Meet the Community Award nominees part 4: Citizen of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

I’m back with our fourth and final round of nominees for this year’s Community Awards, as well as a reminder that our online silent auction is officially live and accepting bids at event.gives/tillamookchamber22. (Yes, the silent auction is online this year. But our oral auction and banquet will be in-person. It’s the best of both worlds!)

We received 10 nominations for Citizen of the Year, which honors one individual from Tillamook County who made a significant impact on the community in the last year. Our nominees include nonprofit board members and local volunteers, to small business owners and teachers.

Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominees stand out. We will share some of that background information in the announcements.

And now, here are your nominees for Citizen of the Year:

Carol Weber: Carol is the Chair of the Board of Latimer Quilt and Textile Center. Under her leadership, the Center has drawn visitors from around the world to stop into view the world-class collection of textiles. Carol also travels to quilt shows around the state to educate people about textiles and publicize the Latimer Center and Tillamook. The time the Carol spends on behalf of the Latimer Center is immeasurable.

Doug Beeler: As a Peer Support Specialist at Tillamook Family Counseling Center, Doug has worked tirelessly through the pandemic to help people in our community find and maintain recovery from substances. He inspires hope and positivity in every possible way, and every person Doug meets is one step closer to a healthier, recovery focused life.

Jesse Borough: Jesse helped launch the Safety on Six information and awareness campaign about the safety concerns many Tillamook and Washington County residents have about Highway 6. Jess took on the project to create a safer commute for those traveling the highway. He organizes town hall meetings with the proper authorities, and he created the Safety on Six Facebook page to keep the community involved.

JoAnne Waters: JoAnne works with local seniors, students and families in Tillamook County to finds out specifically what the people need at this time in their lives that make living a little bit easier or tolerable. For example, she collects healthy snacks to distribute to hungry Nestucca students throughout the day. She also requests monetary help for PUD bills for people struggling, and she works with the PUD to ensure people do not lose their connection to heat and lights. She is an immeasurable resource for our community’s less fortunate.

John Sandusky: John Sandusky was the first executive director for CARE, and he left a lasting impact on Tillamook County. During his time with CARE, he ran the county’s first homeless shelter. He also played instrumental roles in starting the local chapter of the Oregon Food Bank, building the locations for Tillamook Early Learning Center and Cedar Creek Childcare Center, and establishing Kilchis House, Nehalem Bay House and Madrona House. Now he works as a full-time faculty member at Tillamook Bay Community College and serves as a Tillamook City Council Member.

Robyn Herrick: Robyn is the Clinical Director at Tillamook Family Counseling Center, where she collaborates with community partners and explores ways to reduce barrier to treatment. She has taken on additional roles outside of the directorship to make sure that mental health crisis services are available to our community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Her role is pivotal for providing the many services that TFCC has to offer, and her dedication to that job and our community is humbling.

Ryan Weber: Ryan is the Associate Vice President and Store Manager of the Tillamook Umpqua Bank location, but he is extremely involved in a number of different organizations throughout Tillamook County. His involvements include Rotary, Tillamook County Outdoor School, the Tillamook Early Learning Center, the Tillamook School District and the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Ryan’s commitment to the community is bar none. He uses his skills professionally to drive real change, and he knows how to empower other people to get involved, too.

Skyler Veek: The owner of Lucky Bear Soap Company, Skyler enhances the quality of life in Tillamook County through dedicated and tireless community involvement and social responsibility. She served as the president of the Tillamook Revitalization Association for several years, and she organized and ran the popular Moonlight Madness event downtown. She continues to be actively involved in community public forums, from City Council meetings to downtown association events.

Sydney Elliott: Sydney is a full-time faculty member at Tillamook Bay Community College, where she teaches English, writing and literature. She developed and continues to teach trauma-informed curriculum. She also trains other faculty to implement such curriculum in their classes. Sydney also serves on the Tillamook County Search and Rescue team, and she developed an online program to train volunteers while still adhering to COVID-19 guidelines that temporarily prohibited in-person meetings. Sydney’s’ talents are broad and prolific, and she shows her dedication to this community by sharing those talents with us.

Terry Phillips: Terry is a small business owner who continues to invest his time and money into renovating Downtown Tillamook. He continues to help beautify downtown with his visions. He invests in property, employees several of our residents and stays involved in the community. His accomplishments help to serve all those who visit and live in Tillamook County.

For all of you who have stuck with us over the last three announcements, thank you! We had a whopping 32 nominations across five categories this year, and many of our awards received several more nominees than usual. You can read about all of the nominees online at tillamookchamber.org.

We love the way this community shows up to support one another and celebrate in our successes. And we look forward to honoring all of these nominees at the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Banquet on January 29.

Until then, be sure to check out the virtual silent auction at event.gives/tillamookchamber22. We have more than 100 amazing items to auction off this year, and you can continue to bid on items through the evening of the Banquet — even if you’re not able to attend the event in-person!

Thanks for our best Shop Small Sweepstakes yet!

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Please excuse my quick interruption of the Community Award nominee announcements for this Chamber Chatter about the 2021 Shop Small Sweepstakes.

We officially wrapped up the Sweepstakes last week when we drew our grand prize winner. US Bank, our amazing sponsor for the local shopping program, brought out a big check to for $1,000 of Sweepstakes Bucks and helped us congratulate our lucky grand prize winner, Vicki Freehill. The complete video of the drawing is available to view on our Chamber Facebook page for anyone who wants to watch.

Congrats to our 2021 Shop Small Sweepstakes winner, Vicki Freehill.

This year our community totally knocked it out of the park with the Shop Small Sweepstakes. Over the course of 12 weeks, we received a total of 1,975 entries. That’s compared to 856 in 2020 (during a shortened 8-week Sweepstakes due to COVID) and 1,164 in 2019 (a regular 12-week program).

Nearly $103,000 was spent at locally owned businesses throughout the county — the largest economic infusion recorded for one of the Sweepstakes since we started tracking that information in 2018. For some perspective, the past record was set in 2019 with $67,470.

Those numbers represent the ever-growing amount of love, support and appreciation our community pours into our locally owned businesses during the Shop Small Sweepstakes. And our data represents only a portion of the actual shopping that occurred in the county between October and December, because not everyone enters the Sweepstakes for every single purchase they make.

More importantly, those numbers serve as a reminder of the amazing impact we can make on our community, simply by shopping a locally owned businesses. For every $1 you spend at a local business, an average of 70 cents stays in the local economy. That money can then be re-spent within the community to benefit the Tillamook economy, support local jobs and even to support local nonprofits. (Think about who sponsors your children’s youth sports leagues or donates awesome auction items to local fundraiser. It’s probably a local business!)

We want to thank everyone who participated in the Shop Small Sweepstakes this year, from the folks who made an effort to support local whenever they could, to the businesses who sponsored our weekly $50 gift cards, to US Bank for their continued support of this program since it started in 2017. It’s so rewarding to see our community come together to support local businesses and, in turn, benefit this wonderful place we call home.

And even though the Shop Small Sweepstakes is over for the year, we hope you’ll continue to shop local whenever you can. After all, it’s great for the local economy, and it’s the perfect way to practice your craft for next year’s Shop Small Sweepstakes!

Meet the Community Award nominees part 3: Business of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Welcome to the third installment of our announcements of the Community Award nominees! This week we’re excited to introduce the nominees for Business of this Year.

The Business of the Year category encompasses any business in Tillamook County with 10 or more employees. This year we received seven nominees for the category, covering businesses throughout the county.  Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominees stand out. As always, we will share some of that background information in the announcements.

And now, without further ado, here are the nominees for Business of the Year:

Braxling & Braxling, Inc.: Braxling & Braxling, Inc. is a second-generation contracting company that serves all of northwest Oregon with portable rock crushing, heavy hauling, road rocking and grading. Originally launched in 1961 in Newport, the company is now based in Tillamook and has 30-plus employees. The team is committed to serving Tillamook County, not only privately and commercial in road-based needs, but also they have shown commitment and dedication in benefitting Tillamook County in a time of need, including during the 2020 wildfires, when Braxling brought trucks and equipment to protect properties.

Garibaldi Portside Bistro: The owners of the Garibaldi Portside Bistro are beyond amazing. They’re friendly and accommodating and always work with our local Coast Guard to host holiday parties. They have worked hard to create a much-needed restaurant in Garibaldi, and they serve gourmet food that never disappoints. Their commitment to providing local ingredients and caring for our first responders has made this restaurant a top pick for our family and for community members throughout Tillamook. 

Manzanita Beach Getaway Vacation Rentals: Manzanita Beach Getaway helps support the community in several ways, including hosting events like the “Hall-O-Nita,” which allows the community and guests to trick-or-treat at small businesses in Manzanita safely. The business also donated more than 500 pounds of non-perishable food to the North County Food Bank, pledges to remain dedicated to hiring local community members and cared for its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Danielle Johnson makes a conscious effort to keep her business impacts on locals in mind, and she works directly with neighbors to answer questions and concerns, so the whole community can be involved in welcoming tourists with ease.

Rendezvous Cabaret: This establishment has stayed open to serve the community of Tillamook during the hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic caused. Rendezvous enhances the quality of life in Tillamook County by hosting events and activities, as well as offering steady employment for those who work there. The staff and management make sure that each person that walk into the restaurant is greed with a smile and feels welcome. Rendezvous is a wonderful part of Tillamook County that often goes above and beyond to support the community.

Tillamook County Transportation District (The Wave): Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCTD has been a huge asset for so many who needed transportation throughout Tillamook County. Even with staffing shortages and COVID precautions, they delivered quality and important services to the county. TCTD provides affordable, reliable transportation from the tip to the tail of Tillamook County and beyond. In 2022, the TCTD celebrates 25 years of serving Tillamook County, and it is preparing to expand services even when other transportation districts in the state face service cuts. TCTD has visible impacts on nearly every corner of Tillamook County.

Werner Family Brands: Werner Family Brands (which includes Werner Beef & Brew and Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks) experienced accelerated growth and expansion in 2021 despite the ongoing pandemic. This growth was realized through the additional creation of jobs and construction of new facilities. During the year, the company implemented increased wages for all employees and added benefits to enhance the work/life balance of its team. Werner Family Brands also showed their dedication to the community through donations, financial support and investing in employee health and wellness.

Zwald Transport: Zwald Transport is a young company with big dreams for providing all of Tillamook County’s commercial trucking needs. The company helps people gain a career, working side-by-side with Tillamook Bay Community College’s driving program. Zwald can hire these “green” drivers when other business can’t, due to insurance limitations. The company also reached out to the community of commercial truck drivers to provide a barbecue lunch of appreciation in the Fall of 2021.

Congratulations to these nominees for Business of the Year! We’ll be back again soon the final round of announcements. And remember, if you missed our announcements about Program of the Year, Development Project of the Year or Small Business of the Year, you can find the past articles online at tillamookchamber.org.

Meet the Community Award nominees part 2: Small Business of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Last week in the Chamber Chatter, we announced the Community Awards nominees for Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year. If you missed those announcements, you can find the complete announcements on the Chamber’s blog at tillamookchamber.org.

This week, I’m pleased to introduce our nominees for Small Business of the Year. We received eight (that’s about double the average!!) nominations for this category, which represents businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out, and we will share some of the background that was submitted for each one as we introduce the nominees.

Please join us in congratulating the nominees for Small Business of the Year:

Boss Power Bikes: Boss Power Bikes helps enhance the quality of life in Tillamook County by going green with electric bikes. This company helps repair bikes for those in need with no home and supplies. They have the heart to help people that are on a tight or fixed income, sometimes giving away much-needed part and even bicycles. It also supplies green energy bikes to the community, which helps cut back on local emissions.

Burden’s Muffler and Towing: Burdens has been in business for 50 years and has continued to be involved in the community by participating in our parades and proudly flying the American flag on patriotic holidays. They also provide great customer service and continue to grow their business to offer more services. They are available 24/7 to meet the towing needs of the community, and they always do it with a positive and caring attitude.

Food Roots: Food Roots brings food from local farms and companies to one place that the community can shop at. They also have great programs for people with food stamps and CSAs (community supported agriculture) during the summer that benefit not only the customers, but the farmers as well. All of their products are local, and they work with the food bank, which benefits a lot of our lower income community members.

Great NW Painting & Construction: This small business has provided employment to a handful of individuals in our community, has helped improve the curbside appeal of many local homes and has strived to always leave a happy customer. Great NW Painting & Construction has showcased a commitment to the community by providing advice to local homeowners at no charge. They are also willing to take on new employees and teach them lifelong construction skills while on the job.

Lucky Bear Soap: Lucky Bear Soap helps to build the foundation for an amazing downtown, which benefits the entire community. This small business draws people to the town for shopping with its unique and all-natural products. The owner even saved a cow — the namesake for the business — demonstrating her commitment to this community.

Nehalem Lumber Company: The employees at Nehalem Lumber have been working non-stop to provide excellent service to the members of our community for decades. They have upheld pandemic regulations and continue to make various accommodations for their wonderful customers. The actively donates to fundraising projects and helps with other community events. Originally opened by Dale Stockton, Nehalem Lumber Company has been committed to serving members of our community for decades and will continue to do so.

Salty Raven: Owner Seasons Katz Sparks’ artwork and designs reflect the Tillamook area and provide a reminder of what a great place it is. Locals and visitors alike patronize her store and appreciate her art and products. Salty Raven recently opened its flagship store on Main Avenue. By investing in the community and providing a vibrant presence on Main Street, this business has displayed a willingness to engage with the community, and it appears to be here to stay.

West Elliott Boutique: This little business was brave enough to open and continue to operate in the midst of the pandemic. It brings light and cheer to Downtown Tillamook. At West Elliott Boutique, several local women joined together to showcase their individual talents. These girls put in a lot of time and elbow grease to beautify the space, and they continue to grow to meet their guests needs.

We’ll be back with more nominee announcements in two weeks. Until then, keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information about nominees, or check out past nomination announcements at tillamookchamber.org.

Meet the Community Award nominees part 1: Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

As the holiday season nears its end, the Chamber wants to give the community a reason to continue celebrating — and we don’t just mean New Year’s Eve.

The nominees for the 2022 Community Awards started getting their announcements in the mail last week, so it’s finally safe to announce them here in the Chatter. This year we received more than 30 nominations across five categories, and we’ll be splitting our announcement into multiple parts, so we can give each nominee their time to shine.

Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out. The Awards Committee uses these to determine the final recipient for the award, which will be announced at the Community Awards Banquet, this year on January 29.  As we introduce the nominees, we will share some of the background that was submitted for each one.

We will start this week with the nominees for Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year. But before we get started, we want to give a quick sidenote about the Awards Committee. This group is made up of community members and past Community Award recipients. Chamber staff does not determine who will receive the award in each category. Instead, we leave the Community Awards up to, well, the community, because we trust that you know best.

Now, without further ado…

For Development Project of the year, the nominees are:

Grocery Outlet: Tillamook’s newest grocery store, Grocery Outlet adds another low-cost but quality choice for our community in Tillamook County. The store and its local owners showed a commitment to the community by investing in the property and building a new store in the area, so it can continue to service the grocery needs of this area.

JAndy Oyster Co.: Owners Todd and Tamra created an elevated but still comfortable space in town for people to gather and socialize, all while creating new jobs in the process. They expanded their business into the former Hidden Acres property to bring a new local hangout to Tillamook County. Despite the risk given the current environment, they made a gathering place for people to drink good wine, enjoy phenomenal food and socialize with one another again.

Blue Heron French Cheese Company: The new Blue Heron Candy Shop is a hit for littles, and the firepits outside with live music make for a romantic date! It’s always been enjoyable to visit the Blue Heron, and this has only added to the fun. It’s a great space to bring kids on the weekend or just enjoy and evening with friends. This expansion has so much heart and was so well thought out.

And for Program of the Year, the nominees are:

Kiwanda Corridor Project: A destination management project and program launched by Tillamook County and the Pacific City/Woods Parking Advisory Committee, the Kiwanda Corridor Project will add much-needed parking, multi-modal pathways, green spaces, restrooms and waste management/recycling services in Pacific City once completed. The work will help build visitor capacity and services, as well as improve community livability for residents. The project is being developed with community input and collaboration among county commissioners, county parks, state parks, local nonprofits, public works, tourism organizations and private sector businesses — the very definition of destination management. 

Tillamook County Public Health: Our public health nurses have worked tirelessly over the last year putting together daily and weekly updates on the COVID cases in Tillamook County. They have led case investigations; done contact tracing; hosted free vaccine clinics and testing sites; and assisted businesses, school districts, employers and community members in answering thousands of questions about testing, quarantine guidelines, immunizations and more. These nurses and staff gave many hours of their personal time to ensure that our community stayed safe and educated.

Prime +: The Prime+ program has helped bring low-barrier access to lifesaving resources for people in active substance use and seeking recovery. They have been out in the community, visiting encampments where folks are experiencing houselessness, and they’ve provided lifesaving clean needles and NarCan. Their work directly reduces the risk of death and serious illness as a result of substance use, prevents the spread of communicable diseases, and provides low-barrier access to recourse for recovery from substance use.

Tillamook County Transportation District’s Pacific City Free Shuttle: The Pacific City Free Shuttle program contributes to the quality of life in Tillamook County by helping to reduce traffic and parking congestion in Pacific City and the surrounding areas. The shuttle provides free, safe rides to Pelican Pub, Twist Wine Company and other local designations. Pacific City is a popular destination for out-of-towners and locals alike, especially during the summer months. By keeping the streets and parking lots more navigable, the Pacific City Free Shuttle helps keeps summertime spent in Pacific City enjoyable for all.

Thank to everyone who made a nomination, and congratulations to our nominees! We’ll be back again soon with the rest of our nominees in the Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year and Citizen of the year categories, so keep your eye on the Chamber Chatter in the coming weeks!

‘Imagine with me’: A vision for building strong community

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I heard one time from an industry colleague, “Everything you touch turns to gold” and I didn’t know how to respond. While it’s not 100% accurate, it is reflective of the programs and stability of the Chamber. What they — and many people looking in — don’t see is that most everything started out with having a vision and a hope. Some of those visions have taken years to bring to life, so naturally when they unfold, they do so in a thoughtful and successful way. How could it not when you have spent years thinking of the positive and negatives of every move?

Moving in to 2022 soon, I thought it would be fun to talk about a couple ideas that are in that visioning stage. These are ideas that are in various stages but, nonetheless, I have no doubt will happen.

Imagine this with me a countywide Chamber of Commerce. Sure, we have programs that support businesses throughout Tillamook County, and we never shy away from opportunities to help. In fact, 30% of our membership is outside of the City of Tillamook. Here is what I mean by a true countywide chamber. I envision a time when we have the resources to fund active staff positions in north, mid, central and south county. Those staff members can build each community’s capacity in the ways that are both unique to those regions, but also in a way that brings the county together as a whole. I see a time when all of our communities and local businesses can work together to make ideas come time life. A time when local government is truly investing in building stronger communities where businesses can thrive.

This is my vision for a countywide Chamber. There have been and will continue to be conversations of how to make it happen. Some will disagree and some will root us on – at the end of the day, I believe it is going to happen, and we have spent enough time on the vision that it will be a game changer for our county when it does.

Next, I want you to imagine our community with a non-profit resource that can help build community by bringing the passions of local residents and businesses to life. That is us, now — sort of. For the past several years I have held on to the vision of a community foundation, a foundation that is there for the community and not any one direct cause or organization. In 2021 the Chamber board of directors moved it to a priority project in our strategic plan and approved funding to get it started. I wasted no time and am proud to let you know today that we have successfully established the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity organization. This new non-profit is tied to the Chamber and will be staffed by the Chamber staff, but it has at-large board members and will have the flexibility for a much broader community focus. I am excited about the opportunities this provides for not only outside grant funding coming to our community, but also the opportunity for our citizens and businesses to be able to make a tax-deductible financial pledge towards project that they feel strongly about.

We are now entering the planning phases with community partners of exactly what our first initiatives look like, but I assure you there are some great things coming and I look forward to announcing that in the coming months.

As the saying goes, the sum is only as good as it parts. If you have any thoughts, constructive criticism or support for our vision, please feel free to reach out to me at justin@tillamookchamber.org or 503-842-7525. And I would be remiss not to take this opportunity to request that if you are looking to make a local year-end charitable contribution, I would love for you to consider the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation.

Last call for Community Awards nominations

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

There’s still time to make your nominations for the 2022 Community Awards — but you’ll need to submit your honorees before this Friday! Our nomination period closes at 5 p.m. December 9.

This year, the Chamber will hand out five awards at our annual Awards Banquet, which is scheduled for January 29. (Invites will be out in the mail soon, so keep an eye out!) The nominations we receive from community members like you serve as the basis of those awards, which honor Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year.

Making a nomination is as easy as visiting tillamookchamber.org/nominate and answering three questions about your nominee on the online form. The questions ask about who is served by the nominee’s accomplishments, how the nominee shows a commitment to community and how the nominee provides long-term benefits for the community. You can also upload a letter of support or other documents that show how your nominee makes a difference in the Tillamook Community.

If you wish, you can remain anonymous. You also can request an invitation to the Awards Banquet, so you can celebrate all the honorees with us!

We encourage you to make as many nominations as you’d like to recognize any businesses, projects or people in Tillamook County. Nominees don’t even have to be Chamber members — you can nominate anyone, any project or any business you choose! And there’s no limit to how many nominations you can submit in any one category, so feel free to keep those submissions coming until 5 p.m. December 9.

Although it’s a simple process, making a nomination a great way to show the community partners you love just how much you appreciate them. There’s a lot of humble folks who work hard every day to offer services and products, invest money into projects or simply champion the Tillamook County community, and they deserve recognition for what they do.

The best part about the Community Awards is that they are for the community by the community. The selection committee that reviews the nominations and selects the final awards is made up of past years’ honorees and other community members. The Chamber staff does not choose the honorees — the community does.

Because all important things bear repeating, I’ll remind you again that nominations are due by 5 p.m. December 9. We will announce the nominees in the coming weeks, so until then, visit tillamookchamber.org/nominate to submit your nominations.

Giving thanks for the little moments

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

A few days ago, as I was driving into the office for the workday, I noticed that I was having a particularly wonderful day. I had gotten to drop my daughter off at school before heading to the Chamber, where I was greeted by an upbeat and hardworking team.

As I was reflecting on the day, I realized that there really wasn’t anything different or special about it. I do all those things every day without so much as a second thought. So what made that day so much better?

The answer is that all at once, I had started to notice that little moments that were contributing positively to my life.  Something as simple as laughing with my daughter on our ride to school or greeting my employees before sitting down at my desk were adding a richness to my life. And in taking the time to notice those little moments, I realized the importance of slowing down to be grateful for them — a fitting message to carry with us into Thanksgiving, I think.

For me, little moments happen when I notice that my daughters are healthy and happy, or when I get to wave to my neighbors. I also notice little moments happening whenever the Chamber staff is all together in the office working on a big project, and there’s a magnificent feeling of fun, focus and teamwork.

It’s a little moment for me to know that Chamber membership is at an all-time high, which means I get the honor of working with nearly 300 businesses, organizations and individuals to build a strong community where we all can thrive. Our long membership roster also leads to many other little moments when I get to celebrate the wins with our members for successful grant applications or busy shopping days.

I see little moments as I watch as relationships strengthen between local government and the community, as we join together to tackle community needs, even when there’s not a quick and easy answer.

So what little moments make you thankful? And how can you pay more attention to those small things that make life sweet?

I’ve found that when I pay attention the little moments that make me smile or lift me up, days get better. And no matter the blessings or traumas someone has experienced in life, I know everyone has little moments worth noticing.

This holiday season, I hope you’ll join me in enjoying those little moments, whatever they may be for you.

Get rewarded for shopping local on Small Business Saturday

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

When I was growing up, my parents always told me that it’s important to do the right thing, even when no one is looking or there is no prize for good behavior. As true as that statement is, it still feels nice to get rewarded — and that’s the beauty of shopping on Small Business Saturday: There’s an automatic reward for doing the right thing by supporting locally owned businesses.

Sometimes, that benefit comes in the form of free goodies. Other times, it’s great discounts at your favorite neighborhood shops. But beyond the promos and deals, Small Business Saturday rewards you by reinvesting the money you spend back into the local community. Of each dollar you spend locally, nearly 70 cents returns to the community. That means your purchases on Small Business Saturday make Tillamook a more vibrant place to live, work and play!

This year Small Business Saturday falls on November 27, the Saturday right after Thanksgiving. We hope you’ll join us that day to do the right thing by participating in an extravaganza of local shopping.

One of my personal favorite rewards for shopping on Small Business Saturday is the chance to make unlimited entries to the Chamber’s Shop Small Sweepstakes. As a quick reminder, the Shop Small Sweepstakes is a special program the Chamber hosts to promote local shopping. During the Sweepstakes, you can enter your receipts from locally owned businesses for a chance to win a weekly gift card or the $1,000 grand prize shopping spree.

Usually, you can only enter one receipt per day. But on Small Business Saturday, for one day only, we open the contest up for unlimited entries. All day on November 27 you can submit any and every receipt you have from a purchase made that day. That means if you shop at 12 different stores, you can enter 12 times!

As an added bonus, we also host a special drawing on the Small Business Saturday, open only to entries we received that day. If you want the chance to win a free Tillamook hoodie and some other goodies, you’ve got to shop local on November 27.

In addition to unlimited Sweepstakes entries, the Chamber will host a free hot cocoa bar. Stop into Chamber HQ anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to get a free to-go cup of Dutch Brothers cocoa and a goodie bag full of toppings and toys!

You can round up your own set of holiday cookie cutters with this next Small Business Saturday promotion! The Chamber is partnering with several downtown businesses for a cookie cutter giveaway. Each participating business will have its own design of cookie cutter, and the first 20 shoppers to make a purchase in the store will receive a complimentary cookie cutter! Shop at all the locations, and you’ll get a totally free set of cookie cutters.

The Chamber is sponsoring a raffle prize for anyone who receives a cookie cutter through the giveaway. Bring every cookie cutter you collected back into the Chamber to enter into a drawing for a holiday kitchen basket, valued at $100. Each cookie cutter you collect makes you eligible for one entry.

There will also be independent promos and sales at several other stores, including a 10% discount at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum gift shop, a 10% discount at the Tillamook Air Museum admission and gift shop items, and a huge 40% off everything sale at Lot 35 Homes. Keep an eye on our Facebook page to learn about additional promotions at local businesses in the Tillamook area.

So join us for Small Business Saturday on November 27 to show your favorite shops just how much you love them — and get a little reward for your good actions.

Make your nominations for the 2021 Community Awards

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

You’ve probably seen it all over social media: Early November always brings the age-old question with it, of whether this month is Thanksgiving season or Christmas season.

The debate rages between those that hold steadfast that turkey day deserves some of the spotlight, and those that put their tree up as soon as the clock struck 12 on November 1. Sometimes, it seems like there’s no answer, no way to resolve the argument.

Let me try to be the peacemaker by offering a third option we all can agree on: This month is undoubtedly the season for the Chamber’s annual Community Awards nominations.

Every year around this time, we open up our online nomination form to recognize businesses, projects and people in five different categories. Those nominations serve as the basis for the honorees at our annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January.

We have five categories: Business of the Year (10 employees or more); Small Business of the Year; Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible to be nominated.

Nominations can be made online at tillamookchamber.org/nominate. There is no limit to how many nominations you can submit, so you’re able to spread the love to all your favorite people, business, projects and events.

Nominating a local restaurant, a thoughtful shop owner, a first responder, a beloved community event or even a memorable community program is a great way to show the folks involved in those businesses, projects and programs how much you appreciate them. For anyone or any business that made you smile last year, this is a great way to return the favor. Though it might seem like a small gesture, your nomination acts as a huge “thank you” to your fellow community members who work tirelessly to provide us with goods, services and events that enrich our lives and sustain our economy.

Nominations are due by December 9, so we have time for the selection committee to review applications and make their decisions. Our selection committee is made up of past years’ honorees and other community members, so we as the Chamber staff don’t choose the new award recipients. This truly is a chance for the community to recognize and honor the community!

You can remain anonymous as the nominator if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation. And fortunately, because the banquet is scheduled after the holidays wrap up, there’s no need to worry about getting in an argument over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Instead, we can come together to celebrate our community as one!

Big tasks, lengthy solutions: Housing

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you’re a regular reader of the Chamber Chatter, you know that we often write about all the events the Chamber has coming up or projects we have accomplished here. But the Chamber also has a number of long-term projects that require more lengthy solutions to complete.

These things take up so much time and never seem to end, and we don’t always remember to write about the work we’re doing while we are in the thick of it. I want to loop you, the community, in on the work we are doing with housing, homelessness, bioswales, signage and downtown renovations., because this work is extremely important, even if it’s got no easy answer.

Throughout the next few weeks, I will update you on our work in a series I like to call “Big tasks, lengthy solutions.” Let’s start this week with housing.

Back in 2019 we hired a Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) intern, Alex Jonas, to work with the City of Tillamook to adopt some housing policy changes. During his 12-month internship, Alex also wrote an Oregon Main Street Revitalization grant that was successful at obtaining $200,000 for four downtown apartments, and he began working with a development company to look for land for future housing projects.

Last week we received some frustrating news, when the City of Tillamook brought the Chamber up to speed on some major sewer and stormwater capacity issues that will make developing large-scale, multi-family housing much harder than we originally thought. In short, the sewer lines that service the areas in Tillamook with the most developable land are reaching capacity limits — and that’s before we talk about adding new housing.

The City explained that all sewer lines east of Miller Avenue — where most of the developable land is — run to a pump station on 12th Street, then head to the treatment plant. The lines running to and from the pump station are nearing capacity and are unable to take on additional load at this point in time.

To add on that, the aging sewer lines throughout the City have a major issue with stormwater infiltration coming mostly from broken residential laterals, manhole bases, and lines. Usually, the local treatment plant can run at about 20% capacity. However, when stormwater gets into the sewer system, the treatment plant must run at full capacity. Right now, with the high rate of infiltration, that is happening for most of the year. That means mean that while we should have ample capacity at the plant for future housing, we don’t actually, because the system isn’t running efficiently.

While that news was rough, we left the meeting with a plan to work with the City on obtaining a cost estimate for running a new line and pump east of downtown. Once we get that estimate, we’ll need to find the money to fund the project, an expense that the City budget cannot absorb right now. Funding will be the first step to moving forward with any large-scale, multi-family housing in Tillamook.

Beyond our work on large-scale, multi-family housing projects, the Chamber also focuses on smaller developments. (Although bigger developments will have a bigger impact on solving our housing shortage, we can’t put all our eggs in one basket that we might have to wait on months or years as the sewer improvements are made). As we work out how to prepare the City’s sewer system for big housing projects, we will continue to chip away at smaller developments to put professionals and families in homes now. The four downtown apartments that received the revitalization grant when Alex interned with us should be completed in 2022. We also know of a 20-plus unit complex that our development company currently has under planning review. If all goes as planned, that project will be able to tie into the 12th Street pump station without putting the sewer system over capacity. And in other exciting news, there has been a recent downtown property acquisition, and we are working with the property owner on plans for approximately 10 second-floor units. As we do with many other projects, the Chamber will assist the property owner as they seek funding assistance through the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant Program and the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency.

So next time you ask yourself “Why is the housing shortage not being solved?” just know that there is a plethora of items that must be considered before developing. Public and private entities are working on them, but it’s not going as fast as any of us would like. Such is the way of big tasks with lengthy solutions.

(I will be back with another installment of the Big Tasks, Lengthy Solutions series in a few weeks. Have a topic you’re interested in hearing more about? Email me at justin@tillamookchamber.org, and I’ll see how I can work it in.)

Join us for Downtown Trick-or-Treat

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

One of my biggest claims to fame is the fact that I have only worn one store-bought Halloween costume in my entire life. Call it tradition or insanity, I’m an extreme do-it-yourselfer when it comes to Halloween.

So I’m excited to show off my costume designing skill during Downtown Trick-or-Treat on October 29, when participating businesses will hand out candy to local trick-or-treaters between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Last year, the Chamber successfully held its annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat with some modifications for state COVID regulations at the time. It was a highlight for the year, and we so enjoyed seeing all the creative costumes the kiddos wore.

This year will be just as fun — though it is a little bit more flexible now that state guidelines have changed.

Here’s how it will work: Participating businesses will set up a table or other means of handing out candy in front of their building. Keeping the trick-or-treating outside of businesses ensures that shops don’t get overcrowded, and it adds a level of safety by giving everyone more area to space out.

As for masks, the current state rules require you to wear a mask at outdoor events anytime you’re not able to maintain a six-foot distance from people who don’t live with you. That’s a little different than last year, when masks were required no matter what. This year we recommend bringing a mask, just in case, and wear it when you feel it necessary.

We do ask that the ghosts, ghouls and parents who come out for treats practice patience while waiting to get their candy and don’t crowd any of tables. There will be lots of kids out and about, and you may have to wait occasionally. I recommend using that time to admire other costumes or practice saying “trick-or-treat” in the most frightening ways!

Trick-or-treating starts at 3 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. rain, shine or anything in between. Please note that not every business downtown will be participating, and that’s totally OK. There will be plenty of places to get candy, and most of the stops will be easy to identify with their outdoor tables or the bright orange flyer in their windows.

And of course, I’ll be there, dressed up in my handmade costume and handing out candy from Chamber HQ. While I won’t spoil the surprise of what I decided to be this year for Halloween, I can give you a few hints to “chew” on: It’s sweet, colorful, totally nostalgic and back in my day only cost five cents! Beyond that, you’ll just have to bring your monsters and princesses, goblins and witches down to Downtown Trick-or-Treat from 3 – 5 p.m. October 29 to see the final product for yourself.

See you there…if you dare!

Hot off the press: Tillamook Living Magazine is officially in circulation

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

The second edition of the Tillamook Living Magazine arrived at the Chamber last month, and it feels like it’s all I’ve been able to talk about since. I see so much potential in this locally produced lifestyle and relocation guide, which is available through the Chamber and at several of our member businesses!

As you may already know, the Chamber started publishing Tillamook Living last year. The idea for the magazine was born out of several conversations with local businesses, organizations, real estate agents and other community leaders about how we could highlight our community to attract and retain talented workers, as well as help newcomers settle in as they moved to Tillamook.

This year the magazine went through a major redesign. We started from scratch, rewriting all the content, refreshing photos and constructing a totally new layout. Yes, it was intimidating to look at a blank sheet and build a 60-page publication. But the final product is a seriously impressive resource that the entire Chamber team can be proud of.

As part of the redesign — and building off my own background as a local reporter — we added space for six short articles that tell a deeper story of Tillamook.  I really love these articles, which cover everything from one resident’s discovery of outdoor recreational opportunities right in her backyard, to the reason why our county fair is better than the rest. They showcase the values and personality of this community in a way that an informational blurb about local services can’t. They add the “lifestyle” content to this lifestyle and relocation guide.

The plan is to change out those articles each edition of the magazine. That means there will always be something new to read in Tillamook Living and learn about this community — even if you’ve lived here your whole life.

Another one of my favorite parts of the magazine is how genuine it is. All of the content was written in-house at the Chamber, and the photos come from local photographers who have a special eye for what makes Tillamook great. This isn’t a promotional publication made by a company that has never been to Tillamook. It’s an authentic look at this place we call home, created by locals who not only live here but also care deeply for this community.

You can pick up a free copy of the Tillamook Living Magazine at Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. The magazine is also available at local businesses and realtor offices, including but not limited to the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, Tillamook PUD, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Roby’s Furniture and Appliance, YMCA, REMAX and Tillamook Bay Community College.

If you would like to receive a bundle of magazines to distribute through your business, please call the Chamber at 503-842-7525 or email info@tillamookchamber.org.

More EIDL grants and loan limit increase

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Federal Aid for Small Businesses is still available, and it is being overlooked by many small businesses. We get it — there has been so many programs to help small businesses that it’s hard to keep them straight. But there are thousands of dollars still out up for grabs through the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors and private nonprofit organizations, so this update is worth your attention. (Agricultural enterprises are not eligible for these specific programs, but there are different programs for agriculture.)

Tillamook is categorized as “economically depressed” along with most of rural America by the Small Business Administration standards, which means we have new EIDL advance opportunities beyond the initial, forgivable advances. This means that you may be able to receive thousands of dollars in what is effectively grant funding. We have done the research for you, and we know firsthand to how the program works, because we received our forgivable advance last week.

But first, let’s rewind to 2020 when the COVID-19 EIDL program was first released. At that time, the Small Business Administration touted that any business who applied to the program would get a $10,000 advance that was forgivable and would not need to be paid back as part of their loan. This was confusing to many as it rolled out because as the SBA later changed the advance to be $1,000 per employee, up to $10,000 total. Also confusing was the fact that you didn’t have to accept the additional loan to get the advance. Bottom line: If you applied, you received an advance equal to $1,000 per employee and then got to choose a loan amount. Regardless of whether you took that loan or not, you got to keep the advance as a grant as long as you used it for operational expenses.

Fast forward to 2021 and the release of the American Rescue Plan. In this package the SBA was directed to offer what is being called a “Targeted Advance.” This additional advance is open to economically depressed areas like ours, and it is an opportunity for businesses to receive the difference between what their initial advance was and the full $10,000 that was originally intended for the advance, as long as they:

    • Can demonstrate more than 30% reduction in revenue during an eight-week period beginning March 2, 2020, or later.
    • Have 300 or fewer employees.

For example, if your business had three employees, it would have originally received $3,000. The targeted advance would provide an additional $7,000 to make the grand total $10,000.

And then there’s the icing on the cake — also in the American Rescue Plan. Some small businesses in economically depressed areas also became eligible for a “Supplemental Targeted Advance,” which provides an additional $5,000 forgivable advance on top of the first two advance programs. This advance is only available after you have received the full $10,000 from the previous two programs; it brings the grand total of EIDL “grant” funding to $15,000 per business. To be eligible for this advance, applicants must:

    • Prove more than 50% economic loss during an eight-week period beginning on March 2, 2020, or later, compared to the same period of the previous year. Applicants need to provide gross monthly revenue (all forms of combined monthly earnings received, such as profits or salaries) from January 2019 to the current month-to-date
    • Have 10 or fewer employees.

The advances are only available to businesses that apply for the EIDL loan. Again, you don’t have to actually accept the loan, but you do have to apply to the program to be able to access the forgivable advance money.

In short, if you haven’t applied for the EIDL program at all, you are essentially leaving a “grant” of $15,000 on the table. If you have applied for the program but haven’t sought either of the new, targeted advances, you are potentially missing out on thousands of “grant” dollars.

During the first year of the pandemic, the Chamber sent out weekly updates to help local businesses obtain millions of dollars through federal and state programs. This EIDL advance money is allocated to businesses and will head to communities around the nation soon. Let’s bring it home to stimulate our local economy!

In addition to the advances, the EIDL program has increased the loan limits for businesses that might need additional funds. There are restrictions on how these funds can be used, but a game changing program update now allows you to pay off existing debt with these loans. For some businesses, this could be a good option to lower debt and loan payments because the EIDL loans run on a 30-year amortization and have an interest rate of 2.75% (non-profit) to 3.75%, with payments deferred for two years from loan origination.

Stay tuned for a future article on this and the Employee Retention Tax Credit Program, another financial recuperation opportunity for local business.

And in the meantime, I encourage you to begin working on your application for the EIDL program and targeted advances. To start your loan application and receive the first advance, visit covid19relief.sba.gov. If you have already applied for the program, visit your online portal to find options to apply for the new, targeted advances and loan increases.

As always, if you have questions or need help, I am happy to assist you. Give me a quick call at 503-842-7525 or email justin@tillamookchamber.org.

Shop, enter and win with the fifth annual Shop Small Sweepstakes

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Golden and red leaves, crisp air and occasional rainy downpour mean two things: My favorite season has arrived, and it’s time for the Shop Small Sweepstakes!

Now in its fifth year, the Sweepstakes is the Chamber’s way of encouraging everyone to shop locally, especially over the holiday shopping season. With so many amazing retailers right in your backyard, why not buy your Christmas presents at a locally owned business? The Sweepstakes rewards you for doing just that, with weekly gift card giveaways and the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree!

It’s been a long year with lots of other prize-filled giveaways, so here’s a recap on the rules for the Sweepstakes. Whenever you shop at a locally owned business in Tillamook County between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, keep your receipts to enter into drawings for gift cards and a $1,000 grand prize. You can enter two ways: Drop your receipt off at Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave., or send a photo of your receipt and your name to 503-389-0631. You can enter one receipt per day, every day of the Sweepstakes.

Each week, the Chamber will draw one winner from that week’s entries, and the winner will receive a gift card to a local business. This year, the weekly prizes are bigger than before, because the Chamber will match what each business donates as a prize to double the value of the gift card. Then, the entries for each week will be entered into a pool for the grand prize drawing for $1,000 in Sweepstakes Bucks.

Did I mention that you can also win more than one prize? There is no limit to how many times you can win, and each entry you make increases your odds of winning not only a weekly prize, but also the final grand prize. All the more reason to shop local and shop often!

All of the Sweepstakes winners will appear on our Facebook channel, so we recommend following the Chamber so you don’t miss any updates! We also will feature several locally owned businesses throughout the Sweepstakes to give you ideas for where to do your holiday shopping.

We also encourage shoppers to join the Chamber’s Shop Tillamook Facebook group. A lot of our local retailers are part of the group, and they often post information about sales or special deals, so you can be the first to know about a good offer! You also can use the group to share photos of the places you’re shopping or the items you’re buying — at least when they aren’t gifts! Don’t want to ruin any surprises.

And we’d be remiss not to mention our sponsor, US Bank. They’ve sponsored the Sweepstakes all five years we’ve hosted it, and they are absolutely amazing partners! We are lucky to work alongside them to promote local shopping!

The Sweepstakes officially started last Friday, Oct. 1, and our first winner will be drawn on Oct. 12. Until then, be sure to get out and shop at locally owned businesses, enter your receipts and watch for your name to be drawn for a prize!

If you have any questions about the Sweepstakes, feel free to contact the Chamber at 503-842-7525.

From my Chamber internship comes a community foundation

by Brooke Johnston
Operations Assistant Intern

Time flies when you’re having fun — and especially when you’re helping the Chamber build a new charitable organization that will benefit your hometown!

Let me rewind for a quick second, because this is the first Chamber Chatter I’ve written. My name is Brooke Johnston, and for the last four months, I’ve served as the Operations Assistant Intern at the Chamber. You might remember me from the welcome article the Chamber published about me, though it did use my maiden name at the time because it came out before my wedding!

I’m a lifelong Tillamook resident, and I graduated from Tillamook High School in 2019. Now I’m studying nonprofit management at the University of Oregon in Eugene. The Chamber kindly offered me an internship so I could get real-world experience and fulfill one of my degree requirements to graduate.

My internship at the Chamber focused on helping with general, day-to-day operations. You may have seen me around at Chamber HQ, delivering visitor guides, helping Sayde at the Farmer’s Market or even selling apparel at the Tillamook County Fair.

I also got the exciting opportunity to help lay the groundwork for the Chamber Community Foundation, a charitable organization the Chamber intends to launch later this fall.

For those that don’t know, The Tillamook Chamber is a 501c6 mutual benefit membership organization. That means it is limited in the types of grants it can apply for, and it cannot offer tax incentives for people wishing to donate money through the Chamber. As a 501c3 charitable organization, the community foundation will have access to a much larger pool of grant money and will be able to offer tax incentives for donors.

The foundation also will have a broader mission statement that allows it to run community programs beyond the Chamber’s focus on its members. For example, the Chamber envisions starting a Young Professionals group under the foundation, because it would allow the network to provide educational and workforce development opportunities beyond the Chamber’s direct membership benefits.

The specific details for what kinds of programs the foundation will run are still in the works, and the Chamber plans to work with other community leaders to determine how to shape the foundation in a way to best fit the needs of Tillamook. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months, and feel free to contact Justin at justin@tillamookchamber.org if you have any questions about the foundation at this point.

Although there is still work to do before the foundation launches, I am proud to have played a part in building a strong basis it can grow from. I can’t wait to watch the organization benefit the community when it’s up and running, even if I’m leaving before I get to see it all start.

This was my first time working with a nonprofit, and I really enjoyed applying the concepts I’ve learned in class at UO to the real world. I’m also excited to return to my final year of college with practical skills and a real-world knowledge of how to start a charitable organization. I also have the advantage of understanding the difference between a 501c3 and 501c6 and how those two organizations can legally exist together. That’s not too bad for an undergraduate!

So now I return to UO to finish up my degree; I graduate in spring 2022 (Go Ducks!) My plan for now is to come back to Tillamook after graduation to gain more career experience in my hometown. I’d like to work at a local nonprofit and, if it all works out, continue to help the Chamber Community Foundation as it grows!

Join us Sept. 25 for the Tillamook Farmers Market Season Finale

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

It’s hard to believe that the end of September is already upon us, and if you are anything like me you are already planning your Halloween costume and Thanksgiving menu. But before we jump headfirst into the holiday season, there is still one more weekend of the Tillamook Farmers Market to enjoy!

You might recall last year we partnered with Food Roots and several other local businesses to host a Seafood Stock Up event. We are excited to bring this back again for our season finale. If you pre-ordered seafood at bulk prices through the Food Roots FarmTable website, you can pick it up at the Tillamook Farmers Market from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. If you didn’t preorder seafood, there will be even more available for sale, so still come down and stock up your freezer with delicious, fresh seafood.

While you’re stocking up for fall and winter, be sure to get your fill of produce as well. From tomatoes to squash, eggplants, corn, Brussels sprouts and everything in between — the farms are bursting with colorful, flavorful produce right now. If you’ve been wanting to do some canning, now is the best time to come buy bulk produce for your canning needs and keep your pantry stocked with local foods all winter long. I mean, what could be better than that?

One thing I love about our market is that we are always adding new vendors all season long. If you haven’t been down in a few weeks, you may have missed the addition of Sun Buttah and their organic, reef-safe sun screen products. We are also excited to have Penny Eberle bringing perennials and shrubs she grew herself. Fall is one of the best times to do some landscaping, so your garden and lawn is ready for spring. Or, it’s not too early to be thinking about holiday shopping, and how many people on your list would love something unique and hand-made from the farmers market? From custom-made jewelry to wine to scrumptious jarred preservatives and the softest baby blankets known to mankind — there are gift ideas for everyone.

It’s been a tremendous season all around, and I’m so thankful to everyone who came down and shopped with us. I have to give such a huge, heartfelt thank you to my vendors for being the best group of people I could ever ask for. We have so much fun together and I look forward to seeing them every single week. They work so hard to be here and their passion and dedication shines through every single Saturday. We’ve also had fun getting to know new vendors this year, and look forward to what the next year will bring.

Until then, please come down and enjoy the season finale of the Tillamook Farmers Market on Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Learn What’s Up Around Town at Mornings on Main Street

by Ashley Christensen
Programs and Events Manager

Although many of our Chamber events take place in the evening, once a month we host a special function for the early birds in our community. The appropriately named Mornings on Main Street brings together community members and business owners every third Tuesday in Downtown Tillamook.

We meet at the Chamber HQ to discuss upcoming projects and events. It’s an early morning social hour full of good people and good snacks!

Our sponsor, Columbia Bank, provides breakfast pastries from SaraSotas, and the Chamber offers fresh-brewed coffee and tea. Once everyone gets their beverages and treats, we go around the circle to introduce ourselves and share a little bit about what we’ve been up to lately and what projects we’re currently working on.

We start around 8 a.m., and the whole conversation takes about an hour. But we keep it casual, so attendees are welcome to drop in when they can and leave when they need, even if that means coming for 5 minutes for coffee and a quick hello. There’s no shame in coming late or dashing out!

And here’s the best part – and something a lot of people don’t know: You don’t have to own a business or be a local politician to attend. This meeting is open to the public! In fact, I’ve seen a lot of value come out of Mornings on Main Street for our residents. It’s a great way to learn about what’s happening in the community, make new connections and get involved!

Some folks have heard about a job opportunity and landed a new gig. Others meet new friends with people they may not have crossed paths with otherwise. And it feels like everyone who attends learns about a fun community event they end up going to later, whether that be a volunteer party with Habitat for Humanity or a fundraiser with the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook.

So join us this month for Mornings on Main Street! We’ll meet at the Chamber (208 Main Street) starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21. I hope to see you there!

Welcome Your New Employees with the Tillamook Toolkit

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This week as Food Roots, one of our Chamber members, announced the addition of two new employees to its staff, our team at the Chamber packaged up two Tillamook Toolkits to send off to their storefront. Chock full of locally sourced goodies, the toolkit serves as our way of welcoming individuals to their new jobs and to our community!

The Chamber started sending out the toolkits a few years ago. I find it to be a simple but important tool – no pun intended – helping local businesses retain the talented staff they hire, especially when those employees move to Tillamook from outside our community.

Each toolkit includes an assortment of gifts a new employee needs to start off their job on the right foot. As an added bonus, every item in the box comes from one of our Chamber members, so we are able to highlight some of the amazing resources we have right here in our community. All in all, we consider it a small taste of what makes Tillamook a great place to live, work and play! And we hope it encourages everyone who gets a box to stay in our community a while, so their talent stays local.

I don’t want to divulge all of the items, for the sake of maintaining some element of surprise for the recipients. But I can tell you this isnt a box of cheap and useless trinkets – products from Five Rivers Coffee Roasters, Werner Beef and Brew and Jacobsen Salt all make an appearance.

The toolkit also includes contact information for the Chamber, because we want everyone in Tillamook to know that we’ve got their back. Whether you’re a new manager at a well-known nonprofit or an entrepreneur upstarting your first business, our staff is here to help with any questions, advice or networking opportunities you need. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Typically, the toolkit goes to new business owners, managers, leaders and supervisors. The packages are shipped from our office, most often upon the request of an employer. (It’s hard for us to keep up with the news of every new hire or special promotion in town, so help us help you by alerting our office directly).

To order a Tillamook Toolkit, simply email info@tillamookchamber.org with the name, position and mailing address of the person you’d like to receive it. If the phone is easier for you, call Tammy at 503-842-7525.

And don’t worry about delivery: We’ll send it out for you!

Employer Health Plans a Big Benefit of Chamber Membership

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Did you know that the Tillamook Chamber offers employers access to a health insurance program? It seems to be one of the Chamber’s best-kept secrets — but we want to change that, because it’s truly a neat program.

We partner with the Bend Chamber of Commerce and Corey Bush with Hudson Insurance to bring Bend’s health insurance program to Tillamook. Here’s how it works: Any good-standing member of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce also becomes an associate member of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, which can then offer their rates and insurance plans right here in Tillamook. They are working with Corey as the local agent, so you have someone in town who can walk you through the process.

What’s especially cool about this benefit is that you can customize your plan from six different options from PacificSource, so you and your employees can get health benefits that best fits your needs. We know that health insurance is not one size fits all, so we are proud to be able to offer the option to choose.

The plans also come at competitive rates, so you might end up with better suited coverage at a lower rate. That’s something we’ve already heard from members who have taken advantage of this benefit!

For businesses that don’t already offer health benefits, you might find that this program finally makes doing so affordable.

With open enrollment for federal programs starting in November, it’s good to get started now to see if these plans are a good fit for you and your employees. It’ll give you time to work through details and ask any questions you need before insurance companies get busy later in the fall.

I won’t get into the specifics of each plan here, but I can tell you that all the health plans cover essential health benefits, no-cost preventive care, calendar-year benefits and all member out-of-pocket costs for covered services apply toward the annual out-of-pocket limit. Plus, PacificSource is a great network both in Tillamook and throughout the state of Oregon.

There is one small caveat: The plan is only available with a Chamber membership. We’ve talked before about giving our members an appropriate value for their membership, and this is one way we can do that. Considering that most memberships cost less than $200 a year, I’d say access to a health plan like this – and a slew of other membership benefits – is well worth it.

If this healthcare plan sounds like something you’re interested in, I encourage you to reach out to Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to learn more and see if it is a good fit for your business. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

And for information on Chamber membership (step one of accessing these competitive health plans), call our office at 503-842-7525 or visit www.tillamookchamber.org.

What’s Brewin’ is on for August

by Ashley Christensen
Programs and Events Manager

After a short interim away from the Chamber office to spend time with my new baby, I’m jumping back in this month to once again start planning and hosting fun (and safe) Chamber events for the community. I’m especially excited for my return, because it coincides with one of my favorite Chamber events: What’s Brewin’.

For those of you who don’t know, What’s Brewin’ is a quarterly gathering of Chamber members and their employees. The venue for the get-together shifts between our members, giving our local businesses and nonprofits the opportunity to show off their locations to attendees.

The night is an informal networking opportunity full of friendly conversation, complimentary beverages and tasty hors d’oeuvres catered by local restaurants. What’s Brewin’ is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to make new friends and connections in the community!

That said, it’s important to note that What’s Brewin’ is one of the few events the Chamber hosts that is open to members only. In general, we try to be as inclusive as possible. The vast majority of our events are open to the community at large, including Mornings on Main Street, Sip + Shop and Small Business Saturday, among others. We also offer grant assistance and practical advising to any local business that seeks out our help.

Still, we like to be able to offer our members a little bit something extra, just to ensure that they see the value of their membership. That’s where What’s Brewin’ comes in. It’s one of the special perks that comes with a Chamber membership!

This quarter’s What’s Brewin’ is especially neat, because it includes an advance preview of JAndy Oyster Co.’s new location at the Hidden Acres Greenhouse and Garden Center.  JAndy recently purchased the local nursery, and they plan to move their raw oyster bar and restaurant into the new space later this fall. The company is gracious enough to host What’s Brewin to give our Chamber members the unique opportunity to hear about their plans before anyone else! How’s that for a membership perk?

Our members should have received a postcard in the mail with more specific information on the time and how to RSVP, so I won’t rehash the specific details here. But I do hope to see as many smiling faces there as possible.

Personally, I’m most excited to reconnect with my colleagues and friends as we come together for a laid back evening of socializing and, of course, delicious food. (Rumor has it JAndy will be serving mini shrimp cocktails and oysters as the hor d’oeuvres! Yum!)

It’ll be the perfect welcome back to the office, and I just can’t wait!

Chamber’s Tillamook apparel on sale at the County Fair

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It must be Tillamook County Fair season, because lately I’ve been dreaming of elephant ears, Pig ‘n’ Fords and new Tillamook jacket designs!

Here at the Chamber we prepare for the fair by creating a line a Tillamook apparel for the year, which we officially start selling at the county fair.  Each design features something to positively promote our town, whether that’s just the words Tillamook, Oregon, or a colorful design with a forest, fish or dairy cow.

The Chamber first launched its apparel line about 8 years ago after noticing that there were limited opportunities for visitors to purchase clothing promoting our town. We saw visitors wearing shirts from Seaside and jackets from Newport, but nothing from Tillamook.

So we started our own line of Tillamook, Oregon, sweatshirts and shirts to sell from our Chamber headquarters. All of the designs are created in-house by our local staff, and we have all of the clothing printed locally at PSI Screen Printing & Embroidery Services.

About six years ago, we started bringing our apparel from our booth at the Tillamook County Fair. What originally started as an idea to fill a gap in our visitor services grew into a way for our residents to show their pride for Tillamook. Local families began buying the sweaters and shirts, and now we see our friends and neighbors happily wearing their Tillamook apparel around town.  We even know some families who stop by the booth every year to buy the latest designs, and they’ve never missed a year to update their Tillamook hoodies.

We are excited to continue offering the community apparel they are proud to wear, and we love that you can help us promote this town we love so much with a high-quality hoodie for a reasonable $30 for adult sizes or $20 for kid sizes.

So catch us at the fair Aug. 11-14 at our booth right next to the Tillamook ice cream booth in the Main Pavilion. We’ll have three brand new designs, as well as the 2020 line, which wasn’t available at the fair last year due to the circumstances.

We hope to see you there with elephant ear in hand and Tillamook apparel on!

Hitting Our Stride at the Tillamook Farmers Market

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

We are just at the halfway point of the Tillamook Farmers Market season. If you haven’t been to visit yet, I encourage you to do so! We are almost back to pre-pandemic glory.

Last week we brought back the kids activity table and will keep that running for the rest of the season. Kids can come down and participate in fun, hands-on activities like rock painting, seed planting, decorating pumpkins and other fun (albeit messy) projects.

While they are there, be sure to stop by the Farmers Market HQ and get Kids Bucks. A big shout out to TLC, a Division of Fibre Federal Credit Union for being our Founding Sponsor and supporting Kids Bucks program. These $2 vouchers can be used to get $2 off things like berries, honey, vegetables or other delicious fruits. You can spend them that day or collect them to purchase something bigger later in the season. Kids Bucks are good through the end of September.

We also brought back live music this season, and so far have enjoyed tunes from Scott Casey, Eric Sappington, Rhythm Method and several others. The music plays each market day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is sponsored in part by the Tillamook Creamery. We are so thrilled to have such incredible musical talent available locally and hope you’ll stop by and enjoy it with us.

There is a great variety of vendors this season as well; both returning favorites and brand new faces. Some of our new additions include Bamford Bakery out of Forest Grove. You have to try their jumbo cookies! Oceania Galleria is also brand new this year, selling gorgeous, hand-painted cutting boards, dishes and original artwork all resembling the stunning colors and movement of the ocean. The Hummus Stop is another new vendor this year, and you’ll find them each week with home-made pita chips and several flavors of hummus. We are also excited to have Josi Farms with us this year selling their fresh produce and dramatically large onions.

If you are a SNAP customer and have tried to spend your SNAP dollars at the market and have been turned away, I am pleased to share that we have a brand new processor and are up and running again! Thank you for your patience while we worked through technical difficulties for the first half of the season. You can now bring your SNAP/EBT card to the Farmers Market HQ and we will charge your card in exchange for SNAP dollars that can be spent on eligible food items at the market. The first $10 you spend each day will be matched with an additional $10 in Double Up Food Bucks — good for vegetables, fruit, nuts, mushrooms and plants starts. Double Up Food Bucks is made possible in part by the Farmers Market Fund.

I hope you’ll come down and say hi to me and Brooke, enjoy the live music, play a friendly round of cornhole and do some shopping to support local businesses, farmers and producers. The Tillamook Farmer’s Market runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through September at the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street

Tillamook Community Calendar a resource for events goers and throwers

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

For the first time in what feels like a very long time, my calendar is booked up.

This weekend I will attend the first living showing of a TAPA performance, and I’ve blocked out the second week of August for Tillamook County Fair (it’ll be my first Pig ‘n’ Ford experience!). My scheduled also includes a full slate of Chamber sponsored events for the fall, including regular Sip + Shops, Mornings on Main Street meetings and Cork & Brew (more on that soon!)

You might be wondering how I manage to keep such a full schedule, especially considering that we just now started transitioning back into in-person gatherings and events. My secret is the Tillamook Community Calendar.

You can access the calendar directly at TillamookLiving.com, but it also appears online in several places, including the Chamber website, the Headlight Herald website and the City of Tillamook website. It’s the largest, most widespread and most comprehensive listing of events in Tillamook County.

The community calendar is where I hear about weekend entertainment events and learn about the beloved community festivals that make Tillamook so great. It saves me a lot of time, because I don’t have to sift through multiple websites and Facebook pages to find details on various events. They are all in one place on the community calendar!

The calendar took a sort of hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly because there were few in-person community events happening. But now that gatherings are allowed again, more and more listings are appearing on the community calendar.

For me, that means my personal schedule has started to fill up again. The same is probably true of anyone else who uses the calendar to find something to do. Once you know about it, your days of languishing around the house with nothing to do become a thing of the past!

But the community calendar serves a greater purpose than simply padding our social lives. It also gives you a way to get the word out about your own public events with a single submission that blasts to multiple websites. In short, the calendar is a free and easy marketing tool to reach a lot of people quickly.

Submitting an event to the community calendar is easy: You simply fill out a short online form with the name of your event, the dates and times it’s happening and a brief description of what it is. There’s even an option to upload a photo or flyer to generate even more excitement!

It feels great to be able to gather, attend live events and carry on with social life as usual again, and I’m glad to have the Tillamook Community Calendar to help me find and share events.

Check it out for yourself today at TillamookLiving.com.

A Fresh Set of Eyes: Redesigning the Tillamook Living Magazine

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

As one of Tillamook’s newer residents, I get the pleasure of looking at this beautiful dairy town with a fresh set of eyes that makes everything feel new and exciting. That perspective has been especially helpful lately as the Chamber has started the redesign process for our Tillamook Living lifestyle and relocation magazine.

The magazine is intended as a resource that real estate agents, service providers, businesses and other community groups can hand out to new residents as a go-to guide of the town. It’s packed full of information about Tillamook’s local industries, services, retail shops, hikes, community service groups and so much more. It covers everything from hooking up electricity when you first move in, to finding a new doctor or dentist, to attending a community event once you’ve settled in. And it includes the Chamber’s complete membership directory.

The Chamber started publishing Tillamook Living last year. It was a project born out of conversations with business owners and community leaders about how we could recruit and retain new workers. In its simplest form, Tillamook Living is a tool to show off this place we are so lucky to live work and play in – and draw new talent into our ranks.

Tillamook is the type of rural community where you know your mail carrier by name and rally together to help a neighbor in need. But unlike some rural towns, Tillamook also has three big name grocery stores, access to world class seafood and craft beer and ample opportunities to hike, paddle or fish in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country!

Tillamook has all the benefits of small town living without losing any of the big city amenities people want. And that’s a fact we must communicate with potential future residents! We need to show new residents how amazing Tillamook really is, and we believe Tillamook Living is the best way to do that.

Speaking from my own experience, the magazine was a really helpful tool in getting to know the community. My personal copy is dog eared and marked up in many places, and I still refer to it when I’m looking for a particular business or service in town.

But I come to Tillamook from another small town. I already know the value of living in a rural community, and I seek out the special parts of a small town that make it great. I understand when the magazine says Tillamook has many community events, it doesn’t mean just events. It means beloved traditions unlike any event you’ve attended before. It means special moments the entire community looks forward to, so we can gather together and build relationships.

People from larger cities might not be as adept at finding those special things or reading between the lines. So this year we are using a fresh set of eyes to redesign the magazine to better communicate the benefits of living in Tillamook.

We plan to add multiple feature articles that highlight our businesses, our community leaders and our local industries. These articles will show off the personality of Tillamook. But more importantly, they will explicitly share how Tillamook stands out from other rural communities. The articles will answer the “why” in “Why move to Tillamook?”

Once all is said and done, the Tillamook Living magazine will look very different from last year’s edition. But the publication will be even more useful for newcomers than the current edition. Copies will be available later this fall.

And should you come across a copy of Tillamook Living later this year, I hope you’ll flip through and give the articles a read — even if you’re a longtime resident. If we’ve done the redesign right, the magazine will give you a fresh set of eyes to remember why exactly you chose to live, work and play in Tillamook!

Meet the Chamber of Today

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Imagine for a moment the community without the Chamber. This was not far from reality a decade ago, when we were months from the Chamber becoming a completely volunteer-run organization or not existing at all. The budget was unsustainable, our membership roster was short and frankly, at that point in time, the Chamber was a visitor information center that hosted three small community events. Somewhere along the way, the Chamber had lost its way.

Fast forward 10 years, and you’ll find that the Chamber has made a concerted move to embrace its unique role of building a strong community where businesses can thrive (not so coincidentally, that is our current mission statement.) Between board leadership and staff vision, it seems that we have turned things around for the better.

Today, the Chamber boasts the largest membership in our history, with members as far north as Manzanita and as far south as Pacific City. We have two full-time, two part-time and two seasonal staff to run our programs, a board of seven directors that governs the organization and five strategic teams dedicated to one of five focus areas.

Our Leadership Team is the guiding force for the Chamber. This team focuses on internal operations and practices to make sure the Chamber is staying relevant, innovative and adaptive. The “jobs” that fall under this team include but are not limited to managing service contracts; strategic planning and aligning the Chamber’s mission with the needs of the community; and creating a positive workplace culture that can be a model for other organizations.

Our Business Growth Team focuses on exactly what its name suggests: supporting businesses as they grow both operationally and financially. More specifically, this team promotes businesses, shares business development opportunities with local businesses, advises business owners, promotes tourism and assists businesses as they apply for grants. Workforce, and lack thereof, has become a major focus of this team recently, and it is contently at the front of our minds.

Our Community Engagement Team plays the role of event host and quality of life improver. This team draws in and retains entrepreneurs and workforce members by making Tillamook and the greater county a great place to live, work and play. This is where events like June Dairy Parade, Cork & Brew Tour, Treats + Sweets, monthly Sip + Shop and the Tillamook Farmers Market come into play. Each one enhances the overall quality of life locally. This team also oversees the beautiful Downtown Planter Program and the production of the Tillamook Living Magazine, a community profile and relocation guide.

Our Connections Team aims to broker connections for our members to customers, other businesses and partner organizations. Even in the age of Google, direct referrals are still a core function of the Chamber. In fact, every day we field dozens of calls and in-person visits from people asking for referrals. The Connections Team also holds monthly Mornings on Main Street meetings for both business and community members to attend and network with each other, as well as membership events, such as the What’s Brewin’ social evening and the Annual Chamber Banquet.

Our Collaborative Advocacy Team is our newest team, and it’s where the Chamber steps into the political realm. This team provides information, opportunities and a voice for initiatives relevant to creating a healthy local economy for our businesses. I always get a kick out of it when people say, “That’s not the Chamber’s job,” because it quite literally is why chambers were created. Also, our membership surveys show that policy engagement and candidate endorsements are a high priority of our members. Our advocacy efforts often focus on land use issues, local codes, downtown safety and beautification and ballot initiatives that benefit local businesses. Housing has also been a major focus area the past couple of years, and we see it remaining so for the foreseeable future.

The Chamber is a unique organization because we have many roles, and people view us in many ways. Some people see us as a visitor information center and tourism promotion organization, while some people view us as the group who puts on community events. Some people think we are the group that only helps businesses, and some view us as a political advocate. Some say we are friend, and some say we are foe.

The thing is, every one of those people is right. The Chamber of today is all of those things. We embrace our varied roles in this community, and we continue to look to the future for ways to keep building a strong community where businesses can thrive.

We’re not the Chamber we were 10 years ago. And that’s a good thing.

June Dairy Parade’s Return to Normal a Smash Hit

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The 64th Annual June Dairy Parade is one I will never forget. It was a whirlwind to put together a traditional parade in just one month, after having planned for another inside out. But we pulled it off! And it was the was the perfect way to ring in the return to normal, not just for the parade, but the state at large. The governor announced the day before the parade that all COVID-19 health restrictions would be lifted by the end of the month.

More than 70 groups signed up an entry into the parade this year. (Don’t be alarmed if that sounds lower than usual. We changed how we count entries this year.) It’s easy to forget how long the parade was after just a year off, but this year’s parade had just as many entries as we did in 2019. Thousands of people showed up to watch. And no one melted, despite the warm weather.

We couldn’t have done it without the help of our volunteers: Chandra Allen, Cami Aufdermauer, Gary Brunmeier, Tom Connaughton, Lou Gonzalez, Bill Hatton, Chris Kittell, Randy Lamkin, Stephen Murphy, Gretchen Power, Ron Rush, John Samagaio, Khayla Sheldon, Chris Weber and Patsy Weber.

These folks direct parade check in entries at one of our three staging areas, direct entries into the right place in the lineup, time the sendoff the entries so there are as few gaps as possible for parade viewers, clean up the staging areas after the parade wraps up and generally help us pull off a successful June Dairy Parade. Many of them are return volunteers who have helped with the parade for multiple years in a row – and some for multiple decades! We are so thankful for them all.

However, the real star of the show is always behind the scenes. Chamber Office Manager Tammy Samagaio holds the reins of the parade year in and year out. She handles all the entries and parade logistics, and she manages all the volunteers and correspondences. This parade does not happen without Tammy, and I am so grateful we have her.

We also want to thank the Tillamook County Creamery Association, Visit Tillamook Coast and the City of Tillamook for putting resources behind the parade. TCCA has been the presenting sponsor for the June Dairy Parade for as long as our records show. This year, Visit Tillamook Coast also stepped in as a sponsor to help us cover last-minute costs associated with the quick turnaround of plans. The City lends us services from the Public Works and Police departments to handle road closures and traffic control during the parade. The financial backing and traffic resources are essential for hosting the parade at all, and we really appreciate all of these groups for their help!

The Tillamook Fairgrounds, Tillamook High School and Tillamook PUD are rock stars for lending us space to organize the lineup. There’s no way we could get the lineup ready to go without our temporarily donated staging areas.

Speaking of staging areas, we are grateful to the late Don Rust. Don was a Tillamook County Pioneer and a mainstay at the fairgrounds for years. He also was the June Dairy Parade volunteer who invented the way our volunteers set up the fairgrounds during the parade. Don’s system is easy and efficient. Even though he’s no longer with us, his positive impact on our community and on the June Dairy Parade specifically will carry on his legacy as an outstanding volunteer.

A big thank you is in order for our parade entries, too. From the young dancers from three local dance school who delivered flawless performances despite the heat, to the mini-Tillamook buses and cheese samples, to dancing horses and rodeo queens and so much more, we had a great variety of entries this year – and all the fan favorites. We know it wasn’t easy to switch plans last minute from a stationary entry to a moving one, but we are so glad they made it work. The entries really are what make this parade. After all, you can’t hold a parade with no one in it!

Last but certainly not least, we want to thank all the community members who braved the heat to celebrate the parade with us! It was so amazing to see the streets lined with familiar, smiling faces not hidden behind masks. We really missed our community traditions over the last 15 months – and our community even more. It’s great to be back to normal and back together again.

Don’t forget about the children’s coloring contest. You can download the printable coloring sheet at JuneDairyParade.com or pick up a copy at the Chamber at 208 N. Main Ave. You have until July 12 to submit your entries to the Chamber.

#ShopTillamook Sweepstakes Wraps Up, But Local Shopping Can Continue

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

We pulled the last 10 winners of the #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes on June 24, wrapping up a multi-month campaign to support local retailers across Tillamook County. Congratulations to all the winners – and a huge thank you to everyone who participated!

Over the course of the 10-week campaign, the Chamber received several hundred entries, each of which represented a purchase made at a locally owned retailer. The Chamber also infused the local economy by purchasing all 80 gift cards we awarded in the raffle – a $4,000 value – so local businesses didn’t have to cover the cost.

More than the individual entries and gift cards, though, was the excitement we saw for our local businesses on social media. We released 30 promotional videos featuring local retailers, and those videos received a lot of love online. In total, the videos were seen more than 65,000 times on Facebook and earned well over 125 comments and 1,300 likes.

We loved watching our community support its local businesses on the video posts. One of my favorite things to do during the campaign was read through comments people left on the videos. The comments included positive reviews from loyal shoppers that frequent local retailers, as well as excitement from shoppers who learned about a business they’d never been to before.

Oftentimes, the repeat customers would inspire new shoppers to stop into a business for the first time, either by answering questions about the business or building up the staff and management. Think of it like a good Yelp recommendation, but with more weight because it comes from one of your friends or family members. And that was exactly the type of energy we wanted to build with the sweepstakes!

With all that’s gone on in the last year, it’s easy to forget how fortunate we are to have so many amazing local retailers that persevered through all the ups and downs of the pandemic. Our local retailers continually provide the community with great products and services, and word-of-mouth reviews like we saw in the comments of our #ShopTillamook posts give them a leg up. Not only does it show them how much their loyal customers love them, but also it attracts new shoppers to support the business!

The love doesn’t have to stop now that #ShopTillamook is over. In fact, we hope the community will continue to shop locally, thank its local retailers and share their experiences with friends and family.

Our local shops power our economy, support our community events and sponsor our children’s sports leagues. Even during the pandemic, our local businesses found ways to give back to the community and keep our citizens safe. In exchange, we should continue to Shop Tillamook whenever we can!

Business Growth on the Horizon in Tillamook

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Fostering business growth is an often unnoticed or unseen part of what the Chamber does, but recently more businesses have been seeking out that benefit. So I wanted to take some time to explain what exactly that process looks like.

A lot of people think the Chamber helps businesses grow only through training. As owners and operators learn more about running a business and reinvest that knowledge into their own shop, their businesses expand. While that is true, there is more to the story. Helping with business growth also includes providing “practical advising” on topics like property acquisition, relocation and renovation, operational efficiencies and hiring – and that’s the side that the Chamber focuses on.

I’ll add quickly that we are fortunate to have the training side covered by the Tillamook Small Business Development Center. Their work on academic and technical advising frees up time for the Chamber to direct its attention to helping with the other side of the business growth equation. Plus, the SBDC plays a vital role in educating businesses on the nitty gritty details and requirements of entrepreneurship, so business owners are more prepared to have practical advising conversations with us later down the road.

What do I mean when I say the Chamber provides practical advising for businesses growth?  It can take a few different forms.

When an aspiring entrepreneur first hatches the idea to open a business, the Chamber helps grow that idea by talking through the potential pitfalls they might face. These conversations cover more than what kinds of licenses a business owner needs to open legally. We talk about challenges and opportunities within the industry, sustainability of their business model, how to avoid burnout and how to prepare for future growth now.

We also advise businesses throughout the property acquisition process, whether for a new shop or a relocation. We help business owners navigate general land use and zoning requirements or conditions. (Just because there is a piece of property for sale doesn’t always mean it can be used for business right away). We also talk through how a certain property they are considering best fits their business model.

 You’ve seen our work helping with business growth in the form of storefront renovations. (Think Dutch Mill, Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace and Flavors on First Street, for example). The businesses apply for urban renewal grants and complete the renovation work, but we love to help them formulate the best pitch and design renderings to secure the award.

We’ve even helped businesses grow by providing our shared workspace at Chamber headquarters as a location for hiring interviews. This is especially beneficial for businesses that are just getting started, because they can begin the hiring process well before opening, even if their own location is not quite ready for visitors yet. Really, it’s a major leg up for forming a staff.

After the long year businesses have endured during the pandemic, you might be surprised to hear that business growth advising is taking up a large portion of our time at the Chamber. Our business community is resilient and strong.  Many local business owners are working hard to enrich the community with new services, new products and new opportunities, pandemic or not. I am proud of their work – and more than happy to help them along in the process.

And while I can’t talk specifically about some of the ideas brewing in our business community, I can tell you this: There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon. So keep your eyes open to see how our local businesses grow!

Tillamook is Looking Beautiful — Thanks to Our Community!

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Let me take a moment to brag about how beautiful Downtown Tillamook looks right now.

Just last week, more than 50 large planters burst to life with flowers and foliage. The Chamber contracts local plant experts to run our Downtown Planter Program, which places large flower planters throughout the downtown district. The Chamber began this program in 2013, and the planters add a decorative element to the city.

We maintain the planters year-round with appropriate plants for the season, including hardy winter plants in the colder months. The arrangements are revamped semi-annually, and I love to see what new and unique designs is planted in them. But it seems the planters always look so amazing in the summer. It must be something about seeing those bright florals after a long winter of gray skies…

Of course, we couldn’t run the program without the help of our contracted expert green thumbs Cindy and Melissa, who plant and care for the flowers all season long. We also contract with the City of Tillamook crew, which waters the plants through the summer, and from the business owners who sponsor the program financially. You’ll know who those sponsors are because they have a planter right outside of their storefront!

And the Downtown Planter Program is just one of the many city beautification efforts happening in Tillamook right now. Maybe you noticed that city crews have recently ramped up efforts to clean out and weed the bioswales along Main and Pacific avenues.

For whatever reason, those bioswales seem to be the perfect habitat for weeds to flourish, and we get a lot of comments about how we can make them more appealing and less overgrown. So we are very encouraged to see the city tackling that task. They are listening to our community and problem solving right alongside us!

City crews also hung flower baskets throughout town. I think they pair perfectly with our larger planters on the ground. Having hanging baskets and sidewalk planters really ties together the walkways!

And don’t forget that all this work comes just about a month after our Downtown Tillamook Cleanup. More than a dozen volunteers lent a hand in May to clean between brick pavers, blow away old leaves, pick up garbage and wash off signs. We are so grateful to our cleanup volunteers – and to all of the community members who find little ways to make a big difference for our city.

It can be as simple as picking up a piece of trash you see where it shouldn’t be or applying a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of your home or business. We see these beautification acts happening every day in Tillamook, and altogether it amplifies the beauty of the place where we live, work and play!

Welcome Brooke Reibach to Her Tillamook Chamber Internship

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The Chamber is trying something a little new with our staff this summer: a summer internship program for Tillamook’s very own Brooke Reibach. Join us in welcoming Brooke to our team!

Brooke’s internship will focus on nonprofit organization, management and event planning. She also will help us with a special project to formulate the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation charitable organization. (More on that later.) Her official title will be our Operations Assistant Intern.

“This will be my initial experience working with a nonprofit, so I really want to see how that’s different from working for a for profit company, and what it looks like to be a mission-focused organization. I’m also excited to be involved in starting the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation,” Brooke said.

Brooke was born and raised in Tillamook, and she graduated from Tillamook High School in 2019. In fact, she has spent all her life here, except for nine months she attended the University of Oregon at the Eugene campus before the pandemic opened up remote options for her.

At UO, Brooke is majoring in nonprofit management with a minor in religious studies. She said she hopes her education will create career opportunities to make a positive difference in the world.

“I picked this major because it actually teaches you about the world and how you can improve communities,” she said. “It seems like a ‘doing’ major, where other majors felt frustrating because you are just being told what’s wrong but not being told how to fix it.”

Part of her degree requires Brooke to get an internship with a nonprofit. She reached out to the Chamber to see if we might be able to help her, and we found a way to add a summertime role to fit her needs.

“I think it’s really special to intern in my hometown. Tillamook is a really great place to grow up, and I feel like sometimes people take that for granted. So I think it’s important to now have my chance to give back to this community that has been there for me my whole life,” Brooke said.

The Chamber has hired an intern before, though that internship looked a little bit different than Brooke’s will. It was highly specific because it was funded through an outside grant and university program with detailed terms, while Brooke’s is more general and adaptable. Hers will also be the first single-semester internship we’ve ever offered, and the first filled by a Tillamook local.

We are fortunate Brooke decided to intern in Tillamook and share her talent locally, instead of choosing a different community where she could gain the same skills. We see Brooke’s internship with us as a chance to give her real-world taste of the nonprofit sector – and potentially get her to stay in Tillamook even after she graduates. There is a lot of value in keeping young professionals in the town they grew up in, because they already know and care about the community.

Brooke’s first day at the Chamber will be June 21. She will work with us until her fall classes start in early September. Please come by the Chamber office to introduce yourself to Brooke when you have time!

Tillamook Farmers Market Returns June 12

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The return of longer, warmer days can only mean one thing: It is almost farmers market season!

The Tillamook Farmers Market will return for its 21st season on June 12 and run through Sept. 24. As always, you will find the market on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday.

While many of our COVID-19 restrictions from last year will still be in place, we will slowly (and safely) be phasing in some of our regularly scheduled programming. We have received confirmation from the Oregon Farmers Market Association that we can bring back live music, and I am working on scheduling some of our local, talented musicians for the months of July and August when the weather is particularly nice, and everyone can properly spread out.

We will also be bringing back our SNAP service and Double Up Food Bucks incentive program. If you or anyone in your household has an Oregon Trail Card, they can come to the Farmers Market HQ trailer, and we will not only process their EBT card so they can spend SNAP dollars at the Market, we also will match the first $10 they spend with an additional $10 for fruits and vegetables.

Speaking of fruits and vegetables, we have added a few extra farms this year that I am very excited about. Z’s Fresh Microgreens will be joining us for the entire season, and if you haven’t tried their microgreens yet you are missing out! They are great as a nutritious, flavor-packed snack or the perfect topping for salads and sandwiches. Josi Farms also will be joining us this season selling not only their produce, but also farm-raised beef. Of course, all your favorites, like Pitch n Plow, Brickyard Farms, the Berry Patch Girls, MC Family Farms (the one with all the beautiful flowers), Mountains to Rivers Ranch, and Fawcett Creek Farms will all be back this year, as well.

You also will find Oregon Coast Honey, Three Sisters Kettle Corn, Pacific Roots Coffee, Nestucca Bay Creamery, Sweet Treats by George, Bewley Creek Woodworking and many of your other favorite vendors returning this year, as well as plenty of new faces to come check out. We are also planning another seafood stock up event toward the end of the season, when you can find fresh, canned and frozen tuna and other locally sourced seafood to stock up on before summer ends.

If you were hoping to get in as a vendor, you may have noticed that our online application has closed, but we are still taking your information in case there is an opening. Because we are still spacing vendors six feet apart, we are limited on the number of booths we can accommodate. Please feel free to email me at sayde@tillamookchamber.org if you have any questions or would like to get on the waiting list.

We look forward to seeing everyone on June 12!

Chamber has free PPE for small businesses

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The Chamber recently received a third shipment of Personal Protective Equipment from Business Oregon, and with our in-house storage space stocked with masks, gloves, and sanitizer, it feels like a good time to recap the free PPE program we’ve been helping manage.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s economic development agency Business Oregon has provided Chambers like ours with PPE to distribute at no cost to local small businesses. The shipments include a wide variety of supplies, including face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, no-touch hand sanitizer dispensers, sanitizer wipes and spray, and thermometers. Pretty much anything a business might need to follow state guidelines.

The program saves money for businesses, who don’t have to personally incur the expense of buying PPE. In Tillamook County the program has provided more than $100,000 worth of PPE.

The only requirement for a business to receive PPE through this program is that it qualifies as a “small business” under state definitions. That means any local business with 500 or fewer employees can call the Chamber to order PPE at no-cost to their business. You don’t even need to be a Chamber member, (though we recommend joining, because members also get the added benefit of reminder emails and regular updates explaining state data and guidelines as they change).

So far, we’ve distributed well over 200 orders to local businesses all across Tillamook County. Orders have gone to businesses as far north as Manzanita and as far south as Neskowin. (We’ve got to give a special shoutout to Dan Haag, who helped us reach dozens of businesses up in North County!)

The most recent bunch of supplies should be the last full shipment we will receive from Business Oregon, though we expect to get a special restock of hand sanitizer refills for the no-touch dispensers later that should last through the end of the year.

We distribute on a first come, first serve basis, and we will continue to hand the supplies until we run out. Although we are low on some items – sanitizer spray seems to be most popular – our stock should be enough to meet business needs for the next several months. We simply ask that businesses don’t call in for a restock just to amass back stock at this time.

Businesses can reserve new stock or request a restock of PPE by calling Tammy at 503-842-7525. Orders are customizable, so feel free to ask for just one or two items if that’s all you need for now. We are happy to help however we can!

New Ways to Enter #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Hello … is there anybody out there??

As we near the end of the first few weeks of the #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes, we have just TWO entries. We are giving away $4,000 in gift certificates over the course of the campaign. So where is everybody at?

Maybe we weren’t clear that there is $4,000 in prizes up for grabs. Eighty gift cards worth $50 each. And we are drawing winners in a raffle style each week, which means you could very well win one gift card every week of the campaign. That’s a possible total of $400 per person, if you enter each week and luck is with you! But you can’t win even a single gift card if you don’t enter.

Maybe we poorly explained that any and all purchases made at a locally owned retailer are eligible. And by “local,” we mean Tillamook County. You can shop at small businesses in Manzanita to Neskowin and still have a chance to win!

Whatever the reason for the slow kickoff of #ShopTillamook, we’ve decided to extend the sweepstakes though mid-June. And we’ve added two new ways to enter to make it easier for everyone to participate. Now, in addition to positing a photo of an item you purchased from a locally owned retailer, you can also text a photo to 503-389-0631 or bring your receipt into Chamber Headquarters at 208 Main Ave.

There is no limit to how many times you can enter, so the more you shop and the more items you buy, the more likely you are to win. And potentially win again and again each week! We randomly select up to 10 winners weekly, but it’s up to you to improve your odds of being drawn.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, now is a great time to #ShopTillamook for local gifts. Show your mom how much you appreciate her, while also supporting local retailers who have continued to serve this community despite all the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents. You can even keep your gift secret with our new ways to enter, which won’t accidentally alert your mom of her Mother’s Day gift.

You can also participate by revamping your summer wardrobe and showing it off on social media. Or by purchasing new toys for your kids to play with during summer vacation – and new gadgets to boost your backyard barbecue game (I’m looking at you, Green Mountain Grill).

So let’s recap: Our #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes is still underway with two new ways to enter. You can – and should – participate by purchasing something from a locally owned retailer and:

  • Posting a photo of the item on social media with #ShopTillamook
  • Texting a photo of the item to 503-389-0631
  • Bringing your receipt into Chamber HQ

We saw the energy this community has for supporting its local businesses during the #TillamookTakeout campaign. Help us show our local retailers the same love and excitement as you did our restaurants – and win a gift card while you’re at it!

ShopTillamook Official Rules

ShopTillamook Official Rules

“THE TILLAMOOK AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (the “Sponsor”) is running the #SHOPTILLAMOOK SWEEPSTAKES” (the “Promotion”)

OFFICIAL SWEEPSTAKES RULES

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS PROMOTION.

A purchase will not improve chances of winning.

 

CONSUMER DISCLOSURE

You have not yet won.

THE PROMOTION IS ONLY OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 U.S. STATES (D.C.) THAT ARE 18 YEARS OLD AS OF THE DATE OF ENTRY

By entering this Promotion, entrants accept and agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Any violation of these rules may result in disqualification, at Sponsor’s discretion. All decisions of the judges regarding this Promotion are final and binding in all respects.

  1. PROMOTION PERIOD. Weekly drawing promotion begin at 12:01 AM PT of April 1, 2021 and ends 5:00 PM PT June 21, 2021, when all entries must be received. (“Promotion Period.”)
  2. ELIGIBILITY.The Promotion is only open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. States (D.C) who are at least 18 years old as of the date of entry, except employees of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce and the immediate family (i.e., parents, children, siblings, spouse), and persons residing in the same household, as such individuals. This Promotion is void outside the 50 U.S States (D.C.) and where prohibited.
  3. HOW TO ENTER.There are four (4) ways to enter: 1) provide a receipt from a locally owned business within Tillamook County during the Promotion Period to the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce located at 208 Main Ave. and follow the instructions to complete and submit the entry form; 2) Text message first and last name along with a photo of your receipt to 503-389-0631, 3) post a photo of items purchased at a locally owned business in Tillamook County to Facebook or Instagram using #ShopTillamook, 4) visit the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce located at 208 Main Ave. Tillamook, OR 97141 during regular business hours, fill out provided questionnaire, complete and submit an entry form. All entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Receipts will be stamped which will void that receipt from future entry use. All entrant information, including e-mail addresses, may be used by Sponsor for future solicitation.
  4. WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION. Weekly prize winner selection will be conducted by random drawing from all eligible entries. Any potential winner will be notified by mail, email, telephone and/or Facebook MessengerIf a potential winner: (i) cannot be contacted; (ii) does not respond within five (5) days from the date the Sponsor first tries to notify him/her; (iii) fails to return the Affidavit and Release as specified in Rule 9; (iv) refuses the prize; and/or (v) the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, such potential winner forfeits all rights to win the Promotion or receive the prize, and an alternate potential winner may be selected. Upon contacting a potential winner and determining that he/she has met all eligibility requirements of the Promotion, including without limitation the execution of required waivers, publicity and liability releases and disclaimers, and, at Sponsor’s discretion, successful completion of a background check, such individual will be declared the “winner” of the Promotion.
  5. PRIZE DESCRIPTION. There will be a minimum of five (5) and a maximum of ten (10) weekly prizes that are to be individually determined and identified on the Facebook group Shop Tillamook. Winners will receive one (1) $50 gift card to a locally owned business in Tillamook County.
  6. TAXES. All federal, state and/or local income and other taxes, if any, are the winner’s sole responsibility.
  7. ODDS OF WINNING.The odds of winning this Promotion depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  8. NO PRIZE TRANSFER OR SUBSTITUTION. No prize or any portion thereof is transferable or redeemable for cash. No substitutions for prize except by Sponsor, in which case a prize of equal or greater value will be substituted.
  9. CONSENT AND RELEASE. By entering the Promotion, each entrant releases and discharges the Sponsor, judging organization (if applicable), and any other party associated with the development or administration of this Promotion, their parent, subsidiary, and affiliated entities, and each of their respective officers, directors, members, shareholders, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively, “Sponsor Entities”), from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with this Promotion, including without limitation legal claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages, demands or actions of any kind (including without limitation personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction or property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light) (collectively, “Claims”). Except where prohibited: (i) entry into the Promotion constitutes the consent of each entrant , without further compensation, to use his/her name, likeness, biographical data, and contact information for editorial, advertising, marketing, publicity, and administrative purposes by the Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor; (ii) acceptance of a prize constitutes a release by any winner of the Sponsor Entities of any and all Claims in connection with the administration of this Promotion and the use, misuse, or possession of any prize; (iii) any potential winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility (including social security number) and a liability/publicity release; and (iv) if prize involves travel or activities, any potential winner and travel companion (if applicable) may be required to execute releases of the Sponsor from any and all liability with respect to participation in such travel/activities and/or use of the prize. Fully-executed Affidavits and releases must be received by Sponsor within five (5) days from the date that Sponsor first tries to notify the potential winner. Sponsor may conduct a background check to confirm any potential winner’s eligibility and compliance with these rules. By entering, you agree to cooperate reasonably with any such background check. If the prize includes participation in any public event(s) or publicity, or if Sponsor Entities intend to publicize the winner in any way, and if a background check reveals that a potential winner has engaged in conduct that could damage the reputation or business of any Sponsor Entity, as determined by Sponsor in its discretion, the potential winner may be disqualified and the prize may be awarded to an alternate winner.
  10. DISCLAIMERS.(i) Sponsor not responsible for entries that are lost, late, misdirected, incorrect, garbled, or incompletely received, for any reason, (ii) Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process or the operation of the web site or otherwise attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion. (iii) Sponsor further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the Promotion if it is not capable of completion as planned, including by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure or technical failures of any sort. (iv) Sponsor Entities are not responsible for errors in the administration or fulfillment of this Promotion, including without limitation mechanical, human, printing, distribution or production errors, and may cancel, terminate or modify this Promotion based upon such error at its sole discretion without liability. In no event will Sponsor be responsible for awarding more than the number of prizes specified in these rules. (v) In the event this Promotion is cancelled or terminated, pursuant to subparagraph (iii) or (iv), Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may elect to hold a random drawing from among all eligible entries received up to the date of discontinuance for any or all of the prizes offered herein. (vi) SPONSOR ENTITIES MAKE NO WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS OR GUARANTEES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN FACT OR IN LAW, AS REGARDS THIS PROMOTION OR THE MERCHANTABILITY, QUALITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE REGARDING ANY PRIZE OR ANY COMPONENT OF ANY PRIZE. (vii) CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS PROMOTION MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH ENTRANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. (viii) The value(s) of the prize(s) set forth above represent Sponsor’s good faith determination of the approximate retail value(s) thereof; the actual fair market value(s) as ultimately determined by Sponsor are final and binding and cannot be challenged or appealed. In the event the stated approximate retail value(s) of a prize is more than the actual fair market value of that prize, the difference will not be awarded in cash or otherwise. No substitution or compensation will be given for any portion of the prize that is not used.
  11. APPLICABLE LAWS AND JURISDICTION. This Promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. If any court of law, having the jurisdiction to decide on this matter, rules that any provision of these Official Rules is invalid or unenforceable, then that provision will be removed from the Official Rules, and the remaining provisions of these Official Rules will remain in full force and effect.Issues concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules shall be governed by the laws of the State of Oregon, without regard to any principles of conflict of laws. All disputes arising out of or connected with this Promotion will be resolved individually, and without resort to class action, exclusively by a state or federal court located in Portland, Oregon. Should there be a conflict between the laws of the State of Oregon and any other laws, the conflict will be resolved in favor of the laws of the State of Oregon. To the extent permitted by applicable law, all judgments or awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket damages (excluding attorneys’ fees) associated with participation in this Promotion and shall not include any indirect, punitive, incidental and/or consequential damages.
  12. WINNER LIST.For the name of the winner, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, within six (6) months of the Drawing Date, to: Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce, 208 Main Ave., Tillamook, OR 97141.
  13. SPONSORSHIP.This Promotion is sponsored by the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce at 208 Main Ave. Tillamook, OR 97141, US Bank Corp and individual businesses as identified weekly within the Tillamook County Shopper (individually and collectively, the “Sponsor”).

 

Redesigned Chamber HQ a COVID Safe Workspace

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I’m a strong believer that people work best when their surrounding environment is comfortable. Go ahead and kick back on the couch! While it might sound counterintuitive, it often leads to greater inspiration and productivity.

That’s why our shared workspace here in Chamber Headquarters focuses on creating a comfortable yet productive atmosphere. And we recently redesigned the space to further enhance the experience.

Take, for example, our new seating arrangement near the picture windows looking out to Main Street. With a loveseat and two comfy armchairs all nestled around a coffee table, it looks a little like a living room. Pair that with free WiFi for guests and courtesy coffee or tea, and it comes alive as a productive workspace. It’s not unusual for us to find someone typing away on their next big project while curled up in one of the chairs.

We also added collapsible tables with wheels to replace the traditional tables that used to fill our upstairs area. The new tables allow for easy rearranging, so you can reconfigure them however best meets your needs. They also make social distancing simple: Just wheel your workspace six feet from any other people that might be sharing the space!

State guidelines for COVID-19 led us to reduce the overall number of tables available in HQ to meet capacity and social distancing requirements. The change opened up the space, adding light and brightness. You won’t feel that work-from-home claustrophobia here because we’ve got ample room!

The state guidelines also inspired us to purchase a Keurig machine for our coffee bar. Now we can offer individual serving sizes, instead of a sharing a single pot of coffee among many people. The even better benefit is that everyone can brew the beverage of their choice, guilt-free of wasting coffee that’s been on the burner all day.

All told, the redesign amplifies the atmosphere, making Chamber HQ the natural choice for a productive place to work. Our shared workspace is open to the public, and we are happy to host people who are working remotely or who need a space to safely meet with clients in-person.

You can reserve a portion of the space by calling Tammy at the office 503-824-7525. Walk-ins are also welcome, and we encourage you to drop in to check out the new furniture and try out the new couches, rolling tables or Keurig for yourself! Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to boost your workflow.

Save the Date for June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Clear your calendar and rev your engines for June 26: The 64th annual June Dairy Parade is a-go, though it will once again be inside out. The parade theme will be “As the World Churns.” (Fitting, we think, for how our community keeps trekking along despite any of last year’s obstacles.)

We looked at every angle possible for hosting a traditional parade, but based on current state guidelines and OSHA enforcement, there’s simply no way to line our streets with the some-20,000 parade spectators that usually show up to watch. So instead, entries will stage along a parade route, and spectators will drive through to enjoy the floats, dancers, and other festivities.

Although we are eager for the days when we can return to a traditional parade style, we’ve found that the inside out model is a good temporary substitute. Last year more than 400 cars showed up to drive through the parade route, which consisted of approximately 50 entries staged for nearly a mile. As cars drove through, parade entries passed out candy, cheese, jerky and other goodies from a safe distance, so none of the snacks or swag you’re used to was missing!

Both participants and entries had a great time. And as a testament to our success, a handful of other cities in the region reached out to us for tips on hosting their own inside out parade. We’ve become an example for how to hold fun and safe community celebrations during the pandemic!

Of course, we are always looking for ways to improve. This year we will start the parade at 10 a.m., an hour earlier than usual, to avoid the increased traffic on Pacific and Main that caused some delays last year. We’re planning to block additional roads along the route to ensure that vehicles can get through the parade in a timely fashion, as well as adding measures to reduce the wait-time at the fairgrounds. We’ll have more on the specifics as June 26 gets closer.

We also hope to grow the number of entries and participants this year to make the inside out parade bigger and better than before. So break out your globes or butter-making equipment, get creative, and help us celebrate all things dairy! After all, the dairy industry is a big deal here in Tillamook.

If you would like to be a staged entry in the 2021 June Dairy Parade, please submit your application by May 31 at junedairyparade.com. And keep your eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates and additional information.

#ShopTillamook Launches This Week

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Did you know you can purchase high-quality farm and garden supplies, homemade bath bombs, hand-painted vintage furniture and mouthwatering smoked meats all right here in Tillamook County?

Sometimes it feels easy to forget how fortunate we are to have so many amazing local retailers in our community. More than saving a long drive into Portland, these local shops power our economy, support beloved community events and our children’s sports leagues, and care about our hometown just as much as we do.

So we’re launching the #ShopTillamook campaign to remind everyone about all of our great retailers and show our local shops how much we appreciate them!

#ShopTillamook is an idea gleaned off the success of our past events promoting local businesses. Think #TillamookTakeout meets Shop Small Sweepstakes. In many ways, #ShopTillamook combines those two events to show off all the great retail options available in our community – and give you a reason to buy that special shirt or fancy new tool you’ve been eyeing for a while. After all, it pays to shop when every purchase makes you eligible to win one of 80, $50 gift cards!

The rules are simple: Every time you purchase an item from a locally owned retailer between April 4 and May 31, snap a photo and post it on Facebook or Instagram using #ShopTillamook. Each post automatically enters you to win gift cards to local stores. There is no limit to how many times you can enter, so the more you shop, the more likely you are to win!

Each week we will randomly select 10 winners to receive a gift card to a local business. We’ll also share videos of several local businesses to give you an opportunity to scope out your next purchase and learn a little bit more about retailers throughout the county. Between our videos and your pictures, we will flood social media with hundreds of reasons to visit local shops. Let’s encourage each other to buy locally!

Shopping locally helps our community thrive. It supports your neighbors, your friends, and your family. It keeps our community vibrant and unique. And it shows local business owners – the same ones who support FFA, youth sports and local nonprofits  – that we appreciate all they do for our community! They took a risk to open a business and provide you with great products and services just down the street. Participating in the #ShopTillamook campaign is a great way to say thank you.

The Tillamook community showed up for our local restaurants big-time with #TillamookTakeout, and we hope you’ll all do the same for #ShopTillamook. What better way to do that than to treat yourself to a new shirt, a nice piece of furniture or a new gadget. And, of course, enter yourself for the opportunity to win a gift card!

Welcoming Kristin Holleran to the Chamber Board of Directors

Kristin Holleran

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you are a regular reader of this column you might notice a theme lately: We have a lot of new faces (and new energy) here at the Chamber. I am excited to introduce you to our other new board member, Kristin Holleran.

Kristin HolleranOriginally from Spokane, Wash., Kristin is the Director of Plant Operations at the Tillamook County Creamery Association, where she has worked for the last five and a half years. She oversees all the manufacturing, cheese making, packaging, ice cream and whey products. She joined the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors as a way to get out in the community, meet new people, and start giving back.

“The Chamber is involved in almost every major event in the community,” she added about why she applied to the board of directors. “I am looking forward to being to help with the Tillamook County fair booth, the Cork & Brew Tour, and to help bring up and foster the Young Professionals.”

Kristin has been a part of the TCCA scholarship committee for the last several years and said she has seen first-hand how talented and driven the youth in our community can be, and she looks forward to opportunities to mentor young professionals as they build their careers.

Kristin added that she is passionate about chambers because they have an opportunity to be a real influence in the communities they serve. “They are a source for networking, a wealth of educational information, and an advocate for local businesses,” she said. “That has really shown through this last year with COVID in the multiple ways that our chamber advocated for our small business community.”

It’s clear Kristin understands and values the work that the chamber does, and we are excited to involve her in our many events, projects, and programs going forward.

Welcoming Shannon Cahoon to the Chamber Board of Directors

Shannon Cahoon

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am thrilled to welcome Shannon Cahoon to the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors. Shannon CahoonShannon recently relocated to Tillamook after frequent visits caused her to fall in love with the area. She said she was motivated to join the Chamber Board of Directors because she believes Chambers are vital in each community.

She added that she is especially proud of and impressed by the work the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce continues to do throughout the county.

“I’m immensely proud to be a part of the organization and hope I can add to its positive impact and growth during my time on the board,” she said.

Of all the programs the Chamber currently operates, Shannon said one of her personal favorites has been Tillamook Takeout. “We can never say enough about what it did and does for our local restaurants and families who depend on those jobs for their livelihood,” she said.

Shannon is also excited to be a part of the advocacy work the Chamber does to help bring a united Tillamook voice to Salem when it needs to be heard.

“A good Chamber plays a vital role between creating a favorable operating environment for local businesses and advocating on their behalf,” Shannon said. “A Chamber that is operating to its full potential has positive impacts on the local business community, as well as the residents by ensuring that local needs can be met locally and that residents have access to good quality of life.”

We are so pleased to have Shannon’s positive energy and passion for our area on the board. We are lucky to have her, not only as the Chamber, but as a community. While she may not have been born here, Shannon is planting roots here and said she hopes to make a positive impact. (I would argue that she already has.)

I hope the next time you see Shannon out and about doing good work that you congratulate her on her new board position.

Mallory Gruben Joins the Chamber Team!

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am pleased to welcome Mallory Gruben to the Tillamook Chamber team as our new Communications Manager. You may have met Mallory at a recent Mornings on Main Street, which she has been regularly attending with her partner Jaykob Wood.

Mallory and Jaykob moved to Tillamook when he was hired as the Executive Director of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Previous to that, Mallory was working for a newspaper in Longview, Wash. where she covered both business and environmental issues. She has a degree in journalism from Hastings College in Nebraska.

Mallory said she really enjoyed her job with the newspaper because she got to learn the ins and outs of the business community, both before and during the pandemic.  “It was really cool to get to tell the stories of groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the SBDC that were finding a way against all odds to make sure the business community survived,” she said. “[This job with the Chamber] is an exciting opportunity to get to continue to highlight those stories and work more in depth with the business community.”

Mallory is originally from a small town in Colorado, and she had dreams of living on the Oregon Coast when she finished college. Landing in Tillamook has been a great fit so far, and we are excited to have her expertise as a writer and journalist here at the Chamber. She is also from an agricultural community, and said she loves seeing all the cows and dairy farms because it feels like home.

“I love this type of community where everyone knows everyone, and people want to pitch in and volunteer to see the best for the community,” she said.

About her new role at the Chamber, Mallory said, “It is a really exciting opportunity and a great way to be involved in the community. I look forward to working with the Chamber and helping with the great work they already do to continue to make downtown attractive; encourage people to visit here and live here; and to make sure that our businesses are thriving.”

Mallory brings her curiosity and strong communication skills as a journalist with her to the Chamber, two incredibly valuable skills for the success of what we do.

Please come by the Chamber office and introduce yourself to Mallory when you have time. When she’s not writing, she and Jaykob have two pet rats and are learning to make cheese in their spare time.

Thanks for a Great Night, Tillamook

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If I’ve said it once, I say it every year: the night of the annual Chamber Community Awards Banquet and Auction is my favorite night of the year. Not my birthday. Not Christmas Eve; that particular night tops it for me every year.

When we had to go virtual this year because of Covid, I knew it wasn’t going to be the same in all the ways I loved. What I wasn’t expecting though, was the amazing way the Tillamook community stepped up to support the Chamber. The business community supported us through their donations and sponsorships like I’ve never seen. You guys killed it.

Our silent auction brought in a record-breaking $20,315! Just to put that in perspective, our auction in 2020 was also a record-breaking year, bringing in just over $7,000. The silent auction and oral auction combine raised $36,185 for the Chamber and our programs. I am honestly without words on that one.

While we didn’t have the in-person camaraderie that we all enjoy and, quite frankly, miss at this point, we still had fun chatting with everyone virtually and sharing the great work that the Chamber has been able to accomplish amidst a global pandemic. A point of pride for the banquet each year is the buffet that consists of food from over 15 local restaurants, but in true let’s-figure-it-out fashion we once again offered event sponsorship in the form of Virtual Dinner Tables that came with 10 dinner vouchers good at over 15 restaurants. And boy, was our business community ready to support our restaurants and Chamber. We had 23 virtual dinner tables sponsored, raising another $17,250!

It was this same let’s-figure-it-out attitude that permeated the Chamber in 2020. Overall,as soon as the shut downs started happening our philosophy was to try and keep things as normal as possible. We went into it thinking: if we can just keep the community engaged, keep businesses open and moving, and a sense of normality, then we are doing our jobs. Instead of canceling events, we asked ourselves, how can we do this differently? And, apart from the Cork & Brew Tour, we were able to keep all our regular events and programs up and running in some form or another. We wanted to be clear that we had not abandoned the community, and that we were here for them every step of the way.

Which is why we sent out emails weekly, sometimes even daily, breaking down the new regulations, offering information about funding and how to apply, and where businesses could get PPE.

It was this same can-do mentality that launched Tillamook Takeout less than 24 hours after restaurants were shut down to in-person dining – the first time. And let me tell you, it’s all worth it when you hear stories from Jen Malcom, the owner of Downie’s Cafe in Bay City, saying that Tillamook Takeout may as well have saved her business and now she can’t make cinnamon rolls fast enough to keep up with demand. Yeah, we can take credit for coming up with the idea, but we as a community made it happen and made sure our restaurants stayed afloat during one of the toughest times they’ve ever seen. Thank you, Tillamook. You are awesome.

I would be remiss if I didn’t again thank my co-host Brett Hurliman, and my team: Ashley Christensen, Ashley Rushing and Tammy Samagio for their hard work on this event. And a special thank you to Kaylan Sisco, who came in at the last minute to pinch hit on the technical live feed aide and hit it out of the park. Also thank you to our sponsors, and everyone who donated an item to our silent and live auction.

Be sure you go check out the Community Impact Awards video that debuted the night of our virtual auction (posted to our Facebook page and on our website) and have fun remembering all the wonderful things that happened in 2020 – because yes, there were plenty of opportunities to smile through it all.

Join us this Saturday for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction

By Ashley Christenson
Programs & Events Manager

It’s hard to believe that the Community Impact Celebration and Auction is this Saturday! If you haven’t checked out our silent auction yet, there is still time to get your bids in at communityimpactauction.com. Or, if you haven’t looked in awhile, you might be pleasantly surprised by new items we’ve added as we get closer to our live event.

Speaking of the live event, that will take place (virtually of course) on Feb. 20th at 6 p.m. The event will be co-hosted by Justin Aufdermauer and Brett Hurliman! The celebration will consist of a short Chamber update, live auction and the Community Impact Awards presentation.

Unlike past years where we have selected a single award winner in multiple categories, we have decided to recognize over 30 businesses, people, projects, and programs that made a positive impact in Tillamook County this past year. These award recipients were nominated by the community and we are really excited to recognize them through a presentation video.

Some of our live auction items include a year’s worth of flowers from Sunflower Flats; a multi-course meal prepared by Chef Phil of Pacific Restaurant; a private kayak tour for eight; eight hours of professional yard work; and much more. You will also be able to bid on silent auction items right up until the end, so be sure to tune in and make sure you don’t get out bid.

Like any non-profit in our county, we really are unable to do the things we do without the community’s support. Typically our in-person banquet serves as our main fundraiser, which allows the Chamber to fulfill its mission. This includes being an advocate for small business owners; creating community events that positively impact livability, like the June Dairy Parade and the Tillamook Farmers Market; offering networking opportunities that support businesses and professionals; and much more. If you have attended the monthly Mornings on Main Street meetings, or enjoyed a Cork & Brew Tour, then you’ve directly benefited from the programs and services offered by the Chamber. All of these things help us fulfill our mission, which is to remove barriers and make connections for businesses to grow and thrive, and help increase the quality of life for our community.

So I hope you will join us THIS Saturday at 6 p.m. at communityimpactauction.com.
A huge thank you to all those who made a donation to our auction, or who have already made bids on items, for your continued support of the Chamber. We couldn’t do this without you. I look forward to the day we can gather together in person, but until then, we hope you will gather with us virtually and continue to support the great work being done in our community.

Apply now for the 2021 Tillamook Farmers Market

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The Tillamook Farmers Market is returning for its 21st season June 12 – Sept. 24.

If you would like to join us this year as a vendor, you can fill out an application on our website, tillamookfarmersmarket.com. We are always looking for new farmers, producers, hobbyists, artists, bakers and just all-around-fun people to come hang out with us. If you’re not sure if your idea or product would qualify, that’s ok! Reach out to me and I will be happy to see if it meets Market standards. Typically we are looking for homemade, handmade, and homegrown items – but there are a few exceptions.

As per usual, the Market will run every Saturday from June 12 – Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street. When it comes to COVID and safety guidelines, we are following the requirements from the Oregon Farmers Market Association. That means, just like last year, all vendors will be in masks, they will be properly spaced out, there will be hand sanitizer available, and shoppers will be required to wear masks and maintain distance.

We are hoping to bring back hot, prepared food this year, but of course that depends on who applies! Again, if you have a delicious idea for a food item you would like to serve to shoppers email me so we can talk about it. Anything for consumption on the premise also has to go through the health department so it can take a few extra weeks to get approved. In other words, don’t wait until the last minute to apply!

As soon as we are able to, we will bring back things like live music, kids activities, demonstrations, and all that fun interactive stuff. Until then, we appreciate everyone who makes the effort to shop small and support our vendors. Having a neighborhood farmers market is a privilege, and it takes all of us supporting it to keep it going.

Be sure to follow Tillamook Farmers Market on Facebook for more updates as we get closer to the season opening. And to learn more about the Market, email me at sayde@tillamookchamber.org.

Travel to Italy and Greece with the Chamber in 2022

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Let me be the first to admit it: I have the travel bug. After basically 12 months of staying home, I am ready to get out and go on an adventure. While our Chamber travel trip was planned for May of this year, sadly COVID-19 has halted global travel for now.

What that means for folks who have already signed up is that we will be waiting until May of 2022 to travel to Italy and Greece, after vaccines are widely distributed.

And, if you didn’t originally sign up for the trip, now you have an extra year to plan! I image there are a lot of us who will be dying to get out of the country and explore other cultures come Spring 2022.

As a reminder, this trip will take us to the warm Mediterranean region of Greece and Italy. We will explore the Seven Wonders of the World, visit the ancient Gymnasium (where the first Olympic Games took place) and peek inside the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

Oh, and did I mention that’s all just one day? Now picture 12 days of exploring not only Greece but Italy as well. Discover historic churches, winding canals, and picture-perfect piazzas; step inside the iconic St. Mark’s Square; view the legendary Florence Cathedra; enter the massive Colosseum in Rome; and visit the Temple of Apollo where, according to legend, the gods once communicated with mortals.

If Venice, Rome, Florence, Athens, Delphi and Olympia are on your travel bucket list then you will want to join us for our next Chamber Travel Adventure. The trip includes 12 nights in handpicked hotels, breakfast each morning, guided sightseeing tours with local experts and a private deluxe motor coach. A few of the trip highlights include Temple of Apollo, Ruins of Olympia, and the Archaeological sites of Mycenae, Acropolis, Parthenon. There are also free days to explore Rome and Florence at your leisure.

If you’re ready for more information about the itinerary, pricing, or just group travel in general then please email me at justin@tillamookchamber.org. Final payments won’t be due until February of 2022. Let’s make this the trip of a lifetime!

It is Time

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As we near the one-year anniversary of the very first state-wide shut down due to the global pandemic, the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce is looking to ensure the voice of the business community is heard. In short: business need to be allowed to open immediately within CDC recommended guidelines.

Our small business community is a vital component of Tillamook County. It is the very backbone of our culture, and it is what makes Tillamook such a unique place to live, work, and visit. Yet it is the small business community that has been unfairly targeted by regulations and closures from the Governor’s office over the last 11 months. Nearly every small business was forced to close at one time or another, and many have had to react on a moment-by-moment notice of whether they can operate or not. While our small business owners are resilient, and have done a remarkable job of holding on and rolling with the punches, many Tillamook County businesses are on the verge of letting go.

Those that have been able to continue operations have been extremely responsible and responsive to the COVID-19 guidelines coming from the state. The recent adoption of the Oregon OSHA Covid-19 Standard further means that Oregon workplaces are some of the safest and most sanitary places for customers and employees to be. And yet, public health officials have been clear that Covid-19 is spreading in Oregon for reasons unrelated to businesses being open. Locally, as of January 15, 2021, we have seen 357 positive and presumptive cases and two (2) deaths in all of Tillamook County since March 2020, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Tillamook County has remained as the third lowest rate per 100,000 for several weeks, only behind Wheeler and Wallowa counties. Something has to give.

The Tillamook Chamber, in accordance with the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, believe all local businesses should be open in some capacity. Currently 26 counties sit under the Extreme Risk category which prohibits operation of indoor fitness (dance studios, YMCA, etc.) and entertainment (theater, museums, etc.) and any indoor dining at restaurants. This is a problem for all of rural Oregon, but especially here on the Oregon Coast where small business owners already face unique challenges that they must overcome to be successful during much of the year.

Last week, the Chamber submitted a letter to Mayor Burris and the Tillamook City Council asking them to collectively support the opening of businesses within the recommended CDC recommendations and submit public support to the Governor’s office, stating that small businesses should be allowed to reopen with the same considerations being granted the school districts; allow businesses to re-open in a manner that requires masks and physical distancing measures and frequent hand washing; and allow our small businesses to tackle the safety measures with the same spirit they used to carve out their niche in private enterprise.

The Tillamook Area Chamber Board of Directors and the City Council of Tillamook stand united in our commitment to continuing to do our part, within our authority, on behalf of safety and small businesses by encouraging every member of our community to follow the health and safety guidelines established by the CDC, OHA, and Tillamook County. We are in no way advocating for the disregard of State mandates – we are requesting a change to reduce the Extreme Risk levels mandates to those of the High Risk category, which will allow all businesses to open in one form or another.

At the time this is published, Tillamook County may have received word that it will move down to the High Risk category, and while this is welcome news, this creates a lot of market volatility for small businesses as they have to be prepared to shut down as soon as two weeks later due to single digit positive case increases as we have seen recently in Clatsop County.

Our business community has made unparalleled sacrifices over the last 11 months to help the state fight the novel coronavirus. The continued, seemingly never-ending, addition of more restrictions and closures from the Governor’s office on their shoulders is too great a burden for anyone to bear. The weight of this pandemic cannot unnecessarily rest on a limited number of businesses.

Please continue to support Tillamook County businesses, now is the time to not only shop local, but to offer encouragement and let them know how much you appreciate their presence in our community. Your kind words may be the encouragement some of these businesses need to keep holding on.

Join the Chamber and Guests for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction Feb. 20

By Ashley Christensen
Programs & Events Manager

*** Register now at communityimpactauction.com ***

Typically in mid-January the Chamber is hosting its annual Community Awards Banquet. It’s an exciting and elegant night that I know many of you have attended in the past. The food is divine, the atmosphere is charming, and the company is the best.

Of course we are saddened that we can’t host this lovely in-person event for our community right now, but we aren’t going to do nothing; that wouldn’t be right, and it certainly wouldn’t be on brand with the Chamber! We’re all about making the most out of a less-than-desirable situation.

So this year, I am excited to invite you all to the Community Impact Celebration and Auction on Feb. 20th. You can join us virtually by heading to www.communityimpactauction.com where all the fun will start at 6 p.m.

But you don’t have to wait til Feb. 20th to participate! We have more than 100 items in our silent auction, that will premier on that same website on Feb. 6.

From your phone, computer or tablet you’ll be able to visit communityimpactauction.com and bid on incredible items from all over our community. Things like guided fishing trips, vacation packages, an incredible leather couch from Roby’s Furniture, a custom-built bike from the Tillamook Rental Center, and the most amazing gift baskets you’ve ever seen.

While the silent auction opens on Feb. 6th, we will be releasing new items each day leading up to the 20th so be sure to keep checking back and making your bids on these fabulous gifts. Whether you’ve participated in the Chamber’s annual silent auction before or not, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount and scope of items up for bid. We were so jazzed to have an incredible outpour of support from our local community, and you will definitely want to check it out for yourself.

We are also seeking sponsors for the event that will not only help support the auction but also sponsor the Community Impact Awards video that will be released in early spring and will highlight the businesses, organizations, programs, and people who have made a positive and lasting impact on the community even through the pandemic. All of our sponsors will also be recognized in this video – but that’s not all! Sponsors also receive 10 gift cards redeemable at any local restaurant that they can use the night of the Community Impact Celebration and Auction to buy dinner for their family, friends, or even employees and co-workers.
One of the things that makes the annual Chamber Banquet so unique is that it is catered by a variety of local restaurants in and around Tillamook. We wanted to bring that same flare to our virtual event, so we are giving out gift cards to those who choose to sponsor that can be redeemed at the restaurants of their choice. It’s a fun way to bring home your own taste of Tillamook while you settle in for the live auction.

Speaking of which: the live auction portion will be co-hosted by Justin Aufdermauer and Brett Hurliman, who is always a blast to have at any event! And while the two of them are entertaining as it is, we will have special guests popping in throughout the evening so even if you aren’t planning on bidding on any of the big-ticket items, it will still be an entertaining way to spend your Saturday night!

So mark your calendars and don’t forget to join us on Feb. 20th for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction at communityimpactauction.com. Silent auction items go live Feb. 6th! If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, call our office at 503.842.7525.

A huge thank you to all those who made a donation for your continued support of the Chamber. We couldn’t do this without you.

Recap: 2020 Wasn’t All Bad

I’m sure many of us would rather just put 2020 behind us by now as, ultimately, an epic fail. And, in many ways it was. But for the Chamber it was perhaps busier than ever, and while things were canceled left and right, people were sent home to work, and schools were closed, we were able to take a bad situation and make an incredibly positive impact on our community.

Here’s some of the highlights we accomplished in 2020:

Tillamook Farmers Market: 2020 was actually a banner year for the Tillamook Farmers Market, as it was the 20th anniversary. We didn’t get to properly acknowledge this milestone thanks to the pandemic, but we still had a successful season. Sales were up significantly for our farmers especially as people focused on planting victory gardens and found the outdoor shopping experience safer than the grocery store. We had to adapt to COVID regulations but overall the market resembled some normalcy for people, which was greatly appreciated.

Covid Business Resources: From March on, it seemed like things were changing by the day, if not by the minute. We’ve worked diligently to stay on top of the information as it comes from the state and feds and filter it to our business community in a way that clearly showcases what impacts them and their business. Additionally, we distributed over $30,000 in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) at no-cost to local small businesses.

June Dairy Parade: Inside Out: In the midst of closures our team rallied around a vision to keep the June Dairy Parade alive, and instead offer it in a way that would be safe for the community and safe for the parade participants. We came up with the Inside Out Parade, where parade “floats” stayed stationary and the audience drove through the route. It was a logistical nightmare, but we knew if we pulled it off it could be a great event for our community during a summer where things were being canceled left and right. While I hope we never have to do it again, I heard from many people who thoroughly enjoyed the parade in this new format and asked that we do it again next year. It was a glimmer of hope during an otherwise bleak summer.

Tillamook Takeout: Probably one of my personal favorite accomplishments of 2020 was the Tillamook Takeout campaign. We started this in early March just as restaurants were being shut down by the Governor’s Executive Order. The goal was simple: get people to support our restaurants by ordering takeout. We threw together a quick plan and received immediate funding from Visit Tillamook Coast to offer weekly giveaways to folks who got take-out and used #TillamookTakeout on their social media. We created a Facebook group to track takeout entries, that has more than 4,200 members and is still actively supporting restaurants. Fast forward to the second shutdown this December, we knew we had to make another run at and hit it hard, and thanks to sponsorship from the Tillamook County Creamery Association we were able to do just that. We knew from the get go that Tillamook Takeout had the ability to be successful, but we were overwhelmed by the impact this had on our restaurant community with more than $3 million dollars generated through takeout orders.

We hired new staff: In 2020 we brought on a new Programs & Events Manager, Ashley Christenson, and a new Communications Manager, Ashley Rushing. Yes, it does get complicated around here with two Ashleys, but we are really benefiting from their fresh eyes, positive attitudes, and artistic perspectives on our projects and programs. Together they have revamped Sip + Shop and turned it into a cohesive downtown event, even through COVID, and launched a new family-friendly downtown event: Treats + Sweets.

#WereStillOpen: Through some grant dollars from Visit Tillamook Coast, we were able to produce a video for our downtown retail community reminding residents – and visitors – that we were still open for business. Stay tuned as we expand on this idea for 2021.

Shop Small Sweepstakes: For one final blow to 2020’s efforts to ruin everything we ended the year with the Shop Small Sweepstakes. This year we expanded the sweepstakes to all locally-owned businesses in Tillamook County and for community safety we added an extremely popular text entry option. With video highlights of businesses and many more entries, we ended 2020 with an extremely successful sweepstakes sponsored by US Bank.

It was a stressful year – no question about that – but overall, I was incredibly thankful for my board, staff, and our Chamber members for their willingness to fight for our business community. We will come out of this stronger, and I am just blessed to be a part of it. So take that, 2020.

Nominations Due for the Community Impact Awards

By Justin Aufdermauer

Let’s think positive for a minute. This past year has thrown an enormous amount of curveballs at our community and it’s easy to get discouraged, especially as we adjust once again to shut downs and limitations. Instead of focusing on the negative, I am encouraging everyone reading this to think back on the last year and ask yourself: who (or what) has made a positive impact in my life?

I ask because we at the Chamber want to start the New Year by recognizing those people, businesses, development projects and programs that have gone the extra mile in 2020 and made a positive impact. We are now taking submissions for the Community Impact Awards over on our website, tillamookchamber.org/nominate. The form is very simple this year: just tell us who you are nominating and why. We will take the list of nominations and compile the majority of them into a Community Impact video that we will share out on our social media channels and other digital platforms.

This is your chance to say “thank you” to a local restaurant, a thoughtful shop owner, a first responder, an event or program that you enjoyed, a development project that made your life better, or a dedicated volunteer. Who took the time to make you smile, or meet a need that you had? The 10 most impactful submissions in each category – person, business, development project, or program – will be given highlighted in this year’s Community Impact video.

Traditionally we have always announced the winners of the Community Awards at our annual banquet, which has always been a highlight of the evening. We love being able to start the year off by recognizing the best of Tillamook County and celebrating the people behind the projects, the passion behind the business, the sweat and tears of development projects and the heart of our citizens. We don’t want to lose that celebration, even if we can’t gather together for a formal banquet quite yet. We believe it’s more important than ever that this year we don’t focus on a winner, but more so the positive things that have happened in Tillamook County during 2020.

There is no limit to the number of nominations a person can submit. Just visit our website, tillamookchamber.org/nominate and fill out the form before December 31, 2020. I think it will do us all a lot of good to focus on the positive impacts of 2020 and recognize those who made a difference in our lives. Let’s end the year on a high note and give a big (virtual) hug to those in our community who need it most.

There is Still Time to Shop Small – and Win $1,000

Shop Small Sweepstakes Tillamook

By Ashley Christensen

Programs and Events Manager

 

There is still three weeks left of 2020, and while that in itself is something to celebrate, it also means there is still plenty of time left to shop small and enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes! While you’re out finalizing your holiday shopping, remember that every receipt you collect from a locally-owned business could be your ticket to winning $1,000!

You can enter once per day, every day. All entries throughout the entire sweepstakes are entered into the grand prize drawing of $1,000 Shop Local Dollars, redeemable at any locally-owned business in Tillamook County. The grand prize is graciously sponsored by US Bank.

While there might be only one grand prize winner, we also draw for weekly prizes as well. These gifts are sponsored by our local businesses. For the remainder of the contest we will have weekly prizes from Salty Raven, Tangled Yarns, West Elliot Boutique, Lucky Beach Soap Co., the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce and Recurrent. There are still plenty of chances to win so keep shopping and keep entering your receipts!

To enter your receipts, bring them into the Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. during business hours (Monday-Friday from 9-5) or you can text in a picture of your receipt and your full name to 503-389-0631.

Shopping small is the best way to support our local business community, but there are also other ways you can help them without spending any money. If you’re on social media, like their Facebook and Instagram pages, and share their posts. Comment on things you like; it can help them gain exposure. When you find something you like at a specific shop – tell someone about it! Word of mouth goes a long way in a community like ours.

A lot of our downtown shops are still offering curbside pick up, or can arrange special shopping times for you if you like to do your shopping without other people in the store. Some even have online options and can ship directly to your house, so you can still support local with the convenience and safety of online shopping. And, chances are they can get you your items quicker.

There are so many great reasons to support local businesses. Don’t forget to enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes while you do, and there might just be a fun prize in there for you as well!

Support Small Businesses this Small Business Saturday

By Ashley Christensen

Programs & Events Manager

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow? That also means Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28. Always the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is an important “holiday” to help draw attention to the importance of shopping small.

Even when we aren’t in the middle of a global pandemic, shopping small is the cornerstone for a thriving community. Did you know that 92% of small business owners personally donate to charities and non-profit organizations, according to a study by Community Business Finance. Small business owners are also more likely to encourage their employees to volunteer their time and support local causes. And, $68 of every $100 spent at a local independent store is reinvested in the community, versus only $43 with a larger retailer.

 

Local small businesses also use the goods and services of other local businesses, creating both social and economic relationships and helping the entire community thrive. I think it goes without saying that they are pretty important, and these businesses deserve our help now more than ever. COVID has been hard on us all, but small businesses have been thrown through the ringer this year and hit with unexpected rules, regulations, shut downs, and restrictions. It has been hard to keep up with all the changes, and it’s enough for anyone who owns a business to want to throw in the towel.

So, while you’re celebrating Thanksgiving – with or without family or whatever that might look like for you this year – and contemplating your holiday shopping, I encourage you to make Small Business Saturday another holiday tradition. Look local first for those things on your Christmas list, and make a point to visit as many businesses as you can. Several of our small businesses will be open offering great deals and sales to satisfy every style and every need.

The Chamber office will be open on Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a pre-packaged hot cocoa bar so you can come in and grab a warm treat either before you start shopping, or if you just need a pick-me-up.  Or hey, use it as a bargaining chip for the kiddos and reward them with something yummy after you get your shopping done. Our hot cocoa bar is graciously sponsored this year by Umpqua Bank.

We are also offering unlimited entries into the Shop Small Sweepstakes that day, so everywhere you shop you can text in your receipt or bring it by the Chamber HQ or text your name receipt photo to 503-389-0631 to be validated and be entered to win the grand prize drawing.

We look forward to seeing everyone who comes out to shop that day, and hope that together we can show our small business community how much we care about them and value what they do. Of course, we ask that everyone follow all safety guidelines while they are indoors shopping. Masks are required, and social distancing is a must.

Tillamook Takeout 2.0

by Justin Aufdermauer | Executive Director

Last Friday, Governor Kate Brown held a press conference that outlined statewide guidance changes for a two week period starting Nov. 18 – Dec. 2.

There were several key takeaways from this two-week pause:
· Restaurants and bars will be takeout only; no indoor or outdoor service.
· Retail stores (indoor and outdoor) will have a limited capacity of 75%*.
· Venues that host indoor or outdoor events are closed.
· All gyms and fitness organizations are closed.
· All indoor and outdoor recreation facilities are closed.
· Social gatherings (indoor and outdoor) are restricted to no more than 6 people, with a maximum of two households.
· Churches are limited to a capacity of 25 people indoors OR 50 people outdoors.

The freeze does not affect current protocols for personal services like barbershops, hair salons or non-medical massage therapy. It also does not change protocol for lodging providers, homeless sheltering, outdoor recreation and sports, youth programs, childcare, K-12 schools, K-12 sports currently allowed, and higher education. All will continue to follow previous guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority.

I’ll just be real with you: it’s a bummer that we’re back here and the State got this call wrong. You have done a great job through Covid-19, Tillamook County, and there is bo reason for us to bare the brunt of other regions problems. Yet as I sit write this frustrated and disappointed by this move, i am reminded that we have done it before and survived, and we will do it again.

To help, we are bringing back the #TillamookTakeout challenge for this two week period of Nov. 18 – Dec. 2. The rules are the same: every time you get take out from a local restaurant, snap a photo and post it on Facebook or Instagram using #TillamookTakeout. Just posting the photo with the hashtag will automatically enter you to win gift cards to local restaurants. There is no limit to how many times you can enter; the more you eat out, the more likely you are to win!

We had immense success with this campaign earlier this year and were able to show our restaurants and eateries how much they mean to us. And, I think some of us loved the excuse to not cook every now and then. So I am calling on each and every one of you reading this to channel that same energy and let’s show the rest of the state what Tillamook County is made of. We are hopeful that this latest shut down will not last more than two weeks and even more hopeful that we can use this time to make an impact on the businesses most affected. So grab some take out, get a picture, and use #TillamookTakeout. Be sure to follow along in our Facebook group Tillamook Coast Takeout + Delivery as well, for up-to-date menus and other information.

We can do this, Tillamook!

Nominations Open – 2020 Community Impact Awards

By Justin Aufdermauer | President/CEO

 

Drum roll please… Many have been waiting patiently to hear our plans for the annual Chamber Banquet and Community Awards Ceremony. Well, it’s no surprise at this point that our banquet will look different than it has in past years. With a limited capacity on crowds at the state level, we are reimagining how to host a meaningful banquet for folks, fundraise for Chamber programs, and recognize our business community, organizations, and individuals.

One way we are doing that this year is by modifying the awards to honor as many of the businesses, people, organizations and programs that we can who have made a positive impact in 2020. Take a look at the last 10 months and ask yourself: who made a difference for me? Who went above and beyond to be there for their community, and make the most of a tough situation? Yes, it’s been a weird year to say the least, and we’ve all had to make changes and sacrifices that we haven’t liked. But now it’ .s time to take a look at the basket of lemons and ask ourselves: while we were busy being frustrated, who was making lemonade?

Let me get you started with few to get your thoughts flowing: When the YMCA was shut down, they refocused their efforts to collecting food and other essential items and delivering it to people in need. Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace and the Tillamook Liquor Store property have undergone beautiful transformations, while Pelican Brewing Co. added a completely new brewhouse in their Tillamook location. Pacific Restaurant and Blue Heron French Cheese Co. started offering family-sized take-out meals on their menu to give working families a week-night break. Instead of canceling, the Tillamook County Fair organized a walking tour of fair exhibits. During the Pike Road Fire, several local restaurants, businesses and individuals donated food and essentials to those on the frontlines. (And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the phenomenal dessert auction organized by PNW Fire Relief that raised thousands of dollars in a few hours.)

We have seen immense challenges this year, but we have also seen incredible generosity and positivity. Where COVID brought new regulations, it also brought innovation. We saw curbside pick-up and people choosing to support and shop local over other options. Let’s take some time to focus on the good and nominate a person, organization, business or program for a 2020 Community Impact Award.

To make your nomination, text “iNominate” to 56525 or visit tillamookchamber.org/nominate and fill out the online form. At least the top ten nominees in each category will be recognized and celebrated in the community and at the 2021 Chamber Banquet and . And don’t worry, we will be revealing more details about the banquet in the upcoming weeks. Until then, go make your nomination. There is no limit to how many nominations a person can make. I think it will make us all feel good to recognize the good work being done by those in our community.

Shop Small Sweepstakes Official Rules

Shop Small Sweepstakes Official Rules

“THE TILLAMOOK AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (the “Sponsor”) is running the SHOP SMALL SWEEPSTAKES” (the “Promotion”)

OFFICIAL SWEEPSTAKES RULES

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS PROMOTION.

A purchase will not improve chances of winning.

 

CONSUMER DISCLOSURE

You have not yet won.

THE PROMOTION IS ONLY OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 U.S. STATES (D.C.) THAT ARE 18 YEARS OLD AS OF THE DATE OF ENTRY

By entering this Promotion, entrants accept and agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Any violation of these rules may result in disqualification, at Sponsor’s discretion. All decisions of the judges regarding this Promotion are final and binding in all respects.

  1. PROMOTION PERIOD.Grand Prize Promotion begins 12:01 AM PT October 1, 2021 and ends 11:00 AM PT December 31, 2021, when all entries must be received. (“Promotion Period”). Weekly drawing promotion begin at 12:01 AM PT of advertised open date and ends 11:00 AM PT of advertised closing date.
  2. ELIGIBILITY.The Promotion is only open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. States (D.C) who are at least 18 years old as of the date of entry, except employees of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce and the immediate family (i.e., parents, children, siblings, spouse), and persons residing in the same household, as such individuals. This Promotion is void outside the 50 U.S States (D.C.) and where prohibited.
  3. HOW TO ENTER.There are three (3) ways to enter: 1) provide a receipt from a locally owned business within Tillamook County during the Promotion Period to the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce located at 208 Main Ave. and follow the instructions to complete and submit the entry form; 2) Text message first and last name along with a photo of your receipt to 503-389-0631, 3) visit the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce located at 208 Main Ave. Tillamook, OR 97141 during regular business hours, fill out provided questionnaire, complete and submit an entry form. All entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Receipts will be stamped which will void that receipt from future entry use. Limit: One entry per person, per day until the promotion period ends. All entrant information, including e-mail addresses, may be used by Sponsor for future solicitation.
  4. WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION. Grand Prize winner selection will be conducted by random drawing from all eligible entries on or about Dec. 31, 2021 (the “Grand Prize Drawing Date”). Weekly prize winner selection will be conducted by random drawing from all eligible entries within, or about, 24 hours from that week’s closing date (the “Weekly Drawing Date”). Any potential winner will be notified by mail, email and/or telephoneIf a potential winner: (i) cannot be contacted; (ii) does not respond within five (5) days from the date the Sponsor first tries to notify him/her; (iii) fails to return the Affidavit and Release as specified in Rule 9; (iv) refuses the prize; and/or (v) the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, such potential winner forfeits all rights to win the Promotion or receive the prize, and an alternate potential winner may be selected. Upon contacting a potential winner and determining that he/she has met all eligibility requirements of the Promotion, including without limitation the execution of required waivers, publicity and liability releases and disclaimers, and, at Sponsor’s discretion, successful completion of a background check, such individual will be declared the “winner” of the Promotion.
  5. PRIZE DESCRIPTION. There will be one (1) Grand Prize winner. Winner will receive One-thousand dollars ($1,000) in Shop Small Dollars to be spent at participating locally owned business in Tillamook County.  There will be twelve (12) weekly prizes that are to be individually determined and identified on the Facebook group Shop Small Sweepstakes.
  6. TAXES. All federal, state and/or local income and other taxes, if any, are the winner’s sole responsibility.
  7. ODDS OF WINNING.The odds of winning this Promotion depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  8. NO PRIZE TRANSFER OR SUBSTITUTION. No prize or any portion thereof is transferable or redeemable for cash. No substitutions for prize except by Sponsor, in which case a prize of equal or greater value will be substituted.
  9. CONSENT AND RELEASE. By entering the Promotion, each entrant releases and discharges the Sponsor, judging organization (if applicable), and any other party associated with the development or administration of this Promotion, their parent, subsidiary, and affiliated entities, and each of their respective officers, directors, members, shareholders, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively, “Sponsor Entities”), from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with this Promotion, including without limitation legal claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages, demands or actions of any kind (including without limitation personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction or property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light) (collectively, “Claims”). Except where prohibited: (i) entry into the Promotion constitutes the consent of each entrant , without further compensation, to use his/her name, likeness, biographical data, and contact information for editorial, advertising, marketing, publicity, and administrative purposes by the Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor; (ii) acceptance of a prize constitutes a release by any winner of the Sponsor Entities of any and all Claims in connection with the administration of this Promotion and the use, misuse, or possession of any prize; (iii) any potential winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility (including social security number) and a liability/publicity release; and (iv) if prize involves travel or activities, any potential winner and travel companion (if applicable) may be required to execute releases of the Sponsor from any and all liability with respect to participation in such travel/activities and/or use of the prize. Fully-executed Affidavits and releases must be received by Sponsor within five (5) days from the date that Sponsor first tries to notify the potential winner. Sponsor may conduct a background check to confirm any potential winner’s eligibility and compliance with these rules. By entering, you agree to cooperate reasonably with any such background check. If the prize includes participation in any public event(s) or publicity, or if Sponsor Entities intend to publicize the winner in any way, and if a background check reveals that a potential winner has engaged in conduct that could damage the reputation or business of any Sponsor Entity, as determined by Sponsor in its discretion, the potential winner may be disqualified and the prize may be awarded to an alternate winner.
  10. DISCLAIMERS.(i) Sponsor not responsible for entries that are lost, late, misdirected, incorrect, garbled, or incompletely received, for any reason, (ii) Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process or the operation of the web site or otherwise attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion. (iii) Sponsor further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the Promotion if it is not capable of completion as planned, including by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure or technical failures of any sort. (iv) Sponsor Entities are not responsible for errors in the administration or fulfillment of this Promotion, including without limitation mechanical, human, printing, distribution or production errors, and may cancel, terminate or modify this Promotion based upon such error at its sole discretion without liability. In no event will Sponsor be responsible for awarding more than the number of prizes specified in these rules. (v) In the event this Promotion is cancelled or terminated, pursuant to subparagraph (iii) or (iv), Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may elect to hold a random drawing from among all eligible entries received up to the date of discontinuance for any or all of the prizes offered herein. (vi) SPONSOR ENTITIES MAKE NO WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS OR GUARANTEES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN FACT OR IN LAW, AS REGARDS THIS PROMOTION OR THE MERCHANTABILITY, QUALITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE REGARDING ANY PRIZE OR ANY COMPONENT OF ANY PRIZE. (vii) CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS PROMOTION MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH ENTRANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. (viii) The value(s) of the prize(s) set forth above represent Sponsor’s good faith determination of the approximate retail value(s) thereof; the actual fair market value(s) as ultimately determined by Sponsor are final and binding and cannot be challenged or appealed. In the event the stated approximate retail value(s) of a prize is more than the actual fair market value of that prize, the difference will not be awarded in cash or otherwise. No substitution or compensation will be given for any portion of the prize that is not used.
  11. APPLICABLE LAWS AND JURISDICTION. This Promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. If any court of law, having the jurisdiction to decide on this matter, rules that any provision of these Official Rules is invalid or unenforceable, then that provision will be removed from the Official Rules, and the remaining provisions of these Official Rules will remain in full force and effect.Issues concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules shall be governed by the laws of the State of Oregon, without regard to any principles of conflict of laws. All disputes arising out of or connected with this Promotion will be resolved individually, and without resort to class action, exclusively by a state or federal court located in Portland, Oregon. Should there be a conflict between the laws of the State of Oregon and any other laws, the conflict will be resolved in favor of the laws of the State of Oregon. To the extent permitted by applicable law, all judgments or awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket damages (excluding attorneys’ fees) associated with participation in this Promotion and shall not include any indirect, punitive, incidental and/or consequential damages.
  12. WINNER LIST.For the name of the winner, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, within six (6) months of the Drawing Date, to: Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce, 208 Main Ave., Tillamook, OR 97141.
  13. SPONSORSHIP.This Promotion is sponsored by the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce at 208 Main Ave. Tillamook, OR 97141, US Bank Corp and individual businesses as identified weekly within the Tillamook County Shopper (individually and collectively, the “Sponsor”).

 

Shop Small Nov. 9 through Jan. 4

By Ashley Christensen  |  Programs and Events Manager

It’s hard not to be cheerful around the holiday season, and even though we just passed Halloween, we are feeling the holiday spirit around here. Probably because we are gearing up for the Shop Small Sweepstakes that kicks off November 9th. 

For the last several years we have organized the Downtown Sweepstakes to encourage people to shop small in downtown Tillamook the last few months of the year. Shoppers who validate their receipts are entered to win weekly prizes and a grand prize drawing at the end of the Sweepstakes. You might recall, the Chamber started this endeavor during the Hwy 6/101 redesign when getting downtown and finding parking was challenging. Sidewalks were torn up, signage was down, windows were boarded and businesses were hurting. At the time, it felt like one of the most challenging things we had been through as a community. 

Then 2020 hit. So this year we are revamping the sweepstakes to take on the new challenges facing our business community and continue to encourage people to shop small. The rules this year are similar, but I’ll go over them anyway:

  • Anyone who shops at a locally-owned business in Tillamook County from Nov. 9 through Jan. 4 is eligible to enter the Sweepstakes. 
  • Shoppers can enter once per day during the duration of the Sweepstakes.
  • To enter, bring your receipts to the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce during business hours (M-F, 9-5) or feel free to text a picture of your receipt to 503.389.0631 along with your full name.  
  • Each week receipts turned in that week will be entered to win a weekly prize sponsored by a local business and entered into the grand prize of $1,000 sponsored by US Bank. 
  • Weekly drawings will take place each Tuesday, and the grand prize drawing will take place early in January.
  • Remember to check out our ongoing Facebook event for weekly drawing sponsoring businesses and winners.  

So while you’re starting to think about holiday gifts, remember that shopping locally helps our community thrive. It supports your neighbors, your friends, and your family. It keeps our community vibrant and unique. And, when you enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes there is something in it for you, too. Join us in supporting our local businesses as they strive to recover from this last year. Let’s show them how much they mean to us.

We will be updating everyone soon on our Small Business Saturday plans, so stay tuned for that. 

 

Thank you for supporting the Tillamook Farmers Market

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The 2020 Tillamook Farmers Market was one for the books. Granted, not a book I ever want to read again, but still one for the books.
When the Chamber took over the Market three years ago, we wanted to bring back some of that old-fashioned farmers market fun that had been missing for so many years. We brought in upscale, talented musicians. We did an enormous amount of vendor recruiting. We added kids’ games and activities to encourage families to come down and spend the afternoon with us.
And people responded. Our foot traffic increased exponentially, we had new vendors wanting in, sales were up, and better yet morale was up.
Then COVID hit. All our grandiose plans for our third year managing the market were shot. Yet while farmers markets all around us were canceling their in-person events, we decided to strip the market to the bare bones and hold it anyway.
It wasn’t ideal, but it worked. The old adage “build it and they will come” kind of rang true. Every Saturday we set up, and every Saturday the shoppers came. Maybe not in the large crowds that we had grown accustomed to, but they still came. They bought plant starts for their gardens. They bought fresh produce to feed their families. They bought soap, and outdoor furniture (like, so much furniture) and honey and bonsai trees.
During a pandemic it becomes incredibly important to shop small first and they don’t come much smaller than vendors at a farmers market. Our community met the challenge and supported these farmers, producers, artists, beekeepers and crafters. To that, we say thank you.
I would be remiss without thanking my vendors as well, who had to endure not only new rules and regulations due to the pandemic but also windy, rainy weather for the majority of the season. They still showed up with a smile and kept me company every single Saturday with their warm, caring attitudes. Being a farmers market manager is not a thankless job. Hard work, yes, but I have the most amazing vendors who consistently let me know how much they appreciate and care about me and the feeling is mutual.
Again, thank you to everyone who came out amidst COVID and bad weather to support our vendors. Thank you for shopping small. We can’t wait to see everyone next year, and hopefully we can see more than everyone’s eyes this time!

Our Newest Chamber Teammate

We are excited to introduce our newest team member to the community: Ashley Rushing is joining us as our Communications Manager.

Ashley is originally from Woodland, Wash. and moved to Tillamook six years ago. She and her husband own their own construction business, AR Northwest, and you may also know Ashley from her other roles as the talent behind Ashley Rushing Photography or as a youth cheerleading coach.

We hired Ashley because of her passion for the community and her ability to fit into the culture of the Chamber. She is an excellent photographer and will play an integral role in helping tell our story and visually represent both the brand and the mission of the Chamber along with our membership. She is also very detail-oriented and will be able to support our other team members with her knowledge and kind disposition.

When asked why she was interested in this role, Ashley told us that she applied because there was an opportunity for creativity and structure. “I’m excited about enhancing the member experience, and also being a part of work that is making Tillamook an even greater place to live and work,” she said. “I want people to be proud to live here like I am. This is where we are raising our children and where we have started our own business and I want it to be the best place it can be for my family, my neighbors, my fellow business owners and everyone in between. I see the Chamber as a key player in making that happen and so that’s where I want to focus my time and energy and use my talents for the good of the community.”

As the Chamber continues to grow in membership and community engagement, we have been working to build the right team to grow with us, and fine-tuning the work that we want to accomplish over the next year. It is important to have the right team to be successful and I am confident that Ashley is the right choice for our organization.

Ashley will be implementing our communications plan, which will include growing the Chamber’s social media channels, creating our weekly e-newsletter, keeping the website updated, design work and utilizing communication strategies to keep telling the Chamber’s and local businesses story.

Ashley will be working Tuesday – Thursday from 9-2 if you would like to come meet her and welcome her in person. You can also reach her by email at ashleyr@tillamookchamber.org.

#WereStillOpen

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been over a month now since the Governor released her Stay Home Save Lives order for the state, that required many types of businesses to close their doors to the public and has put a lot of people out of work. We’ve all been living with this “new normal” and trying to adapt our work and home lives to something that they’ve never been before.

But, I want to let you in on a cool little “life hack.” Ready?

Many of our businesses in Tillamook County are still open. In fact, most of them are. We have had a very small percentage of businesses have to close following the executive order – due in part to the fact that we are a smaller, rural community and we don’t have arcades, aquariums, or malls in our community. Our shops and stores are already small, and were already providing a safe space to shop.

Now, to adapt to these never-before-seen times, our business community is doing even more to keep their shoppers safe and keep their doors open. Things like curbside pickup, online ordering, local delivery, and even allowing shoppers to make appointments so they can be the only one inside the store while shopping.

You don’t have to take my word for it, though. We just launched a new video campaign #WereStillOpen to help showcase just how easy it is to shop small and support local businesses who are still open – in some cases, without even having to leave your home. Just a few great examples that we featured in the video include Salty Raven with their online ordering and shipping right to your door; Anderson Florists with their easy-to-use website and delivery services; Food Roots is taking call-in orders and curbside pickup; Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace is offering appointments for shoppers and posting their sale items to Facebook for easy, virtual shopping. Lot 35 Homes + The Shoppe also has an online shopping option.

We have seen how incredibly well the community has rallied around our restaurants and cafes through the #TillamookTakeout initiative but let’s not forget that we have many other businesses in our community that need our help, and we would be lying if we said we didn’t need them too. Because when we come out of this pandemic, we are going to want those small businesses to still be around, to still be open, and to still be thriving. To make that happen we need to support them now as best we can.

Head over to the Chamber’s Facebook page to check out the video and share it with your friends. Let’s help remind each other that our local businesses are still open and still serving their community in big ways. I encourage you to use #WereStillOpen to share your shop local photos with us.

 

 

Not Canceled: The Tillamook Farmers Market

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

Let’s share some good news: The Tillamook Farmers Market is returning in 2020, with a new opening date of June 13. Per Gov. Brown’s Executive Order, farmers markets are still allowed to operate.

Why? Because they offer communities the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally-grown foods that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise and support farmers who are making a living by feeding their communities.

However, it won’t be the Market that you’ve come to expect from us the last two years. And that’s OK. We are all making adaptation to normal life, and the Market will be no different. Here is what you can expect to find at the Market this year:

Many of your favorite vendors selling produce, plant starts, craft, baked goods, hand-made soaps and lotions, flowers and more. They will just be spaced out more to allow each vendor enough space to keep them safe.

New signs welcoming you to the Market and reminding you to utilize the hand sanitizer and hand washing stations, maintain social distancing with other customers and vendors, and only touch what you’re going to buy.

SNAP customers will still be able to spend those dollars on food, and receive a match for fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms and nuts via the Double Up Food Bucks program.

You won’t find live music, kids games and activities, or tables and chairs to hang out with friends at. This isn’t the time to be hanging out, lingering, or meeting up with friends. We all want to be there again someday (maybe even before the season end) but in order to do that we have to make some sacrifices now in the interim.

My hope is that the community will continue to come out and support these farmers and small business owners who rely on the Market to help sustain their businesses. We know traditionally our Market attracts a lot of out-of-town visitors who won’t be able to patronize our vendors this year, so we need our local community to be intentional about buying their produce, berries, bread, and other goodies from our vendors. Now is the time to shop small and shop local as often as possible to ensure that all of our businesses – including farmers market vendors – make it to the other side of this pandemic. It is these small businesses that make our community vibrant, fun, and full of soul and losing them would be devastating. So many of them give back to the community in abundance year after year and now it’s our turn to give back to them.

So shop small, shop local, and come June shop the Tillamook Farmers Market.

If you’re interested in being a vendor this year, you can find a link to the application at tillamookchamber.org. Our season opens June 13, and we are still accepting new vendors up until the season starts. You can also help support the Market and its vendors by becoming a sponsor. For sponsorship details, please email me at sayde@tillamookchamber.org.

Keeping up with Morale

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

There is no getting around it: Times are challenging right now. Everyone is feeling the weight and the stress of staying at home; home schooling and distance learning for the rest of the academic year; going to work when you know you’re putting yourself and your family at risk; and on it goes. No one is immune to the restrictions, changes, and challenging of life right now – not even the Chamber. It’s no longer “business as usual” as we also have had to adjust to all the changes and shift our focus on what we would “normally” be doing to what is needed.

One thing we need right now more than ever is positivity. It is so easy to get caught up in the bad news, the curves, and the projections. It’s easy to get frustrated by the inconveniences, or, on the other side of that coin, it’s easy to be frustrated by people who aren’t sheltering at home the same way you are. We get it.

Here is the thing though: We are all in this together. Most people most of the time are doing the best they can. One of the best things we can all do right now is focus on the silver linings. That’s our goal at the Chamber, and we hope you will follow along with us. Every week we are posting tips and “Quarantine Life Hacks” on our Facebook page to remind our community not to sweat the small stuff. There are good things happening too, and they are worth celebrating.

We’ve been able to quickly implement some of the good things here at the Chamber – things like our #TillamookTakeout challenge, which is helping our restaurants and bars get through this tough time, and giving our community something to do and look forward to every week. We’re seeing such positive conversation happening in our Facebook group: Tillamook Coast Takeout + Delivery as people are stepping up to the challenge. More restaurants are offering delivery than before (another positive), and recently were awarded a $7,500 grant from Northwest Oregon Works to enhance those services for some local restaurants.

Thanks to our amazing partnership with the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association not only are we able to host weekly giveaways totaling over $2,500, we’ve also created some other “challenges” on our Facebook group (because let’s face it, the time we’re all spending on social media these days is off the charts) with giveaways that support some of our essential organizations like Senior Meals on Wheels, CARE, and Oregon Food Bank. Go check it out if you haven’t already, and help us give away $500 in gift certificates to this program that is taking care of our seniors during this challenging time.

And, feel free to share our posts with your own friends and followers because we need to be taking care of each other right now more than ever. We may be isolated, but we can still check in, and social media is a perfect way to do that.

As always, if you have any questions for the Chamber of Commerce, you can email me directly at justin@tillamookchamber.org or call our office at 503.842.7535. Our offices are open from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.,  Monday – Friday, and we are available by phone and email from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Helping Local Businesses During COVID-19

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you received our e-newsletter #HowWeChamber last week, you’ve likely already heard some of this news but I just wanted to share it with the broader readership of the newspaper. In unprecedented times like these, we are seeing a number of agencies, non-profits, individuals, and businesses coming together to help each other out. Here are some things we at the Chamber are helping with:

Tillamook Takeout: You might be a member of our Facebook group Tillamook Coast Takeout + Delivery – which grew into thousands of members seemingly overnight. Every day we are witness to how our community is being intentional about what they buy and helping out our local restaurants, cafes, and eateries by patronizing their businesses. We truly are our best when we work together. This group is free to join, and if you’re on Facebook and like takeout then I encourage you to join in. We will be randomly selecting folks who post pictures of their takeout with the hashtag #TillamookTakeout on Facebook and Instagram to win gift certificates to local restaurants.

Signage Restrictions Loosened: The City of Tillamook has decided to loosen the signage restriction on businesses within the City of Tillamook to help them out during this time. What’s more, they have loaned the Chamber their inventory of a-frame barricades so that businesses can check them out to use as sandwich board signs. To ensure compliance, quality, and care for the frame, only signs made and installed by PSI will be permitted. And while the a-frame will eventually be returned to the City when this is over, the sign is yours to keep for future needs. So if you own a business that is remaining open and would like to effectively reach your customers so they know your hours, and any new orders-to-operation that you are implementing to keep yourself and your shoppers safe, a brand new sign might be incredibly beneficial to you.

Hours of Operation: Speaking of hours of operation, starting April 1 we are limiting the number of hours our office will be open to the public. We feel that staying open is important so that people can reach us when they have questions, concerns, or something to share. Our office will be open from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Monday – Friday with access available from the front door only. We ask that anyone entering please respect and maintain social distancing. Our staff will also be available by phone from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each weekday so feel free to call or email as well.

COVID-19 Business Resource Page: We have created a resource page regarding COVID-19 on our website, tillamookchamber.org. You can access it from the home page. We are updated it as more information comes in that will affect our business community.

Travel to Italy and Greece with the Chamber in 2021

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Picture this: you’re basking in the warm Mediterranean sunshine. Before you, the Temple of Zeus towers above you, claiming its space as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Temple, as you know from the informative tour guide, was built in the second quarter of the fifth century BCE on the ancient religious site at Olympia and dedicated to the god Zeus.

It’s not every day you get to explore one of the Seven Wonders of the World – but that’s not all you’ll do that day. You will also visit the ancient Gymnasium and site where the first Olympic Games took place, and peek inside the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

Oh, and did I mention that’s just one day? Now picture 12 days of exploring not only Greece but Italy as well. Discover historic churches, winding canals, and picture-perfect piazzas; step inside the iconic St. Mark’s Square; view the legendary Florence Cathedra; enter the massive Colosseum in Rome; and visit the Temple of Apollo where, according to legend, the gods once communicated with mortals.

If Venice, Rome, Florence, Athens, Delphi and Olympia are on your travel bucket list then you will want to join us for our next Chamber Travel Adventure in May of 2021. The trip includes 12 nights in handpicked hotels, breakfast each morning, guided sightseeing tours with local experts and a private deluxe motor coach. A few of the trip highlights include Temple of Apollo, Ruins of Olympia, and the Archaeological sites of Mycenae, Acropolis, Parthenon. There are also free days to explore Rome and Florence at your leisure.

Sounds intriguing, right? If you’re ready for more information about the itinerary, pricing, or just group travel in general then please join us on March 19th at 5:30 p.m. at the Chamber Headquarters (208 Main Ave.) for an informational travel meeting. This is just an informal meet and greet with snacks and an opportunity to have your questions answered. (Yes, we will be discussing coronavirus and what that might mean for international travel.) If you plan on attending, please call our office at 503.842.7525 so we can get a headcount.

So far we have already pre-registered about 14 people for the trip, so we are about half way there. That means if you have traveled with us before or have been sitting on the fence for awhile there is still plenty of room for you on this trip exploring some of the greatest historical ruins in the world and partaking in their fresh cuisine, dynamic cultures and stunning views.

If you can’t make the meeting on March 19th but would still like more information, reach out to me via email at justin@tillamookchamber.org or call the office at 503.842.7525. We would love to have you join us next spring.

Welcome Lisa Greiner and Adam Schwend to the Chamber Board of Directors

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been awhile since we have introduced our Board of Directors to the community, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit about our newest board members: Lisa Greiner and Adam Schwend.

Lisa came on board a few months ago and was recently elected as Vice Chair. She is the owner at Oregon Coast Dance Center and currently teaches ballet, tap, jazz, and tumbling in two locations in Tillamook County. She is also the voice of Tillamook Today on the local radio stations and serves on many other boards including the Tillamook Futures Council, and the Tillamook County Arts Network.

When asked why she wanted to join the Chamber Board of Directors Lisa said, “Tillamook County is a small, but mighty, community, and I am passionate about being involved and helping where I can. As a Chamber member, I saw that same passion from the Chamber and felt that the board and organization’s values aligned well with mine.”

She added, “Every summer I travel to various parts of the US for studio owner/dance teacher training, and often get into conversations with individuals from other states who are flabbergasted by what our Chamber does. It makes me proud to be a part of an organization that is actively striving to improve our economy and supports our local businesses.”

Lisa said she is excited to be involved in the Young Professionals of Tillamook and to see more trainings and leadership opportunities available for young professionals in our area. Lisa has experience as a small business owner as well as working for a multi-billion dollar corporation and we are excited to have her business-savvy expertise serving on our board. She has also played an instrumental role in helping proofread and format Chamber publications.

Our newest Board Member is Adam Schwend, Principal broker at Coast Real Estate Professionals. Adam is also the Director of Cultural Events for the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook and has been in that role for the last five years.

Adam said he wanted to join the Chamber board because, “I think we as a community – especially a business community – are stronger when we work together. I wanted to be able to give back to a community that’s done so much for me and the Chamber has been a big part of making the community what it is.”

Adam said that during his time serving on the Tillamook City Council he was able to work closely with the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce to make sure the City maintained a business-friendly environment and he looks forward to keeping that relationship going, now from the other side of the table.

Adam added that, “We as business owners are running businesses and don’t always have time to go to a City Council or Planning Commission meeting, and can feel good about the fact that even though we can’t be there as individuals we know the Chamber is stepping up and advocating for us and for a pro-business climate here in Tillamook.”

If you would like more information regarding the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors, visit our website tillamookchamber.org.

Tillamook Farmers Market opening Memorial Day Weekend

Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

If you’re dreaming of sunnier days and fresh, locally-grown produce you buy directly from the farmer, well, you’re not alone. And you’re in luck, because the Tillamook Farmers Market is returning three weeks earlier this year; our opening day is May 23 – Memorial Day Weekend.

While it’s still a little early to get all your produce in May, you will be able to purchase plant starts for your own garden as well as peruse our many other talented vendors. So far you can expect to find Brickyard Farms; Bewley Creek Woodworking; Pacific Roots Coffee; Pitch n Plow Farm; Bea Shea’s natural skin care products and many more on opening day!

And, if you’d like to join us as a vendor this year, we are now accepting applications from both new and returning vendors. You can fill out the form on our website, tillamookfarmersmarket.com. If you have a secret hobby, a crafty passion or grow something in your back yard you’d like to share with the world the Farmers Market is a great place to start.

We do have a list of requirements you have to meet in order to be eligible (sorry, no multi-level marking products). The items for sale must be hand-made, produced or grown by you the vendor. Some exceptions do apply, but our first priority is always to vendors who are also producing what they sell. We would especially love to have more farmers apply and more prepared food vendors. (I have it under pretty good authority there will be waffles made to order this year.) Our Market averages more than 1,500 visitors on any given Saturday, and that number is much higher during the warmer months of summer, holiday weekends, or special events.

If you have any questions or would just like to talk over your options, feel free to reach out to me via email at sayde@tillamookchamber.org. Food vendors also have to apply through the health department, which can take up to two weeks to be approved, so if you’re on the fence just be sure to give yourself enough time to get through the application and approval process.

As always we will have live music each day from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., hands-on kids activities and games, and are putting together some fun and educational demonstrations for market-goers. The Tillamook County Master Gardeners will be on hand again throughout the season to help answer your gardening questions.

If you are involved with a community organization that would like to participate in our Community Table, please reach out to me and I will get you scheduled. This table is offered to local non-profit organizations free of charge and is a great way to get in front of thousands of people to spread awareness about your mission, recruit volunteers, or fundraise.

I hope everyone will come down this summer and support the Tillamook Farmers Market and its 50 plus vendors!

Get Walking… Downtown

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Spring is only four weeks away (or less if you follow the Groundhog) and with it comes better weather; weather perfect for walking and enjoying our downtown.

Just in time for spring, we have revamped and relaunched our Downtown Walking Map which highlights the downtown Main Street District. It had been a few years since the map had been given any fresh life, and we felt it was time to shake it up a bit. The new map is larger, easier to read, and conveniently folds up to travel with you. The map highlights many downtown events and has been refreshed with new photography that showcases the places, people, and events that make Tillamook special.

The purpose of the Downtown Walking Map has always been to encourage visitors and others shopping downtown to see what else is around them. Once you’ve parked the car to take a closer look at something you saw in the window of Madeline’s Vintage Market Place, you might be encouraged to keep shopping if you are aware of what else lies within a few blocks. Vintage clothing store? You got it! Fresh flower arrangements? Of course! A bite to eat? Take your pick!

To further support the downtown Main Street District, we are also launching a new quarterly rack card that highlights what’s happening downtown each quarter. This quarter’s card just arrived last week and highlights dates and times of things like Art Walk, Mornings on Main Street, Sip + Shop, and our other regular downtown events. As the year progresses, we will include things like the Tillamook Farmers Market, Second on Second Street events, Small Business Saturday, Moonlight Madness and more.

I challenge you, locals, to pick these items up at a downtown store or at the Chamber Visitor Center and take a look. Get downtown, support your local businesses and I bet you even find a few businesses that surprise you once you walk in! Grab the quarterly event calendar and hit up some downtown events. Actually, grab a few while you’re at it and give it to the next person that says “there is nothing to do.” Things are happening; you just have to join in. Steffen Aalykke joined in this winter and came away $1,000 richer after winning our Downtown Sweepstakes!

The Tillamook Main Street District is an important part of our local economy and we focus a lot of our efforts within this district as an affiliate. If you are a downtown business, please help us stay abreast of what community events are happening downtown by emailing sayde@tillamookchamber.org. You can also email her to request cards and maps for your business.

We love downtown, but there is so much more to the area. I still encourage folks to visit tillamookchamber.com/events to look for things happening in their area. And if you are hosting a meeting, event, speaker series, or anything open to the public you can submit your event for free. This calendar is used on over a dozen websites in the County and is sure to build traction around your event. I also have it under good authority that it is the only calendar that our local radio stations use for their newscasts, so if you want the added publicity it is a great way to get more traction around your event.

Come Join the Chamber Team this Spring

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s been awhile since we’ve released a Chamber Chatter, and we’re excited to get back in the habit of updating you every week with all things Chamber: what projects we’re working on, what community events we’re hosting, and other exciting news happening in our local business community.

To kick things off, we are officially hiring for a Program & Events Manager. Britta Lawrence, who has filled the role these last several months, has accepted a job at Tillamook Bay Community College as their Development Director. Her exceptional organizational skills and “can-do” attitude will take her far at the college and we are excited that she is staying in the community to continuing to do important work.

While she was with the Chamber, Britta made huge strides in writing and putting procedures in place for all aspects of Chamber business. She was also instrumental in the planning and implementation of the Oregon Main Street Conference last October and our annual Chamber Banquet just a few weeks ago. Britta’s energy, fresh ideas and follow-through made both of those events go off without a hitch. She also managed the Downtown Sweepstakes for 2019, where we saw instrumental growth in the amount of receipts turned in, the amount of money spent downtown and in the community engagement throughout the sweepstakes.

Needless to say, our next Programs & Events Manager has big shoes to fill, but we are excited to see how this new person can continue to improve and build upon the programs and events of the Chamber. This position will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing programs and events of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce – including the management of existing and the development of new programs and events that align with our mission.

In a nutshell, this position will manage the Tillamook Main Street Program, in affiliation with the Oregon Main Street Program, as well as all events both initiated and co-hosted by the Chamber. This includes things like our annual Community Awards Banquet, quarterly What’s Brewin’ socials and semi-annual How It’s Done series. This position will also oversee development seminars, ribbon cuttings, the downtown planter program, coordinate our monthly Mornings on Main Street gatherings, oversee annual events like the Cork & Brew Tour, June Dairy Parade and Small Business Saturday, and handle logistics surrounding the Chamber’s travel abroad programs.

The official job description is available on our website, www.tillamookchamber.org/jobs. Resumes can be emailed to me at justin@tillamookchamber.org before Feb. 21. We will conduct the first round of interviews after that.

This job is perfect for someone who likes to multi-task, can meet deadlines, and wants an avenue to pursue creativity inside a supportive environment. So if you have experience managing a significant variety of community events, can manage volunteers and committees, and above all are excited about the work the Chamber is doing in the community and the potential to grow our impact then we would love for you to apply for this job!

 

 

Nominations Open for Annual Community Awards 

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I always enjoy this time of year; there is a bit of a pause between summer ending and the start of the school year before we head full force into the holidays. It’s brief, but it’s a chance to catch your breath a little and settle into new routines – like grabbing a jacket before you leave work each morning.

This is also the time of year we start requesting the community to make nominations for our annual community awards. There’s a reason we always do it this time of year; the busy season is over and we are nearing the end of the calendar year. It’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on all the growth we’ve seen over the last year, and what (or whom) we are thankful for. 

A great way to let members in our community know that you appreciate them is by nominating them for a community award. We have five categories: Business of the Year (10 employees or more); Small Business of the Year; Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. 

Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible, and nominees will be honored at the annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January. To make your nominations, visit tillamookchamber.org/nominate and fill out the online form. Those nominations are due by the middle of December so we have time for the selection committee, comprised of prior year’s award recipients, to review applications and make their decisions. We as the Chamber staff don’t choose the winners, or make nominations, but rather this is a community effort.  

The nomination is a small gesture, but I can assure you it means a lot to those in our community who work tirelessly to provide us with goods and services that enrich our lives and sustain our economy. Just knowing that someone out there appreciates the work they are doing and took the time to say “thank you” is a great blessing this time of year. You can remain anonymous as the nominator if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation. 

We will announce the nominees in December – so until then, go over to www.tillamookchamber.org/nominate and fill out the form. There is no limit to how many businesses, projects, and people you can nominate. And as always, thank you for your help in making this another successful Chamber event. We literally could not do this part without you. 

Oregon Main Street Conference Coming to Tillamook Oct. 2-4

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We are excited and honored to tell you that the annual Oregon Main Street conference is landing in Tillamook this year, and we at the Chamber are the hosts. 

Tillamook has been part of the Oregon Main Street Program for many years and it wasn’t until early 2015 that it became a part of the Chamber. The Tillamook Main Street Program is part of a nation-wide program that works with communities to develop comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies based on a community’s unique assets, character, and heritage.

They chose Tillamook this year because the vibrancy of downtown is quickly being realized by both residents and visitors enjoying their time and patronizing local businesses, and Tillamook has recently underwent a tremendous amount of revitalization with new streetscapes, food-trucks, breweries, restaurants, and parks in a short amount of time.

This year’s conference will focus on techniques participants can use to forge deeper connections in their community and be inspired to take their Main Street efforts to the next level by connecting to resources, connecting to their place, and connecting to partners to help them get work done in their downtown.The events kick-off with Keynote Speaker, author Melody Warnick, discussing place attachment and how to lead longtime residents and newcomers alike to commit to a more passionate relationship with their community.

The conference will welcome 150-200 people from outside the area to our downtown for three days of learning, engaging and of course patronizing our local restaurants, hotels and businesses. We are arranging three walking tours that participants can join in on focusing on the heavy lifting we’ve seen in the last few years to revitalize downtown. Yes, that includes the highway project. While I’m sure many of us would rather leave those memories far behind us, other communities are facing similar challenges and see Tillamook as an integral learning opportunity to understand how and why we kept communication at the forefront of the conversation, advocated for businesses and worked as a liaison with ODOT. 

The walking tours will also focus on the Tillamook Urban Revitalization Association and the work they’ve been able to accomplish within the downtown district to eliminate blight and stimulate economic growth. 

Above all, we are excited to show off our downtown area and will be utilizing several spots downtown during the course of the conference, including the Tillamook Coliseum Theater, Pacific Restaurant, Flavors on First, and the Tillamook County Library. We’ve been able to make this happen thanks to several local sponsors, including US Bank, Pelican Brewing Co., Visit Tillamook Coast, the Tillamook Creamery, Werner Beef & Brew, Five Rivers Coffee Roasters, Jacobsen Salt Co., TURA, Zwald Transport and the Tillamook County Library and Tillamook Coliseum Theater. 

Be sure to visit the Oregon Main Street Conference website here for information on the schedule of events and on sessions. And if you would like to attend, you can register here.

Downtown Sweepstakes is Returning; Just Three Weeks Away

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

With the kids back in school and the days getting shorter, it is inevitable that fall is on the way – followed shortly by the holidays. With this transition also means it’s time to revamp the annual Downtown Sweepstakes.

The official kick off date is October 1, and as always the Sweepstakes runs until the end of December. 

For those who don’t remember the rules, it’s simple: Whenever you shop downtown between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, bring in your receipts to the Tillamook Chamber to be entered into a weekly drawing. You can enter one receipt per day. Each week a downtown business will sponsor a giveaway and we will draw from that week’s tickets to pick a winner. Then, every ticket will be entered into a grand prize drawing of $1,000 shopping spree in downtown Tillamook, sponsored each year by US Bank. The more you shop, the better your odds are of winning the grand prize. It’s that simple, and it’s that fun.

Our kick off week business sponsor is Salty Raven, and we have other great weekly prizes from Pacific Restaurant, the Tillamook Coliseum, Sunflower Flats, Recurrent and more. We will post the weekly winner to the Chamber’s Facebook page, along with special shout outs for our sponsor businesses.

We’re also going to try something new this year: We are creating a Facebook group specifically for the Downtown Sweepstakes. (Go check it out; Tillamook Downtown Sweepstakes.) This group will give shoppers a chance to post their own photos, our business community an opportunity to showcase what they have going on each week (sales, specials, promotions, etc.) and help connect merchants with their customers during the Sweepstakes. We will also keep a full list of the rules there, and offer special incentives to group members only. This could be extra receipt entries on specific days, or surprise giveaways exclusive to members of the group. So if you’re planning on participating this year and have a Facebook account be sure to go join that group so you’re not missing out on more downtown fun. 

If you have questions about the sweepstakes or wish to become a sponsor, contact Britta Lawrence at 503-842-7525 or britta@tillamookchamber.org.

Welcome Britta, our Programs & Events Manager

It’s about time that I officially welcome our newest staff member to the Chamber, Britta Lawrence. Many of you might have met her already at the Tillamook County Fair – her very first week on the job. Talk about trial by fire!

But, we didn’t hire Britta because of her excellent folding skills (not that those weren’t greatly appreciate with all the new apparel). Britta, who recently moved here from Montana with her husband Dane and dog Ruby, had all the key components we were looking for in a Programs & Events Manager; she’s friendly, outgoing, and eager to be a part of the community. But even more than that – her background is in economic development and working with business owners to help them reach their long term goals. She has her Bachelors from California State University in Business Administration with an emphasis in HR and though she spent the last three years in Montana, she and her husband are both Oregon natives who are excited to be returning to their home state. 

Britta said she was interested in this position at the Chamber mostly because she loves being involved in her community and saw this as a great opportunity to meet new people and make a difference. She also loves planning events and is excited to be tackling our many events and programs here at the Chamber. 

“I’m excited to familiarize myself with our downtown businesses and shop the different places and really just get to know everyone on a personal level,” she said. 

Britta is also planning to join Rotary and look for other ways to make an impact in her new home. “That’s probably what I’m most excited about,” she said. “I love volunteering and being involved in my community; I did a lot of that in Montana and look forward to find ways to so that again.” 

When she’s not out volunteering, her role at the Chamber will be planning, organizing, and directing the programs and events of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce including the Tillamook Main Street Program. She will be taking the lead on things like What’s Brewin’ – our quarterly membership social gathering; the How It’s Done series; our travel program; and our monthly Mornings on Main Street. Presently she is helping coordinate the upcoming Main Street Conference that we are hosting in October. This is Tillamook’s first time hosting this statewide event and we are feeling enthusiastic about the people it will bring to our downtown and the variety of projects we will be showcasing as a result of the Main Street Program. If you’d like to learn more or find a way to get involved with this conference, reach out to Britta by emailing britta@tillamookchamber.org

Other things you might need to know about Britta: She doesn’t like sushi or hot wings (and we still hired her) and she once went to the Junior Olympics for jump roping.

Saying goodbye to Alex, saying hello to housing solutions

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Over the last nine months the Chamber has been fortunate to play a role in helping tackle the housing crisis within the City of Tillamook. We applied for and were accepted into the RARE program (a division of AmeriCorps) and with that came our newest staff member, Alexander Jonas. 

Alex came to us as a recent graduate from Florida State where he studied political science and international affairs with a focus on economics. He was relocated to Tillamook to serve as our Housing Policy & Development Coordinator. 

In this role, having Alex in this role at the Chamber has allowed us to make a housing impact greater than we could ever imagine. When we set out with this program our goal was to help make various policy changes to assist developers, but we have done so much more and Alex will have a mark on Tillamook for many years to come.

Alex was able to make great strides to help the City improve their development process. He collaborated closely with the city to put together what is essentially a System Development Charges (SDC) financing plan, which they adopted earlier this summer. This plan allows developers to finance their SDCs instead of paying them all up front. SDCs can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for multi-family housing developments and are typically paid in full before a building is even occupied. By deferring these costs a few years (but not waving them), this would alleviate the financial frontload for the developer without undercutting the needed long-term funds for the City. And, since the City may collect interest during the deferral period, it would theoretically equate to more long-term revenue than had the SDCs been charged upfront. 

Garibaldi has had success with a similar model, as well as other Oregon cities that Alex was able to pull data from in helping draft the policy for the City of Tillamook.

To put his stake in the ground, Alex drafted a $200,000 Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant to build four market-rate apartments above Lisa Griener’s Oregon Coast Dance Studio. This is a competitive statewide grant awarded to downtown areas in Oregon in need of economic development, and Lisa’s project was awarded the grant. The current project timeline estimates that the renovation will begin next Summer, with a targeted end date around the beginning of 2021.

As if that wasn’t enough – having this housing program in the Chamber and its connection to the Tillamook County Board of REALTORS – we were asked to assist in finding available property for a Oregon developer looking to build 50-100 market-rate units within the City. Through grinding to find property and with the City’s help with a rezone – always hate to count my blessings too early – but as of a phone call received just last week it looks like Tillamook should be getting another 73 unit apartment complex within the next year. 

Needless to say, Alex’s time has been well spent here at the Chamber. What you can be sure of is that because of the willingness of the Chamber Board of Directors to venture into our economic crisis of housing – the funding put forward by the Tillamook County Board of REALTORS, Pacific Seafood and other generous donors – Coupled with Alex’s hard work – Tillamook will have a much different housing landscape in a very short amount of time. Alex is about to transition from a Seminole to a Duck as he has decided to stay in Oregon to pursue his Masters Degree at the University of Oregon – that’s a big deal that college football fans everywhere will understand. Be sure to stop in to the Chamber HQ and wish him well before he goes. 

The Place to be on a Saturday 

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

July 6th was a record breaking day for us at the Tillamook Farmers Market. More than 3,000 people visited the market over the course of the day – probably even more than that. It was a holiday weekend and there were ample people in town enjoying the 4th of July activities and record low tides, and a good portion of them also stopped by the Farmers Market to patronize our local, small business owners and area farmers. 

Statistics show that a high percentage of people who travel will visit a local farmers market while they’re traveling. Having a thriving, interesting and lively market in a community is a great way to draw in travelers and visitors and give them a reason to stop and enjoy our area. It’s also a great spot for locals, and here are just a few reasons why you should consider stopping by the Farmers Market on Saturdays:

  • Live Music. Many of our musicians playing this season would require some sort of cover charge to see in any other venue. This is your chance to enjoy these talented folks for free from 12 – 1 every Saturday. 
  • Kids Activities. We’ve expanded the kids section this year to include more than just corn hole and Connect Four. Every Saturday you can find some kind of free, hands-on activity for kids – from rock painting, seed plating, veggie stamping and paint a pot. To find out what’s happening on any given Saturday follow the Tillamook Farmers Market on Facebook. Kids activities can be found near the HQ Trailer – usually near the center of Market or tucked back next to the trailer under a tent if it’s rainy. 
  • Food Hero Program. The Food Hero program offered by OSU Extension is back and this time they’re sticking around for the full season. You can find them under the blue tent offering all kinds of food experiments and tastings for kids. Those who participate get a $2 ‘Kids Buck’ to purchase fruits, vegetables or honey. These Kids Bucks are sponsored by TLC Fibre Credit Union. 
  • More than 50 unique vendors. We’ve really worked hard on growing the number of vendors at the Market this year and if you haven’t been in awhile I think you’ll be surprised by the amount of unique, hand-made and artistic items you can find on any given Saturday. We have fresh produce, plant starts for your garden, baked goods, hand-crafted furniture, fresh cut flowers, honey, tie dye, and everything in between. Come for lunch, enjoy the music and grab some one-of-a-kind gifts. 

The Market runs every Saturday from 9 – 2 in front of the Tillamook County Courthouse until Sept. 28. Be sure to like Tillamook Farmers Market on Facebook for all the latest news and activities. And, a big thank you to this year’s sponsors including TLC Fibre Credit Union, Bizeau Dentistry, the Tillamook Revitalization Association, Sheltered Nook on Tillamook Bay, Guild Mortgage and Food Roots. 

 

We’re Hiring! Come Join the Chamber Team

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Now that our main summer events are behind us and we’re starting to get back into a somewhat normal routine here at the Chamber, I wanted to let you know that we’re looking to add to our team.  We are currently hiring for a Program & Events Manager.

This position will be responsible for the planning, organizing, and directing programs and events of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce. This includes the management of existing and the development of new programs and events that align with our mission.

In a nutshell, this position will manage the Tillamook Main Street Program, in affiliation with the Oregon Main Street Program, as well as plan, organize and direct events both initiated and co-hosted by the Chamber. Things like our annual Chamber Banquet and Awards Dinner, quarterly What’s Brewin’ socials and semi-annual How It’s Done series, to name a few. This position will also oversee development seminars, ribbon cuttings, and our downtown planter program, coordinate our monthly Mornings on Main Street gatherings, and handle logistics surrounding the Chamber’s travel abroad programs, the Cork & Brew Tour, June Dairy Festival and Small Business Saturday. All of these programs are well established however they have room to grow and expand under the right person’s leadership.

This job is perfect for someone who likes to multi-task, can meet deadlines, and wants an avenue to pursue creativity inside a supportive environment. If you like to problem solve, make connections and facilitate a cooperative climate between businesses, community organizations and local government then this job might be a great fit for you. We’re open to both part-time and full-time job seekers.

Who is the right person, you might be asking? Someone self-motivated who can work independently but also collaborate in a group setting, manage multiple projects and set priorities, has exceptional organizational skills and the ability to think critically, and is excited to support and grow our downtown businesses.
So if you have experience managing a significant variety of community events, can manage volunteers and committees, and above all are excited about the work the Chamber is doing in the community and the potential to grow our impact then we would love for you to apply for this job.

A full job description is available on our website, tillamookchamber.org – just click the job posting on the front page. To apply for this position, send cover letter and resume outlining your interest and qualifications to:

Tillamook Chamber of Commerce
Attn: Justin Aufdermauer
208 Main Ave.
Tillamook, OR 97141

This position will be open until filled. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me and we can talk about it more.

Chamber Job Posting

Program & Events Manager Job Description

The Program & Events Manager is responsible for the planning, organizing, and directing programs and events of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. This includes the management of existing, and the development of new, programs and events that align with the mission of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Tillamook Main Street Program of the Chamber will be managed by the Program & Events Manager, in affiliation with the Oregon Main Street Program.

The Program & Events Manager is open for those seeking a part-time or full-time position. Part-time position can range from 20 to 30 hours-a-week, with additional hours required in correlation with significant events.

Find the full Job Description here:  Programs-Events-Job-Description

Don’t be Fooled, Summer is Coming

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This bout of rainy, overcast weather might have you feeling the blues but summer is almost here. I can tell because of the organized frenzy we are all feeling around the office as we gear up for our major summer events.

First on the docket is the 2019 Cork & Brew Tour on June 14th. This is the 7th year of this Chamber event that started as a way to engage the downtown businesses and community members with a “pub-crawl.” The idea is simple: each participating downtown business serves a tasting of wine, beer and locally-prepared appetizers. Folks get their passport and tasting glass at the launch party – hosted again this year by Pelican Brewing Co. – and after enjoying some complimentary drinks, food and live music get to meander through downtown visiting the different stops. You can stop at all or some, it’s a totally customizable evening.

Tickets are $45 each and must be purchased in advance. You can get yours either at the Chamber HQ or online at corkandbrewtour.com. Some of our featured breweries this year include Werner Brewing Co., Reach Break Brewing, Fort George Brewing, and Buoy Brewing Co. We’re also excited to have Werner Beef & Brew, SaraSotas, the Blue Heron French Cheese Co., The Rendezvous, Debbie D’s Sausages, and Pacific Seafood serving appetizers.

Then, the very next morning (June 15) at 9 a.m. sharp is the season opening of the Tillamook Farmers Market. Laurel Street from First to Third will be shut down for the largest Farmers Market in the county. We saw a lot of growth and excitement around the Market last year, and this year that is already continuing as we have even more vendors and exciting things to see and do. Be sure to come down between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and see what the Market has to offer. It’s a great spot to get your produce for the week, connect with local artisans and crafts people, grab lunch and enjoy some live music. Again this year we are offering a SNAP match at the Market HQ Trailer, so if you are an Oregon Trail Card customer, you can spend those dollars at the Market and we will match you $1 for $1 up to the first $10 you spend.

But that’s not it yet for June events. The June Dairy Parade returns on June 22 and promises to be “Udderly A-Moo-Sing.” If you want to participate in the parade, get those entry forms in ASAP as May 31st is the cut off. You can find the form at junedairyparade.com or on the homepage of the Chamber website. This is going to be a parade of epic proportions now that our downtown corridor is free of construction. For the first time, the parade will begin on 11th and Main, head down Main all the way to First Street, wind around the Tillamook Rodeo and head back up Pacific to Third – officially taking back our downtown. Come out and cheer them on!

Because summer is such a busy time around here, we are looking to add a new person to our Chamber team. We’re looking for a Visitor Services Associate to help assist visitors to our area on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The position would begin June 15th and run through October 12th. This team member would work in our Visitor Center and provide general tourism information for the Tillamook region and Oregon Coast. To apply, send us your resume to info@tillamookchamber.org. Before June 3rd.

 

June Dairy Parade Returns to Downtown June 22

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This is the year, folks. Construction in downtown is over, and our beloved annual parade will be returning to encompass our entire downtown for the first time in years. The route will begin at Tillamook PUD and head down Main Avenue before turning onto First, in front of the Rodeo, heading south on Pacific and back up Third Street to its end at Good Speed Park. So let’s be sure to fill downtown from 11th to first with smiling faces and really show what this parade is all about: the community coming together to celebrate such a huge piece of our heritage.

This year’s theme is ‘Udderly A-Moo-Sing’ and our entry forms are available online at junedairparade.com or at the Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. Those are due by May 31st, and if you have a motorized entry form you will want to leave enough time to collect insurance information and get that to Tammy, our office manager. In other words, don’t wait til the last minute to enter.

Our kids coloring contest is also in full swing, and again you can pick up those forms at either the Chamber HQ or YoTime Frozen Yogurt. If you return your completed coloring form to YoTime you will receive a $1 off an 8-ounce yogurt. We’ll display the entries in the windows of Oregon Coast Dance Center for everyone to enjoy.

And, I should mention that the Grand Marshal nomination form is also available online at junedairyparade.com, and those are due by May 31st. Each year we pick a Grand Marshal to lead the parade, and should be someone with ties to the dairy community and a history as a community leader. So please, take some time to consider making a nomination for someone you think deserves this honor and meets the criteria.

Of course our other summer activities are also right around the corner, including the Tillamook Farmers Market that opens June 15th, and the Cork & Brew Tour on June 14th. Tickets are on sale for the latter at corkandbrewtour.com. We are highlighting some new stops in downtown this year to switch things up a bit, and will be sharing more of that information in the near future. But as always, you can expect wine, beer and locally-prepared foods at each stop to keep you tasting and sipping your way through the self-guided tour.

Waterfront Walk: Celebrating An End & A Beginning

Sierra Lauder

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

Two weeks ago, I found myself in Bend with crowds of people waiting eagerly on the sidelines of their “Marathon and a Half” event, where Bryan was laying it all out there- sharing the fellowship of the course with hundreds of runners who, like him, are training and practicing to grow in to their personal best. On the rail, I shared my own fellowship- looking left and right at hundreds more friends and family who crowded in on a rainy, cool morning to cheer our people, waving signs and secretly hoping that there would be enough extra burritos that excited onlookers might also partake…

There is little that can dull a burrito craving, but I like to believe that serious overthinking can dull just about anything, and as I clapped and cheered and watched the runners, I reflected on how much we all crave (even more than burritos) moments and opportunities for fellowship and human connection.

Here at home, we have recently run our own race and crossed our own finish line. While the traffic impacts of construction downtown wrapped up about six months ago, the weather is turning promising just as the paperwork comes to a close on the highway project. We could let the moment pass with a declaration or a simple ribbon cutting, but why?  The highway project is complete, and now it’s time to celebrate. This was one race that we all ran – whether we wanted to or not – and it seems like the perfect opportunity to gather (no running required) and share the potential of what we have created.

Waterfront Walk is happening on May 4th, and I want to personally invite you down to a lovely, reclaimed section of our city to officially cut the ribbon on the highway project and take some time enjoying our new community space.

The event begins at 11am, and activities stretch out from Sue H Elmore Park on the west where City and ODOT officials will be hosting a ribbon cutting at 11:30. Pelican Brewing Co. will be serving their house made root beer, there will be live marimba music, and Pacific Restaurant is supplying the cake. (Because seriously, it’s not a real party without cake.)

Folks are encouraged to walk the new ADA accessible path that winds across Hwy 101 and along the historic Hoquarten Slough before heading over Hwy 6 and tying into the northeast end of Goodspeed Park. This half mile stroll is officially the first completed segment of the Salmonberry Trail, and on the day of May 4th the entire path will be hosting several activities, booths, friendly faces and even shuttles for folks who want to walk to one end and be shuttled back. Werner Beef & Brew is getting in on the fun at the eastern end with an outdoor stage featuring Tillamook School of Dance performers and music. Come see just how easy it is to walk from downtown to Werner Beef & Brew!

There’s going to be so much going on it’s almost too much to list here, but some highlights are the Tillamook County Historical Society who will be on hand discussing the progress on the Hoquarton Interpretive House. Together with the Tillamook Bay Watershed Council, they’ve been spearheading a lot of the Hoquarten Slough clean up work parties, and have uncovered some long-forgotten reminders underneath all the brush that this Slough was once a bustling port and industrial zone. The Tillamook Family YMCA and Tillamook County Wellness will also be on the trail with family-friendly activities; Oregon Coast Railriders will be giving short demos at Goodspeed Park; The Tillamook Bay Watershed Council will have a driftwood boat building station; The Tillamook Estuaries Partnership will also be hosting family activities and highlighting their TIllamook County Water Trail Guides and the Explore Nature Series as well as their restoration and water quality programs; and Tillamook PUD will be giving demos of their electric vehicles. Art Accelerated will host a “fish print” station where artists of all ages can leave with a fun print in hand.

This event is an embodiment of the highlights of the Main Street model. It brings together all kinds of partners to create a sense of place and a time to connect. The timing couldn’t be more poignant to me as it marks my transition out of my role at the Chamber. One of the highlights of my time here has been the Highway Liaison work, and I’m incredibly proud of that work and the way our government, businesses, city police, contractors and community all have evolved through this effort. I would love to share and celebrate with you on Saturday, and hope you’re able to make it out for the day.

 

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo at Pacific Restaurant and support the Tillamook Farmers Market

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Summer is fast approaching and that means our busy season with events like the June Dairy Parade, Cork & Brew and of course the Tillamook Farmers Market every Saturday starting June 15th.

To kick off the beginning of the market season, we are again partnering with Pacific Restaurant to host a family-friendly Cinco De Mayo party with live music, an authentic Mexican buffet prepared by the master chefs of Pacific Restaurant, raffle prizes and even some cool games.

Tickets are only $20 and kids under 12 get in free. All proceeds will benefit the programs offered at the Tillamook Farmers Market, including our SNAP match, an expanded kids activities section this year, the community table for local non-profits and of course the great lineup of live music.

Speaking of live music, Dante Zapata will be performing for Cinco De Mayo, and if you had a chance to catch him at the Tillamook Farmers Market last year you know you’re in for a real treat. Dante is a real crowd pleaser and we’re excited to have him back for both the Cinco De Mayo celebration and performing at the Market later in the season.

Tickets for our Cinco De Mayo party are $20 per person over the age of 12, and can be purchased on Eventbrite.com (you can find the link on the Chamber’s Facebook page). We are limiting the number of tickets to 200 people, so get yours early as we might not have any left to sell at the door.

We’re very excited to grow the programs offered at the Market this year, and continue to build on the concept of creating a community gathering space where people come on a Saturday for produce, shopping, and entertainment. Our music line up is bringing back several favorites from last year, including the Buffalo Kitty Band, MetalMantra, Bryan Nichols of ZuhG and Jazzatti-tude. We offer live music from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day in the Market center.

We’re also expanding our SNAP match program this year to offer more choices for shoppers with an Oregon Trail Card. Look for signs at Market booths indicating where those dollars can be spent, and as always come to the Market Trailer HQ to ask questions and exchange your SNAP dollars for tokens you can spend with eligible vendors.

Again this year we are bringing back the Food Hero Program, a partnership with OSU Extension where kids can try a new fruit or veggie and participate in an educational, health-focused activity. Kids who participate each week will receive a $2 “Kid’s Buck” voucher, courtesy of TLC Fibre Credit Union that they can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with from our local vendors.  In addition to food tastings, children also get to participate in fun activities like scavenger hunts in collaboration with OSU Master Gardeners and local farmers, and the ever-popular blender bike.

We are also creating an additional space specifically for kids with fun activities like rock painting, fruit and vegetable stamping, seed planting, scavenger hunts and more. Each Saturday this will be a spot where kids can stay entertained and find hands-on things to do and take something home with them.

And of course, the Master Recyclers will be on hand once a month demonstrating how to make reusable grocery bags out of on-hand materials like chicken feed bags. The Master Gardeners will also be back several times throughout the season offering gardening advice and answering questions.

We hope to see you at the Market this year, and consider joining us on May 5th to help support our Market program during a night of great food and entertainment at Pacific Restuarnat.

The Chamber and Tourism

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We haven’t talked in a while about the tourism work we do at the Chamber. A common misconception is that all tourism promotion entails is advertising here and there, and efforts to bring more people to our area, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. So much of what local tourism agencies like the Chamber do is manage tourism growth and provide services to create a better experience. Let me touch on a couple key services that are often overlooked.

If you haven’t been inside our visitor information center downtown you need to stop by! Yes, again, contrary to popular opinion, visitors still find a place to park and come visit us. But, we do a lot more than just keep our visitor information center stocked with brochures, maps and rack cards highlighting our area’s restaurants, lodging, and activities.

For example, we just finished putting together the 2019 Tillamook Coast Visitor Guide. This was our third year contracting with Visit Tillamook Coast to create and print this publication that is distributed not only all over Tillamook County, but all over the state. This publication is almost like a one-stop-shop for anything you might be looking for. Each year we pick several new places to highlight and feature. I personally love putting this publication together because you really start to see how much the county has expanded, diversified and blossomed since the Transient Lodging Tax was adopted. We have brand new restaurants featuring locally-caught and grown ingredients, new shopping experiences, restoration work happening of our historic buildings, and better awareness and marketing of the businesses that have been here all along.

In our continuing effort to help give our visitors a better experience, we are knee-deep into redesigning our website, gotillamook.com, to be more user friendly and give a more comprehensive, visual look at all the attractions based specifically around the City of Tillamook and outlying areas. While working with our web developer to create the specific “stops” along this virtual road-map, I’ve again been humbled by all the things to do in Tillamook – from farm tours, to clamming, crabbing, kayaking, touring the Quilt Trail, and everything in between. For those who say there is nothing to do around here, they haven’t stepped outside in a while. Sometimes we get caught up in focusing on our downtown and all the work that’s been put into its revitalization over the last few years, but there really are great things happening in every direction you look. I look forward to sharing this new website release with all of you soon, so stay tuned.

Then of course we have our downtown walking map. The goal of this map (which the Chamber prints and distributes semi-annually) is increased destination spending within downtown. The map highlights our membership businesses focused in the downtown area and is intended to entice further shopping. We will be reprinting those maps later this spring, and if you’d like to know how to get your business on there, call our office at 503-842-7525 or just stop by 208 Main Avenue.

Of course there are several others ways that the Chamber is influencing the tourism industry in our area –  such as the upcoming June Dairy Parade on June 22, the Cork & Brew Tour which returns on June 14th, and the Tillamook Farmers Market, which opens for the season on June 15th. There is a lot of energy around farmers markets in the state and how they attract and draw people into a community. In fact, one study showed that more people look for a local farmers market when traveling than any other type of local event. With our newly-renovated downtown district and plenty of available parking, I think we’re going to see a huge uptick in visitors to the market this year.

And, before I forget, the Chamber and Visit Tillamook Coast are also providing locals and Tillamook County businesses with tide books, adjusted for our Tillamook Coast beaches. If you want a couple (or a handful) for yourself and friends or are a Tillamook County business that would like to hand them out to your customers (we offer the first 100 free) head over to our office at 208 Main Avenue.

 

 

Housing Policy Updates

By Alex Jonas
Housing Policy & Development Coordinator; RARE

If you’re keeping up with Chamber-related news, you may have heard of me. I am the Housing Policy & Development Coordinator for the Chamber, and came to Tillamook through the RARE Program. After spending a few months getting acclimated to the housing situation in Tillamook, I feel like we are finally hitting our strides in the race to mitigate the local housing crisis.

We recently submitted a grant application for $200,000, which would be utilized to remodel the Oregon Coast Dance Center’s second floor (historically known as the Jones-Knudson Building) in downtown. The grant in question is the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant, a competitive statewide grant awarded to Oregonian downtowns in need of economic development. If awarded, this grant would turn the unused space above the dance studio into four market-rate apartments. The current project timeline estimates that the renovation will begin this summer, with a targeted end-date around the beginning of 2021. While we won’t know until May 3rd if our grant application was accepted, the Chamber staff feels confident in the application’s strength, with a solid foundation of project quality, private investment, and Chamber reputation. This is exactly the type of project that the state is looking to fund, and our working relationship with Lisa Greiner, the building owner, has been strong.

In addition to that grant, I am in the process of drafting a System Development Charges (SDC) Deferral Policy – looking closely at similar policies in other areas of Oregon like Bend, Ashland and even Garibaldi, whose SDC Deferral Policy was instrumental in the construction of the Garibaldi Village Apartments. While I won’t go into the complexities of the potential policy here, SDCs can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for multi-family housing developments, that are typically paid before a building is even occupied. By deferring these costs a few years (but not waiving them), this would alleviate the financial frontload for the developer without undercutting the needed long-term funds for the municipality. And, since the municipality may collect interest during the deferral period, it would theoretically equate to more long-term revenue than had the SDCs been charged upfront.

The other policy that the Chamber is looking at is for the deferral of permit fees, a policy that would run parallel to SDC deferrals to help mitigate the financial burden from the early stages of housing development. Permit fees don’t hold a candle to SDCs in terms of the cost, so it’s likely we will propose a much shorter deferment period. Stakeholders have identified that all efforts to shift up-front costs are beneficial due to the way many financing and investment systems are set up.

These deferment policies would eventually be presented to the City of Tillamook for consideration. In the meantime, Justin and I are currently working with a developer who is ready to build, and have been successful in opening doors to help provide potential building locations to them. This is the type of on-the-ground work that is going to change the housing landscape in the City of Tillamook, and we are excited to help catalyze this development.

I still have several months left here in Tillamook, and depending on how the rest of this year’s work goes, the Chamber will have the opportunity to apply for a second year through RARE to keep this momentum moving forward. If you have any questions regarding housing policy or know of properties available in the City of Tillamook, please stop by our office at 208 Main Avenue and we will be happy to address your inquiry.

Behind the Scenes: ‘How it’s Done’

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

I’m breaking out of my usual downtown role to share some Chamber news about an event series that is especially close to my heart, the “How It’s Done” series. The Chamber Board cooked this up during the 2018 strategic planning session, and we have now held two events in the series; one last fall at Pacific Seafood in Bay City, and one earlier this month at the Port of Tillamook Bay. The goal of the How It’s Done series is to provide a space to talk about different facets of the realities of economic vitality in an on-the-ground forum through the lens of a particular industry.

Sound esoteric, lofty, idealistic, and hard to imagine?

I’ll break it down: we get a behind the scenes tour and talk real talk about what it means to do that business – including the hard stuff. At Pacific Seafood, we talked at length about how tough it is to get and keep employees, and the variety of experiments that have been tried (some with more success than others) to keep things going in Bay City. We also learned that Pacific Seafood is more than seafood harvesting and yummy oyster platter; they have a huge distribution operation that includes all kinds of meat – not just seafood.

The operation in Bay City is only the smallest glimpse of their corporation, and from their Portland roots they have expanded into 41 states with more than 3,000 employees. The jobs that are available in the Tillamook location are diverse, requiring a variety of skill levels and schedules, and as an employer they recognize that housing and transportation are often major barriers to finding and retaining employees year round. During our tour of Pacific Seafood, we heard from other employers in other industries as well as representatives from the employment department and the robust discussion led to shared ideas and collaboration. Problem not solved, but new relationships were forged and we are confident that solutions are built out of teamwork.

At the Port of Tillamook Bay, an entirely different conversation was had. POTB hosts the majority of the industrially-zoned land in the county, has more than 250 tenants, and, in addition to being a successful business incubator, is a critical piece of the resiliency planning effort. Additionally, there is a commercial airport located at the Port where an estimated 3,500 flights take off and land each year.

There is a new lease in place on the digester out at the Port, and the Tillamook PUD has a purchase agreement in place to purchase the power created there and distribute it over the local grid. This new “Green Power” program that is available through the PUD is an opt-in option and PUD customers have the ability to buy varying percentages of their residential or commercial power as “Green Power.” The digester is run by processing local dairy waste, creating a huge opportunity for farmers to process that waste more efficiently; a significant benefit for another local industry. The company who has leased the digester and resumed operations is called BioGas, and they are looking at expanding the DEQ permitting, which would allow for additional compostable materials to be processed through the digester for power conversion; the possibilities are great. The Chamber is joining the TCCA and the Port of Tillamook Bay as purchasers of Green Power, and if you are interested in learning more about the options, you can call the PUD at (503) 842-2535 or visit their website: tpud.org.

We love these conversations; our business is business after all. Currently we are scheduling How It’s Done tours just a couple of times each year, and (due to limited space) we offer reservations to Chamber members and potential members first. If you have an idea for How It’s Done or would like to learn more about the series, we welcome you to pop by Chamber Headquarters, give us a call at (503) 842-7525, or send me an email: Sierra@tillamookchamber.org. Hope to see you soon!

Chamber Exclusive Employer Health Plans

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

What’s one question we get asked at the Chamber regularly – I might even say daily: “What do I get out of a Chamber membership?”

There are a number of ways to answer this question. First referrals, networking opportunities, access to trainings, an advocate with local and state government, and the list goes on and on. (If you’re interested in seeing a full list, stop by our office and I’ll give you a copy of our Membership Guidebook that we just produced.)

One “benefit” that we haven’t talked openly about quite yet is a huge one: health insurance plans.

We have partnered with the Bend Chamber of Commerce and Corey Bush with Hudson Insurance to bring Bend’s health insurance program to Tillamook. Here’s how it works: as a good-standing member of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce, you also become an associate member of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, which allows them to offer their rates and insurance plans right here in Tillamook. They are working with Corey as the local agent, so you have someone in town who can walk you through the process.

What I find most exciting about this new benefit is that health insurance is not one size fits all, and with the plans offered by PacificSource (six in total) you can customize what plans you’re able to offer to your employees. Employees appreciate having choices, especially when it comes to their healthcare. You can give your employees the opportunity to choose a plan that best suits their needs, with competitive rates that might be less than what you’re paying now. Or, if you’ve been unable to offer employee health benefits, it might now be an affordable option for your business. Plus, if you have a group of 10 or more enrolled employees, you may be eligible for a five percent wellness discount during your first year.

While I won’t get into the specifics of each plan here, all of the health plans through PacificSource cover essential health benefits, no-cost preventive care, calendar-year benefits and all member out-of-pocket costs for covered services apply toward the annual out-of-pocket limit. PacificSource is a great network both in Tillamook and throughout the state of Oregon.

The main takeaway here is that this is a new avenue of accessing health care which we haven’t had in Tillamook, and is only available through a Chamber membership. We’ve already had a handful of members sign up because they are able to offer better coverage to their employees at less cost to them.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I encourage you to reach out to Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to learn more and see if it is a good fit for your business. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

And for information on Chamber membership (which is step one of accessing these competitive health plans), call our office at 503-842-7525 or visit www.tillamookchamber.org.

Tillamook Farmers Market – Now Taking Vendor Applications

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

If you’re like me, rainy days are best spent inside. They call for a second (or third) cup of coffee, a book, Netflix playing in the background and a fire in the fireplace. I love the rain just as much as the next #PNWnative, but I also can’t wait for longer, sunnier days.

Summer time of course means the start of the Tillamook Farmers Market, and thus my favorite of all my job titles. This year’s season opens June 15th and, per usual, will run each Saturday through the end of September from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street.

With only four months out, that means it’s time to start recruiting vendors. Our application is again online, and can be found on both the Tillamook Chamber website and TillamookFarmersMarket.com. You can also find the link on both Facebook pages as well.

This year we are specifically looking for more prepared food vendors to give people shopping (and vendors) more choices for lunch. You can find our policies and vendor requirements online as well, or just email me and I can send those to you  if you have any questions about whether or not your products meet the standard for a farmers market.

I am also out and about looking for sponsorships for the 2019 season; sponsors are recognized throughout the year in various ways depending on the level.. We have all kinds of programs you can choose to sponsor – such as our music tent. I can’t say enough how incredible our music line up is this year. So many favorites from last year returning (Buffalo Kitty, ZuhG, Dante Zapato), and a few brand new acts as well. To bring in a high caliber of musicians, we have to be sure to compensate them and sponsors can help offset these costs.

Another great sponsorship opportunity are our Kids Bucks program, which works in conjunction with the OSU Extension Food Hero booth. Kids under 12 who visit the booth and participate in some kind of food related activity receive a $2 voucher that they can spend at the Tillamook Farmers Market. Those that participate each week can get even more fun prizes.

We are also raising money for the Double Up Food Bucks program, which is returning in 2019. Folks who have an Oregon Trail Card can spend their SNAP dollars with eligible vendors at the Market, and receive a dollar for-dollar match up to $10 to buy extra fruits, vegetables, nuts and more. Just bring your EBT card to the Market trailer during the season and we will run your card and give you the match. Last year our Market did just over $3,800 in SNAP and SNAP match sales. However there is no funding for the match, so we take it upon ourselves and the support we get from Food Roots to keep this program going.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the TIllamook Farmers Market, you can email me at sayde@tilamookchamber.org or call the office at 503-842-7535. And be sure to fill out an application online if you want to join us as a vendor. It’s going to be a great season!

Switzerland – here we come!

Well Tillamook, you told us that you wanted to go to Switzerland and we listened. In case you haven’t heard the official word yet: we will be leaving this fall for a “Highlights of Alpine Europe” tour, and we’d love for you to join us!

The 14-day trip commences October 5th and includes 12 nights in handpicked hotels with breakfast, guided sightseeing tours by local and expert guides, a private motor coach and we’ll even be treated to a scenic train ride through the stunning countryside.

We’ll journey from Switzerland’s mountain-lined Lake Lucerne to France’s Lake Annecy (with a chance to see the Annecy open-air market, much like a Farmers Market), take in the picturesque Chamonix Valley and stroll along Italy’s Lake Como. In Como, a local guide will lead us through the medieval quarter, including a 12th-century defense tower that overlooked the old city and a stroll through the gardens at Villa Carlotta, a palace completed in 1960. Then we’ll cross Liechtenstein and hit the winter wonderland of Innsbruck (the site of two winter Olympic Games) before heading to Munich. While we’ll spend a day getting to know the Bavarian capital on a guided tour, we also get a free day in Munich to go and explore whatever you wish before we head home.

During these 14 days, we’ll  see the Chapel Bridge – a 17th century covered footbridge, Nymphenburg Palace, Mont Blanc, the Baroque Cathedral of St. James, Glockenspiel and enjoy the Bernina Express train ride to a Swiss resort town and popular hub of wintertime sports.

As always, we are able to offer an early registration discount. Anyone who registers in the month of February gets $100 off their trip. You can register online at grouptoursite.com/tours/alpineeuropewithtillamook.

If you have questions about the itinerary or how you can customize your trip, feel free to reach out to Sierra at 503-842-7525 or email sierra@tillamookchamber.org. Sierra, of course, will be leaving for Portugal with 15 people on March 15th, so she won’t be in the office to answer questions through the final weeks of March, but will be available through email and happy to talk travel while traveling. You can also call Go Ahead directly and ask for Nicole at 617-619-1170 or call Kait at 617-619-1191. Tell them you’re interested in traveling with the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce on the Highlights of Alpine Europe trip.

We don’t usually offer two trips in a single year, but this was too good of a deal to pass up, and the more people we can take on these trips the more we can build on what community means to us when we return home. Each country we visit represents its own unique culture, customs, problems and solutions and it’s an eye-opening way to learn about the world and bring some of that education and appreciation back home. We never get tired of hearing about how much people enjoy these trips and the friendships that they make along the way. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

Young Pros of Tillamook hosts Successful Kick-Off

Last week we hosted the first ever kick-off social for the Young Professionals of Tillamook. Roughly 80 people showed up, without knowing much about what the evening was going to entail or how they would fit in.

It was outstanding to see such a fantastic turn out, and my my hat is off to Chamber Board Member Beau Pulliam for spear heding this new group that I believe will have a substantial impact on the future of Tillamook County. Creating a young professionals group has been a goal that the Chamber has been working toward for several years as a way to connect and empower people in the community who might not yet consider themselves leaders.

So what is a Young Professional? A young professional is an individual that is or at the very least  feels young in spirit, is employed, and has time, energy, and knowledge to collaborate with like-minded individuals.

As a group, Young Professionals of Tillamook seeks to provide the solution to the question: How do you provide a supportive environment for both young professionals and small business owners in Tillamook? One of YPT’s  biggest goals is to highlight the aspects that many of us love about living and working in Tillamook County and engage the young people of Tillamook in a way that will encourage them to stay and build a career here.

By focusing on their four core pillars: leadership development, social engagement, community service and business revitalization, the YPT can help foster a community of young professionals and leaders that will carry the local businesses to the next level of success.  Being a member of the YPT means being a member of a community of professionals with a vision of empowering their members to be leaders in business and in the local community. It means accessing leadership learning opportunities to expand your career, connecting with local projects and non-profit entities that need volunteers, and providing mentorship, insight and assistance to businesses that are in need of a youthful outlook.

The intent of the YPTis to provide an outlet for social, civil, and professional development. Throughout the year, they will host events that are focused on social engagement and leadership development, and that of course, provide an opportunity to have an all-out good time. (I think we all saw that was true last week.)

If one, or all of these aspects interest you then a membership to the YPT might be for you. Consider it a chance to grow your skills, professional contacts,  and leadership abilities in the community, while simultaneously giving back and serving in ways that interest you and are valuable to others.

If you didn’t make it last week, but would like to learn more (or already know that you want to join and be a part of this quickly-growing group), you can email youngpros@tillamookchamber.org. They also have their own Facebook page, and you can follow what the YPT is doing there. Just go to Facebook.com/youngprostillamook.

Thank you to Pacific Restaurant for catering, and Pelican Brewing Co. for donating beer. Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks also donated the raffle gift basket.

Welcome Joanna Stelzig (and Join us Jan. 30th for the Young Professionals Kick-Off Social)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of introducing one of our newest Chamber Board members, Beau Pulliam, who hails from Werners Gourmet Meat Snacks and is spearheading our Young Professionals of Tillamook group.

When Beau was recruited for the Chamber Board last year, he was also joined by Joanna Stelzig, the Public Relations Manager at Tillamook PUD. Joanna is responsible for managing the internal and external communications for the PUD – including social media, print media, their website, radio advertisements and customer inquiries. She also coordinates and organizes community engagement opportunities such as job shadowing, the Community Support Grant Program, school presentations and community meetings.

Joanna is no stranger to community service. She has been involved in the community in a number of different capacities over the years, which lead her to the Tillamook Chamber.

“I like the mission of the Chamber and what the Chamber does for our businesses and the community,” she said. “I love that the Chamber is involved in a wide variety of endeavors throughout the community and that I will get to be a part of this.”

Joanna brings her communication expertise and extensive volunteer experience to the Board, and has already dove in head first. She was instrumental in helping plan and set up our annual Community Awards Banquet, and even showed up the day after morning to help us clean up. What’s more, she always has a positive attitude and is willing to help until the job is done.

Joanna said she’s most excited about being involved in our Chamber events – such as the June Dairy Parade, What’s Brewin’, the Tillamook Farmers Market and the brand new Young Professionals group (more on that below.)

“I’m excited to help with Chamber events that highlight our great businesses, connect our community, and bring people to our town,” she said. “I am thrilled to be a part of the Tillamook Chamber team and can’t wait to do fun and great things!”

OK – speaking of Young Professionals, the Chamber is hosting an informational gathering on Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. for folks who want to learn more about the opportunities available through a new Chamber program; the Young Professionals of Tillamook (YPT). We’ll have light appetizers, drinks, and a group of people who want to further the mission of YPT: to foster relationship-building, career development, entrepreneurial endeavors and civic involvement among other young professionals.

This is a community of professionals in their 20s to mid-40s across Tillamook County, with a like-minded vision to encourage their members to be leaders in business and local communities and empower young professionals to freely determine the direction of their lives, pursue happiness and strive for professional success.

If you are a Young Professional, or know of someone who might be interested, please join us on Jan. 30 at the Chamber HQ (208 Main Avenue) to learn more.

Thank You for Celebrating with Us

Photo by Tillamook County Pioneer

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Saturday was our annual Community Awards Banquet and fundraiser at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds. It was a packed house as more than 400 people came out to celebrate with us and all of our Community Award nominees.

Each year it feels like this event gets more and more recognition from the community and we look forward to seeing everyone and enjoying a phenomenal meal prepared by over a dozen of our most recognized restaurants, and all coordinated by Chef Nelia Seratista of Pacific Restaurant. Nelia was gracious enough to work the evening in the kitchen all while being nominated for Citizen of the Year.

We also had a robust silent auction with donations from 75 local businesses, and it was exciting to watch as folks tried to outbid each other on their favorite items. Overall we had one of our most successful oral auctions, and I can’t thank Brett Hurliman enough for once again being our auctioneer and crowd pleaser. I must also thank our dedicated team of volunteers who pulled the whole thing off; this wasn’t just an effort by our Board and staff, and together we easily put in a couple hundred hours. Thank you to local Boy Scout Troop 582 for being our floor service and tear down crew for the eventing; and to Bridgett Kinne, Ken Phillips and Emily Critelli for being spectacular bartenders.

The entire evening was one of high emotions. We were sadly aware of Tommy Flood’s passing and had a moment of silence in his honor. The Schooner crew honored him well by carrying out a flawless paella in what I dub as “Tommy’s insanely large paella pans.”

We also handed out our first ever Program of the Year award to the Shop with a Cop program, which received a resounding standing ovation from the crowd. This program is in its 15th year in Tillamook and has helped more than 650 children have a merry Christmas by taking them shopping with a police officer. The community pride for this program was electric, and it was a well-deserved win.

Ken Werner was awarded Citizen of the Year out of a lengthy list of 10 nominees. Ken delivered a heartfelt speech thanking his community for taking a chance on him all those years ago and helping him build his legacy. Both Werners Beef & Brew and Werner Brewing Co. received nominations in other categories, and I think we can all agree that we wouldn’t be enjoying either of these businesses without the foundation that Ken Werner has laid.

Our other winners included the Blue Heron French Cheese Co. for Business of the Year. Not only do they provide a world-class visitor experience, their community spirit is tangible. The love and support that the Pastegas have bestowed on Tillamook County is a testament to their long term commitment to both our visitors and our citizens.

Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace took home Small Business of the Year, due in part to their resilient and positive attitude when faced with both the highway construction project and then a building remodel that forced them to relocate for the summer. These ladies provide impeccable customer service and create a storefront that sets a high bar for the rest of our downtown retailers.

And finally, Development Project of the Year went to the Highway 6/101 Realignment project. In the end, I think we can all understand and agree that despite the hardships of the last three years the investment in our city was well worth it, and the economic stimulation is already positively impacting our business owners. While there are still kinks to be worked out in the project, I hope in the upcoming year we can lay down our negativity and embrace the worthwhile improvements.

Thank you for celebrating with us! We look forward to another tremendous year.

 

 

New Year, New Board Members

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been awhile since I’ve introduced our Chamber Board members here. We’ve been blessed with committed board members who go the distance for our organization. They are involved in projects and aren’t afraid to roll their sleeves up and work.

At our last board meeting of the year we appointed our executive committee and are thrilled to have Kaylan Sisco serving as our Board Chair and Natalie Rieger as our Vice Chair. AS you probably know, Kaylan is the CEO at the Tillamook Family YMCA, and Natalie has just started a new career as the store manager at Roby’s Furniture in Tillamook. Kayla Seaholm is our past Board Chair and Jeff Simpson is serving again as Treasurer and Secretary. This is Jeff’s second year on our board, making him one of our newer members. Jeff is a Tillamook native and works as an accountant at Simpson & Rosener CPA.

We’ve also added two new board members just in the last couple of months giving us a full roster.

Beau Pullium is the Director of Quality Assurance for Werners Gourmet Meat Snacks, where he oversees food safety and quality of the plant and products produced there. Beau grew up in Tillamook before leaving for several years, and upon returning wanted to find a way to give back to the community that gave so much to him.

When asked why he joined the Chamber Board he said, “I really wanted to be a part of something that makes a difference in the community… It seemed like the natural thing was to get involved with an organization that provides opportunity to have my hands in many different services.” Beau added that he gets to be on a team that cares for the community and really makes a difference.

Beau has served on staff for the Oregon Association of Student Councils for 11 years, which provides the methods for youth in the state to sharpen their leadership skills. He has also been a volunteer for Tillamook Outdoor School for several years, and teaches food science to 6th graders. Beau brings patience, humor, leadership and strong community roots as well as an eagerness to participate and learn to our Board of Directors.

His introduction to the Chamber began when he approached us to see if we would have interest in starting a Young Professionals group in Tillamook. This has been part of our vision for some time and we are excited that he has stepped up to spearhead one of the Chamber’s newest programs: the Young Professionals of Tillamook.

“I think that it is so important for professionals especially those that are younger and new to a professional position to have an outlet to socialize and give to the communities in which they live,” he said. “ Historically Tillamook has not been a place for younger professional people to reside. With this group I intend to change that.”

Beau is on our Community Engagement Team at the Chamber and said he is looking forward to finding ways to help keep everyone excited about living in Tillamook. We are thrilled to have Beau on our Board and all the energy and professionalism he brings to the table!

We’ve also added Joanna Stelzig to our board, and I am excited to introduce her and her goals for the Chamber next month. Stay tuned.

And the Nominees Are (Pt. 3)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Over the last two weeks we have introduced the nominees for Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. Our final category for the Community Awards is a big one – Citizen of the Year. We received the most nominations for this category and the group of nominees showcase a diverse background and continued commitment to Tillamook County. We are fortunate to have every single one of these people living in our community and making it a better place.

For Citizen of the Year, the nominees are:

Brooklyn Bush: Brooklyn teaches agriculture at Tillamook High School and heads the Tillamook Chapter of the FFA. She was nominated for helping shape the people who will live and work here and fostering the agriculture heritage in Tillamook County through teaching, community events and her continued service.

Tim Carpenter: Tim, who serves as the Fire Chief at Oceanside-Netarts Rural Fire Protection District, was nominated for his ongoing leadership and commitment to rescue efforts in Tillamook County, and his hospitality toward local efforts and events by opening up the Netarts Fire Hall as a community space.

Tom Connaughton: Tom has been a key player in downtown Tillamook for more than 30 years. He was nominated for the example he sets for other business owners, his positive attitude, and his ability to keep the best interest for Tillamook at the heart of everything he does.

Wayne Cook: Wayne started his business Cook Land Surveying in 1978 and since that time has raised five children, supported the Tillamook School District and Tillamook Athletic Department and been involved in other community organizations such as the Oregon Hunters Association and the Tillamook Gun Club.

Andrea Goss: Andrea is a volunteer at heart, and has served as coordinator and helper for several programs in our community including but not limited to the CARE warming center, Master Gardeners, CASA, the OSU Extension and the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook. She was nominated for continuing to give and enrich our community through her leadership, participation, coordination and passion.

Nelia Seratista: Nelia, co-proprietor of Pacific Restaurant in downtown Tillamook, was nominated because of the support she lends to all kinds of nonprofits and organizations by hosting their events and offering her expertise. She has also been an instrumental partner in the success of the food cart court, Flavors on First.

Kimberly Theobold: Kimberly works for Adult Protective Services and was nominated for going above and beyond to serve the aged and at-risk population of Tillamook County. She works tirelessly to meet the needs of the vulnerable and always looks out for the family of her clients.

Jon Wehage: A forester for the last 22 years in Tillamook County, Jon was nominated for the many hats that he wears in the community, including his role on the Tillamook Working Lands and Waters Cooperative, 4H youth programs and the Junior Livestock Auction Committee, and as a board member for the Tillamook County Fairgrounds.

Ken Werner: Co-owner of Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks Inc., Ken was nominated for his generosity and commitment to supporting local. Under Ken’s direction, Werners Gourmet Meat Snacks donates an extraordinary amount annually to local charities, events, schools and non profit organizations. He also offers a fundraising program that benefits the schools, and on Veteran’s Day offered free meals to veterans at Werners Beef & Brew.

Ed Wortman: The former Chief of Police in Rockaway Beach, Ed was nominated not only for his time spent with the police department where he increased the number of officers on duty, orchestrated the purchase and remodel of the police station, and created the Volunteers in Police, but also for opening the International Police Museum as a way to create a sense of mutual respect between officers and citizens.

Tickets for this event are selling rapidly, and I encourage anyone who wants to attend not to hesitate in purchasing tickets. For more information, please call our office at 503-842-7525 or email info@tillamookchamebr.org.

 

And the Nominees Are (Pt.1)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The annual Community Awards Banquet is just a few weeks away, and tickets are already selling fast. Every year we hear how much people enjoy the food, entertainment and wide array of auction items to bid on – but we all know that the real story is the award winners.

Our nominees started getting their announcements in the mail last week, so it’s finally safe to announce them here in the paper. Thank you to everyone who made a nomination- we had even more come in than last year and I think our Awards Committee definitely has their work cut out for them. Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out, which is what the Awards Committee uses to determine a winner for each category. I never envy the committee the task of selecting a winner, and as I introduce the nominees I will share some of the background that was submitted for each one:

For Business of the Year, the nominees are:

Blue Heron French Cheese Co.: For more than 40 years the Pastega family has been running Blue Heron French Cheese Co. and adding a personal touch to Tillamook County that leaves a positive impression with both visitors and residents. They provide everything from free samples, free overnight RV parking, a large Northwest wine selection, to unique gifts, plus they are known t0 treat their employees like family.

Stimson Lumber: Few businesses can say they’ve been around 162 years, but Stimson is one of them. They are committed to the environment through active management of more than 93,000 acres of land in Tillamook County and employee 120 people- many of whom actively serve in a variety of leadership roles throughout the community, such as the Tillamook Working Lands and Waters Cooperative, teaching classes at Tillamook Bay Community College and Tillamook High School, serving on the Fair Board, coaching sports, and so much more.

Zwald Transport, Inc.: Zwald Transport employs more than 30 people and has grown  tremendously in the last three years. They were instrumental in starting the truck driving program at Tillamook Bay Community College – including providing an instructor, helping secure equipment, and marketing the program. They are a family-run business and want their employees to feel like part of the family.

For Small Business of the Year (10 employees or less) the nominees are:

Social House & Market Place: Located in the former Blue Moon Cafe, The Social House & Marketplace is owned and operated by three women who strive to give customers more than just a meal. By hosting unique vendors in their space, they are lifting up other small businesses and entrepreneurs, and they regularly offer fun, family-friendly events.

Salty Raven: One of the newer Second Street businesses, Salty Raven offers unique, Oregon- and Oregon Coast-based artwork on everything from t-shirts to patches to coffee mugs. Their studio is open regularly and they are actively involved in all kinds of community functions and events such as the Farmers Market, monthly Sip + Shop, and participate in the Tillamook Revitalization Association.

Werner Brewing Co.: In Tillamook, we love beer nearly as much as we love cheese. Werner Brewing Co. continues to bring new and trendy craft beer flavors to the Tillamook Coast, elevating our status as a food and beer lovers destination. Coupled with their new taproom/restaurant and generous community spirit, Werner Brewing Co. is making waves.

Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace: Downtown Tillamook has been benefiting from this wonderful vintage shop for five years now. With all kinds of one-of-a-kind treasures, a friendly staff and more-often-than-not some kind of delicious treat to snack on while you shop, Madeline’s is so committed to its customers that they set up a temporary location all summer while their building was being renovated. And they never forget to participate in downtown events such as Sip + Shop, Cork & Brew and more.

Kristy Lombard Pottery: Our newest downtown business is the result of Kristy Lombard taking a chance and moving her studio from her garage to a storefront, where she regularly creates stunning pottery while people can shop for things like butter dishes, decorative pieces, coffee cups and more. Her art is helping bring high-end and quality customer goods to downtown.

Tune in next week as we announce the nominees for Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. And be sure to watch our Facebook page for more exciting announcements.

And the Nominees Are (Pt. 2)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Last week I was excited to introduce to you the nominees for Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year. If you missed those announcements, check out the blog on our website tillamookchamber.org or find the Tillamook Chamber on Facebook.

Today I am sharing the nominees for Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. Program of the Year was a new category we added this year to try and capture some of the organizations, projects, events and other work being done in our county that doesn’t really fall into a traditional business category. Since these are the Community Awards, we wanted to do our best to represent the community as a whole. Development Project of the Year is for those projects that were completed in 2018.

For Program of the Year, the nominees are:

Tillamook County Pioneer: Keeping the community informed about local news, issues and events in an open format, and providing a venue for communication and public awareness for the betterment of our community has secured the Pioneer’s nomination for Program of the Year.  

‘Shop with a Cop’: A Tillamook tradition since 2004, ‘Shop with a Cop’ has helped more than 650 children in our community buy gifts for their family and themselves, all while helping enhance the image of police officers with children.

Explore Nature Series: In 2018, the Explore Nature Series hosted more than 60 free events all over Tillamook County including beach clean ups, hikes, gardening days, Shop at the Dock in Garibaldi and more. Their events highlight the bounty of our area and encourage participants to be good stewards when they’re outside enjoying our natural resources.

Tillamook County Library: Last fiscal year, the Tillamook County Library offered 1,145 programs and more than 18,000 people attended. These programs are catered to infants, toddlers, teens, adults and everyone in between. All programs are free and open to the public.

Truck Driving Program: Offered through Tillamook Bay Community College, the brand new truck driving program is made possible through several community partners including Zwald Transport, Inc. who was instrumental in the development of the program when they saw the industry need in our community, going so far as to provide a driver for the instructor, helping acquire equipment and getting the information about the program out to the community.

Tillamook Working Lands & Waters Cooperative: Comprised of individuals who make their living in forestry, farming and fishing, their mission is to increase awareness of working forests, farms and fisheries and the importance of providing sustainable, locally-grown and harvested products with a commitment to responsible stewardship of the county’s natural resources.

For Development Project of the Year the nominees are:

Flavors on First: Adding all kinds of variety to food choices downtown and creating an inviting public space with a great atmosphere for events and year round were just two of the reasons Flavors on First (also known as Kimmel’s Food Cart) received a nomination this year.

Werners Beef & Brew: Another investment from the family that continually raises the bar for quality and experience throughout the region, Werners Beef & Brew focuses on using and selling local products and creating an entirely unique spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner – or just a place to grab your favorite Tillamook-made snacks from their marketplace and deli.

Hwy 6/101 Realignment Project: Driving through Tillamook it’s hard to not see the benefits  of this lengthy highway realignment project. With the enhanced walkability and atmosphere downtown is only just starting to see the domino effect of other private investments and revitalization efforts triggered from what was one of the single largest investments made by ODOT in the City of Tillamook.

Tillamook Creamery Visitor Center: Even before their remodel, the Creamery was bringing more people to our part of the world than any other man-made establishment. This volume of traffic to our area helps support other retail and restaurant establishments and this multi-million dollar project shows a long term investment into our community.

Dutch Bros – Tillamook: In addition to raising thousands of dollars for local programs such as the needy child fund at Tillamook High School, Dutch Bros employees 3-6 people at any given time and owner Jared Nunnemaker has chosen to invest a huge chunk of time and money in developing this location, bringing this  household-name coffee to Tillamook.

 

Next week we will announce the nominees for Citizen of the Year. As always, if you’d like to reserve your tickets for the Chamber Community Awards Banquet happening on Jan. 19, 2019 please call our office at 503-842-7525 or email info@tillamookchamebr.org.

 

Keep Making Those Nominations

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Saturday was the deadline for the Community Awards nominations, and you guys really outdid yourselves! We had a record-breaking number of nominations come in this year! It appears the simplicity of the online form is doing the trick.

However it seems like the most seemingly visible category got forgotten: Development Project of the Year. We have received one strong nomination in that category, but there is so much more development that has happened in the last 12 months that deserves recognition. Remember – this is a county-wide award and not limited to Chamber members or those projects within the City of Tillamook.

Now, I know that at the end of the year it can be hard to remember exactly what all has happened this year because some things feel like they’ve been a part of our lives forever. Here is a little refresher:

The Tillamook Creamery’s new visitor center officially opened to the public. While this establishment has been a part of our county for decades, the newer – and bigger – facility has an expanded viewing section, interactive farm displays for both adults and children, an expanded menu featuring local ingredients, an outdoor seating area and so much more.

The Flavors on First Food Cart Court had its grand opening. I know it’s hard to believe that this was once an empty parking lot, but that goes to show you what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. This food cart court has grown to five food carts and a covered seating area and is giving downtown so many more options for lunch, dinner or just a snack.

The downtown highway project wrapped up in October, complete with new sidewalks, paving, landscaping, street lights, parking, a more visually-appealing Hoquarton Slough walking path and an eye-catching Second Street Plaza right in the center of downtown. Yes it was a trying time for all of us, but downtown has never looked better and I think we’re all enjoying the new aesthetics and better traffic flow.

Food Roots opened their FarmTable storefront this year, and is selling locally-grown foods and other products made right here in Tillamook. Now shoppers have a place to go year-round that supports local farmers and artisans and strengthens the local economy. We also got our very own Dutch Bros this year, Tora Sushi Lounge took up a vacant space in downtown, Sand Creek Dental built a beautiful new building and even the Tillamook Family YMCA is getting a facelift for the first time in years. And we can’t forget the latest restaurant & tap room to hit the scene from a family who has won awards in the past: Werners Beef & Brew officially opened in 2018 and if you haven’t been yet, they’re serving both delicious food and craft beer on tap and also have all your favorite local snack products for sale.

As you can see, we’ve had our fair share of development in the last 12 months, and we would love to be able to recognize these amazing projects during our Community Banquet. Please take the time to go online and nominate your favorite 2018 development you have seen within Tillamook County! We will leave the form open until Dec. 14th. 

Last week we started sending out invitations to the Banquet, which will take place on January 19, 2019. This year’s theme is ‘A Night in Portugal’ and our entire staff is busy with the planning – including collecting auction items, finding volunteers, creating decorations and ensuring that – as always – this Community Banquet is one of the best events of the year. If you would like tickets, or have a donation item in mind for the auction, please contact our office at 503-842-7525.

 

Join us Downtown for Small Business Saturday

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day planned to enjoy all there is to be grateful for. In my house that definitely means enjoying a turkey dinner and spending quality time with family.

We have another tradition here in Tillamook that happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving called Small Business Saturday. This nationwide movement encourages folks on the day after Black Friday to shop small when doing their Christmas shopping. Our downtown district has really taken this concept and run with it, and all over town on Saturday you’ll find great deals and a full day of family friendly events.

The Chamber has helped coordinate and market these events to encourage participation. Here is a quick rundown of events taking place this Saturday:

Gingerbread House Building Competition at YoTime: Join Yo Time and friends this Small Business Saturday for the second annual Gingerbread House Building Competition! This was so fun last year that YoTime is more than excited to be hosting it again. Teams of four-ish (more or less, no big deal) are invited to register for the competition ahead of time. Each team is asked to bring $10 or a gently used sleeping bag, tent or tarp as an entry fee, which will be donated to CARE to assist folks in need this winter. Basic gingerbread house building supplies will be provided, but teams are encouraged to be creative and are welcome to bring their own supplies for personal touches. Teams are asked to arrive at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the contest will kick off at 1:15. The building window will last 45 minutes, at which point a winner will be determined by audience applause.

Cooking Decorating at the Social House Cafe: The Social House Cafe has been under a renaissance of late, and this is an opportunity to check out the new direction of the familiar restaurant if you haven’t already. The cookie decorating will be happening all day, and promises to be fun  – and delicious – for the entire family.

Letters to Santa at The Dutch Mill: The only thing better than getting your requests in to the Big Guy before the Big Day is getting a complimentary ice cream cone! Children are invited all day to come write and mail their letters to Santa (The Dutch Mill will have a mailbox on hand that ships directly to the North Pole) and they’ll get a free ice cream cone for participating. Plus, rumor has it they’ll have some food specials that day as well so this might make a good stop for lunch.

Holiday Pop Up Market on Third and Main: The Tillamook Revitalization Association is hosting a holiday pop-up market inside the Beals Building on the corner of Third and Main from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. They will have vendors (some of which you haven’t seen since the Tillamook Farmers Market) selling all kinds of hand-made, locally crafted goods that make perfect Christmas gifts for family, friends or yourself.

Wreath Fundraiser on  Second Street Plaza: Tillamook Early Learning Center is having their second annual wreath sale fundraiser, and is teaming up with Small Business Saturday! Pre-order your local handcrafted wreath ahead of time for pick up by contacting TELC Board CHair Julie Hurliman at (503) 913-3869 or jahurliman@msn.com. There will be a limited number of these beauties for sale on SBS, but you’ll want to stop by and scoop yours up early if you don’t get a chance to pre-order.

Brunch and Bloody Mary Bar at Pacific Restaurant: Chefs Nelia and Phil have begun plotting what will be guaranteed to be a memorable meal – just what you need to gear up for a lovely day in downtown Tillamook! Reservations are not required; stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m  for a world class buffet and a tour of the Bloody Mary Bar. Pacific Restaurant will also be offering an all day special on gift cards: purchase a $100 gift card for only $80 (not valid to use on Small Business Saturday).

We hope you’ll come downtown and join us downtown to support these establishments and start the Christmas shopping season off right. It’s also the perfect opportunity to enjoy our new sidewalks, parking spaces, landscaping and wonderful new curb appeal of downtown.

To make sure you are in shape for a full day of shopping after the big feast, be sure to join Tillamook Motor Company at the corner of Fifth & Main for the annual Tillamook Ford Turkey Trot on Friday the 23rd ! Walkers will travel down 5th to Carnahan Park and back. The trot starts at 9 a.m. with an entry fee of one can of food (or more) that will benefit the Tillamook County Food Bank.

These events and more information about activities, specials and sales on Small Business Saturday are available on the Tillamook County Small Business Saturday Facebook page, or contact our Downtown Event Coordinator, Sierra, at sierra@tillamookchamber.org

 

Welcome to Tillamook; Enjoy our Tide Books

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Throughout the year there are always times when it seems like there are so many projects in the air and none of them are wrapping up. This has been one of those months; however in this past week it seems like we are starting to see that shift a bit. Two projects that we’ve been working on at the Chamber wrapped up in that kind of way that makes you sigh a sense of accomplished relief. One of these projects you’ve no doubt noticed by now: the brand new City of Tillamook Wayfinding signs that have been installed at each entrance to town.

These signs were made possible thanks to a partnership with the City of Tillamook and funding through the Visit TIllamook Coast transient lodging tax dollars. We managed the project from start to finish, including planning, design, placement and installation. It was exciting to see them being installed in conjunction with the completion of the majority of the downtown highway project. These signs add a nice uniformity to both our downtown and all four corners of the City of Tillamook, utilizing our Dairylands branding strategy that gives both residents and visitors a sense of place while they enjoy our town. We couldn’t be more proud of how they turned out and tip our hats to the partner agencies that helped bring it about.

The second project that just wrapped up is the Tillamook Coast Tide Books. For years now the Tillamook Chamber has bulk ordered custom tidebooks at Coast Printing for our business community so they can hand them out affordably. In fact, we’ve done it long enough that most people had no idea the Chamber was the one responsible for the tide book in their pocket. This time we decided to switch it up a bit. Thanks again to another partnership with Visit Tillamook Coast, we are now able to offer all businesses the first 100 tide books free of charge, and any additional at only $10 per hundred. This partnership fits perfectly as Visit Tillamook Coast continues to manage tourism by informing and educating visitors as they come to enjoy our slice of the Oregon Coast.

Tide books won’t be here until January, but we are taking orders if your business would like to stock up! While the design and printing is a service we offer as the Chamber of Commerce, we do not limit their distribution to Chamber members. So please feel free to contact out office at 503-842-7525 or info@tillamookchamber.org if you’d like to reserve a bundle.

As always, these tide books are adjusted for our Tillamook Coast beaches, which comes in handy for our fishermen, crabbers, clam diggers and tide poolers.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to remind folks to make their nominations for the 2019 Community Awards banquet. The form has been simplified even more this year, and is available online at tillamookchamber.org/nominate. The four categories are Business of the Year (10 or more employees); Small Business of the Year (10 or less employees); Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. These awards are another project that we manage at the Chamber, but we do not make the nominations nor select a winner. These awards depend on the community taking a little time out of their day to nominate a business, project or person that they feel goes above and beyond for Tillamook County and deserves a pat on the back. I believe if we all take a moment, we can pretty easily come up with an idea or two for each category.

Each nomination will receive a personal invitation to the Community Awards Banquet on Jan. 19 at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds. We would also love for you to join us there, so please call our offices at 503-842-7525 to inquire about tickets.

Cutting the Ribbon on the Hwy Project

Sierra Lauder

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events & Downtown Promotions

Last week, we gathered on a rainy afternoon on the Second Street Plaza with Sen. Betsy Johnson, Congressman Kurt Schrader, Mayor Weber and a variety of other community leaders and cut the ribbon on the highway project completion. It was a celebration of how far we’ve come as a downtown –  but before you call my office pointing out all the things still not finished with this project, let me offer you a metaphor:

Last Sunday morning I laid out the single biggest threat in my parenting toolbox: clean rooms by 4 p.m. or we’re shutting off the internet. Because my boys know that I am an inhuman robot with zero empathy for their Fortnite fascination they scramble. As we approach 4 o’clock they start to indicate that they’ve successfully finished their job. Some might even say they are “substantially complete” with their project.

Even if you don’t have kids, you have been a kid and you likely remember that the first “I’m done” of room cleaning is simply the beginning of the end. There is still a variety of inspections and things that were missed in the initial pass though, plus some negotiating about tasks that were implied but perhaps not clearly outlined…

This is really the perfect metaphor. The original project completion date that was projected as October 16th was pushed back to the end of October. The problem with the term “completion date” is that it implies a certain finality- almost as if a person could expect that the project was, in fact, complete.

The reality is that the project completion date is only the date that all of the items within the contract have been submitted for consideration. This is when my boys call me up to examine the room for the first time. There will still be another hour of pointing out missed socks under the bed and the water glass on the nightstand, (plus whatever is beside that water glass that may or may not have once been an apple core…)

That’s where we are now. There is a variety of details and finish work that are still underway that will continue past the completion date. Why have a completion date if it isn’t completed, you ask? The completion date sets the clock on the warranty. Once the project is agreed upon as “complete,” the contractor is still responsible for things like the maintence and life of the plants for one year from that date. While we will still see work after completion, it will mostly be repair or touch up work. Because there are so many contractors and jurisdictions involved, even the task of completing the “punch list” that captures where the dirty dishes are tucked and the cracks must be repaired is time consuming.

Some might still be skeptical of a ribbon cutting prior to completion, but as the rain sets in and the days grow shorter, I say “Let’s Celebrate!” The ribbon cutting last week doesn’t absolve anyone of cleaning up those last stinky socks, but it does give the community a chance to celebrate our beautiful new sidewalks and embrace the fact that downtown is open for business this holiday season.

Thank you to everyone who came out for this ceremonial act of cutting the ribbon. I hope that, even though the rains have returned with full force, you still get out  downtown and enjoy what we’ve all been waiting so long for!

The Many Roles of the Chamber

On any given day, there are certain things you can count on here at the Chamber. You can count on people calling our office looking for referrals – everything from a place to vacation with their dog to finding the right tax accountant. You can count on visitors coming in looking for information on what to do in the area, and you can even bet that at some point someone will be asking for directions to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

These are somewhat traditional roles that chambers have played for years. We have the information, access and tools you might need and are happy to share those with you.

At our Chamber, there’s always a million other little things going on as well. The things that happen a little bit below the surface and aren’t always directly associated with the Chamber. For two days last week, myself and two of our staff members attended a two-day conference for the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce. We got to hear from other Chamber leaders across the state on issues such as member retention, statewide legislation that may impact local businesses, cyber security and creative ways to help tell our story – which is also your story.

During our stay, we were also finding time in between breakout sessions to help plan several ribbon cutting ceremonies happening this week, finalizing plans for November’s Mornings on Mainstreet, redesigning the cover for the 2019 Tide Books and keeping several other projects moving forward. (Projects like redesigning the Chamber website, planning the 2019 Community Awards Banquet, following up with people about our Portugal trip next Spring, creating Facebook events to keep people engaged with what’s happening in town, and more.)

At the Chamber, this is just another day on the job. As a staff of five, we all have areas of expertise and different skill sets, as well as different things we’re passionate about. All of our work – community engagement, advocacy, and connecting members to resources and potential customers just to name a few – helps meet our mission of building a strong community where businesses can thrive. We do this work because we love it, and we want to make a difference.

When you’re traveling across Oregon, I encourage you to stop in at the local Chamber office. See the ways they’re involved in their communities, and how they’re impacting change. We all face different and unique problems, but when we come together we can learn so much from each other. I know that Sierra, Sayde and I are all excited to take the information we learned from last week’s conference and find ways to implement it in our own community to help our mission.

Speaking of which, don’t forget that this Friday at 12 p.m. is the ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new Habitat for Humanity ReStore location across from the Creamery. Then, at 4 p.m., we will be taking our giant scissors over to Sunflower Flats to welcome new owners Paige Robertson and Maddie McRae. They’ll be giving out free sunflowers, and customers can even enjoy a free drink courtesy of Pacific Restaurant. While you’re out, also pop into Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace on the corner of Pacific and Third. They had a brief hiatus from their space, but are back and can’t wait to show off the newly-remodeled storefront to their customers. Join us just after 4 on Thursday to welcome them home.

Make your Nominations for the Annual Community Awards

Tillamook Chamber Recent News

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Take a look around; what do you see? It might depend on where you are standing, but from our front window at the Chamber I see new sidewalks, brand new parking spaces and – most recently – new trees and landscaping gracing nearly every corner of our new downtown. Take a quick walk and you’ll see new businesses selling everything from farm-fresh produce to unique t-shirts and even pottery. Walk even farther and you might stumble upon the nearly-complete Flavors on First food cart court with its new covered pavilion, or the beautifully-renovated Sue H Elmore park overlooking Hoquarten Slough.

And that’s just downtown.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the brand new Dutch Bros. north of town, or Sand Creek Dental office at the south end.

I always like to take a moment this time of year and remind our readers about the growth we’ve experienced in the last 12 months, and all the reasons why we love living here. And while I can’t mention everything in this column, I hope it spurs a discussion amongst yourselves about the changes and improvements you’ve witnessed in 2018, and encourages you to pick your favorites and nominate them for our annual Community Awards.

We’ve made the nomination process much more simple this year; just go online to www.tillamookchamber.org/nominate, pick a nomination category, a recipient, and tell us why. It could be a single sentence, or a well thought out essay about why a business or person made an impact on your life and the community in 2018.

The categories this year are Business of the Year (eleven or more employees); Small Business of the Year (ten or less employees); Developmental Project of the Year; Citizen of the Year – and new this year Program of the Year. A lot of amazing work happening in the county that doesn’t quite fit into the other categories but deserves recognition. That’s where Program of the Year comes in to play; maybe it’s a program from a local non-profit, a specific event, or a volunteer that makes a large impact through a single initiative.

All nominations are due by Dec. 1 so we have time for the selection committee, comprised of prior year’s award recipients, to review applications and make their decisions.  Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible, and nominees will be honored at the annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January. You can remain anonymous as the person nominating if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation on the online form.

There is no limit to how many businesses, projects, and people you can nominate. Tell us everything great you see happening all around you in Tillamook County!

Get Ready: Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0 begins Oct. 1

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

After a marvelous summer, fall is finally here. I think the change in weather is welcomed by many of us, as well as the new routine of taking kids to school and grabbing an extra jacket before leaving the house.

Fall also means its time to launch Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0.

Last year was our first time trying this new shopping incentive to encourage people to come downtown and spend a little time and  hopefully a little money. It started as a way to mitigate the effects of construction that many of our downtown business owners were feeling, and worked similarly to an old-fashioned cash mob but extended the shopping period over several months.

When we had this hair-brained idea last year, we had no idea how well it was going to take off, or how many people it would bring downtown. Over the course of the sweepstakes last year we had 1,493 entries; this year we’re hoping to see more 2,000.

And while the construction project is on track to wrap up this fall, we still want to encourage people to enjoy our newly remodeled downtown area, so we’re launching Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0.

The rules are simple, and similar to last year: Whenever you shop downtown between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, bring in your receipts to the TIllamook Chamber to be entered into a weekly drawing. You can enter once a day. Each week a downtown business will sponsor a giveaway and we will draw from that week’s tickets to pick a winner. Then, every ticket will be entered into a grand prize drawing of $1,000 shopping spree in downtown Tillamook, sponsored again this year by US Bank. The more you shop, the better your odds are of winning the grand prize. It’s that simple, and it’s that fun.

So if you go out to breakfast at The Rendezvous, gift shopping at Sunflower Flats, or pamper yourself with a pedicure at Shear Bliss, bring us your receipts. The possibilities are endless but each time you shop – for special occasions or the things we do on a regular basis – you could be entered to win all kinds of amazing prices right in time for the holidays. Then, after the holiday rush has passed and we start settling into a new year and a new routine, one lucky winner will have $1,000 extra dollars to enjoy in our downtown.

Let’s celebrate the end of the construction and the beautifully remodeled downtown by spending time here and enjoying the new sidewalks, the newly planted trees and foliage, the renovated Sue H Elmore Park and walking trail through Hoquarten Slough, and reminding our downtown business owners why we love it here. You can follow along with the sweepstakes and all of the weekly drawings by following the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce facebook page.

Tackling the Housing Crisis

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Last week our newest employee Alexander Jonas arrived from Tallahassee, Fla. He traded in 88-degrees, sunshine and restaurants where alligator is a common menu item, for the Tillamook Coast where he will serve as our Housing Policy and Development Coordinator.

Alexander is a recent graduate from Florida State where he studied political science and international affairs with a focus on economics. During his last year, he was introduced to the RARE program and decided to jump on board as a way to fine tune the skills and expertise he learned in college, and help a community in need.

RARE is an AmeriCorps program administered through the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, which assists Oregon communities by providing planning and technical assistance to help solve local issues and improve the quality of life for Oregon residents. Its mission is to increase the capacity of rural communities to improve their economic, social, and environmental conditions, through the assistance of trained graduate-level participants who live and work in communities for 11 months. Participants assist communities and agencies in the development and implementation of plans for achieving a sustainable natural resource base and improving rural economic conditions while gaining community building and leadership skills.

Alexander interviewed with five different rural communities all with unique issues, and was matched with the Tillamook Chamber. We are excited to have him on our team and get started towards finding a solution for workforce housing in the city of Tillamook.

Ironically, Alexander had some trouble finding a place to live while making his travel arrangements, and was able to secure a room just two days before his plane landed. No doubt this is a familiar situation to some of you, when you hire a professional from outside the area but they have to turn the job down due to the lack of housing. Alexander got to experience this first hand – a poetic introduction to his new job as our Housing Policy and Development Coordinator where he will help identify the reasons for the housing crisis and do what he can to help mitigate the effects and eventually put Tillamook in a better position to solve that crisis.

When asked why he decided to participate in the RARE program, Alexander said “It was a good opportunity to gain some work experience and potential successes as well as checking out a beautiful part of the country I had never seen.”

Over the next several weeks I will be introducing Alexander to the community and hope you will help him feel welcome and give him the resources, tools and information he needs to be successful. We will also be sharing more about the specifics of Alexander’s scope of work, and why we at the Chamber and our members felt compelled to offer a helping hand in solving the housing crisis.

Celebrate the Bounty of the Tillamook Coast on Sept. 29

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

 

Local food such as Tillamook Creamery dairy products, Werner jerky products, and Pelican microbrews have been a long standing staple of things that Tillamook stands for. What many may not know, however, is that in recent years there has been an incredible shift in the food culture. This shift is made up of chefs, business owners, fishermen and farmers who are passionate about sustainable practices, and sourcing local ingredients. It’s such a huge part of who we are that Visit Tillamook Coast launched the North Coast Food Trail earlier this year to showcase the wide variety of restaurants, farms, breweries, markets and more that are bringing the bounty of Tillamook County and the North Oregon Coast to consumers.

The Tillamook Farmers Market is a stop along this food trail, as our many of our vendors because they are growing and producing food items featured in several of our local restaurants and stores. And at the end of this month, we will be celebrating all things food related at the Crave the Coast foodie festival.

Under the event tent in Garibaldi, some culinary masters  – about 40 to be exact – will gather in one place to showcase the incredible bounty our area produces. From fresh seafood, world-class beer – guests will be entertained by  renowned chefs and local business owners with cooking demos, samples, tastings and be inspired to create their own culinary dishes that support our local producers.

Many years ago you may recall the Taste of Tillamook event – a favorite for many. While Crave the Coast began as a simple conversation to recreate this food festival, it has grown exponentially to include guided tours, live cooking demos, and the largest selection of vendors and producers on the North Oregon Coast. It’s garnered attention from both regional and national media who are showcasing the Tillamook Coast as a premier agritourism destination. We are proud to be a major sponsor of this event, which also inspired us to revitalize the ‘Chef’s Table’ at the Tillamook Farmers Market. From now until the end of the season you can catch local chefs doing what they do best – creating mouth watering masterpieces from ingredients grown and made right here in Tillamook, and available for sale at the Tillamook Farmers Market. So far we’ve enjoyed Nelia with Pacific Restaurant and her homemade mozzarella; and coming up we will have demonstrations from The Offshore Grill in Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi Portside Bistro, as well as LaNicia from Coastal Soul serving up some classic fried green tomatoes.  Check the Tillamook Farmers Market Facebook page for dates, times and more information about these cooking demonstrations, sponsored by Visit Tillamook Coast and Crave the Coast.

To wrap up, if you don’t have your tickets yet, visit cravethecoast.org and purchase them today. It’s only $30 to get inside and gain access to some of the best chefs the west coast has to offer, and opportunities to learn and get to know those who are cultivating and nurturing the abundance of harvest our area has to offer.