Congratulations to Campbell & Company on being named the Regional Chamber's Member of the Month for February 2021!
Due to COVID-19 Restrictions, the 2021 Bridging Partnerships Small Business Symposium has been canceled. Plans are already in place for the 2022 event, which is scheduled to take place April 13th and 14, 2022 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.
Businesses are encouraged to register and attend the virtual Alliance Northwest government contracting conference, to be held March 11, 2021. This event will be held on a professional virtual platform that allows for networking and quality training for small businesses. For information, go to https://alliancenorthwest.org or contact local PTAC Counselor, Jody O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Regional Chamber is distributing 100 cases of free hand sanitizer to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sanitizer was donated by UniFirst Corporation and Tri-Cities Battery.
Each case contains 24 8 oz. bottles of sanitizer. The cases will be given away "first-come, first-served" at the Chamber office (7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Ste. C, Kennewick, WA 99336) from Monday - Thursday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (lunch break between 12 - 1 pm). Limit of one case per business.
Regional Chamber Marketing & Communications Director Named to Western Association of Chamber Executives Emerging Leaders Council
The Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) announced the newest members of its Emerging Leaders Council during its annual conference on Wednesday, February 3. The Regional Chamber's Marketing & Communications Director, Austin Regimbal, was one of five new members appointed to the council.
The Emerging Leaders Council was formed to identify & recognize future leaders (all under 40) in W.A.C.E. and the chamber of commerce industry. Members of the council will be asked to provide program feedback and ideas for the good of W.A.C.E. and will serve as advisors to the association's Board and President.
"Austin joined the Tri-City Regional Chamber nearly four years ago and has made an indelible mark on our organization," said Lori Mattson, Regional Chamber President & CEO. "As the Marketing & Communications Director, Austin has been exceptional in his role and in taking our videos, newsletters, social media, and graphics to a new level. His enthusiasm and willingness to learn new skills has been especially valuable during 2020, as we have embarked on several new projects and initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic."
W.A.C.E. is an association of chamber of commerce executives and staff professionals with members in 19 Western states and Canada designed to promote and enhance the professional development of chamber of commerce executives.
With approximately 800 members, W.A.C.E. is the largest state or regional association of chamber of commerce executives in the United States.
Congratulations to Fidelitas Wines on being named the Regional Chamber's Member of the Month for January 2021!
We are deeply saddened to learn that Ed Allen, 2008 Board Chair, has passed.
Ed served on the board for many years, however, 2008 was an especially pivotal year as the Chamber formed a partnership with TRIDEC and Visit Tri-Cites and built the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center. Also, in 2008, Ed led the Chamber through a leadership change; hiring Lori Mattson as President/CEO.
Ed’s larger than life personality and business acumen made for an exceptional community leader. He will be greatly missed! We offer our condolences to Ed’s wife, Celeste, and family in their time of mourning.
We are pleased to announce that the Regional Chamber’s Awards and Recognition committee has chosen the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton & Franklin Counties as the December Member of the Month.
Since May, the committee has chosen to recognize members who have gone above and beyond to help our community during these trying times and the Boys & Girls Club is no exception.
The Boys & Girls Club has been an active member of the Regional Chamber for many years and a great asset to the Tri-Cities community and our youth. During the pandemic, the Boys & Girls Club has been providing childcare for essential workers, academic support and mentoring for vulnerable youth, and virtual programming to the community at large. The virtual programming features craft tutorials, cooking classes, art demonstrations, break-dancing how-to’s, and more. They have distributed meals, offered a drive-through Halloween celebration, and shared important information with the families they serve.
In October and November, the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce administered $600,000 in financial support to 64 businesses in crisis due to government mandated COVID-19 closures.
The Franklin County Rapid Response Business Grant was funded through the CARES Act. The Franklin County Board of Commissioners selected the Regional Chamber to help distribute the funds on October 20. The application was available in both English and Spanish on the Chamber’s website from October 20 through November 20, and publicized through television, radio, print, digital, and direct mail advertising.
The Chamber received 137 applications for the grant from Franklin County business owners. To select grant recipients, the Chamber developed application scoring criteria to best determine businesses in greatest need. An evaluation panel met every week for five weeks to review applications and select grant recipients. $120,000 was awarded by the evaluation panel each week. The evaluation panel consisted of Regional Chamber President & CEO, Lori Mattson, Chamber Board Chair, Chris Rivard, as well as representatives from the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Pasco Development Authority, Pasco Chamber of Commerce, Connell Chamber of Commerce, and Tippett Company.
Though this grant has closed, the Regional Chamber continues to help struggling businesses find funding through the weekly COVID-19 Business Resource Guide and the daily Rapid Response Call Line.
On Thursday, December 3, tThe Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse in support of a proposed $908 billion COVID-19 relief package.
“Many Tri-Citians are unemployed and businesses are shutting down or getting ready for layoffs,” the letter reads. “It is imperative that Congress respond immediately under these circumstances.”
The letter also urges the relief package to contain additional unemployment insurance that would provide extra benefits, additional funding of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an easier and faster PPP forgiveness process, and a liability provision to temporarily block pandemic-related lawsuits.
Read the letter in it's entirety below.
The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors approved the following statement regarding the Chamber's position on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI):
The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce values diversity and views it as a strength in our society. As a Champion for the business community, we embrace the evolving demographic changes in our region and believe that creating an inclusive environment is key to the growth and sustainability of the Tri-Cities. To that end, the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce promotes inclusiveness and equal opportunity for all in its leadership, staffing, policies, and practices, and encourages and supports all businesses to do likewise."