News Briefs

2008 BGA finalists selected

Finalists for the Vancouver Business Journal’s 2008 Business Growth Awards were chosen by representatives of SCORE’s Vancouver chapter.

Finalists for the Start-Up of the Year are Vancouver-based Acuity Group and Battle Ground-based Anchor Point Counseling Center.

In the Fastest Growing Business category for 1- to 5-year-old companies, finalists are Estimates NW Inc. and TechJet Imaging, both of Vancouver. Finalists in the 6- to 10-year-old division are Antares Advanced Test Technologies, Electrix, Silicon Forest Electrics and Bank of Clark County, all of Vancouver.

Finalists for the Fastest Growing Business, 10 years or older are Columbia/Okura LLC and The Management Group, both of Vancouver, and Longview-based Community Home Health and Hospice.

The finalist for Innovator of the Year is Vancouver-based Burgerville, and Vancouver-based Affordable Community Environments will be recognized for growth in the nonprofit sector.

The awards dinner will take place May 22 at the Hilton Vancouver, and Egils Milbergs, director of the newly formed Economic Development Commission for Washington State, will present the keynote address.

Nautilus sells Pearl iZumi apparel line

Vancouver-based Nautilus Inc. sold its apparel division and restructured its leadership in April.

The publicly traded company sold its apparel division, Pearl iZumi, to Shimano American Corp., a division of cycling and fishing equipment company Shimano Inc.

Consideration for the sale was $69.4 million, including $65.3 million in cash and the assumption of $4.1 million in long-term debt. Nautilus will use proceeds from the sale to pay down current debt and fund future working capital needs.

Vancouver port to move Olympic cargo

The Port of Vancouver will handle cargo for a similarly named city to the north in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The local port’s mobile harbor crane – the largest in North America – will handle cable spools for the Olympic ski lift going in at Whistler Resort in Vancouver, B.C. The gondola will connect Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and will be the world’s longest free-span lift – the only of its kind in North America.

Four spools of cable weighing more than 100 tons each, plus one smaller spool, left Sweden April 10 and are set to arrive at the Port of Vancouver June 1 before moving on to Whistler by rail.

Auto dealer relocates

Carr Auto Group moved its Vancouver dealership April 25 to a new showroom.

The new 30,000-square-foot facility is one block west of Andresen Road on Fourth Plain Boulevard near the Vancouver Auto Mall. The dealership was previously on “C” Street in downtown Vancouver, and the move makes room for Carr to offer more vehicles and includes children’s play areas and customer cafes with free Wi-Fi.

The Beaverton company was established in 1941 and has six locations.

Mexican-style chains arrive in Vancouver

Two Mexican-style chain restaurants, On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina and El Pollo Loco, will open their first Vancouver locations May 5 with Mayor Royce Pollard on-hand.

On the Border, 1505 SE 164th Ave., is owned by Dallas-based Brinker International which owns more than 160 restaurants with that brand and about 1,000 dining sites including Chili’s Grill and Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Maggiano’s Little Italy.

El Pollo Loco’s opening at 1525 S.E. 164th Avenue marks the California-based company’s premier in Washington. The new 3,100-square-foot location will employ 50 people.

There are plans for 32 more locations in Washington, Oregon and northern California for the company founded in Guasave, Mexico, in 1975.

INNOVATION + TECHNOLOGY BRIEFS

GWI Software buys new building for headquarters

Vancouver-based GWI Software will move its headquarters to Vancouver’s Uptown Village.

The company bought a $610,000 three-story building at 17th and Main streets April 17. Vancouver-based RSV Construction will complete $500,000 worth of renovation of the 1946 building in July.

The software company will move in mid-July from its office at 10000 N.E. 7th Ave. in Vancouver. Along with GWI’s corporate office space, the building has basement-level office rental spaces and 1,800 square feet of retail rental space with Main Street frontage.

The 16-year-old business reported new business growth at 50 percent in the first quarter of this year and recently released two new editions of its flagship product, c.Support 7.0.

Comcast ups business Internet speed

Comcast Corp. launched faster web service for small- and medium-sized businesses April 29.

The Philadelphia-based cable company now gives its business class customers download speeds as fast as 16 megabytes per second and uploads as fast as 2 MBPS. There will be no cost increases with the faster service.

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