News and Updates | Issued on July 20, 2020
This monthly publication is intended for those interested in news from the Port of Benton or Tri-Cities Research District. To learn more about the Port of Benton or Tri-Cities Research District, please visit each organization's respective website.
Leadership Resources
Peerspective Leadership Roundtables

Join the Washington State Dept. of Commerce and Edward Lowe Foundation to explore, share, and collaborate on leadership in the new normal of a global pandemic.

CEOs, presidents, and business owners are invited to apply to join 'Thriving in Challenging Times,' a Washington working group exploring topics that cover a wide range of issues, including decision-making in uncertain times, financial strategies and risk assessment, supply chain, human resources and resuming operations.

To find out if you qualify to participate and for more information about the roundtables, visit

Business News
Prosser Open for Business
Several tenants and neighbors in Prosser have remained open with limited curbside pickup and some are reopening in-person visits with limited outdoor seating under the Benton County Modified Phase One.

Wit Cellars Modified Phase One Information

Small Business Incentive Program
The Tri-City Regional Chamber and Washington River Protection Solutions are again offering their Small Business Incentive Program. This year programs are focused on Covid-19 related relief for small businesses.

Qualify for a Free Infrared Thermometer
The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and the WA Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), in collaboration with FEMA, are distributing 500 non-contact infrared thermometers (NCITs) to qualifying businesses in the region. 

To request a thermometer or for more information contact Jody O'Connor at the Tri-City Regional Chamber office at
Temporary Outdoor Area
Waiver for Businesses in Richland
Richland businesses will soon be able to apply for a Temporary Outdoor Area Waiver. These are being offered by application to Richland businesses that want to expand their outdoor space to accommodate more patrons and get back to business. The applications will go live soon, in the meantime here is what you can do, or need to know to get ready .

When available, applications can be accessed at If you have questions please email  for more information.
eNews from the Tri-Cities Research District
SIGN Turns Crisis Into Opportunity

We've all had to learn to adapt during the global pandemic - one company, located in the Tri-Cities Research District, has not only adapted, but embraced new ways of doing buisness.

SIGN Fracture Care International recently purchased their 38,000-square-foot building on George Washington Way from the Port of Benton with plans to remodel the facility. However, the company needed to rethink operations, due to the pandemic when all of their employees had to work from home. [READ ON]
WSU Offers New Viticulture And Enology Degree 

The Washington State University Board of Regents approved a new Bachelor of Science major in Viticulture and Enology (V&E). The degree will be offered by Washington State University Tri-Cities (WSU-TC) campus and supported by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Science Center and Albert Ravenholt Research and Teaching Vineyard.  [READ ON}

A new internship program at Washington State University Tri-Cities (WSU-TC) was established to benefit Tri-Cities businesses, including those located in the Tri-Cities Research District. The WSU Tri-Cities Entrepreneurial Career Preparation & Internship Program, also known as Cougs INNOVATE, was made possible by a $10,000 donation from community leader Bob Ferguson in 2019. It is the first paid internship program to be administrated by the Office of Student Affairs ,
Chris Meiers Selected For National Fellowship

Chris Meiers, Washington State University Tri-Cities (WSU-TC) Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, was recently selected by the American Council on Education (ACE) to receive one of thirty-eight national fellowships.