Everyone into the pool

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Summer is finally here in full glory and there’s a warm sun shining on some businesses despite the frosty recession. Who could have guessed during this past fall and winter when the bottom seemed endless that economic success stories would be front and center in this month’s issue?

Research editor Brandon Sawyer’s annual analysis of the top private companies in Oregon, ranked by gross revenue, found that revenue and jobs fell steeply since last year in this group, with timber, heavy manufacturing and auto dealerships among those sectors getting pummeled by the recession. But there were some bright spots. Managing editor Ben Jacklet’s story on page 34 details how some companies are bucking the trend: Wellpartner, Tripwire, Fortis Construction and Jive Software are all fairly new companies with a healthy bottom line. They prove that not every business is suffering.

The recession also is being good to the barter exchange industry, which in Oregon involves 2,000 businesses and individuals who do $12 million worth of trade a year. Writer Adrianne Jeffries on page 20 looks at the major exchanges in the state and why businesses do, or don’t, benefit from trading.

And Oregon is nothing if not a state where family businesses are an important part of the economic fabric. One great example is Beaverton Foods (see our story on page 24). Rose Biggi was an Italian immigrant who founded her company on grit and smarts. That company today thrives as her son and grandson build on Mama’s recipe for success.

So even in a down time, there are some things heading up.

In our world, the new Oregon Business website is up and running and our connection to our readers and the community is growing. New blogs by me, Ben Jacklet and small business columnist Steve Strauss are creating discussion on topics ranging from Twitter and jobs to taxes and green practices. Visit us at OregonBusiness.com.

And we’re opening up Blogville to guest writers who would like to put in their 300-600 words on any topic. Got something you’d like to get off your chest? Send it to me at my email and we’ll consider it for publication. Our website is a place for you to go for news and analysis, and it’s also a forum to present your views on today’s business and economic topics.

Summer in Oregon can be a major distraction, but I hope you take a moment to jump in the pool with us.
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