Tuesday, January 31, 2012
While the Chamber appreciates the City's desire to engage the community on development issues, the new process created seems to be specifically designed to stymie potential projects regardless of their consistency with the underlying regulations. The process creates more hoops for retail developments to jump through than virtually any other type of development in Tacoma.
As long as Tacoma continues to target certain business or business sectors with additional taxes, regulations, or moratoriums, the City will have a hard time convincing the community that it is truly "open for business."
Friday, January 27, 2012
Toward the end of the year the SWAC will help create the framework for future programs when work begins on updating the comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan. Membership would begin in April, 2012.
To learn more about the SWAC and how to apply for membership, visit their website (click here) or call (253) 798-2179.
Monday, January 23, 2012
"On the Way to Being Business Basic Savvy": Sound Business- A Practical Business Development Series Testimonial
The class was focused on creating a thorough business plan that would lead to a productive, goal-oriented structure for any business. The class began in lecture form, with room for discussion and print-offs of the information provided during the class for future reference and note taking, both of which were effective tactics for a comprehensive learning experience.
Nick and Cheri were able to connect the importance of a strong business plan to each learner’s individual situation. One attendee, Delonna Kaiser, a Human Resource staffing professional establishing both a LLC and Non-Profit titled "Threads", commended Malden when she was asked what she thought of the program. “He provided a pragmatic/dimensional guide to planning an achievable business while ensuring his guidance was focused on the specific need(s) of the participant.” Ms. Kaiser also commented that, “The tone of the entire program was collaborative, well planned and the event was executed with concern for all attendees’ well being.”
I personally found Sound Business Series to be a great experience and would strongly recommend the program to anyone looking to build their business knowledge and strategies. You can find more information about upcoming classes here.
By Livey Beha, Chamber Intern
Friday, January 20, 2012
The Pierce County Emergency Operations Center today will begin collecting damage information from homeowners and business owners affected by this week's winter storm.Callers should have the following information available:
Residents and business owners in Pierce County that suffered damage should call the Pierce County Damage Assessment Center at (866) 798-6363 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Name and address of affected property
• Contact information (cell phone, relatives phone number, "new" mailing address)
• Type of insurance
• A description of damage, even if uninsured
• A personal estimate of uninsured losses
• Estimates of the fair market value of the damaged home or business (it is not necessary at this point for property owners to have a contractor's estimate)
The findings from this assessment will be used by the Governor to request a possible disaster declaration and federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The process could take up to a couple of weeks or more. FEMA disaster assistance, if and when it becomes available, only covers uninsured losses.
Visit Pierce County's blog for up to date emergency information.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
If you are unable to access the link above, please go to: http://www.facebook.com/ and search for "U.S. Chamber of Commerce Northwest Regional Office." This will be a primary source for information from both Washington DC and our region on what is going on at the U.S. Chamber. Thank you for your help and let me know if there is information you would like added in the future!
The resident executive: Chris Strow, Executive Director
Saturday, January 14, 2012
The Chamber, represented by Tom Pierson, Pres./CEO and Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH, Director, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department recently wrote, and was published in The News Tribune, a guest editorial explaining the necessity of local initiative to solve our air quality challenges ourselves.
Nonattainment can hinder economic development and tourism in the region. In the nonattainment area, there are stricter requirements on large industries seeking to expand and on new large businesses interested in moving to the area compared to the requirements in an attainment area. New or expanded large industries would be required to better control fine particle pollution than in an attainment area and any increase in emissions would need to be offset by a reduction within the nonattainment area. These factors can prompt businesses to locate their operations elsewhere. Tourism also can be affected by the perception that the area has “dirty” air.
Nonattainment can also have an effect on our transportation system. Federal transportation funds can be at risk if we don't comply with the air quality requirements. The region also has to show the pollution from transportation cannot exceed the amount allotted to it in the attainment plan.
One year from the date of a non-attainment designation, federally funded highway and transit projects will not be allowed to proceed unless the state demonstrates there will be no increase in emissions associated with the projects.
Non-attainment areas are subjected to the federal Clean Air Act's reformulated gasoline program, which significantly raises the price of motor vehicle fuels for consumers.
Enhanced Regulatory Oversight
Once an area is designated as being in nonattainment, EPA has the authority to intervene and revise permitting decisions throughout the state.
Restrictive Permitting Requirements
New and upgraded facilities in, or near, non-attainment areas are required to install the most effective emissions reduction controls without consideration of cost. Operators of existing facilities may also be required to install more restrictive control technologies than are otherwise required for similar units in areas that are in attainment.
Mandatory Emissions Offsetting
Prior to permitting the construction of new facilities, a state must offset any emissions increases by achieving reductions at existing facilities.
Loss of Economic Development Opportunities
The added regulatory and paperwork burdens, as well as expenses associated with constructing new facilities, or expanding existing ones, limit the amount of economic investment in non-attainment communities.
*Cost of ‘Transportation Conformity' – Nonattainment communities are required to conduct extensive analysis and coordinate transportation and air quality issues. Computer modeling is used to ensure transportation projects do not affect the area’s ability to regain and/or maintain attainment. Transportation conformity requirements are time consuming, costly and include using a mobile emissions ‘budget’ from which to determine the impact transportation projects, once implemented, would have on regional air quality. In nonattainment areas, transportation projects can proceed only if it can be demonstrated that they will not result in increased emissions. Air quality conformity analysis is generally the responsibility of the community’s transportation planning organization.
- an overview of the Task Force’s final recommendations
- the executive summary of the Task Force’s final report
- the full Task Force report (82 pages)
- an overview of the input received from the public about the draft strategies
- answers to frequently asked questions
- the full compilation of public input (101 pages)
Friday, January 13, 2012
You are encouraged to share with us your responses to a survey about the Horizons economic forecast event and your company's or personal expectations about the 2012 economic future at this site.
On Click! TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 in the Tacoma City limits and in Pierce County, with the exception of University Place, where we are found on Channel 21. On Comcast, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 in the Tacoma City limits and on Channel 21 in Pierce County. TV Tacoma is NOT carried on the Comcast system in University Place.
TV Tacoma is also streamed on the Internet a www.tvtacoma.com
Monday, January 23 – 4am, 2pm & 8pm
Tuesday, January 24 – 4am & 11pm
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The SOTA internship program is a chance for high school students to gain a new perspective of occupations they may be interested in pursuing following the completion of their educational careers. I see the internship partnership between the Chamber and SOTA as an opportunity for me as a student to gain knowledge of and contribute to the Chamber and the South Puget Sound community in a unique and positive approach.
If your business is interested in mentoring and working with a Tacoma School of the Arts intern as apart of “The Next Move” program, you can find more information here.
Information on job and internship opportunities at the Tacoma-Pierce Chamber can be found here.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
What is in store for the upcoming 2012 Session of the Washington State Legislature can be summed up in just two words – budget deficit.
How many cuts and where? Are new taxes (and/or a new tax package heading to the voters) on the table to help solve the problem? What are the State’s top budgetary priorities? These will be the questions on most everyone’s mind.
The 2011-2013 biennial budget that was adopted earlier this year by the Legislature totaled $32.2 billion and took effect July 1, 2011. Since then however, revenue projections fell to $30.5 billion in mid-September. And an additional $122 million revenue shortfall was added by the most recent forecast, bringing the total revenue projection to $30.4 billion.
Governor Gregoire put forth her first recommended cuts in October. The Governor released her revised proposed budget based upon the November revenue forecast and the caseload changes. They can be found at this link. She worked with agency directors to identify expenditure reductions in addition to the 5% and 10% reduction options submitted by agencies last month.
As the Special Session ended in mid-December , legislators cut an estimated $480 Million from the $2 Billion starting point. A summary of these budget changes can be found at this link.
Those who participate in the legislative process will be earnestly looking toward the 60-day 2012 Regular Session, which begins on January 9th to make up the additional deficit of $1.5 Billion. The Special Session in December provided and the Regular Session, which runs from January 9 through March 8, 2012, will provide the Legislature with its opportunity to further respond to the Governor’s proposed budget changes. Legislators will address the estimated $1.5 billion deficit from their points of view and with their priorities in mind.
By Guest Author, Michael Transue, Attorney at Law, Governmental Affairs and Lobbying Services