July 1, 2024
This Issues Topics:
2024 • Business Connections • Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce • Local Businesses • Peter Abbarno
The attorneys from Althauser, Rayan, Abbarno, LLP, pose with the June BAH raffle winner, Alliyah Perry, owner of Famr & Flourish. Attorneys are, from left to right: Jakob McGhie, Ryan Endsley, Todd Rayan, Kathryn Eyraud, Perry from Farm & Flourish, Peter Abbarno, and Samuel Wilkens.

By Peter Abbarno
20th District Rep. R. Centralia

School is out. Summer has begun. The days are longer, and the weather is warmer!

On the third Thursday of June and the first day of summer, my law firm, Althauser Rayan Abbarno, hosted the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Business After Hours’ event.

We served food from our neighbors at O’Blarneys and cookies from our friends at the Pacific Northwest Cookie Company.

While eating, drinking, and merrily networking we waved ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to our more disciplined community members with the Run-A-Mok running club as they ran through historic downtown Centralia.

These networking events remind me how interconnected I and my business are with the community. It also reinforces the mantra “Choose Local”. This short phrase is much more than lip service. The reality is that we need our small businesses and our historic Main Street USA shops to be successful.

Althauser Rayan Abbarno has been providing legal services through our Centralia office since 1946. I remember joining the law firm in 2010 and hearing the history of our firm and community from my former law partners Ralph Olson and Chuck Althauser. Both Ralph and Chuck knew the importance of building relationships and serving the community.

Ralph taught me that the best way to stay connected with your community was to regularly walk downtown and talk with business owners, customers, and our neighbors. Chuck taught me that the success of our business was not only connected to the success of our clients, but the success of our community.

These philosophies have had a tremendous impact on my career and life.

Representative Peter Abbarno

At the June “business after hours” event, my partners Todd Rayan, Jakob McGhie, and Kathryn Eyraud reinforced that to be successful our local businesses need to continue to support each other by eating local, shopping local, and choosing your local service providers. This ensures that our money earned locally will stay local.

Recent statistics evidence that 68% or $68 out of every $100 spent at local businesses remain in the local economy. Shopping local stimulates the community’s economy and creates jobs. Choosing locally offers diverse products and a personalized shopping experience.

If you can’t see the impact of choosing local, go to any youth soccer, baseball, or fastpitch game. You’ll see the teams, players, and the league sponsored and supported by local small businesses. We give back.

Successful communities have diverse and dynamic economic portfolios. We need a strong successful Main Street. We need manufacturing. We need retail. We need sports tourism. All these sectors of the local economy play an essential role in our future success by creating economic opportunities and improving our quality of life.

Thank you for the continued support of our chamber businesses and small businesses across the region. I look forward to networking with you and the next “business after hours”.


Rep. Peter Abbarno represents the 20th Legislative District and is an attorney with Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP.



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