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Daily Business Report — June 4, 2010

Small Businesses Say Local Governments Are Unfriendly

More than half of the 500 small businesses surveyed by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce believe their local governments are unfriendly to small businesses and feel the state and federal governments are doing a bad job. The findings are contained in the chamber’s inaugural San Diego Small Business Barometer, which will be the focus of a public panel discussion today featuring city and county elected officials and chamber leaders.

The chamber queried 500 small businesses in San Diego County — those with 50 or fewer employees. Major findings:

• 57 percent of small business owners consider the local government in their area to be unfriendly to small businesses. Additionally, 56 percent would look outside San Diego County to start a business rather than start one here. State and federal governments receive — by far — the most criticism from small businesses.

• 66 percent consider the federal government to be doing a bad job.

• 76 percent believe the state government is doing a bad job.

• 68 percent of small businesses offer health care insurance to employees. Of the 32 percent that don’t offer insurance, most feel the cost is too expensive.

• 56 percent of businesses expect some sort of increase in revenue; however, overall spending is only expected to increase in 35 percent of businesses.

Today’s Access San Diego program will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the 12th floor of the City Administration Building, 202 C St., in Downtown. Business leaders will be able to take part in discussions with Mayor Jerry Sanders, county Supervisors Pam Slater-Price and Greg Cox, Councilman Kevin Faulconer and other local government officials. The breakfast program costs $35.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Moving to Downtown

Rendering of Downtown Campus

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law will vacate its Old Town location at the end of the year and move into a new eight-story campus in Downtown’s East Village. The school’s current three-building campus, located at 2121 San Diego Ave., is being offered for lease or sale by the owner, Pac Ventures Inc. The Thomas Jefferson School of Law will move to 1155 Island Ave. in East Village.

Pac Ventures President Andrew Kaplan said the Old Town buildings will be completely renovated. The campus consists of a 45,000-square-foot, three-story corporate headquarters building, an underground parking structure, a 20,000-square-foot atrium courtyard office building and an 8,000-square-foot office building, each on separate lots. Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial brokers Dave Odmark and Jack Kruger are handling the marketing of the property for PacVentures.

SANYO and UCSD Form Solar Energy Pact

SANYO and UCSD have announced a research collaboration to lead to the next generation of solar energy systems and energy management. They will collaborate on multi-year, multi-disciplinary projects in renewable energy and energy storage research, development and education. SANYO is to contribute $3 million over three years to fund the research projects. The agreement is the first of its kind that SANYO has made with a university in the United States in the area of energy.

The research projects that will be carried out under the agreement are central to the future use of solar power, especially for states like California that will rely more on renewable energy to meet its growing energy needs, according to the two partners. They said the research will build on the SANYO Smart Energy System concept, designed to improve the stability and reliability of renewable energy, and ongoing work at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in areas such as solar forecasting, energy storage and general energy management. The targets for research projects include developing the next generation of energy solutions, focusing on minimizing emissions while offering stable, reliable renewable energy generation, storage and efficiency from small to large-scale systems.

The first project in the UC San Diego-SANYO collaboration involves applying research underway at UCSD on solar forecasting into the Smart Energy System.  UCSD Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Jan Kleissl is using advanced weather stations and sky imaging tools and instruments to create hourly solar production forecasts. Such work could be used to more precisely determine when to store and when to release solar energy throughout the day.

Kyocera Begins Solar Module Manufacturing

Kyocera has begun the manufacture of solar modules in San Diego to meet the demand for sustainable solar electric generating systems. The company’s target is to produce 1,000 megawatts of solar cells per year by March 2013. The new solar manufacturing line has an initial production target of 30 megawatts per year. Initial production includes solar modules ranging from 210 watts to the company’s latest flagship 235-watt modules. Solar energy has become Kyocera’s fastest-growing business globally. Besides the new production operations in San Diego, Kyocera currently has solar module production facilities in Japan, China, the Czech Republic and Mexico. “Kyocera’s solar solutions go beyond residential rooftops — we specialize in transforming unused spaces, even parking lots and water-treatment facilities, into self-contained solar-electric generating systems that benefit communities and our planet,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc.

San Diego Housing Federation Honors Housing Leaders

The San Diego Housing Federation presented its Affordable Housing and

Community Development Awards last night at a celebration at the former Naval Training Center. Awards were presented to Projects of the Year and to several individuals for their advocacy for affordable housing and services to residents. Nico Calavita, professor emeritus at San Diego State, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for his advocacy on behalf of inclusionary housing policies and development.

Award winners were:

Outstanding Service to Residents: Jon Walters, The Association for Community Housing Solutions, for his service to mentally ill residents.

CSH Supportive Housing Award: Jennifer LeSar, LeSar Development, for spearheading CCDC’s $10 million set aside for affordable supportive housing and establishing a goal of creating 500 new units of supportive housing.

Outstanding Government Agency: Redevelopment Agency of the city of San Diego for its pro-active role in helping to ensure the development of two Barrio Logan affordable housing communities by assisting in navigating multiple approvals and rezoning and securing community support.

Outstanding Advocate: Rosemary Johnston, Interfaith Shelter Network, for a decade of work securing shelter and as an advocate for the homeless.

John Craven Memorial Award: Mandy Mills, city of Chula Vista, for her advocacy and coordination of city services and approvals on behalf of the Los Vecinos apartment development.

Outstanding Development Partner: Benson & Bohl Architects for their design of the unique Parkside in East Village. The new apartment community and its subterranean parking lot wrap around the East Village Community Church.

Brian Schottlaender Elected to Library Center Board

Brian Schottlaender

Brian E. C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian at the UCSD Libraries, has been elected to serve a five-year term on the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) board of trustees, effective in November. OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to furthering access to the world’s information and reducing information costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 171 countries and territories around the world have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend and preserve library materials. Schottlaender currently serves as a member of the Hathi Trust Executive Committee, an elected delegate to OCLC’s Global Council, and Co-Secretary of OCLC’s Americas Regional Council.

Opus Point IV Construction Completed

Construction has been completed on Opus Point IV in the Carlsbad Raceway Business Park in Carlsbad. The site includes four industrial and R&D shell buildings on Lionshead Avenue. Smith Consulting Architects provided architectural services for the tilt-up concrete buildings, the last of four phases of the development project to be completed. The entire Opus Pointe development encompasses 489,000 square feet of new office/industrial space at Carlsbad Raceway Business Park. Each building is designed for office, light industrial and/or manufacturing operations. Pete Bussett served as vice-president-in-charge for Smith Consulting Architects, with Jaime Ramirez as project manager. HTK Structural Engineers was the structural engineer, O’Day Consultants was the civil engineer and Ridge Landscape Architects was the landscape architect. Opus West Construction Corp. served as the general contractor.

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.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: