Business section reboot | Business

You probably noticed some changes in the Business section since the middle of January.

It’s part of a reboot of this part of the newspaper, with the needs of you, our readers, at the forefront of the new approach.

The goal is simple. We want to get more news to you faster in a way that’s easy to consume, out of respect for your limited time.

In spite of the significant challenges of the pandemic in the last year, our region, with a few exceptions, is thriving.

The Lewiston-Clarkston Valley’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in December compared with the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. The Palouse showed similar strength with Latah County at 4.1 percent and Whitman County at 5.2 percent. All of the statistics, other than those for Whitman County, are seasonally adjusted.

Those numbers are a testimony to the resilience of the area’s manufacturing base and the ingenuity of its entrepreneurs. We want the Business section to reflect that vitality and the diversity of its many ventures.

We’re keeping Business Profile, a feature about an innovative entrepreneur in the region on the third Sunday of each month. But we’re shifting away from the question-and-answer format, to make the stories more vibrant.

Each week, you can expect to see around a half a dozen short stories compiled in an easy-to-read format we are calling Biz Bits, and, if the news merits it, a longer article or two. You’ll learn about businesses that are opening or closing, as well as what’s being built on that commercial lot where you’ve spotted construction crews. We’ll tell you about businesses that have moved or expanded, and we’ll let you know about instruction being offered in the area that could help you meet your personal financial goals or strengthen your business.

We also want to help you celebrate. We are hoping to mark important professional achievements of individuals such as promotions to top management and awards private businesses or individuals receive from third parties. I’m excited and committed to doing my part. I will keep my eyes peeled and ears open for news any time I’m out in the community. I’ll make calls to learn more about anything I find.

But we’d also like help from our readers. Email me at [email protected] with Biz Bits in the subject line if you have news about a business, questions about something that’s happening in the business community, feedback about our new approach or anything else in the Business section.

Be sure to include a name and telephone number of someone I can call for additional information. Submissions should arrive by noon on Tuesdays for consideration to run in Sunday’s Business section.

Readers consistently give us the best ideas for content. We look forward to hearing from you.

Williams is editor of the Sunday Business section. She may be contacted at [email protected] or (208) 848-2261.

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