Friday, October 30, 2009

► On the Record

“Owners who are inflexible are sitting with their properties dormant… those who are willing to take risks are succeeding.”

-- Brett Irons, broker at Coldwell Banker Commercial Jenkins-Bernhardt, one of many regional firms riding a wave of lease deals in a volatile commercial real estate sector.

Reporter's Notebook

Paul Leonard can be reached at

As Washington state goes, so goes the nation?

The Evergreen State is known for many things – among them coffee drinking, a nearly-constant threat of showers and a decidedly-independent streak in its politics.

Now add one more item to that list: bellwether.

No matter how the final vote count on Initiative 1033 and Referendum 71 goes down, Washington voters will have already shaped the national debate on crucial issues for individuals, families and businesses.

First, regarding a matter at the heart of Tim Eyman’s bid for a ninth-straight ballot victory, Washingtonians have the chance to send an unambiguous rejection of the notion that vilifying and defunding our government before an economic recovery has the chance to take hold, is the right path for our state.

There’s no doubting the deep well of anger and mistrust held by many toward government on the local, state and federal level, evidenced by the high turnout at Rep. Brian Baird’s town hall-style meeting at Clark County Amphitheater in Ridgefield last August.

But for many others, another belief is emerging – one that sees government as neither the problem, nor the solution to everything wrong with our country. With the federal stimulus program credited today with saving as many as 650,000 jobs nationally, including thousands of Washington state teachers and construction workers, clearly there’s much that government on all levels can do – and must do – on behalf of its citizens.

Which brings us to Ref. 71, a measure asking voters to approve legislation passed earlier this year giving same-sex partners equal protection and rights as heterosexual couples. Though the state’s business community, with the major exception of Microsoft Corp., mostly stayed on the sidelines on this issue, this measure’s extension of basic civil rights to all residents has found considerable support in many different quarters.

One thing is clear: the morning after Election Day, we will know where the Evergreen State stands. Then it’s on to next year’s midterm elections to find out whether the nation followed our lead.

Business Around the Northwest

Kaiser property to get TIF boost, Spokane Journal of Business

U.S. Geothermal gets stimulus funding for Nevada power project
, Idaho Business Journal

Raising an urban village
, Bellingham Business Journal

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

► On the Record

“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose - because it contains all the others - the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money.’”

-- From Russian-born American novelist Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Reporter's Notebook

Editor’s note: Today we invited Kim Capeloto, president/CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce to share his views on Initiative 1033, a measure up for voter approval on this November’s ballot. For Vancouver Council for the Homeless executive director Craig Lyons’ thoughts on I-1033, see VBJ’s Oct. 16 Op-Ed here.

Don’t fall for Tim Eyman’s folly

Initiative 1033, conservative political activist Tim Eyman’s latest ballot measure, is bad for businesses large and small and could not come at a worse time for our economy.

Even as we all hear reports that the recession is coming to an end, businesses in Vancouver and all across Clark County continue to struggle. Turning our economy around will not be easy – especially if voters approve I-1033 this November.

Let us not forget mistakes made more than a decade ago by voters in another state. Shortly after Colorado voters passed a similar initiative in 1992, the measure had to be repealed because it cut-off essential funding for the state’s schools, roads and bridges and businesses. Colorado’s economic growth decreased and fell far behind neighboring states just as the country emerged from that decade’s painful recession. Funding for K-12 education in Colorado dropped to 49th in the nation, resulting in the state being ranked among the lowest in the U.S. in high school graduation rates.

Do we have any reason to believe it would be different in Washington state? Not really. Eyman imported two fundamental – and damaging – elements of Colorado’s law. Like the Colorado measure, I-1033 would cap state and local spending at today’s recessionary levels, making the cuts caused by the recession permanent and determining future increases with a flawed formula based on inflation and population growth.

Though this funding formula may sound reasonable, I-1033 would have an immensely negative impact on our ability to educate our workforce, as well as maintain our local roads, both of which are lifelines for a growing economy.

The recession has forced state and local government to cut $1.5 billion in funding to our public secondary schools and universities – with $4.7 million cut from Vancouver public schools alone. This has led to more crowded classrooms and fewer teachers in our schools. For our public colleges and universities, a $500 million cut resulted in double-digit tuition increases. I-1033’s arbitrary limits would make these cuts permanent and cost jobs as companies look elsewhere for a highly-trained workforce.

The quality of our schools will not be the only casualty of I-1033. Eyman’s initiative also looks to undercut other foundations on which our local economy could grow.

Under I-1033, the recent $2 million public investment in Vancouver’s waterfront might not have happened. The same is true for the $1.3 billion Vancouver Waterfront Redevelopment project set to create an estimated 12,000 construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs for the area.

Clark County recently announced I-1033 would mean choosing between building new roads and paying police officers because there wouldn’t be enough money to do both.

The nonpartisan Office of Financial Management released a study estimating a reduction in state revenues by $5.9 billion if voters approve I-1033. Cities and counties would drop $2.8 billion over the next five years.

Despite Eyman’s claims, I-1033 would mean fewer jobs and more crowded classrooms. Under his initiative, state residents would feel the recession’s impact long after the rest of the country begins to recover.

I-1033’s rigid and over-simplistic formula has been tested and it has failed miserably.

In closing, Eyman’s initiative is bad for business and would slow our economy just as it begins to rebound. Eyman may not want our government to grow, but under I-1033 businesses would not grow either.

More than 250 organizations are working together to defeat I-1033. These include the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, East Vancouver Business Association, Vancouver Education Association, Vancouver Firefighters, Vancouver Police Officers’ Guild, Washington State Hospital Association, Washington Education Association, League of Education Voters, Washington State PTA, Community Health Network of Washington, AARP Washington and the Washington Roundtable.

For more information, visit

Business Around the Northwest

Key economist sees long recovery ahead, South Sound Business Examiner

Avoid these scary investment moves, Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal

Workers’ compensation premiums could rise 7.6 percent, Bellingham Business Journal

Friday, October 23, 2009

► On the Record

“We believe in what the founding fathers believed was important – limited government.”

-- Jeff Kropf, state director for the Americans for Prosperity in Oregon and southwest Washington, in a speech on Tuesday at the Clark County Building Industry Association’s monthly meeting.

Reporter's Notebook

-John McDonagh can be reached at

Business and the pursuit of being his Honor the Mayor

Almost from the moment the campaign began, many of our readers have asked whether the Vancouver Business Journal would endorse one of the candidates for mayor of the city of Vancouver.

We gave the matter much thought and deliberation. We poured over Councilmember Tim Leavitt and Mayor Royce Pollard’s positions on the issues, attended many of their numerous debates and heard both men talk about their vision for the future of a city many of us hold dear – America’s Vancouver.

Even after all that – a year or so after this much-contested mayoral race in Vancouver first started rolling – the Vancouver Business Journal has decided not to endorse either candidate in the contest.

Here’s why: For us to endorse a candidate for any office he or she should be the one best suited to address the needs of business through their elected position.

There are many considerations for choosing our mayor. Our interest is by definition easy – is the candidate one who understands business and willing to advocate strongly on our behalf? In our opinion the differences between these two candidates is hardly significant.

When we look at the many issues facing this city, the campaigns of Leavitt and Pollard have much more similarities than differences. And most importantly given the focus of this publication, after studying each candidate’s claims of being the person the business community can rely on to advance their needs through 2013, we see no clear distinction.

Let us first consider their endorsers. A check of their campaign websites shows both Pollard and Leavitt with the support of a variety of businesses, both large and small. So, from a business community support standpoint, there’s not much difference.

Both candidates claim more will be done on behalf of Vancouver businesses. Both claim job creation is the key to economic vitality and offer promises to put plans in motion to address the issue. Both promise to create a business advisory group to help focus the city’s efforts.

The incumbent candidate points to his personal effort to keep major employers and their jobs in the city. His challenger offers his personal experience running a local business as the reason he can carry the business-issues banner best.

At the end of the day, the mayor of Vancouver is one vote on a seven member council. How that vote is leveraged is really what this long mayoral contest is all about. Or as Hamlet might say: ‘Whether ‘tis nobler to travel boldly and smash Portland-themed coffee mugs – or facilitate discussion closer to home, inviting comment and collaboration?’ That is our question.

In recent weeks, the candidates have made attempts to distance themselves from the other, and of late have taken to the tactic of proclaiming the shortcomings of their opponent rather than explaining why they deserve your vote.

Here comes the disappointing realization. Aside from whether or not bridge tolls should be part of the proposed Columbia River Crossing project – a subject which the Mayor of Vancouver has some influence but no decision-making authority – there is little difference between the candidates as it relates to doing business in the city of Vancouver.

We are a city of large employers and Mom & Pops; boutiques and manufacturers; professional servicers and distributors.

Vancouver is a business community of size and consequence in the region because we have all of these elements and more. Without any of these businesses we are less complete. Consequently, our city’s future business strategy cannot be a zero-sum game. It can’t be large employers at the expense of small boutiques, just as it cannot be the Mom & Pop store at the expense of professional services.

Both candidates have missed an opportunity to unite the business community behind their candidacy. Our next mayor needs to provide the leadership that assures large employers and small businesses of their local value and contribution.

Business Around the Northwest

State touts tax ranking, South Sound Business Examiner

Washington County gives developers a tax break
, Portland Daily Journal of Commerce

Reports of newspapers’ death greatly exaggerated, Idaho Business Journal

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

► On the Record

“We need a single program … which will assure that every American in need has access to affordable, quality medical care.”

-- Rep. Brian Baird (D-Vanc.), calling for a single, pre-paid healthcare program in an editorial in Monday’s Seattle Times. Baird also advocated a repeal of the federal income tax, to be replaced by a “progressive” sales tax on goods and services.

Reporter's Notebook

Paul Leonard can be reached at

Turning out the vote

If you’ve been driving, shopping or just walking your dog down the block the past couple of weeks in or around Clark County, the signs of next month’s ritualistic exercise in American Democracy seem to be everywhere.


The signs, billboards, mailers, canvassers – even people allegedly impersonating as canvassers – have sprouted from Fircrest to Hazel Dell. With the first contested Vancouver mayoral race in decades and two statewide initiatives touching on the hot-button issues of gay civil unions and taxes, it seems everyone has an opinion that they aren’t afraid to print in big, black letters or drape in red, white or blue bunting.

While the extra color along Clark County roadways and strewn on kitchen countertops may be good for the region’s sign-makers and direct-mailers, it may not translate into one crucial thing – higher voter turnout.

According to Clark County Election Supervisor Tim Likness, only about 45 percent of eligible voters are expected to mail in their ballots in this year’s general election. Even with the recent dust-up between contenders Councilman Tim Leavitt and Royce Pollard over tolls, taxes and everything East Vancouver-related, that’s an increase of only 2 percent over the county’s last off-year election in 2007.

Granted, that figure includes many Clark County voters outside Vancouver city limits. But between Tim Eyman’s potentially fiscally-disastrous Initiative 1033 and voters deciding the fate of Washington state’s “everything-but-marriage” law with Referendum 71, there’s plenty riding on this election for everyone.

So why is voter turnout in off-year elections so stubbornly low?

Speaking to VBJ this afternoon, Likness had a few ideas. First, Vancouver’s mayoral contest aside, only 34 races are contested out of a total of 81 across the county. And though the two statewide measures up for voter approval are contentious, in past years there have been as many as six initiatives or referendums on the ballot.

Even still, this year’s general election numbers are set to be half that of 2008, with the thousands of new voters helping to make history on the national stage last year seemingly content to sit this one out.

Today, the focus of some poll-watchers is decidedly smaller. “Unfortunately, this is a local election,” said Leavitt campaign manager Temple Lentz, speaking of Clark County voter turnout projections. “This is the most we could expect.”

Business Around the Northwest

Congressman Simpson flags off big regulations, Idaho Business Journal

Video: Sen. Murray supports extension of unemployment benefits
, Bellingham Business Journal

Oregon ranks No. 4 for energy efficiency measures
, Portland Business Journal

Friday, October 16, 2009

► On the Record

“If you can hang in there, the business will come back. The problem is that it won’t be coming back quick enough to save us.”

-- Scott Studer, owner of Studer’s Floor Covering, Inc. in Vancouver. With about 22 dozen in-house and contract employees, Studer’s will close its doors Dec. 31 after more than 45 years in the business.

Reporter's Notebook

In today’s installment of Reporter’s Notebook, Eric Olmsted writes about next week’s long-awaited release of Microsoft Windows 7. Olmsted is the owner of On Line Support, Inc. of Vancouver. He can be reached at

“7” is your lucky number

If the Vista operating system had you gnashing your teeth and silently (or not so silently) cursing the minds of Microsoft for the last two years – “7” may be your lucky number. After months of development and much hang-wringing by top Microsoft executives and shareholders, Windows 7 is slated for its market debut on Thursday.

In planning Windows 7, Microsoft responded to business customers’ requests – i.e. complaints – for a better-performing, easy-to-use and secure operating system. As anticipated, Windows 7 comes with many improvements over previous operating systems and includes several features targeted to business, including enhanced mobility and improved security.

Here’s a rundown on some major new features:

Enhanced Mobility

One of the new features of Windows 7 is DirectAccess, which connects remote users securely to a corporate network that allows them to access corporate file shares, websites and applications without the need to connect to a virtual private network (VPN). Your employees can even disconnect from the network, work offline and then have their network files automatically updated with any new changes.

Improved Security

Given today’s data protection legislation, many small businesses will appreciate the security controls of Windows 7. If you don’t have an in-house IT department, you may be running with few or no access controls due to a lack of technical knowledge about controlling access to shared networks. Windows 7’s simplified configuration for workgroup networking includes an easy-to-use interface that gives you control of who has access to data and equipment.

Windows 7 also increases control of sensitive data on laptops or USB drives. A feature called Bitlocker, a file security and encryption system, enables you to allow only authorized users to read data on portable media, even if the media is lost or stolen. Another feature, AppLocker, allows an IT administrator or outside consultant to control which applications can run on user computers, providing another way to limit the risk of malicious software.

Other Features

Unlike Vista’s stand-alone operating system, Microsoft added XP compatibility to Windows 7, enabling XP applications to run on the new system unmodified.

If your application still does not run in XP mode, you can create a Virtual PC that runs Windows XP. Your previously-installed applications running on Windows 7 appear exactly as they would on XP – a huge incentive for companies who want to purchase new computers with Windows 7 installed.

Microsoft also incorporates a highly intuitive desktop experience, including a new taskbar displaying larger icons for easier viewing. Another feature allows you to peek inside a file by hovering over a thumbnail.

To upgrade, or not to upgrade…

Though Windows 7 is far-and-away better than either Microsoft XP or Vista, I recommend installing it only on new equipment. The reason is that many older machines utilize a 32-bit operating system that is incompatible with Windows 7’s 64-bit requirements.

Yes, the stars have aligned, Vista seems just a bad dream and Windows 7 is a newer, faster replacement that has all the bells and whistles you’d expect, including one very important thing: it actually works.

Business Around the Northwest

FDIC's advisory committee talks about community banks, South Sound Business Examiner

Condo builders turn to auctions in a tough market, Bellingham Business Journal

Will business embrace new Windows 7?, Spokane Journal of Business

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

► On the Record

“Is this bill all that I would want? Far from it. Is it all that it can be? No. But when history calls, history calls.”

-- Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) shortly before joining Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee yesterday in approving an $829 billion healthcare overhaul. The full Senate is expected to take up the bill in the next few weeks

Reporter's Notebook

Paul Leonard can be reached at

Healthcare reform or revolution?

Having covered the healthcare debate for the VBJ and other publications during my time as a journalist, friends and extended family members often ask for this reporter’s take on a nearly two decade-long debate.

My answer mostly depends on who’s doing the asking.

To one of my mother’s older close friends currently on Medicare, my response to her concerns about the future viability of her government-run plan can be boiled down to this: reform, not revolution.

Though the exact wording of the provisions in the competing House and Senate versions of the bill may differ, most if not all of them contain measures reforming Medicare by trimming costs, improving efficiency and going after fraud and other abuses of the system.

“Not a dime will be used for anything other than Medicare,” said U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a live video chat on healthcare reform with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) this afternoon.

To a small business owner with 20 or less employees asking how current healthcare proposals will affect his or her ability to cover even their sickest employees, my answer again is reform, not revolution.

Stipulations in the House and Senate version of the bill allow for businesses to take advantage of tax credits up to 50 percent of their healthcare costs, as well as allowing more private insurers to compete for the business of small firms.

Speaking today, Murray indicated that some small business may not have to change anything about the way they deliver healthcare coverage to their employees: “The plan is about lowering costs for businesses so that they can keep the coverage they have.”

And last, but not least, to my twenty-something friends, most of them employed but only about half currently with health insurance, I advise them to get ready to storm the Bastille – there’s a revolution coming.

If the Senate Finance Committee’s recently-approved version of healthcare overhaul is any indicator, a stipulation mandating that all Americans get some kind of health insurance is likely to be a reality by this time next year.

Gone will be the days when one my best friends from college got hit by a car and got treatment at an emergency room with the premium-paying insured picking up the tab.

Sure there will be some kind of exception, or perhaps another kind of loop-hole for people who either can’t afford or don’t want to pay for health insurance. They’ll definitely be more than a few young, healthy people who will just ignore the stipulations altogether.

But if there’s anything that this long debate has taught us, it is this: the inequalities and the crippling cost to individuals and businesses from this country’s broken healthcare system can’t be ignored any longer.

Sick and well, young and old, we’re all in this thing together.

Business Around the Northwest

A project to heal Vancouver’s ‘wound’, Portland Daily Journal of Commerce

A new prescription for mental health, South Sound Business Examiner

Idaho will get $13M in settlement with drug-maker Eli Lilly, Idaho Business Review

Friday, October 9, 2009

► On the Record

“Any risks associated with receiving the vaccine are far outweighed by the risks associated with getting the H1N1 virus.”

-- Don Strick, public information officer at the Clark County Health Dept. First shipments of the intranasal mist H1N1 vaccine arrived in Southwest Washington this week, with an injectible form expected later this month.

Reporter's Notebook

Paul Leonard can be reached at

Innovate or go home

When the VBJ profiled Joe Foggia’s new business venture last July, it was clear he was a man with a clearly-defined mission – getting his workers back on the job.

“He is passionate about rehiring his employees,” CREDC business recruitment director Jeanie Ashe said of Foggia at the time.

Like many other Southwest Washington employers, Foggia was forced to layoff a substantial portion of his workforce as president of Vancouver-based Christiansen Yachts.

As one might guess, the yacht industry hasn’t quite taken off in the last year, mostly due to a worldwide recession putting the brakes on much of the market for big-ticket luxury items. After seeing a vital part of his shipyard grind to a halt and returning from a half-empty boat show in Europe, Foggia was presented with two choices:

Innovate or go home.

Fortunately for the 200 people set to return to work at Christiansen’s Vancouver shipyard, Foggia chose the former. This week, the federal government awarded $1 million to Foggia’s brainchild, Renewable Energy Composite Solutions LLC, to transform part of Christiansen’s shipbuilding operations into a small wind turbine manufacturing plant.

“As a result, the company will now be creating jobs instead of shedding them, and will help ensure that Southwest Washington becomes a leader in renewable energy production and green job creation in the future,” said Congressman Brian Baird (D-Vancouver).

Set to begin operations shortly, RECS will hire 101 full-time and 99 temporary workers and help the state reach its goal of reducing energy consumption by 25 percent.

Now that’s what we call good news. Here’s for more of the same.

Business Around the Northwest

‘Livability’ likely key to West’s economic prosperity, Idaho Business Journal

Taxable sales decline 14 percent during second quarter
, South Sound Business Examiner

Federal guidance released to help plan for influenza season, Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

► On the Record

“Now is the time for us to prepare for the recovery.”

-- Alan Beaulieu, senior analyst and economist at the Institute of Trend Research, speaking at a conference in Chicago last August. Beaulieu will be the featured guest at an event sponsored by RSV Construction, CREDC, GVCC, iQ Credit Union and Vistage at the Hilton Vancouver Convention Center on Monday.

Reporter's Notebook

Paul Leonard can be reached at

On Today’s Menu: Sustainability

As a reluctant consumer of the typical fast-food burger, this reporter can attest that sustainability, in all its forms, is the last thing that comes to mind when swallowing a morbidly-delicious bite of machine-stamped ground beef.

For those who haven’t seen “Super Size Me” or read “Fast Food Nation,” quick-serve restaurants are not known for their commitment to “green” business practices, progressive political causes or reliance on alternative energy – all except, perhaps, Burgerville.

A day after the Vancouver-based food chain lost to Stumptown grocer New Seasons Market for most progressively-minded business at the Oregon Bus Project’s Wheelies Awards in Portland this week, the VBJ spoke with Burgerville supply chain director Alison Dennis about the company’s unique blend of fast-food convenience and sustainable ethos.

“It’s about putting a priority on our entire food supply chain, from the farmers, ranchers and fishers to the guests at our restaurants that eat our food,” Dennis said.

Even in a recession, Dennis says Burgerville is committed to spending 70 percent of its total food budget on local producers. “It’s just strengthening our relationships for the long haul,” she said. “It’s important to sustain our food systems through good times and in bad.”

Burgerville, owned by The Holland Inc., made a reinvigorated push this week touting the company’s locally-focused philosophy just as it released its new October seasonal menu.

Well-known locally for its use of wind-generated energy at all of its restaurants, along with its recent decision to allow bicyclists to order food at its drive-thru locations, the VBJ asked Dennis if she was feeling any competitive, yet progressive, heat from this week’s High-Road BUS-iness Award winner New Seasons.

Dennis didn’t take the bait: “It’s great that there are local businesses out there sharing the same values that we do.”

Business Around the Northwest

Associated Builders & Contractors economist: Challenges, some opportunities, lie ahead, Idaho Business Review

Entrepreneur’s climb raises money for cancer
, Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal

Yolo Coffee Company & Bistro offers solace and comfort food
, Bellingham Business Journal

Friday, October 2, 2009

► On the Record

“We believe the Department is out over the tips of its skis with these cuts,”

-- CREDC President Bart Phillips, in a letter dated Sept. 23 announcing he would sign a state Dept. of Commerce contract with funding 9.1 percent less than the amount promised by the Washington Legislature.

Reporter's Notebook

Paul Leonard can be reached at

Another kind of Mover & Shaker

Almost as soon as Sherilee Valenta’s son Carson was born, he was a “mover and shaker” who loved to run and play in his Salmon Creek backyard and later, on the soccer field.

So it seemed an especially cruel turn of fate when Valenta stood over a son hobbled and confined to a hospital bed after Carson lost his heel and Achilles tendon in a freak lawn-mower accident two years ago.

Though his prospects for future mobility were grim, Carson, now 6, can skip and run with the rest of peers – amazingly, without a noticeable limp – thanks largely to the work of Laura McGuckin, an occupational therapist at Innovative Services NW, a Vancouver-based nonprofit helping adults and children with developmental and other disabilities.

Last weekend, dozens of local business owners from throughout Clark County came together to raise funds for Innovative Services NW’s 16 programs helping hundreds of kids and adults like Carson to be productive and independent members of the community.

Co-sponsored by Windemere Real Estate Group, West Coast Bank, Nutrition Now, Anctil Heating & Cooling and the VBJ, the Care Affair Auction at the Heathman Lodge raised a net-total of $63,000 from 93 invited guests.

Though the total was $4,000 short of last year’s take, Development Director Dawn Johnson was pleased with her team’s efforts during a tough fundraising climate.

Johnston wasn’t alone last week in her determination to succeed despite tough odds.

At the event, one of the recipients of the 46-year-old organization’s services displayed a sense of grit and courage that might be a model for any American struggling to find stable ground in a rapidly changing economy.

Born developmentally disabled, Ben Carroll, 21, told the crowd last weekend that he declined the state assistance to which he is entitled.

“I don’t believe in it, I don’t want it,” he said. “I can do it on my own.”

For those looking to make a contribution to help make Innovative Services NW programs available for everyone who needs them, visit or call Johnston at 360.992.2301.

Deadline for VBJ’s Accomplished & Under 40 today

Just a quick reminder: our nomination deadline is 6 p.m. today for VBJ’s Accomplished & Under 40. Applicants must be between the ages of 19 and 39 as of Nov. 12, 2009 to be eligible.

To submit your nomination before the deadline, visit

Business Around the Northwest

Putting the 'play' in party, Spokane Business Journal

Retired pastor turns a passion for painting into instruction for children
, Snohomish County Business Journal

2009 tough year for local landscapers
, South Sound Business Examiner