A trail connecting the rural communities of Dayton and Waitsburg has long been a dream. The Port of Columbia has been working diligently to make that dream a reality since it was first identified as a priority at Columbia County’s 2015 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy meeting. The 9.7 mile trail is included in the Blue Mountain Region Trails plan. A concept plan has been developed for the trail, and design and engineering started in January 2020, as mentioned more in depth below. Construction on the trail likely won’t begin until 2023 at the earliest, dependent on construction funds, maintenance plans, and engineering considerations.
After 7 weeks of waiting, the Department of Commerce finally announced the recipients of the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program for Columbia County. Columbia County had 31 businesses apply, and 25 were awarded funds by the Governor’s office and the Department of Commerce. State lottery proceeds from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund were used for the program. No Port of Columbia funds were used, and the Port declined using any of the funds for administration so that all monies would be available to businesses. We are working on the creation of a second, local grant fund in order to provide more assistance to those businesses still hurting from the COVID shutdown.
While local business owners are ready to get open again, social distancing and other rules created during the COVID19 pandemic need to be following in order for those businesses to stay open. Recreating in Columbia County is popular, and for decades we have welcomed people from across the state into our community. Times are different this spring, and our recreation business owners are asking visitors to respect the guidelines set forth so their ability to stay open is not jeopardized. More info here.
The Port of Columbia and the Dayton Chamber of Commerce have worked together on many economic development projects and programs over the years, but nothing quite like the challenges facing business owners today. Read Waitsburg Times article here.
Downtown Dayton’s beloved Weinhard Hotel has new owners, and the community is thrilled to welcome them. Read the Union Bulletin article here.
In a Zoom call April 30th, the Port of Columbia led a discussion with Columbia County PUblic Health on what reopening could look like and what supplied will be needed to help make it happen. Read the Union Bulletin news article here.
With the recently extended Stay-at-home order the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and Port of Columbia have revamped, added and edited the list of businesses that would love your support during this difficult time. Buy a gift certificate in preparation for that much needed massage, haircut, or shopping spree once we are through this! Order food and pick it up to eat at home! Stay safe, keep your distance, but lets all work together to keep the community going! Please, check out the link here.
The Port and the Chamber are working together to come up with a list of restaurant take-out, delivery, and gift card options in order to create a comprehensive list to use in a marketing campaign. Even though this is geared towards restaurants, please fill it out anyway if your business has an idea your business would like to share with the community. Click Here for a printable version of the questionnaire.