business

bellhardware.com

The official name is still "Bell Hardware," but it's not the kind of business where you go buy a screwdriver. 

This third-generation business is now focused primarily on doors and frames and other components of getting people into commercial buildings... or keeping them out. 

John Bell is the grandson of the company founder, and Bell Hardware, still based in Klamath Falls, has outlets from Portland to Redding. 

garywest.com

Things are humming these days at Gary West Meats in Jacksonville. 

It is a true "fourth-quarter" business, making most of its sales and money around Christmas. 

Gary West himself is out of the picture now, but his daughter Whitney Murdoch and her husband Paul keep the business going, providing all manner of meats to happy carnivores. 

We learn more about the business in our monthly chat with entrepreneurs and their followers, The Ground Floor. 

darex.com

Every place where people work started with an idea.  And the people who come up with ideas about businesses are studied and lauded in our society. 

We begin a new regular feature on The Exchange, "The Ground Floor," visiting with entrepreneurs in our region about how they got started and how they overcame obstacles. 

Up first: Matthew Bernard, the current CEO of Darex, the Ashland-based maker of sharpening equipment.  He is the fourth generation involved in the running of the company. 

Wikimedia

"To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before" is great for Star Trek, but it can be a little scary in real life. 

Making big decisions have consequences, and some of us just freeze at the prospect of making them. 

Rogue Valley lawyer/business executive/author Julie Benezet recognizes the difficulties, and offers advice in a book called The Journey of Not Knowing: How 21st Century Leaders Can Chart a Course Where There Is None

Konstantin Panphilov, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36008858

Two organizations of similar focus and similar size, with similar approaches to management. 

One grows steadily, the other grows by leaps and bounds.  What is the difference? 

That is exactly what management guru Subir Chowdhury explores in his book The Difference: When Good Enough Isn't Enough

For one thing, a caring mindset that pervades an organization seems to help. 

Building On Success At Brammo

May 25, 2016
Brammo via Instagram

The company with the quiet motorcycles is going big time. 

Brammo, now based in Talent, gained fame as a maker of electric motorcycles. 

That part of the business has since been sold to Polaris, but Brammo kept working on battery and other power modules, and just landed $58 Million in contracts, with a big increase in staff coming. 

Non-Profits For Fun And (Not) Profit

Mar 25, 2016
Wikimedia

Can every venture in the world be run as a non-profit?  Donnie Maclurcan thinks so. 

He envisions a world in which profit is NOT a motivating factor, and he trains people to get ready for that world. 

That's done through the Cascades Hub based in Ashland, which will soon offer a multi-week course in navigating the non-profit world. 

Speaking Success To Power

Jan 21, 2016
YouTube

If success in business rubs off on people, Jim Sorensen is a carrier. 

His work as a public speaker and session facilitator takes him around the country and into the domains of some highly successful enterprises. 

Sorensen is the keynote speaker for the annual Southern Oregon Business Conference, next week in Medford. 

Deviant Art/Wikimedia

Anybody with some money to invest can certainly find places to put that money.  So why not invest in local businesses? 

That's the question answered by the Hatch Oregon Network, which works to pair local investors with local businesses that need capital. 

Think of it as spending money on Main Street before Wall Street. 

A Boost To Biz From SBDC

Oct 7, 2015
Lucas/Wikimedia

Many a small business person will tell you that they had the necessary skills to run a business, but lacked knowledge of marketing or some other critical area.

These are the areas that can be aided by Small Business Development Centers, like the one attached to Southern Oregon University in Medford (one of six in SW Oregon). 

In addition to offering assistance and classes, SBDCs also perform some educational outreach, including an upcoming Business Resource Forum (October 17). 

Wikimedia

The way some people tell the story, government is always getting in the way of business. 

But in Oregon, several state agencies are focused on the needs of businesses large and small. 

And a relatively recent addition to the list is the office of the Small Business Advocate in the Secretary of State's office.  It is designed specifically to help clear out regulatory and paperwork encumbrances with other state agencies.

Ruth Miles is the current occupant of that position. 

SOREDI Boosting Business

Jan 27, 2014
Deviant Art/Wikimedia

Several recent signs indicate the economy may be picking up steam. 

And that is welcome news to people in the business of helping business. 

Dungeness Crab Prices Set

Dec 13, 2013
Jon Sullivan

Dungeness crab fishers will begin setting their pots today after reaching a price agreement with seafood processors.

With the Oregon Department of Agriculture supervising negotiations, the sides agreed to a minimum price of $2.65 per pound, a 35-cent increase from a year ago, and the highest price ever agreed upon for an opening.

Bringing In The Bringers Of New Business

Sep 16, 2013
SOREDI

Communities are always trying to attract news businesses.  But how do they reach out in the first place?  In some cases, it's a one-step-removed process: they reach out to consultants who advise companies on their options for relocation.

New Owners For Mail Tribune, Daily Tidings

Sep 12, 2013
Ed Schipul

The days of sharing an owner with Fox News just came to an end for the Mail Tribune of Medford and the Daily Tidings of Ashland.

The branch of News Corporation that owned those and other newspapers was just sold to Fortress Investment Group, which will manage the papers through a subsidiary called GateHouse Media.