Local Businesses Share
In the coming weeks, we are interviewing local business owners to see how they are doing. We are publishing brief articles about each business - maybe you can relate to some of these business owners? Please consider supporting these businesses. Contact us to be interviewed at or call us at 509-455-5053.
Interview #1
Owner: Barry Baker
What the business does: Consulting business that also does construction, commercial building and development of commercial properties, is in 13 Western states. Focused on solving problems, not selling.

Target audiences: In Spokane we haven't been able to specialize in one niche market, it's not that big. So we are in many types of construction. We are like a buffet restaurant, we serve many industries using the same building blocks for each industry. We also focus on earning and keeping clients. Once they use us, they know us and trust us.

How has COVID-19 impacted your business? Several clients have put projects on hold, especially the hospitality industry.

What has he learned? Trust trust people and every once in awhile, you get burned. But, one of my biggest assets is to start with trust.

He is inspired by: I believe in the American Dream, and anyone who wants to can succeed in America. At Baker Construction, I am inspired by my team. The dream is still achievable and the young people today can also achieve their dreams.

Contact: Barry Baker, Baker Construction, 2711 E Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99202, (509) 535-3668,
Interview #2
Owner: Charlie Niemi
What the business does: Commercial cleaning company that contracts with small, independent cleaners so that they can build their own companies. Jan Pro takes care of the sales and marketing, billing, and administrative functions with the commercial cleaners; so that the business owner can focus on what they do best - cleaning! They are providing special services now in lieu of COVID-19. They offer a cleaning service guarantee.

Target audiences: Any commercial business; they don't do residential cleaning – manufacturing companies, banks, offices, medical/dental; any commercial environment that needs commercial cleaning services.

How has COVID-19 impacted your business? Being in the commercial cleaning world, we’ve seen an incredible uptick in business; everybody wants to be cleaned. For businesses that weren't forced to shut down – many who have stayed open have requested increased cleaning. 

What has he learned? He has an "others first" mentality, which he said makes it easier to focus on what's most important. He said, "It’s all about people – customers first, employees first, franchise owners first – what can I do to help you? We want our franchise owners to have a successful business and our clients have a clean, safe, environment."

He is inspired by: The front line workers - those in janitorial roles. He said that janitors are generally considered the first to be accused of something going wrong, and the last to be thanked for a good job. "Now they are the front-line workers, keeping us safe, the unsung heroes and our first responders."

Special offer: Purchase the Enviroshield service and we will evaluate your current cleaning scope to see how we might be able to help you further mitigate the COVID crisis. Learn more about Enviroshield:

Contact: 509-534-9080, Charlie Niemi,
Interview #3
Owner: Ryan Stemkowski
What the business does: Digital advertising agency, help clients to generate leads using technology - SEO, paid advertising, websites, B2B marketing, and more.

Target audiences: Medium and large manufacturers and service providers; technology manufacturers and government manufacturers.

How has COVID-19 impacted your business? We have seen our revenue impacted by our customers being shut down or impacted negatively, slower growth.

What has he learned? Early on we started with two partners and grew, but we didn't have systems and documentation in place. It was hard to put systems in place after the fact. It created some issues. He is currently working with clients to help them to pivot and design strategies to cope with replacing lost revenue.

He is inspired by: Resourcefulness of business owners around the country to pivot and keep their businesses going. The energy of people who have been slapped in the face and despite that, are keeping strong.

Special offer: Three free hours of consulting for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Contact: Ryan Stemkowski, Zipline Interactive,, 1-866-839-0584
Interview #4
Owner: Dave Reardon
What the business does: Dave acquired the gym in fall 2019, co-partnered with the original owner. They opened in a new location in January 2020. "We are a gym, but the way I define it, is that we aren’t in the gym business; we are helping with building better, longer, stronger lives. We own a fitness facility, but we what we offer, and how we engage with community, is much bigger than a gym," said Reardon.

Target audiences: It is a mixed bag, older demographic in Ponderosa; target market is mid-20s to mid-50s, but again due to location, they have people older than that. What we don’t focus on is bodybuilding; we don’t aspire to train people for competition; there are gyms specific to that. For those intimidated by the gym atmosphere, it is great to work with a trainer; people respond to our marketing for personal training that will parlay into long term membership. We offer contract pricing.

How has COVID-19 impacted your business? Having to shut down for 2 months; the financial impact goes without saying; we were fortunate in that our landlords worked with us; we felt it was more of a lost opportunity than anything; we had to lay off staff; but, we’ve weathered it and we are more fortunate than most.

What has he learned? What is highlighted more than anything is, you have to be prepared; black swan events are becoming more prevalent; most business should have been more prepared- properly capitalized; having resources to draw from. I was fortunate because I was able to do that, but it would be extremely difficult for those that are under capitalized. It also reconfirmed the commitment of the staff; you have to hire resilient people and hire for culture; teach skills, but you can’t teach attitude.

He is inspired by: The community in which we operate, they absolutely love us; they have been so supportive, very resilient. I have 80 year old members that show up everyday. They have been a great support; we had 30 members who requested that we keep billing them because they want to ensure we stay open/come back.

Special offer: Personal Training Promotion for new clients - $99 Intro package

Includes Initial Consultation with Personal Trainer
(2) Two Fitness Training Sessions
(1) One Myzone - MZ1 Heart Rate Fitness Tracker and app
(1) One InBODY full-body Metabolic Scan

Contact: 11205 E. Dishman Rd., Spokane Valley, Wa 99206
Interview #5
Executive Director: Mary Ann Ruddis

What the business does: Elevations is a non-profit organization that funds therapy services provided by licensed professionals in Spokane County, WA for children 0-18 years of age. Elevations also funds therapy equipment and therapist supervised camps. Children must currently be receiving therapy services to receive a grant for services or equipment. The organization's Executive Director is Mary Anne Ruddis and is also managed by a board of directors.

Target audiences: The kids and families that receive grant funding for therapy; and the donors/community members who support Elevations' fundraising efforts.

How has COVID-19 impacted your business: Fundraising has been impacted in that there are typically two in-person fundraising events per year - the Stache Dash and the Ghost Ball. They are working on a virtual Ghost Ball event this year, the Stache Dash was cancelled in May. The other impact has been that many of their grant recipients have been using telehealth/virtual services for therapy instead on in-person therapies. This has decreased fund usage; but unfortunately not the need that children have for the therapy.

What has she learned: To not rely only on events for fundraising. Better development of routine donations and donor relationships is key. Be prepare to adapt in this changing world.

She is inspired by: What inspires me is the possibility that we are coming together to build a better world. During this time we’ve all had this pause forced upon us; we can take advantage of it to create an equitable, connected, peaceful world. I am inspired by everyone we meet during these times that are reaching out to others to make the world better.

Special offer: Make a donation in the next two weeks (by July 31) and receive an Elevations flashlight, must mention this newsletter. Ghost Ball, save the date for virtual event on 10/24,

Contact: Mary Anne Ruddis,, 509-385-2116,, 325 S University Rd Suite #203
Spokane Valley, WA 99206
Referral Rewards
If you refer us to a business owner, to show our appreciation for a client sign up, you will be provided the gift card of your choice to one of the following businesses.

Group Coaching Sign-Up: $50 gift card
1-to-1 Coaching Sign-Up: $100 gift card