Weekly Reader

Friday, December 13, 2019

Economic Development
The CWCOG hosted a Small business Finance 101 training this week. Special thanks to Alex Nelson, Impact Capital Management and Kerri Nelson, Evergreen Business Capital for participating. Evergreen served as the sponsor for the event and has recently opened an office in the region.

The following is taken from YourEconomy.org. This is an online information tool designed to provide business activity information. This data set includes information on jobs, sales and number of establishments.

CBSA   2013 and 2018
Longview MSA
BUSINESSES 2013 % of TOTAL 2018 % of TOTAL
ALL 4,506 100 4,815 100
   Self Employed 879 19.5 974 20.2
   2-9 Employees 2,833 62.9 2,976 61.8
   10-99 Employees 732 16.2 796 16.5
   100-499 Employees 57 1.3 64 1.3
   500+ Employees 5 0.1 5 0.1
RESIDENT 3,645 80.9* 3,945 81.9*
NONRESIDENT 437 9.7* 447 9.3*
NONCOMMERCIAL 424 9.4* 423 8.8*
* sum to total the ALL indicator.
County   2013 and 2018
Wahkiakum County
BUSINESSES 2013 % of TOTAL 2018 % of TOTAL
ALL 241 100 222 100
   Self Employed 43 17.8 45 20.3
   2-9 Employees 172 71.4 154 69.4
   10-99 Employees 26 10.8 22 9.9
   100-499 Employees 0 0 0 0
   500+ Employees 0 0 1 0.5
RESIDENT 173 71.8* 152 68.5*
NONRESIDENT 8 3.3* 9 4.1*
NONCOMMERCIAL 60 24.9* 61 27.5*
* sum to total the ALL indicator.

Source: youreconomy.org

According to the National Association of Regions – “Across the country, farmers are struggling with particularly difficult financial realities. The past year has seen extreme flooding in the Midwest and drought in the West, a tariff war that resulted in commodity prices plummeting, and falling land value. This combination of factors has many worried about the health of America’s farming economy. Many are also worried the country may be headed toward a farm crisis like the one seen in the 1980s when farmers experienced mass foreclosures. New figures from the American Farm Bureau Federation are also sparking concern. From October 2018 to September 2019, Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies rose 24% from the prior year and reached the highest level since 2011. This year, President Trump signed into law the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019, which increased the debt limit for Chapter 12 bankruptcy eligibility from $4.4 million to $10 million.”

Here is a story from ABC News talking about the concentration of high-tech jobs in five metro area. “Ninety percent of high-tech job growth in the US between 2005 and 2017 occurred in the metropolitan areas of Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and San Jose, Calif., according to scholars from the Brookings Institution and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Some fear this trend increases regional inequality and lowers US competitiveness.”

Gross Domestic Product – Click here for the latest estimates of GDP by County from the BEA. A summary of our regional information is included in the table below.

Table 1. Real Gross Domestic Product by County, 2015 – 2018
Real Gross Domestic Product Percent change from preceding period
Thousands of chained (2012) dollars Rank in State Percent change Rank in State
2015 2016 2017 2018 2018 2016 2017 2018 2018
Cowlitz 4,251,502 4,234,614 4,351,020 4,511,489 13 -0.4 2.7 3.7 19
Wahkiakum 97,635 96,746 99,915 104,637 39 -0.9 3.3 4.7 8
Grays Harbor 2,343,947 2,325,863 2,419,428 2,464,139 20 -0.8 4.0 1.8 27
Lewis 3,035,286 3,089,665 3,358,472 3,403,303 16 1.8 8.7 1.3 31
Pacific 664,850 672,048 680,815 698,095 30 1.1 1.3 2.5 24

EV Charging station grant information. Click here.

The Regional Transportation Planning Organization Board of Directors met this week. Discussions ranged from project delivery requirements to the future as it will be impacted by electric and autonomous vehicles in the region. The Board also discussed the process that will be taken to update the Interlocal Agreement that created the five county Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

Here is a link to the USDOT pedestrian and bicycle safety website. A number of resources are available on this site ranking from counter measures, tools to diagnose and solve problems, to education and outreach materials.

Community Development / Other
A Recent study finds that people create their own false information. According to the Smart Brief newsletter “In a world inundated with fake news, it’s easy to cast blame on others for spreading misinformation. This study at The Ohio State University gives credence to the notion that we create our own “alternative facts” to align with our biases. In this instance, the researchers showed that people misremember accurate statistics, such as the number of Mexican immigrants in the United States, which actually decreased between 2007 and 2014.”

According to NARC and to Politico reporting, “House Democrats have expressed an interest in extending the October 2020 deadline for travelers to have a REAL ID for air travel, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has responded by saying that there are no current plans to extend the October 1, 2020 deadline. Instead, DHS said that it is exploring possibilities for an online application process and plans to review options that may or may not require regulatory or statutory changes. A study done for the U.S. Travel Association shows that 3 out of 4 Americans do not have a REAL ID driver’s license which will present a huge problem for travelers come next year. In an interview with NPR, Erik Hansen, Vice President for Government Relations at U.S. Travel, estimated 78,000 people could possibly be turned away on the first day of the new requirement, at an estimated cost to the economy of $40 million in lost travel-related spending.” You may want to consider getting an EDL or EID if you don’t have a valid passport, a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), or U.S. military ID as this will impact all of us in Washington state.

Up-coming events and activities

  • December 19, Noon to 1:00 pm, CWCOG Board of Directors, Cowlitz Event Center
  • The CWCOG will be closed on December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020