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The Blog - What's Going on in Business

2016 was a record-setting year for sports tourism spending in the Wenatchee Valley. Bolstered by economic impact in a wide variety of categories, an estimated $8.35 million was spent here by visitors participating in or attending tournaments and events, according to analysis compiled by Wenatchee Valley Sports. This is up 9.7% over the previous high, set in 2015. Sports impact has been measured in the Wenatchee Valley annually since 2007. Youth baseball/softball led the way at $1.17m, followed by adult softball at $1.06m. Next, in order, are Special Olympics Winter Games, ski racing at Mission Ridge, running, and youth basketball.

Overall numbers were bolstered by the US Figure Skating Regionals in October at Town Toyota Center, State Gymnastics competition in April, and strong showings by swimming, youth hockey and cycling. The largest single event in terms of economic impact was the Washington Winter Games Special Olympics in March, generating an estimated $616,937. They will return for their 26th year here March 3-5. It’s important to note that these figures include spending only by visitors, not locals, and for tournaments and events, not general recreation.

Two popular local entities that provide strong overall economic impact are the Wenatchee Wild and Wenatchee AppleSox. Those teams and others such as the Rams and Wenatchee FC were heavily dependent on spending by locals…very important in terms of overall economic impact, but not so on the tourism side of the equation. A number of business categories reap the benefits of sports tourism, most notably lodging and food. It is estimated these events drove 27,676 room nights in 2016, also a record, and an increase of 2,000+ over the previous year. This contributed to the success lodging in the Wenatchee Valley experienced in 2016, which realized a 2.1% overall increase in occupancy for the year.

Local businesses work with local contractors to become more energy-efficient, with help from Chelan PUD. What’s not to like?

Chelan PUD’s new EnergySmart Business program aims to help business owners reduce energy costs and improve the efficiency of shops and buildings. It relies on local contractors to provide guidance and equipment, and on PUD funding to cover a significant part of the investment.

Scott Stanford, PUD commercial energy adviser, says most businesses can lower their energy bills by up to 30 percent with a few no- or low-cost upgrades. But business owners sometimes don’t know where to start. The EnergySmart Business program points the way with:

  • A free review of facilities to identify energy-saving opportunities
  • Recommendations on energy efficiency retrofits or upgrades
  • Estimates on possible yearly savings, project costs and payback periods
  • Installation of equipment that saves energy and reduces maintenance
  • Incentives that cover up to 75 percent of the cost of energy-efficient equipment and retrofits

Several local businesses have already taken advantage of PUD funding. One example: a downtown Wenatchee retailer paid only $4,200 for $17,000 worth of new lighting, thanks to   PUD incentives.

Projects range from lighting and window retrofits to installation of energy-efficient equipment such as ductless heat pumps, smart thermostats, power strips and HVAC controls.

How to participate in EnergySmart Business? Business owners can get more information by calling (855) 496-3857 or emailing energysmartbusiness@clearesult.com. (CLEAResult, a national company with expertise in business energy efficiency programs, is helping administer EnergySmart Business for Chelan PUD.) Contractors interested in providing services to local businesses can get information through those same channels.




U.S. employees take more than 488 million business trips every year – an average of 1.3 million trips every day. And they’re traveling all over – from major hubs like New York and San Francisco to smaller cities and towns across the country. Projected spending on business travel for 2016 was $318.9 billion.

Traveling for work can be stressful – you’re in a new city where you might not know anyone, and you probably don’t know your way around. But being in a area that’s great for business travelers can make business trips simple – and even fun.

We ranked nearly 400 metro- and micropolitan areas across the U.S. to determine just where the best places for business travelers are. We evaluated each area on metrics like amenities, commute time, number of businesses and more. And we found that great destinations for business travelers span the entire country – large areas and small, East Coast and West, and everywhere in between. More

GWATA partners with Tech Alliance in Bellingham to bring Tech Predictions to local community

January 13th  GWATA will live stream Mark Anderson’s 2017 Predictions from Bellingham. This is GWATA’s third year partnering with TAG to broadcast this event to our local community.

Mark Anderson is the publisher of the SNS Global Report, a 20 year running predictive report on technology and the global economy with a 94.7 % independently scored accuracy rate. SNS is read by Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Vint Cerf, Michael Dell, Paul Allen, Paul Jacobs, Bill Janeway, Robert Hormats, and other technology executives and investors worldwide.

Mark is also the founder and chair of the Future in Review (FiRe) Conference, named “the best technology conference in the world” by The Economist.

Each year Mark Anderson generates his top economic developments and top 10 technology predictions for the year. These are inspired, instructive, and useful to your business. Sample predictions from years past include: the fall of the Chinese Yen, the rise of the quantified self, calling of the financial crash (Great Recession), and the fall of oil prices.

This event is on Friday, January 13th at the Confluence Technology Center in Wenatchee from 11:30am – 1:00pm. Mark’s predictions will be live streamed from 12:00 – 1:00pm. This event is free for GWATA Members and $10.00 for the public. You can bring your own lunch or reserve lunch for $10. Call 509-661-9000 or visit www.gwata.org to register.


GWATA is a 501(c)3 founded in 2000 to promote a vibrant technology based economy benefiting the citizens and communities of North Central Washington. GWATA’s mission is to support technology, entrepreneurship and STEM education. To learn more about GWATA, visit www.gwata.org or call509.661.9000.

About TAG

The Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington (TAG) was formed in 1999 as the Bellingham/Whatcom Technology Alliance Group to address the needs of a growing technology industry in Whatcom County. As the industry evolved, membership grew and TAG’s mission to promote, educate, and advocate for Northwest Washington technology businesses positively impacted an increasing number of companies. To learn more about TAG, visit http://www.tagnw.org/

Wenatchee Valley Velo Club has hired Kari Johnson as race director of the annual Tour de Bloom cycling race.

Johnson was previously development director of the Mission Ridge Ski Education Foundation. She replaces former race director Ace Bollinger, who will now coordinate Tour de Bloom’s Leavenworth Stage Race.

“It’s an honor to be chosen for this position and to become integrally involved in such a longtime Wenatchee Valley event,” Johnson said. “One of my goals is to educate the community on the positive impacts Tour de Bloom has on visitor spending and charitable giving.

We have positioned ourselves well. Tour de Bloom has seen participation increase by about 15 percent annually over the past few years, at a time when other cycling races have shown less growth,” she said. “I’m looking forward to elevating the profile and impact of Tour de Bloom even more, while casting a positive light on our amazing outdoor recreation scene.”

Tour de Bloom is a three-day, four-stage event held the first weekend in May each year (May 5-7 in 2017). The stage races are held in the Leavenworth-Lake Wenatchee area, from Squilchuck State Park to Mission Ridge, in downtown Wenatchee, and on the Waterville Plateau. The race is owned and managed by Wenatchee Valley Velo, a nonprofit organization founded in the late

1990s. Funds raised from the event go to bicycle safety, advocacy and outreach programs in Chelan and Douglas counties.

As race director, Johnson will oversee all aspects of Tour de Bloom, including event management, community outreach, course set-up, marketing, and fund-raising.

Johnson served as development director of the Mission Ridge Ski Education Foundation from 2012 until this past October. From 2005 to 2012, she was human resource director and events coordinator at the Mission Ridge Ski Area. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from Western Washington University.

Museum thankful for multiple awards 

Wenatchee, WA – As Americans gather to count their blessings next week, the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center finds itself especially grateful. In the last two weeks, the museum has been awarded seven grants and one very special opportunity.

  • The Forest Classroom Project –The forest classroom project brings students to the forest for a field experience designed to give future policy leaders and decision makers along with adults a hands-on multimedia and outdoor experience focused on the health of our wild lands and role all of us will play in sustaining one of our greatest resources. Learning goals include gaining an understanding of fire as an integral part of the ecosystem, the impact of megafires on the personal health and community vitality of this region and the need to develop a fire management plan for the east slopes of the Cascades. The $5,000 STEM field grant from Washington STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is part of the $110,000 grant awarded to Apple STEM and will provide funding for this dynamic program. This project is a collaboration with The Wildfire Project, an organization committed to educating communities to better prepare themselves to co-exist with the natural phenomenon of wildfire.
  • Coyote’s Corner and Inspiration Station – These are hands-on learning centers in the museum designed specifically for young children.  Coyote’s Corner and Inspiration Station bring STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) learning to children and their caregivers at no cost.  Among the featured activities are gears, tangrams, a sensory board, felt board, a ping pong ball run, artist of the month and craft of the month projects.  We received a $3,000 from US Bank to help ensure that our Coyote’s Corner room stays free to the public. We also were given a $5,000  Frederick Johnson Award from the Community Foundation to support the cost of materials purchased for Coyote’s Corner and Inspiration Station and ensure that it stays free to the public.
  • People of our Past – February 2017 marks the 10th annual presentation, where people from the Wenatchee Valley’s past are brought to life by local performers. People of our Past connects textbook learning to real people, their lives and the time and place in which they lived. The character research required to fully develop each person’s story often leads to additions to the museum collection and a richer telling of our shared history. Their stories help us better understand the decisions that shaped the look and feel of our present community. The museum has added a fourth showing to the line up to handle the crowds who are riveted by these fascinating characters. We were just awarded a $5,000 grant from the Woods Art Fund at Community Foundation of North Central Washington (CFNCW), which will offset a small portion of the cost of this extensive production.
  • Ice Age Adventures – We live in a geological wonderland made all the more fascinating if you know what to look for as you survey our beautiful valley.  Students in 2nd, 4th and 5th grades learn about the ice age floods and Clovis culture. Activities include flint knapping, atl-atl demonstrations, archeological digging, fossil exploration, ice age flood re-enactment, storytelling from the Clovis exhibit and so much more.  It is an immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression. And it helps teachers meet required grade level standards.  We are planning to have more than 3,600 students take part in this winter’s program.  Busing and program expenses for an adventure this comprehensive are significant. We are proud to have received three grants for this program, including:
    • $1,000 for NCW Foundation for Youth to subsidize entrance fees
    • $5,000 from Wenatchee Central Lions’ Kingston Memorial Fund to directly subsidize the busing and student entrance fees
    • $9,000 Regional Impact Grant from CFNCW

In addition to all of these grants, the Ice Age Adventures program has been selected by the Community Foundation for inclusion in this year’s GiveNCW crowd funding campaign.  GiveNCW runs from Thanksgiving Day through December 31st. Donations of $10 or more can be given through www.GiveNCW.org to support any of the 25 nonprofit projects selected. CFNCW absorbs all credit card fees, so 100% of the donation goes to the nonprofit.

“We’ve worked very hard since becoming an independent, non-profit organization in 2015 to rebuild our funding,” said Museum Deputy Director Marriah Thornock. “Knowing that so many organizations are willing to back our efforts means a lot to us and our programs. To be included in this year’s GiveNCW campaign is a real honor.”

Founded in 1939, the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center gathers and educates people to celebrate and preserve the history, arts, sciences and rich diversity of this region and its people. It is home to more than 65,000 artifacts.  Housed in two vintage downtown buildings, the museum interprets life in North Central Washington from the Ice Age to today. Historical highlights include Clovis points, Columbia Plateau American Indian History and Culture, railroad, Main Street 1910, world’s first trans-Pacific flight, and apple industry.


Nominate a business for the SBA 2017 Washington State Small Business Awards

Preliminary nomination deadline is Thursday, December 1

Know a small business, entrepreneur or business advocate with an amazing story to tell? If so, submit your nomination today for the SBA 2017 Washington State and National Small Business Week Awards. A company or owner may self-nominate.

To read more about the categories and criteria or to complete a brief nomination form visit www.tinyurl.com/SBAawardsWA17

Help us spread the word by:

  • Sharing the attached PDF flier in your office, via e-mail, on your website etc.
  • Posting the attached JPEG graphic on your social media

For more information contact Desiree Albrecht at desiree.albrecht@sba.gov or (206) 553-2664.


WHAT IS GIVE NCW?            community-foundation

Give NCW is a crowdfunding campaign hosted by the Community Foundation of NCW to support 25 selected NCW nonprofits.

From Thanksgiving Day through December 31st, donations of $10 or more can be given through
www.GiveNCW.org to support a nonprofit project in your community. Each nonprofit will have a listing on GiveNCW.org that describes the project they are raising funds for and the amount they need to reach their goal. The “Give to All” allows a donation to be spread among all participating nonprofits.

CFNCW absorbs all credit cards fees so 100% of the donation goes to the nonprofit.


Through Give NCW, people can learn more about the nonprofits working to better their community.

With a sponsorship, you can help provide added incentive for people to give.

Here’s how it works:

  • Your business provides one or more $25 gift cards
  • We pre-select a the day(s) your business sponsors in advance
  • We email our 3,000 e-news subscribers about your sponsorship day and include your logo
  • We post your sponsorship day to Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter)
  • Daily radio ads will be promoting Give NCW and the chance to win a gift card

People love to support businesses that give back to their community, and you’ll be helping local nonprofits in YOUR community reach their goals for projects that are making a positive impact. You will also receive a tax-deductible receipt for your sponsored donation.


We are all about COMMUNITY, so we’re only reaching out to a select number of local, small businesses that make our communities tick. If you’re interested, please contact Jennifer Dolge at (509) 663-7716 or jennifer@cfncw.org.

Thanks for your consideration and for all you do to make our COMMUNITY a better place for all!

Learn more about us at www.cfncw.org

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter !

WENATCHEE, Wash. October 26, 2016 – Sunday night’s history-making game will be one Seahawks fans will remember for a very, very long time. For SCJ’s Kevin McCoy, it’ll be one he never forgets.

Kevin, SCJ Alliance marketing coordinator by day and digital artist and illustrator by night, has been drawing since he was a kid, and this past weekend had his work on display for millions of football fans online. The Seattle Seahawks commissioned five original pieces from Kevin for the promotion of each of its primetime games this season, last night being the first.

“It was surreal,” Kevin said of seeing his art on such a grand stage. “I was ecstatic!”

Kevin works collaboratively with SCJ’s Wenatchee team from the firm’s office near Olympia. He created the local Sage Homes graphic for its East Wenatchee development, Maryhill Estates, as well as the logo for the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust for the new Foothills Trail maps. (Images attached.)

Kevin’s journey with the Seahawks started back in April at the Emerald City Comic Con. He was showing his art at the comic book and pop culture conference when he spotted Seahawks superstars Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner.

“I went up, introduced myself and showed them pieces I had done of them,” he recalled. “I told them they were some of my best sellers.”

“We took pictures together, all of us with the art, and the next day, the team’s Director of Marketing approached me at the conference. My whole year has just been snowballing.”

One month later in May, 20th Century Fox released its newest X-men movie, X-men: Apocalypse, and Kevin created one of the posters for its social media campaign.

“This was a fun project to do,” he said. “There were a lot of other artists who worked on the project with lots of variations and illustrated posters. I was just humbled to be invited and blessed to be involved.”

SCJ Vice President Eric Johnston said the firm is proud to have such a talented artist in the group. “We are always looking for people whose unique skills enhance our team,” he said. “Adding Kevin to our roster has diversified our playbook, and his good-natured spirit and camaraderie are a good fit for our firm.”

He continued, “SCJ is building a championship-caliber team, and it is affirming when an organization like the Seahawks recognize that talent.”

Celebrating a 10 year anniversary this year, SCJ has grown steadily from three employees in one location, to a dynamic team of nearly 70 employees in five locations: Seattle, Vancouver, Lacey, and Wenatchee, Washington and Denver Colorado. SCJ Alliance, a nationally-recognized firm, was founded iscjn 2006 and in the last 12 months was the recipient of two top places to work awards.

The Washington State Weed Conference, one of the largest meetings of its kind in the United States, celebrates its 66th Anniversary November 2-4 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

The 2½ day event includes over 40 speakers, workshops, general and concurrent break-out sessions, a large trade show, luncheon, and social. Attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to 14 pesticide license re certification credits for Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. There are also Certified Crop Advisor Credits available.

This year’s conference features Dr. Frederick Whitford, the author of The Grand Old Man of Purdue University and Indiana Agriculture: A Biography of William Carrol Latta. He has authored more than 250 publications and become a popular speaker with more than 4,400 presentations given throughout Indiana and the United States. In recognition of his significant contributions to Extension outreach efforts, he has received numerous awards, including the Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Educational Service to Rural People of Indiana, the Outstand Extension/Specialist Award from Produce Extension and an Excellence in Extension Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The Weed Warrior award, recognizing achievement in weed control and the highest honor the Washington State Weed Association can bestow, will be announced on Wednesday.

“Weed Cup” trophies will be presented in the annual Mike Braun Weed Quiz which includes both a professional and “fun” division. Cash prizes are also awarded in the pro division. A photo contest will be held with cash prizes for the winners.

The conference is open to the public, with a fee of $125 for those registered by October 26th and $150 if registered thereafter. Registration is open on the website at www.weedconference.org or by calling the office at 509-288-4677.

Additional information is available on-line at www.weedconference.org, or by contacting the Washington State Weed Association office at (509) 288-4677, info@weedconference.org.

In-person coverage of the 66th Weed Conference is welcome!