Monday vote adds to momentum for Port Angeles business groups working as one

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A proposal for the city’s business groups to work in unison is gaining support.

The Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce board voted unanimously Friday to participate in an ad-hoc committee that would discuss tackling Port Angeles-related business issues as one group, Executive Director Russ Veenema said.

On Monday, the seven-member Port Angeles Business Association board unanimously voted to recommend that the PABA membership approve the group’s participation on the committee.

PABA membership will vote on the plan at its regular Tuesday breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. today at Joshua’s Restaurant, 113 DelGuzzi Drive.

The meeting is open to the public.

PABA Vice President Tim Smith, also the interim Clallam County Economic Development Council director, had proposed forming the committee at the PABA’s Jan. 7 meeting, suggesting the Chamber of Commerce, Business Association and Port Angeles Downtown Association join forces to address “Port Angeles-centeric” issues.

Each organization would offer three names of members to participate on the committee.

The Port Angeles Downtown Association, which manages downtown parking and sponsors promotional activities, also has been asked to join.

The Downtown Association board was scheduled to discuss the proposal at its regular monthly meeting Monday night,.

“I’m assuming we would be involved, but to what extent, what depth, we have different functions and different things that we do than what [the chamber and PABA] do,” board President Bob Lumens said earlier Monday.

Smith said Monday he has heard only good reactions to his proposal.

“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people I’ve talked to so far who have said, let’s take a good, hard look at this and see if we can make something work out for the good of everyone,” Smith said.

“I have my fingers crossed that we can at least get an ad-hoc committee together to look at it.

“Maybe it’s an organization with bylaws and a budget that might be triggered by Jan. 1, 2015.

“That could be wishful thinking.”

The chamber has promoted the idea of business groups coming together under one umbrella for 10 years, Veenema said.

“We are very appreciative of other groups seeing that this has got some potential.”

Veenema said he expects members of the Downtown Association will be present at this morning’s PABA meeting.

A Nov. 21 letter to the EDC suggested joint discussions with the EDC for “a new, strategic coordinated model” for countywide economic development.

The EDC board did not respond to the letter at its Dec. 19 meeting.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 13. 2014 6:27PM
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