Chelsea Nesvig / Flickr

Washington’s second largest industry – agriculture – is looking for a place at the negotiation table Tuesdaywith Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Rocio Lara / Flickr

Businesses in Oregon could soon take advantage of the crowdfunding phenomenon. State regulators Wednesday heard from the public on proposed rules to let smaller companies raise cash from Oregon investors.

Think Kickstarter except instead of making a donation you'd be making an actual investment in a small business. It’s a workaround of federal rules--with a quarter-million dollar limit per company. Small business advocate Jarvez Hall says he thinks the new policy could open doors to people of color who can have a harder time accessing traditional sources of capital.

In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.

Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.

Port of Seattle

Pacific Northwest travelers will get ringside seats to see if two airlines can be partners and rivals at the same time. One of those "frenemies" - if you will - is Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. And in the other corner is Delta Air Lines. The two are long-term contractual allies. But the relationship is being tested.

Seattle has become the first city in the country to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage. The City Council voted Monday to enact the new law, which was the result of months of negotiations.

It represents a 60 percent increase from the current state minimum wage, which at $9.32 an hour is the highest in the country.

Proponents say it’s a first step towards closing the rising income gap between rich and poor. Some businesses say they will go to court to fight it. KUOW’s Deborah Wang reports.

Elected officials in Seattle heard an earful Tuesday night about a proposal to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour. Dozens of people testified before a Seattle City Council public hearing.

Albertsons To Merge With Safeway Stores

Mar 6, 2014
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Northwest News Network

The Boise-based grocery store Albertsons is merging with Safeway supermarkets. The companies announced Thursday the acquisition could be worth more than $9 billion.

A paper mill on Washington’s central coast has had it's share of ups and downs over the past seven years.

Federal securities regulators recently cleared the way for small, Kickerstarter-style campaigns for startups to sell shares. But many entrepreneurs view the federal process as too cumbersome. Now, Washington state lawmakers are contemplating a state-only version to help small businesses raise capital more easily. 

The Washington Legislature is plowing ahead with a package of tax breaks and incentives to convince the Boeing Company to build its next big jet in Washington.

We’ve all been there. You’re hungry, and you want something good to eat, but there’s no time. So you hit the vending machine for sugar or salt.

A recent Washington State University grad wants to change that. She’s started a Northwest business around a simple, better choice: an urban apple delivery service.

What Happened To Astoria, Oregon? It Got Better

Jul 25, 2013

Thirty years ago, many viewed Astoria, Oregon as a grim, drug-infested and alcohol-infused place, down on its luck following the exodus of the canneries and lumber mills that once densely populated its riverfront. Back then, most travelers to Oregon’s North Coast passed through town along Highway 30 without stopping.

Details Of Possible Tax Deal Emerge In Salem

Jun 21, 2013

In Salem, details of a possible tax deal are emerging at the Oregon legislature. Two Republican lawmakers outlined a series of tax hikes they'd be willing to support during an Oregon Senate committee hearing Thursday.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In the world of state legislatures, there’s a powerful breed of players who normally shun the spotlight. They prefer to work behind the scenes to influence policy outcomes. We’re talking about business lobbyists. Inside this often hidden world, you’ll meet two of the most successful corporate contract lobbyists in the Washington state capitol. And learn some of their tricks of the trade.

SEATTLE, Wash. – As Washington moves to legalize marijuana, pot entrepreneurs are lobbying in public forums and behind the scenes. These business interests want to shape the new marijuana marketplace. Among them, a Seattle-based private equity firm called Privateer Holdings. The company has hired a top Olympia lobbyist and is making the case for large marijuana grows to state regulators.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

So far, Washington and Colorado are the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Two states is a pretty limited market if you’re getting into the cannabis business. But many so-called “potrepreneurs” are counting on the eventual repeal of marijuana prohibition nationally. Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

 The server giant, Oracle, announced Monday that it will shift 130 jobs from Mexico to Oregon - and retain other jobs here that might have been headed south.

Sharr Rezniqi / Wikimedia Commons

A new economic study of Oregon's ski industry estimates that last season skiers and snowboarders contributed more than $480 million to the state economy.

Silver Boom Brings Historic Sunshine Mine Back Online

Jan 25, 2013

The high price of silver is bringing one of the Northwest's oldest silver mines back online. The Sunshine Mine in north Idaho is known for one of the worst mining disasters in the nation’s history. It will resume production in late 2014.

Boeing delivered more planes last year than even the high end of its forecasts. Aerospace analyst Yair Reiner says a big reason is that the company managed to speed up production of its 787 Dreamliners. That comes after years of stumbles and delays on the fuel-efficient twin-aisle plane.

Unemployment Benefits To Expire

Dec 3, 2012
David Maiolo / Wikimedia Commons

Extended unemployment benefits are going away for 60,000 Washington residents. A federal program put in place to help jobless workers weather the recession expires at the end of the year.

Vixwald / Wikimedia Commons

Sawmills in the Northwest have significantly ramped up production in response to the rebound in construction nationally. That's according to a market survey by an industry consultant based near Seattle.

Lulu Vision / Flickr

Utility regulators are on the verge of ending the automatic delivery of White Pages phone books to Washington households. Legislation to do the same in Oregon hasn't gone anywhere.

Washington state saw a nice drop in unemployment during October. New numbers released Thursday show the state jobless rate fell to 8.2 percent. That's down three-tenths of a point from the prior month.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

If Halloween spending is an indicator of the economy, Americans appear to be feeling better than this time last year -- or at least more ghoulish.

Northwest News Network

Grays Harbor County on Washington’s coast is tied for the highest unemployment rate in the state. But Monday there was cause for celebration. A shuttered paper mill there has reopened - nearly 18 months after it closed.

Northwest News Network

Telecommunications giant Sprint is poised to take a controlling interest in Washington-based wireless provider Clearwire. Clearwire's high-speed wireless data connections cover 80 major markets nationally, including a dozen in the Northwest.

Washington Unemployment Ticks Down

Oct 17, 2012

Washington’s jobless rate dropped just slightly in September. State economists Wednesday pegged unemployment at 8.5 percent. That erases a small uptick in August.

New data released Tuesday by the Oregon Employment Department show the state's unemployment rate held steady in September, coming in at a seasonally adjusted 8.7 percent. Economists blame the results on weaker than expected seasonal job growth.

Everyone’s a Comedian? Not At Improv School

Oct 12, 2012
Photo by Julia Flucht.

Improvisational theater isn’t just for aspiring comedians and performers anymore. Improv classes and workshops are popping up in Seattle, Portland, Boise, Spokane and Eugene. Companies and business schools are taking notice. Reporter Julia Flucht is in one of these classes and reports on how the improv mindset can produce creative results beyond the stage.