GrowlerWerks is kick-started, set to grow(l)

By Courtney Sherwood October 28, 2014 6 a.m.

Chris Maier was not a big beer drinker when he moved to Camas about five years ago. But a business he co-founded is helping to change that. And as enthusiasm for his fledgling company far exceeds his expectations, Maier says that he has plenty of reasons to raise a foamy glass in celebration.

Urban NW Homes focuses on sustainability

By Courtney Sherwood October 19, 2014 12:13 a.m.

Five years after bank failures and an economic meltdown froze Clark County’s home-building sector in its tracks, construction has returned to lots zoned and permitted long ago. Housing construction remains well below pre-recession levels. But as builders such as Troy Johns can attest, the legacy of the Great Recession may shape the face of new housing in the community for years to come.

Vancouver's ShopBox off and running

By Courtney Sherwood September 18, 2014 7 p.m.

A small Vancouver company helped set new records at April's Boston Marathon — not on the course itself, but at "pop-up" stores at the start and finish lines.

Kaiser Permanente's switch reverberates

By Courtney Sherwood September 14, 2014 6 a.m.

Across the country, millions of newly insured people are flooding major hospitals, but industry leaders in Clark County say health reform is playing out differently here.

Sapa Extrusions is exceeding expectations

By Courtney Sherwood August 28, 2014 5:08 p.m.

Three years after setting up its first Vancouver manufacturing operation, a Norwegian-owned business is exceeding its own expectations at the site. Sapa Extrusions employs more people in Clark County than it originally planned, said regional plant manager Mats Johansson. It is pursuing a certification that could lead to more hiring. And Johansson said he sees a long future for the aluminum-products maker in the community.

Gravitate changes plan for building

By Courtney Sherwood August 18, 2014 4:30 p.m.

New life is coming to a prime piece of downtown Vancouver street-front real estate, five years after it became vacant, according to the commercial real estate broker working to lease the former site of Koplan's Home Furnishings.

Sparks building transforming

By Courtney Sherwood July 24, 2014 6:49 p.m.

As developer Ryan Hurley walked through his latest downtown Vancouver acquisition on a recent July morning, he spoke of a vision beyond the gutted former home of Sparks Home Furnishings.

Prestige Care stays on leading edge

By Courtney Sherwood June 29, 2014 6 a.m.

The challenges sound familiar to any fast-growing 21st century high-tech business.

New building nearer at Clark College

By Courtney Sherwood June 16, 2014 4:49 p.m.

After years of effort, Clark College is edging closer to bringing a $41 million science and technology building to its main Vancouver campus.

Changes afoot at Vancouver Plaza

By Courtney Sherwood June 9, 2014 4:41 p.m.

Burlington Coat Factory is coming to Clark County, spurring a flurry of changes at the Vancouver Plaza shopping center.

Mistrust, disagreement over oil terminal plan aired at meeting

By Courtney Sherwood May 21, 2014 10:43 p.m.

Mistrust and disagreement on the risks and benefits of a proposed Vancouver oil terminal were on display Wednesday night at a community meeting aimed at bringing all sides in the controversial issue together. And most of the mistrust seemed directed at Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies, the two businesses that want to handle as much as 380,000 barrels at the Port of Vancouver.

Colorado's experience with legal pot holds lessons for Washington

By Courtney Sherwood April 13, 2014 6 a.m.

DENVER — Marijuana may be legal now in Colorado, but I felt like a criminal the first time I visited an adult recreational vendor of the drug. To find a store, I downloaded the Weedmaps app to my phone, and already I was nervous that my cellular carrier might call the cops on me.

Entrepreneur hopes he's got a 'Remarkabowl' hit

By Courtney Sherwood March 30, 2014 6 a.m.

John Wirth has been dreaming up business ideas since his teenage days, but so far he's never struck it big. Now, as he awaits word on his latest big idea, the Vancouver native says he thinks the fourth time will be the charm.

Franchise rights & wrongs

By Courtney Sherwood March 2, 2014 6 a.m.

Conrad Cluff had big dreams for his general contracting firm. But as he spent 12 years trying to grow his Clark County business, he kept coming back to the same basic truth: His strengths were as a contractor, not a marketing guru or a business development expert.

Prosperity for Clark County? Experts disagree

By Courtney Sherwood January 23, 2014 7:22 p.m.

Hundreds packed into the Hilton Vancouver Washington this morning for The Columbian's 2014 Economic Forecast Breakfast, "Turning Promise into Prosperity."

Video's last stand in Clark County

By Courtney Sherwood December 4, 2013 6 a.m.

Has the Internet killed the video rental business? One Hazel Dell company hopes the answer to that question is "no." When Video Connections opened 32 years ago, it was one of the first stores to see viewing movies at home as a moneymaker. And now, after the bankruptcies of Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, it's one of the last storefronts in Clark County where people can head inside to browse the shelves before taking a movie home.

Camas electronics firm increasing global focus

By Courtney Sherwood November 3, 2013 6 a.m.

When Leonard Felix saw the ad, he was first puzzled, then intrigued.

Northwest Pipe Co. hopes higher profits are in the pipeline

By Courtney Sherwood September 22, 2013 6 a.m.

Vancouver-based Northwest Pipe Co. is continuing a long battle to boost profits and strengthen its market share, but CEO Scott Montrose is telling investors that they'll have to wait until next year before the company's recovery efforts begin to fully pay off.

Nautilus Boosts product lineup

By Courtney Sherwood August 6, 2013 6 a.m.

Nautilus Inc. is making its first foray into a much smaller and cheaper fitness product: a bracelet that tracks its wearer's exercise goals, calorie burning and even sleep.

Nautilus has seen its fortunes reversed

By Courtney Sherwood August 4, 2013 6 a.m.

Vancouver-based Nautilus has been through more ups and downs over the past decade than the fitness fans who use its TreadClimber exercise machine. But Bruce Cazenave -- Nautilus' fourth CEO since 2003 -- believes the era of cost-cutting and layoffs is finally over.

Nautilus overcomes problems

By Courtney Sherwood August 4, 2013 5:59 a.m.

Back in 2003, Vancouver-based Nautilus seemed to be on a steady path.

Light rail: Blight or bliss?

By Courtney Sherwood June 10, 2013 6 a.m.

PORTLAND — Love it or hate it, light rail's tracks are firmly embedded in plans for the Columbia River Crossing. But what will that mean for Vancouver?

An audibly successful venture

By Courtney Sherwood June 2, 2013 6 a.m.

Some executives learn corporate strategy in business school. Others master their industries on the job.

CRC letter on radar at economic forecast event

By Courtney Sherwood January 24, 2013 5 p.m.

Clark County's economic future was the official theme this morning in Vancouver.

Utilities face ‘age of the consumer’

By Courtney Sherwood April 28, 2012 6 a.m.

The ways we buy and use electricity are in the midst of a dramatic shake-up, according to the Camas-based head of Underwriters Laboratories’ global wind energy efforts. And despite efforts to build this region’s eco-credentials, the Pacific Northwest is lagging behind a number of California and Midwest communities, Jason Hopkins said in a keynote address at Friday’s Clean Energy Industry Buyers & Sellers Forum in Portland.

Local gas prices soar

By Courtney Sherwood February 29, 2012 6 a.m.

Gasoline prices have climbed every day for 33 consecutive days, rising more than 40 cents to flirt with the $4 mark for a gallon of regular unleaded on Tuesday in Vancouver.

Local input sought on workers’ comp

By Courtney Sherwood February 3, 2012 6 a.m.

State officials will be in Vancouver later this month to gather feedback about how to best put into force recent reforms to Washington’s workers’ compensation system.

Sherwood: Local business news still matters

By Courtney Sherwood January 29, 2012 6 a.m.

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.

Progress in economy, but worries linger

By Courtney Sherwood January 22, 2012 6 a.m.

It’s deja vu, all over again.

Clark County foreclosures fall; remain at high level

By Courtney Sherwood January 12, 2012 6 a.m.

Clark County foreclosures dropped by 25 percent in 2011, though homeowners continued to run into trouble at far greater rates than before housing prices began to slide in 2006, according to a report issued Wednesday.

Don't expect a jobs boom, Fed official tells local crowd

By Libby Clark and Courtney Sherwood January 10, 2012 5:11 p.m.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John C. Williams was the keynote speaker at Tuesday's 2012 Economic Forecast Breakfast, presented by The Columbian.

Experts to discuss region’s economy at breakfast

By Courtney Sherwood January 6, 2012 6 a.m.

What will it take to get Southwest Washington’s economy growing at a healthy clip, and what do national data say about how to get us there?

Area data suggest job growth in 2012

By Courtney Sherwood January 4, 2012 6 a.m.

Portland-Vancouver area small business owners hired more people in 2011 than the year before, but paid them less, according to data released Tuesday, and hiring should continue to climb in 2012, with half of all small business owners planning to add jobs in the year ahead.

Scammers return to scene of crime

By Courtney Sherwood January 3, 2012 6 a.m.

It was bad enough when Bobby Worden was scammed five years ago by a telemarketer who offered credit card processing machines for his Clark County businesses.

Jobs, housing loom large in 2011

By Courtney Sherwood January 1, 2012 6 a.m.

Saying that high unemployment and a housing market in the doldrums overshadowed the good news stories of 2011 is kind of like saying the elephant in the room made it awfully hard to notice the mouse.

‘Vancouvria’ spoofs Oregonians’ views of The Couv

By Courtney Sherwood December 23, 2011 6 a.m.

If “Portlandia” is a TV spoof about life in Portland, what do you call a Web-based spoof about life in Vancouver? “Vancouvria,” apparently.

Portlandia spoof video looks at Vancouver's "dream of the suburbs"

By Courtney Sherwood December 19, 2011 4:19 p.m.

If "Portlandia" was a TV spoof about life in Portland, what do you call a Web-based spoof about life in Vancouver?

Dining out: Sandwich Box serves up tasty basics

By Courtney Sherwood December 9, 2011 6 a.m.

When I first started working in downtown Vancouver, I was excited by all the lunch options within walking distance of the office. It doesn’t take long, however, for the lower-priced restaurants to start seeming stale and for the cost of the others to add up. Sandwich Box is a new addition to the affordable downtown lunch scene.

Gas prices squeeze holidays

By Courtney Sherwood December 4, 2011 6 a.m.

To the old truism that nothing in life is guaranteed but death and taxes, a new certainty has been added in recent years: Grumbling about gasoline prices.

Vancouver firm accused of stock fraud

By Courtney Sherwood December 2, 2011 6 a.m.

A Vancouver business and its CEO were sued by federal regulators Thursday for allegedly paying illegal kickbacks to a hedge fund and manipulating penny stock trades.

Clark County restaurants see business improve

By Courtney Sherwood November 27, 2011 6 a.m.

Have Clark County restaurant owners finally found a recipe for financial success? The allure of Portland’s well-developed food scene has long drawn Southwest Washington residents across the river for dinner. Add a prolonged era of high unemployment, and local dining establishments have been dealt a double blow in recent years.

Thursday's job fair aims to recruit veterans

By Courtney Sherwood November 15, 2011 6 a.m.

Close to 40 employers looking to hire a few good veterans will be in Vancouver on Thursday. And former armed forces personnel also will be able to tap into the state WorkSource program’s database, which lists more than 500 openings across Clark County. The veteran’s job fair, sponsored by Vancouver WorkSource and hosted by the Washington Army National Guard, is one of dozens of similar events scheduled this month across the U.S. after a number of governors — including Washington’s — declared November “Hire-a-Vet Month.”

‘Shop local’ not empty message

By Courtney Sherwood November 13, 2011 6 a.m.

‘Shop local” is a rallying cry small stores usually direct at shoppers, regardless of where those stores buy their own supplies. But more and more often, businesses that want their customers to stay close to home are practicing what they preach.

Eking out legislation in D.C.

By Courtney Sherwood November 6, 2011 6 a.m.

All the recent headlines about what isn’t getting done in our nation’s capital left me wondering what overlooked legislation local business people should know about. Here’s a roundup of business-related congressional actions taken since summer — and why they matter to Clark County’s economy:

Students bond over Bard at festival

By Courtney Sherwood November 4, 2011 6 a.m.

More than 200 teenagers — roughly half of them from Clark County — will converge on Portland this weekend to celebrate a theatrical tradition that dates back 500 years.

Federal Reserve official to keynote forecast breakfast

By Courtney Sherwood November 1, 2011 6 a.m.

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco will be the keynote speaker for The Columbian’s 2012 Economic Forecast Breakfast in January. The annual event at the Hilton Vancouver Washington is scheduled for Jan. 10 and will feature John Williams, who was named president and chief executive officer of the body in March.

A foothold in solar, but what now?

By Courtney Sherwood October 30, 2011 6 a.m.

Is the sun setting on Clark County solar opportunities? Or does the sector offer bright opportunities for job creation here? Already, the greater Portland-Vancouver metro area has a foothold in solar, thanks to SolarWorld in Hillsboro, Ore., which claims to be America’s largest, most advanced photovoltaic production site. Japanese corporation Sharp this year chose to base its U.S. solar operations in Camas. Vancouver silicon manufacturer SEH America has hinted that it might venture into the field.

Muddling through Clark County’s murky 3Q

By Courtney Sherwood October 23, 2011 6 a.m.

Clark County’s economy managed to tread water in the third quarter of 2011, but struggling businesses and unemployed workers were still at sea in the July to September period. And even normally optimistic economists don’t expect the county — or the state or nation — to come ashore in the foreseeable future. Staying afloat at least beats drowning, which the pessimists fear.

Long-term West Hayden Island plan eyed

By Courtney Sherwood October 4, 2011 6 a.m.

There’s no budget, no timeline and no big businesses yet interested in locating to West Hayden Island. But sometime in the next ten to 20 years, city of Portland and Port of Portland officials hope to build a 300-acre marine terminal on the Oregon island that includes Jantzen Beach.

A tale of two taxes

By Courtney Sherwood September 4, 2011 6 a.m.

Give a business a $1 million break on taxes and fees: Good idea or bad? It depends on the business, the types of taxes we’re talking about, and how we tell the story, to look at two recent local examples.