Archive for September, 2011
Western Washington University’s Center for Economic Vitality, in partnership with The Woods Coffee, is continuing its monthly office hours at Woods locations across Whatcom County 7-10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6.
Subsequent open office hours will be held on the first Thursday of each month.
These events are open to new or existing clients and will be held at the Flatiron (10 Prospect St., Bellingham), Lynden Safeway (8071 Guide Meridian, Lynden) and Ferndale (1867 Main St.) locations. No registration or appointment is needed; for more information, contact Marilyn Grady, CEV program assistant, at 360-733-4014.
Businesses are encouraged to discuss challenges or opportunities with one of the CEV’s business strategists or research analysts. These events are designed for business owners or managers who are interested in a brief conversation about business issues they may be facing. Participants will also be invited to schedule follow-up meetings to pursue more in-depth conversations.
For more than 20 years, the Center for Economic Vitality has enabled Western Washington University’s College of Business and Economics to give back to the business community and has helped to shape the economic future of our region one business at a time.
So far just one bank closure this week, making it 74 so far this year. Details below. I’ll update with a new post if any other banks close before I leave the office:
First International Bank of Plano, Texas, was shut down by government regulators, then taken over by American First National Bank of Houston. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $53.8 million.
Here’s the press release from the state:
TUMWATER – Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.04 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the Department of Labor & Industries announced today.
L&I calculates the state’s minimum wage each year as required by Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998. The 37-cent increase reflects a 4.258 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPIW) since August 2010.
The CPI-W, which is used in this calculation, is a measure of the average change in prices over time of goods and services purchased by urban wage earners and clerical workers. Goods and services are determined as those things people buy for day-to-day living such as food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, and services such as doctor visits.
Below is a press release from Gary’s Plumbing, which recently moved into a bigger space:
Gary’s Plumbing & Heating recently moved to a larger Bellingham location to accommodate growth of
the five-year-old business, including new customers from its addition of heating and refrigeration services.
Gary’s Plumbing & Heating is now at 1325 Meador Ave., Suite 101, in the Haskell Business Park. Founded by owner Gary Gibb, who has over 30 years of experience in the plumbing industry, Gary’s Plumbing & Heating has eight certified technicians who handle installations and service calls. The locally owned business can provide same-day service for residential and commercial customers in most instances and also offers 24-hour service for emergency problems.
Bellingham-based Carnes Media, a digital firm specializing in web and mobile application design and development, has moved its office to 1329 North State Street, Suite 306.
The new space is in the building that’s home to Puget Sound Energy. Carnes Media was previously at 1031 N. State St.
“Our new space provides what we think will be a perfect blend of shared and private space, along with plenty of room to grow,” said company principal officer, Nathan Carnes.
The company regularly works with a variety of clients, from locally-based companies such as Baron & Company, McNett, and Bramble Berry to national and international companies like WhitePages, Seesmic, and UpperSports.
For details, click this (link).
Below is a press release from Travelex, which has opened a variety of offices in U.S. Bank branches on the West Coast, including in Bellingham. The Bellingham Travelex is in U.S. Bank’s downtown branch at 121 W. Holly St.:
Travelex, the world’s largest non-bank foreign currency provider, is expanding in the Western half of the United States with the recent opening of two stores in California, three in Washington and one in Utah.
Press release from Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism:
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism is encouraging participation in a discussion with the Washington Tourism Alliance on 9-11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Best Western PLUS Lakeway Inn.
The Executive Director of the WTA, Suzanne Fletcher, will give an update on activities on the state level and ask for input from members of the Bellingham and Whatcom County tourism industry. This is one of several roundtables the WTA is hosting around the state.
The WTA was created in February 2011 following the announcement of the closure of the Washington State Tourism office by the end of the 2009-2011 biennium. It is a non-profit organization established by industry stakeholders with the sole mission of sustaining Washington State destination tourism marketing. The WTA procures and administers funds for statewide destination tourism marketing activities and creates and implements a strategic statewide destination marketing plan.
There is no charge to attend, but please RSVP with your name and number of attendees either by email to email@example.com or by phone to 360-671-3990.
An Oregon contractor is making a significant investment in Whatcom County that could mean up to 100 local jobs.
Greenberry Industrial of Corvallis has purchased a 46,000 square foot facility in Ferndale and is in negotiations with the Port of Bellingham to lease 45,000 square feet of space on the Bellingham waterfront.
The company recently landed a major contract with Houston-based Superior Energy to build modules for Alaska drilling operations. Some of the fabrication will be done in Whatcom County, said Chris Murray, vice president of regional operations.
The project will result in about 100 new jobs in Whatcom County for the duration of the project, which is around 12 months. Murray expects between 40 and 50 of those jobs to be permanent after the project, as the company works to establish itself in this part of the Pacific Northwest. Along with companies like Superior Energy, Greenberry has worked with Boeing, Xerox and a variety of oil refineries.
The type of job positions the company is looking to fill are in the metal trades, including pipefitters and welders, Murray said.
Greenberry purchased the Ferndale facility for $3.3 million, and moved its operations to the facility from Burlington earlier this month. The company originally came to Skagit County in 2008, leasing a space while determining whether to have a permanent facility in this part of the state. Once it had determined it wanted to stay in the area, the company did some research before settling on the former Tree Island facility at 6980 Salashan Parkway, which has heavy power and bridge cranes.
“(This facility) was made-to-order for us,” said Murray, noting that the company also made about $500,000 in tenant improvements to the building. “We’re here to stay.”
The Port of Bellingham space the company plans on leasing space at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal off of Cornwall Avenue. The port commissioners will be meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 4 to vote on whether to authorize the commercial lease agreement. The proposed lease contract is for one year for about $164,000, but Murray said the company is interested in establishing a long-term lease contract.
The company moved into its Ferndale facility on Friday, Sept. 23 and is currently operating with 15 employees. Design work on its module project is underway, with fabrication work expected to begin in the third week of October, he said.
Greenberry currently gets more than 60 percent of its revenue from Washington state projects. It recently worked with the Port of Everett to build a cement distribution facility, putting in 175,000 hours without a single lost workday due to injury. It also recently established its own waterfront fabrication facility in Vancouver, Wash.
In Oregon, the company received awards for its renovation work on a cement company processing complex in Portland and Xerox’s color ink production site in Wilsonville.
For details about the company, click this (link) .
UPDATE FROM AN EARLIER POST: It appears a last-minute issue has cropped up that will prevent the Time in Play Cafe from opening as planned on Thursday, Sept. 29. I’ll try to get some details in the morning on when they might be open and whether it impacts the cafe’s grand opening.
The cafe is at 311 E. Holly St., across the street from the YMCA. The owner is Hedy Hanni. Along with a cafe, it will feature a play area, a private party room, a quiet room and an artist consignment shop.
For more details about the cafe’s status, call 360-389-8844 or visit timeinplay.com.
Below is a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice about an agreement reached between Trident Seafoods and the Environmental Protection Agency over alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. These violations were in Alaska, but Trident does have a facility in Bellingham. Headquartered in Seattle, Trident has 18 processing facilities that operate in Alaska and nearly 8,000 employees.
Trident Seafoods Corp., one of the world’s largest seafood processors, has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty and invest millions in seafood processing waste controls to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. Unauthorized discharges of seafood processing waste lead to large seafood waste piles on the seafloor, creating anoxic, or oxygen-depleted, conditions that result in unsuitable habitats for fish and other living organisms.