The Benton County community will soon be saying goodbye to Karen Rockwell, the Executive Director of Benton Habitat for Humanity. In the nine years that Rockwell has been with us, she has seen the construction of 12 new single-family homes – with the significant help of local volunteers, and she has learned enough about the Housing and Urban Development Codes (HUD) to make her an expert. Lincoln County saw that expertise and will welcome Rockwell as soon as her replacement can be found here.
In Lincoln County, she will oversee large-scale projects aimed at helping Section 8 Housing needs.
The search for Rockwell’s replacement is going nationwide, though Habitat for Humanity is also looking nearby. If you or someone you know is interested in working for the organization, check their website for more information about the position. And please watch this opening twice, as Habitat also loses general manager Darren Sidder, who moves to Montana to support his wife’s career.
More moving vans for the province: Last week, Benton County continued their move to Research Way.
This time, Benton County’s Information Technology (IT), Community Development, Financial Services, Human Resources, and Environmental Health departments are on the move. At the beginning of October, the Fifth Street Building, the Avery Building and the Sunset Building will be empty.
Government jobs only half full: While the statewide unemployment rate remained at 3.5% in both June and July of this year, there are some areas that have outperformed others.
Retail lost 700 jobs last month, while leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and private education services grew. Overall, Oregon has regained 94% of all jobs lost during the pandemic. However, the public sectors – local government services and schools – have regained only 49% of the lost jobs.
Local is Benton County looking for 21 vacancies from deputies to archive officers. The town of Corvallis is looking for 27 vacancies from recreation coordinators to library staff. And the Corvallis School District is looking for 53 vacancies ranging from coaches to office workers to teachers.
Corvallis loses main street designation: From October 5-7 is Oregon’s Main Street Conference for 2022. This conference is an offshoot of the National Main Street Center (NMSC) – a membership-based organization whose goal is to create a more vibrant center and focus on preserving the historic center of America. The four main elements of the NMSC program are Design, Economic Restructuring, Promotion and Organization.
According to Kate Porsche of the Office for Economic Development“Corvallis has lost its ‘Main Street’ designation with the closure of DCA,” but an office is in the process of reapplying for the program as it qualifies the city for certain grants and programs.
Christina Rehklau of Visit Corvallis said of the Main Street Conference, “It’s on my list of those I might try to attend… The outdoor recreation conference is also that same month, so we’ve got some different things going on in October.”
This year’s Oregon Main Street Conference will be held in Klamath Falls, with keynote speakers John Stover from Jon Stover & Associates (JS&A), an economic development consultancy, and Andrew Howard, who will speak to Better Block projects and other quick-build actions.
The conference will conclude with the Oregon Main Street “Open Door” Pitch Contest. With this competition, participants can pitch an idea or a plan to make their city center as welcoming as possible. These ideas have each hit a wall in terms of funding, meaning the winner of the contest will take home $5,000 to carry out their plans. If this sounds like something to you, you have until September 1 to send in your pitch.
LBCC for new businesses: For those looking to start a small business in the near future, Linn Benton Community College might be a good place to start. The LBCC Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has a team with decades of entrepreneurial and business experience spanning many different markets.
The SBDC offers free advice on topics such as access to capital, accounting, business plans, finance, marketing, sales, social media and search engine optimization for websites. For those who have ideas for a business but have no idea where to start, there are workshops and classes tailored to where you are starting – have an idea, ready to launch, create expansion, business renewal and out to go to that new opportunity. There are even more lessons as your business moves forward. Find a full list of current classes here.
In addition, LBCC has started a scholarship program for the SBDC that allows other companies to give back to the community. The scholarships are designed to help emerging companies grow, build and scale. Click here for more information about this program.
A few local businesses that have benefited from this LBCC program include Wild Yeast Bakery, Benny’s Donuts, and Apex Property Clearing.
Dollar Tree Benefits Of Inflation: The current inflation rate is 8.5% – meaning, if you use the “rule of 72and if inflation maintains this pace, the cost of goods will double in about 8.4 years. This means that the average Corvallis apartment — 866 square feet in size — costing $1,674 a month today will cost $3,348 by 2030. The average electricity bill of $106 will be $212. And we’re sure you’ll get where this goes with phone, internet, subscription services, and groceries.
One thing economists today are seeing more and more consumers doing to combat the immediate inflationary problems they face is changing where they shop for everyday needs. Dollar Tree and Dollar General are both seeing increases in revenue for the second quarter of the fiscal year.
It is no longer just people with a low income. Higher income buyers head to the dollar stores to save money by purchasing smaller quantities of things at lower direct costs.
At the same time, retail giants like Kohl’s, Target and Walmart are having problems with too much stock on the shelves. Target alone announced a 50% cut in profits for 2021, causing the chain to cancel orders, lower prices and remove excess inventory in every way possible. Much of it has been laid at the feet of consumers who had to return to normal after a pandemic in which some had added discretionary income in the form of incentive checks to spend on desired items rather than just what they need.
While we wait to see what will happen in this are-or-are-we-not recessionary era, expect better sales at bigger stores and bigger crowds at our local Dollar Tree.
Chamber events:Coming this week from the Chamber of Commerce…
Greeters on Tuesday, August 30 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. are hosted by LaborMax Staffing at 420 NW 2nd St, in Corvallis. This is a great opportunity to meet others from the local business community over a cup of coffee.
Also on August 30, Corvallis Young Pros will meet at 5:00 PM in Block 15, located at 3415 SW Deschutes St, Corvallis. Yes, it’s another chance to talk business, meet other professionals in the area and end the day on a positive note. Register here for this event.
September 1st is the first Thursday of the month, which means you can stop by McMenamins 3rd Street Pub, located at 420 NW 3rd St., between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM, and ponder the keys to success or complain about the challenges of being an entrepreneur with Veronica Hennessey for Wine & Mastermind.
By Sally K Lehman