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Pybus Market is pleased to announce that Royal Sports LLC will run a “pop-up” Seahawks Fan shop for the next 3 weeks at Pybus Public Market.

Royal Sports LLC is an Ellensburg company run by Randy Crimp (Washington State University grad) and Jan Ramirez (Central Washington University grad).  They are a sports apparel store, specializing in headwear for PNW teams.  Given the timing of the year, most of their apparel will be Seattle Seahawk related.

Crimp and Ramirez operate a full “brick and mortar” store in Ellensburg.  Last May, they won a State-wide Entrepreneur of the Year award at Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards Conference.  Read more 

Royal Sports will be open daily, 11:00 – 6:00pm through February 7th.

“Last year, I visited Pybus Market and fell in love with it and ever since, we’ve been looking for the opportunity to open a business here, said co-owner Randy Crimp. “The Seahawks fateful win over Green Bay made that dream possible,” added Crimp.

New events and growth in existing ones led to a record year for sports tourism spending in the Wenatchee Valley in 2014. Tourism economic impact for tournaments and events totaled $7,575,240, up 3.0% over 2013 according to Wenatchee Valley Sports estimates. “The key once again was the variety of opportunities here for event organizers” noted Matt Kearny, sports tourism coordinator for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce. “Of the top ten events of the year, nine represented different sports, which is a key component moving forward when showcasing our area for potential future events.” The top 10 included running, cycling, swimming, soccer and figure skating, combined with others that have a long history here, such as youth baseball, softball, skiing and the Special Olympics Washington Winter Games. Overall, nearly 50,000 visiting participants, their accompaniment and out of area fans attended 163 events. This resulted in 26,353 hotel room nights, an increase of 4.3% over 2013. Both the economic impact and room count numbers are the highest in the Wenatchee Valley since tracking began in 2007. These numbers are for tournaments and events only, and also do not track spending by locals.

Wenatchee has been named the 5th most fitness-friendly city in America (out of 369!) by smartasset.com, a financial website that is often referred to for people looking at relocating. Here is the article and list.

Individuals and organizations seeking regional support for economic development projects are encouraged to send a Letter of Inquiry to the North Central Washington Economic Development District before February 28, 2015, when the open solicitation closes. The EDD can connect local economic development projects in North Central Washington to a wider and broader range of grants, partnerships, business development assets and helping hands than they might ordinarily locate on their own. Details of what the Letter should include are at www.ncwedd.com or at (509) 421-0475 or admin@ncwedd.com.
“It’s simple and straightforward,” says Karen Rutherford, NCW EDD Chairman, “and starts with receipt of your letter. After the 2015 call closes, every letter will be reviewed to consider the regional aspects and benefits of your project and what we can do to help it succeed. Sometimes, the EDD’s regional reach and support for public/private partnership can be extremely helpful. We choose the projects we can support and ask those sponsors to submit more detailed proposals. The proposals are rated for regional significance and presented to the full board at a later date.”
The EDD supports projects as diverse as Plug-In NCW, the public/private partnership linking electric car charging stations to the world’s first electric highway (Cascade Loop) and feasibility studies for recreational development that will be shared by neighboring communities to help guide their decisions. See www.ncwedd.com/priority-projects for these and other examples.
Economic Development Districts were created and funded by the federal government to provide a forum and focus on regional economic development. Thirty board members represent municipalities, public agencies and private enterprises throughout Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties and the Colville Confederated Tribes.
“A rank of high regional significance is a big plus for private equity and public funding sources,” says Chris Branch, incoming EDD Chairman. “The district’s ranking lifts regional project visibility at state and federal levels. All projects located within North Central Washington are eligible and encouraged to apply.
NCWEDD promotes the North Central Washington economy with collaboration and communication at the regional level. The special purpose district was created by the EDA as a conduit for economic development information as well as priority state and federal Economic Development Agency funding.
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For more information, please contact: Amy Massey, NCW EDD 509-421-0475 admin@ncwedd.com

NCWEDD  PO Box 4107, Wenatchee, WA  98807

WENATCHEE, WA.  Have you ever had an interest in volunteering to sit on a City Advisory Board but were unsure about the requirements or time commitment?  If you are looking for a way to learn more about the operation of the city, have a voice in city policies and projects, you may be interested in serving!  The City is currently creating a list of volunteers for city advisory boards and looking for interested citizens.  Information meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, January 14th at 5p.m. and Friday, January 16th at Noon at Wenatchee City Hall, 129 S. Chelan.

City Advisory Boards include:  Arts Commission, Cemetery Advisory Board, Civil Service, Code Enforcement Board, Diversity Advisory Council, Historic Preservation Board, Lodging Tax Advisory Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Planning Commission and Tourism Promotion Area Board.

This meeting is also available for any community member who sits on an advisory board for a public agency that requires adherence the Open Public Records Act.  A short training video will follow each informational presentation.

For more information, contact the City at (509)888-3604.

Anthony Brown will present a music documentary of Paul Robeson’s life in his words and songs for the WVC 75th anniversary winter-quarter lecture series, “I Go On Singing.” The performance takes place Thursday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. in The Grove Recital Hall, Music and Art Center. During the reception at 5 p.m., attendees are invited to enjoy appetizers, tour the MAC Gallery exhibit, and enjoy new artwork throughout the building from the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) Art in Public Places Program.

The lecture series is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and registration is required. Go to EventBrite,  to reserve a seat, or call anniversary coordinator Jennifer Korfiatis at 509.682.6907 to reserve space for groups of six or more.

In this 90-minute presentation, which includes piano accompaniment, narration and archival video, Brown describes Robeson’s role in American history and as a champion for peace and human rights during the 20th century. The presentation uses many first-hand accounts from Robeson’s autobiography, Here I Stand. Pete Seeger, a musical colleague of Robeson’s, discusses their friendship, music and turbulent times that they lived in during the video portion of the presentation.

Robeson was born in 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey. At 17, he earned a scholarship to Rutgers University, where he received honors in debate and oratory skills, excelled in varsity sports and became class valedictorian. He went on to Columbia University’s Law School, where he married fellow student and journalist Eslanda Goode, and then worked briefly in law before moving on to a career in acting. Robeson moved his family to Europe, where he established a stage, singing and film career.

Robeson spoke out frequently against racial injustice in a variety of ways, which included anti-Nazi demonstrations and performances for Allied forces during World War II. He continued his stage work in the United States, but during the Cold War era he was labeled a communist and barred from renewing his passport and from performing in the states. He published his autobiography, Here I Stand, in 1958 and was again permitted to travel internationally. Robeson’s family returned to the U.S. in 1963. He died from a stroke in 1976.

Brown is an American baritone singer who promotes peace and reconciliation through his music. His work has taken him to Africa, South America, Europe and Asia. He is also the director of the Peacing It Together Foundation.

“As I now travel the world singing and speaking out for peace and justice, I am reminded that Paul Robeson paved the way for me,” Brown states on his website, I Go On Singing.

This event is part of WVC’s 75th anniversary celebration. For more anniversary events and information, visit www.wvc.edu/75.

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Wenatchee Valley College enriches North Central Washington by serving educational and cultural needs of communities and residents throughout the service area. The college provides high-quality transfer, liberal arts, professional/technical, basic skills and continuing education for students of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Visit our website, www.wvc.edu.

Each new year, we typically take time to reflect on the previous twelve months, contemplating what we can do in the new year to improve ourselves.  Some of us even make new year’s resolutions, making a promise to ourselves to improve our life in some way.

For 2015, I’m taking one of the most common resolutions: getting in shape.  To that end, I’ve already joined a gym and made a one year commitment.  Frankly, exercising is not the high point of my day, but it needs to be done so that I can improve my health.  It’s been tough to get started, but even after the first week, I’m already feeling improvement.  I know that to reach my goal of personal fitness, I’ll need to stick with it and be consistent with my exercise program.  But I also know it will get easier as I get used to the routine.  I plan to “mix it up,” alternating between elliptical workouts, group classes and weightlifting so that I don’t get bored.  I have no aspirations to be a “gym rat,” but I believe that I can make the commitment to work out for 30-60 minutes 3-4 times a week and do it consistently.

I propose that you make a similar New Years resolution for your business’ health by implementing a social media plan and committing to it for 2015.

If you’re like many business people, the thought of writing blogs and posting updates about your business to social media is outside your comfort zone.  It’s also difficult to imagine doing this 3-4 times a week.  However, just like my quest for fitness, you can do this if you break it down into manageable steps, mix it up to keep it interesting and have realistic expectations for your time.

First, schedule time on your calendar to work on social media.  Consider them appointments that you have to keep.  For most businesses, 3-4 times a week for 1/2 hour should be plenty.

Next, mix it up, but on a schedule. For example, one day you can take a picture of something in or related to your business and describe how it’s important to what you do.  The next day, tell your audience an interesting fact about your profession the average person does not know.  The next, write a shout-out to another business or person you do business with.  The day after that, share a testimonial from one of your customers.  And once or twice a month, write a 200-300 word blog about something you found exciting in your work the previous week.  Come up with your own list of themes like this, and then rotate so you’re doing a different one each day.

You’ll find that if you make the commitment and mix up your routine to keep things interesting, over time, managing your business’ social media will get easier, and eventually become second nature.  Before you know it, your business will achieve “social media fitness.”

Make a business resolution for 2015 and get that social media campaign started.  Good luck!

Russ Alman and Dominick Bonny are co-owners of Digital Media Northwest, LLC, providing social media support, website design, video & photography and content creation services for NCW and western Washington businesses.

 

Congress passes key tax bill, will allow Washingtonians to deduct state sales tax on April’s tax filings 

Bill also extends key tax credits for hiring veterans, producing clean energy and building low-income housing

***VIDEO AVAILABLE***

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded U.S. Senate passage of a tax bill that will enable Washingtonians to claim the state and local sales tax deduction on their 2014 federal income taxes. The bill, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, also includes other critical Cantwell priorities including tax credits for hiring veterans, building low-income housing and producing clean energy.

The tax bill passed the Senate by a margin of 76 to 16. It has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives and now goes to President Obama’s desk for signature. Washington is among eight states that don’t have an income tax and, therefore, taxpayers can’t claim an income tax deduction on their federal returns. Congress let the sales tax deduction expire at the end of 2013, which left its future in doubt.

Cantwell, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, helped to craft the Senate package of tax extenders, which passed the Committee in April. She fought for the sales tax deduction’s inclusion in the bill.

“Tonight, we can say that Washingtonians can take the sales receipts they have this year and make sure they are deducted from their tax obligations for 2014,” Cantwell said in a Senate floor speech tonight. “I hope we’ll be here someday when we can get permanent tax fairness into the code. That means a permanent provision so we don’t have to come back here every year and get the tax fairness our states deserve. Let’s make sure we take these provisions that are so important for our economy to move forward to give the taxpayers predictability and certainty.”

Video of Senator Cantwell’s floor speech is available here.

Since 2004, Cantwell has led bipartisan efforts to ensure the sales tax deduction remains in effect and to provide tax fairness for taxpayers in Washington state and other states that don’t have an income tax, and therefore, can’t claim a state income tax deduction. Cantwell has repeatedly introduced legislation to make the deduction permanent, including an amendment earlier in 2014 in the Senate Finance Committee. Cantwell fought to get a two-year extension of the sales tax deduction in the deal that Congress reached Jan. 1, 2013, to avert the fiscal cliff.

About 900,000 Washington state taxpayers took advantage of the state sales tax deduction in 2012, reducing their taxable income by $1.9 billion, according to IRS data. Washington state taxpayers saved an average of $602 with the state sales tax deduction in 2012, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report. Washington is among eight states, including Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, in which taxpayers don’t pay a state income tax, and therefore, can’t claim an income tax deduction on their tax returns.

“The state and local sales tax deduction promotes economic growth across Washington,” said Lori Mattson, President & CEO of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.  “The deduction ensures hundreds of millions of dollars stay in our state and are spent locally.  As the fastest-growing community in Washington, this has a huge impact on local jobs and businesses in the Tri-Cities.”

“Continuing the deduction for state sales taxes paid will enable more dollars to be retained by taxpayers and circulated back into our local economy resulting in a positive economic stimulus,” said Chuck Zimmerman, President of the Board of Directors, Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“This keeps us on equal footing with those in other states who can deduct an income tax, but it also benefits Washington businesses by removing what would otherwise be a financial incentive to customers to shop across state lines,” said Verlynn Best, President and CEO of the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce.

 “In Walla Walla, this means that our residents will have more disposable income to spend at the small businesses that employ the vast majority of our friends and neighbors, and that make our town the community that it is,” said David Woolson, President and CEO of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce. “For this reason, the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce appreciates all of the hard work that our Congressional delegation is putting in to ensure that the state and local tax deduction is extended and/or made permanent.”

The legislation includes several other tax provisions championed by Senator Cantwell that are critical to Washington state, including:

  • Veterans’ Work Opportunity Tax Credit: The legislation includes a one-year extension of a tax incentive that helped Washington state employers hire 16,000 veterans since October 2012. It encourages businesses to hire returning veterans through a tax credit of up to $9,600.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit: This provision is designed to get more affordable housing built in hard-to-serve areas and challenging areas due to high costs. Since the program was created in 1986, it has helped finance more than 2.4 million affordable apartments nationwide, including more than 56,000 in Washington, and has supported 95,000 jobs annually – many of which are in the small business sector.

“The economy in this state benefits highly from low-income tax credits, both for the housing units that have been built and the jobs that have been created in their construction,” said Karen Miller, Chairwoman of the Washington State Housing and Finance Commission.

  • New Markets Tax Credit:  This provision encourages investment in economically challenged areas. Cantwell is a long-time supporter of the New Markets Tax Credit, which has supported thousands of jobs in Washington state and more than 350,000 jobs across the nation. In Washington state, between 2003 and 2010, $650 million in NMTC investments leveraged more than $1.2 billion in total project investments and helped create nearly 6,000 full-time jobs and 8,000 construction jobs.

“New Markets Tax Credits are a valuable tool we use to attract companies bringing family-wage jobs to our lower-income communities,” said Todd Coleman, Executive Director of the Port of Vancouver. “A great example is Farwest Steel, a company that, with the help of new markets tax credits, built a facility at the Port of Vancouver in 2010 and now employs more than 250 people.”

  • Energy production: The legislation extends for one year a tax incentive to encourage production of wind and solar energy. Earlier this year, Cantwell introduced a bipartisan amendment with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to extend the wind production tax credit for another two years.

“Wind Energy development has had a dramatic impact on our rural community. It has almost tripled our tax base, created new living wage jobs, brought new revenue to farmers, and expanded economic activity throughout the region,” said Jennie Dickinson, Manager, Port of Columbia in Columbia County.  “After decades of suffering from declines in employment and population, this industry has breathed new life into our community.”

“Without the tax credit, wind energy development in Klickitat County and across Washington state would not be viable,” said the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners.

  • Biodiesel tax credit: The bill will extend the $1-per-gallon tax credit for biodiesel producers. Industry growth slowed after Congress let the credit expire in 2012 and production remained flat at just under 1.1 billion gallons – the same level as 2011. When the credit was reinstated in 2013, the U.S. biodiesel industry produced 1.8 billion gallons in that year. Cantwell and Grassley introduced separate legislation earlier this year to renew the credit.
  • Commuter Tax Benefit: Commuters will be allowed retroactively to take advantage of a pre-tax benefit of $245 per month for public transit use in 2014. The transit benefit dropped to $130 per month on January 1, affecting about 1,600 employers in King County. Cantwell has called for parity for transit users and the legislation passed today reinstates the previous benefit so transit commuters continue getting the same amount drivers receive to cover parking costs.

 

  • Research and Development: The legislation extends for businesses a 20 percent credit for research spending that exceeds predicted R&D costs for that year. Since its enactment in mid-1981, the credit has been extended 15 times and significantly modified five times. In addition, Cantwell cosponsored a bipartisan amendment that enables small startups to use the credit and increase domestic innovation.

“As the State’s Land Grant institution, our researchers work hard to meet the needs of our industry partners and the R&D Tax credit promotes that collaboration,” said Mel Netzhammer, Chancellor of Washington State University Vancouver.

“Increasing the research capacity in Clark County is a key component of developing new industry clusters and assisting existing clusters grow,” said Mike Bomar, President of the Columbia River Economic Development Council.  “Programs that support this endeavor, such as the R&D tax credit, help incentivize this important piece of our long-term economic development strategy for the region.”

 

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Michael Caemmerer, Director of Program Development, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts:

Icicle Creek Center for the Arts strives to provide world-class entertainment at the foot of the amazing Enchantments.  Heading into our 20th anniversary along the beautiful Icicle River, we are proud of the work we have done.  But our audiences and our programs were limited and many people right down the road barely knew we existed and That had to change.

From our roots as a classical music center, Icicle Creek has exploded with a full slate of a wide variety of arts opportunities. We are transitioning to a full-season format of events with offerings in classical music, theater, film, other music, lectures and opera, as well as our signature educational programs. This change means audiences can find a wide variety of performing arts events nearly every Thursday through Saturday from September to June right in their own backyard.

If we are to be seen as reliable, we must be consistent.  In that vein, films run every Thursday night, Met Live Opera plays ten Saturdays throughout the season, there is a Lecture Series, a Classical Music Series, a Music Sampler Series and a Theater Series.  Our program guide now lets people find the things that most interest them and plan ahead.  But more importantly, this level of programming gives fans of the performing arts a dependable local source for outstanding events.

So, if you are looking for a great night of inspiring entertainment,  we are just three miles down Icicle Road and look forward to being the go-to place for outstanding entertainment and educational opportunities in the performing arts.

Michael Caemmerer is the Director of Program Development for the Icicle Creek Center from the Arts. Prior to returning to Leavenworth, he worked internationally, most recently serving as Head of Performing Arts and Theater Manager at the American Embassy School in New Delhi India. His Theater background has included program and consultant work in London, New York, Chennai, and around the globe.

Headshot_Michael

Business of the Year Award

The Business of the Year Award is intended to honor that business which best exemplifies the spirit of free enterprise in the Wenatchee Valley.  The winner should provide an example of the rewards offered by the free enterprise system by risk taking, being innovative and strengthening community spirit.

  • A for profit business with principal ownership in the Wenatchee Valley or a substantial presence in the community.
  • Customer driven.
  • Civic Leadership must be shown through giving to the betterment of the Wenatchee Valley.
  • Reflects a culture in the workplace that encourages employees to be respected and engaged.
  • Demonstrates innovative ways to support employees and works to facilitate their growth and development.

The nominee must be a member in good standing with the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and must have been in business for at least 5 years.

Cornerstone Award—The Heart of the Chamber

The Cornerstone  Award is intended to honor a business or individual  who demonstrates the characteristics and values we hold most dear as an organization and community.  The award recognizes those who are passionate about the Chamber and committed to its  role in the community .  The award winner demonstrates this passion about  the Chamber  by investing time and/or resources to carry out the mission of the Chamber.  The Cornerstone Award is intended to honor a business, organization, group or individual who strengthens our community and makes us proud to live work and play here.

The nominee must be a member in good standing of the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and must have been in business for at least 5 years.

Non-Profit of the Year Award

The Non-Profit of the Year Award is intended to honor that organization that sets a high standard for quality and demonstrates effective strategy, execution and community impact.  The winner should meet the following criteria:

  • Accomplish significant results on behalf of the community.
  • Supports and demonstrates the collaborative spirit through creative partnerships with other non-profits and/or various businesses and civic organizations.
  • Exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism, altruism and respect.
  • Inspires others by their example.

All nominees must be a member in good standing with the Wenatchee valley Chamber of Commerce, financially stable, and shows a strong return on donor investment.