Trends signal we may have hit bottom

Filed on 30. Apr, 2009 in Contributors

  Take heart, local businesses — economic watchdogs are starting to see trends that we might have hit bottom, or very close to it. As the numbers start to roll in from the first quarter of 2009, it’s starting to paint a picture of things leveling out. Here are some of the reports from the [...]

NEC assists renewable energy companies

Filed on 30. Apr, 2009 in Contributors

  Last summer, Daryl and Kevin Maas, owners of Skagit-based Farm Power Northwest, contacted our office with the idea to work with some of Whatcom County’s dairy farms to develop an energy-producing manure digester. We put together a meeting of local folks who could facilitate the project, and today the company is in conversation with [...]

2010: A golden opportunity for Whatcom County

Filed on 30. Apr, 2009 in Contributors

  “Twenty-ten” has become a mantra of sorts for Northwest Washington. Between the Winter Games (February 12-28) and the Paralympics (March 12-21), this mutliweek block of time carries with it the mystical aura of Olympic prosperity. The financial bull’s-eye, of course, is centered around Whistler Village, greater Vancouver, and the British Columbia communities that are [...]

An immigration debate is coming — again

Filed on 30. Apr, 2009 in Contributors

  There are indications from the White House that the Obama administration will push Congress later this year to reform the U.S. immigration system. New administration, new policies. If things do heat up, Whatcom County businesses should take an active interest in this debate, as immigration and cross-border commerce play a key role in the [...]

The future of business is better than you think

Filed on 31. Mar, 2009 in Contributors

  Since signing up its first business member seven years ago, Sustainable Connections has worked to support local businesses in transitioning to healthier, “greener” business practices, while simultaneously encouraging our community to support these local businesses first. In addition, we’ve worked to boost the knowledge base and capacity of our business community to lead in [...]

Bye, bye newspapers?

Filed on 31. Mar, 2009 in Contributors

  A recent article in The Nation took a hard look at the media as an industry and asked the question, “What happened?” Although it is easy to point fingers at the Internet or the down economy for the failure of newspapers such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Rocky Mountain News, the argument was made [...]

Local real estate market on the climb again

Filed on 31. Mar, 2009 in Contributors

  Ben and Jennifer didn’t think they’d be getting into a home during this market, but they are happy they did. With prices low and financing more available, they got out of their tiny rented apartment and into a little home they can call their own. A year ago, they couldn’t have done it. Despite [...]

Crisis needs to be given perspective

Filed on 31. Mar, 2009 in Contributors

  At the annual meeting of the Economic Development Council (now the Northwest Economic Council), members were given some perspective. On the screen at the presentation was a graph — the same graph you can find on page 7 of this issue — which demonstrated job loss now compared to six other economic downturns in [...]

In trying times, you need a better plan

Filed on 31. Mar, 2009 in Contributors

  I knew I was in trouble by the middle of last year. Every approach I had tried to getting new customers was meeting with the same results: nada. There were clues all around me, but I was stubbornly hanging on to my belief that I could get customers without rethinking what I was offering [...]

Lessons learned from Mexico

Filed on 28. Feb, 2009 in Contributors

  I just returned from eight days visiting my mother in Mexico, and it was interesting to get out of the country and “away from it all.” I forget, being in the media business, how much I am immersed in current events day in and day out. While out of the country, I made a [...]

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bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fc2xpZGVyX2hlYWRpbmc8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBSZWNlbnQgbmV3czwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3RoZW1lbmFtZTwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIFRoZSBKb3VybmFsPC9saT48L3VsPg==