Archive for Uncategorized

TwispWorks Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 ChartTwispWorks is being proactive in taking measures to help you stay informed about the Coronovirus/COVID-19 pandemic. We want to communicate with you: our partners, supporters, and community what we are doing as a staff and organization to prioritize safety while focusing efforts to help businesses, employees and families impacted during this unprecedented time.

Please check this website often as we will be updating it with the latest information and resources. Or reach out to us directly at BusinessSupport@TwispWorks.Org.

What We’re Doing: Campus Information

Our first concern is the health and safety of our staff, partners and community. In order to help “flatten the curve” of the virus’ spread to ensure our healthcare infrastructure in the best position to keep up with demand from people impacted by COVID-19, we have implemented the following policies, in effect until April 12th. At that point, we will reevaluate the state and local health situation and communicate any updates.
• TwispWorks staff have been advised to work from home where possible. Staff contact information and work hours are posted on the Gateway (building #1) and Bernard Hosey (building #9) front doors. Staff contact information is also listed on our Web site home page.
• We have temporarily closed our public meeting spaces (the Gateway Conference Room & YourSpace @ TwispWorks) as well as public bathrooms on campus and have postponed all TwispWorks sponsored events. The door to the Gateway Building is closed to the public.
• Our partners are operating at their own discretion, so please call any business you wish to visit before coming to the campus. Visit the Partner page for contact information.

What We’re Doing: Business Support & Resources

TwispWorks is keeping abreast of emergency resources and funding that is currently available or expected to become available to small businesses as well as taking a primary role in tracking the impact to Methow Valley businesses. Please complete the Economic Injury Worksheet and return to BusinessSupport@TwispWorks.Org so we can track impacts to your business and help connect you with resources as they become available.

Businesses and employees will also find the following links helpful
• From the U.S. Small Business Administration: Disaster Loan Assistance
• Also from the U.S. Small Business Administration: Guidance for Business and Employers to Plan for and Respond to COVID-19
• From the CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
• From the Employment Security Department: For Workers and Businesses Affected by COVID-19
• From the WA State Department of Financial Institutions: Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19.

What We’re Doing: WA State Public Health Information

Please refer to theses helpful links for general information
Washington State Public Health
Governor Inslee’s Office
Okanogan County Public Health

Thank you for heeding the advice of public health officials and civic leaders in the days ahead. We are living in a new normal temporarily and TwispWorks and this incredible Methow Valley community will be there during the crisis and throughout the recovery period to do what we can to assist. TwispWorks is working closely with Okanogan County agencies and the Methow Valley Long Term Recovery Organization to ensure a coordinated response.

We will be updating this page as more resources become available so please check back often. You can reach us directly at BusinessSupport@TwispWorks.Org.

Engaging Youth in Business: Tour of Empty Buildings

Walking Tour PosterMany small towns and rural communities like ours face the dilemma of losing local talent and youth after high school. TwispWorks is exploring opportunities for retaining local youth after high school, building something for them to return to, and revitalizing our downtown. Through a series of educational talks, business proposals, and a student business tour, TwispWorks is actively engaging youth and building partnerships within the business community to generate ideas, creative collaboration and future business ventures

From Jan-May 2020, TwispWorks is bringing eight guest speakers to LBHS to talk about their experience operating a business in the Methow Valley. Students will learn about different business models from a variety of retail, food, and construction trades.

On Friday, March 20th TwispWorks will host a Building Tour with LBHS and ILC students to tour empty buildings in Twisp and present business proposals for each space. Prior to the tour, students in the entrepreneurship class will have submitted mock business proposals through the Methow Investment Network (MIN) which they will present to the public on the day of the tour. Community members will vote on their favorite proposal and the winning students will receive a cash prize/gift certificate. After the tour, students and community members will meet at TwispWorks for coffee/snacks and to discuss business ideas and possibilities.

Broadband Action Team Update

Broadband Community UpdateFebruary 18 was a milestone day for the Methow Valley Broadband Action Team (BAT).

BAT was formed in 2018 and since then has conducted a broadband feasibility study and secured a $50,000 grant funding from the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) with matching funds from Okanogan County and the Twisp PDA. The funding made it possible to hire consulting firm Tilson Technology Management, Inc. who have been retained to work on a 4-phase planning project to bring reliable internet to under-served areas in the Methow Valley.

On the 18th, BAT and Tilson met with 20 key stakeholders in our community including representatives from local healthcare providers, the schools, public safety and emergency services, businesses, local government and homeowners associations to brainstorm the question, “How does better broadband support my organization and its work?” In addition, the group spent time reflecting on what is and what is not the problem with existing broadband service. The outcome was a 5-year vision of what our broadband infrastructure should like in the Methow Valley.

The day wrapped up with a community meeting where more than 50 people came to the TwispWorks campus and joined in a conversation answering the question, “When it comes to local broadband service, what do you want to see improved?” The feedback from both meetings informed the key priorities of BAT moving forward: making broadband a public utility, ensuring access to educational resources, building a solution that will provide consistent access and download and upload speeds and creating a variable rate structure that reflect the actual speeds that are delivered to customers. BAT and Tilson will take this feedback and create a GAP analysis report and demand assessment for the future needs of broadband for our community.

North Cascades Smokejumper Base Update

NCSB Daren Belsby and Bill Moody

Base Manager Daren Belsby and Bill Moody share a smokejumper story

On a recent visit with Smokejumper Base Manager Daren Belsby and one of the original North Cascades Smokejumpers, Bill Moody, we looked at plans for a new multipurpose building that could become a reality in 2021. Later this month, the USFS Fire Facilities Engineer will review the plans which are 95% complete. Final modifications will bring the design phase over the finish line and move the project to the next milestone – requesting funding from Congress to complete construction of the 17,000 sf facility.

Currently, the North Cascade Smokejumper Base is the top ranked project in USFS Region 6 and has strong support from Representative Newhouse and Senator Cantwell. Project funding will allow the three buildings currently in the “obstacle free zone” to be removed and replaced by the new structure, meeting FAA regulations and clearing the way for a taxiway where the current buildings stand. At this stage we’re ‘clear for takeoff’ with this project and we’ll check in again when appropriations are complete.

Read all about our work on this important issue here.

Methow Valley Broadband Action Update

There are areas of the Methow Valley that don’t have reliable high-speed internet. TwispWorks, the Methow Valley Broadband Action Team (BAT) and consulting firm, Tilson Tech, want to hear from local community member’s like YOU as they conduct a study to address the future of broadband in the Methow Valley.

Tuesday, February 18, 6-9pm @ YourSpace @ TwispWorks (502 S. Glover Street, Twisp)

Delivered in partnership with Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB), Okanogan County and the Twisp PDA