Friday, May 31, 2013

SBA Asks Small Businesses about Compliance Issues

Small business owners have an opportunity to discuss issues regarding Federal regulatory compliance and enforcement during this event:

Regulatory Fairness Hearing for Small Business
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Seattle, WA

Have you or a small business owner you know been unfairly fined or penalized by a Federal government agency, or is a Federal agency enforcement action imminent?

WHO:    SBA Acting National Ombudsman Yolanda V. Swift will meet with members of Region X and the Seattle-area small business community to hear issues and comments about Federal regulatory enforcement and compliance actions. Small business owners, representatives of trade associations, and community and business leaders are invited to participate, comment about compliance actions and enforcement of regulations by Federal agencies, and learn more about the impact of Federal regulations on small businesses.
WHAT:    To create a more cooperative regulatory environment among Federal agencies and small businesses, Congress has directed the SBA and the National Ombudsman to hold Regulatory Fairness hearings for small businesses.  The National Ombudsman will direct any specific issues addressed at these forums to the appropriate Federal agency for a higher-level review of fairness of the enforcement action.  In many instances, the National Ombudsman’s action has resulted in Federal agencies reducing or waiving penalties and/or compliance actions in cases of unfair or excessive regulatory enforcement.

WHERE:     The Rainier Club   
    820 – 4th Avenue
    Seattle, WA  98104-1653

WHEN:     Thursday, June 6, 2013
    8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Small business owners may testify during the hearing by registering in advance. Members of the small business community, trade organizations and media are encouraged to attend.  RSVPs should be made to José Méndez in the office of the National Ombudsman at (202) 205-2417 or by email to before the hearing.  Testimony may be submitted in writing in advance.  Anyone desiring confidentiality may request that his or her name not be released and may submit written testimony in lieu of a public appearance at the hearing.  There is no parking at The Rainier Club.  However, garage parking is available at nearby locations from the club.

For additional information about the Office of the National Ombudsman, visit the website at

All of the SBA’s programs and services are provided to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.  Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested in advance.  Contact:

Special Filing Period for Open Seats

The Pierce County Auditor has announced a 3-day filing period for open seats that have not received any candidate filings during the regular filing period.

A special 3-day candidate filing period will be held June 5-7, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. State law requires a reopening of the filing period when no one files for a position during the regular filing period.

Declarations of Candidacy will be accepted for the following offices:

  • City of Roy - Council Position 3
  • Town of South Prairie - Mayor and Council Position 5
  • Dieringer School District No. 343 - Director District 1 and 2
  • Eatonville School District No. 404 - Director District 2
  • Crystal Mountain Fire District No. 25 - Commissioner Positions 1, 2 and 3
  • Greenwater Fire District No. 26 - Commissioner Position 2
  • Ashford Water District - Commissioner Position 1
  • Burnett Water District - Commissioner Positions 2 and 3
  • Clear Lake Water District - Commissioner Position 2
  • Elbe Water District - Commissioner Positions 2 and 3
  • Elkhorn Water District - Commissioner Positions 1, 2 and 3
  • Kopachuck Ridge Estates Water District - Commissioner Positions 1, 2 and 3
  • McKenna Water District - Commissioner Position 2
  • Valley Water District - Commissioner Position 3
  • Crystal Mountain Sewer District - Commissioner Position 2
To file your declaration of candidacy go to and choose the “Candidates” link.

Online filing ends June 7 at 4:00 p.m. In-person filing ends June 7 at 4:30 p.m. at the Pierce County Election Center located at 2501 S. 35th St., Suite C, Tacoma.

After filing, candidates will be provided a link to submit a statement and photo for the General Election Local Voters’ Pamphlet. The statement and photo must be submitted online by 4:30 p.m. on June 10, 2013. Candidates filing for these offices will appear on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot.

The Pierce County Auditor's Office is responsible for elections, licensing services, a variety of public records and animal control services. More information about the office is available at

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

1Q2013 Tacoma Council Scorecard Issued

To better represent business interests with government, the Chamber is communicating to our members the voting records of elected and/or appointed officials on issues relevant to our mission.  Following is the fourth Scorecard of votes by the City of Tacoma Council.

The following scorecard presents actual votes – rather than leadership, testimony, rhetoric or behind-the-scenes work.  Votes selected for inclusion in the voting record are those issues that impact the success of new and existing businesses in our community.

The Chamber recognizes that votes are only one part of the picture of an engaged, business-friendly city, but they do illustrate consistencies or inconsistencies between Chamber membership and civic leaders. The Chamber encourages businesses to get involved with leaders and issues beyond this scorecard.

If you have any questions about the specific votes or seek a greater understanding of the issues, please contact Gary Brackett, or David Schroedel,

(Click on the image for a larger view) Click here for a copy to print

167 & 509 Groups Call for Bi-Partisan Transportation Leaders to Act Now

The members of the SR-167 Completion Coalition and the SR-509 Stakeholder Group are calling upon each member of the King and Pierce County delegations to jointly support the Transportation Revenue Package and fund the two projects that have over 40 years of planning, design work, and NEPA analysis behind them.  Further, the groups are calling upon Representative Laurie Jinkins, Representative Dave Upthegrove, Senator Bruce Dammeier, and Senator Joe Fain to assemble both delegations to meet this week and come to a bi-partisan agreement that they will not go home until the Transportation Revenue Package is passed.

The groups stated the time has come for Legislators to put aside their differences and act on the Transportation Revenue Package.  The groups emphasized the need for leadership on the part of the King and Pierce County Legislators.

The SR-509 and SR-167 groups said the collapse last night of the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Skagit River should serve as a wake-up call for action on a comprehensive transportation package now – and that such a package should become more comprehensive to address not only critical projects such as the “Gateways” completion but additional bridge repair, maintenance and preservation as well.

John Parrott, president of Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc expressed the views of the group when he stated, “With full sensitivity to those affected by the I-5 bridge collapse over the Skagit River, the need is clear, and our leadership in Olympia must take this opportunity to invest in our transportation infrastructure.  There simply is no more time for excuses, we must act now to protect our jobs, improve freight mobility, stay competitive and avoid what occurred on the Skagit River. We will accept nothing less this year.  Forty years is long enough to wait.”

Members of the coalitions support legislative action now to move Washington state forward and complete these highways, improve freight mobility and job growth, and build modern transportation infrastructure with critical redundancies for safety and reliability.

Click here to read a related News Tribune editorial "SR 167: A job-creating bridge waiting to be built."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

KWA Hiring 100 Caregivers in Pierce County May 22

KWA is partnering with Home Depot, Work Source, Work Force Central and American Medical Rental & Supply to present the KWA Hiring Fair 2013 on Wednesday, May 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Work Force Central, located at 3650 South Cedar Street, Tacoma.

More than 100 Caregiver positions are available and need to be filled immediately. “This is an awesome opportunity to provide much needed jobs in Pierce County,” said Pete Ansara, Executive Director of KWA. 

This event’s focus is not only finding quality caregivers, but to show interested parties what a day in the life of a caregiver looks like. There will be stations set up for attendees to participate in practice activities that would occur in a home-care situation. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions about this hands-on position to help determine if this job is a good fit. All medical equipment is provided by American Medical Rental & Supply.

KWA will have onsite hiring confirmation for qualified candidates. Attendees should bring: three references (at least one employer), job history with contact information, Washington State driver’s license and proof of car insurance (attendees name listed).

Pierce County is still experiencing a 10.4% unemployment rate with 41,080 out of work; KWA’s desire is to increase the number of employed residents in Pierce County. 

Click here to view the flyer.

Celebrate World Trade - Celebrate Jobs

Why World Trade?

Photo courtesy of 
Because it matters to the state’s economy and citizens.  It means jobs, both directly in trade and indirectly in agriculture, manufacturing, logistics and services.  Eventually all that income goes to retail, leisure and personal service businesses.  It affects everyone.

Chambers of commerce perform a varied role in international trade, typically as advocates for free and fair trade, supporters of infrastructure development and - their sole authority - authorization of Certificates of Origin (COO).  COOs are a vital link in the chain of export document affecting the transfer of goods between consumers along the logistics train.

Your chamber - the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber - has joined the technological evolution by providing its customers (exporters - manufacturers, agents, customs house brokers, etc.) access to electronic processing.  The program, called e-Certify, provides customers expeditious response and savings in transactions costs.  For more information to streamline your COO process, click here.

The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma together comprise one of the largest nodes of transshipment in the nation.  Trade goes both ways. We transship products from America’s heartland to foreign markets and we transship products from around the world to our major metropolises. We are ideally placed to connect other markets in the U.S. and the Pacific.  As populous as we think we are, we are still a smallish metropolitan area.  All that trade cannot be consumed here and will not come unless we are proficient in moving products to the markets where it is consumed. Such  efficiencies benefit consumers and producers everywhere.

Our nation recognizes the value of trade.  President Barack Obama has proclaimed May 25, 2013, as World Trade Week.

For more information about the value of international trade, please access the resources aggregated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

167 Rally: Build It Now

Groups from across the State of Washington came together yesterday in a strong show of support for the proposed Transportation Investment Package.  Democrats, Republicans and leaders from business, labor, ports and local government were all represented at the rally in Olympia

The event was emceed by the Mayor of Auburn, Pete Lewis, who introduced speakers including Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Denny Heck, State Senator Tracy Eide, State Representative Judy Clibborn, State Representative Hans Zeiger and State Representative Dave Upthegrove.  Local government officials also spoke in support of the package, as did representatives from business, labor and local ports.

Congressman Heck summarized the theme of the rally when he stated, “We can’t let politics get in the way of this transportation package. Our state needs a modern infrastructure to compete in the 21st-century global economy. Thousands of family-wage jobs are at stake. The time to act is now.”

In taking a look at the crowd on the steps, Scott Mason President ILWU Local 23 observed that, “Usually you would see just labor, or business.  What I see here are all factions of our statewide economic base turning out to support a single idea; invest in our transportation system now or our State will be quickly outcompeted both domestically and worldwide in the movement of goods around the globe.  There are no more excuses – pass the Transportation Revenue Package this session.”

In Washington State, four out of every ten jobs are trade dependent. It’s for this reason that so many disparate groups came together today to show that there is no time to waste on modernizing our infrastructure for 21st-century global trade. Our leaders in Olympia must act now and vote to approve the Transportation Revenue Package.

Pictured (l. to r.): from Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber - Cana Vinluan, Business Advocacy Intern, Tom Pierson, President & CEO and Gary Brackett, Business & Political Manager

Transportation Funding Rally May 20, 2013 Media Coverage

Thursday, May 16:
Business Examiner -

Seattle Times (Editorial) -

Sunday, May 19:
News Tribune -

Monday, May 20:
News Tribune -

Business Examiner -

Seattle Times -

KING 5 -


Q13 Fox -

Kitsap Sun

Wenatchee World Online -

Spokesman Review

Westport News -

Friday, May 17, 2013

Join the Rally to Complete 167!

Groups from across the State of Washington will come together in a bi-partisan show of support for the Transportation Revenue Package on Monday, May 20th at 10 a.m. on the Capitol steps in Olympia.

Interests span from Spokane to Everett, Republican to Democrats, and they all will share the same message that this proposed package is too critical not to do – and that action is needed now - this session.

Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Denny Heck, Senate and House Transportation Chairs, and other Legislative leaders will address the crowd to voice the belief that this State cannot wait another year or another day to pass this investment package.  Four out of every 10 jobs in Washington are trade-dependent, so it is vital that we meet our freight mobility needs, congestion relief goals, and support economic development so the citizens of this State have family-wage jobs available now and well into the future.

The various interests from across the state – representing business, labor, farm, environment and transit - are putting aside historical and traditional differences.  Participants will implore elected leaders to pass a bi-partisan Transportation Revenue Package during the Special Session and keep the state moving forward.

Where:       Steps of the State Capitol in Olympia

Parking and Shuttle Information:

When:         May 20, 2013
                    10 a.m.

Who:           YOU!  RSVP today

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Alaskans For Completion of SR 167

Alaska State Chamber of Commerce (ASCC), upon visiting businesses in the Port of Tacoma-Fife-Tacoma area witnessed the congestion delays forced on commercial traffic - logistical support that is the lifeline to their state.

Shortly after their visit, the ASCC shared their support for completion of SR-167 with our state's legislative leadership.  Now in special session, the state legislature is deciding how best to meet the economic engine and jobs creator that is our Port as well as the Port of Seattle's hopes for Hwy. 509.

Here's copies of their letters to Senator Tracy Eide, Senator Curits King and  Representative Judy Clibborn.

(Click on images for a larger view)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Candidate Filings Began Monday

Candidate filing began Monday, May 13 with the Pierce County Auditor’s Office.

Offices open for election this year include:
•    26th Legislative District Senator – Files with the Office of the Secretary of State
•    Port of Tacoma Commissioners
•    City and Town Council Members
•    School District Directors
•    Fire District Commissioners
•    Park and Recreation District Commissioners
•    Water District Commissioners
•    Sewer District Commissioners

Online candidate filing opened Monday, May 13 at 9 a.m. To file your declaration of candidacy go to and choose the “Become a Candidate” link. Besides the candidate filing link, this site includes a list of open offices, filing fees, additional candidate information and will include a list of candidate filings.

After a candidate files for office, he or she will receive an email instructing them how to submit their picture and voter pamphlet statement online. Email updates will also be sent to a candidate as other candidates file against them.

“This truly is the year for citizens interested in participating in local government to get involved. Many local races in city government, school districts and fire districts are up for election this year. Filing your candidacy is the first step.  We're here to help you get off on the right foot,” said Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor.

Filing week runs through Friday, May 17. Online filing closes at 4 p.m. In-person filing ends at 4:30 p.m. at the Pierce County Election Center, located at 2501 South 35th St. Suite C in Tacoma.

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is responsible for elections, licensing services, a variety of public records and animal control services.

167 Goes All the Way to Washington, D.C.

Momentum continues to build in support of completing State Route 167 as a Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce delegation visited policymakers in the other Washington last week.

Chamber members met with numerous officials, including several members of Congress, such as Congressmen Dave Reichert, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck, as well as Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. During the trip Chamber members and policymakers discussed the significance of completing SR 167 on a local, state, and national level.

For more on information on the trip or the project, visit the Port of Tacoma’s blog.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ethics Commission Position Open

The Pierce County Executive’s Office is accepting applications to fill an expired Ethics Commission position. The citizen commission is responsible for promoting and upholding ethical conduct in Pierce County government.

Applications must be registered to vote in the State of Washington, reside in Pierce County, and employed in or retired from the private sector. Ethics Commissioners also may not hold or campaign for elective office, be an officer of any political party or political committee, be a lobbyist, assist a lobbyist, or employ a lobbyist. (Pierce County Code 3.12.070 B, C, and E)

The members of the Ethics Commission are volunteers who meet the second Wednesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at the Wheelock Library, 3722 N. 26th St. in Tacoma. The Commission determines the merit of reported violations of the Code of Ethics for Pierce County employees.

Applications are available here. One may also request an application by emailing Office of the Pierce County Executive or by calling 253-798-7477.

The deadline for submitting completed applications is May 31, 2013