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Brad's Business Highlights

Monday: 2/3/2014

Beer consumption is falling flat among young adults. Experts say beer drinking is down 30 percent from 20 years ago. And twenty-somethings aren't the only ones turning away from the suds, beer sales are down among all age groups. Researchers say Baby Boomers are drinking less and younger drinkers prefer cocktails and wine, with liquor and wine sales on the rise during the past twenty years. One bright spot for the beer business; craft beers, like many found here in the Northwest, are gaining popularity.

Tuesday: 2/4/2014
Microsoft has a new CEO. The company named Satya Nadella as the replacement for Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement in August. Nadella worked for Microsoft for 22 years and heads its hugely successful "Cloud and Enterprise" group. The Puget Sound Business Journal says the 46-year-old's first priority is to remove any obstacles that allow Microsoft to innovate, but critics say it could be a tough sell with Ballmer and Founder Bill Gates remaining on the board.

Wednesday: 2/5/2014
Boeing is adding new jobs at its Renton plant in order to increase production of it's new 737-Max jet. Boeing initially plans to build 42 jets a month, then increase that number to 47 by the year 2017. To reach that goal the company will be adding more workers, putting in new fuselage feeder lines and potentially automating some jobs to increase efficiency. Boeing already has nearly 1,800 orders for the new Max jet.

Columbia Bank's Business Insight: Meet with your banker on a quarterly basis.
Your banker is a partner you can trust. It's important to treat the relationship with a banker as just that--a relationship. Just like in a personal relationship there has to be trust, openness, communication, honesty and integrity on both parties. We can collaborate, confide in one another and bounce ideas around. A good banker should be involved with all the movements of a company's finances, which understandably requires a very significant level of trust. Ideally, you should meet with your banker on a quarterly basis. Once you find the right partner, sit down with them and lay the groundwork for a strong relationship. Make this a priority for your business.

Thursday: 2/6/2014
Nordstom announced it's closing some local stores in southwest Washington and Oregon. The Nordstom inside Portland's Lloyd Center opeining in 1960, the Vancouver Mall store opened in 1977. The company's president says the stores just aren't performing well enough. Both will close by early next year.

Friday: 2/7/2014
Siri is doing more than just giving you directions. Apple says when you interact with the digital assistant, your voice is stored on its servers. Critics are calling it a violation of privacy, but Apple claims the practice is used to sharpen Siri's voice and help with its understanding and recognition.

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