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Everyday Business | Numerica will cash in on change to eastside branch

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Prototype of new Numerica branch buildings set for construction this year in East Wenatchee, Richland and Spokane.

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Well, looky here … buried atop this desk, right under the stale fritter and coffee-stained Apple Blossom schedule, are lots of business notes and reminders leftover from April. Let’s sift through them quickly:

You can bank on it

East Wenatchee’s Numerica will soon be zipping us into the 21st century with a new banking concept that includes iPads and cookies (the crumbly kind, not the computer kind).

The Spokane-based credit union — with 18 branches in eastern Washington and northern Idaho — has big plans for our eastside branch that includes razing the current building and constructing a snazzy new one from scratch.

The new concept focuses on openness and transparency,” said Kelli Hawkins, Numerica’s communications manager. “We want our customers to walk in and feel comfortable and welcome.”

The new 3,784-square-foot building will be “bright, open and even relaxing,” said Hawkins. It’ll include a tech bar with iPads for customers to access online banking, learn about Numerica services or check their email. It’ll feature a refreshment bar with coffee, cookies, water and other snacks. It’ll have comfortable chairs and a few sofas. (No napping in the lobby, however.)

Of course, all this change means that East Wenatchee’s Numerica will need to relocate services and its seven employees while the new building takes shape. They’ve decided to move on May 30 or 31 to a temporary space across the street in Eastpoint Plaza, 509 Grant Road, the location of Glaze Doughnuts, Mountain View Fitness and Jack in the Box. Operating hours are likely to shift, too, so be alert.

Construction is expected to last about … well, they’re not really sure right now how long it’ll take. But Numerica officials are estimating the new building will open sometime in early 2015.

Lunch and learn with SCORE

Our buddies at SCORE want you to be smarter when it comes to business. They’re the group of volunteer professionals who offer free and low-cost advice on how to start, run and profit from your very own commercial venture. To help you do so, they’ve scheduled a series of “Lunch and Learn” workshops:

May 15: “Are You Ready to Start A Business?”

May 29: “Developing a Business Plan”

June 12: “Obtaining Financing”

June 26: “Establishing a Marketing Plan”

All the workshops start at noon at the SCORE office at 2 S. Chelan Ave., Wenatchee. Each course is $15 or $40 for the complete series. RSVP required at 888-2900. Bring a lunch; coffee and water are provided.

Be sure you’re in the Pink

Seems that some apple lovers are confusing the Pink Lady brand (marketed out of Yakima) with the Cripps Pink, which is the same variety but, say Pink Lady folks, of lower quality in color and crispness. So Pink Lady has introduced a new sticker for their trademarked fruit — the Pink Lady “flowing heart” logo — to help keep you apple crunchers from being fooled. You’ll see the heart sticker at all major grocers.

So far, it’s a banner year for Banner Bank

Banner Bank — which has branches in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee and Moses Lake — was named last month to Forbes magazine’s list of 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies in the U.S. It’s the only company in the Pacific Northwest to make the list, which is compiled using a company’s revenues, expenses, number of SEC actions and a risk assessment based on any high-risk “events” (we’re thinking floozies and secret off-shore accounts) and bankruptcy probability. Banner kicked assets in all categories.

But can you play Angry Birds?

This isn’t local in any way, but it’s worth a mention. Sprint has a new free Android app that silences all texts and calls while you’re driving. Introduced in April, which was officially Distracted Driver Awareness Month (put away that chili-cheese dog, please, and focus on the road), the app is called Sprint Drive First. It somehow automatically detects when you’re behind the wheel and replies to callers and texters with a message that says, “Buzz off! Boopsie’s driving and, Lordy, you know how … watch out for that squirrel!” Or something like that. See a video about the app at http://bit.ly/1eoQpI7.

This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or irwin@wenatcheeworld.com.

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business or follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.

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