Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Important News for You
Photo: Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times
Chamber Addressing Ferry Shortages, Again
Add your support to letter heading to WA State Ferries
In response to recent news that full ferry service on the Seattle Bremerton route won't be restored until 2024, the Greater Kitsap Chamber is sending another letter on behalf of local businesses impacted by the shortage. Last fall, the Chamber joined local elected leaders from across the peninsula in a request to Governor Inslee to expand Kitsap Transit's passenger-only ferry service. More than 100 individuals and businesses signed on in support of the ask, which resulted in an expansion of Bremerton Fast Ferry Service to fill the service gaps.

Chamber News
Check out and like the
Greater Kitsap Chamber Facebook pages!
Chamber Welcomes New Staff
The Chamber is excited to welcome some "newish" faces to the office this month. Tiffany Diamond has joined the team as the Chamber's Events Coordinator after working this spring as the lead for the Armed Forces Day Festival. Her main focus will be on signature events, including the Heroes Golf Tournament in September and the Business Awards Gala in November.
Also joining us this week as our new Community Engagement Specialist for the summer is Grace Zinkhon. Grace, a North Kitsap native, is a current University of Washington student and will be with us at the Chamber and Visitor Center through September.

Please stop in and welcome our new team members!
RECAP: Ribbon Cutting @ loanDepot
Congratulations again to our long-time members, loanDepot, on the opening of their new Silverdale offices!
June Luncheon: Annual Meeting
Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 11:00 am
Save-the-Date: Education Carnival
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Reserve your carnival booth now - spaces are limited!
Renew your membership today to ensure your place as a Charter Member of the Greater Kitsap Chamber! Questions about when to renew or how to upgrade your membership? Contact Irene now!
Missed a previous edition of the Chamber's Community Connections?
View all the past issues on our website HERE.
Member News
Harris Family Holdings: Bremerton Mercantile
The Bremerton Mercantile is one of Downtown Bremerton's newest businesses, located on the corner of 4th and Pacific in the historic Amy Burnett Building. Open 7 days a week from 6am to 9pm, one of the goals of the Bremerton Mercantile is to "activate a corner," helping revitalize the downtown corridor.

Just opened in February 2023, this little shop is already a go-to destination on Pacific Avenue!

402 Pacific Avenue | Bremerton, WA 98337 | (360) 627-8627
Matchstick Lab Honors First Graduating Cohort
Last week, Vibe Coworks had the pleasure of honoring and celebrating the first class of the Matchstick Lab Microbusiness Accelerator program. Nine local entrepreneurs participated in this inaugural cohort that provided individual and small group mentoring for small business owners and founders.

The microbusiness accelerator was made possible thanks to funding provided by the Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA) together with Kitsap Bank, through a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce secured by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance.

Please join us in congratulating these Kitsap entrepreneurs and businesses:

Darren O'Conner of NthoX
Dionne and Greg Showers of Backflow Assembly Solutions
Megan Clarke of Sites on the Sound
Michael Griffin of Griffin Gallery NW
Reama Schuldt of Spread Supplies
Sandra Rocha Evanoff of Brasil Comes To You
Sara Smith of Dream Maker Creative
Tricia Benson of Viking Marine
White Barn Decor: Summer Fest
Saturday Nights, Memorial Day - Labor Day
Seaport Salon Launch Event
Thursday, June 29, 2023
Sound Publishing: Whaling Days Advertising
Member Spotlight
Growing Greater Businesses Grant Spotlight:
Monica's Waterfront Bakery Cafe
Where love, generosity and community spirit thrive
For 17 years, Monica Downen has created a haven in Old Town Silverdale, serving scratch-made baked goods and offering cooking classes. As a proud recipient of the "Growing Greater Businesses" grant, Monica's cafe is an unforgettable institution in Kitsap. Through programs like "Suspended Coffees," she ensures inclusivity and supports those in need. Anchored in the military town, Monica's cafe becomes a cherished gathering place for events. Amid the pandemic, Monica's resilience and community support kept her cafe alive. Monica's Waterfront Bakery Cafe exemplifies authenticity and engagement, benefiting the entire community. Experience Monica's remarkable journey and embrace the flavors of life. 

3472 NW Byron Street | Silverdale, WA 98383 | (360) 698-2991
Education Committee
Member Education & Training Resources
Lodging Employee Safety Webinar
Monday, June 26, 2023, 10:00 am
The Washington Hospitality Association partnered with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Small Business Division to produce a new handbook specifically tailored to lodging operators. We’re calling it the Lodging Excellence Handbook: A Guide to Washington State Laws & Regulations for Lodging Properties.

The Lodging Excellence Handbook is intended to get you started on the right pathway to understanding Washington state laws and regulations on employee rights and employee safety and assist you in avoiding costly citations from L&I.

Join us at 10 a.m. on June 26 for a webinar with representatives from L&I and the association’s WorkSafe team, where we’ll discuss important lodging employee safety topics like:
  • Having an Accident Prevention Program (APP).
  • Understanding bloodborne pathogens.
  • Mitigating risk from ladders.
  • Proper storage of hazardous chemicals.
Pricing Products and Delivering Satisfaction
Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 1:00 pm
You’ve developed a wonderful new product or service and understand the costs but how should you price it? This workshop is part of SCORE’s Small Business Essentials series. We start by reviewing different distribution and channel strategies and help you choose the method that best gets your product or service in front of your satisfied customers. The rest of the workshop is focused on pricing, and we start by covering some pricing basics. Then we review a detailed process to determine how you can determine the price of your product. Since pricing, a service is very different than a product, we have a special section the covers the separate process for pricing your services.

Workshop Fee: $40
Business News & Resources
WA Has Most Robust Economy
Across All US States

A recent study by WalletHub ranked Washington the best economy among all U.S. states in 2023. California, usually known for its strong economy, came in fifth. The study examined 50 states and the District of Columbia using 28 key indicators of economic strength, categorized into economic activity, economic health, and innovation potential. These indicators also included GDP change, exports per capita, unemployment rate, adjusted median household income, and share of high-tech and STEM jobs.

Washington ranked first overall and held high positions in several categories, tying with Louisiana, Oregon, and Texas for exports per capita and California and Massachusetts for independent inventor patents per 1,000 working-age population. It also secured second place for the average educational attainment of recent immigrants and the number of high-tech jobs. However, the state ranked poorly in unemployment, tying with Delaware for 47th, and came 46th for state-government surplus per capita.

Washington's success was attributed to fast-growing firms, high exports per capita, a large share of high-tech jobs, and strong innovation potential. However, WalletHub's methodology received criticism, notably from the National Federation of Independent Business, which claimed the rankings were biased towards the tech sector. Mike Fong, director of Washington's Department of Commerce, recognized the state's achievement while acknowledging the need for continued work on economic opportunities for all residents. Despite the economic prosperity, Washington's unemployment rate of 4.3% exceeded the national average of 3.6%.
Inflation Down in May but Still High
Courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The Consumer Price Index, the broadest measure of consumer prices, rose 4% annually in May but was down from April, when it was 4.9% and well down from the peak of 9.1% in June 2022.

  • ‌On a monthly basis, inflation rose 0.1% from April to May. This is a drop from March to April when prices rose 0.4%.
Why it matters: Despite the progress, inflation remains well above the 2% target and the underlying data is more concerning.

  • ‌Core prices, which strip out volatile elements like food and energy, rose 5.3% on an annual basis and 0.4% from April to May.
  • ‌The Federal Reserve looks more closely at core prices than the overall inflation number.
How to Stay Relevant at Work in the Age of AI
Published on, June 18, 2023
Photo: Morsa Images/Getty Images; Rawpixel

According to a Goldman Sachs study, 300 million full-time jobs around the world will be impacted by automation. They say “most jobs and industries are only partially exposed to automation and are thus more likely to be complemented rather than substituted by AI.” So, which are the most endangered? 

No matter how you feel about it, AI is here. So, which types of jobs are most at risk? What’s the best way to stay relevant? Read more here.
Nonprofit News & Resources
The Greater Kitsap Chamber is proud to be one of only five Chambers statewide selected to partner with the Nonprofit Association of Washington (NAWA) to bring education and resources to nonprofits in Western Washington. Stay tuned to this section of our weekly newsletter for education, resources and more for our nonprofit community. To learn more about NAWA, please visit their website here.
How Nonprofit Managers Can
Benefit from Listening as Allies
Published on, June 19, 2023
Photo: Getty Images by Maskot

Effective communication can be especially complicated in a nonprofit setting as these organizations involve various participants and stakeholders, including employees, volunteers, donors, boards and more. While these various groups are generally all committed to the mission of the organization, they may have varied approaches, expectations and skill sets around communication standards.

Listening as an ally is a communication practice and well-established framework that provides a practical pathway to help leaders navigate difficult situations, align with others, and re-engage in challenging work relationships with a clear head and more open heart.

Greater Kitsap News
Rolfes Sworn in as Kitsap County Commissioner
Last day in the State Senate will be August 15
After 16 years of service in the Washington State Legislature, Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) officially announced Tuesday she is stepping down from the Washington State Senate after submitting a resignation letter to Gov. Jay Inslee.

Rolfes’ announcement comes the same day she was sworn in to serve on the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. Rolfes will take over the vacant District 1 seat on the board after her appointment last month. Her resignation from the Senate is effective Tuesday, August 15.

“It has been a true honor to serve the people of the 23rd Legislative District and our entire state in the Legislature,” Rolfes said. “I really want to thank my community for trusting me to do this work.”

Rolfes, who started her professional career as an intern in Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development, said she is eager to return to her roots and serve her county in a new role.

“I’ve learned a lot and formed lasting relationships in the Legislature, and now I’m excited to use that experience to serve my neighbors in a new role closer to home.”

Rolfes’ four-year Senate term that began in January 2021 will be filled by a temporary appointee, who will serve through the 2024 election. The appointee will be chosen by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners from a list of three names submitted by the district’s precinct committee officers. 
Downtown Bremerton Branch of Kitsap Regional Library to be Temporarily Closed for Upgrades
From Monday, July 17, through early November, the Downtown Bremerton branch will be closed for building maintenance. During this time, the City of Bremerton will install an updated heating and cooling system. 
If you'd like to visit a library, we welcome you to visit Sylvan WaySilverdale, or any of our locations during the closure.
Community Information
Life-Saving Blood Donations Needed to Meet Growing Demand in Summer
Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Washington State Blood Coalition are urging people to donate blood.

The need for donated blood goes up with the warm weather. As more people travel and spend more time outdoors, they suffer accidents and medical procedures that require transfusions. Blood donations also tend to go down due to work vacations and class breaks at schools and colleges. This combination can lead to critical shortages of life-saving blood, plasma, and other blood products.

“We are heading into a perfect storm if we don’t start building our blood supply now,” said Jennifer Hawkins, Regional Director of Vitalant Northwest.

“We believe the summer months are a perfect time to donate blood and we encourage our citizens to support a true public connection through this universal activity,” said Curt Bailey, President and CEO for BloodworksNW.

Donating blood is easy and donation appointments are convenient for your schedule. Most people in good health who are at least 18 years old and who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate whole blood. In Washington, minors ages 16 and 17 can donate with a signed parental consent form. Depending on the type of donation (blood, plasma, platelets), the appointment should take between one and two hours.

For donation opportunities and eligibility criteria, please visit these pages:
Community Conversation
Thursday, June 29, 2023, 4:30 pm
Please join us June 29, 2023, at the Norm Dicks Center, 345 6th Street in Bremerton, 4:30PM sign-in, for a community conversation on opioids and fentanyl, opioid use, and fentanyl trends.

Learn what you need to know to be safe, keep others safe and prevent access by children and youth. Opportunity to receive free Narcan and medicine lock bags. For more information email: Deanne Jackson at

You can also find out more about local activities or to attend a coalition meeting by visiting Kitsap County Substance Abuse and Prevention Services.
Now is the Time to Prepare for a Smoky Summer
United Way Kitsap: Day of Caring
Friday, June 23, 2023, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Community Hike
Saturday, June 24, 2023, 10:00 am
Masks & COVID Testing Kits Available
Free at the Greater Kitsap Chamber & Visitor Center
The Greater Kitsap Chamber still has some supplies available if your local business is in need of KN95 masks or COVID testing kits. Pick up your supply at both GKC locations today. Available while supplies last.
Tourism Information
Music Discovery Center's "Make Music Day"
Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Admiral Theatre Presents:
The Lone Bellow Trio
Friday, June 23, 2023, 8:00 pm
Throughout their lifespan as a band, The Lone Bellow have cast an indelible spell with their finespun songs of hard truth and unexpected beauty, frequently delivered in hypnotic three-part harmony. In a departure from their past work with elite producers like Aaron Dessner of The National and eight-time Grammy-winner Dave Cobb, the Nashville-based trio struck out on their own for their new album Love Songs for Losers, dreaming up a singular sound encompassing everything from arena-ready rock anthems to the gorgeously sprawling Americana tunes the band refers to as “little redneck symphonies.” Recorded at the possibly haunted former home of legendary Roy Orbison, the result is an intimate meditation on the pain and joy and ineffable wonder of being human, at turns heartbreaking, irreverent, and sublimely transcendent.
Skinny Blue - Album III Release
Saturday, June 24, 2023, 8:00 pm
Experience an evening of music with power trio Skinny Blue! Influenced by the sounds of the Black Keys, Gary Clark Jr and Neil Young, Skinny Blue brings their own voice to the spirit of rock n roll. The band will perform songs from their third album, and end with fan favorites from their other albums. The show will open with local acoustic rockers Porch Dog Prophet.
Bremerton Bridge Blast
Saturday, June 24, 2023
Coming Soon: KCMT Presents Into the Woods
Save-the-Date: Trace Adkins
Kitsap County Fair & Stampede
Sunday, August 27, 2023, 5:00 pm
Stay in the know with what's happening for events
in Central Kitsap by checking out and liking the
Contact Us
Have something to share? CLICK HERE to submit stories and
events for Tuesday's Community Connections!
David Emmons
Irene Moyer
VP, Membership & Strategic Communications
Tiffany Diamond
Events Coordinator
Brenda Kelley
Tourism Coordinator
Bremerton Office (360) 479-3579 | 4th & Pacific Downtown Bremerton
Silverdale Office (360) 692-6800 | Kitsap Mall next to Macy's
PO Box 1218 Silverdale WA 98383
If you need assistance, please contact us directly.