The Biz Buzz

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Archives: Sep. 2011

Sep.
29th

Container business down at Port of Tacoma in August

The container import and export business, the Port of Tacoma’s most important trade category, continued its roller coaster ride in August. Container numbers were down 2.6 percent last month.

That business was trending upward for seven months through April this year, but reversed direction in May. That activity fell again in June by 11.1 percent before rising again in July by 3.9 percent.

For the year through August, the container trade is up by 1.9 percent.

Other categories of the port’s business are posting handsome gains. Breakbulk cargoes are up by 69.1 percent. Log exports are up by 140.3

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Sep.
29th

Tacoma contractor wins national small business award

Karen Say, president of Tacoma’s Saybr Contractors Inc., today was presented a national award by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The 8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year Award was presented to Say at the National Minority Enterprise Development Week conference in Washington, D.C.

Saybr Contractors, founded in 1997, received more than $50 million in small and disadvantaged federal business contracts before graduating from the SBA program this year.

Saybr began as a contractor specializing in upgrading underground storage tanks. It has broadened the scope of its work under Say’s direction to include construction, fuel systems, alternative fuels, sitework and environmental

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Sep.
29th

The Nonprofit Center will close; new ideas for assisting nonprofits percolating

The Nonprofit Center is closing.

Joe Lawless, a member of the board, reports today that after three stakeholder meetings, and the formation of a task force, and after reviewing the operations of other such nonprofit centers, the decision was made to cease operations.

The choice was to rebuild and rebrand the operation, which would require a significant infusion of cash and a search for new leadership, or to close the center and allow the energy behind the idea to build, in hopes that a new group may appear.

The center was initially formed to assist the nonprofit sector and to

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Sep.
29th

Some clarification on the conversation concerning credit unions and banks in Washington

I’ve heard back from representatives of both credit unions and banks concerning an article that appeared last Sunday. In that piece, readers heard form both Brian Vance, President and CEO of Olympia-based Heritage Financial Corp. and Heritage Bank, and from Phil Jones, president and CEO of Harborstone Credit Union.

So that there’s no confusion on any of the complex points made in the story, I spoke today with Linda Jekel, director of credit unions for the state Department of Financial Institutions.

On taxation: Whether federally chartered or chartered by the state, credit unions in Washington are exempt from federal income

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Sep.
29th

Gas prices headed downward after September spike

Tacoma gas prices are sliding downward again after an early September jump that raised average prices for regular to $3.90 a gallon here.

A gallon of unleaded today cost on average $3.793 a gallon in Tacoma according to TacomaGasPrices.com. That’s down 5.3 cents from a week ago and 1.3 cents below the average Wednesday.

Gasoline prices in Pierce County peaked at $4.03 a gallon in early May and fell steadily through mid-August when the average price was $3.69 a gallon. Those prices rose again as the Labor Day holiday approached hitting $3.90 a gallon in mid-September.

If this year’s

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Sep.
28th

Click here to find out where you can get a free cup of coffee tomorrow

That’s right. We want you to click. But in this economy, who doesn’t like free things?

According to a news release that just winged its way in to Tacoma news HQ, participating 7-Eleven convenience stores will give away a free medium cuppa joe Thursday morning between, you guessed it, 7 and 11 a.m.

Apparently tomorrow is National Coffee Day, and the national chain wants to celebrate. I’ll let them make the pun:

CofFREE Day is a fresh-brewed “thank-you” to 7-Eleven customers for their year-round patronage and support. With 65 percent of Americans drinking coffee during the week, what better way

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Sep.
28th

Emirates will connect Sea-Tac to Dubai

An aggressive Middle East airline will join the stable of international carriers flying from Sea-Tac Airport next year.

Emirates will begin connecting Sea-Tac to its hub in Dubai beginning next March 1. The daily non-stop flight will use Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The 7,400-mile journey will take more than 15 hours.

The Sea-Tac flight will leave Dubai at 9:50 a.m. and arrive at Sea-Tac at 1:10 p.m. The return flight to Dubai is scheduled to leave Sea-Tac at 5:10 p.m. and arrive in Dubai at 7:40 p.m. the next day.

Emirates is the latest international carrier to be added to

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Sep.
28th

Kent trucker fined for chemical reporting violations

Quality Carriers Inc. will pay over $46,000 to settle hazardous chemical reporting violations at its Kent transloading facility, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

The company transfers chemicals from rail cars to on-road trucks. The company stored large amounts of hydrogen peroxide above threshold levels without properly reporting those amounts to the Kent Fire Department, the King County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the State Emergency Response Commission, the EPA said.

The company stored hydrogen peroxide in amounts over 2,000 times the threshold planning quantity of 500 pounds in 2009, the agency said.