The Biz Buzz

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Archives: July 2010

July
30th

Heritage Bank of Olympia takes over the failed Cowlitz Bank of Longview; Heritage signals growth strategy

Another troubled Washington bank has fallen while another strongly managed state bank has signaled its plans to grow along the I-5 corridor.

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions closed Longview-based Cowlitz Bank Friday afternoon citing inadequate capital and severe loan losses.

Following the closure, the agency immediately named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver of the bank. The FDIC immediately announced that it had entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Olympia-based Heritage Bank.

Heritage Bank will assume all deposits and certain assets of Cowlitz Bank.

Established in 1977 and based in Longivew, Cowlitz Bank had four local

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July
30th

Here’s a survey for owners of small businesses throughout Pierce County

Small business owners take note: There’s a survey out today that might help you with your marketing efforts.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is inviting local businesses to participate in an online-only survey to measure individual success in using marketing tools.

According to a release today, the survey is under the direction of the chamber in conjunction with City of Tacoma.

“The survey will also focus on the business climate to determine how supportive the local environment is for business success,” the chamber said.

“Businesses will get their own individual rating for a Small Business Success Index and through

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July
30th

Beware: It’s summertime, which means it’s time for the annual asphalt paving scam

The state Department of Labor & Industries is out today with a warning to Washington homeowners and businesses concerning an asphalt paving scam that seems to be making the rounds of the area.

Recently reported in Cowlitz County, the scheme has pavers pressuring people to pay for repairs to driveways.

“In the summer months, it’s not unusual for these paving crews to come into the state and travel around hitting different communities – often targeting senior citizens,” the warning states.

And in return for cash, homeowners might end up with poor workmanship and inferior asphalt charged at inflated prices,

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July
29th

Columbia Bank reports a second-quarter profit; growth continues in Washington and Oregon

The numbers are good at Tacoma’s largest hometown bank.

Columbia Banking System on Thursday reported net income of $3.9 million for the second quarter – compared to a loss of $6.6 million for the second quarter of 2009.

This equates to a net per-share profit of 11 cents, compared to a loss of 37 cents a year ago.

In a conference call with market analysts, Columbia President and CEO Melanie Dressel said the bank holding company is well capitalized and well positioned to execute its strategic plan.

She outlined parts of that plan, which have recently included the acquisition of

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July
29th

Spaceworks Tacoma block party tonight

Don’t forget about the Spaceworks Tacoma block party at 9th and Broadway in Tacoma starting at 4:30 p.m.

It’s a fun kick-off to the initiative to bring new retail businesses and art to empty storefronts in Tacoma. There will be music, dancing, film, and of course, lots of visual art. There also will be a walking tour of all Spaceworks sites.

Here’s the entertainment line-up – straight from the (Spaceworks Tacoma) horses’s mouth:

- Spoken word by Antonio Edwards, Zeek Green, Tammy Robacker, and Aikita Tucker
…- Music by Hail, Luke Stevens, Makeup Monsters, and Travis Barker of Black

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July
28th

Northwest Commercial Bank posts a quarterly profit – better than a loss last year

In a time of turmoil in the industry, the news is good from one South Sound bank.

Northwest Commercial Bank of Lakewood today announced what its president and CEO, Kurt Graff, characterizes as “a dramatic turnaround in its latest quarter.”

The bank has reported a $154,000 net profit for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a net loss of $160,000 for the same period in 2009.
 
Explaining the change, Graff credits “expense control and a slowly improving economy.”

Although the recovery of local and national economies has not fully settled following the recession, “we will maximize

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July
28th

Alaska Airlines and Icelandair announce alliance

SeaTac’s Alaska Airlines and Icelandair are teaming up to allow their passengers and frequent flier program members to easily fly on each other’s routes.

The new alliance will allow Icelandair to put its code on Alaska flights connecting to its flight from Iceland in Seattle. That codesharing will allow passengers to make a single reservation for flights from Europe through Icelandair’s hub in Reyjavik to Seattle and onward to Alaska Airlines’ destinations such as Los Angeles, Anchorage and San Diego.

Alaska frequent flier program members now can earn miles on Icelandair flights and use their miles to book flights on

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July
28th

Could JetBlue be a new Dreamliner customer?

JetBlue Airways, the New York-based discount carrier, says it is considering expanding its route structure throughout Latin America, a move that it says would require it to buy larger, longer range jets.

JetBlue Airways CEO Dave Barger told the Los Angeles Times that among the jets the airline is considering is Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

JetBlue has never bought a Boeing aircraft. Its mainline fleet consists of Airbus A320s and Embraer E-jets.

The airline has expanded its network into the Caribbean from Florida and New York. It also flies to San Jose in Costa Rica and Bogota in Columbia.