Al Harris

Natural gas even sounds greener

Demand for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles is increasing, but availability in Richmond is limited. Ever since Baker Equipment, a local trucking equipment company, began offering compressed natural gas vehicle conversions last month, the company has received anywhere from 10 to 50 conversion-related calls a day, tripling their overall call volume.

Short Pump Town Center gets a little more social

Add Short Pump Town Center to the list of businesses that want in on the social networking trend. The mall’s owners plan to launch this week as a new site aiming to direct shoppers who enjoy online shopping to local brick-and-mortar shopping centers. The site was developed by Denver-based Mallfinder Network.

Green Plate Club

Sugarcane clamshells and corn cutlery? Nope, not lost lyrics from “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” They are products from Green Duck Biodegradables, a local distributor for eco-friendly food containers and utensils. Founder Jocelyn Tice opened the business last month with an initial investment of $5,000. Her first big order: providing all the compostable food packaging for… Read more »

Filtrona buys foam manufacturer for $35 mil

Filtrona Porous Technologies, a Richmond-based manufacturer and seller of liquid handling components, completed an acquisition of Lendell Manufacturing in St. Charles, MI for $35 million. Lendell develops and manufactures specialized foam products for various industries, including medical, cosmetic, and agricultural. Filtrona Porous Technologies is a division of Filtrona, an international plastic and fiber supplier headquartered… Read more »

Look mom, no tank

A growing number of Richmonders are installing tankless water heaters to lower energy bills. “Once they started raising the price of electricity it became worth the investment,” said Ross Herring, a plumber who sells and installs the units for Marshall Mechanical. Within the last 8 months the plumbing company has installed 20-25 tankless water heaters,… Read more »

You say compulsive shopping; I say retail therapy

Consumers are keeping a tighter grip on their checkbooks these days, but millions of others just can’t control themselves. Nearly 9% of adults may be compulsive buyers, according to a study conducted by University of Richmond marketing professors Nancy Ridgway and Monika Kukar-Kinney. UR professor Kent B. Monroe, also of the University of Illinois at… Read more »

Business students wary of job market

Employers are cutting back on recruiting efforts, and that portends a rough hiring season for soon-to-be graduates. Mike Eisenman, director of the VCU’s Business and Engineering Career Center, said that at a job fair last week two employers canceled. About 40 firms participated in the fair.

Ukrop’s fuel program pumped over 3.5 million gallons

Ukrop’s new fuelperks! program saved customers $2 million on gasoline since its launch on June 30, the Times-Dispatch reports Monday. Customers who use their Ukrop’s Valued Customer card at participating gas stations save 10 cents for every $50 they spend at the supermarket. So far the discount has been applied to 3.5 million gallons of… Read more »

Can’t stand the heat? Don’t open a restaurant.

Restaurant operators continue to open new eateries, but they’re facing a tougher road ahead in a fiercely competitive industry. The same number of restaurants have opened so far this year in the City of Richmond as at this time last year. But more are going out of business according to Joe Gusti, an owner of… Read more »

Printing money one newspaper insert at a time

You know those little inserts that you find affixed between the pages of the newspaper, peeking out from the edges?  Thank Taradel, a Richmond-based flyer printing and design company. The company, which provides self-service marketing to small and medium-sized businesses, was founded in 2003 by CEO Jim Fitzgerald. He funded the venture himself.