Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is neutral on proposed plastic bag ban

March 29, 2012

NEW — 10:30 a.m. March 29, 2012

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders decided to remain neutral as the City Council considers legislation to outlaw plastic bags, but entrepreneurs raised concerns about possible impacts on local businesses due to such a ban.

Matthew Bott

The council is considering legislation to ban plastic bags for most retail uses and require stores to collect 5 cents for each paper bag provided to customers. The fee is meant to help retailers offset the cost.

The proposed ordinance reaches the council for discussion and a possible decision April 2. If enacted, the legislation calls for the ban to start in 2013.

In a letter to council members, chamber CEO Matthew Bott outlined the organization’s position and asked leaders to consider unintended effects.

Read more

Who’s News

March 13, 2012

Issaquah chamber CEO completes Academy program

Matthew Bott

Matthew Bott, the CEO at the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, was among 33 chamber executives to graduate in February from Academy, a professional development program presented by the Western Association of Chamber Executives.

Academy is an interactive, three-day training program regarding chamber management essentials, designed for today’s chamber executives and staff professionals.

The program provides training regarding association management, economic development fundamentals and best practices in membership marketing, social media and strategic leadership.

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert relocates district office to Issaquah

February 28, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert plans to open a district office in Issaquah after redistricting shifted the former office on Mercer Island into another district.

Dave Reichert

The GOP congressman plans to open a district office in a Southeast 56th Street office building uphill from East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.

The relocation reflects a monumental change in the district Reichert represents. The redrawn 8th Congressional District stretches from Auburn in South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County. The former district encompassed only communities in King and Pierce counties.

(The reshaped district goes into effect for the House of Representatives election in November.)

“We felt like Issaquah was probably the most accessible and easy to get to for both sides of the Cascades,” Reichert said in a Feb. 24 interview.

The district office employs seven staffers responsible for handling constituents’ questions related to Social Security entitlements, veterans benefits, immigration issues and more.

Read more

City, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce honor innovators

February 28, 2012

The most innovative businesses in Issaquah manufacture fasteners for airliners, use technology to treat autism, and rely on a tiny-but-talented staff to create slick productions.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce announced the Innovation in Issaquah honorees — Marketing Masters, Lakeside Center for Autism and Impact Studio Pro — at a Feb. 22 ceremony and luncheon.

The carbon-neutral community zHome also received a nod as the most innovative public-private partnership. The city spearheaded the 10-unit townhouse development from concept to completion.

Leaders from the chamber and City Hall recognized the entrepreneurs’ accomplishments through the Innovation in Issaquah contest, a showcase for local businesses offering unique services. Honorees demonstrate innovation in product development, services, systems or strategies.

Read more

Businesses earn reprieve from city fee until March 2013

February 21, 2012

City leaders offered entrepreneurs a reprieve from a fee for another year, as officials attempt to entice businesses to relocate to or remain in Issaquah.

In a unanimous decision, City Council members agreed to exempt businesses from paying the transportation impact fee until March 2013. The exemption applies to the initial 10,000 square feet of floor area per project.

The council action continues a project initiated in 2009 to roll back the transportation impact fee and encourage entrepreneurs to consider Issaquah. In 2009, officials earmarked $1.58 million — money left over from the canceled Southeast Bypass — to offset the fee. City planners said $976,589 remains available for businesses.

Read more

City creates commission to attract, retain businesses

February 14, 2012

City leaders continued the latest push to bolster economic development Feb. 6 and created a municipal Economic Vitality Commission — another piece in the effort to attract entrepreneurs to Issaquah and retain existing businesses.

City Council members formed the commission to handle a marketing plan to attract businesses, consider opportunities to improve signage options for merchants, review municipal permitting and inspection processes, and produce annual report cards on strategies recommended in the 2005 Economic Vitality Plan. The commission is expected to offer regular updates to the mayor and council.

The idea for a commission stems from a goal council members set at a May 2011 retreat to outline priorities for 2012.

Read more

Eastside business leaders outline priorities to state lawmakers

January 31, 2012

Eastside business leaders focused on economic development, education, taxation and transportation in a legislative agenda for state lawmakers in Olympia.

East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition members urged legislators to foster job creation, shore up transportation funding, and adopt reforms to kindergarten through 12th-grade and higher education.

The coalition is comprised of 10 chambers from the region, including the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

“Our state is at an important crossroads and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is proud to work with the coalition to affect positive change for the Eastside business community in Olympia,” Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matthew Bott said in a statement.

Lawmakers face a bursting docket. Legislators must close a $1.5 billion budget gap. The state Supreme Court ruled legislators failed in funding basic education — a constitutional obligation. In addition, the Legislature is also considering a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington.

The collation released a 10-part legislative agenda Jan. 5 at a breakfast attended by state lawmakers.

Eastside business leaders outline priorities to state lawmakers

January 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 30, 2012

Eastside business leaders focused on economic development, education, taxation and transportation in a legislative agenda for state lawmakers in Olympia.

East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition members urged legislators to foster job creation, shore up transportation funding, and adopt reforms to K-12 and higher education.

The coalition is comprised of 10 chambers from the region, including the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

“Our state is at an important crossroads and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is proud to work with the coalition to affect positive change for the Eastside business community in Olympia,” Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matthew Bott said in a statement.

Read more

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce urged city leaders to rethink medical marijuana decision

January 3, 2012

Matthew Bott

Before City Council members approved a landmark decision on medical marijuana collective gardens last month, business leaders quietly urged officials to consider possible fallout on the local economy.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matthew Bott sent a letter to council members Dec. 2, days before the council set rules for collective gardens and limited medical marijuana operations near parks and schools.

The chamber did not take a position on the issue, but the organization’s Government Affairs Committee asked Bott to offer input on possible impacts to Issaquah’s standing.

“Our reputation as a safe, family-friendly and wholesome community is one of our greatest assets — and one that has been carefully developed by the community for decades,” Bott wrote. “Many in the community, and specifically those in the residential real estate market, feel that the sanctioning of a collective marijuana garden may damage this well-developed community reputation.”

Read more

Take a holiday carriage ride at Gilman Village

December 6, 2011

Santa and free horse-drawn carriage rides are coming to Gilman Village.

The Gilman Village Merchants and Cascade Team Real Estate are the primary sponsors for a holiday happening from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 10 at St. George’s Square in Gilman Village, 355 N.W. Gilman Blvd.

The event, co-sponsored by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, features free horse-drawn carriage rides and the chance to visit Santa’s Gilman Workshop, Chamber CEO Matt Bott said.

While at the workshop, visitors can have a free picture taken with Santa himself, according to information released by the Cascade Team. Free coffee and hot chocolate also will be available.

Visitors are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to support Santa’s efforts with the Childhood Cancer Care Line. Cash donations to the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund also will be accepted.

Other sponsors include Extraordinary Mama and the Issaquah Coffee Co.

Learn more at www.thecascadeteam.com.

« Previous PageNext Page »