Saturday, February 28, 2009

Resources on Federal Budget

For information on:

Past Federal Spending -

Federal Stimulus Plan - "American Investment & Recovery Act 2009"

Possible Future Stimulus Actions -

President's FY 2010 Budget - Federal Budget 2010

Friday, February 27, 2009

“Bills of Interest” — Next Week in Olympia

The Association of Washington Business’s weekly summary of the status of bills that impact businesses covers a wide-range of topics and numerous varieties of industries that make up our state economy.

Review the report for the items that specifically apply to you and your business.
After clicking here, scroll down the webpage and click the yellow highlighted "Bills of Interest" to view the report. Be sure to mark this site as a "favorite," so you can continually check on the upcoming bills and the legislative process.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where's the Next Frederickson?

The Pierce County Economic Development Division (EDD) has initiated a proposal to restrict the allowed uses of select industrial lands. These restrictions apply specifically to the Port of Tacoma’s Frederickson industrial park and around Thun Field.

Industrial lands accommodate a wide variety of uses: i.e., manufacturing, transportation facilities, warehousing, etc.

According to several recent studies, the supply of industrial lands continues to diminish (reasonably) as development occurs. The last definitive regional study of industrial lands was done in 1990 by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), using a 1988 database. More recent, proprietary studies have been referred to as citing an increasingly finite horizon for the absorption of industrial lands, perhaps as little as five years at rates consumed until just recently. This break could give us the breathing room to determine what our economic development should be.

The Chamber has long asked “Where is the next Frederickson?” To answer that question, the Chamber championed an industrial lands survey by the PSRC as part of their Vision 2040 update, recently concluded. The regional industrial lands survey is programmed as a short-term project.

The Pierce County EDD has proposed land use development regulation changes...

  • separate transportation and logistics uses including cross-dock facilities from warehousing and distribution,
  • limit warehousing as a primary use for lots not exceeding 5A., and
  • specify that moving & storage is a commercial use and not warehousing,

...that would concern the Port of Tacoma.

The Port of Tacoma originally purchased the land for the Frederickson industrial park as a manufacturing development site, so that the waterfront areas would be reserved for the even more specialized water-dependent uses. Over the several decades of operation, the Port has located several manufacturers there, some of which have expanded beyond original footprints.

The recent location of the IKEA distribution center at Frederickson, and perhaps with the example of Thurston County’s restriction of distribution centers, has occasioned the Pierce County EDD to initiate this proposal. Their concern is that large distribution centers consume an increasingly scarce resource - large parcels of industrial lands - while creating low numbers of jobs compared with other industrial uses. Their objective is to maximize within Pierce County the employment opportunities and tax base from basic industry, making us less of a bedroom community.

The Port sees this land use restriction as a limitation of economic development options, passing up on opportunities that become available today in hopes of something that may or may not become available in the future. The Port also believes that in looking at job creation, one should look at more than just the footprint of a building, but also other jobs created in the County by the facility. For example, distribution centers owned and operated by beneficial cargo owners not only attracts cargo to the port, but also generates additional jobs directly related to handling that cargo.

It is being considered that the Chamber advance its argument that competing for a limited resource is not productive in the long-term economic development of the community. The Chamber should call upon Pierce County and the Port for a cooperative effort to redesignate land for industrial development. This might be done outside the Growth Management Area for the metro, an approach that has already proven difficult to secure approval by the Growth Management Board. Or, the County and Port could redesignate land within the GMA. This approach will surely cause its own controversies, but will be an action within our own authorities.

The Pierce County Planning Commission has approved the recommendation of the Pierce County EDD (6-1, "for"). The Pierce County Council must approve. Currently the issue is part of a larger body of changes. Readers are referred to pages 47, Exhibit B, Frederickson table, ppg. 125-127 for explanations and page 139, Exhibit B to Title 18A Zoning.

The issue has been assigned to the Pierce County Council’s Community Development Committee. That Committee will hear the issue March 2, 1:30 p.m. at their 10th floor hearing room, County-City Building. Because of expressed interest, this issue is likely – but not certainly – to be continued until a next meeting March 16. It will not subsequently be assigned for other committee consideration or action. The final action before the entire Pierce County Council has not yet been scheduled.

What's your perspective and recommendations to the Chamber as we advocate for the best economic future of our community?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sought: Sustainable Tacoma Commissioners

Citizens who want to oversee the implementation of Tacoma’s Climate Action Plan, as the City and community reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are encouraged to apply for membership on the new Sustainable Tacoma Commission.

The Tacoma City Council is looking for 11 commission members who provide a balanced representation of various stakeholders, including the environmental community, small business, labor, housing, industry and port, transportation, education, the building industry and residents.

Commission members will serve staggered three-year terms. For the initial appointees, three members will receive one-year appointments, four will be appointed for two-year terms, and four will be appointed for three-year terms.

The commission is intended to bring citizen accountability, transparency and vigilance to the long-term implementation of Tacoma’s Climate Action Plan, as developed by the Green Ribbon Climate Action Task Force. The 25-member task force was appointed by the city council to develop recommendations for actions the City and community should take to reduce greenhouse gases and help curb global warming.

The Commission will work with the city’s new Office of Sustainability, which will be responsible for implementing the strategies in the Climate Action Plan and measuring the city’s progress as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Both the Office and the Commission were created by a City Council resolution in October 2008.

Duties of the Sustainable Tacoma Commission include:
Oversee implementation of climate action plan strategies.
Coordinate with the Office of Sustainability to obtain greenhouse gas emissions reduction reports.
Obtain updates from the Office of Sustainability on climate action plan strategy implementation efforts and periodic result reports.
Provide annual progress reports to the public.
Communicate barriers to and incentives for implementation to the City Council.
Create a forum for regular public comment and community involvement.

Applications must be submitted to the Mayor’s Office by March 6, 2009. To apply, visit here or contact Cynthia Leingang at (253) 594-7848, Mayor's Office, Room 1200, Municipal Building, 747 Market St., Tacoma, WA 98402.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Putting PoP in Our Business and Our Economy

Putting PoP into the economy was a direct collaborative effort by our economic development organizations and agencies at this week's Creating Prosperity on Purpose.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber united with the City of Tacoma's Community and Economic Development Department, the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, the Pierce County Economic Development Division, the Port of Tacoma and the Tacoma Regional Convention+Visitor Bureau to present a special event designed to stimulate Pierce County's business growth and market share.

All these economic development entities shared information with attendees about specific services each provide to assist local businesses. The Chamber's spotlighted service focused on their online demographic service. The subscription service allows the Chamber to provide to its members consumer demographics custom tailored to their specific market geographies, and comparable to other locations.

In, Tacoma's Procurement Technical Assistance Center also exhibited their service, located at the William Factory Small Business Incubator, which seeks to maximize the number of capable companies participating in the government marketplace. Call Charles Aycock, 253-722-5808.

David Graybill, Pres./CEO of the Chamber, serving as event emcee, gave the charge for the event:

...this first time event is to help create Tacoma-Pierce County's own business "stimulus package" based on three important things:
  1. building a better awareness of the many tools and services available to employers to help grow and sustain their business;

  2. bringing a higher sensitivity to the potential of leveraging your networks and relationships to build market share and opportunity;

  3. enlisting you in the efforts to increase the level of business prosperity in Tacoma-Pierce County.

Attendees at this "first annual" Prosperity on Purpose heard entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jeff Shore with his shared insights on how to "give rather than take" in their networking so as to build better opportunities for others and themselves. Both the Tacoma Weekly and the Business Examiner covered his remarks and the overall event well.

Jeff Shore

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Compare Senate and House Stimulus Bills

The U.S. Senate has just passed their version of the stimulus bill. Look here for the differences between the Senate's and the House's bills. Ahead is forecast a difficult negotiation for a reconciliation of these two bills. Click on the image for a larger view.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chamber State Lobbyist Announced

The Chamber has retained Michael Transue for lobbying services during the current Washington State Legislative Session. Transue will monitor and help advocate for the Chamber’s top priorities (as recommended by the Public Affairs Council and adopted by the Board) in its TEACH Agenda.

Transue’s background includes over a decade of lobbying in Olympia for business and association groups as well as active involvement with AWB including service on their Board. He also provides budget, coordinating, fiscal and policy analysis to the Pierce County Council.

Michael is locally based, and a former Mayor of Ruston who received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Municipal League of Tacoma.

The Chamber’s TEACH Agenda is comprised of the issues in transportation, economic development and energy policy, accountability, community development and work force training and health care that are deemed most likely to stimulate and protect our area’s business environment and competitiveness.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

SBA Assistance for Snow Storm Economic Impact

The SBA offers disaster assistance to Washington small businesses economically impacted by the December snowstorms.

The Acting Administrator of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), today announced that the SBA is making low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to small businesses economically impacted by snowstorms in Washington that occurred from December 12, 2008 through January 5, 2009.

The declaration covers all counties in Washington and neighboring counties in Idaho and Oregon.
SBA’s disaster declaration immediately makes these low-interest disaster loans available to help small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations meet financial needs caused by the disaster.

Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center - West, said, This disaster declaration is a separate event from President Obama’s January 30 declaration for the severe winter storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that occurred from January 6 through January 16 in eight Washington counties.

SBA is offering working capital loans of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 4% with terms up to 30 years. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. These loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses affected by the snowstorms to help overcome the temporary financial impacts they are experiencing.

Folks can get help at the South Hill Mall Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). The DRC is located at Puyallup's South Hill Mall, inside the vacated Victoria's Secret storefront. The DRC will be open on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at noon until 7 p.m. and then Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m - 7 p.m., and on Sunday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. The center will remain open until further notice.

So, economic injury from the snow storms in December may be eligible for SBA low-interest loans. Get help also at register on-line or over the phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or go to the Disaster Recovery Center. The SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers will be open at the following locations on the days and times indicated.

FEMA Assistance for Flood Victims

Pierce County residents and businesses who were affected by the flooding in January can now apply to FEMA for damage assistance face-to-face at the Pierce County Disaster Recovery Center beginning tomorrow, Feb. 4, at noon.

The DRC is located at Puyallup's South Hill Mall, inside the vacated Victoria's Secret storefront. The DRC will be open on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at noon until 7 p.m. and then Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m - 7 p.m., and on Sunday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. The center will remain open until further notice.

Visitors to the DRC will find information on:
- FEMA and state disaster assistance programs
- SBA low-interest disaster loans and how to complete the loan application
- Smart building techniques to reduce damage from future floods
- Flood insurance
- Pierce County and other agency programs

Residents can also register on-line or over the phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

To expedite the application process either in-person or on-line, please have the following available:
1. Your Social Security number.
2. Current and pre-disaster address.
3. A telephone number where you can be contacted.
4. Insurance information.
5. Total household annual income.
6. A routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account).
7. A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Creating Prosperity on Purpose!

Learn How to maximize your relationships to grow your business and attract new customers!
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center

Join us for this one-of-a-kind motivational opportunity to kick-start your sales and marketing strategies for 2009!

Jeff Shore's coast-to-coast seminars have garnered ecstatic reviews from sales counselors and managers, describing them as "authentic," "entertaining," "inspiring," and "compelling." Jeff delivers quick-witted, hard-hitting seminars that electrify sales teams with passion, discipline, and relentless positivity. Jeff's fine-tuned sales techniques and 20 years of experience make him the "go-to" guru for the most difficult markets. He has authored three books including Outstanding Sales Meetings and Deal With It!: Mastering 21 Touch Sales Office Situations.

Price includes breakfast, motivational keynote address by our nationally-acclaimed speaker, networking opportunities and exhibits providing information designed to stimulate our region's business growth and market share.

Prosperity on Purpose Goals:
Inspiring business owners and managers to create new opportunities
Motivating teams to develop new skills
Building awareness of local services to help business grow
Enhancing relationship skills and motivation in networking
Providing answers to owners and business managers seeking available services at their fingertips
Attracting new business
Click here to download Registration Form
Click here to download Event Flyer

Place: Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center 1500 Broadway Tacoma 98402
Price: Prepaid registration, $35.00
Info: Rose Crist, 253.627.2175 or
Register Online

Sponsor: Edman Company
City of Tacoma- Community & Economic Development Department
Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County
Pierce County Economic Development Department
Port of Tacoma
Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber