Oct 31, 201412:00 AMBlog

November 2014

11/28/14

Black Friday: Fact or Fiction?

Shoppers turned out in great numbers to celebrate Black Friday, the first full day of holiday shopping for the 2014 season. There are only 27 more shopping days 'til Christmas, counting Sundays through Saturdays.

Posted at 04:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/28/14

Mason PUD rates going up

Cost increases for BPA-supplied electricity are blamed for a rate increase coming next year to customers of Mason County Public Utility District No. 3. Even then, however, they will be paying less per kilowatt-hour than most other South Sound neighbors.

Posted at 03:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/28/14

National politicos embrace Small Biz Saturday

SBA leaders and some elected officials near the nation's capital have announced plans to "shop small" tomorrow on Small Business Saturday.

Posted at 02:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/28/14

Chehalis auto stores rebranding

Chehalis dealerships for Ford and RVs will adopt new names on Monday, Dec. 1, as their owner strives to recognize their "awesome" customers and employees.

Posted at 02:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/28/14

More SBA loans in FY 2014

The SBA reports a 9 percent increase in the most common form of Small Business Administration loans for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Even larger gains were seen for other loans targeting veterans and women.

Posted at 02:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/26/14

Daily Biz Briefs will return on Friday

In recognition of tomorrow’s national holiday, you will not receive a Daily Biz Briefs message tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll be back on Black Friday.

Posted at 04:44 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/26/14

Unlicensed moving firms tagged

A list of 10 unlicensed residential moving companies includes two operating in Tacoma. Each was fined $5,000, with $4,500 suspended for two years, pending compliance with a WUTC order to secure proper registrations with the state.

Posted at 04:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/26/14

New website for small business owners

Washington's Small Business Development Centers turned on a new website today providing information on how to start, and how to grow a small business.

Posted at 04:33 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/26/14

National Park reopens from flood closure

Road crews have completed emergency work clearing log and debris jams in rivers that caused the main entrance to Mount Rainier National Park to be closed yesterday.

Posted at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/26/14

Ice Chips moving to Olympia

Yelm start-up small business Ice Chips will be moving to much larger production quarters early in the new year. With orders backing up, the company needs to increase its volume, possible in a building five times larger than its present quarters.

Posted at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/25/14

Small Business Saturday coming up fast

Affluent shoppers more apt to be out on Small Business Saturday, study of 2013 event found. It's coming up again in four days.

Posted at 05:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/25/14

Park closure dims Turkey Day for nearby biz

Today's closure of Mount Rainier National Park due to flooding potential means it will be tougher for visitor services companies surrounding the park to have a prosperous holiday weekend.

Posted at 04:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/25/14

Unemployment sneaks up in October

Shifts in jobs as the summer tourist season ended and back-to-school hirings took effect brought a jump in the statewide and regional unemployment rates for October.

Posted at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/25/14

Lower Workers’ Comp rate hike for 2015

Premium increases for state mandated Workers' Compensation coverage will be less than half what was first announced just two months ago. It works out to about an additional half-cent per hour worked in 2015.

Posted at 03:06 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/25/14

Tacoma port doing well, until slow-down

Up until the three-week-old terminal slow-down, Port of Tacoma activity for 2014 was up 17.5 percent from one year ago. Counting container TEUs, imports are 15% higher with exports up 8% over the first 10 months.

Posted at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/24/14

Final assembly of 787-9 in Charleston

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility, according to an announcement from the aerospace giant.

Posted at 05:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/24/14

WDC awards $1.6 million to ResCare

The Workforce Development Council of Tacoma-Pierce County and the WorkForce Central Executive Board have awarded $1.6 million to ResCare Workforce Services to serve 350 economically disadvantaged youth and young adults over 18 months beginning January 2015.

Posted at 05:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/24/14

New arrangement between MultiCare, Humana

MultiCare Health System has announced a new partnership with national health insurance company Humana Inc., aimed at providing better care to Humana’s Medicare Advantage members in South King and Pierce counties.

Posted at 05:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/24/14

Group aims to bring back Tall Ships

After a nine-year hiatus, a group of community leaders are gearing up to bring the popular Tall Ships festival back to Tacoma in 2017.

Posted at 04:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/21/14

Good performance brings Heritage reward

Heritage Financial Corporation today announced the upcoming payment of a special cash dividend, thanks to strong financial performance by subsidiary banks.

Posted at 04:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/21/14

Planning Commission studies restaurants

Planning Commissioners in Gig Harbor are considering a request to permit new full-service restaurants to locate within the Millville zoning district on the waterfront. At present, nothing much more than a coffee shop is allowed, said the proponent,

Posted at 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/21/14

Bill Cosby’s Tacoma appearance cancelled

Tacoma's Broadway Center today announced that the April 2015 scheduled appearance by comedian Bill Cosby has been canceled in light of significant public controversy over allegations of impropriety in his personal life.

Posted at 04:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/21/14

6 local Union Bank branches to close

Six South Sound locations of Union Bank will be closing by the end of first quarter, 2015. All are former Frontier Bank locations that were taken over when that bank failed in 2010.

Posted at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/20/14

CPI up 0.3% in Oct., +2.1% for year

The Consumer Price Index for western Washington was up 0.3 percent in October, while the national CPI rate was unchanged. For the 12-month period, prices are up 2.1 percent regionally.

Posted at 04:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/20/14

Anchor Bank to pay dividend

A stronger Anchor Bank has been granted permission by federal regulators to pay a $350,000 dividend to its holding company owner, Anchor Bancorp.

Posted at 04:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/20/14

South Sound firm on AG’s collections list

U.S. Attorney's office announces $6.9 million in cash collected within 2014 federal fiscal year. A builder in Sumner who knowingly violated a storm water permit contributed $334k to that annual total.

Posted at 04:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/20/14

Gig Harbor dealer, Kent insurance agent draw sanctions

The state's top insurance regulator has announced regulatory sanctions against two South Sound businesses for violating state laws governing insurance sales.

Posted at 04:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/19/14

‘Games’ generate 76,200 jobs, $36.3B in state

Development and publishing of interactive games are related media supports more than 76,000 jobs in Washington and created $36.3 billion in annual economic activity, according to a new report that studied the industry.

Posted at 04:30 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/19/14

Olympia port working on docks

Rehabilitation of three docks at Swantown Marina, Port of Olympia, will restore these moorages for pleasure vessels to quality levels. Massana Construction Inc. won the $809,434 contract to perform the work.

Posted at 04:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/19/14

Services sector grew more in 2013

Federal government statistics continue to show that Americans are becoming Services-Producers, rather than Goods-Producers. And some sectors grew more than others in the 2013 data.

Posted at 04:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/19/14

GOP response: Working families still struggle

Lead Republican legislator on the state Forecast Council said the emphasis of next year's session in Olympia should be to help working families whose household budgets are not seeing the same growth as state government has.

Posted at 03:54 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/19/14

State revenue up in final 2014 forecast

A very small increase in expected state revenues reported this morning in Olympia means the state legislature will have to craft the next two-year budget with only $2.88 billion more to spend above the current biennium.

Posted at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/18/14

Waste handler fined for violations

State Department of Ecology has fined a Tacoma Tideflats waste handler $14,000 for varying from the specific conditions of its treatment, storage and disposal permit.

Posted at 04:37 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/18/14

Stellar will grow to 11 branches, 150 staff

Tacoma-based Stellar Industrial Supply announced today that it will join forces with Advantage Machine & Tool of Billings, Montana, before the end of this year. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Posted at 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/18/14

Construction: costs ease, backlog grows

Construction backlogs for non-residential projects grew longer during third quarter to 9.42 months, according to data tracked by an industry group. At the same time, costs of materials for projects marked the fifth consecutive month without increasing.

Posted at 12:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/18/14

Limited strike at Franciscan health sites

A one-day strike by members of SEIU labor union has put picket lines around Tacoma's St. Joseph Hospital and St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood.

Posted at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

11/18/14

Olympia pharmacy to Court of Appeals, again

The Ninth Circuit, federal Court of Appeals, will again hear arguments challenging a pharmacist's right to not dispense drugs that are counter to his or her personal beliefs. The case was initially filed by Olympia's Stormans Inc. in 2007.

Posted at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Comments

11/17/14

Another Spaceworks project finds a home

Spaceworks Tacoma continues to help local entrepreneurs find adequate spaces, with The Arts & Craft Press the newest beneficiary of the program.

Posted at 05:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/17/14

Two area agents recognized by Atlas Van Lines

National moving company Atlas Van Lines has recognized two of its South Sound moving agents as recipients of its annual Milton M. Hill Quality Award.

Posted at 05:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/17/14

Starbucks co-founder to speak in Lacey

Celebrate Global Entrepreneur Week with a co-founder of Starbucks Coffee, Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a free lecture.

Posted at 04:37 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/17/14

Toray welcomes new Boeing commitment

Over the weekend, Boeing announced a major expansion of its supply channel reliance on Toray Composites, a Japanese firm with a major plant at Pierce County's Frederickson Industrial Area.

Posted at 01:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/14/14

Lynnae's third annual Tacoma pickle hunt under way

Intrepid pickle hunters have been out and about Tacoma today, on the lookout for some $8,000 worth of prizes scattered around the city.

Posted at 05:24 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/14/14

Grand Opening for Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum will celebrate a grand opening for a 16,000 sq. ft. expansion tomorrow morning to show off a new exterior appearance as well as new gallery space housing sculpture and "Go West," more than 130 pieces of Western American art.

Posted at 05:18 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/14/14

Closing date set for Avamere Lakewood facility

Jan. 16 is the target date for the closure of the Avamere Georgian House of Lakewood skilled nursing facility, but a "substantial number" of personnel will be offered positions after the affiliated Tacoma location is remodeled.

Posted at 05:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/14/14

Mason General seeking ACO designation

Mason General Hospital and its related Family of Clinics has applied for designation as an Accountable Care Organization, a distinction that encourages more coordinated care for patients, especially those on Medicare benefits.

Posted at 05:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/14/14

Fife turns to state licensing process

Businesses needing to be licensed for operation in Fife will be using the state's multi-jurisdictional Business Licensing Service to complete the process.

Posted at 04:57 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/14/14

FedWay acquires property for Town Center project

The City of Federal Way has announced a tentative agreement to acquire a vacant eight-acre property in the heart of the community, to be used in the further development of the Town Center redevelopment project.

Posted at 04:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/14/14

Heritage a top SBA lender for 2014

Fiscal year summary of Small Business Administration-backed loans in western Washington mark Heritage Bank as #1 in 504 lending and 5th overall in SBA 7A lending. More than $37 million in combined totals were included in 15,566 loans.

Posted at 04:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/13/14

2015 Port of Tacoma budget adopted

The finalized 2015 Port of Tacoma budget was officially adopted by commissioners today without much fanfare or controversy.

Posted at 04:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/13/14

Ideas for Tacoma Trestle replacement?

Sound Transit will replace an iconic wooden Tacoma Trestle train structure with a concrete structure. What do you think about that? Design workshop is this afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

Posted at 04:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/13/14

CHI Franciscan earns cardiac accreditation

CHI Franciscan Health has earned the distinction of being the first Accredited Heart Failure System in the Northwest.

Posted at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/13/14

Muckleshoot Tribe buys Emerald Downs

Northwest Racing Associates is relinquishing control of Emerald Downs to the Muckleshoot Tribe, per an announcement from the Auburn horse racing facility.

Posted at 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/13/14

J.C. Penney closing Sumner distribution facility

After closing its Bellevue Square store earlier in the month, Texas-based department store J.C. Penney will next close its Sumner distribution facility and lay off 112 workers, according to a notice to the state.

Posted at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments

Tacoma has deal on new convention center hotel

11/13/14

Tacoma has deal on new convention center hotel

A deal has been tentatively struck by City of Tacoma and Yareton Investment and Management LLC to build a new hotel adjacent to Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.

Posted at 02:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/12/14

SHOP for small biz health plans … but hurry

Friday, Nov. 14, appears to be the deadline for small employers to sign up to use the SHOP business shopping menu for health coverage through Washington's healthplanfinder exchange.

Posted at 04:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/12/14

Individual health plans rates up just 1.5% for 2015

State insurance regulator says individual health plan rates will be only 1.5% higher for 2015, and there are 380 plans to choose from. Open enrollment begins on Saturday, Nov. 15.

Posted at 04:37 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/12/14

Tacoma hospitalist group expanding

Tacoma-based Sound Physicians is planning an 85 percent growth in terms of hospitals served after acquiring Cogent Healthcare from Tennessee. The combined group will serve some 185 hospitals across the country with physicians and other acute patient care professionals.

Posted at 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/12/14

BBB boots 15 companies, denies 11 others

Fifteen companies saw their Better Business Bureau accreditation removed in Q3 2014 for failing to operate within the BBB standards of fairness with customers. Most were for failure to quickly respond in good faith to disputes.

Posted at 12:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/12/14

Pierce County hires demolition firm

Demolition crews will be working for a month or so to remove the 911 Building, across the street from Pierce County's County City Building in downtown Tacoma. The century-plus old structure was deemed unsafe to occupy last year.

Posted at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/11/14

State's new tool for exiting military jobseekers

State WorkSource program unveils new online tool for veterans to translate their military occupation codes into civilian positions, but the resource cannot be easily found (yet) on the government website.

Posted at 04:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/11/14

Infinite Soups adding 2nd Tacoma location

Just in time for the onset of cold weather, Infinite Soups will open a second Tacoma location on Monday.

Posted at 04:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/11/14

‘Gulf War’ vets have more full-time jobs

On this Veterans Day, the Census Bureau released a report that shows veterans of America's two Gulf Wars are more likely than non-veterans to be employed full-time in year-round jobs. That holds true for both women and men vets.

Posted at 04:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/11/14

Topia in Tacoma has new cloud app

Topia Technology of Tacoma today released a new cross-device content syncing and storage service using Amazon Cloud Drive. It pledges to bring greater flexibility with any Android device and Windows desktop for files of different sizes and formats.

Posted at 04:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/11/14

New exec at MBA Pierce

Rick Miller is the new executive officer for Master Builders Association of Pierce County, following 11 years as an executive with the corresponding group serving King and Snohomish counties.

Posted at 03:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/10/14

Good, bad news on Port of Tacoma budget

Tacoma port commissioners are scheduled to hear a detailed presentation on the staff-proposed budget for 2015 this Thursday. It includes a five-year capital improvement plan of $205 million, without any huge new project or terminal customer.

Posted at 04:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/10/14

‘Don’t forget rail’s impact on int’l trade’

A new research study reported at today's Washington Council on International Trade conference found freight rail is responsible for $28.5 billion in economic activity, supporting 342,000 jobs. Port of Tacoma knows that 55-60% of its cargo moves via rail.

Posted at 04:23 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/10/14

State reports Q2 retail sales growth

Total Retail Sales in Washington state grew 6.8 percent in this year's second quarter, compared to the same period of 2013. Individual county markets, however, varied from that with South Sound's small areas growing faster, while Tacoma and Olympia trailed the state.

Posted at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/10/14

From BE: Manufacturing, Sick Leave & Restaurants

The new Business Examiner bi-weekly edition highlights Manufacturing, Sick Leave requirements and Restaurants Revitalizing Themselves, among many other stories.

Posted at 03:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/07/14

Transport customers seek fed help at ports

Shippers, merchants ask for federal help to resolve the port dispute between longshore union members and the shipping terminal operators that employ them. In a letter sent to President Obama, the prospect of $2 billion per day in losses from a full shut-down is named.

Posted at 04:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/07/14

Olympia radiation unit joins Providence

Providence Health and Services will be integrating RadiantCare Radiation Oncology's practice following its acquisition. The transition is expected to be complete by the end of this year, with staff being invited to consider joining Providence.

Posted at 04:44 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/07/14

Safety fines to FedWay, Bonney Lake firms

Asbestos removal work that was allegedly done improperly has brought more than $370,000 in fines for two South Sound subcontractors.

Posted at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/07/14

Tacoma bank & CU are ‘healthy’ -- fiscally

Commencement Bank in Tacoma and Lakewood's Harborstone Credit Union are recognized among the Top 100 Healthiest financial institutions in the country by DepositAccounts.com. The ranking purports to identify those with the lowest risks to businesses and consumers.

Posted at 03:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/07/14

New executive leader at Rescue Mission

Mike Johnson will take over the executive director position at The Rescue Mission in Tacoma. For the past seven years, he's been with Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, most recently as manager of the men's shelter.

Posted at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/06/14

Federal $$ allocated to FWay vets housing

The project to create 45 living units in Federal Way for homeless veterans and their families has gained a financial commitment from the federal Housing and Urban Development agency. Construction on the $13 million project should start next month.

Posted at 05:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/06/14

Little change in new state revenue forecast

Updated data sets did little to change the new quarterly forecast of state revenues and tax collections released today by Steve Lerch, executive director of the Economic Forecast and Revenue Council.

Posted at 05:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/06/14

Kitsap Bank joins ‘strong earnings’ list

Nine-month earnings rose 22 percent for the holding company of Kitsap Bank, management reported today. Net income was $5 million year to date, up from $4 million in 2013.

Posted at 04:49 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/06/14

Massage -- prostitution raid in Fife

Detectives from four South Sound police agencies joined yesterday to raid three separate massage therapy locations in Fife's commercial center, and they arrested seven women on prostitution or unlicensed massage charges.

Posted at 04:34 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/05/14

Port slowdown continues, trucks parked

Truckers with expensive rigs and cargo parked along Port of Tacoma Road are clearly frustrated to be pawns in a labor dispute growing between the longshore union and shipping operators.

Posted at 05:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/05/14

AmericanWest to join Banner Bank

The holding company for AmericanWest Bank today announced its intent to merge into Banner Corp., the owner-operator of Banner Bank in a deal valued at $702 million.

Posted at 04:33 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/05/14

Merger of credit unions complete

Sound Credit Union has completed its merger with Darigold Federal Credit Union, adding to the 100,000-plus members now served by the Tacoma-based Sound.

Posted at 03:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/05/14

Crime data tags cities as ‘dangerous’

Tacoma, Centralia, Auburn and SeaTac are the South Sound cities that made a 'Top 10' list of most dangerous communities, according to a national real estate blog posting today.

Posted at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/05/14

Real estate market called active in Oct.

More homes for sale, growing numbers of pend and closed sales with the average price up from $271,000 to $290,000 are all reported in NW Multiple Listing Service's October report.

Posted at 03:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/04/14

Port Commission to consider budget

Tacoma port commissioners will hold a hearing on its draft 2015 budget this Thursday afternoon. Later, they will join Port of Seattle Commissioners at Gig Harbor City Hall to discuss the proposed Seaport Alliance.

Posted at 05:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/04/14

State regulators raise oil train concerns

Washington state utilities regulators have a list of comments for the environmental impact assessment of that proposed oil terminal at Port of Grays Harbor.

Posted at 04:57 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/04/14

Tensions are growing on the waterfront

A labor contract negotiation dispute is slowing shipments through Port of Tacoma, and threatens to close down all West Coast ports, just as Washington produce is headed overseas.

Posted at 04:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/04/14

Local family lawyers make the list

The Tacoma practice of McKinley Irvin Family Law shares the firm's recognition today on U.S. News "Best Lawyers" list.

Posted at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/03/14

Lacey readies for next Walmart

Lacey Chamber of Commerce leaders will be welcoming the grand opening for a new Walmart Neighborhood Market along Yelm Highway on Wednesday morning.

Posted at 04:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/03/14

Builders hope for better … soon

Construction spending other than new homes construction slipped by 1 percent in September, reported the Census Bureau. Builders point to a strong economy in justifying hopes for better news soon.

Posted at 04:11 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/03/14

Very strong quarter, year at Timberland

Timberland Bancorp management today reported strong growth in earnings for the fourth quarter and 2014 fiscal year. Net income to shareholders was up 40 percent, with improved asset quality and good loan demand.

Posted at 03:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/03/14

Thurston First Bank open in new space

Thurston First Bank opened today in its new downtown Olympia headquarters location after more than two years of planning, permitting and construction.

Posted at 03:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

11/03/14

Columbia Bank now in Idaho

Columbia Bank now has branches in Idaho, following the weekend completion of an acquisition and merger with Panhandle State Bank's holding company.

Posted at 02:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

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