Business News and Notes

New liquor store opening


Two local businessmen recently opened a new liquor store in Craig.

After a few months of construction, Roger Corey and Lopp Behrman opened Eastside Liquors Saturday.

The store sits on the corner of Victory Way and Colorado Street on -- you guessed it -- the east side of town.

The building used to house a market and an electric company.

One of Eastside's selling points is its wide selection of wine.

Corey said Saturday that Eastside, which he will manage as well as own, will be his first experience in the liquor store business. He also owns an electric company with his father.

Eastside becomes the fifth liquor store in Craig, joining Cork & Bottle Shop, Dark Horse Discount Liquor, Loadout Liquors and Stockmen's Liquors.

Shaklee Conference

Larry and Sharon Pletcher of Craig recently attended a Shaklee Corporation conference in Chicago.

Shaklee specializes in environmentally friendly cleaning solutions and nutritional supplements. The Pletchers have been using Shaklee products for more than 45 years and distributing them for the last six.

Sharon Pletcher said the conference, which had more than 3,000 people in attendance, was a good experience.

"It was wonderful to be with the Shaklee family and be reminded of the tremendous potential for us as individuals to help others," Pletcher said.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai gave the keynote address at the conference.

Maathai was born in Kenya and became the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree.

At the conference, Maathai discussed the need for a healthy environment and how maintaining a healthy environment was the responsibility of all. "It was really wonderful to meet someone like this," Pletcher said.

Small businesses grow

The National Federation of Independent Business released its Small-Business Conditions Report last week.

The report, which NFIB conducts quarterly, shows sales for small businesses were up by 13 percent from June to August.

Almost half of the businesses surveyed said they are optimistic about their business in the coming months.

In a news release, Vickie Agler, NFIB/Colorado state director, said growth in small business means a healthy and growing economy.

"Colorado's economy has experienced steady growth throughout this year, and small businesses have played a crucial role in its continued health and strengthening of our economy," she said. But, the report said, costs for small businesses continue to rise. Half of the businesses surveyed said their costs have climbed over the past few months.

The survey randomly surveys Colorado's small employers by phone four times a year. For the study, NFIB defines "Small employer" as employing between one and 250 people (not including the owner(s)) in a for-profit business. Each edition of the survey has a minimum of 350 respondents.

Gas prices update

Gas prices across the nation continued to surge this week after Hurricane Katrina knocked out refineries in the Gulf Coast.

On Sunday, gas in Craig hovered around $3.25 for a gallon of unleaded. But, prices could come down at least a little in the next few days. Michael Hayes at Go-Fer Foods on Victory Way said prices there might drop this week.

Statewide, the average gallon of unleaded Sunday was $2.854. Nationwide, the average was $2.867. Illinois and Michigan have the country's highest prices. Michigan's average is $3.1352 and in Illinois, it's $3.01.

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