Midwinter is a perfect time to take stock of our local economy and individual business operations to lay the groundwork for a successful year. The rolling weeks of Spring Break aren’t far off, while a growing population in the Pacific Northwest is actively increasing interest in our little slice of heaven.

At least until the snowfall and icy roads of early February, it has been an exceptionally active winter from the standpoint of tourism and home construction, with other industries also benefiting from a spring-like January. Although we’ll doubtless have more false starts before true spring really arrives, in recent years it has become more uncommon for the arrival of real good weather to hold off until after tourists have come and gone on the Fourth of July.

Starting to lay the groundwork now — with marketing plans, physical renovations, consultations with lenders, etc. — will allow businesses to fully prepare to take advantage of 2019’s peak season.

One of the actions I most highly recommend to Clatsop County entrepreneurs is that they take full advantage of the excellent services coordinated by Clatsop Economic Development Resources. Questions or inquiries can be directed to CEDR/Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center Executive Director Kevin Leahy at kleahy@clatsopcc.edu or call 503-338-2342.

CEDR and the SBDC help business owners make smart decisions and avoid costly mistakes. Their leadership is woven into the fabric of the local economy. Its stated mission is to “Deliver business-driven economic development services to Create, Grow and Retain Clatsop County Businesses.”

At its Jan. 22 meeting, new CEDR board members were welcomed and 2019 officers were elected.

Re-elected officers: President Alisa Dunlap, regional business manager for Pacific Power; Vice-President Mark Morgans, area manager of Lewis & Clark Timberland/Greenwood Resources; and Secretary/Treasurer Kristin Talamantez, retail business banker at Columbia Bank.

New private-sector board members: Steven Sinkler, owner of The Wine Shack & Puffin Wines in Cannon Beach; Jed Arnold, community outreach and stewardship coordinator for Hampton Family Forests; and Jim Paino, executive director Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce.

From the public-sector: Mark Kujala, Clatsop County commissioner.

Returning private-sector board members: Kurt Englund, owner Englund Marine & Industrial Supply; Chris Nemlowill, co-owner of Fort George Brewery & Public House; Tamara Roberts, peoples department director at Martin North; Harold Gable with the Arts Council of Clatsop County; and Zach Schmitt, vice presidents of finance and CFO at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Public-sector members are: Henry Balensifer, Warrenton mayor; Chris Breitmeyer, Clatsop Community College president; Matt Brown, Gearhart mayor; Brett Estes, Astoria city manager; Seth Morrisey, Seaside city councilor; Dirk Rohne, Port of Astoria commissioner; Bruce St. Denis, Cannon Beach city manager.

CEDR’s advisory members are: Jeff Hazen, executive director Sunset Empire Transportation District; Don Lemmon, CEO of Providence Seaside Hospital; Mary McArthur, executive director of the Columbia Pacific Economic Development District; Melanie Olson, regional development officer of Business Oregon; Brian Owen, executive director Seaside Chamber of Commerce; David Reid, executive director Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce; Ali VZ Mayeda, district representative for U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici; and Kristi Ward, community relations at Georgia Pacific’s Wauna Mill.

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