Archive of: Thurston County

Title Issue

Prosperity on Purpose event set for next week

The Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau is one of six regional groups that have partnered to hold Prosperity on Purpose, a special event designed to stimulate Pierce County's business growth and market share.

"There is no better time to mobilize the community in building prosperity together," said Tammy Blount, president/CEO of the CVB. "This event offers an exciting opportunity to be proactive in generating business in 2009. Attendees can kick-start their sales and marketing strategies, create new relationships and maximize existing ones to produce win-win business deals."

February 2009

Washington farmers want a legal workforce

The Washington Farm Bureau and other agriculture-related groups are turning up their political heat for the passage of House Bill 1896, which is scheduled for public hearing before the House Committee on Commerce and Labor tomorrow.

Despite record numbers of unemployed workers, there are still not enough legal seasonal workers available to meet the demand. But many of these available workers are not authorized to work here because of their immigrations status.

February 2009

Patriot Express loans top $250 million

In just 20 months, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative has approved more than $250 million in loan guarantees to nearly 2,900 veterans and their spouses who are using the SBA-guaranteed funds to establish and expand their small businesses.

The Puget Sound SBA office has processed 79 loans with a gross amount of $7,868,100.

More than 20 percent of the loans offered around the nation have come in the first four months of fiscal year 2009, and overall loan amounts have averaged around $88,000 per loan. Some 15 percent of the loans have gone to military spouses.

February 2009

COFFEE BREAK: Stimulus responses

The Business Examiner asked readers of the BE Daily on Wednesday to voice their thoughts on the various stimulus packages that have already passed or are currently under discussion. Will they work? Are they wastes of taxpayer dollars? Are they too little, too much? Here are some of those responses:

February 2009

Job losses in building underlines need for action

The latest report on job losses in construction-related industries underscores the urgency of passing a job-boosting economic stimulus package focused on infrastructure, said Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America.

February 2009

DNR seeks new settlement terms with Taylor

The new Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has announced that he will not renew a lease with Taylor Shellfish with terms that were negotiated by the previous commissioner, Doug Sutherland. The terms had been set in a settlement addressing the company's use of aquatic lands in Shelton's Totten Inlet for its geoduck operations.

February 2009

Safeway site tear down set for Monday

Deconstruction of the old Safeway building on the site of Olympia's new City Hall will begin Monday. 

February 2009

Americans lose $3.3 trillion in home values

The final quarter of 2008 marked the eighth one in a row when home values across the nation fell, declining a total of 11.6 percent during 2008 on Zillow's Home Value Index.

The declines on the Puget Sound-based real estate watcher's index translated into some staggering numbers. American homeowners have lost a cumulative $3.3 trillion in home values during 2008, with much of that loss coming in the fourth quarter. Homeowners lost $1.4 trillion during the fourth quarter alone; more than the $1.3 trillion lost during all of 2007. Since the housing market's peak in 2006, $6.1 trillion in home values have been lost.

February 2009

Disaster unemployment benefits now available

People who live or work in King, Lewis, Mason, Pierce and Thurston counties may be eligible for disaster unemployment benefits if they lost their jobs or cannot work because of the storms and flooding that struck the region in January. They have until March 6, to apply for the benefits.

February 2009

Venture reports fourth-quarter profit, year-over-year loss

Venture Financial Group, parent  company of DuPont-based Venture Bank, today announced a net loss of $21.4 million during 2008, compared to net income of $11.8 million during 2007. Though Venture lost money year-over-year, its fourth-quarter earnings were better than those of the previous quarter. The bank's net income during the fourth quarter was $1.4 million.

The losses of 2008 came as a result of the government conservatorship of  Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, said bank Jim Arneson, president and CEO. As previously announced, the bank incurred an other-than-temporary impairment charge of $40.1 million during the third quarter of 2008 due to the conservatorship. During the fourth quarter, Venture sold its position in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae preferred shares to recover the tax benefit. In conjunction with the sale of the preferred  shares, the bank took an additional loss in the fourth quarter of $1.5 million, bringing the total loss $41.6 million.   

"We took our big hit during the third quarter, and we lost money on the year, but the fourth quarter was profitable," Arneson said. "Capital is increasing, and we're looking to the future."

February 2009
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