The Biz Buzz

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Archives: Jan. 2011

Jan.
27th

Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber chooses CEO search firm

A Puyallup-based executive search firm that recruited the CEOs of Tacoma Goodwill and the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County has been chosen to select the next leader of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber.

Hagel & Company, which also has offices in California, Oregon and Idaho, was chosen over Kansas City-based Waverly Partners to fill the job David Graybill had for 27 years before he retired last fall. Mike Hansch is interim CEO.

The chamber’s search committee chairman said Thursday that Hagel’s outreach program was a major factor in its favor.

“Everybody kind of likes the guy who’s out of town,”

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Jan.
27th

Logs, gypsum and auto cargoes up at Port of Tacoma

While the Port of Tacoma’s most important business, containerized cargoes, was down again in 2010, new figures show the port cargoes increased in three other important categories.

New figures show that auto imports and exports rebounded last year, increasing by 3.1 percent to 120,996 vehicles handled over the port’s docks.

That figure is considerably less than the peak traffic in 2007, when the port’s facilities saw 175,074 vehicles, but the trend again is moving upward as nationwide auto sales begin reviving.

In the meanwhile, port figures show exporters loaded 403,225 short tons of logs last year on the Tacoma Tideflats.

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Jan.
27th

Two Gig Harbor merchants shutting down

Two Gig Harbor stores are joining the list of the dearly departed.

One, Video HQ at 5160 Borgen Blvd NW near Home Depot and McDonalds, closed over the weekend, leaving many video renters puzzled by the suddenly vacant store when they came to return their video rentals.

Instructions posted on the door asked customers to return those videos through the slot in the door. The store is bereft of fixtures, and a large industrial trash bin stands in the parking lot outside.

The store’s phone has been cut off and an inquiry to the chain’s headquarters was unanswered

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Jan.
27th

More details on the Tacoma Shift Happens event

If you haven’t seen it yet, I wrote a report on GoLocal‘s Monday event, the launch of Tacoma Shift Happens. The story deals with the name and the underlying idea of supporting the local economy. The comments already are pretty lively.

I intended to publish a box with the printed story that had more details about the event, including a schedule and how people can get involved. In my pace to make my deadline, I forgot to do it.

Here is that information, which also can be found by clicking through the Tacoma Shift Happens hyperlink above.

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Jan.
27th

Tacoma IRS tax assistance office offering extended hours on Saturday

With tax time approaching, the Internal Revenue Service wants to help taxpayers prepare their returns.

To that end, IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers in Bellevue, Everett, Seattle and Tacoma will be open this Saturday, Jan. 29, and next Saturday, Feb. 5.

The effort is aimed at helping folks who can’t make it into the office during normal weekday hours.

The agency, according to a release from spokesman David Tucker, is especially interested in helping taxpayers navigate the Earned Income Tax Credit, which Tucker describes as “a financial boost for working people hit by hard economic times.”

“Many people will qualify for

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Jan.
27th

Business owners in that large city to the north pushing back on $4/hour parking

The Seattle Times had a story this morning about business owners’ concerns about Mayor Mike McGinn’s plan to raise parking rates starting in March, raising them from $2.50 to $4 an hour in some places.

It’s an interesting developing story. I wanted to highlight a few parts, in light of the debate still happening among Tacomans about the introduction of parking in our downtown.

Wednesday’s forum, which featured national parking experts, was meant to highlight the complexity of parking management and explore how other cities approach the issue…

Boise, for example, offers free parking downtown for the first hour.

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Jan.
26th

Time’s running out for Anchor Blue customers

The clock’s ticking for customers of teen apparel retailer Anchor Blue to use their gift cards or to return merchandise.

Anchor Blue is closing its 111 stores nationwide including four in Washington because it failed to generate enough business keep stave off a financial crisis.

The chain’s store at Tacoma Mall has already closed leaving stores in Bellingham, Kennewick and Lynnwood in Washington open to handle last-minute transactions.

Gift card and store credit certificate holders have until the close of business Friday to use their cards or their store credit. Customers returning merchandise purchased before Jan. 7 have until

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Jan.
26th

Re-engined 737 even more unlikely and other items from the Boeing earnings call

Boeing has made no secret that it’s unlikely to develop a re-engined version of its most popular airliner the 737. And Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney added strongly to that message today in the company’s fourth quarter earnings call.

“I personally feel that the market will wait for us,” said McNerney talking about whether developing a totally new replacement aircraft for the 737 is the way Boeing should proceed.

Boeing rival Airbus has recently announced it will re-engine its competitor to the 737, the A320. That announcement has triggered several big commitments and orders from airlines for the updated plane called

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