Everything you need to know this month in business,
brought to you by the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce.
Upcoming Networking Events

September 7th - First Friday Coffee Club

September 12th - Women, Wine, & Whatever

September 20th - Business After Hours
Opportunities for
Professional Development

September thru December - Lean Enterprise Certificate Program (LECP)  Register TODAY

September thru November - NxLevel Entrepreneur Course

September 29th -  22nd annual Biz Fair

Rulemaking for executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act

On March 20, 2018, the Department of Labor & Industries filed a CR-101 announcing the intent to do rulemaking on the executive, administrative, professional (EAP), and outside sales person exemption to the Minimum Wage Act rules under WAC 296-128 .

Most employees covered by the Washington Minimum Wage Act (MWA) must be provided a minimum wage, overtime for working above 40 in a seven-day workweek, and paid sick leave. The MWA exempts some workers from these requirements. RCW 49.46.010(3)(c) exempts any individual employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity or in the capacity of outside salesperson as those terms are defined and delimited by rules of the director [of the department of Labor & Industries].

The department worked with a group of business and labor stakeholders, and other interested parties, to help us determine the scope of the amended rules. Out of that work, a document was created of draft rule concepts, which comprise a menu of policy options for consideration prior to drafting EAP rule updates. They include suggestions from stakeholder comments, language to align with similar federal rules, and other possible updates for consideration.

Anyone interested in commenting on the EAP Draft Rule Concepts is encouraged to visit our public engagement site. The deadline for submission of feedback is TODAY Wednesday, September 5th.

Stakeholders can submit their comments on the EAP Draft Rule Concepts page of the engagement site, or via email to . Please note that feedback submitted via email will be added to the engagement site as well.
Governor Inslee celebrates Careers in Retail Month
Governor Jay Inslee has announced September as Careers in Retail Month. It's the second year of what the Washington Retail Association expects will be an annual recognition of the importance of the retail industry.
In his second such proclamation, Gov. Inslee salutes retail workers across the state who play a major role in maintaining the health of the state economy.
Retail is the nation's largest private sector employer. It covers a wide array of jobs, from entry-level part-time work to influential executive positions. The retail landscape in Washington State and across the nation is vibrant and dramatically changing as consumers drive the industry forward.  
The Employment Security Department reports that during the peak December employment periods in retail dating back to 2009, retail employment statewide increased annually a total of 27 percent through 2017. The industry now employs nearly 400,000 across the state who last year helped to generate a record $155.3 billion in taxable retail sales. Retail sales and use taxes make up more than half (51 percent) of the state's general operating fund.
Kittitas County now accepting Lodging Tax Grant applications
for events and projects

Kittitas County is now accepting applications for 2019 Lodging Tax Fund Grants for Special Events and Projects. This call for applications is county-wide. The application is posted online on the County’s website. The application process this year is only available digitally and must be completed and submitted exclusively online.

The Lodging Tax Grant Program for Special Events and Projects is a collaborative program between Kittitas County and each city in the county which collects lodging tax. Applicants only need to complete one application to be eligible for consideration. The County and the cities of Ellensburg, Cle Elum, and Roslyn will jointly review and award funding. Funds awarded through this process may be used for tourism marketing; the marketing and operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists; and supporting the operation of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by non-profit organizations.

Completed grant applications are due no later than 5:00 PM, September 28, 2018.
Paid Medical Leave changes in 2020

Starting in 2020, Washington will be the fifth state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave benefits to workers. The program will be funded by premiums paid by both employees and many employers, and will be administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). This  insurance program  will allow workers to take up to 12 weeks, as needed, when they welcome a new child into their family, are struck by a serious illness or injury, need to take care of an ill or ailing relative and for certain military connected events. If workers experience multiple events in a given year, they may be eligible to receive up to 16 weeks, or up to 18 weeks if the employee experiences a serious health condition with a pregnancy that results in incapacity.

As directed by the Legislature, premium assessment begins on Jan. 1, 2019 and benefits can be taken starting Jan. 1, 2020.
Fall NxLevel course begins on September 20th

Offered by the Ellensburg Downtown Association twice a year, beginning in February and September, this 10-week course will help you develop your entrepreneurial ideas and make them a reality.

The course covers the basics of a business plan and brings in guest speakers who are professionals in the fields of marketing, the internet, legalities, accounting, bookkeeping, and management.

Call the Ellensburg Downtown Association at (509) 962-6246 for more information or to enroll .
Bite of the Burg vendor applications available now

Bite of the Burg is on Tuesday, September 18th, and vendor applications can be turned in to either Visitor Information Center. Don't miss this opportunity to introduce your business to over 2,000 new and returning CWU students! Chamber Members receive a discount!
Support local entrepreneurs with an Enterprise Challenge sponsorship

The annual Enterprise Challenge, hosted by the Kittitas County Chamber and the Yakima County Development Association, is now accepting sponsorships . There are a variety of packages to support the business competition, from $200 to $10,000. Get exposure for your business, make connections with emerging entrepreneurs, and support a growing local economy. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please email Laura Bobovski, Director of Economic Development, or call 509-925-2002.

The Enterprise Challenge is a business plan competition for new companies in Yakima and Kittitas Counties. Over 85 participants have started successful new businesses throughout the region and employ more than 280 people in our community. 1st place wins $10,000, 2nd Place gets $5,000, and 3rd Place gets $2,500. The real reward, though, is to see the contestants advance or improve their business!
This monthly newsletter is provided by the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, and will share the latest business news and advice. Be sure to continue checking our weekly What's Happening for any business news needing to be shared before the next Business Bulletin .

Please send your feedback to Amy Kaiser, Director of Membership Services | 509-925-2002 |