Grays Harbor County will give Greater Grays Harbor Inc. $88,000 to fund personnel promoting job creation in the county. The County Commissioners approved the expense at their regular meeting earlier this week.
Commissioner Vickie Raines explained during the Q&A session after Monday’s meeting. “Part of the “.09″ distressed county dollars can be used for administrative costs for our local Economic Development Council. Because we’re chamber and EDC, we took Joe and Drews salary and divided it in half for the chamber, and that’s the portion that we’re providing.”
More than 10 times the amount given to the agency last year, Raines added, “It’s smaller than what Mason, Jefferson, and Lewis County contribute and bigger than what Pacific County contributes.”
Commissioner Wes Cormier added a caveat to the funding, asking for more than just two progress reports a year from Greater Grays Harbor. He said he’s been adamant with CEO Drew Garson to focus on the county’s primary and secondary markets like fishing, manufacturing, and production. “I think it’s important that he focus on those things rather than tourism because we have a tourism board. So I’ve made it very clear to Drew that I would expect this money going toward the primary and secondary markets so that we can bring family wage jobs [to] the county.” Deliverables added to those progress reports will include a minimum number of contacts with government, nonprofit, and private businesses, as well as a minimum number of cold calls to businesses in and out of state that represent the target markets.
The money will come from the county’s economic development fund, sometimes referred to as the .09 fund, the state sales tax is awarded to distressed counties.