Archive for May, 2010
No. 78 of 2010: Sun West Bank of Las Vegas was closed, then taken over by City National Bank of Los Angeles. Sun West had seven branches. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $96.7 million.
Government regulators decided to make a few more bank closures heading into the Memorial Day weekend. So far there’s been four, details below. I’ll update with new posts if there are other closures. So far in 2010 there have been 77 bank closures.
No. 74-76: Bank of Florida, Southeast, Bank of Florida, Southwest, Bank of Florida, Tampa Bay were all closed, then taken over by Everbank of Jacksonville, Fla. The three banks had 13 branches in Florida. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $203 million.
No. 77 Granite Community Bank of Granite Bay, Calif. was closed, then taken over by Tri Counties Bank of Chico, Calif. Granite had three branches. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $17.3 million.
For many new local businesses, getting open in May (before Ski to Sea and the tourism season) is an important goal. Even so, I’ve been surprised by the number of businesses that have opened in recent weeks. I counted 23 businesses either opening or are getting ready to open in the past month. Here’s my list:
Open: Mann’s Music, Northwest Keyboards, Imperial Foot Spa (Meridian Plaza), MarketQ, Chocolate Necessities, V’s Barbershop, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Fireside Martini and Wine Bar, Pacific Paint & Decorating, O’Donnell’s Bellingham Flea Market, Earl’s Bike Shop, Alford’s Salon and Gallery, Power Fitness.
Getting ready to open: Tully’s (near Walmart, second location), Westside Pizza, Little Gallery, Maurices, Black Pearl (On Holly and Railroad, second location) Man Pies, Go Big Paintball, Fred Meyer gas station (on Lakeway), The Table (restaurant, near Mount Baker Theatre), Maine Coon Restaurant.
That’s quite the push in retail. Did I miss any?
A more complete story will be posted online in the business section later today, but here are some details:
A Bellingham manufacturer has landed a significant project as it continues to ramp up production.
Heath Tecna was selected to retrofit the interior of nine 747-400 planes for China Airlines. This includes using what Heath Tecna calls the Nu-Look program, giving planes a more contemporary, open style similar to newer aircraft models, said Gary Chris, vice president of sales and market-ing for Heath Tecna.
It’s a key contract for the Bellingham company because it’s something Heath Tecna can work on right away, keeping the workforce busy as it gets ready to tackle other recently awarded contracts, including ones from Qantas Airways of Australia and British Airways. Heath Tecna is currently in a hiring mode, adding about 90 employees this year to bring the total workforce to nearly 500.
The contract with China Airlines is expected to last nine months.
Here are the details about Pacific Paint & Decorating:
Pacific Paint & Decorating, featuring Benjamin Moore paint and supplies, will have a grand opening Saturday, June 5 in Ferndale’s Pacific Commerce Center.
Pacific Paint & Decorating opened Monday, May 10 at 5060 Pacific Highway, Suite 111, in the same retail complex as Northwest Hot Springs and just off Interstate 5 between Slater and West Smith roads. The grand opening will feature a free barbecue lunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and door prizes.
Owners Chuck and Leeann Handy, longtime Whatcom County residents, said they had been looking for a suitable Ferndale location for three years. They chose the Pacific Commerce Center because of its easy access from Interstate 5 and it is less than four miles north of Bellingham, Chuck Handy said in a press release.
“Our staff includes a color designer who can help homeowners create an attractive décor and a paint expert with extensive knowledge about the various types of paint,” Chuck Handy said. “We’re also ideal for contractors because they drive up to our back entrance and quickly pick up what they need.”
Pacific Paint & Decorating is the only Benjamin Moore Signature Store in Western Washington north of Lynnwood, which means it offers the newest and most advanced products, such as paint with zero or low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC).
The store also carries stains, finishing products, brushes, rollers and other supplies.
Pacific Paint & Decorating is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call (360) 393-4797 or visit www.PacificPaintandDecorating.com.
Facebook is a great way for me to catch tips on what’s happening with local businesses.
What’s interesting to me is seeing how businesses use it to keep in touch with customers. Local restaurants seem to have the most fun with it, incorporating making it a part of their business. As an example, here’s a post on Friday morning from The Daisy Cafe:
The Daisy Cafe has been reading “Justinian’s Flea,” so in honor of the great Roman Republic, we are running the Caesar Chicken Burger: A char-broiled chicken breast w/ melted Swiss and Parmesan Cheese on a Kaiser (Russian for caesar) Roll w/ Caesar dressing, Romaine Lettuce and Tomato. Our Ruby Special is royalty on a plate (so that works), and I am sure w/ a little imagination you can fit the Clam Chowder in this metaphor as well.
I’m also glad to see Daisy was able to deal with its water heater problem earlier this week and keep fans up to date on its status.
What clever stuff are you seeing from Whatcom County businesses these days on Facebook?
Below is a press release from Boundary Bay about its latest ranking from The New Brewer:
Apparently, America loves its beer and especially when it’s been brewed by small, independent breweries! Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham, ranks as the largest brewpub in the nation again, according to The New Brewer, The Journal of The Brewers Association. The Brewers Association is an organization of brewers, for brewers and by brewers with a mission to promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.
In the comprehensive industry reports in their May/June issue, The Brewers Association defines a brewpub as a brewery restaurant with at least 25% of beer sales occuring onsite, versus a microbrewery which sells over 75% of its beer OFF site. In 2009, Boundary Bay Brewery produced 5,738 barrels (31 gallons per barrel), which made them the largest producing brewpub in the U.S. For the last five years, Boundary Bay Brewery has been in the top two largest brewpubs in the US and for the last three years in a row, they have been number one.
Last year the craft beer industry experienced a 7.2% increase in volume over 2008 while huge brands like Budweiser and Heineken experienced drastically declining sales. Greg Kitsock (writer for The New Brewer) says that “…Americans might be putting off buying that new home or car, they might be making do with last year’s fashions, but they continue to splurge on better beer.”
Perhaps it is the societal shift toward small and local business that is sustaining the craft beer industry through tough economic times. Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, speculates that the success is due, in part, to “…what craft brewers have done – they have connected with their customers locally at events and at their breweries…and they have connected through beer quality, innovation in styles, liberal use of hops, and brewing complex beers…”. If Gatza is right, then Boundary Bay Brewery’s success should come as no surprise.
Boundary has a long history of award winning beers AND community involvement. It’s just as likely to see the brewery getting press for helping out over 100 local nonprofits every year as for their 70+ beer awards they’ve gathered over the years. “We have been fortunate to win many awards,” says Ed Bennett, owner of Boundary Bay Brewery. “Each of those medals signal a triumph in the craft beer community, but it’s not the only way we measure our success. We feel it’s important to connect to the community of customers, neighbors, friends and fans who make it possible for us to keep doing what we do.”
So, whether it’s the award winning beers or the strong community connections, it seems Boundary Bay Brewery has got something good brewing!
Just got a press release from maurices, a women’s clothing store company that’s going into Bellis Fair.
The store is planning for a July opening and will be taking up 3,919 square feet of space. It currently has 15 stores in Washington. The company has been in business since 1931, focusing on styles for young women. They’ll also be selling clothing accessories like jewelry.
For further details on the company, click this (link)
– The Fred Meyer fueling station on Lakeway in Bellingham is nearly finished and a grand opening is scheduled for Friday, June 18, according to spokeswoman Melinda Merrill.
– Five Guys Burgers and Fries is now open at the Bakerview Fred Meyer shopping center.
– According to its Facebook page, Chocolate Necessities is going through final inspections for its Cornwall Avenue store this week and is aiming for a Friday (May 28) opening.
Government regulators have been fairly quiet today, shutting down just one small bank so far. Details below. I’ll post if there are any others today….
No. 73 of 2010: Pinehurst Bank of St. Paul, Minn. was shut down, then taken over by Coulee Bank of LaCrosse, Wis. Pinehurst had one branch. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $6 million.