Lewis County has shown promise in the area of entrepreneurship and development of programs supporting up and coming businesses. Chehalis Co-Works and Smart Tank continue to be successful as they grow the number of people that they serve. 4-Legz is one of the entrepreneurs that we are highlighting in this issue of the newsletter.

 

Chehalis Co works

Well into its second year of operation, Chehalis Coworks offers remote workers, business travelers, entrepreneurs and all people seeking a focused work space, a professional and fully-equipped setting to get work done.  Amenities include individual work spaces, a conference room with whiteboards and big screen TV, and an adjacent “Think Space” room designed with couches and comfortable chairs to work or gather in a relaxed setting.  The blazing high speed fiber internet is of course a member favorite, and a kitchen, a Keurig coffee station, office supplies, printer/copiers and 4K monitors are all provided to meet member needs.  The new Coworks Courtyard offers an outdoor alternative to work or take a break in a park-like setting.  Keyless entry is provided via the Chehalis Coworks website on a mobile device.  Monthly memberships are $75/month with 24/7 access to the space.  Space can be rented at $20/day and $40/week with daily 8 am-10 pm access and the conference room can be rented by non-members for $20/hour.

Chehalis Coworks is a collaborative partnership between the Port of Chehalis and Chehalis Community Renaissance Team (CCRT) to encourage independent businesses, remote workers, and travelers to flourish while providing necessary technology in an intentionally-designed workspace. Visit Chehalis Coworks at 478 N. Market Blvd in Downtown Chehalis and learn why members are sold on this new model for getting work done.  For more information and tours, visit www.chehaliscoworks.com, email info@chehaliscoworks.com or call 360-345-1738.

 

Business Retention and Expansion

4Legz Creating Healthy Dog Treats & Work Opportunities for the Disabled

A startup in Lewis County that honors the memory of a service dog is bringing healthy treats to dogs – and providing valuable work experience for disabled youth. Cynthia Murray founded 4Legzin large part because of her beloved service dog, a fox terrier mix named Odie. Odie gave Murray, who was born deaf, a sense of freedom and security that she had not known before having a service dog. He made her aware of door knocks, ringing phones and the occasional dropped wallet. But Murray also was a lifesaver to Odie. Because of numerous allergy and stomach issues, Odie had trouble digesting most food. In fact, he had already been placed in two previous homes as a service dog prior to coming to Murray. “He needed someone who would be able to care for his special diet needs as much as I needed him to be my ears,” she said. Murray created special dog food and treats for Odie, focusing on natural ingredients.

When Odie passed, Murray and her now husband, John, were thinking about a business they could start together. Her experience with Odie inspired her to try manufacturing the healthy treats for the public.

4Legz, the first full line of dog treats to get certified Non-GMO, features sweet potatoes, peanut butter, pumpkin and molasses, and not the preservatives, chemicals, by-products and fillers so often found in food items for dogs. “We set out to make dog treats from ingredients you can pronounce,” she said.

With the recent purchase of a new “cookie” machine to shape the treats and additional ovens, 4Legz is poised to quadruple its production, meeting an ever-increasing demand for the product in the Pacific Northwest. Customers can also purchase the treats online at the 4Legz website. A seven-ounce bag of treats costs $7.99, while the 4-pound “party size” costs $36.99.

Murray has taken her success and paid it forward. She is committed to providing employment for differently abled workers and has partnered with local high schools to provide work experience for disabled teens.

She’s also put her experiences into a book, For the Love of Dogs: A Deaf Woman’s Journey, which is available on the 4Legz website and Amazon. All proceeds from the volume go to nonprofit pet rescues.

 

EDC Luncheon

Our upcoming General Membership Luncheon will feature Senator John Braun He will be providing the community with a forward look into what is coming during the 2020 Legislative Session. Senator Braun serves in key roles in the Legislature as the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee and serving on the Labor and Commerce Committee. Please join us on October 17th at the Holiday Inn Express at noon.