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Briefcase: Colville Tribe’s business arm honored

Fri., Dec. 13, 2013, midnight

The Colville Tribe Federal Corp. has won the William Bradford Minority Business of the Year award, presented annually by the University of Washington. The CTFC is the primary manager of a number of businesses operated by the Colville Tribe.

The award recognizes efforts by the corporation to turn around an $8.1 million loss in 2009 and produce a profit of more than $2 million by 2011. In 2013, the CTFC will have a total revenue stream of $86 million, compared with just $49 million in 2010.

CEO Joe Pakootas said the key steps involved cutting costs, adding improvements to existing businesses and closing two struggling lumber mills. One of those two mills, in Omak, has since reopened and is being leased to Omak Wood Products, a subsidiary of a Connecticut-based wood products manufacturer.

The tribal corporation also operates three small casinos and two convenience stores. Together, its businesses employ between 450 and 500 workers, Pakootas said.

The award honors a company that has demonstrated success in areas of revenue, size, superior management practices and commitment to the community.

1 in 14 Americans hurt by identity theft

WASHINGTON – The government says 1 in 14 Americans fell prey to identity theft last year.

It’s a crime that takes a heavy emotional toll on many of its victims.

A national household survey of 70,000 people shows identity theft resulted in nearly $25 billion in losses last year.

For many victims, the size of the loss was eclipsed by concerns that someone had stolen their identity and that it might take weeks or months to repair the damage.

Among victims who spent six months or more resolving financial and credit problems stemming from identity theft, 47 percent experienced severe emotional distress.

Conditions in Apple factories improve

SAN FRANCISCO – A labor group monitoring three Chinese factories that make iPhones and other Apple products says once-oppressive working conditions have steadily improved in the past 18 months.

The audit released Thursday by the Fair Labor Association represents the final assessment in a process that started last year at plants run in China by Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn.

Reports depicting the Foxconn plants as inhumane sweatshops prompted Apple Inc. to hold its foreign contractors to higher standards.

The report concluded Foxconn factories in Longhua, Chengdu and Guanlan had reached virtually all the improvement goals set out in a plan adopted last year.

Paper clips

IPO a hit: Shares of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. gained 7.5 percent to close at $21.50 Thursday after the hotelier raised $2.35 billion, the largest-ever hotel IPO.

Airline profits: The International Air Transport Association forecasts a profit of $19.7 billion – well above the $12.9 billion expected this year and the $7.4 billion made in 2012. Falling jet fuel prices, rising travel demand and cost-cutting are among the factors.

Mortgage rates: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average on the 30-year home loan declined to 4.42 percent from 4.46 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan dipped to 3.43 percent from 3.47 percent.


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