Blount International keeps growing

ben-blogWhen I interviewed Blount International CEO Josh Collins a year ago, he offered a clear strategy for growing sales from $487 million in 2009 to approximately $920 million in 2014. He may hit his goals sooner than planned after Blount's purchase Wednesday of Illinois-based farm equipment manufacturer Woods Equipment for $185 million.

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Digging for gold in Oregon

ben-blogWith gold prices up around $1,800 per ounce, a Canadian mining company has commenced drilling on Grassy Mountain in Malheur County.

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High-desert drones in Central Oregon

ben-blogOregon State University and Economic Development for Central Oregon have signed an agreement to collaborate on research and commercialization in the fast-growing unmanned aerial vehicles industry.

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Central Oregon progress comes with caveats

ben-blogFacebook has announced that it will build a second data center in Prineville. InEnTec has raised $20 million. Black Butte Ranch is investing $3.75 million in a golf remodel. And Cascade Bancorp has reported a $2 million quarterly profit. Is Central Oregon’s economy finally returning to health?

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Sowing the seeds of cash

ben-blogEight local startups won $25,000 apiece from the Portland Seed Fund in an upbeat ceremony Tuesday, and one of those chosen eight, Geoloqi, also announced a larger seed investment of $300,000 from local entrepreneurs.

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Long-term job losses still dwarf gains

ben-blogEarlier this year, Powell’s Books made national headlines by eliminating 31 jobs in Portland, stirring up familiar questions about the future of independent booksellers in the age of e-readers and smart phones. But a quick study of the latest numbers from Oregon’s top private companies shows that Powell’s actually survived the recession in a stronger position than many of its peers.

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