The Biz Buzz

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Archives: Feb. 2013

Feb.
21st

A glimmer of progress for downtown Tacoma’s planned McMenamins

McMenamins has taken another step toward beginning work at the downtown Tacoma Elks Temple.

Earlier this month, the company picked up their building permit — one of the last steps during the pre-construction phase of any building project.

“We were very excited,” Sue Coffman of City of Tacoma’s permit center told me this afternoon after I called to check in.

I haven’t been able to connect with the Portland-based brewpub operator during the last few months, when I’ve been trying to find out when it might begin work in Tacoma. It lists an opening date of “late 2013″ on its

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Feb.
20th

Washington Saves Week set for next week; educational materials available

If you’re wondering what you or your organization can do to celebrate Washington Saves Week – Feb. 25 through March 2 – then the state Department of Financial Institutions has some ideas.

This will be the seventh annual iteration of the event, meant to promote the idea that pennies saved (in a savings account, in an IRA, as part of a 401(k) plan, in a piggy bank or in any other of dozens of ways) are pennies earned.

Gov. Jay Inslee recently proclaimed the week, and DFI has several programs to assist citizens and businesses in heeding the theme: “Set

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Feb.
20th

Business owners, here’s a chance to learn how to be more sustainable

Encourage your employees to carpool. Minimize trash at the office. Learn about these steps toward sustainability and more, for free.

The sixth annual South Sound Sustainability Expo is March 2 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1500 Broadway. The event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature services, products, companies and agencies that address sustainability needs in the local community, according to a City of Tacoma news release.

New this year is a mini Tacoma Farmers Market, an Art EnviroChallenger exhibit and an interpretive environmental dance performance by School of the Arts students, the release said. The event

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Feb.
20th

Could Office Depot – OfficeMax merger affect South Sound?

The long-rumored merger of two major players in the office supplies business, Office Depot and OfficeMax, now appears to be moving forward after a premature release of the news of the merger, a retraction and then a reinstatement.

Office Depot had posted a news release that reported a $1.17 billion merger on its web site and then took that release down saying it was a mistakenly released draft.  Bankers and corporate lawyers were still putting the finishing flourishes on the deal. Then the company posted an official release about a $1.2 billion deal.

The two office supply merchants are tying

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Feb.
19th

State Farm’s national expansion plans coming to light — but what does it mean for DuPont and Washington state?

The Phoenix Business Journal is reporting that Illinios-based State Farm Insurance is planning to build a very large regional headquarters in Tempe, Ariz.

(M)ultiple sources … confirmed this but wanted to remain anonymous. These sources (said) that State Farm will build a roughly 1 million-square-foot regional headquarters campus on a site owned by Arizona State University in which Scottsdale-based Sunbelt Holdings Inc. has an option to buy. The facility would house about 5,000 to 7,000 employees, sources (said).

Notably, State Farm confirms to the Phoenix business newspaper that it is indeed “expanding our established presence in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix.”

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Feb.
19th

Alaska Airlines first in on-time arrivals for third consecutive year

SeaTac’s Alaska Airlines has won the informal sweepstakes to be the nation’s most punctual major airline for the third year in a row.

Flight-tracking company FlightStats.com said this week its figures show Alaska flights were on time 87.26 percent of the time last year. That compares with an industry average among North American airlines of 79.62 percent.

“This award is a credit to the more than 12,000 Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees who continue to meet our core promise to customers of getting them to their destination safely and on time,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ chief operating officer

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Feb.
15th

South Sound gas prices escalating quickly

Just as surely as the day’s get longer this time of year, gas prices are once again rising in the South Sound.

At the current rate, prices could top $4 a gallon in April.

According to The News Tribune’s Gas Deal finder, the average price of a gallon of unleaded regular in the Tacoma area fit $3.671 Friday. That price is 6.3 cents more per gallon than a week ago. Average prices haven’t been that high since late October in the South Sound.

A month ago, Tacoma-area gas prices were at 3.394 a gallon, 27.7 cents less than now. Prices

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Feb.
15th

Frontier Airlines ending all service to Colorado Springs

Don’t count on Frontier Airlines’ seasonal service from Sea-Tac to Colorado Springs this summer.

The Denver-based carrier announced today it is leaving Colorado’s second city to focus on other routes.

Frontier had spent five years trying to develop Colorado Springs as a focus city for its service as it encountered new competition at its Denver hub from Southwest Airlines.

Now the airline, which had become the city’s second largest carrier, says it is abandoning even routes that had said it would keep earlier this year. Frontier in recent times had been flying between Sea-Tac and Colorado Springs non-stop in the

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