Meeting to focus on Columbia County's economy

The Port of Columbia, Dayton Chamber and others will answer questions.

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DAYTON - After learning some shocking news from the Port of Columbia's State of the Economy Presentation held in January, a follow-up session is planned to discuss ways to combat the bad news.

The disappointing facts showed Dayton's retail sales per capita are the lowest in the region. Farm profits have declined, eliminating disposable income that previously was spent in local communities.

Following the meeting, people asked: "So what are we doing about the economic woes our community faces?" according to a Port news release.

Port of Columbia staff, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association will offer answers at a follow-up session Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. in the Liberty Theater. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Other questions that will be answered include: What do these economic development agencies do, and how do they work together? What kinds of plans are being made to keep our existing businesses healthy and attract new businesses?

Examples of items and projects that will be discussed include the Port's construction of a new value-added meat processing plant, a retail training program and workshops to be offered by the Chamber, and a SEWEDA recruitment effort to attract businesses related to the burgeoning wind industry.

For more information, contact Port Manager Jennie Dickinson, 382-2577; Chamber Executive Director Claudia Nysoe, 382-4825; or Seweda Executive Director Duane Wollmuth, 509-780-2182.

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