When I started this blog in April, the plan was to do it for a year or two until I retired. But The Record's offer was too good to pass up and I would like to move on to other things.
Writing a blog was a new and interesting experience for me. It's almost like writing a column, something I had never done in my 16 years of reporting at the Record.
Although it was sometimes difficult to find the time to make regular posts while writing news stories and features for the Record, I still managed to post at least once a week and sometimes two or three times.
My goal was to make it a mix of issues, products and personalities. I was able to write short profiles of interesting people on the business beat, including Tony Reinhart of Communitech, Marc Xuereb of the labour council and John Bergen, the colourful owner of the City Cafe chain.
I even managed to squeeze in a profile of my late and great colleague here at the Record, business columnist Henry Koch.
At the same time, the blog touched on issues such as BlackBerry's ongoing struggles, Economical Insurance's protracted demutualization efforts and the demise of Forsyth Shirts.
This also brings a close to eight years of covering the business beat here at the Record.
It's been a fascinating ride. Probably the two biggest stories I covered were, once again, the BlackBerry/Research In Motion saga and Economical's demutualization battle.
The sheer complexity of the BlackBerry story was daunting, as were the number of media outlets and bloggers who weighed in on the narrative. At times it was all a bit overwhelming, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
Covering a company's quarterly earnings releases is not always exciting, but I never had any trouble getting psyched up for RIM's results. They were always full of drama.
The Economical story had more twists and turns than a prime time cop show. A policyholders' revolt, executive dismissals and lawsuits, a slugfest in the courts and a war of words in the press. And the main issue, demutualization, still hasn't been resolved. Who'd have thought the boring old topic of insurance could produce such thrills?
Having a front row seat to watch the growth of Waterloo Region's world-class, high-tech sector was also a highlight. Among my favourite stories on this theme was a four-part series on a year in the life of Clearpath Robotics.
Finally, covering the business beat was more than writing about big companies or tech startups. Every three to four weeks I was assigned to write a feature about a small business.
I've probably compiled features on more than 100 small and medium sized businesses in this area over the past eight years. Never having started a business myself, what stood out for me the most was the courage and passion for their business of every entrepreneur I met.
Thanks to all who tuned in to Biz Buzz. The Record has plans to keep this blog going so stay tuned.
- Chuck Howitt