With this issue of Coast River Business Journal we welcome Emily Lindblom as editor, working in collaboration with the Astorian, Chinook Observer and Seaside Signal newsrooms. Read about her on page 5.

Emily is CRBJ’s chief content producer, and she also coordinates stories and photos provided by our other community news staff, so please reach out to her via the contact information shown on page 3. We’re always interested in whatever interests the business sector in Clatsop and Pacific counties.

Please tell us about any business or economic trends you notice, successful business strategies, compelling personalities, challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, new startups, and any significant changes in the ownership or staffing of Columbia-Pacific enterprises. Don’t hesitate to send us press releases and business-related photos; just be sure to please provide complete contact information and photo captions.

Luke Whittaker, who has staffed CRBJ for the past several years, is shifting into a primarily community news role with the Chinook Observer, where his outstanding photography skills routinely shine a light on important news and all the people who live in and visit our remarkable area. He’ll continue, along with the Astorian’s Edward Stratton, to do some stories for the business journal. Thanks for all your great work, Luke.

I continue to serve as CRBJ publisher but will delegate most news functions to Emily starting with the October edition. Feel free to continue reaching out to me any time with suggestions and feedback. (In the broadest sense, the publisher's job is to make sure we serve our readers and advertisers, hopefully also making some money.)

The best worst times?

August and the first few days of September have strengthened perceptions that the pandemic is resulting in some local opportunities. Though these don’t yet make up for all the suffering and worry, job losses and potential business closures, there’s no denying that the civilization-shaking disruptions of COVID-19 are sending more people to the coast.

Tourism is strong. Restaurant owners, for example, are experiencing weekend-like patron levels nearly every day of the week. Though handicapped by restrictions designed to maintain physical separation between diners, this surge of interest in coastal food is keeping the lights on and the rent paid.

In Astoria, hotel construction continues. Investors and lenders clearly believe brighter days lie ahead for the lodging industry in the not-too-distant future.

And by many measures, home sales are extremely strong. The pandemic, urban unrest and a dawning realization that office-based work isn’t as necessary as we once thought it was are all factors bringing a tide of new residents to our spectacular seashore and historic river towns.

We still have the potential for very bad times this winter. There may be an upsurge in disease activity. There will certainly be lots more economic fallout. But compared to a lot of places, we have some genuine cause for optimism.

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