It's February, and that means it is time to celebrate and honor excellence, extraordinary achievement in community spirit through the presentation of our 2023 Covington Chamber Business Awards. Nominations for the following categories are open Feb. 1-16, 2024, and winners and finalists will be selected by the Covington Chamber Board of Directors at their Feb. 22, 2023 meeting.
New Business of the Year Award
A new member (joined between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023) who embodies our chamber’s culture and has jumped in with both feet, ready to engage, connect and make a positive impact on our chamber and the greater Covington community.
Small Business Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
A small business with 25 or fewer employees that embodies our chamber’s culture and stands out among the landscape of Covington’s business base by one or more of the following: mission-driven work; providing unique products and/or services; demonstrating a willingness to continue to engage and enhance our chamber membership. An example might be a family-owned business or a solo business owner who embodies entrepreneurial spirit.
Large Business Innovation Award
A business with 26 or more employees that supports the chamber and business community in innovative ways through volunteer engagement, financial sponsorship commitments, meaningful partnerships, and exemplary service and commitment to fellow Covington community businesses and residents.
Spirit of Covington Community Impact Award
A business or organization of any size that goes above and beyond on a regular basis to support the Covington community. Their local community impact may include, but is not limited to, volunteer service, fundraising, community spirit, showing up, and being known as a business or organization that sets an example for other organizations.
Chamber Volunteer of the Year
A chamber volunteer of the year that provides exceptional service to the chamber through service; active participation; sponsorship; referrals; volunteering to help with events and programs; or serving on the board, as an ambassador or committee member.
Only active Covington Chamber members are eligible to be nominated. If you aren't sure if the business you want to nominate is member of the Covington Chamber, visit our online directory.
Nominations are open through February 16, 2024. Please complete one form for each person and category. For example, if you want to nominate Suzy Smith for 2 awards, complete 1 form for each nomination. Contact Dana Neuts at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
After 20 years, the Washington State legislature is considering changes to existing gift card legislature that is not friendly to businesses or consumers. HB 2094 and SB 5987 would change the “cash out” on gift cards from the current less than $5 to less than $50. HB 2095 and SB 5988 would require businesses to remit unused gift card balances to the state’s unclaimed property fund after a proposed three years.
Both changes put extra burdens on businesses and actually harm consumers. For example, right now, state law requires that there are no expiration dates on gift cards. With the new legislation, a gift card would expire after three years and the money would be turned over to the state. The consumer would have to file a claim with unclaimed property to get the value of the gift card back.
This legislation would apply to any business that sells gift cards (e.g., restaurants, salons, retail stores, etc.). If your business doesn’t sell gift cards but you use them as client gifts or donate to nonprofits or use them as fundraisers, the legislation could affect you too.
The Covington Chamber is following this issue closely and partnering with other Chambers around the state, the Association of Washington Business, and the Washington Retail Association to protect our businesses from burdensome legislation like this. We will host a free webinar in the next several weeks to provide more information and to tell you how you can get involved to fight this legislation.
Free Webinar, Jan. 16 @ 1 p.m.
Please join us on Tues., Jan. 16 for a free, 30-minute webinar to learn more about this issue and how we can actively oppose it. Our guest speakers will be Crystal Leatherman, Local & State Government Affairs Manager for Washington Retail Association and Emily Shay, Government Affairs Director, Tax & Fiscal Policy for the Association of Washington Business. Find out more details, including the Zoom link, on our Facebook event page.
Washington Hospitality Association Seeks Input on Gift Card Legislation
The Legislature has recently introduced two bills that change requirements related to gift cards. The Washington Hospitality Association is conducting a survey to determine how this proposed legislation will impact the overall business community.
The bills will:
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P. O. Box 8041, Covington, Washington 98042
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