Gas prices fall in Clark County

By Gordon Oliver October 22, 2014 5:19 p.m.

For the first time in many years, motorists can look forward to a pleasant surprise at the local gas station — gasoline that costs less than $3 a gallon.

Big chains squeeze Cinetopia

By Gordon Oliver October 21, 2014 6 a.m.

Cinetopia owner Rudyard Coltman knows how to build movie theaters so dazzling that they draw moviegoers from miles around.

Strictly Business: 'Earning' a place in the media

By Gordon Oliver October 19, 2014 6 a.m.

I was the only man in the room last Wednesday at the monthly meeting of the Women Entrepreneurs Organization of Clark County. I had no complaints, but I had to wonder what advice about the news business I could offer these hardworking women whose business ventures ranged from tattoo artist to real estate broker.

Oregon Iron Works gets Bay Area job

By Gordon Oliver October 17, 2014 6:34 p.m.

Oregon Iron Works, which operates a manufacturing plant in Vancouver, said Friday that it has been chosen as a steel fabricator for San Francisco's Transbay Transit Center. The $1.9 billion center, which some are calling the "Grand Central Station of the West," is one of the West's largest transit projects and is expected to generate over 7,000 jobs at the site and through off-site contractor work, Oregon Iron Works said in a news release.

Building activity slows in county

By Gordon Oliver October 17, 2014 6 a.m.

Clark County approved 56 residential building permits in September, the lowest monthly number this year but slightly more than the 54 permits issued in September 2013. Vancouver also reported a slowdown in building permit approvals.

From metro-area business summit, looking up

By Gordon Oliver October 15, 2014 6 a.m.

PORTLAND — A sense of optimism tinged with concern for those left behind in the post-recession economy permeated Greater Portland Inc.'s 7th Annual Economic Summit held Tuesday morning at the Portland Art Museum, an event that attracted a full house of regional business and political leaders, including many from Clark County.

Home sales cool as season turns

By Gordon Oliver October 15, 2014 6 a.m.

Clark County home sales cooled during September, with listings, sales, and median prices all down from August numbers, according to the latest "Market Action" report from RMLS, the regional real estate listing service.

Angling for better parking downtown

By Gordon Oliver October 12, 2014 6 a.m.

Michael Lary and his business partners gave plenty of thought to where they wanted to locate their business, The Source Climbing Center, in 2011. They landed at 1118 Main St. in the heart of the downtown business district, bringing about 10 employees and 100 to 150 daily visitors, most of whom arrive by car, into the downtown mix.

Vancouver children's clothes maker bought

By Gordon Oliver October 11, 2014 6 a.m.

A small Vancouver maker of children's outdoor apparel has sold to a Utah investor, a move that the company says will provide it with funding to pay for its local expansion.

Postal customers, workers protest proposed changes

By Gordon Oliver October 3, 2014 7:13 p.m.

Some 40 local residents didn't bother using the U.S. Postal Service on Friday morning, choosing instead to personally deliver messages to local congressional staff members in support of Postal Service functions threatened by federal mandates to the Postal Service.

Vancouver eatery On the Border closes

By Gordon Oliver October 2, 2014 5:12 p.m.

On the Border, a Texas-based Mexican restaurant chain, has abruptly closed its single Vancouver location amid a swirl of legal claims against the restaurant's franchise owners over unpaid rent and taxes.

Webfor defies the odds

By Gordon Oliver October 1, 2014 4:46 p.m.

Kevin Getch is running late — by about a full year — in holding an open house for his firm's new offices.

RS Medical will lay off 28 employees 'right away'

By Gordon Oliver September 29, 2014 12:28 p.m.

New rules cause Vancouver company to drop Medicare market

Portland investors buy Main Place

By Gordon Oliver September 27, 2014 6 a.m.

One of downtown's most recognizable buildings, the black glass box known as Main Place, has been purchased by a prominent Portland investment firm that is making its first major plunge into Vancouver real estate.

Wacom writes new chapter for pens

By Gordon Oliver September 22, 2014 5 p.m.

Wacom is rolling out four new digital tools this fall, ranging from premium professional pens to an inexpensive stylus for doodlers and note-takers, as it feeds growing consumer demand for expanded uses of tablets and smartphones.

Strictly Business: Business e-newsletter set to evolve

By Gordon Oliver September 21, 2014 6 a.m.

How do your find the news that interests you?

Clark County real estate market stays strong

By Gordon Oliver September 16, 2014 4:15 p.m.

Clark County's real estate market in August reflected a normal seasonal downturn from July but showed continued strength overall with year-over-year increases in pending sales and median sales price and a 10 percent drop in the time needed to sell a home.

Mall mum on future of Nordstrom space

By Gordon Oliver September 8, 2014 4:36 p.m.

Vancouver Westfield mall patrons will get their last chance this holiday season to shop at the mall's Nordstrom store, which is set to close in January. Yet, seven months after that closure was announced, Westfield executives haven't disclosed their plans for the 71,000 square-foot mall anchor space that Nordstrom has occupied since 1977.

Integra appoints new interim CEO

By Gordon Oliver September 8, 2014 4:26 p.m.

Vancouver-based telecom provider Integra announced Monday that it has named board member Robert Guth as interim CEO and president. Guth replaces Kevin O’Hara, who had served as CEO since 2011. O’Hara also has left the company’s board.

Vancouver Plaza sees comings and goings

By Gordon Oliver September 3, 2014 4:37 p.m.

Construction continues on a new Burlington Coat Factory and a relocated Bed Bath & Beyond at the Vancouver Plaza, with both stores targeted for completion before the holiday shopping season begins.

Brush Prairie couple's farm labor of love

By Gordon Oliver August 31, 2014 6 a.m.

Foxfire Farm, the name that Jeff and Kathleen Booren have given to the productive plot on their Orchards homestead, is a labor of love for a couple winding down from careers in mental health services and banking.

Heraeus Shin-Etsu America closing Camas operation

By Gordon Oliver August 25, 2014 4:54 p.m.

A Japan-based company that produces a key product used in the manufacture of silicon crystals and ingots for semiconductors is closing its Camas operations, leaving dozens of mostly long-term employees without jobs.

Postal Service official makes Vancouver visit

By Gordon Oliver August 20, 2014 5:12 p.m.

Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman, in Vancouver to attend an expo Thursday of U.S. Postal Service customers, sees a bright future for the quasi-governmental organization's expansion of its package delivery and business services.

Strictly Business: Visionary Fred Meyer

By Gordon Oliver August 17, 2014 6 a.m.

As a teenager, Fred Grubmeyer decided to explore life beyond Brooklyn and headed west. He briefly tried his hand at gold mining in Alaska but realized his small miner's shovel was no match for the mountain in front of him. The young man found his way to Portland, shortened his name to Meyer and over decades built a chain of shopping centers that made him a local household name.

Coffee To Go: Dutch Bros. coming to Hazel Dell

By Gordon Oliver August 12, 2014 6:59 p.m.

A Dutch Bros. drive-through kiosk under construction at Northeast 99th Street and Hazel Dell Avenue should be open for business late this month or in early September.

BergerABAM moving to former City Hall site

By Gordon Oliver August 11, 2014 5:09 p.m.

The engineering and environmental consulting firm BergerABAM said Monday that it will move its Vancouver offices to the former City Hall building at 210 E. 13th St., the first announced tenant in a building that is now called Block 56.

Development planned at quarry

By Gordon Oliver August 8, 2014 6:58 p.m.

A Portland developer has submitted preliminary plans to develop an 84-acre former quarry on Southeast 192nd Avenue immediately north of state Highway 14 with a mix of uses include housing, retail, commercial, and offices and a hotel.

CenturyLink expanding its services in Clark County

By Gordon Oliver August 6, 2014 5:36 p.m.

Vancouver and Clark County had a low profile in CenturyLink's Tuesday announcement that the company is expanding its gigabit service in Portland. But a top company official said Wednesday that the company is also aggressively expanding its ultra-fast Internet service on this side of the Columbia River.

Students provide MAP for businesses

By Gordon Oliver July 31, 2014 4:37 p.m.

Mark Mahan knows plenty about business.

Washington receives mixed grades on its business climate

By Gordon Oliver July 22, 2014 6 a.m.

A national survey gave Washington a D+ grade in business "friendliness" due to its regulatory environment, while recognizing the state as one of the easiest in which to start a business ,with an A- grade in that category.

Parade of Homes show drawing big crowds

By Gordon Oliver July 21, 2014 5:42 p.m.

The NW Natural Parade of Homes is drawing large crowds to Erickson Farms in Felida, with the number of visitors tracking at nearly double last year's attendance, according to the Building Industry Association of Clark County, an event sponsor.

2nd Quarter report: Business relocations, jobs numbers, home sales add to good news

By Gordon Oliver July 20, 2014 6 a.m.

Clark County's economy showed renewed energy in the year's second quarter as the county welcomed one new corporate headquarters, attracted another for relocation next year, and saw other business moves and expansions.

Columbia Machine: Save Export-Import Bank

By Gordon Oliver July 15, 2014 6:03 p.m.

Rick Goode, CEO of the Vancouver-based concrete products company Columbia Machine Inc., showed up at the White House Tuesday morning to lend his support to the federal Export-Import Bank and to discuss other initiatives that assist U.S. companies in building export markets.

Strictly Business: Legal pot industry sure to be robust

By Gordon Oliver July 13, 2014 6 a.m.

It's rare when any business in Clark County attracts national or even regional interest, so the media throng that greeted last Wednesday's opening of Main Street Marijuana was quite a curiosity.

Erickson Farms holds memories for area residents, developers

By Gordon Oliver July 6, 2014 6 a.m.

About all that's left of the old Erickson Farms in Felida are the memories of countless longtime Clark County residents who, as children, picked fruit and berries in those fields or who, as adults, bought those berries and other produce at the Erickson's farm store.

Survey: Hiring up 10 percent in 2013

By Gordon Oliver July 1, 2014 5:35 p.m.

An Employment Security Department survey of Washington employers estimated that job vacancies in the state rose by 23 percent between the fall of 2012 and fall of 2013, while hiring rose by nearly 10 percent. Employers reported that vacant positions remained open last fall on average for about 66 days, a dramatic leap from the 19 day average for job openings in the fall of 2012.

Cantwell supports extending charter of U.S. Ex-Im Bank

By Gordon Oliver June 30, 2014 6:01 p.m.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., pitched for Congress to extend the charter of the U.S. Export-Import Bank during a Monday morning visit to Columbia Machine's headquarters and manufacturing plant in Vancouver, saying the bank's services help small businesses compete in overseas markets.

Washington gets $6 million to retrain jobless workers

By Gordon Oliver June 26, 2014 5:29 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday announced $6.175 million in job-training grants in Washington to retrain long-term unemployed workers, as part of a $154.7 million allocation to 32 states, Puerto Rico and the Cherokee tribal nation.

WaferTech parent sees no U.S. chipmaking expansion

By Gordon Oliver and Justin Runquist June 24, 2014 10:28 a.m.

The chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., parent of the WaferTech chip manufacturer in Camas, said Tuesday that the company no longer is considering expansion of manufacturing in the United States.

Umpqua to close 2 Vancouver branches

By Gordon Oliver June 23, 2014 5:10 p.m.

Portland-based Umpqua Bank said Monday it will close two Vancouver branches this fall as part of a consolidation triggered by its acquisition in April of the Spokane-based Sterling Branch.

Strictly Business: Balancing profit and innovation

By Gordon Oliver June 22, 2014 6 a.m.

The intersection between the bright promise of medical breakthroughs and the cruel undertow of marketplace realities has never been easy to navigate. As brilliant minds work to find cures to the many pains and diseases that ail us, equally sharp minds look to commercialize those cures so their creators and financiers can profit from saving lives and improving health.

Papa Murphy's hit with 2nd suit

By Gordon Oliver June 19, 2014 7:15 p.m.

Papa Murphy's International faces a second lawsuit from franchise owners who say the Vancouver-based company failed to disclose accurate information about the financial performance of stores in Southern and Southeastern states where they operate.

Integra gets warm welcome to Vancouver

By Gordon Oliver June 19, 2014 4:48 p.m.

Employees of the telecommunications firm Integra, which recently moved its headquarters to Vancouver, enjoyed a warm community welcome Wednesday afternoon under sunny skies at their expansive campus-style offices at 18110 S.E. 34th St. in east Vancouver.

Steakburger razed as project ramps up

By Gordon Oliver June 17, 2014 4:47 p.m.

Steakburger took its last food order May 29, ending a final burst of popularity that’s common when a long-loved but faded institution approaches its demise. This week, with the Golf-O-Rama miniature golf course and outbuildings already gone, the big machines got to the heart of the matter and leveled the restaurant that called 7120 N.E. Highway 99 its address for more than half a century.

'Shark Tank' vet set for PubTalk

By Gordon Oliver June 16, 2014 6 a.m.

Matt Franklin, a Portland entrepreneur who has appeared on the popular ABC TV business competition show "Shark Tank," will be a featured guest at Clark County PubTalk on Tuesday evening.

Society salutes system of signs at library

By Gordon Oliver June 13, 2014 5:59 p.m.

In the search for knowledge, it's tough to lose your way in the Vancouver Community Library.

GarageGames moving to Vancouver

By Gordon Oliver June 13, 2014 8:50 a.m.

GarageGames technology firm headed to downtown Vancouver

Oregon Zoo trains make stop in Ridgefield

By Gordon Oliver June 12, 2014 6 a.m.

Two of the Oregon Zoo's popular train cars will spend the summer at Pacific Power Group's facility in Ridgefield for repairs and refurbishing, leaving throngs of zoo visitors waiting at the station until late this fall.

Oregon jobs drew 59K Clark County residents in 2011

By Gordon Oliver June 11, 2014 4:24 p.m.

A new Oregon Employment Department report on that state's non-resident workforce notes that nearly 99,000 of its workers are residents of other states, with well over half of those workers flowing into the state from Clark County.

Single-family subdivision proposed for quarry site

By Gordon Oliver June 10, 2014 4:21 p.m.

Owners of the inactive Evergreen Quarry in east Vancouver are proposing to build 120 single-family homes on an approximately 19-acre property after elevating the site by 40 to 45 feet with fill material, according to an application filed with the Vancouver’s Community and Economic Development office.