Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear spoke in Vancouver, Wednesday November 18, 2015. Washington State University Vancouver’s Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program along with the CREDC’s Grow Clark County hosted the event.
The Grow Vancouver series evolved from five years of Pub Talks, which began in 2009. It was the first sustained effort by the CREDC to reach out and highlight the entrepreneur and start up community here in Clark County and was launched to help build on one of the planks of the CREDC strategic plan – which is help to nurture and sustain local companies that can add jobs. One, they are often on the cutting edge of the economy and two, you can be much more effective and cost efficient than trying to recruit across the country or around the world.
Tim Boyle’s story serves as a reminder that even when things look bleak, you can find the right path. Tim’s father passed away when he was 21 years old, and he left his studies at the U of Oregon to return home and help his mother Gerte Boyle run the company. Within about six months they were sure they had come to the end of the road, but were able to secure advice from several key business experts, which led to the reinvention, and revival of the company.
The event had attendance of about 150 and a widely diverse audience that ranged from WSUV Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program (MAP) students and staff, local commercial real estate developers and agents, high level legal firms and several local elected officials.
In a direct answer to an audience question Boyle said he’s feeling very positive that eventually there will be a Columbia Sportswear presence in Clark County.
Kudos go to Max Ault of the CREDC who was responsible for making 2015 the year of transition from PUB Talk to Grow Vancouver. His goals was to create an event that allowed the public to get up close and personal with some of the entrepreneurial companies who are leading the continued economic revival and in some cases creating the jobs of the future. Looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings .
Running out of steam? Our first note is the US economic expansion continued this past summer, but only at a 1.5% increase according to a report released by the BEA last week. Down sharply from 3.9 % growth this past spring.
Second note is Congress did extend the debt ceiling as the month closed out. This prevents another standoff between the White House and the Congress, and gives the government and additional 80 billion dollars to play with ( ooops – sorry) to be able to borrow and keep the government working. For the most part both sides of the aisle said it was a bad deal, but necessary to keep the government operating effectively.
Third note another month where the FED did not raise interest rates. After almost ten years, eight of which included speculation that an interest rate rise was right on the horizon the Fed Open Market Committee said a 0 to .25 funds rate seems appropriate . See our first note as to why they may have kicked the can again. This policy hurts the elderly, the retired, non profits who want to generate income with safety. Don’t be surprised if it continues through the end of the year, and then doesn’t go anywhere very fast.
Fourth note new home sales really fell off the cliff in September dropping 11.5 per cent. This could be from low inventories, or it could be traced back to first note again. Home prices have generally been climbing about 4 per cent in value over the past couple years.
Fifth note, Office building construction totaled $44.9 billion for the 12 months ending in August up 27.4% from one year ago. Office vacancy is declining and rents are rising. Expect this growth to peak in late 2015 and slow as we move into 2016. Commercial Real Estate industry expects another solid year in 2016.