Spokane Journal of Business

Small Business Watch

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Ditto's Print & Copy moves to new space

Ditto's Print & Copy Center has leased a two-story, 4,200-square-foot building at 2515 E. Sprague and has moved there from the South Hill, says Russ Davis, who co-owns the more than 15-year-old business with his wife, Julie. The move is part of a plan to focus more on commercial printing and a subsidiary book-publishing company, Gray Dog Press, Davis says.
The business's new space is similar in size to its former location, at 2727 S. Mt. Vernon, in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, he says.
The move for Ditto's coincides with a shift in service offerings for the business, he says, particularly focusing more of its staff and time on its commercial printing customers and less on walk-in retail customers.
"We had a lot of time and energy going out to the retail customer," Davis says. "Financially, it just wasn't really viable for us to continue putting the energy into that front end."
He says Ditto's still offers some self-serve copiers at its new location, but has cut back on that service by half.
Ditto's employs five people, in addition to the owners.
Gray Dog Press, located in the same building, works mostly with Inland Northwest authors, Davis says. The book-publishing subsidiary started in 2008.

-Jessica Valencia

Business development firm opens downtown

Hemingway Marketing Group has moved into 1,500 square feet of office space on the second floor of the Liberty Building, at 203 N. Washington in downtown Spokane.
The business focuses on business development, including requests for proposals and seeking funding support for businesses, owner Linda Hemingway says.
"Our primary focus is to accelerate tech-based companies. However, most businesses have a technology focus," Hemingway says.
Before moving into the Liberty Building, Hemingway, who started the business in July, operated the marketing group out of her Spokane home and was the only employee. The company currently employs four full-time workers, including Hemingway, and hires consultants for projects on an as-needed basis.
Prior to starting the marketing group, Hemingway worked with Innovate Washington, known previously as Sirti, for six years as a business consultant and the director of market development and communications.
Hemingway says she hopes to expand her firm's reach to eventually include clients on the West Side in addition to offering its services in Spokane.
Hemingway Marketing Group has eight clients currently, she says.

-Jessica Valencia

Cheney gym expands, installs fitness system

Cheney Snap Fitness has expanded and installed new equipment allowing 24-hour access to group fitness classes that members who pay for the service can view on a large screen.
Franchisee co-owner Joel Crosby says the gym launched the system, called Fitness On Demand, this month with group exercise routines in a pre-recorded video format that are led by certified instructors for activities such as for Zumba, kickboxing, and yoga.
The gym, located at 2726 N. First, recently expanded into 575 square feet of adjacent vacant space to create the group exercise room, which also is used for personal training and group classes led there by onsite instructors. The business, which now leases a total of almost 3,500 square feet of floor space, has two employees and four fitness trainers, Crosby says.
He says the Fitness On Demand system cost more than $20,000 to install and includes a 110-inch screen, a sound system, a projector, and a kiosk with a touch screen to select from 40 classes. It's the first such system installed in a Snap Fitness location in Eastern Washington, Crosby asserts.
Snap Fitness offers its members 24-hour access to any of its gyms globally via keycard access. Crosby says rates at Cheney start at $33.95 a month for single membership, in addition to a one-time $69 initiation fee. Members who select access to the Fitness On Demand service pay an additional $15 a month, he says.
Crosby declines to disclose the cost for remodeling the new exercise room, but he says it includes hardwood flooring and mirrors in addition to the Fitness On Demand system. The Cheney franchise business owners are Crosby, Steve Watterson, and Jeff Spencer.

-Treva Lind

Roller derby store opens in Post Falls

A store selling supplies used in roller derby sporting events has opened in Post Falls.
Owners Tim and Chrissy Knox, husband and wife, say they recently launched Skate Manifestation LLC in a 500-square-foot space at 306 N. Spokane.
Items for sale in the shop include skates, helmets, kneepads, wrist and elbow protection gear, mouth guards, padded shorts, and other clothing items. Chrissy Knox says she and her husband are currently the sole employees. Both are roller derby fans who also serve as volunteer officials for the sport's matches held in the Inland Northwest, she says.
"Roller derby is one of the fastest-growing sports in America," she adds. "Around here, there are new leagues opening all the time. It's not the roller derby people used to watch on TV. It has rules and penalties."
She says leagues in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene play in matches, called bouts, usually at least once a month. The teams here practice and hold competitions at roller skating facilities such as Roller Valley, at 9415 E. Fourth Avenue in Spokane Valley; Pattison's North, at 11309 N. Mayfair on Spokane's North Side; and Skate Plaza Roller Rink, at 5685 N. Pioneer in Coeur d'Alene.
The leagues also play in matches sometimes held at the fairgrounds both in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, Knox says. So far, teams in the region are all made up of women, she says. The couple also has a daughter who currently is playing in a Spokane-based junior roller derby league.

-Treva Lind

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