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Daily Business Report — Aug. 6, 2010

Sales of Businesses in County Decline

Ninety-two small and mid-sized businesses were sold in July in San Diego County, off slightly from the 96 closed escrows recorded in July 2009, according to BizBen.com, which tracks privately held business sales throughout California. The city of San Diego led the county with 39 closed escrows in July. There were nine completed deals in Chula Vista and seven in Oceanside.
 
Statewide sales for last month set the record for 2010, with 1,298 transactions recorded. The company also announced the July 2010 tally was well ahead of the 1,075 sum of sold businesses in California during the same month last year.

“We’re pleased to notice that the number of sold businesses statewide is increasing,” said Peter Siegel, founder and CEO of BizBen.com. “But it’s been a tough year and it’s too soon to declare that one strong month constitutes a trend. An obstacle continues to be the reluctance of community banks as well as large institutions to loan out the money entrepreneurs need to fund their transactions. It’s a good sign that many buyers and sellers in California are adapting to the market place. We’re seeing more deals with the seller helping to finance by taking some of the price in a note secured by the business.” Business owners, business brokers and agents currently are offering approximately 750 businesses for sale in San Diego County, Siegel added.

Scripps Proton Therapy Center Advances

Construction is expected to start in October on the $185 million Scripps Proton Therapy Center, the first in the county to offer the advanced therapy to cancer patients. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Thursday for the center, which is expected to be open for patient care by spring 2013. The 102,000-square-foot facility will have the capacity to treat about 2,400 patients annually. It will be built on a seven-acre site in the Carroll Canyon area of Mira Mesa, at 9577 Summers Ridge Road. Centerpiece of the center will be a 90-ton cyclotron to accelerate protons to extremely fast speeds — roughly 100,000 miles-per-second — creating a beam that can reach tumors that are up to 14 inches deep. The beams also can be shaped in three dimensions to avoid surrounding healthy tissues.

Scripps Health, Scripps Clinic Medical Group and Advanced Particle Therapy LLC of Minden, Nev., are collaborating in the development. Haskell Design Build of Jacksonville, Fla., is the general contractor.

The center will include five treatment rooms, three of which will include gantries, which are rotational machines designed to deliver the therapeutic beam at the precise angle prescribed by the physician. The other two treatment rooms will have fixed-beam machines. The center will also offer MRI and CT scan diagnostic services in support of proton therapy, 16 patient exam rooms and offices for 14 physicians.

2 Fined $25,000 for False Advertising Charges

Jared Berry and Troy Nihart, owners of Save Big Liquidators Inc., have been fined $25,500 and placed on three years probation after pleading guilty to five misdemeanor couts of false advertising in connection with full-page newspaper advertisements for a retail store that announced “closing doors forever” prices. The San Diego District Attorneys Office, which filed the charges, said the owners used deceptive advertising to create the false impression the store was going out of business in a matter of days, so consumers had to act quickly. In truth, the company’s full page ads in the San Diego Union-Tribune ran every weekend for months, and the company was acting as a liquidator, selling the inventory of other stores. The store, which is now closed, was located at 7803 Othello Ave. in the former Home Depot Expo Center in San Diego.

Downtown Parking Lot Reopened

Centre City Development Corp. has reopened the 150-space surface parking lot on Seventh Avenue and Market Street in Downtown San Diego after completing six months of environmental remediation work. The site, which is owned by the city Redevelopment Agency, will be managed by Sunset Parking with daily rates ranging from $5 to $17. Monthly permits also are available. “It was important to complete the improvements and reopen the public parking lot as quickly as possible,” said CCDC Executive Vice President and CFO Frank Alessi. “Providing convenient and affordable parking to help meet the increasing demand remains a top priority for the Downtown Community Parking District and CCDC.” A $1.5 million grant from the Orphan Site Cleanup Account Program was unsed to pay for a large part of the remediation work.

LRAD Obtains $6.2 Million Navy Order

LRAD Corp. has received a multiple-year, $6.2 million order from the Navy to provide a remote-controlled security program for the service’s Shipboard Protection System. LRAD’s proprietary LRAD-RX provides for remotely controlled security, enabling system operators to detect and broadcast to an intruder over distance.

Scripps Institution Glaciologist Receives Honor

Helen Amanda Fricker, a glaciologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has been awarded the 2010 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. The prize is a $100,000 award funded by the Tinker Foundation and managed by the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research, a committee of the Paris-based International Council for Science. Fricker is recognized for her discovery of active subglacial lakes and for research into the Antarctic ice shelf. Fricker will be awarded the Prize and deliver the Muse Lecture at the American Geophysical Union meeting to be held in San Francisco in December.

Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek Receives REI Grant

Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek, a nonprofit environmental business that works to maintain the Chollas Creek area, has been awarded a $5,000 grant by REI, a national outdoor retail co-op. The money will go toward the Cactus Wren Restoration Project, which was launched in 2009 to rehabilitate nearly 75 acres of cactus-wren friendly canyonland near Market Street in Encanto. This is where 120 students plant, monitor and help maintain upland and open spaces. The students, who attend Millennial Tech Middle School, will participate in outdoor hiking, planting and species monitoring field trips. They will be part of a larger neighborhood volunteer backyard habitat effort, as well as the California Natural Conservation Communities Program to repopulate the cactus wren in creek and canyon areas.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Open House

San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies will host a fall semester open house on Aug. 21 for its Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program for individuals 50 years of age and better. It will be at 10 a.m. at the SDSU Extended Studies Center, 5701 Hardy Ave. “This open house will provide prospective students the opportunity to meet the staff and several of our instructors, learn more about Osher, and get an idea of the state-of-the-art facilities and quality of instructors in our program,” said Joe Shapiro, dean of the College of Extended Studies. For more program information and to RSVP for the open house, call (619) 594-2863 or visit neverstoplearning.net.

Small Business Workshops

Upcoming SCORE San Diego Workshops:

• Aug. 9 – California Sales & Use Tax Basics – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

• Aug. 10 – Marketing for Non-Profits 9 to 11:30 a.m. at San Diego Foundation – Liberty Station (2508 Historic Decatur Rd #200, San Diego 92106; pre-paid registration $39, $49 at the door).

• Aug. 11 – Business Plan 101: How to Develop Your Best Competitive Advantage – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Point Loma Nazarene University in Mission Valley (4007 Camino del Rio South, San Diego 92108; pre-paid registration $79, $89 at the door).

• Aug. 12 – Internet Marketing 301: Pay-Per-Click – 9 a.m. to noon at Point Loma Nazarene University in Mission Valley (4007 Camino del Rio South, San Diego 92108; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Aug. 13 – Legal Issues for Small Businesses: Organizational Structure – 9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Aug. 14 – QuickBooks® Basic – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Point Loma Nazarene University in Mission Valley (4007 Camino del Rio South, San Diego 92108; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Aug. 16 – Customer Service: The Key to Business Success – 9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $39, $49 at the door).

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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