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Mon., May 16, 2011, 2:51 p.m.

Business form companies merge

Two long-time companies selling business forms have merged under new ownership.

Safeguard Business Systems and Business Forms Inc. have become BFI Safeguard, owned by Greg and Vicki Schob, who also own Safeguard franchises in California and Montana.

General Manager Pete Michael said the merged businesses will have Web development and ecommerce solutions they did not have as stand-alone companies.

Safeguard Business Systems was founded in 1981 by Rick and Diana Wilhite. She said they have talked for some time about easing out of the business.

Wilhite said the purchase of Business Forms, which overlaps some of their company's business lines, created an opportunity for them to begin a transition into retirement.

She said Business Forms was opened in 1987 by Dennis Hubbell, who is also retiring.

The Schobs, who live in California, have not decided whether they will operate their businesses from Spokane or Montana, Wilhite said, noting both are native Montanans.

In the meantime, Wilhite said, she and Rick will continue meeting with customers to assure they get the products and services they need.

"They'll have me for a while," said Wilhite, who is also a former mayor of the City of Spokane Valley.

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.