NEWS

CEO Corner: July 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

We have recently completed the season of graduations and inspiration – including Leadership Skagit and two graduations for the Sternlicht family.  Aside from pride, excitement, satisfaction, and hope, these events can energize us to work for improvements and greater causes for our communities.  I hope you will permit me some personal observations on this theme.  I found that kind of inspiration on attending my son David’s graduation this spring from the Haas Graduate School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.  The class was filled with the next generation of brilliant, hard-working people who want to make the world a...
Should I Hire Employees or Contractors?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Many businesses in Washington State are faced with the question of hiring employees or starting people out as contractors. This is especially relevant for start-ups or businesses who are in the growth phase. When cash is tight, there may be little option other than to hire people as contractors. However, this is not always the right decision from a legal and taxation perspective, nor is it always the right decision from a business one. A business attorney and CPA can provide specific advice. As a general rule, here are some things to consider - Contractors must work independently This is where a...
Skagit County, Northwest Washington Promoted to Global Investors at SelectUSA Summit

Friday, July 27, 2018

From June 20 through 22, EDASC was part of the Choose Washington delegation at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC.  This summit, organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the highest-profile event promoting investment in the United States, bringing together global companies and economic development organizations to share investment opportunities from across the country. The 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit drew more than 3,000 participants, including participants from 66 international markets, more than 1,200 global business investors and economic developers from 50 U.S. states and territories. EDASC was represented at SelectUSA by Sean Connell, Director of Business Development and Global Competitiveness, who conducted several meetings with...
4 New Techs For Easier Business Finances

Monday, May 14, 2018

New technology is making it easier than ever for entrepreneurs and small business owners to manage their finances. We recommend working with EDASC’s resident SBDC advisor to create an initial budget, financial projections, and to learn how to manage cash flow. Afterwards, it becomes important to manage these plans on a daily and monthly basis - something that is not always easy for small business owners and entrepreneurs. As a company grows it can hire a full time accountant, controller, or CFO. In the meantime, some new tech is making it easier for entrepreneurs and small business owners to manage...
Five Census Tracts in Skagit County Designated by Governor as Opportunity Zones

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has designated five census tracts in three Skagit County cities as Opportunity Zones. The tracts are part of a new program enacted by Congress under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that aims to encourage private-sector investment into economically distressed U.S. communities.   Investors in Opportunity Zones may benefit from federal capital gains tax deferments and reductions. EDASC anticipates that Skagit County’s five newly designated Opportunity Zones will encourage investment in Anacortes, Mount Vernon, and Sedro-Woolley, and result in more family-wage jobs and expanded housing opportunities. EDASC will work with municipalities and potential investors to bring...
The Power of the Latino Leadership Initiative

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

  The Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) seeks to empower young Latinos to put them on a path to become leaders in their lives and their communities. In its fifth year, thirty students will graduate from the program from Skagit Valley College, Everett Community College and Edmonds Community College, which is a tribute to the overwhelming cooperation, engagement, acceptance and vision of our interactive communities. All of the sessions are experiential, with the focus on self-awareness and self-knowledge.  Multiple speakers offer mentorship and insight into topics most relevant to our participants, such as John Kim, Executive Director, Seattle Jobs Initiative, “Preparing to...
Managing Cash Flow is Critical for Growing a Business

Monday, April 16, 2018

For small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to launch a business, managing cash flow is critical to success. Learning how to manage a business’s finances is not as easy as it sounds. There are many factors, internal and external, that can influence business profitability and even whether a business has cash on had to pay suppliers and employees. Here are some cash flow basics that every business should know. Cash flow must be actively managed Many small business owners look at sales revenue as being the only thing that matters. They assume that if the sales numbers are good, there will be...
3rd Annual Skagit Ag Summit

Thursday, March 01, 2018

EDASC's Director of Business Retention and Expansion Andrew Miller was recently given the opportunity to provide data and insight regarding the changing face of consumer interest in agriculture and value-added food as well as how those market changes and consumer interests may create economic opportunity for local farms and ag-based businesses at the 3rd Annual Skagit Ag Summit on February 16. Approximately 120 Skagit County and regional farmers, policy makers, and other ag and food stakeholders gathered at the day-long summit held at the WSU Research Center nestled in the farmlands west of Mount Vernon to hear ideas and to discuss...
Resources for Skagit County Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Friday, February 23, 2018

Entrepreneurs and business leaders have access to an unprecedented amount of information and resources in 2018. With the rise of the open source and sharing economy, many corporations have made business tools free, affordable and easily accessible. When combined with resources offered by EDASC and other community organizations, entrepreneurs and business leaders have a built-in support structure to promote and grow their business. EDASC encourages businesses in Skagit County to take advantage of business planning and strategy sessions, workshops, and networking events that will take place throughout the year. In addition, here are some of our favorite business resources available in...
Staff Profile: Sean Connell

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What is your favorite thing to do or eat? As an avid hiker, getting in an extended hike to some of the greatest vistas around —such as Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm, and others in the North Cascades—then dropping by one or more of Skagit County’s microbreweries afterwards.   What can you suggest for someone new or familiar to Skagit County to try? Take a full day, and ideally more, to drive from Deception Pass in the west to Rainy Pass in the east, in order to take in the incredibly diverse environments and beauty of the county.   What were you doing before you started...
EDASC Explores Opportunities for Skagit County in Japan and Korea

Friday, December 01, 2017

Japan and South Korea have been identified as promising export markets for Skagit County value-added agriculture products. EDASC visited these markets to explore opportunities and introduce Skagit County and northwest Washington to key counterparts in both countries. Organic agriculture and craft brewing present positive opportunities in these markets for Skagit County products; agriculture technology and agritourism also present potential areas for information sharing and engagement. As part of its activities to promote Skagit County’s economy, EDASC actively explores opportunities to build global connections through export promotion, investment attraction, and mutually beneficial partnerships.  With value-added agriculture an important and growing economic sector for Skagit County, EDASC...
Staff Profile: Audra Ramerman

Thursday, November 30, 2017

I think that the most important thing in my choice to come to EDASC from the private sector was that I see this as an opportunity to make a difference in my local community. During the last election there was a lot of talk about ‘we need jobs here! We need employment!’ and I feel that whatever is happening at the federal level, I don’t think it’s the President’s or Congress’ duty to bring jobs to my community. I feel that local politics and local organizations are what is going to effect change in their local communities. And coming to...
EDASC Launches Skagit County Community Conversation and China Seminar Series

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This November EDASC is launching two new series for discussion and community interaction on key issues in economic development for Skagit County and its communities:  the Skagit County Community Conversation, and the Skagit County China Seminar. The Skagit County Community Conversation series will launch on November 9, with a session on housing in economic development.  At this inaugural forum, Skagit Council of Governments (SCOG) Executive Director Kevin Murphy will present the findings of and discuss his thoughts on the recently published county-wide housing study commissioned by the SCOG board.  EDASC CEO John Sternlicht will discuss the housing needs of county employers and economic impact of available housing for economic...
Cindy Brooks Joins EDASC as SBDC Certified Business Advisor

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Cindy Brooks recently joined EDASC and the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC), administered by Washington State University, as the new SBDC Certified Business Advisor serving Skagit, San Juan, and Island Counties.  Cindy is a lifelong resident of Western Washington and brings experience from two decades of small business ownership and entrepreneurial endeavors in the health and wellness industry.  She is a graduate of Presidio Graduate School, with an MBA in Sustainable Systems.  Please join us in welcoming Cindy to the Skagit County community!
Lieutenant Governor Habib Visits Skagit County to Discuss Economic Development Opportunities

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Washington State Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib visited Skagit County on October 2 to learn about local economic development initiatives, and to meet with businesses, organizations, and community members driving the economy to discuss priority issues and opportunities.  EDASC and Chinook Enterprises of Mount Vernon partnered to invite Lieutenant Governor Habib to Skagit County and coordinate his visit.  Lieutenant Governor Habib serves as "Washington's Chief Opportunity Officer," and his visit to Skagit County offered an opportunity to introduce him to the extensive regional partnerships working together to advance economic growth and create new opportunities for all members of the Skagit County community. In meetings with members of the EDASC...
Leadership Skagit Welcomes Class of 2018

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Leadership Skagit, a program of the EDASC Foundation in partnership with EDASC, Skagit Valley College and Washington State University Extension, welcomed thirty-four new participants in its Class of 2018 on September 15 with a kickoff session at Skagit Valley College.  Over the next nine months, these current and emerging community leaders will undertake an intensive curriculum combining leadership skill development with in-depth information, study, and discussion on topics important to the future of Skagit County, while working in teams to complete community service projects of lasting benefit. Members of the Class of 2018 are: Debbie Aldridge, Community Volunteer/Samish Indian Nation Head Start (Retired) Anne Basye,...
EDASC CEO Honored with Fellow Member Designation by International Economic Development Council

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC) CEO John Sternlicht received the “Fellow Member” designation at the annual Recognition Dinner of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) on September 18 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  IEDC is the world’s largest organization of economic developers and related businesses, with over 5,000 members spread principally across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. IEDC designates selected members of long standing as Fellow Members if they have attained unusual stature in the field of economic development and made significant contributions to the profession.  In addition to service to IEDC through board and committee service...
Fundamental Computer Course Supports Skagit County Latino Entrepreneurs

Monday, July 30, 2018

On May 26, thirty-six Skagit County participants graduated from the Basic and Intermediate Computer Course for Latinos, an innovative business preparedness course coordinated in partnership by Skagit Valley College, the Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC), and EDASC's Latino Business Retention and Expansion Program.  These classes, which were held at Skagit Valley College across eight Saturdays, provided students from Skagit County's Latino community with a solid foundation in fundamental computer skills--including operating Microsoft Office Software utilizing databases, spreadsheets, word processing, PowerPoint, and an introduction to the Internet--within a Spanish language environment while using English as the computer language.  This basic business course provided much needed knowledge for...
Workshop Highlights Strategies for Marketing to Latinos

Friday, April 06, 2018

The Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC), NW Agriculture Business Center (NABC), Skagit Valley College and EDASC Foundation’s Leadership Skagit Program hosted a Symposium on the Secrets of Marketing to Latinos on April 3, 2018.  NABC Executive Director, David Bauermeister EDASC CEO, John Sternlicht, and Director of Leadership Skagit, Kathryn Bennett provided opening remarks and then turned the program over to facilitator, Dr. Diana Morelli of EDASC, Director of Latino Business Retention and Expansion. Presenters from various industries, focused on specific, experiential examples of how to develop trust and establish Latino loyalty; the most effective channels to reach Latinos...
Speaking their Minds: Conversations about Advancing Leadership and Economic Opportunity for all Women and Girls

Friday, April 06, 2018

With over a hundred in attendance, local women leaders held a wide-ranging conversation on key issues facing women and girls at a March 28th bi-partisan panel event held at McIntyre Hall. Working moms brought daughters. Skagit Valley College Latino Leadership Initiative students brought their sisters. Leadership Skagit grads brought their fellow classmates. What brought them from Anacortes, Bellingham and Sedro-Woolley? On this evening, they came to hear from women who have lived the issues. In response, Laura Cailloux, Vice President, Skagit Valley College; Shirley Yap, General Manager, Shell Puget Sound Refinery; Laurie Gere, Mayor, City of Anacortes and Erin Long, President,...
Skagit County Businesses, EDASC Participate in Industry Trade Shows

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Skagit County was well represented at several leading international industry and trade shows during the month of March, including the JEC World Composites Show in Paris from March 6-8; the GLOBE Summit in Vancouver, Canada from March 14-16; and the Aerospace and Defense Supplier Summit (ADSS) in Seattle from March 26-28.   JEC’s annual conference in Paris is the most comprehensive international event focused on the complete composites value chain, connecting end-users, researchers, engineers, manufacturers, designers, educators, and investors.  Skagit County businesses participating in JEC this year included Janicki Industries, Hexcel, and Fiberglass Supply.  Additionally, Skagit Valley College’s partners at the University...
Port of Skagit Sells Surplus Property, Acquires Property for Industrial Park

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The Port of Skagit recently sold undeveloped property adjacent to Skagit Regional Airport to truck maker Paccar Inc. The $8.4 million, 121.5-acre sale comprised of approximately 76.5 acres of wetlands and approximately 45 buildable acres. In 1980, the Port sold 240 acres of surplus property to Paccar Inc. for the construction of their truck testing facility. The recent land acquisition brings their total land ownership in Burlington to approximately 365 acres. Additionally, the Port of Skagit has acquired 123 acres of land for a new industrial park on Bayview Ridge. This new development will include light manufacturing and processing facilities. The development of new industrial lands will...
EDASC Director of Business Development and Global Competitiveness Named to National-Level Positions on U.S.-Asia Relations

Friday, March 02, 2018

Sean Connell, EDASC’s Director of Business Development and Global Competitiveness, was recently named to roles with two national-level organizations active in U.S.-Asia relations, and at the regional level to the Board of Directors of the Washington State China Relations Council.   On January 30, Connell was named a Senior Fellow of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, a leading U.S. organization that promotes understanding and cooperation in U.S.-Asia relations.  The Foundation honors the work and legacy of Mike Mansfield, the longest-serving U.S. Senate Majority Leader and longest-serving U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and Maureen Hayes Mansfield.  The Foundation sponsors exchanges, dialogues, and publications...
Recognition of Board Members’ Service

Friday, December 15, 2017

On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, EDASC marked the occasion of three board members’ final board meeting and presented plaques to Gregg Davidson, Julie Blazek, and Anthony Young. They are leaving the board after many years of dedicated service. Gregg Davidson, former Skagit Regional Health President and CEO, served on EDASC’s board for 21 years. Although he will be dearly missed, he will still be active volunteering for EDASC and other community members while enjoying his hard-earned retirement. Julie Blazek, Partner at HKP Architects, LLP, served as Board Chair for 2016, and has been with EDASC for four years. She has resigned from...
Consider a Career in Advanced Manufacturing

Thursday, December 07, 2017

  Advanced manufacturing jobs are abundant in Skagit County. With our maritime, aerospace, petroleum and other manufacturing sectors, there is an incredible need for people who have the skills necessary to operate machinery, serve as engineers (and engineering technicians) and to ensure that our manufacturing sector continues to thrive. The advanced manufacturing businesses located in Skagit County, include: Shell Puget Sound Refinery Andeavor Anacortes Refinery (formerly Tesoro) Janicki Industries Hexcel PACCAR Technical Center Team Corporation Snelson EDCO, INC. Rothenbuhler Engineering Many small and mid-size companies   Advanced Manufacturing Requires Workers to Have Advanced Skills   These are not manufacturing jobs designed to have employees complete the same routine tasks over and over again. A far cry...