December 21, 2023
Business and Community Updates
HAPPY HOLIDAYS
Wishing you a very merry Holiday season from all of us at the Port of Columbia!
May the holiday season bring you laughter, and the joy of new beginnings. Here's to a festive and bright holidays and may the coming year be filled with prosperity and smooth sailing!

Keep reading below for updates on 2023 projects and upcoming projects for 2024.
Broadband Updates
We are thrilled to announce that the Dayton Broadband Project is complete! Almost half of the premises in the project area are already receiving the new highspeed broadband service! The Port office is continuing to receive great reports from customers about the new internet service.

The next project in our broadband deployment effort is called the Touchet Valley Broadband Project. This project should be completed by the end of January 2024, weather permitting. The same internet service providers from the Dayton project will be serving customers on this project.

Both the Port and the City have been receiving calls from concerned homeowners about dangling cable in their yards. In most instances, this is the old Touchet Valley TV cable that is being removed by Charter communications via a subcontractor. The Port no longer has contractors in the area working on any wires or cables. If you are experiencing these issues, please report this to your internet service provider or the City of Dayton.
Port Accomplishments in 2023
The Port completed some amazing projects in 2023! We had several successful events including Foodstock, Fall Family Festival, a fiber lighting ceremony and flea market.
The Dayton broadband project is complete and the Touchet Valley broadband project is underway. The Touchet Valley trail design is complete.
At Lyons Ferry Mariana, we continued work on design of the pull-thru RV sites and a new upland restroom.
The Port provided business retention and expansion services to over 30 local businesses, attracted 2 new businesses, and worked with 12 small businesses as commercial kitchen users.
Port Work in 2024
As we look to 2024, the Port will continue our hard work including but not limited to exploring expanding development out at Blue Mountain Station, addressing workforce housing shortage, furthering business recruitment and expansion efforts, and continuing broadband work. The Port received great feedback from our small business survey and will host a few business workshops this winter, and begin planning a quarterly networking event, and cash mob events. Keep on the lookout for more details.
Social Media Marketing Business Workshop
Calling all Columbia County business owners! Dive into the world of social media marketing and discover the key strategies to propel your business to new heights! Learn tips and techniques to maximize your business’s presence on social media platforms. From crafting compelling content to leveraging the latest trends, this workshop is your gateway to unlocking the full potential of social media for business success.

Join Jill Essency from the Port of Columbia and Veronika from Strategy NW marketing on January 9th from 5 to 6:30 pm or January 23rd at that same time at the Port office to embark on a journey to elevate your business.

Email jill@portofcolumbia.org to secure your spot today!
CEDS Voting Results
The Port held our annual economic development steering meeting on December 5th, 2023 and had a record turnout! We use this meeting time to share economic information on the community and information on projects that were worked on in the previous year. We also ask attendees to vote on project the think deserve the most attention in the coming year. The results of that unscientific vote is attached.
In first place is affordable/workforce/mixed-use housing. Second place is the Touchet Valley Trail, or more walking paths. Finally, in a tie for third place is a pool/community center, and education and training/workforce training/internships. The Port and its community partners will continue and/or begin work on these projects in 2024.
Event Happening in Town
Ring in the new year at the Liberty Theater!
Unemployment Rate Increases Slightly
Columbia County's unemployment rate increased from 3.2% in September to 3.8% in October. We continue to enjoy extremely low unemployment in our County.