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Banking and Finance

By Tim Kelly

Today on Earth Day, Kitsap Bank is announcing a competition called Edg3 Fund that will highlight sustainability initiatives by small businesses, and will include community input in selecting one business to receive a $20,000 award.  read more »

Banking And Finance

One of the top search queries bringing people to my blog is “Overcoming fear of retirement.” Ultimately I don’t think people are really afraid of retirement, but like most of us we are resistant to change. A transition into the unknown can shake us out of our comfort zone and create uncertainty, which can lead to fear and stress.

I remember in late 2004, we had just found out that we were expecting our first child. My wife and I had been trying to have children for eight years. So this was amazing, wonderful, spectacular news. We were overwhelmed with joy, but at the same time for me there was stress associated with transitioning into the unknown. Every morning for the entire week after we found out I’d get a bloody nose while in the shower. While we were both extremely excited and happy, I was also very nervous and fairly stressed about the responsibility of becoming a Dad. read more »

Banking And Finance

Edward Jones financial advisor Donald Logan of Silverdale is hosting a free seminar titled Overcoming Obstacles on May 30, at 5:30 p.m. at 2416 NW Myhre Road.

The presentation will examine trends and insights to help put concerns about the economy and stock market into perspective. It will also address anxiety about deficits and debts, the economic outlook, strategies to address the impact of inflation and interest rates, and opportunities in the market.

The presentation is free, but space is limited. To make a reservation, contact Logan or Beth Halvorson at 360-692-1216.

Banking And Finance

Columbia Banking System, Inc. completed its acquisition of West Coast Bancorp, the parent company of West Coast Bank, in April. With the completion of the merger, Columbia’s total assets exceed $7 billion, with 157 branches in 38 counties in Washington and Oregon.

Effective at the time of the merger, Columbia appointed David A. Dietzler, a former director of West Coast, to serve on Columbia’s board and the board of its wholly owned subsidiary, Columbia State Bank.

Melanie J. Dressel, president and chief executive officer of Columbia, said, “The merging of Columbia and West Coast moves us significantly toward our stated objective of being the leading Pacific Northwest regional community bank. read more »

Banking And Finance

Click To Expand (Graphic by Rodika Tollefson)If you’re one of those people who whip out their smartphones while standing in the grocery line and transfer money between two accounts before getting to the checkout, you’re in good company. A Federal Reserve report released in March estimates that 50 percent of smartphone owners used mobile banking in 2012 (a 33 percent increase from a year before) — and transferring between accounts is the second-most common use, after checking balances and recent transactions. read more »

Banking And Finance

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 23 million small businesses in America. These businesses account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales, occupy up to 50 percent of all commercial space, and are responsible for 65 percent of all new jobs created over the last decade. In fact, small business is the economy’s little engine that can, with the number of start-up businesses exploding and experiencing greater success than ever before — even as corporate America is downsizing.

As the government agency tasked with protecting, strengthening and representing the interests of America’s small businesses, the SBA understands the value of small businesses to the economy better than anyone. In fact, in recent years the SBA has expanded loan guarantees, increased loan amounts and reduced and/or waived fees to bolster even greater growth. The result: more small business owners have had the support they need to realize their full potential and flourish. read more »

Banking And Finance

While consumers have embraced the conveniences of electronic banking — they’re writing fewer checks every year, according to the Federal Reserve — electronic statements are still not mainstream. Yet, as any banking professional will agree, e-statements are not only faster and convenient, they are also more secure and are good for the planet.

“People like to use the Internet for information but they still like their mail,” said Jackie McVay, Kitsap Bank’s chief information officer.

Last year, the amount of paper statements and envelopes mailed to Kitsap Bank customers equaled 210 trees or 17,524 pounds of paper. The bank estimates that if only 20 percent more of its customers signed up for e-statements, 42 trees and 3,501 pounds of paper would be saved every year. read more »

Banking And Finance
Kitsap firm to start manufacturing new high-intensity replacement bulbs after community bank provides financing that other lenders wouldn't

Jeff Reynolds, right, a senior vice president at Kitsap Bank, was instrumental in arranging an SBA loan for Rick Flaherty's company to begin manufacturing a new kind of LED replacement bulb for industrial lighting.A convergence of factors led to approval of a loan for a Kitsap County manufacturing company that had sought unsuccessfully for months to secure financing to start production of a breakthrough LED product it developed for industrial lighting uses.

About a year ago, Rick Flaherty returned from the Lightfair International trade show in Las Vegas, where the HI-Lamp prototypes exhibited by his company, Differential Energy Global (DEG), got great reviews. read more »

Banking And Finance

Consumers are not the only ones embracing mobile banking. Companies, especially small businesses, are taking advantage of mobile technology by using their smartphones to accept credit cards. It’s becoming more common to see a merchant using a tablet or phone to swipe a card through a small attachment on a mobile device.

Some current options:

• Square: Pioneered the idea several years ago (the company was subsequently bought by Starbucks). Fees are 2.75 percent per swipe or a $275 flat monthly charge (until a certain transaction total per month) and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for keyed-in. No sign-up or annual fees, and free card reader is provided. read more »

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