Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tanker Bid Process Delayed

The Department of Defense announced today the deadline for responding to the refueling tanker bid will be extended an additional 60 days to July 9, 2010.

This change allows more time for the European consortium EADS to piece together a bid after its American partner dropped out of the process. EADS has not yet confirmed that they will compete for the contract. The contract represents about $40 billion worth of work for the winner bidder.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board recently added its support to the Boeing bid for this contract.

Health Care Reform Bill Timeline

With the passing of the health care reform bill into law recently, businesses might need a handy reference to guide them on the timing of the upcoming various changes.

The Chamber’s health care partner, Brown and Brown of Washington, developed a Health Care Reform Timeline that is easy to navigate and read.

Link here to download the report.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Small Business Announcements

Check your own entry for accuracy at the State's New Consumer Website:
The Department of Revenue has launched a Website to allow consumers to check the conduct of companies they may wish to do business with. allows consumers to check whether a business is legally registered and licensed and pays its taxes. Visitors also can verify the legitimacy of charity fundraisers and make reports to the state for further investigation. The site is a collaboration primarily between the Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Industries.

Subscribe to e-News for Small Businesses:
If you would like to receive e-News for Small Businesses, please visit this link to subscribe.

Tax Season 2010:
News releases, fact sheets, tax tips, YouTube videos and podcasts that provide helpful information for filing your tax return.

Free Workshop: Customer Loyalty Strategies that Work

The City of Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department will be hosting its first Economic Gardening Business Workshop in 2010: Customer Loyalty Strategies that Work.

This workshop is FREE to any business that is located in Tacoma. (view flyer)

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Choose a morning or evening session
8:00am – 10:00am or 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Location: Bates Technical College – South Campus
2201 S. 78th Street, Tacoma, WA 98409, Bldg E-Rm 102

Refreshments and light snacks will be served.

To Register Online:
Morning Session (8:00-10:00)
Evening Session (5:30-7:30)

To Register by phone or for questions, please contact Christine Clifford, or 253.573.2435.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Shorelines Roundtable With Councilmember Fey

Councilmember Jake Fey, who represents District 2 in Tacoma, met with members of the Shorelines Task Force in a roundtable discussion about the Shorelines Update process now underway.

This was Councilmember Fey's first meeting with the Shorelines Task Force and his first information on the issue since a notice some months ago that the City was developing the update.

Task Force members attending spoke of their concerns about proposed public access without consideration for public safety and security mandates, restrictions on expansion of facilities in industrial areas, restrictions on operational facilities in industrial areas where similar recreational infrastructure proposes to be allowed and the basic intent changes to make industry in industrial areas subject to impacts on subsequent non-industrial developments. 

Councilmember Fey asked if the group would accept an invitation for a roundtable at the Council's Environment and Public Works Committee which he chairs.  Task Force members were enthusiastic in their affirmation.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shorelines On the Road

Last night marked the first on-the-road outreach by the Chamber's Shorelines Task Force with a panel presentation at the Propeller Club, Port of Tacoma Chapter.

Panelists (Gary Coy/Sperry Ocean, Dave McEntee/Simpson, Jason Jordan/Port of Tacoma, Scott Mason/ILWU and Mike Weinman/Weinman Consulting-Chamber Government Affairs) spoke to their issues and concerns (business continuity and job opportunity). 

Propeller Club members were encouraged to participate in the process.  The Port of Tacoma's comments, available here, were requested by Propeller Club members.  The Port's comments serve as an excellent general guide for specific issues and remedies in the draft Shorelines Update.  Likewise, the Chamber Business & Trade Manager Gary Brackett, serving as panel moderator, shared with the Propeller Club, a set of principles suggested to guide advocacy efforts.  That list of principles is available here. These principles serve as the "bones" for the "meat" of comments that should relate to the specific needs and concerns of individuals and businesses.

For those wishing to participate in the public process of developing a Shorelines Update, comments may be made or copied to Tacoma's Shorelines Update lead staff Stephen Atkinson or 747 Market St., Ste. 1036, Tacoma 98402-5531.

The Tacoma Planning Commission (first for review and approval) and the Tacoma City Council (final for review and approval) (contact info) are scheduled to make their decisions about August and October, respectively.  The public involvement process is now open and accepting public comments.  Your input will be part of the decision process.

For related blog articles, use the label:  "Shoreline" as immediately below.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tahoma Business Environmental Award Nominations Open

Earth Day is near and appropriately, the Chamber recognizes that there are many outstanding businesses in our community working hard to protect the environment and preserve our quality of life. Do you know of a business that deserves recognition for surface water protection or restoration achievements? How about a deserving business that has achieved exemplary results in reducing waste dumped into area streams? Who has the best air quality results?

The Chamber is accepting nominations of businesses that deserve recognition for their exemplary environmental protection or restoration efforts. The selected nominee will receive a business environmental award to be presented by Taylor-Thomason Insurance at a special Earth Day themed, Good Afternoon! Tacoma Business Breakfast.

Nominations will be accepted no later than April 5. Please submit your nomination(s) by downloading the form or online here.

For more information about nomination criteria, contact Gary Brackett or to participate in the Chamber’s Earth Day event  on April 27, contact Judy Singley or 253-627-2175.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dollars Given to Train Your Workforce

Earlier in this blog, we talked about the availability of Dollars To Train Your Workforce, (to the tune of $450,000 to be exact), from Workforce Central. This investment was competitively obtained by WorkForce Central to benefit our local businesses in a time when employee training funds are tight.

Today Workforce Central announced the awardees of the employee training fund in their press release. A total of 1,321 employees are to be trained as a result of the awards. A goodly amount of Chamber members are on the list. So, for those who took advantage of this opportunity, congratulations!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sin No More

While the House seeks to tax sin, the Senate approach is to correct the sins of its businesses by making sure they pay taxes.

SB 6873, titled AN ACT Relating to increasing state revenues to preserve funding for essential public services by preventing abusive tax avoidance transactions, narrowing or eliminating certain tax preferences, and providing equitable tax treatment, has been introduced in the Senate. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers. (bolding added)

Sin Taxes Revenue Estimated

The Washington Office of Financial Management has issued a forecast of the financial hit for various sin taxes as proposed during this legislative session.  HB 3204, titled AN ACT Relating to modifying Washington state excise tax laws, was introduced in the House of Representatives. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

The excise tax imposed in the bill's Section 902 is different from the existing excise tax, which is a fixed dollar amount by type of aircraft. The proposed excise tax will be based on fair market value of each aircraft. There is no information on the fair market value of aircraft currently registered in Washington (Washington Department of Transportation registration data does not contain fair market value of aircraft).

Section 903 stipulates that the Department of Revenue (DOR) must develop a depreciation schedule for use in determining fair market value. DOR will develop a depreciation schedule if the legislation passes. Thus, until the fair market value of each aircraft is established and a depreciation schedule is established by DOR to estimate future values, how much excise tax to impose cannot be determine.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Washington Union Membership - 2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a press release Tuesday on union membership in Washington. Statistical highlights include:
  • In 2009, the number of workers belonging to a union was 574,000 in Washington state.
  • Union members accounted for 20.2 percent of wage and salary workers in the State for 2009, compared to 19.8 percent from last year
  • Nationally, the number of workers belonging to a union fell by 771,000 to 15,327,000 in 2009.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


You are invited to attend this Propeller Club meeting which will focus on the business aspects of Tacoma's Shoreline Update process currently underway.  Members of the Chamber and Propeller Club, whose focus is the port-industrial area and the maritime industry will be especially interested. 

Panel Discussion with local business and representatives. Flyer link.

All Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber members are invited to attend

The City of Tacoma is updating their Shoreline plan for adoption in early 2011. For the City of Tacoma this is an extensive overhaul of their Shoreline Management Program.

New regulations could have significant impacts on where businesses can locate, how they can do their business and if they can expand.

If you own or work for a company or agency in the maritime industry, you will not want to miss this meeting. You will want to understand the changes, the process, and what this means to you.

Tuesday, March 16
5:30 p.m. Social Hour
6:30 p.m. Dinner and Program

La Quinta Inns & Suites
1425 E. 27th St., Tacoma 98421

Price: $25
RSVPs: 253-627-0671