Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Important News for You
Last Day to Submit Your Grant Application
Apply Now - Greater Businesses in Kitsap Grant
Chamber News
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Greater Kitsap Chamber Facebook pages!
RECAP: January Membership Luncheon
100+ Members Gather for 1st Luncheon of 2023
Thank you to our members and community leaders for joining us last week for our first luncheon of 2023. We were 108 strong at the Kitsap Conference Center where we heard from Mayor Greg Wheeler about what our business community can be looking forward to this year. Please join us on February 22nd for our next luncheon!

New Chamber Members Welcomed:
Chamber Celebrates Members at Poulsbo Gala
The Greater Kitsap Chamber was well-represented on Saturday night at the annual Poulsbo Chamber Community Awards Gala. Chamber Board Secretary, Amy Zinkhon, was honored as the Volunteer of the Year, and GKC web master, Shiloh Schroeder of Fusion Creative Works was honored with the Small Business of the Year award. 1st Security Bank was named the Business of the Year. The evening was a fun-filled 80s tribute with trivia and games and the Greater Kitsap Chamber's team, The Greater Mixed Tape, took home first prize honors. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
Bremerton GreenDrinks @ The Roxy
Thursday, February 9, 2023, 5:00 pm
Join us next week with your monthly opportunity for networking with like-minded professionals in the heart of Downtown Bremerton. Your hosts this month are the Downtown Bremerton Association, Greater Kitsap Chamber and The Historic Roxy Theatre.

So get ready to MIX, ENGAGE, REPEAT. But don't forget to bring those business cards and don't forget your glass (we want to be green). This is a 21-and-over event, where we welcome everyone to meet new people and make new connections in Bremerton.

Get your tickets now. Space is limited!

GreenDrinks is a monthly, social networking event for community leaders, concerned citizens, elected officials, business professionals and anyone who wants to make Bremerton a thriving, sustainable community. This event is for adults only (age 21 and older). $10 helps to offset the costs of food and drink.

Advance tickets are available at Event Brite. Tickets at the door are $20.

Don’t forget to keep the green in GreenDrinks by bringing your own cup!
Travel with the Greater Kitsap Chamber
Looking for an escape in 2023? Join the Chamber as we resume Chamber travel opportunities with a 7-night Alaska Glacier Cruise.

Special rates have been reserved on this cruise for Chamber members and friends with a savings of nearly $2k on what you might normally book. For just $2745, you and a guest can enjoy this weeklong adventure aboard Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas.

But do I have to vacation with my Chamber colleagues? Only if you want! With 16 decks, you can see as little or as much of your Kitsap connections as you'd like!

Suitcases on Standby's Amy Zinkhon, will be at the January and February membership luncheons to answer your questions. Book now and help us celebrate the Greater Kitsap Chamber's inaugural year!
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
New Members - Welcome to the Chamber!
10315 Silverdale Way NW (Kitsap Mall) | Silverdale, WA 98383 | (360) 698-3055
Entrepreneur Opportunity:
Micro Business Accelerator Program
Need help defining your business strategy? Eager for encouragement and accountability to keep you on track? Hungry for thought partnership and experienced peer feedback?

Join us for a brand new, five-month micro business accelerator program in Poulsbo, specifically crafted to supercharge the entrepreneurial endeavors of startup founders and small business owners like you who are ready to take their big ideas to the next level.

By the end of the program, you’ll be armed with a rock-solid business plan, key marketing assets, and a village of peers and expert advisors who will continue to rally around you with support, resources and connections as you launch and scale your venture.

Benefits include:

  • highly personalized technical assistance
  • one-on-one and small group business coaching
  • coworking membership + private office access at Vibe Coworks
  • 8-week intensive business plan training course (optional, but recommended!)
  • monthly lunchtime lightning talks + peer networking on key topics (optional, but recommended!)
  • marketing assets, including professional headshots and a business intro video
  • a supportive peer community
  • access to follow-on opportunities that may include capital, talent development, and storytelling resources

There are no limitations on business type, stage, revenue or geography (so long as you can make it in to Vibe Coworks for our in-person activities). Entrepreneurs who have traditionally been excluded from business ownership opportunities and resources, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), people with disabilities, veterans, women, LGBTQ+ people, and returning citizens are especially encouraged to apply.
Headshot Day at the Chamber
Monday, February 27, 2023
Member Spotlight
Reliable Storage
When our family opened our first self-storage facility on Bainbridge Island in 1981, we committed to putting kindness, community, and customer service first. We never guessed that our friendly way of doing business would result in seven locations across the Kitsap Peninsula. As Alyce always said, “Our customer is our most important asset. Remember that and you will succeed. Forget that and you will fail.” 

Our mission is to make sure customers always come first. It’s been that way since 1981, and it always will be. Our Kitsap community is special—made up of old friends, new friends, and friends we haven’t met yet. Caring for our neighbors is a privilege, and we’re proud of our community involvement. 

Whether your self-storage needs are residential, business, or military, we’ve got a storage unit that’s the perfect fit. If you’ve got a boat, RV, or large vehicle to store, bring it over—we’ll take care of it until you need it.
1480 NE Fairgrounds Road
Bremerton, WA 98311

Waaga Way
9324 Old Military Road NE
Bremerton, WA 98311

9505 Provost Road NW
Silverdale, WA 98383
Additional locations on Bainbridge Island, in Poulsbo and Port Orchard.
Advocacy Committee
Weekly Legislative Updates
2023 Session: Week 3 Report
As an exclusive benefit to our paid membership, the Greater Kitsap Chamber has again enlisted the services of Brad Boswell and team from Boswell Consulting to provide weekly legislative updates during the 2023 legislative session. Brad will also host a monthly Q&A on the last Friday of each month via Zoom to answer your questions directly.
Paid Family & Medical Leave
Understanding Senate Bill 5286

While Washington state’s pioneering Paid Family and Medical Leave program was celebrated as a victory for families, employers and the economy when it was adopted in 2017, demand for benefits has outpaced premium collection, making the program unsustainable. AWB supports Senate Bill 5286, a bipartisan proposal that would preserve the essential elements of the PFML program—economic stability for working families during times of need—in a way that’s workable for employers.

Education Committee
Member Education & Training Resources
How Managers Can Create
High-Performing Teams
Published on FastCompany.com, January 24, 2023

The pandemic’s turbulence demanded strong leadership from the top. Moving forward, with more than 10 million job openings as of October 2022, companies are desperately seeking ways to both retain and recruit the best possible talent. For decades, leaders have been told and taught to believe, “People don’t leave companies, they leave their manager.” While there is truth in the statement, it fails to incorporate the nuances of our changing reality; employees leave when organizations fail to meet their needs.

Creating a high-performing team and ensuring engagement from its members requires conscious effort and specific development strategies. 

Unpacking Work Place Mental Health
Thursday, February 9, 2023, 8:30 am
Employee Well Being is one of the largest threats to a company's mission readiness. Each day employees carry around invisible weight and the stress is spilling over into work and families. From the pandemic shut downs, to the isolation and challenges of working from home, that create a host of new responsibilities with daily pressures, mental health is now a major factor affecting employees.

With the emerging desire for companies to grow social impact initiatives to rebuild strong cultures in their organizations, it is critical to include good health and wellbeing as one of the top priorities.
"BeReal with Your Social Media"
Thursday, February 16, 2023, 11:00 am
Did you know direct-to-consumer brands have recently taken a hit? Stocks of some of the biggest, publicly listed DTC brands dropped as much as 64% in 2022!

As social media trends continue to evolve, it’s no longer enough to simply post on social media and run a few ads. 

Join Fearless Foundry’s Digital Media & Design Manager, Allena Fleming, as she explores creative ways to re-engage with your customer amidst new social norms.

Get access to the resources you need to create and implement a social media strategy that puts your brand in front of customers the right way.
Two-Part Virtual Supplier Diversity Workshops
February 8 & 15, 2023
Courtesy of the GSBA

The GSBA has created a pathway for businesses to learn more about being LGBTBE Certified and opportunities to put your certification to the test starting with these two-part workshops taught by our CEO and President Ilona Lohrey:

Part 1: What is Supplier Diversity & How to Get Certified
February 8, 9am-10am
In this introduction workshop, our CEO & President Ilona Lohrey will introduce you to the idea of supplier diversity and how to get certified.

Part 2: Capability Statements & I'm Certified, Now What? 
February 15, 9am-10:30am
In this 2nd half of these virtual workshops, Ilona will cover some of the industry lingo you'll need to pitch your business, how to find your industry codes, how to identify the best corporations to partner with for your business, how to write a capability statement, and more.
Military Relations Committee
Reserve Your Sponsorship & Booth Space Now
First Advertising Deadline Extended to Today - Jan. 31st!
Business News & Resources
Public Safety is Top Concern for Retailers

Bills address the need to support law enforcement as part of multi-pronged approach

Public safety is the top concern for retailers during the 2023 session. Aggressively tackling these concerns and related retail crimes is part of WR’s multi-pronged approach to address the growing issues surrounding public safety, retail theft and organized retail crime (ORC). One priority is to support law enforcement while strengthening laws that discourage crime and place public p safety at risk.

In his testimony supporting SB 5361—a bill seeking to incentivize hiring law enforcement—WR Senior VP of Policy and Government Affairs Mark Johnson said, “We need more police out there to help us enforce these laws.”

Last year, Washington state retailers lost about $2.7 billion in theft—about $100 billion nationally.

“We are greatly concerned about the safety of our employees going to work and the safety of our customers in their stores. We see having more police … as a very good and positive step towards that,” Johnson added.

WR is also in strong support of legislation that will address police pursuits. (HB 1053, HB 1363, SB 5034, and SB 5352) The 2021 Police Reform legislation enacted to curtail police pursuits is said by many to have resulted in serious and unforeseen consequences. While injuries related to high-speed chases may have been an impetus for the change in law, some are pushing back, saying crime has increased because criminals know law enforcement can’t follow them.
Photo: WA Department of Commerce
Coming Soon: Dept of Commerce
Hospitality & Manufacturing Grants
The Washington State Department of Commerce has released information on two grants that appear to be able to help support Bainbridge businesses:
Program will provide assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, lodging establishments and other qualifying businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Program will award $2 million in grants to eligible manufacturing and research and development businesses as well as organizations defined as innovation clusters. Submissions will be evaluated according to ability to generate manufacturing and R&D jobs as well as strategic alignment with the state’s key sectors.
The application portal will open in March 2023.
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.
Nonprofit Human Resources Gathering
Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 12:00 pm
Do you have questions about recruiting candidates for jobs at your nonprofit? Do you want to strengthen employee retention at your organization? How do you ensure your recruitment and retention practices are in compliance with things like the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act, overtime and pay regulations, protected leaves, and more? Join a panel of nonprofit professionals from across the state for a conversation on employee recruitment and retention.
10 Ways to Raise More Money in 2023
Courtesy of NonProfitPRO.com
Photo: Pexels

There are warning signs on the horizon about the state of the American economy, including a possible recession. But I have seen time and time again — especially in recent years — nonprofits rising to myriad challenges and boosting gift income despite serious obstacles.

As we move forward in a new year, nonprofits that work hard and work smart can and should boost gift income to enjoy record resource development years. I want to highlight 10 pragmatic ways that nonprofit leaders can more effectively ask for and secure gifts that will fuel their noble missions that touch, improve and save lives. These are based on proven principles of the art and science of fundraising, innovative strategies and best practices.

Greater Kitsap News
Central Kitsap Community Council
Wednesday, February 1, 2023, 5:00 pm
The Central Kitsap Community Council will meet with new Kitsap County Commissioner Katie Walters at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 in the Rainier Room of the Silverdale Library at Central Kitsap School District's Silverdale Center, 3650 NW Anderson Hill Road. The public is welcome!

The meeting will also highlight the Adopt-A-Spot program and its volunteers with a presentation from staff of Kitsap County's Public Works Solid Waste Division.
View the meeting agenda and find information about the Central Kitsap Community Council at www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/CKCC.ask
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Masks & COVID Testing Kits Available
Free at the Greater Kitsap Chamber & Visitor Center
The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management provides local businesses with free KN95 masks and COVID testing kits. Pick up your supply at both Greater Kitsap Chamber locations today.
COVID-19 Support & Resources
Kitsap County Health District is now posting a regularly updated list of COVID-19 vaccine providers in Kitsap County. This list can be found here.

Community Information
Police and Community Together (P.A.C.T.)
Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 5:00 pm
Emergency Need for Blood Donations
January is National Blood Donor Month
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Northwest Blood Coalition urge eligible blood donors to donate during National Blood Donor Month. The coalition serving Washington state includes: VitalantCascade Regional Blood CentersBloodworksNW, and the American Red Cross Northwest Region.

Donating blood is safe for donators and lifesaving for recipients. Donations are critical for patients undergoing surgeries, cancer treatments, blood disorder treatments, childbirth complications, and other serious and potentially life-threatening conditions and injuries. Most people in good health, at least 18 years old and weighing 110 pounds, can donate blood. People aged 16 and 17 may donate in Washington with signed permission forms. 

“Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood,” said Angel Montes, Donor Services Executive, Red Cross Northwest Region. “You can help patients in need by making a blood or platelet donation today.”

Donation Opportunities: 
Silverdale GreenDrinks
Wednesday, February 1, 2023, 5:24 pm
Live Well Kitsap Community Hike
Saturday, February 18, 2023, 10:00 am
Tourism Information
Show Your Support for Washington Tourism
WA Ranks 50 Out of 50 for Funding Tourism Efforts
House Bill 1258 is scheduled for a hearing this Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the House Appropriations Committee.

Please sign in “pro” by 3 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 1) to show your support.

This bill would allow the state tourism program to continue its work and expand industry programming through essential operational funding. You may also submit written comment in support of the bill.

If you have a local representative on the appropriations committee, we encourage you to reach out directly. Our team is happy to connect with you on messages and talking points. We also encourage you to share these links with your local network, which you can do by forwarding this email or by crafting your own message using these links.
Bremerton Art District: First Friday
Friday, February 3, 2023
Admiral Theatre Presents:
Stand-Up Comedy with Orny Adams
Saturday, February 4, 2023, 7:30 pm
Live Standup Comedy is back at Bremerton's Admiral Theatre with an all-new series produced in coordination with and hosted by Bremerton Comedy Legend, The Great Cris! Celebrate the month of Valentine’s love with your new favorite Comedian Orny Adams.

Orny Adams delivers a powerful, incisive stand-up routine that vacillates between the relevant and the absurd. Orny attacks what’s wrong with the world and sometimes even what’s wrong with Orny. He’s brutally honest, satirical and his performance is ceaselessly energetic.
Kitsap Wedding Expo
Saturday, February 4, 2023, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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events for Tuesday's Community Connections!
David Emmons
Irene Moyer
VP, Membership & Strategic Communications
Joe Barboza
Operations Manager
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.