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Vacation reveals retail vitality at Lake Chelan

 Chief Operating Officer Tammie Hetrick returned from a vacation at Lake Chelan last week encouraged by the vibrant retail climate enjoyed by merchants in the tourist town.

She met with the city’s Chamber of Commerce and spent lots of time shopping and visiting many of the small businesses. Her last trip to Chelan was three years ago.

“I was happy to see real retail growth there,” she said.

A few years ago, Lake Chelan businesses suffered due to smoke from wildfires that reduced tourism to the area.

“It was good to see one of our small towns coming back,” Tammie said. “I saw lots of tourists this year and felt a very positive attitude about business.”

At the invitation of state Representative Mike Steele, R-Wenatchee, Tammie plans to return later this summer to address the Lake Chelan chamber about the lineup of new labor laws businesses must adjust to this year. They include the new sick and safe leave benefit; and new laws ensuring gender-based equal pay, and protection from domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace.

She’s also planning a similar address at the July 17 annual meeting of WRA’s newest affiliate member, the Washington Independent Auto Dealers Association, in Spokane.

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