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Business in brief: Genomic CEO captures award

Lisa Shaffer, CEO of Spokane-based Signature Genomic Laboratories, has been named entrepreneur of the year in the Northwest category of the Ernst & Young 2009 survey of business leaders.

Now in its 23rd year, the Ernst & Young award recognizes entrepreneurs at dynamic, growing businesses.

Shaffer was selected by an independent panel of judges, according to a press release.

Five-year-old Signature Genomic Labs, with offices in north Spokane, provides microarray-based diagnostic genetic testing. It is the leading provider of those services in the United States, according to company literature.

Shaffer now is eligible for national entrepreneur of the year honors, which will be announced in November.

Manufacturing decline eases

Washington – Brighter news on manufacturing is offering more hope that the longest recession since World War II is near an end.

A key gauge of manufacturing showed Wednesday that industry activity declined less than expected in June. The Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index posted a 44.8 – the best showing since last August, a month before the financial crisis erupted with force.

Outside of manufacturing, construction spending fell in May for the seventh time in the past eight months.

Angus burger goes nationwide

New York – McDonald’s Corp. will begin selling a new line of bigger burgers priced at about $4 each today to bring in customers looking for a beefy alternative to pricier burgers at sit-down restaurants.

The new Angus burgers will be sold in all U.S. locations for the next few months. The fast-food chain declined to specify when or if the burgers would become a part of the company’s core menu.

McDonald’s has been testing the burger for several years in more than 1,000 restaurants in Columbus, Ohio; New York; Los Angeles; and Alberquerque, N.M., but it held back from introducing it to all U.S. consumers to focus on its core menu and lower-priced offerings.