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Daily Business Report — June 21, 2010

County Unemployment Rate Dips

The San Diego County unemployment rate in May was 10.0 percent, a slight decline from April’s 10.4 percent and above the year-ago estimate of 9.3 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported. Employment was up by 8,600 jobs over the month, but down 12,900 over the year.

The jobless rate for California in May was 11.9 percent while the nation’s unemployment rate was 9.3 percent for the same period.

Between April 2010 and May 2010: total nonfarm employment gained 8,400 to reach 1,225,000 jobs. Agricultural employment increased by 200 jobs, or 2 percent.

• Government (up 4,300 jobs) reported the greatest month-over gain, primarily from federal government (up 3,400 jobs). Local government and state government increased by 500 and 400 jobs, respectively.

• Seven other nonfarm industries also added jobs, including leisure and hospitality (up 2,000), construction (up 700), and other services (up 500). Manufacturing, professional and business services, and trade, transportation, and utilities each increased by 300 jobs. Information gained 200 jobs.

• Two of twelve sectors, including financial activities and educational and health services, declined by 100 jobs each. Mining and logging posted no change in employment levels over the month.

Between May 2009 and May 2010: total nonfarm employment declined by 11,900 jobs, or 1 percent. Agricultural employment decreased by 1,000 jobs, or 9 percent.

• Trade, transportation, and utilities recorded the greatest year-over decline, down 4,400 jobs. Retail trade (down 3,200) accounted for more than 70 percent of the job loss in this industry. Wholesale trade and transportation, warehousing, and utilities contracted by 600 jobs each.

• Seven other nonfarm industries posted employment declines over the year, including manufacturing (down 4,200); construction (down 3,800); financial activities (down 2,600); leisure and hospitality (down 1,500); and information (down 1,000).

• Three industries recorded year-over job gains, including educational and health services (up 3,600), government (up 2,100), and professional and business services (up 600).

Gaslamp Quarter Association Tallies Economic Impact

The Gaslamp Quarter Downtown contributed more than $86 million in tax revenue to the city and the Centre City Development Corp. between fiscal year 1998 and fiscal year 2008, the Gaslamp Quarter Association reported in an economic impact report released last week. During that period, combined tax revenue from property tax increment, sales tax, transient occupancy tax (TOT) and tourism marketing district fees generated by the Gaslamp Quarter increased 470, according to the report. Also during that period, property tax increment increased 509 percent, TOT increased 1587 percent and sales tax increased 122 percent.

The report was put together by the Gaslamp Quarter Association and an MBA student consulting team from the College of Business Administration at San Diego State. Data was collected from the city of San Diego’s Treasurer’s Office and the county Assessor’s Office. A copy of the report is available by calling Brandy Shimabukuro at (619) 233-5227.

Affordable Housing Project to Start in Escondido

An affordable housing project that will mimic the Craftsman style is being planned for a street in Escondido that used to be plagued by gangs, drugs, deterioration and overcrowding. The Crossings at Escondido, a partnership between Urban Housing Communities (UHC) and Escondido’s Community  Development Commission, will offer 38 two-bedroom, 2 and ½ bath townhomes, 15 three-bedroom, two-bath flats and two four-bedroom, two-bath flats.  The development will be home to 55 families earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median income for San Diego County. Rents range from $557 to $1,124 per month based on family size and income level.

A ceremonial groundbreaking will be staged Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at the development site, formerly known as Elder Place. UHC petitioned the city to have the street renamed Mission Grove Place, a name drawn by nearby landmarks Mission Middle School and Grove Park.

Competitive Edge Construction Inc. is the general contractor. The complex was designed by Irvine-based KTGY Group. UHC has selected non-profit social service provider, Western Community Housing, to provide health and wellness services, educational classes, job attainment assistance, life skills training, youth programs, and community-building activities. Construction is expected to last 12 months.

The city of Escondido committed funding by partnering with UHC to acquire the land. Subsequently, UHC secured financing through the 9 percent tax credit program. Additional financing for the project was provided by Wells Fargo Bank N.A., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the California Community Reinvestment Corporation.

Features:

Apartment sizes will average 1,200 square feet.  Each unit will offer Energy Star appliances, central heat and air conditioning, a covered patio or balcony, washer/dryer hookups, high speed Internet access and be wired for cable TV. Community amenities include a recreation room with a computer lab, media center and kitchen, picnic areas and two playgrounds. Each residence is provided with private, ground-floor entries.

Panel to Focus on Update of the County General Plan

A panel talk on the “County General Plan: Challenges for Rural Growth,” will be held June 24 by Citizens Coordinate for Century 3. It will be held from 8 to 9:15 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Embarcadero, 1355 North Harbor Drive in Downtown San Diego. Panelists include Devon Muto, county of San Diego; Eric Larson, San Diego County Farm Bureau; and Phil Pryde, San Diego Audubon. Betsy McCullough, former city of San Diego planning official, will serve as moderator. Cost for the continental breakfast and program is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Cost at the door is $35 for all. Student admission is $10. For reservations, call (619) 232-7196.

The county is in the final phase of its update to the general plan to address the issues of growth in a region rapidly utilizing the last of its undeveloped land. Today, the unincorporated area of the county is comprised of 84 percent of the total land area of San Diego County and is estimated to support 16 percent of the entire county’s population. The current general plan for the unincorporated county has not been comprehensively updated since 1979 and has been the subject of substantial modification over the years. Panelists will discuss how issues such as environmental conservation, revised growth projections, rural character and the economics of agriculture will be reconciled in the update to the general plan.

NAWBO-San Diego to Hear From Fitness Expert

Kathy Gruver, author of “The Alternative Medicine Cabinet,” is the guest speaker at the July 9 seminar of the National Association of Women Business Owners San Diego. It will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at Brandman University, 7460 Mission Valley Road, San Diego. Gruver’s

presentation will include tips on how to fit fitness into busy workdays,

foods to add and avoid for optimum health and wellness and ways to

naturally improve sleep. The seminar is free to NAWBO San Diego members. Nonmembers pay $25. Online registration is available at nawbo-sd.org.

PRSA Issues Call for Entries for Mark of Excellence Awards

The San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is accepting entries in its Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards. The awards recognize the industry’s best public relations campaigns and tactics in a range of categories including media relations, community relations, public affairs and investor relations. The Call for Entries includes one new category in 2010: a bronze award for social media tactics. Outstanding professionals will be recognized by special awards including the Deborah Baker Public Relations Professional of the Year, Otto Bos Lifetime Achievement Award and the Eva Irving Community Service Award. To download the Call for Entries, visit prsasdic.org. The 2010 Bernays Awards winners will be recognized at the annual Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards reception. This year’s event, titled “Live from the Hard Rock – Bernays 2010,” will take place Oct. 5, 6-9:30 p.m., at the Hard Rock Hotel.

The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. on July 9. Late entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. on July 23 when accompanied by a $40 late fee.

CLARIFICATION:

An item in the June 17 Daily Business Report on the 10th anniversary of Alternative Strategies, a marketing communications firm, listed the Hotel Solamar as one of its major clients. Actually, the hotel has been a past client of the agency, explains William Lopez, Alternative Strategies owner. Hotel Solamar currently is a client of The Nth Element, headed by Nicole Lazar.

50-Mile MS Walk Scheduled for Sept. 24-26

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Pacific South Coast chapter reports that more than 200 people have registered to walk 50 miles over three days, from the Flower Fields Carlsbad to Downtown San Diego, Sept. 24 to 26 at its ninth annual Southern California Challenge Walk MS. The fundraiser has a goal of raising $1.2 million for MS research and programs and services for Southern Californians living with MS, a chronic, unpredictable and disabling disease of the central nervous system with no known cause, cure or prevention. Last year’s Challenge Walk featured 262 walkers who helped raise $867,000. The minimum donation required to walk is $2,500 per person, which includes overnight hotel accommodations, meals and entertainment. Registration information is available at www.myMSchallenge.com. Continental Airlines is a presenting sponsor of the 2010 Challenge Walk MS.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, the North Park News, Kensington News and the West Coast Craftsman. (619) 906-4104.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

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