Small businesses in the Tri-City area can receive free and confidential support from the Small Business Development Center.
The SBDC can help develop solutions for small business problems. Certified advisors can assist businesses with areas such as human resources, financial statements and management, business plans, expansion or growth, among others.
The program is sponsored by city of Richland.
The Washington Small Business Development Center is a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington State University and other Washington Institutions of higher education and economic development organizations.
For more information, contact John Morosco at 833-492-7232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its annual Business on a Roll awards through July 23.
The 2021 program recognizes businesses that achieved success in 2020. There are three categories, for 10 employees or less, 11-50 employees and 51 or more employees. Winners will be honored at the chamber’s annual meeting and awards luncheon, 11 am.-1 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.
Apply at tricityregionalchamber.com/business-on-a-roll-nomination-form.html. Applicants must be members of the regional chamber.
Nominees are required to provide financial results related to their operations in Benton and Franklin counties, as well as percent net revenue growth, employee numbers and other data.
The Kennewick School District Board of Directors has chosen Endeavor High School as the name of the district’s new online high school.
The name is meant to symbolize that the online school is a new endeavor for students and the district to promote hard work, a sense of hope and the pursuit of achieving common goals for the future. It also fits with the names of the district’s student choice high school programs, Phoenix and Legacy, creating a symmetry among the three of looking at the past and into the future.
The public helped with the naming process by submitting more than 150 suggestions. A committee of district staff and community members forwarded three to the board for consideration.
Endeavor High School is set to launch in the fall for students in grades 9-12. Information at https://bit.ly/3x52ama.
Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station reconnected to the Northwest power grid at 12:25 a.m. June 19 following its 25th refueling outage.
During the weekslong outage, more than 1,400 skilled temporary workers performed preventative maintenance and major system upgrades to the nuclear plant. The plant shuts down temporarily every two years to add fresh nuclear fuel to the reactor core.
Operators replaced 260 of the plant’s 764 nuclear fuel assemblies. Spent fuel was placed in a fuel pool, where it remains for a minimum of five years to remove residual heat before it is transferred to the on-site dry cask storage facility.
The outage also allowed work crews to install a new turbine rotor, replace reactor water cleanup heat exchangers, refurbish a condensate pump and motor and conduct other tasks.
The plant has a nameplate generating capacity of 1,207 megawatts.
The State Liquor and Cannabis Board has adopted temporary rules allowing liquor establishments to employ workers ages 18-20 for duties that are not associated with serving or selling alcohol.
The temporary rule change is meant to provide relief from pandemic-related workforce shortages.
The following parameters must be followed:
The temporary allowance is set to expire on Sept. 30.
A Pasco fertilizer manufacturer was fined $25,500 by the Washington Department of Ecology for operating a mobile fertilizer reactor without an air quality permit.
Fertilizer production can release ammonia and fluoride, both toxic gases that can be dangerous to people, the state said.
The penalty is the third in the past two years for Pacific Northwest Solutions. The company was previously fined $5,000 in 2019 and again in 2020, both times for failing to properly test its equipment to ensure it met air quality emissions standards.
The $25,500 penalty was issued after an Ecology inspector found a Pacific Northwest Solutions’ mobile fertilizer reactor operating without a permit on March 8, 2021, at a site near Moses Lake. An investigation found that the reactor produced a total of 650 tons of ammonium polyphosphate liquid fertilizer over three days.
Pacific Northwest Solutions can appeal the penalty to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board.
State regulators extended protections for electric and natural gas utility customers experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic.
The commission ordered investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington to continue a moratorium on disconnections for nonpayment until Sept. 30. Utilities will continue to waive deposits for new customers and all late fees through March 29, 2022.
Customers struggling to pay their utility bills should contact their utilities to ask about their options, which include assistance funds, long-term payment plans and budget billing. The UTC ordered each of its investor-owned energy utilities to create temporary Covid-19 bill relief programs, resulting in more than $40 million in new assistance funds available to customers.
Even if customers have already received help, or don’t think they qualify, they should still call their utility.
UTC staff also are available to assist customers who need help working with their utilities and are available at 888-333-WUTC (9882) or via chat during business hours at utc.wa.gov.
The Farm Service Agency is accepting nominations for its Franklin County committee through Aug. 2.
Committee membership is open to producers. The committees advise the FSA on decisions about programs dealing with disaster and conservation, emergencies, commodity loan price support, county office employment and other agriculture issues.
Producers can nominate themselves or others. The 2021 openings are for local administrative area No. 1, which includes Mesa, Basin City and Connell. All lands in the irrigated area north of Bellflower and Sheffield roads to the county line and west of the Columbia River and east of Highway 395 are included.
Go to bit.ly/FSA2021Nomination.
A recent survey by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living reveals an alarming staffing shortage in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The survey was release in support of the industry’s “Care For Our Seniors Act,” to reform the senior care industry and improve Medicaid funding.
The organization, which represents more than 14,000 facilities, reports 94% of nursing home providers and 81% of assisted living communities said they had a shortage of staff in the most recent month.
More than half said they lost key members of their staff in the previous year during the pandemic, including certified nursing assistants, direct caregivers and dietary staff. The workforce situation worsened in 2021, it said,
Better pay and benefits would help, according to 81% of nursing home providers and 75% of assisted living communities.
Mark Parkinson, president, called on lawmakers to prioritize long term care, starting with addressing chronic underfunding of Medicaid for nursing homes. Current reimbursements cover 80% or less of the cost of care.
Go to bit.ly/CareForOurSeniorsAct.
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