Commercial vacancies at 17 percent downtown

By Gordon Oliver February 26, 2015 5:35 p.m.

If you're looking for commercial space to lease in downtown Vancouver, you won't have to look far.

Hispanic chamber opens downtown Vancouver office

By Gordon Oliver February 25, 2015 4:47 p.m.

After two decades of serving Southwest Washington from its Portland office, the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber has now planted itself physically in this community with a new office in downtown Vancouver.

Former Thriftway owner dies at 99

By Gordon Oliver February 19, 2015 4:26 p.m.

Norman C. Danielson, who at one time owned and operated four Thriftway grocery stores in Clark County, passed away Feb. 12 at his home in Camas. He was 99.

New building for downtown thrills leaders

By Gordon Oliver February 18, 2015 5:55 p.m.

Vancouver business and political boosters took turns declaring that Wednesday was a big day for the city's slowly blossoming downtown. It was, they said, a day that would be remembered as the kickoff for construction of the city's first new office building in many years.

Strictly Business: Shipper's departure bad for all

By Gordon Oliver February 15, 2015 6 a.m.

Mercifully, the Port of Vancouver has been on the sidelines in the battle between West Coast port operators and the Longshore union that has turned increasingly nasty in recent weeks. The port's union dockworkers, having endured an 18-month lockout at the United Grain Terminal before reaching a contract deal in August, aren't in this fight affecting their union siblings at container-handling ports. Surely they're relieved that it's somebody else's turn on the front lines.

State retail sales rise in 3Q of 2014

By Gordon Oliver February 13, 2015 5:11 p.m.

Washington's taxable retail sales increased to $33.2 billion for the third quarter of 2014, a 7.3 percent over the same July to September period in 2013, the Department of Revenue said Friday. Retail trade, a subset of total taxable retail sales, rose 5.5 percent to $14.6 billion in the same period.

Chambers target small businesses with grant

By Gordon Oliver February 12, 2015 6 a.m.

Two business support organizations — the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber — have both launched small business assistance programs for low-income Vancouver residents. The programs are tapping federal grant funds allocated by the city of Vancouver.

Banfield Pet Hospital names new CEO

By Gordon Oliver February 10, 2015 6 a.m.

Banfield Pet Hospital, the Portland-based veterinary chain that is moving its headquarters to Vancouver next year, has named a company vice president as its new president and chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Banfield Pet Hospital shows Vancouver campus plan

By Gordon Oliver February 5, 2015 7:50 p.m.

Banfield Pet Hospital's new 17.5-acre corporate campus in east Vancouver will include three office buildings designed by one of the Northwest's top architects, a half-acre off-leash dog exercise area, and lush landscaping, company officials disclosed Thursday.

Sunlight Supply proposes new facility

By Gordon Oliver February 3, 2015 6 a.m.

Sunlight Supply Inc., a Vancouver-based manufacturer and distributor of specialty gardening supplies nationwide, is proposing a huge manufacturing facility and new offices at the Port of Vancouver's Centennial Industrial Park. The project would require approval from the city and from the Port of Vancouver.

Strictly Business: Would a corporate airport fly?

By Gordon Oliver February 1, 2015 6 a.m.

Ken Fisher, the billionaire Camas investment manager, has brought more jobs to Clark County in the past decade than anyone else. With more than 900 employees settled into a sparkling new office campus in Camas, Fisher carries some weight when he talks about what it might take to draw corporate bigwigs to a county that is often overlooked by the big guys.

Skyview grads work on smart glasses that act on hand gestures

By Gordon Oliver January 30, 2015 6 a.m.

Obituaries are being written this month for Google Glass in response to Google's decision to halt production of its current version of its much-hyped wearable computer.

Local concern doing energy audits

By Gordon Oliver January 27, 2015 6 a.m.

A nonprofit group focused on helping Clark County homeowners improve the energy efficiency and air quality of their homes has chosen a local contractor to offer a "one-stop shop" service for home upgrades.

Local economy shifts gears

By Gordon Oliver January 25, 2015 6 a.m.

lark County's long-lagging economy played a good deal of catchup during the last fiscal quarter with the larger Portland metro and state of Washington economies, by way of strong job growth, a larger workforce and a steady housing market.

Online lender moving into Northwest

By Gordon Oliver January 23, 2015 5:22 p.m.

A California startup aiming to drastically cut the costs of home refinancing has branched out to Washington and Oregon with an online lending service that it hopes will be the cutting edge of a transformation of the highly regulated home lending industry.

DiscoverOrg moves to downtown Vancouver

By Gordon Oliver January 23, 2015 5:15 p.m.

DiscoverOrg, a provider of sales leads information for technology vendors and staffing firms, is moving some 120 employees from east Vancouver to the 805 Broadway building in the city's downtown.

Flowers bloom again at Luepke in Vancouver

By Gordon Oliver January 22, 2015 4:56 p.m.

Bruno Amicci acted like a kid in a candy shop Wednesday morning as he bustled through the Luepke building in downtown Vancouver, talking nonstop to a handful of visitors and employees in the largely empty space.

Gold's Gym going into Nordstrom space at Vancouver mall

By Gordon Oliver January 21, 2015 3:59 p.m.

Gold's Gym will open in Westfield Vancouver mall in early 2016 in space vacated earlier this month by Nordstrom, Westfield Vancouver officials said in a news release Wednesday.

EarthLink laid off local staff

By Gordon Oliver January 16, 2015 5:41 p.m.

Atlanta-based EarthLink confirmed this week that it laid off some employees at its Vancouver EarthLink Business offices in Vancouver last week, without disclosing how many.

Sotheby's to open first Vancouver office

By Gordon Oliver January 16, 2015 5:28 p.m.

Sotheby's International Realty, one of the most recognized names in high-end real estate sales, will open an office in Vancouver in March as part of a new franchise deal by the company for the Portland-Vancouver market.

Clark County home sales up in December

By Gordon Oliver January 15, 2015 4:29 p.m.

Clark County's housing market showed resilience in the historically slow sales month of December, with the most closed sales for a December since 2005, the RMLS real estate listing service said in its December market report. The report's indicators suggest growing demand for a shrinking supply of homes for sale, which could be a precursor of a solid increase in housing prices this year.

Torque adds 2nd location in Washougal

By Gordon Oliver January 15, 2015 6 a.m.

Torque Coffee Roasters is taking its blend of "guilt-free" coffee and pastries to downtown Washougal, marking the first expansion for a company that opened a single location in downtown Vancouver three years ago.

Local contractors group director off to fast start

By Gordon Oliver January 14, 2015 6 a.m.

Darcy Altizer was ready for a new professional challenge, and the Southwest Washington Contractors Association had a challenge to offer.

Sigma Design plans manufacturing facility

By Gordon Oliver January 12, 2015 4:57 p.m.

Sigma Design, a Vancouver-based product design and engineering firm, said Monday that it will launch a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing site in east Vancouver this spring that will employ at least 20 permanent workers and up to 100 permanent and temporary workers during peak production times.

Corbett Fish House to open site at Lacamas Crossing

By Gordon Oliver January 10, 2015 6 a.m.

Corbett Fish House, a popular eatery whose owners operate two restaurants in Portland, is preparing to expand to Lacamas Crossing shopping center in Camas.

Wacom goes big at Vegas electronics show  

By Gordon Oliver January 6, 2015 3:52 p.m.

Wacom, the Japanese interactive pen-and-display maker with Americas operations based in Vancouver, on Tuesday released two new products for artists and designers on opening day of the huge Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Strictly Business: Tanzania trip shows disparity

By Gordon Oliver January 4, 2015 6 a.m.

Few life experiences can match the wonder of visiting some of the world's greatest nature preserves, including the Serengeti National Park, in the equatorial eastern African country of Tanzania. My wife and I indulged in that great adventure on a photo safari through three of Tanzania's wondrous wildlife parks, reveling in close-up sightings of lounging lions, elephants wandering in our path, and partially submerged hippos whose backs double as perches for birds. I'll always treasure those six days staring out the pop-top of a Toyota Land Cruiser, observing and photographing this masterstroke of nature.

Chamber program benefits small firms

By Gordon Oliver January 2, 2015 5:13 p.m.

When it comes to business assistance programs, it's possible to have too much of a good thing.

U.S. gas prices hit five-year low

By Gordon Oliver December 30, 2014 4:47 p.m.

The final gas price report of 2014 is once again good news for consumers, as falling crude prices continue to deliver much lower prices at the pump week after week.

Wal-Mart breaks ground in Orchards

By Gordon Oliver December 25, 2014 3:35 p.m.

Construction is about to begin on a long-planned Wal-Mart Supercenter in Orchards, on the south side of Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard, east of 147th Avenue.

Apartments planned for downtown Vancouver

By Gordon Oliver December 24, 2014 6 a.m.

A five-story, 96-unit apartment complex is being proposed for a surface parking lot at West 13th and Columbia streets in downtown Vancouver, according to documents submitted to the city for preliminary review.

Strictly Business: Experts on menu at forecast breakfast

By Gordon Oliver December 7, 2014 6 a.m.

If you really want to hear from the experts on our local Clark County economy, talk to the experts — the people working every day to provide jobs in our community.

Numbers of SBA loans grow in Clark County

By Gordon Oliver December 4, 2014 6 a.m.

The U.S. Small Business Administration saw a slight increase in its most popular business loans in Clark County in the federal fiscal year that ended Oct.. 31, matching regional and national trends of growing demand for the 7(a) loans.

Westfield shoppers brighten Black Friday

By Gordon Oliver November 28, 2014 2:24 p.m.

Black Friday shoppers made their time-tested rounds from one sale to another Friday morning, but some were more weary than in past years after pulling all-nighters on the retail circuit.

Panera rises at Steakburger site

By Gordon Oliver November 21, 2014 5:28 p.m.

Steakburger is gone, but the beloved fast-food joint won't be forgotten at its former home in Hazel Dell.

CEO shares secrets of entrepreneurial success

By Gordon Oliver November 19, 2014 5 p.m.

In an era in which companies draw on behavioral research tools to hire employees, it's somehow reassuring to learn that the CEO of a highly successful local company measures job applicants in part on whether their cars are clean and uncluttered.

Vancouver paving contractor faces charges

By Gordon Oliver November 17, 2014 4:30 p.m.

A Vancouver man faces criminal charges that he operated as an unregistered contractor while paving driveways for Clark County residents, the state Department of Labor & Industries said Monday.

Strictly Business: Driving on with new technology

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

Ready or not, we're approaching the day when we'll hand control of our cars over to computers.

Full recovery eludes local home prices

By Gordon Oliver and Justin Runquist November 16, 2014 6 a.m.

David Capolarello bought his home in a quiet Hazel Dell neighborhood in 2008. At the time, housing prices were near their peak following a stratospheric climb that was fueled by easy money and low or no-down payment deals. Homeownership was on the rise, and some thought the good days would keep on rolling.

Grocery Cocktail & Social draws crowds in downtown

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

Since early summer, Chris "Salty" Reed and his wife, Cindy Reed, have worked to bring new life to a charming downtown storefront that for years had been vacant and overlooked.

Fuel Medical relocates to Camas

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

Fuel Medical Group is growing at a rapid pace, but the ear, nose and throat medical service company is keeping it local despite its national reach.

Port, Northwest Packing reach lease deal

By Gordon Oliver November 6, 2014 5:12 p.m.

The Port of Vancouver and Northwest Packing Co. have reached an agreement on a 25-year extension of the company's lease on its fruit packing plant at the port, ending three years of sometimes tense negotiations over a new lease.

Chick-fil-A may be on way to Vancouver

By Gordon Oliver November 6, 2014 5:02 p.m.

The national fast-food chain Chick-fil-A may be headed to Vancouver as the restaurant makes its entry into the Portland metro area market.

American Empress has successful first season

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

The American Empress riverboat has made its final 2014 journey on the Columbia River, and the president of the cruise operator is breathing easier about a successful season that was by no means a certainty.

Tourism Award winners named

By Gordon Oliver November 3, 2014 6 a.m.

As this year's tourism season winds down, Visit Vancouver USA is recognizing its three Tourism Award winners for 2014.

Strictly Business: Downside for falling gas prices?

By Gordon Oliver November 2, 2014 6 a.m.

We love those lower gas prices, right? We drive away from the pump with a few more dollars for groceries, movies, maybe even our savings accounts to backstop our flat wages.

Kuni vice president Herman dies at 72

By Gordon Oliver October 31, 2014 4:49 p.m.

Joseph C. Herman, executive vice president of Vancouver-based Kuni Automotive Group, died Wednesday following a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 72.

Masons seeking new home

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

It's never easy to find a new home, but members of the Masons fraternal organization in Clark County have it worse than most as they prepare to move out of a building that's been their home for decades.

Barrett stock slumps after major 3Q net loss

By Gordon Oliver October 29, 2014 11:46 a.m.

Barrett Business Services, Inc. took a huge hit Wednesday following the release of third-quarter earnings showing a net loss of $37.7 million, largely due to an $80 million increase in reserves for payments of drawn-out worker compensation claims.

Port of Vancouver approves preliminary budget

By Gordon Oliver October 28, 2014 6:05 p.m.

The Port of Vancouver is making a big bet on North Dakota, and it's not all about oil. In a preliminary budget approved by the port's Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, the port is projecting $56.8 million in revenue from operations, compared to $34.1 million expected in the current fiscal year. Most of that projected increase is expected to come from a new initiative called "Dedicated Rail Service," in which the port would lease rail cars to transport agricultural products from North Dakota to Vancouver on rail cars that would otherwise run empty.