Friday, April 3, 2009

Reporter's Notebook


There are times – and this may be one of them – when keeping the status quo is desirable and successful. For some. But numerous pundits and best selling authors posit that economic climates like the one are the best time to grow your business.

Businesspeople have all become value shoppers (not to be confused with coupon clippers) and are seeking out and demanding more value in the goods and services they consume. In the past, they may have taken these items for granted or had them on autopilot.

Savvy businesspeople know this, and instead of being content to hang on to what they have – which may be impossible because you will lose some customers through no fault of your own! – they are actively trying to grow. They do this through marketing and promotion, upgrades and/or expanding products and services offered, networking and all-in-all staying visible and active in the market.

Believe me, there are businesses that are thriving in the current economy and it is not just the candy stores.

On April 16, the VBJ will celebrate its fifth annual Business Growth Awards. The event is the premier business networking event in Southwest Washington. Start-ups, innovators and businesses in varying stages of their life cycle will be featured with awards and in the showcase portion of the event, when attendees can interact with these successful companies. It’s a great chance to be visible and network with some of the most successful companies and businesspeople in our community.

The cocktail reception with hearty hors d’oeuvres will be at held at 5 p.m. on April 16 at the Vancouver Hilton Hotel and Convention Center. Tickets are $45 and advance registration is required at or by calling Debbie Trimble at 360-448-6006.

-Steve McDonagh can be reached at

The 2009 BGA finalists are:

Start Up of the Year:
• Tully’s Coffee
• Stitchcraft

Fastest Growing, One to Five Years:
• Simply Thyme Catering
• Acuity Group

Fastest Growing, Six to Ten Years:
• Electrix
• On Line Support
• Creative Computer Solutions Inc.

Fastest Growing, More Than Ten Years:
• Silicon Forest Electronics
• Papa Murphy’s
• Foster and Assoc.
• ControlTek

Innovator of the Year:
• Ecolution NW
• Nutrition Now

Nonprofit of the Year:
• Humane Society for Southwest Washington
• Share
• YWCA Clark County
• Dream Big Community Center