Clallam Economic Development Council (EDC)
Special Event: Cocktails with Colleen
Monday, February 12 from 5 - 7pm
Clallam County EDC members, partners, and local businesses are invited to Cocktails with Colleen, a grand opening and ribbon cutting to celebrate their new location at the First Fed downtown building in Port Angeles.
Strengthening Local Economy with Clallam EDC
Economic development is a vital aspect of any community, cultivating prosperity, sustainability, and a higher quality of life for its residents. The Clallam Economic Development Council (EDC) is a state and county-designated economic agency that plays a pivotal role in supporting local businesses, commercial development, and economic growth in the region.
A key focus of the Clallam EDC involves spearheading programs integral to improving the economy, including distribution of government funds to local businesses, consulting, training, and procurement opportunities with local, state, and federal governments. They work closely with other local organizations like chambers of commerce to offer services that complement each other.
“We help businesses take advantage of available contract opportunities, loans, and resources from state and federal programs,” explained Colleen McAleer, Executive Director of Clallam EDC. “We also work collaboratively with them to understand and address their infrastructure and workforce needs.”
Recently Clallam EDC received five different grant awards from the state and county to help expand childcare across Clallam County. One grant facilitated the establishment of a new childcare provider in Clallam Bay, a much-needed service that had been nonexistent in that area. In addition to the funding, the EDC helped the new business owners with expert analysis to create a solid business plan, including building modifications and equipment purchases.
Recently the Clallam EDC moved into new office space in downtown Port Angeles provided by First Fed to support their growth. The location furnishes them with the space to host community events, training sessions, and board meetings.
“We are pleased to offer this space to the Clallam EDC,” said Matt Deines, CEO of First Fed. “They continue to provide invaluable resources to local businesses in the community and drive economic growth in the region.”
“We are so excited about the new building,” said McAleer. “We have 21 board members from local non-profits, businesses, and government, so having the space to host meetings is an amazing opportunity to discuss ways to reduce barriers and support our communities.”
The Clallam EDC also houses the procurement technical assistance center for Clallam and Jefferson counties and will use the new space to provide in-house technical training. Partners like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship will also be able to use the space to host events in the First Fed building.
“First Fed is our largest community bank and an incredibly important partner, not just for the Clallam EDC, but for businesses in general,” noted McAleer. “The capital funds that the bank provides local businesses play a huge part in boosting our economy. We’ve had several First Fed team members serve on our executive committee, and their collective team has an impressive history of volunteerism in the community.”
“It's been an honor to serve on the Clallam EDC board where we work to strengthen community partnerships and support our local economy,” said Christy Nutter, Strategic Initiatives Manager at First Fed and board member of Clallam EDC.
In the past 12 months, Clallam ECD programs supported 97 businesses, providing training and supporting them in their attempts to win complex contracts. For example, there is expected to be a billion dollars in state funds spent over the next 10 years on the removal of fish passage barriers. This is an immense opportunity for subcontractors, so the EDC will host events between the prime contractors and businesses who can pitch their services to them, facilitating local contracts.
The EDC’s 5-year plan includes an immense compilation of local economic data, grouped into 14 subcategories, or industry clusters. Compiled together, the data is useful information that local decision makers and businesses can utilize to help understand what’s happening in their industry sector.
“The data we put together is a great roadmap for businesses to use when they make spending and policy decisions,” added McAleer. “It’s important to understand the challenges facing Clallam residents so we can help find solutions that drive our local economy forward.”
Clallam EDC's new location in the First Fed building in downtown Port Angeles.