Cantwell Holds Roundtable with Skagit County Business Leaders

Local business leaders discuss impacts of bridge collapse on local economy

MOUNT VERNON – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) held a roundtable with Skagit County business leaders to discuss the impacts of the bridge collapse on the local economy. This was Cantwell’s third visit to the area since the bridge collapsed.

“I am encouraged by the cooperation of state and federal agencies with the local business community to keep Skagit County’s economy moving,” said Cantwell, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “Today I heard from businesses that the bridge collapse has impacted the local economy. But I also heard a strong commitment that state and federal agencies are working with local businesses to minimize those impacts and get the word out that Skagit County is open for business.

“This region is a hub for commercial activity and trade between the U.S. and Canada. Customers for local businesses and about $38 million of U.S.-Canada trade cargo traveled across the Skagit River on the I-5 corridor every day. I know everybody will continue working to get the bridge back in service and to minimize any economic impact to the region and our state.”

In addition to local business owners and leaders, Cantwell was joined at today’s meeting by Mayor Steve Sexton of Burlington; a representative for Mount Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau; Skagit County Commissioner Ken Dahlstedt; Don Wick, executive director, Economic Development Association of Skagit County; Yolanda Stokes and Melanie Forthun, U.S. Small Business Administration; Sally Harris, Washington State Department of Commerce; Hank Cramer, Washington State Emergency Management Division; and Jay Drye, Washington State Department of Transportation.