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Brad's Business Highlights

Monday: 3/31/2014

Anyone planning to tie the knot in the near future knows weddings are getting more expensive and couples are spending more on their big day. The average wedding cost 30 thousand dollars last year. That's a record high and a five percent increase from the year before. Venue and catering expenses ate up 13 thousand dollars of the budget on average. The most expensive place to wed in the US is Manhattan, where couples put down an average of 87 grand.

Tuesday: 4/1/2014

Starbucks is in the process of changing its food menu. The Puget Sound business journal reports the coffee giant is going to bring back some pasty items like banana, pumpkin and ice-lemon cake slices. The change comes after customers complained about some of the new pastries being "too fancy."

Wednesday: 4/2/2014

Amazon is making it easier for you to return unwanted items. Books, clothes and any other purchases you decide you don't want can be returned to Amazon service lockers. The lockers are located in garages, convenience and grocery stores in major metro areas. The service should help cut down on shipping costs associated with merchandise returns.

Columbia Bank's Business Insight: Reducing Security Risks in a Mobile World. Cybercrime is pervasive, so fixing digital loopholes to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud is critical. A stolen, unlocked mobile phone provides access to your email, social networks, storage apps, even Facebook. Ultimately, a thief can use all of this information to steal your identity. Be sure to create complex passwords and don't save them digitally-commit them to memory. Simply develop a combination of personal memories, milestones or dates that are easily recalled.

Thursday: 4/3/2014

People in China looking to buy a home in the US will soon have access to Zillow search data. The Pugest Sound Business Journal reports Zillow is partnering with Chinese real estate site Leju. The Seattle-based site has similar deals with Yahoo Home and AOL Real Estate.

Friday: 4/4/2014

When it comes to influencing lawmakers in Olympia, few companies have as much sway as Premera Blue Cross. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports the Mountlake Terrace-based insurance giant has become a major legislative power player. That power was on display when the company recently gutted a database that would have publicly revealed what insurers pay for different procedures around the state.

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