West Richland chamber cheers uptick in commercial, industrial growth

When a pandemic can’t slow a community down, you know you’re living in exciting times. While we may not have been able to completely leave Covid-19 in the rearview mirror in 2021, West Richland sure hit the ground running with some exciting growth, and there are no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The residential growth is astounding! Last year was a good year for residential single-family home growth in West Richland, but in 2021 the community has already exceeded last year’s single-family home permits, with more than a month to go. Plus, multifamily permits have gone from zero to 75 so far in 2021.

This significant uptick in residential growth in West Richland is spearheading commercial and industrial growth.

West Richland is already experiencing just the tip of that spear. Sun Mart & Firehouse Subs is under construction, HAPO Community Credit Union has purchased property, Red Mountain Event Center has brought the Tri-City Raceway back in a big way, Richland School District is finishing up both Tapteal Elementary School and its Teaching Learning and Administration Center, West Richland Police Station is opening in December, plus an industrial business is in the process of purchasing property near the Red Mountain Event Center.

There is little doubt that this uptick in commercial and industrial growth in West Richland is just the beginning and as residential growth in the community continues, so will the commercial and industrial growth.

The West Richland Area Chamber could not be more thrilled with the how the West Richland community is growing and is even more excited to help these new community members and businesses thrive.

After all, it’s right in our mission statement to promote growth and economic vitality for our members and our community through collaborative business to business interactions.

The chamber is doing exactly that and with a renewed effort. This collaboration is happening through several different avenues and includes both in person and electronic interactions.

Residential developments are spearheading commercial and industrial growth in West Richland. (File photo)

The West Richland chamber membership luncheons continue to be a member favorite as businesses come to a friendly atmosphere to interact with fellow businesses and hear presentations by local leaders and businesses. Electronic interactions have picked up through social media, email blasts and other online and web content.

The West Richland chamber also promotes economic vitality and quality of life through its community events, which take place both in West Richland and surrounding communities. The most high-profile examples include the Hogs & Dogs Family Festival, Cool Desert Nights and the West Richland Veterans Day Parade. These events bring thousands of people into our communities, giving our local businesses new opportunities to be in front of potential new customers.

The future success of the West Richland community is not dependent on one entity, like a chamber of commerce. Our success is dependent on our ability to work together, collaboratively, for the betterment of the entire community. Citizens, businesses, civic groups, and local agencies all benefit by working together. 

At the West Richland chamber, we take that very seriously. We take pride in our close working relationship with various local entities and citizens. We cherish our close working relationship with the city of West Richland, its elected leaders and its staff. We are honored that we work hand in hand with the West Richland Police Department and Benton Fire District 4. We have built strong partnerships with local businesses and civic groups to leverage our resources and maximize their impact.

Yet despite having all these positive things to include in this column, there is much more we can and will do. We will welcome our new citizens and businesses with open arms and work with them to help ensure the success of this community. The chamber must continue to work with the city and other local economic development partners to help attract new businesses and industries to our community and the quality jobs that come with them. It truly feels like we are at the cusp of making some giant leaps forward.

The West Richland Chamber Board just finished a retreat and has identified several fresh ideas on how to improve and enhance our service to our members and the local community. While the last couple of years have been challenging for many of us, it has also shown that we must adapt if we are to succeed. We must embrace these challenges and find the opportunities that exist within them. These are exciting times in West Richland and surrounding communities!

May Hays is executive director of the West Richland Area Chamber of Commerce.

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