The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

The Times 

Economic updates from Port of Columbia


October 1, 2020

The Port just concluded the second round of grant funding for local businesses. Funding was made possible through Washington State’s CARES Act, the City of Dayton, and private grant funds from the Innovia Foundation. In this round, $170,718 has been distributed to 24 local businesses. Between the two grant programs facilitated by the Port so far, 44 businesses have received assistance for a total of $328,256.

Funds are still available, so Round 3 will open up as soon as Round 2 distributions are complete. Notification will be sent via eNewsletter when the Round 3 application process is open.

Columbia County’s unemployment rate has dropped to 6.8% for August, the 5th lowest in the Washington state. While this is encouraging news, August is a high farm employment month, and the rate may rise as harvest wraps up. Additionally, unemployment may increase as the county continues to recover from damage caused by the pandemic and business closures this spring.

Columbia County once again led the state in retail sales growth for the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019—a 106% increase. According to Port of Columbia director Jenny Dickenson, this was pre-pandemic, so we’ll have to see what the second-quarter numbers show.


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