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In Skagit County, the number of residents filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose 105% last week, the most first-time claims that have been filed in a week since June.

The ungrounding of the Boeing 737 Max is expected to have a positive impact on the aerospace industry in the region, including for some Skagit County companies that supply parts to Boeing and service airplanes.

As a new shutdown hurts businesses and workers, much of the financial assistance that helped them earlier in the year has been depleted or is expiring at year’s end.

COVID-19 Updates

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The Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC) in Mount Vernon will coordinate an 11-county food distribution project throughout the Puget Sound region aimed at supporting farmers, food hubs and increasing access to locally-grown foods.

Topics from restoring soil health and envisioning a new model for sustainable agriculture to helping farmers deal with stress were shared at a two-day online agriculture conference.

CONCRETE — The grocery store down the road from Concrete’s iconic silos recently came under new ownership as the Frank brothers, who inherited the store from their father, Albert, moved into retirement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit tourism hard. But the town of La Conner — whose businesses thrive when tourists stroll its boardwalks and buy in its shops — is trying something to mitigate the impact of the disease.

A program that began last year to provide more education and resources to the Latino business community now has 90 participants and has hosted about a dozen educational sessions, according to the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce, which runs the program.

MOUNT VERNON — With construction underway on a 7-Eleven off Kincaid Street in Mount Vernon, city staff are looking at what other businesses could be coming to the new business park.

The state Department of Agriculture is offering COVID-19 relief grants to small-scale meat processors to help them cover costs of boosting capacity during the pandemic.

COA Mexican Eatery in new MV location

With the COVID-19 pandemic driving up the demand for food assistance, Skagit Valley Food Co-op members donated $10,000 to support operations at the Skagit Food Distribution Center.

The town of La Conner has teamed up with the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County to award up to $20,000 in grants to local businesses.

Eaglemont Golf Course, which closed permanently in April, is for sale for $6.5 million, according to a Mount Vernon real estate agent who is listing the property.

The unemployment rate in Skagit County dropped from 12% in July to 9.7% in August, according to non-seasonally adjusted numbers released Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department (ESD).

Virtual business training available

BURLINGTON — Skagit Regional Airport has received a $1.95 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for the expansion of its existing apron.

MOUNT VERNON — Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, two new breweries have opened their doors, a media company has expanded into a downtown storefront, and a new flooring and cabinetry showroom is getting ready to open.

Anacortes chamber director resigns

Many farm stands in Skagit County are reporting a busier than usual season, and some attribute it to a desire to avoid crowded grocery stores and a stronger interest in purchasing directly from local farmers.

n The Burlington City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, by telephone, for a workshop on the 2021 city budget. Call 1-774-777-4255, conference ID 589-8786.

The Skagit County Board of Commissioners gave approval Monday for $809,000 in grants to help local businesses and nonprofits survive as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Snow Goose Produce earns recognition

Farmstrong Brewing adds food truck

As they await more statewide COVID-19 restrictions, the owners of gyms and fitness centers in Skagit County are taking things day by day.

New limits on restaurants and bars that began Thursday include a 10 p.m. cut-off for alcoholic drinks and no dining inside with nonhousehold members.

After thousands suddenly lost their jobs in early spring, employment in Skagit County is increasing, but experts caution the situation is precarious as rising numbers of COVID-19 cases could bring new restrictions and shutdowns, and school closures and a child care shortage complicate return…