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Brad's Business Highlights

Monday: 5/26/2014

Google, Costco and Facebook top a new survey of the country's best companies for pay benefits. Costco was the only retailer to crack the top-25 in the survey. Adobe and Epic round out the top five. T-Mobile and Microsoft also made the list, checking in at the 17th and 18th respectively. Employees noted pay as a big driver of satisfaction, but also more control of flex time, fun travel and on-site services for employees. Tuesday: 5/27/2014 Boeing is buying another European software company; it's second such purchase in the past four days. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports Boeing will buy "AER-Data" of the Netherlands for an undisclosed price. AER-Data makes software used to help companies keep track of complex aircraft lease and maintenance records. Last month Boeing announced it was buying British software company ETS Aviation, also for an undisclosed amount. Wednesday: 5/28/2014 You can expect to see dozens of super yachts sailing in to Seattle this summer. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports at least 100 of these giant luxury cruisers will roam between the Panama Canal and Alaska, and about the third of those will stop here for provisions and repairs. Those in the know say Alaska is a hot destination right now for mega yachts, and the cost of mooring on the west coast is less than half the cost in the Mediterranean.

Columbia Bank's Business Insight: How to keep your entrepreneurial spirit alive.
While more Americans are finding jobs, the recovering economy is having an impact on entrepreneurs, according to a recent study by the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. As the U.S. labor market is growing, there is less pressure to start or expand a business out of necessity. Whether you're a veteran business owner who survived the recession or an aspiring entrepreneur nervous to take the first step, make sure to take a dynamic approach. In a recovering economy, there are increased options for growth and diversification. Consider government backed Small Business loans as a viable means to start a business or grow an existing one. Continue to embrace input from financial partners, employees and customers on an on-going basis to find new areas of opportunity. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Thursday: 5/29/2014 It's a good time for a good deal on household tools. A survey by shows prices are slashed by as much as 50 percent the first week of June as we approach Father's Day. 81 percent of shoppers surveyed purchased tools at least once a year. Lawn and garden tools top the list, followed by cordless-combo power tool kits, hand tools, power drills and toolboxes. Friday: 5/30/14 Some budding entrepreneurs are looking to cash in on our state's marijuana, liquor and craft beer industries. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports ventures such as "Kush Tourism" plan to take visitors to pot host-spots around Seattle later this summer. There's already an upstart "State Cannabis Tourism Association" to help grow the industry. It remains to be seen how they can work with rules that limit where you'll be able to use pot. Columbia Bank's experts can help with your business and personal finance needs. Simply visit