Articles by Guest Contributor


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…

YIR 2021_Jones

As we say farewell to 2021, let’s mark return to longer-term trends

Many things are asked of economists. Sometimes it’s to provide an explanation of the present. Other times it’s to give a forecast. This column contains a bit of both. To summarize the past year involves dissecting some of the present and poring over available evidence to forecast possible outcomes for 2021. The challenge lies in…

YIR 2021_Mattson

2021 was an ongoing exercise in adaptability and resiliency

This past year has been one like no other — full of challenges, hardships and uncertainty. However, it was underscored by remarkable resilience, much of that apparent in the day-to-day activities of Tri-City Regional Chamber members. Throughout 2021, we continued to adapt by helping businesses withstand changes due to the pandemic as it continues to…

YIR 2021_Dye

Explosive growth will bring its own set of challenges

At the end of 2020, we looked back at the impacts of Covid-19 on our local Tri-Cities’ economy and predicted a fast rebound. In 2021, we definitely experienced a rebound and have seen continued growth in the size of our workforce. We are anticipating even more workforce growth in 2022. According to our Washington State…

YIR 2021_Taft

Tri-Cities Airport waits for traffic to return, welcomes new airlines

Despite a global pandemic, 2021 was a pleasant surprise for the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco. There’s reason for optimism as we have seen a significant improvement in air travel volumes. Coming into the year, staff forecasted passenger traffic would reach 60% (262,873) of our 2019 passenger numbers (438,123). This estimate represents a significant growth over…

YIR 2021_Wallner

Richland notes growth in both public, private sectors

The last year in the Tri-Cities was a busy one for all jurisdictions, and Richland was no different. Changes and improvements were made in many areas throughout the city, from building roads and upgrades, to new developments and increased rooftops, adding new businesses and growing some of our favorite businesses. Richland celebrated the completion of…

YIR 2021_Novakovich

Visit Tri-Cities champions tourism recovery, economic prosperity

Sense of community is why we do what we do, and relationships are how we get it done. These two things enabled us to be successful during the pandemic as our industry was crippled by declining hotel occupancies, hospitality staffing shortages and financial hardships. Due to the impacts of the pandemic, visitor spending was down…

YIR 2021_Button

Downtown Kennewick: creating a sense of place

If the last two years of the Covid pandemic have taught us anything, it has demonstrated that active, livable downtowns don’t just happen. It takes a comprehensive approach coupled with professional leadership, collective coordination with partners and dedicated volunteers to ensure success. This is the role of the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership (HDKP). Our organization…

YIR 2021_Hastings

Pasco chamber will continue to advocate for business community as growth takes hold

We are in the midst of a launching point for major achievements for our region and nation. We are still adapting how we live our lives. As I pointed out in last year’s column, history points to shifts in human behavior after periods of strife. The Pasco Chamber of Commerce also adapted to capitalize on opportunities…

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