Articles by Guest Contributor


What will lawmakers do with $8.6 billion surplus? We’ll be watching

After two years of Covid-19, many Washington families and small businesses could use a break. Fortunately, the Washington Legislature has the means to help. State lawmakers have more than $8.6 billion in unrestricted cash reserves. These funds – a historic surplus by any measure – can boost our economy and improve our quality of life…


Washington’s long-term care law is flawed and needs to go

The first order of business for the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature should be to replace the state’s new long-term care law. It is fatally flawed.  Gov. Jay Inslee and Democrats who control the state Legislature wisely postponed implementing the sweeping “Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program,” but it is beyond repair. It is…


State accelerator program opens exciting possibilities for economic future

Washington state is dedicated to building an economic future that is as inclusive, diverse and resilient as the people who live here. We are looking beyond our borders for economic models that will strengthen our legacy industries, help communities create new sectors, fuel innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensure meaningful job opportunities for generations to come.…


Noncompete agreements may not be binding, thanks to 2019 Legislature

Several years ago, I wrote about noncompete agreements for the Tri-cities Area Journal of Business. Legislation passed in 2019 has changed the rules, and it is time for employers to reconsider agreements that include noncompete clauses because the enforceability has been significantly curtailed by the new Washington law. In the olden days (prior to 2019),…


Tri-Cities boasts more engineers than state average

It will come as no surprise to readers that Benton and Franklin counties boast a high number of engineers. According to data from the state Department of Employment Security (ESD), the area’s economy supported nearly 3,000 engineers in spring 2020. Those are numbers from the latest survey, published in July 2021. But it may come…


Start year on right financial foot by considering these 5 strategies

What a spectacular end to 2021 – the parties, the fireworks, Covid-19 omicron surges. Perhaps as an alternative to New Year’s Eve festivities, you were scurrying away in your home office, creating spreadsheets and gathering documents for the upcoming tax season. Or not. If you did, hopefully, you had a glass of celebratory champagne in…

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McCurley buys Yakima Subaru dealership

By Michael Samson Yakima Valley Business Times McCurley Integrity Dealerships of the Tri-Cities recently bought the Stewart Subaru dealership in Yakima. Now known as McCurley Subaru of Yakima, the business at 506 Fruitvale Blvd. is the company’s sixth dealership in the state. “One of the reasons why we wanted to come over here is our…

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How BFCOG impacts communities of Benton and Franklin counties

I moved to Tri-Cities in February 2021 when I was hired as the new executive director for the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments (BFCOG). Everyone I have met is so welcoming. Their first question is always to ask where I work. When I tell them, their next statement is nearly always, “Oh, that sounds important. I’ve…


Local chambers of commerce step up to help fire departments play Santa

Throughout Washington, the leaders of local chambers of commerce are busy delivering bags of toys to rural fire departments, enabling the firefighters to play Santa Claus for the children who live in their communities. For the fire departments, this is nothing new. They have been giving out toys and food every December for more than…


America’s recovery hinges on people returning to work

To “Build Back America” people must return to work! In a U.S. Chamber of Commerce poll released in early December, the findings spell trouble for America’s employers whether they are in the private or public sectors. It found that over 60% of the respondents are in no hurry to return to work and over a…

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