and long-term commitment to employee health and wellbeing.
In 2019, CHI Franciscan continued to build a strong culture with the main goal to help employees establish and maintain good health habits. This included providing education on leading a healthier lifestyle when it comes to nutrition, supporting a tobacco-free campus, and a no-hiring policy for tobacco users.
CHI Franciscan heavily encourages and promotes the need to use alternative commute options for the health of their employees and the environment.
In 2019 CHI Franciscan conducted a campaign in all cafeterias, Rethink Your Drink, started a monthly wellness e-newsletter, onsite Health and Wellness fair, onsite Farmers Markets, and financial wellness online seminars.
No matter what a CHI Franciscan employee’s interest is, they provide information, programs, challenges, and incentives to keep employees motivated and engaged.
City of Tacoma
In 2019 the City of Tacoma continued their commitment of wellness training for their employees as part of their Continuous Development/Training classes. Employees can enjoy these classes during the workday without having to use PTO.
These classes vary from financial wellness/retirement, to all aspects of health and wellbeing.
The city’s Wellness Program encompasses total wellbeing by encouraging employees to earn points via a variety of healthy activities; getting an annual physical; participating in a certified weight management program; being active, eating a healthy diet; getting adequate sleep; attending a city sponsored wellness or webinar class; participating in a behavior change program; and completing a health risk assessment. By meeting a 1,000-point goal through RedBrick Health, they earn a significant discount towards their health insurance premium contribution.
Lastly, the City of Tacoma offers health fairs at the Tacoma Police Department, Municipal Building, and at Tacoma Public Utilities. Over 1,000 employees attend these events!
MultiCare Health System
In 2019, MultiCare Healthy@work supported the opening of five mini onsite gyms at various MultiCare clinics to support employees desire to exercise at work while on breaks or before and after shifts.
MultiCare offers healthy food options in the cafeterias, as well as, grab and go options.
The Healthy@work program offers points for employees who go through the tobacco-cessation program.
The MultiCare Smart Commuter program offers employees ORCA cards, bike racks and financial assistance for employees who choose to commute by taking the bus, vanpool or Sounder Commuter Rail.
In 2019, the Healthy@work program introduced the Well Workplace Scholarship Program. This program provided a limited number of scholarships to help MultiCare locations improve their environments. The funds distributed support employee health and well-being in the workplace. Winners receive equipment for relaxation rooms; exercise equipment for onsite gyms and even bike helmets for those employees working downtown.
TACOMA, Wash. – Chamber Luncheon, featuring the WorkWell Awards is a Chamber awards program that celebrates local employers who are committed to making health and wellness a priority in their workplaces. On Friday, February 14th, we recognized the following Tacoma-Pierce County businesses and organizations.
Congratulations to this year’s award recipients:
WORKWELL GOLD AWARD: Received by an employer who has implemented changes to all three categories – Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Tobacco Cessation.
WORKWELL SILVER AWARD: Received by an employer who has implemented changes to two of the three categories – Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Tobacco Cessation.
Greater Tacoma Community Foundation
The Doty Group
WORKWELL BRONZE AWARD: Received by an employer who has implemented changes to one of the three categories – Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Tobacco Cessation.
Better Business Bureau Northwest & Pacific
ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION ADVOCATE AWARD: Received by an employer who provides encouragement and incentives to their employees for using active transportation.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
HAPPY HEART AWARD: Received by an employer who demonstrate a broad and long-term commitment to employee health and wellbeing.
City of Tacoma
MultiCare Health System
Social Media & Content Coordinator
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
The Feb 11 special election is just days away, we urge you to vote YES on Prop 1, the bond measure to implement district-wide facility and security updates.
If passed, the $535 million bond measure will replace or renovate eight deteriorating schools, including 108-year-old Oakland High School, where ceilings have darkened with leaks, and plumbing and electrical issues are not uncommon. The building has no central air and no way to regulate temperature. The schools marked for replacement average 69 years in age.
Bonds require 60-percent voter approval to pass. Ballots are due by 8 PM on Feb 11 and may be returned in the postage-paid envelope or at a Pierce County Election Drop Box location. Every vote counts!
More information about Tacoma Schools Prop 1
After a fairly robust 2019, slower economic growth is anticipated for the Tacoma-Pierce County region for 2020.
That seems to be the overriding message in this year’s Pierce County Economic Index report, presented this week at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chambers’s Horizons Economic Forecast breakfast at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.
The report, pulled together by Neal Johnson of Sound Resource Economics, is compiled annually. Last year’s presentation emphasized uncertainty given the partial government shutdown at the time. This year’s report shows 2019 actually offered areas of surprising growth.
"Income growth in 2020 is forecast to continue, with a 3.2 percent increase in total real personal income and a 1.2 percent gain in real personal income per capita.”
It also notes “a likely decrease in the number of workers who are employed only part-time for economic reasons, which has continued to see declines at the state level.”
WHERE IS EVERYONE WORKING?
There’s no question job creation is happening here and elsewhere, much of it in King County.
Overall, just about half of employed residents from Pierce County work somewhere else, and lower housing costs here may continue reinforcing the live here, work somewhere else motif.
About 35 percent of Pierce County’s employed residents worked in King County in 2017, the latest year for data, according to the report.
“The big surprise in the 2018 labor data was the relatively weak growth in both the labor force (up 2.1 percent) and the number of employed Pierce County residents (up 2.3 percent) compared to the higher 2.7 percent growth in in-county jobs,” the report states. “This was reversed in 2019, with a 4.0 percent jump in the labor force and a 3.8 percent increase in the number of employed Pierce County residents, with in-county jobs increasing only 1.9 percent.”
With more people looking for work here, the county has struggled competing with its neighbor to the north in terms of job creation.
“Pierce County’s ratio of jobs to employed residents, which increased from 2010 to 2015, has since trended downwards,” the report states. “While the long-term trend for Pierce County has been a gradual increase in this ratio, indicating more local jobs available per Pierce County worker, the recent trend likely indicates local job creation is being swamped by the higher job growth outside of the county.”
Construction saw the most jobs added, 1,700. Leisure and hospitality along with professional and business services sectors each added 1,400 jobs, with growth slowing in trade, transportation and utilities, government, and education and health services, which combined added 1,000 jobs in 2019, according to the report.
“While in-county job growth is expected to continue, it will be at a slower rate, with approximately 6,225 jobs added in 2019 and another 5,300 forecast for 2020, bringing Pierce County nonfarm employment to 335,000 by the end of 2020,” the report states. “The number of employed Pierce County residents grew by an impressive 15,100, or 3.8 percent, in 2019. The forecast for 2020 is for 3.0 percent growth, with the total number of employed reaching 439,300 by the fourth quarter of 2020.”
“The higher employment gains relative to in-county job growth runs counter to the nearly equal jobs and employment growth seen in 2018.”
Other report highlights:
Concerns over tariffs and retaliatory tariffs kept recession fears lingering in 2019 but also kept 30-year mortgage rates low. Those looking for homes in Pierce County faced a drop in new listings for inventory compared with 2018, along with rising home prices here (though still much lower than in King County). Permits for new construction for homes and multifamily units in the county also were down a combined 3.7 percent through November.
An estimated population increase of more than 17,300 per year for 2019 and 2020 by the index “will continue to keep rental rates above an inflationary increase.”
THE PORT OF TACOMA
The port, operating as part of the Northwest Seaport Alliance with the Port of Seattle, definitely has taken its hits when it comes to international tariff battles.
According to the report: “While a threat of further tariffs has been withdrawn, and tariffs have been reduced, some of the impact has been built into the current trade flow and the impact is likely to linger through 2020. Consequently, 2020 container volumes are likely to be significantly lower than forecast.”
In regard to other competitors, “Based on traffic data through November 2019, the NWSA’s share of West Coast container traffic is projected to edge back up to 13.4 percent for the full year. Whether the Canadian ports of Prince Rupert and Vancouver resume capturing market share is a bit clouded due to the U.S. tariffs.”
Auto imports for 2019 are projected to increase by approximately 30.8 percent from 2018, and rise again (though not as much) in 2020.
2019 grain exports are estimated to drop 30.9 percent compared with 2018, “directly attributable to China’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. grains. The NWSA’s forecast calls for no change in 2020.”
Another export has seen dramatic change, as the report noted: “Log exports through the Port of Tacoma have ceased due to high tariffs. 2019 volumes are expected to be 15.2 million board feet, down 34.4 percent from 2018, with the NWSA forecasting no log exports in 2020.”
Original Source: https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article239324023.html
Written by: Debbie Cockrell, Tacoma News Tribune
Photo credit: South Sound Business - https://southsoundbiz.com/made-in-the-south-sound-making-it-rite/
Online portal streamlines access to preliminary regulatory requirements for manufacturers looking to site or expand in Sumner and unincorporated Pierce County
OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today launched Regulatory Roadmap 2.0, the latest addition to a series of localized online portals designed to help ease the process of getting preliminary regulatory requirements satisfied for expanding or siting a new facility. The new online portal guides manufacturing firms through the review process for siting feasibility in Sumner and unincorporated areas of Pierce County, with Tacoma soon to follow.
The new portal builds upon the success of the state Regulatory Roadmap program’s original manufacturing roadmaps, which guided businesses step-by-step through the regulatory process using downloadable spreadsheets. These legacy roadmaps were launched by the cities of Arlington, Lynnwood and Marysville.
Other Regulatory Roadmaps provide a range of online tools for restaurant owners in Seattle, Spokane, Spokane Valley and Tacoma, and for residential contractors in the city of Kennewick.
The newest online portal, which is accessible at http://RegulatoryRoadmap.wa.gov, allows manufacturers to walk through the review of regulatory requirements interactively, including searching by location and property use. Applicable zoning, high-level considerations and thresholds for different topics appear within the portal, streamlining the discovery phase of site selection.
“One of our core goals was to develop a Regulatory Roadmap that could be customized for specific jurisdictions yet be flexible enough for us to add additional locations and industries as it’s scaled,” said Commerce director Lisa Brown. “This creates a one-stop website that incorporates regulatory information for multiple agencies, allowing business owners to evaluate the feasibility of a particular location using a single online portal.”
Pierce County and Sumner officials played central roles in developing the new portal, serving as launch partners and providing guidance, expertise and resource support through development, testing and launch.
“With new, more powerful tools, Pierce County is better positioned to compete for the jobs and investments that are vital to the economic vitality of our communities,” said Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive. “Strong web tools create a critical pathway for companies seeking a great place to do business. Now, companies can find a suitable location with our site finder at InvestPierceCounty.com and then make smart decisions regarding the next steps with RegulatoryRoadmap.wa.gov.”
“Anything we can do to make a complicated process easier is wonderful,” said Sumner Mayor Bill Pugh. “Sumner houses the largest manufacturing industrial center in the county as well as a classic Main Street, with unique local shops. All kinds of businesses will benefit from learning quickly what we have to offer here in Sumner and if it fits their needs.”
“The Manufacturing Regulatory Roadmap will help site selectors, business owners, and decision makers evaluate industrial sites in Pierce County. This tool adds tremendous value by taking the guesswork out of whether a project is permitted,” said Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. “The EDB and our partners are excited to help launch this tool and provide another valuable resource for our business community.”
Regulatory Roadmaps were created to streamline the regulatory experience for businesses. Knowing that most businesses conduct site selection long before they actually engage regulatory agencies, Commerce partnered with local agencies to create Roadmaps that provide valuable information for planning and assessing a project before taking on the time and cost to complete permitting and regulatory processes with a jurisdiction.
Commerce is optimistic that more jurisdictions will see the value in these planning tools and consider additional Roadmaps in other communities and for other industries.
“Working together with our local government and industry partners, we are strengthening communities by making it easier to do business and create jobs in Washington,” Brown said.
Contact :Barbara Dunn - Washington State Department of Commerce
Communications Director, (360)725-2805 | Mobile/text: (360) 481-3320
Chamber Luncheon, featuring the WorkWell Awards is a Chamber awards program designed to recognize local employers who are committed to addressing workforce health issues.
The Chamber celebrates strides Pierce County businesses are taking to make health and wellness a priority in the workplace. Congratulations to this year’s nominees:
Award presentation will be on Friday, February 14th - 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at the Pacific Grill Events Center.
Jeff Roe, President & CEO, Premera Blue Cross
The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County have an ongoing leadership role in the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership - SSMCP whose purpose is to foster communication, understanding and mutual benefit of military, and civilian communities.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is our region’s largest employer and economic driver so having an understanding of its economic impact is critical.
We encourage you to participate in this short 3-minute survey. This survey seeks to identify the military-connected customer bases of local businesses and the effects of JBLM on the local economy. Your input and participation will help inform regional public policy and investments.
Link to the survey: https://uwt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8jFxbOPARn6iHB3
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7th, 2020
TACOMA, Wash. – Many businesses depend on a healthy local economy. In the South Sound, businesses also rely on a healthy and reliable global economy. Information on where each is headed is vital for making sound business decisions. At the 2020 Horizons Economic Forecast, we will have information on both, including specifics on the real estate environment, retail growth, and B2B opportunities, as well as our local port, manufacturing, and industry. You don’t want to miss the 2020 Horizons Economics Forecast Breakfast – Wednesday, January 15th, 7:00A to 9:00A at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center.
Local Economist and Researcher Dr. Neal Johnson of Sound Resource Economics, alongside Tom Layson, Host and Producer of KBTC’s Northwest Now, and a local panel which includes climate of our workforce, development projects update, and the future of housing will be presenting original commissioned research, the Pierce County Economic Index (PCEI) report, the panel will forecast the upcoming economic landscape of Pierce County and what to expect in 2020. Attendees of the event will later have all-exclusive access to a website version of the PCEI Report.
Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will be this year’s keynote speaker. Neil Bradley has spent two decades working directly with congressional committee chairpersons and other high-ranking policymakers to achieve solutions. At the Chamber, Bradley is responsible for aligning the organization’s overall policy priorities and advocacy efforts. He oversees several major policy divisions within the Chamber: Economic Policy; Employment Policy; Small Business Policy; and Cyber, Intelligence, and Security Policy. Health Policy, Transportation Infrastructure Policy, and Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Policy are also under his leadership.
Visit http://bit.ly/2020-Horizons for more information on the event, speakers, and sponsors.
President & CEO
Tacoma Pierce County Chamber
As 2019 is coming to an end, the Chamber has accomplishment many things - celebrated 135 years of making South Sound the best place to do business, standing up for industrial jobs, and bringing thousands of Tacomans to shop locally. See where these rank in the Chamber's top 10 of 2019!
1. Representing the Tacoma-Pierce County business community since 1884
The Chamber was organized by 100 Tacoma’s groundbreaking leaders in 1884 and since then, the Chamber transformed Tacoma-Pierce County in making it the best place to do business in Washington State, celebrating our 135th anniversary.
2. The Manufacturing Industrial Council lifts up businesses in the Port and Tideflats
With the evolution of Place for Jobs, to the Manufacturing Industrial Council in 2018, the Chamber continued its support of the industrial business community. In 2019, this effort focused on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility (1) and interim regulations (2). The MIC also highlighted the variety of businesses through a partnership with South Sound Business and Impact Washington with the Made in South Sound photo series (3).
Learn more about MIC South Sound
3. Thousands of jolly Tacomans shopped Downtown
The Chamber's Downtown Tacoma Partnership, partnered with over 100 businesses to shop locally and activated spaces with a snow globe photo booth, holiday pop-up shops, carol-oke contest, and much more! (4)
See photos from this year’s Holiday Haul Crawl
4. Grit City takes a piece of Steel City back home
The Chamber hosted an inaugural intercity leadership conference, Aspire (5), and brought elected officials and business leaders to Pittsburgh - by connecting, gaining an understanding of how to move our city forward, and establishing what is Tacoma’s story. (6)
Learn more about Aspire
5. Happy 40th anniversary, Janice!
The Chamber celebrated Janice on her 40th-year anniversary with the Chamber!
Read Q&A reflection from Janice
6. The new direction of the BIA, the Downtown Tacoma Partnership
The Chamber’s Downtown Tacoma Partnership conducted feedback, conversations with the Board, and worked with downtown stakeholders to rebrand the Business Improvement Area (BIA), which evolved to the Downtown Tacoma Partnership, a resurgence to market and promote downtown businesses and attract new businesses to grow here.
Read Downtown Tacoma Partnership announcement
7. The W.A.C.E overall communications awards go to…
The Chamber was recognized at the 2019 Western Association of Chamber Executives (WACE) annual conference as the best and brightest in the chamber industry with the overall communications award, website (1st place), and eNews (honorable mention). (7)
2019 WACE Communications Awards Page
8. Over $50,000 raised for Tacoma’s creative community
The Chamber's Spaceworks Tacoma hosted their first dinner gala CACHET (8), which the community learned about their impact, networked with business and art leaders, and supported one of Tacoma's most innovative programs combining the love of arts and entrepreneurship.
Read the impact of Spaceworks Tacoma
9. 22 emerging leaders graduate from Business Leadership Academy
The Chamber’s Business Leadership Academy took a different approach in 2019 by bringing the cohort to businesses that add to the vitality of our region (9). Our participants learned valuable skills to further develop their leadership skills now and into the future. (10)
Watch Business Leadership Academy cohort testimonials
10. Chamber offices remodeled to open-concept, opening to members
The Chamber offices needed a little updating, breaking down the cubicles to create a collaborative working environment with all departments. The office is available for Chamber members to use as well - office sponsorship opportunities are also available! (11)
Watch transformation video of Chamber offices
To start, what brought you to the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber in the first place?
I was working for the publishing company that was printing the 1979 Chamber Business Directory. My job was to call the members and verify the information for the members’ directory listing. When that 4 month project ended, the Chamber did not have a secretary in the Member Services Dept. And, since I knew the membership really well, I was asked to fill the position at the Chamber. At this time, we were located at 752 Broadway (across the street was an “x” rated movie theatre). We stayed in this location for about 1 ½ years then moved to 735 St. Helens Ave. Don Barber was the President and CEO at the time.
Your first day was December 17, 1979, what do you remember from that day?
I was very nervous as I had never worked in an office before! I learned how to answer the phone that had multiple lines, and also learning new things every day about how an office operates. Back then we did not have computers that would print out mailing labels for our newsletters that we mailed every month. We had this addressograph machine that you fed the hand typed (by typewriter) address cards that you would have to ink and then let dry. These then would be filed Alpha Order by Zip Code into a tray. When it was mailing day, all those cards were stacked into the machine and the address would appear on the newsletter after running them through.
Dues billing was done by hand. The invoice had 3 carbonless copies that were hand type and we also used a peg board billing system.
I was also taking over the “volunteer” position of a gentleman who was retiring. The volunteers were called to come and help with the mailings. Some of the stories that these folks talked about were amazing! The last time the Chamber had volunteers work on the newsletters was in 2015. That year, the calendar was being sent electronically and we did away with the actual newsletter being mailed. That ended my long lasting friendship with my “Retired Senior Volunteers.” Every so often, they do come back for a special mailing, which I’m glad that they are able to do.
And now, we are celebrating your 40th anniversary working for the Chamber. What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about that?
I can’t even imagine that it’s been 40 years!. The months and years just flowed together. I’ve made so many friendships over the years and still keep in touch with them. The Chamber is now in its 3rd location, and I have been through 3 remodels where we are now at 950 Pacific.
I’ve been through several membership department managers in the 80’ and 90’s and have seen many staff changes over the years. Tom Pierson is the 3rd President and CEO.
I feel that the Chamber is “like my family”, always has been and always will be!
Tacoma is a growing city and a lot has changed within the 40 years - tell us about some of those changes you’ve seen that stand out to you.
Back then in the late 70’s and early 80’s, it was scary to work in downtown. Drug deals were done openly, prostitutes were on street corners and gangs and shootings were happening.
Pacific Avenue was nothing but closed-up warehouses and empty buildings.
The Luzon Building, 15th & Pacific held “Circus Circus” and the famous Bimbo’s Italian Restaurant was just a few buildings away and had “THE BEST” spaghetti sauce!
At 11th & Pacific Ave. (the KeyBank Bldg.), People’s Department store was for shopping!
At 11th & Commerce, there was Woolworth’s (a national chain). They had a great, inexpensive lunch menu where you could eat at the counter or in a booth, and shop too!
Sears was on 13th & Commerce, and then moved to the Tacoma Mall.
The UWT, the retail shops from 17th to 20th on Pacific Ave, LeMay’s Car Museum, the Tacoma Light Link Rail, Tacoma Dome Parking Station, Starbucks, The Tacoma Dome, The Hotel Murano (the old Sheraton Hotel), The Museum of Glass, The Washington State History Museum, The Tacoma Art Museum, Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Emerald Queen Casino, The Downtown Tacoma Partnership (formerly the Business Improvement Area), First Night Tacoma-Pierce County, the 509 Freeway, SpaceWorks, Downtown: On The Go, The Convention Center, the condos on Dock Street etc. etc. etc. were not even thought of 40 years ago in 1979.
Clinkerdagger Restaurant and Top of The Ocean (an actual ship on the beach) were the places to go on Ruston Way for a great dinner overlooking the waterfront. The Old Spaghetti Factory on Jefferson Avenue was always crowded for lunch and or dinner! The Greyhound Bus Station was on Pacific Ave. next to Sauro’s Dry Cleaners nears 15th St. That space is now a parking lot. Old City Hall was spectacular with some shopping and restaurants in it, along with the Elks Temple and the Spanish Steps. We also had the “Aroma of Tacoma” smell from the St. Regis Paper Co. The Asarco Smelter near Point Defiance was demolished in 1981 and some of the chamber staff and myself went with a chamber member on his sailboat to watch the demolition. It was awesome and very cold that early Sunday morning.
By 1981 the Chamber moved to 735 St. Helens Ave. which also housed the Daffodil Festival, The Economic Development Board and the Visitors Information Center. That is the year we probably did get computers! The Chamber in the early 80’s had a float in the Daffodil Parade for several years. I was able to ride in 2 parades. The first one was a wooden 6-pack (with 6 people in the 6-pack) on top of horses and the other was for the Portland Rose Festival float.
You are the first person that everyone sees when they enter the Chamber’s office - what is your favorite part of your job?
I love being the “Gate Keeper!!!!!”
And Events: I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in ALL of our Signature Events every year since the events were created! Horizon’s Economic Forecast; Annual Meeting; Business Expo, Chamber Golf Classic, Spotlight on Business Awards, South County New Educator’s Breakfast, WorkWell Awards, Chamber Orientation and Public Officials Holiday Reception
I was also included in helping with the smaller recurring monthly events. You get to meet a lot of new people over the time.
I enjoyed working on the Membership Drives that we held at 950 Pacific Ave over the many years, and the 10 years on the Total Resource Campaigns raising money for new memberships and sponsorships.
I have always been in the same position in the Membership & Marketing Departments doing what I started doing 40 years ago and also being the “Customer Experience Specialist” (receptionist).
And finally, what is your most memorable moment at the Chamber?
My most memorable event would by the newly remodel open house last week, where many Board members and the Ambassador Club members and staff announced my 40th year Anniversary, with special guest appearances of my Sister Patty, my Daughter Samantha and my Grand Daughter River Lynne!
A gift basket of my favorite things was given to me and a poster was unveiled. I’ll remember this day forever!
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL MY CHAMBER FRIENDS OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS!
Tacoma, WA -- The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber announces the election of four members of the board of directors to the executive committee.
Leading the executive committee as Chair for the 2019-2020 fiscal year is Clemencia Castro-Woolery. Castro-Woolery is a shareholder and co-founder of Ledger Square Law, P.S. and has served on the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Directors for six years.
“These are exciting times for the South Sound business community as more and more businesses are discovering our unique and ever-growing economic opportunities that make the South Sound one of the best places to live and work,”
The board also elected AJ Gordon, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Growth and Strategy at SiteCrafting as Chair-Elect, Torre Hammer, partner at Moss Adams as Treasurer, and Jim Belford, Financial Representative at COUNTRY Financial as the new West Side Branch Chair.
“The importance of effective leadership can’t be overstated, and we are proud to have the top thought-leaders of the South Sound on our board of directors, representing a diverse array of businesses and organizations from our community,” said Tom Pierson, President & CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, commenting on this year’s board.
2019-2020 Executive Committee
2019-2020 Board of Directors
SEE ON WEBSITE
Only two weeks left until South Sound Summit, the premier event for business, non-profit, and community leaders to come together and share ideas and practices for the future of our region.
Thought-provoking content, inspiring speakers, and invaluable networking opportunities.
This is the one business conference you won't want to miss!
Register today at www.southsoundsummit.com
SPEAKERS & PANELISTS
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.