News, Information and Commentary
August 2017
Senator McCain is right

A few thoughts from
Jon Flora,  President & CEO

As many know, I live on an island and commute daily by ferry.   It’s a beautiful way to get to work especially during the summer months.  Mountains, sunsets, and an occasional whale.  You don’t get that on a clogged freeway!

The 20 minute ferry ride gives me time to think and occasionally chit-chat with neighbors.  This summer, those thoughts and conversations seem to be focused on the cost of government, relying on a marginal state-run ferry system, ever-growing divide in opinion among us that people on Medicaid should "pull-themselves up by the bootstraps" or that Corporate America is bad, greedy and wealthy.  It makes for a very full 20 minutes!

Like many, I am particularly frustrated about decisions being made by our elected representatives based on wild generalizations about business.  Our local, state and federal representatives are responding to whatever group yells the loudest while forgetting that the business community, including each of our NACM member companies, works hard to remain profitable, keep people employed and pay taxes.  Add in the continuing head-butting of our political system, and chaos is the result. As you’ll see in the News Headlines below, most legislatures in the West are struggling to do the business of the people.  That’s a serious concern.

Years of partisanship in the halls of government is keeping anything constructive from happening.  Last Monday, Senator John McCain spoke to this issue in an impassioned speech to Congress.  "What have we to lose by trying to work together to find those solutions? We're not getting much done apart."  We have a link to his speech in the News section below.  It's worth reading. 

Consider health care costs.  Our NACM insurance expenses have increased almost 30% in the last two years.  For a small business, that’s simply unsustainable.  Our choices are few and I lose sleep over how to provide for our employees.

Then we have Washington’s Business & Occupation Tax.  This tax on gross sales kills the bottom-line of small business.   And coming in 2019, Washington’s new Family Leave Act which – while very well intentioned – will add yet another layer of expense for employees and companies.  It also comes with its own new bureaucracy and overhead costs.

Our friends in Hawaii are dealing with a passenger rail project that is woefully over budget and behind schedule.  Just like the one in the Puget Sound area.  In Alaska, a tough economy is putting all kinds of pressure on budgets and taxpayers.  Add on growing property taxes, special levies, minimum wage increases – and you have to wonder when someone will stand up and say "Enough!"

In 2004, a candidate for Governor of Washington ran on a platform of instituting a state income tax.  When asked what would happen to existing taxes and fees, he stated “We need all of them too because we have so much to accomplish!”  He didn’t make it past the primary election.  Yet, that attitude is even more evident today.

So what’s it mean for all of us?  First, let's be grateful for all we have.  We really are fortunate.  Second, let's get to work to take care of what we have earned.

If you support all of the new spending, take time to thank your representatives.  They are doing what you want and they should be acknowledged.   If not, engage and sound off to those elected as your representatives.  They need to hear from you.


Being a public servant is hard work so be polite.  It takes time and patience to deal with politicians.  But be in touch and be direct. If we don’t do it, we deserve the results we are getting.

If you choked when you received your latest property tax bill, it’s time to pick up the phone or write a letter.   If your ferry service is perpetually late while fares keep going up, let the Governor hear from you.  When the opportunity arises to attend a Town Hall or other constituent-based meeting, go talk to your Congressperson.  You will learn a lot and perhaps the people representing you will actually acknowledge what you need instead of what their party wants.

On that note, my boat is arriving so it's time to get to work.  Here’s to a great August and thanks for your support of NACM.

September Lunch & Learn
Join us on September 12th for a presentation from John Brislin, Regional Director for the Export-Import Bank.  If you are doing business in or with foreign countries, the Ex-Im Bank is an important tool with several new opportunities.

The presentations will be preceded by a tour of the Nucor Seattle steel mill in West Seattle.  See recycled metals melted down and turned into new products for modern construction.  

To register, please email:

Millennials want face time for the career networking
You can hardly attend a conference or meeting without hearing about Millennials. Media Planet looks at what they want to help build their professional networks.

Media Planet
B & O Tax Deadline Alert
Does your business pay Washington B & O tax and report apportionable revenue?  You have an approaching deadline.

This Moss Adams alert helps prepare you for October 31st.

Latest Job Opportunities
If you are needing to fill a position or are looking for a job, the NACM Job Bank is for you.  It gets a lot of traffic and - best of all - it's a free service to our members!  Log in to today and give it a try.

State primaries - Remember to Vote!
Don't forget to vote in this month's statewide primary elections.  Your vote counts!

Washington - August 1st
Hawaii - August 11th

Top States for Business in 2017
CNBC's annual review of best states for business selected Washington for the top slot.  The following link takes you to the entire list of 50 states.  In the News section below, you can read the entire article and see an interview with Washington Governor Jay Insley.

Check out the whole list
State capitals' progress...or not
Here's a look at what some of your elected representatives are doing around the West. Click on your capital:

Olympia:  Deadlock over water rights
Juneau:    Still working on capital budget
Honolulu: Special Session for rail project
Austin:   Tensions high in Special Session
Sacramento: Cap-and-trade squeaks by
Salem:      Winners and Losers for 2017
John McCain asks Congress to work together
Arizona Senator McCain took to the floor of Congress last week to ask his colleagues to work together in search of solutions for our nation's issues. Click below to read his thoughtful commentary.

McCain speech
Business news highlights
It is important to stay on top of local news where we do business.  Just click on the location of interest to read more:

Washington: Top State for Business
Hawaii: State to spend $30M for Honu Alaska: Longest decline on record
Alaska: Big year for salmon prices
Hawaii: Help wanted
Arizona You won't believe Phoenix prices
National: 401K's are back and bigger
Graduate school kudos
We offer our congratulations to two NACM BCS Board members. Doug Jacobson CCE ( SRS Distributors) completed NACM's Graduate School of Financial & Credit Management.  Well done!

Congratulations also go out to Steven Hopkins CCE ( Stoneway Electric) for being accepted into the program beginning next Spring.  Good luck!

If you are interested in enhancing your skills with an enhanced executive educational program, click below for more information.  Please contact Ricole Isbey-Johnson in our Seattle office for more information (206-728-6327)
NACM Golf Tourney on hiatus
After 88 years, the Bryce T. Wilson Memorial Golf Tournament will be taking a break in 2017.  In recent years, participation has noticeably declined while costs have steadily risen. Coupled with a course scheduling issue, the Board of Directors recently voted to end the tournament and asked the staff to come back with other networking and social options.

A recent survey of members suggests more interest in after-hours gatherings, tours of member company facilities and offerings like a harbor cruise.  We'll keep testing other ideas and we welcome your comments and suggestions anytime at:

Thank you for your past participation and we look forward to seeing you at a coming event.

Industry Trade Groups
Puget Sound Area

August   8     11:30 a.m.      Transportation                    Duke's Chowderhouse
August 10     11:30 a.m.      Flooring                              Duke's Chowderhouse
August 15     11:30 a.m.      HVAC                                 Duke's Chowderhouse
August 16     11:30 a.m.      Tacoma Construction         Johnny's Dock                      
                     11:30 a.m.      Food                                   Dukes Chowderhouse
August 17     11:30 a.m.      Wiring                                 Duke's Chowderhouse
                     11:30 a.m.      Eastside Construction        13 Coins                                           


August 16      12:00 a.m.     Alaska Suppliers & Food    Doriola's


August 15      11:30 a.m.     Hawaii Hospitality               Waikiki Yacht Club
August 16      11:30 a.m.     Hawaii Food                       Waikiki Yacht Club
August 18      11:30 a.m.     Hawaii Building                   Waikiki Yacht Club 
Western Region Credit Conference comes to San Diego in October
Join professional colleagues from around the West for this year's NACM Western Region Credit-Con.  We gather in San Diego October 11-13, 2018.  Click below to register and we'll see you this Fall.
Blue first place winner rosette or badge from pleated ribbon with central text to be awarded to the winner of a competition on a graduated grey background with copyspace
Credit-Con Scholarship Offering
If you are thinking about attending the Western Region Credit-Con, NACM Business Credit Services is offering two scholarships to qualified affiliate members that cover full registration (A $445 value.) 

Deadline for applying is August 28th. Awards will be made by August 31st.

Apply today!
Alaska Holiday Luncheon & Seminar
Join us for NACM's annual Alaska Holiday Luncheon and Seminar.  We will gather on Tuesday December 5th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Anchorage.

The program will feature Alaska's State Economist for an annual look at the 49th State's economy; Paul Krause will present on being successful in Collections work, and more. The Alaska Supplier and Food group meeting will precede the program.

Save the date and look for more information coming soon.
Hawaii Winter Credit Forum
Save the date:  Friday, March 16, 2018. The Hawaii Winter Credit Forum will return to the Honolulu for a second year.  Great speakers are already signing on and we thank UTA and D&B for agreeing to again help sponsor the program.

Whether you're Kama'aina or coming from the mainland on business or vacation, join NACM on March 16th for a day of professional education.  Registration opens September 1st.
22 New Partner Integrations 
Seattle-based Avalara continues to add new partner integrations for their sales tax calcuating software.  There are now more than 550 pre-built connectors into leading accounting, ERP, ecommerce and other business applications.  Click below for more information or contact NACM and we will be glad to work with you.
Not all credit reports are the same
There are a lot of different credit reporting products available today.  Some very good and some not so much.

Our experience over nearly three decades has shown Experian reports to be the best fit for many of our members.  There are, of course, exceptions and for those we have other great options to consider.  

Before you make a choice, ask your NACM Account Executive to help you figure out what report is best for for your needs.

Contact them today at 800-432-5700
New offerings from D & B Credit
Make effective, more efficient credit decisions with Dun & Bradstreet’s next-generation risk intelligence platform. D&B Credit equips your team with indispensable data and tools to be smart, strategic growth drivers. With powerful segmentation tools and personalized alerts, your entire team will be able to zero in on what’s important for the business—be it data on an individual company or the amount of risk across your entire portfolio.

Talk to your NACM rep today to learn more about D&B Credit!   800-423-5710  
Your source for commercial credit products and services since 1899