Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Important News for You
The Washington State Supreme Court building on the Capitol campus in Olympia on Friday. (Karen Ducey/The Seattle Times)
WA Supreme Court Upholds Capital Gains Tax
Published in The Seattle Times, March 24, 2023

The Washington state Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the state’s capital gains tax, cementing a long-sought victory for state Democrats and nudging the state’s tax system in a more progressive direction.

The court ruled 7-2 Friday morning to uphold the tax. The court declined to revisit its nearly century-old precedent, which bars a progressive income tax, but instead ruled the capital gains tax is constitutional because it is an excise tax, which is a tax on a good or service, and not a property tax.

Chamber News
Check out and like the
Greater Kitsap Chamber Facebook pages!
RECAP: Chamber Luncheon
Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 11:00 am
Many thanks to the 99+ members and visitors who joined us last week for our March membership luncheon! We raised a record $370 with our raffle this month with proceeds benefitting the Chamber Scholarship Fund. And a huge round of applause again to our speakers who took on the challenge of talking about work/life integration and left our audience with some food for thought: Monica Blackwood (West Sound Workforce), Central Kitsap Fire Chief Jay Christian, Erin Hatch (Rice Fergus Miller), and Amber Sallay (Vibe Coworks).
Mike's Rides for Lives Awards Car
Community celebrates 2nd year with annual giveaway
Executive Director of Mike's Rides for Lives, Mike Columbus, was joined by his team and members of the community as the charity awarded a car for their second year to a community member in need. The event was hosted by 1st Security Bank Silverdale and supported by the Haselwood Auto Group, as well as many members of the community through their donations and service. Chamber members Dirty2Dreamy Kitsap provided a detail for the vehicle and owner Jonathan Monson personally donated an anti-theft device. The event was emceed by Greater Kitsap Chamber President/CEO, David Emmons.
Celebrating St. Vincent de Paul's New Superstore
Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 2:00 pm
Bremerton GreenDrinks @ Rice Fergus Miller
Thursday, April 13, 2023, 5:00 pm
Ribbon Cutting Celebration for RE/MAX Anchor
Friday, April 14, 2023, 1:00 pm
April Membership Luncheon
Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 11:00 am
Join us in April as we welcome the Association of Washington Business' Dave Mastin, Vice President of Government Affairs. Dave will provide us with an overview and recap of this year's legislative session and how action in Olympia is impacting local businesses.
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!
Aker Insurance Group, LLC - Kimberly Aker
Bremerton Foodline
Moxie Entrepreneurial Support Services - Whitney Tatum
Law Office of Torres & Haroldson - Autumn Smith
West Sound Workforce
West Sound Workforce's President & CEO, Monica Blackwood, was on hand last week to moderate the Greater Kitsap Chamber's luncheon panel discussion on work/life integration. A self-described HR-nerd, Monica was the perfect addition for the discussion last week, and illustrated once again, why she and West Sound Workforce were named the March Member of the Month! Senior Recruiter, Lynnea Tweed was also on hand as David Emmons and John Morrissey presented the Member of the Month certificate to West Sound Workforce.

If your company is in need of a local staffing agency with 25+ years of experience finding qualified workers and filling positions in the Puget Sound region, look no further than West Sound Workforce, with offices in both Poulsbo and Gig Harbor.

18819 3rd Ave, Ste. 110
Poulsbo, WA 98370 | (360) 394-1662

5790 Soundview Drive
Gig Harbor, WA 98335 | (253) 853-3633
Energy Summit 2023
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Barnacles & Bees Spring Celebration
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Apply Now for Leadership Kitsap, Class of 2024
Deadline to Apply: April 3, 2023
Join the Class of 2024 during Leadership Kitsap's 30th year anniversary!

Leadership Kitsap Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 by community leaders, the Kitsap County Chambers of Commerce, and the United Way of Kitsap County. The mission of Leadership Kitsap is to promote informed and committed civic volunteerism. The 10-month long curriculum is designed to help participants acquire both a fuller sense of the critical issues affecting Kitsap County, and the leadership skills necessary to motivate and engage others in collaborative efforts to resolve them.

Leadership Kitsap class participants are selected through a competitive screening/interview process conducted by the Leadership Kitsap Foundation’s Board of Directors. Individuals will be chosen based on the following criteria: (1) commitment to civic involvement in Kitsap County, (2) potential for community leadership, and (3) professional and personal achievement.
Member Spotlight
Air Management Solutions
Air Management Solutions has been providing the Puget Sound area with commercial HVAC solutions since 2002 and have been proud members of the Chamber since 2008. They specialize in maintaining optimal HVAC system performance and extending the lifespan of a building’s HVAC system. Whether this is attained through a simple service call or a complex, whole-building HVAC-system replacement, AMS exhibits the same level of detail and professionalism at all. They understand the success and profitability of your business rests in all of your investments, including your HVAC system.

AMS works with every size commercial business––from one-office businesses to medium-sized restaurants to large shopping centers. With this type of experience diversity, they can come to your project with a bankable solution. They're familiar with an expansive range of HVAC equipment, so you won’t find their experts scratching their heads when faced with your needed service or project.

Air Management Solutions services Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Federal Way, Fife, Gig Harbor, Puget Sound, Poulsbo, Port Orchard, Silverdale, Tacoma, and the surrounding Washington communities with their heating and cooling needs. 
5822 W Werner Road | Bremerton, WA 98312 | (360) 479-6500
Advocacy Committee
Weekly Legislative Updates
2023 Session: Week 11 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.
Live Zoom with Brad Boswell
Friday, March 31, 2023, 11:00 am
Join us for our monthly Zoom with Brad Boswell and get your questions answered about current legislation that may impact your business in 2023.

Lawmakers in Olympia are considering a bill that would raise the real estate excise tax, driving up the cost of housing and giving Washington the highest REET tax in the country. They’re doing this at the same time they are looking for ways to address the state’s housing crisis.

We cannot continue adding to the costs of housing and expect our affordability crisis to get better.

Please take a moment to contact your representatives and tell them to vote NO on HB 1628.

Education Committee
Member Education & Training Resources
Life & Productivity Mastery
Introductory Session Begins March 28, 2023
WTIA Presents: How Startups Make Money
Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 11:30 am
Small Business Cybersecurity Training Series
Small businesses are under cyber and data-breach attacks more than ever given the current climate. Cyber attacks happen every day, and for a small business they can be very costly and cripple business operations. Having your systems and information compromised is not only a direct threat to your confidential data, it can also ruin your relationships with customers and cause legal vulnerability. It is imperative to learn how to boost your cyber defense systems.

This four-part training series was developed to help small businesses be cyber safe. The series will be a combination of cybersecurity presentation, subject matter expert panel and Q&A. Join us and become cyber safe today!
Part 3: Systems
April 4 | 10:30 a.m.
Part 4: Implementation
April 18 | 10:30 a.m.
Register Now for ScaleUp
Cohorts Beginning in April & May, 2023
Increase your business' profitability, build capacity and spur growth with the ScaleUp program from the WA State Department of Commerce. This program normally costs $1,599 and is currently being offered at NO COST to Washington State businesses through June 30, 2023, thanks to ongoing support from the Department of Commerce.

Follow the links or QR code to learn more.
Military Relations Committee
Sign-Up Now for the Armed Forces Day Parade
Parade applications now available online!
Thank You to Our MAD Sponsors
Save the Date for 2024: March 2, 2024
Business News & Resources
Apply Now for WA Hospitality Grants
Deadline: April 6, 2023, 5:00 pm PST
This program offers one-time grants to eligible restaurants, hotels, motels and other qualifying businesses in Washington State that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts. Of the available funding, a portion will be set aside specifically to reimburse lodging establishments that experienced losses during the state’s eviction moratorium pursuant to the governor’s proclamations.
Where WA Keeps Its Money
Restoring Confidence in the US Banking System
Published in The Seattle Times, March 27, 2023
Photo: Damian Dovarganes/The Associated Press

The Biden administration and banking regulators have been working overtime to restore confidence in the banking system. After two of the largest bank failures in U.S. history, here’s what you should know about banking in Washington state.

While Washington is home to 75 banks and 77 credit unions, most of the state’s money is tied up in a handful of huge institutions. Even the biggest state-headquartered banks hold less than 5% of an in-state market dominated by global giants like Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.

AWB's Kris Johnson: Time to Batten the
Hatches with the State Budget
Opinion Column published in the Kitsap Sun, March 24, 2023
Photo: Courtesy of the Association of Washington Business

If ever there was a time for building up Washington’s rainy-day reserves, this is it.

Warning signs continue to flash on an economy that has endured unprecedented stress during the last three years. Inflation remains stubbornly high after months of interest rate hikes. Concern about a potential recession is growing stronger in the wake of the California bank failure and continuing layoffs.

Employers of all sizes and all industry sectors are nervous, and with good reason.

All of this should weigh on the minds of lawmakers in Olympia as they turn their attention to the state budget during the final weeks of the legislative session.

Retail Sales Down Slightly in February - Consumers are Resilient
Courtesy of the U.S. Chamber

Retail sales fell 0.4% in February, but this was after an incredible 3.2% gain in January.

Fill me in: Retail sales are a subsection of total spending. It includes spending at retail stores (including online) and at bars and restaurants, but it doesn’t include services, business spending, or investment.
Why it matters: The decline may lead many to believe consumer strength is weakened. But based on last month’s data, consumers still can spend despite inflation, dwindling savings, and shrinking room on their credit cards.

The big picture: Consumer strength has buoyed the economy since COVID. As long as the job market remains robust and incomes remain steady, consumers will have money to spend, even if they are falling slightly behind inflation.

Learn more: For more snapshots of the U.S. economy from the Economic Policy Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, click here
Wage Pressure for Retailers Continues
Even as Consumer Demand Softens

As tech companies lay off tens of thousands of workers, major retail giants are scrambling to retain theirs. Despite having already raised wages throughout the pandemic, these retailers still anticipate further wage pressures. For example, Walmart recently announced a wage increase for its U.S. hourly workers, raising starting wages from $12 to $14 an hour, with average hourly wages now over $17.50. Similarly, Home Depot plans to spend $1 billion on hourly employee wage increases, while Dollar Tree has pledged to spend $430 million this fiscal year on improving wages and operations, citing a need to reduce theft at its stores.
The competition for retail workers is expected to remain high, with quit rates for retail jobs dropping only slightly since reaching an all-time high in December 2021 and rising steadily since July. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings in the retail sector as of January stood 15% higher than pre-pandemic levels. The services sector, specifically leisure and hospitality, which pays even less than retail, saw 80% more job openings in January compared to pre-pandemic levels, further intensifying the competition for workers.
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.
Nonprofits Ready for Kitsap's
Biggest Day of Giving
Early Giving Opens April 1, 2023
3 Ways to Stand Out with Impact
Published on NonProfitPro.com, March 2023
Photo: Getty Images by Eoneren

Thinking of fundraising as a form of sales can feel like a splash of cold water. The analogy reminds us of fundraising’s transactional nature — the donor is the buyer, and you, the nonprofit representative, are the seller. But this analogy can also be empowering. Steeped in the charity mindset, as those of us in the social sector tend to be, we can sometimes think of fundraising as a glorified form of begging. But with a sales mindset in place, you remember you have a product to offer that has value to the buyer. And as with sales, the quality of your product is key. 

The product in question is, of course, the impact your organization produces. Said impact continues to be one of the top reasons donors give. For example, “The Giving Environment: Understanding How Donors Make Giving Decisions” (opens as a pdf), a 2022 study by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy noted that donors seek organizations “that make greater effort to educate the donors on what’s being done with their money and how it’s making a difference,” as well as “demonstrate greater efficacy and impact.” With so many options from which donors can select, standing out through a stellar impact offering is imperative. Read on for some tips for doing just that.
2023 Washington State Nonprofit Conference
May 17-19, 2023
We spent time adjusting to life in a pandemic, and now is the time to recognize the need for moving boldly as we embrace what comes next. At the 2023 Washington State Nonprofit Conference, we will explore the theme "Moving Boldly."

How are we taking risks to challenge norms, evolve practices, and center justice to achieve the changes we seek in the nonprofit sector? Moving boldly requires courage, confidence, and strength that is found across nonprofits and in the communities we serve. This Conference is an invitation for us all to move boldly together.  

Greater Kitsap News
$6.3m Coming from State to Finalize
KCR Purchase in East Bremerton
Published in the Kitsap Sun, March 27, 2023
Photo: Meegan M. Reid/ Kitsap Sun

Kitsap Community Resources (KCR) has been awarded $6.3 million from the Washington State Department of Commerce's Rapid Capital Housing Acquisition program for its Mills Crossing project to turn the 36-unit townhomes in East Bremerton into low-income affordable housing.

The Department of Commerce announced recipients of the grant on Thursday, with Mills Crossing listed as one of the 13 affordable housing projects funded and the only recipient located in Kitsap County. Another Kitsap project, Eagle's Wings B&B, applied by local nonprofit Eagle Wings Coordinated Care in Bremerton, was waitlisted.

Navy Awards More than $49m for Design
Work on New PSNS Dry Dock
Published in the Kitsap Sun, March 23, 2023
Photo: Courtesy of the U.S. Navy

The Navy awarded a contract worth over $49 million dollars for the design services of a new multi-mission dry dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to a Hawaii-based company last week as part of its plan to upgrade four public shipyards in the country. The location of the new dry dock, either at Dry Dock 3 or Mooring A next to Dry Dock 6, has yet to be decided.

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
Kitsap Art Center Offers Spring Break Camps
April 3 - 6, 2023
Silverdale GreenDrinks
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Tourism Information
American Cruise Line Returns to Bremerton
April 7 - November 17, 2023
Good afternoon,

We at the Port of Bremerton are excited to announce that American Cruise Lines’ cruise ships will be making a return to Bremerton this year. There will be a total of 46 docking dates spanning from April 07 to November 17. The two ships in use, American Constellation and American Spirit, measure 267 and 205 feet in length respectively, and will be docked at our Bremerton Marina for the duration of their stay. Each ship will have upwards of an estimated 100 individuals.

While in Bremerton, the cruise line will be offering those onboard tours of Kitsap activities via a coach company local to Bremerton. This will not only ensure less of an impact on local traffic but also an increased opportunity for local businesses, with some excursions including Puget Sound Navy Museum, Elandan Gardens, USS Turner Joy, Suquamish Museum, and Historic Poulsbo Exploration, among others. Furthermore, we at the Port of Bremerton will be offering a welcome bag of local information and coupons and have partnered with the City of Bremerton to provide walking maps of Bremerton to all exiting the ship. If you have a coupon or flier you would like included, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We hope all our neighbors in Bremerton are just as excited about the upcoming cruise season as we are. Our mission is to increase economic opportunity for all of Kitsap County, and our ability to facilitate cruise dockings is an excellent effort to this. To learn more about the cruise ships or how you may benefit from their presence, please contact us or the cruise line directly.

Thank you,
Kathy Garcia
Marina Operations Manager
(360) 813-0825 | kathyg@portofbremerton.org

Bremerton Marina:
(360) 373-1035 | moorage@portofbremerton.org
Advertising Opportunity:
Put Your Business on the Map
With nearly all 10,000 copies of last year's map distributed around the greater Puget Sound region, including 7,500 on our local ferries, the Greater Kitsap Visitor Center map is the place to advertise your business! The 2023 edition will include street maps of both Silverdale and Bremerton - perfect if you're new to the area or a long-time resident. Contact the Visitor Center for more information!
Easter Bunny Visits Kitsap Mall
Now thru April 8, 2023
The Easter Bunny has arrived in Kitsap! Hop on over to the Kitsap Mall to get your photos taken with the big bunny himself from now until April 8th. The bunny is located near the Greater Kitsap Chamber and Visitor Center office off the Center Court.
Admiral Theatre Presents:
Always Patsy Cline
Saturday, April 1, 2023, 7:30 pm
Always...Patsy Cline is based on the true story of Patsy Cline's friendship with Houston housewife Louise Seger.

The musical focuses on the fateful evening at Houston's Esquire Ballroom when Seger hears of Cline's death in a plane crash. Seger tells the story while Cline appears singing tunes that made her famous - Anytime, Walking' After Midnight, She's Got You, Sweet Dreams, and Crazy - to name a few.

The show offers fans who remember Cline while she was alive a chance to look back, while giving new fans an idea of who she was and what she meant.
BIMA's Treasure Trek
April 1 - July 1, 2023
Grab your galoshes and get ready to discover art where you least expect it in BIMA’s Treasure Trek: A Glass Float Seek & Keep. This spring, in celebration of BIMA’s 10th anniversary, 200 hand-blown glass orbs will be hidden on public lands across Kitsap County just waiting to be discovered and treasured by intrepid art lovers. The rules are simple: you find it, you keep it—however we ask that you just keep one so more people can enjoy the hunt.

Working in partnership with Tacoma youth development arts non-profit Hilltop Artists, young glassblowers are creating 200 unique glass balls stamped with BIMA’s logo. The balls, or “floats” (inspired by the glass fishing net floats used by Japanese fishermen), will be hidden in parks, on trails and beaches, and other public lands across the county. Never quite in plain sight, the floats could be behind a log, in a tree, in a hollowed-out stump, under a bush, or other spots that help camouflage the grapefruit-sized artworks. But there’s no need to go tromping around off-trail, these translucent treasures will always be about an arm’s reach from marked pathways. 

Found one? It’s yours to keep! Keep just one, but continue to hunt and share photos if you’d like—share your find with the hashtag #BIMATreasureTrek and be entered to win one of five prize packages. 

Our first float drop will be April 1, 2023 and more will be hidden over the next six weeks, so don’t give up if you don’t find one on your first outing.
The Found Market @ Kitsap County Fairgrounds
Friday & Saturday, April 14-15, 2023
Join us for a weekend filled with shopping, food trucks & music! Think all things Spring decor + vintage home decor, antiques, handmade, farmhouse, art, outdoor furnishings, architectural salvage pieces, clothing + jewelry, mid-century, garden + planters & so much more!

Friday VIP night (beer & wine garden) 4-8pm
Friday tickets $10 (good for Friday & Saturday)

Saturday general admission 9-4pm
Saturday tickets $5

Tickets can be purchased at Josephine's Mercantile & Valley Vintage Market.
Also available at the gate (cash only).
Joel Gibson Jr.
Recording Live at the Roxy
Saturday, April 15, 2023, 7:00 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
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.