In response to increasing coronavirus cases, Governor Jay Inslee announced sweeping, potentially devastating new restrictions on business. Those restrictions include the closure of indoor dining, bars, movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums, restricting retail to 25% capacity (including grocery stores), and banning indoor gatherings of any kind with individuals outside of your own household. Unlike the…

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Brist Mfg., a Bellingham producer of quality custom merchandise for diverse brands, earned a place on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America in 2020. With a three-year revenue growth rate of 195%, Brist Mfg. was the top-ranked Whatcom County company on the Inc. 5000, 45th among 100 Washington state…

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Peoples Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Hefter to the Peoples Bank and Peoples Bancorp Board of Directors. An executive with nearly 30 years of experience in community banking, Hefter has been involved in all facets of bank management and has contributed to the company’s tenfold growth during her tenure. Today, Peoples…

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Whatcom County businesses should brace for another state minimum wage increase on January 1, 2021. On that date, the new state minimum wage will be $13.69 per hour. State overtime rules are also changing, which could result in employers seeing additional increases to the labor costs beyond just the wage increase. While the planned minimum…

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Despite the Inslee administration’s claims, it has become clear that Washington businesses should expect an increase in their unemployment insurance (UI) taxes that will add up to $800M in 2021, with additional increases likely in store in 2022 and 2023. Economists at the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) attribute the UI shortfall to the…

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Whatcom Business Alliance Hosts Webinar on Cybersecurity  As a part of its ongoing “Recovery Whatcom” webinar series, the Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA)  hosted “Cybersecurity and the New Risks to Your Business” on Wednesday, September 16. Chase Bank’s Merrick Tam, Vice President, Treasury Management hosted the session, which provided advice and guidance for Whatcom County businesses looking…

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On Thursday, September 10 Senate Democrats blocked what some called a “skinny” coronavirus relief bill. The two parties could not agree on the scale of the aid, with Republicans supporting relief for schools, small business, and jobless benefits. The $650B package was deemed too small by Senate Democrats, who opposed the bill on a near…

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Washington continues to witness positive trends as hopeful data emerges on the spread of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the state. However, despite the good news, Governor Jay Inslee’s administration has placed additional regulatory burdens on Agri-tourism and family farms. Under the Administration’s new restrictions, customers cannot touch or view animals. Hayrides, games, and touching farm…

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On Thursday, August 19, business leaders from across Whatcom County attended the Whatcom Business Alliance’s Recovery Whatcom webinar to learn more about the science behind COVID-19, the potential policies and changes to the future of health care and what businesses could do to mitigate the spread of the disease and potentially open sooner. Panelists included:…

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