Sixteen Eastern Washington Jiffy Lube locations will continue to operate while their franchise owner moves through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization.
Nine of those stores are in Spokane or Liberty Lake. Others are in Clarkston, the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla.
The voluntary Chapter 11 filing occurred recently in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in California; the franchisee is Tri-Cities Fast Lubes Inc., based in Santa Maria, Calif. The company has two main partners, Sean Porcher, in Santa Maria, and an operating partner who lives in the Tri-Cities.
Porcher said the stores will not change hours and "will not be affected by this filing."
He noted that a newly launched Spokane Rewards Program for customers has boosted business in the Spokane area.
The franchise does not operate any Jiffy Lubes in North Idaho, Porcher said.
An e-mail from Porcher noted the filing was triggered by "external business factors" including the collapse of the credit market, erosion of the overall economy, lease issues and "crippling supply agreements."