Sherwood: Local business news still matters

By Courtney Sherwood, Columbian freelance writer

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Today’s paper includes a stand-alone Business section, but for the rest of the past week The Columbian’s business pages were a little harder to find. Monday through Saturday, our stocks page, local reporting, and coverage of national and global financial news now begin inside the Clark County section, as of last week.

I believe that it’s vitally important for informed citizens to know about the companies that pay most of our wages, sell us the goods we need to survive and thrive, fill our retirement stock portfolios, lobby the government and act as a bedrock of our capitalist system. If you agree, you may have wondered what happened when the Business pages became less prominent beginning in our Jan. 23 paper.

Don’t despair. Even though you may have to hunt a little harder through the paper, we pledge to continue bringing you the insight you have come to rely on.

Indeed, The Columbian’s business reporting team is bringing you more news, and in more formats, than at any time in memory.

With three reporters -- Aaron Corvin, Cami Joner and Gordon Oliver -- there have never been more Columbian employees dedicated to covering local businesses and the economy.

Since the Business section moved inside the Clark County section, we have looked at the local unemployment rate, at efforts to develop a second Chuck’s Produce, at a proposed law change that would allow Kiggins Theatre to serve beer during movies, as a small sample of our most recent stories.

And that’s just in print.

Five days a week we produce an email newsletter, Business Today, which offers the latest local economic news, previews of stories that have not yet been published plus updates about local people’s careers and a market summary. To sign up, fill out the form at http://www.columbian.com/newsletters and check the box for “Business E-Newsletter.”

Our reporters are also on Facebook and Twitter, which they use to disseminate stories and post updates while reporting live on the scene.

Most recently, we launched Strictly Business, a blog that you can find online at http://www.columbian.com/weblogs/strictly-business/. It includes observations about Clark County business happenings, details from reporters’ notebooks that may not make it into daily stories and thoughts about how national headlines may reflect on us here.

With so much uncertainty about the economy, business news is as important as it has ever been. I hope you’ll keep reading our work, even if you have to turn the page to find it.