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Daily Business Report — March 30, 2011

Advisory for Small Business Owners

Small business owners with eligible commercial real estate mortgages maturing after Dec. 31, 2012, will be able to secure more stable, long-term financing through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s temporary 504 refinancing program as a result of a change that will be published in The Federal Register by April 6, the SBA reported. In February, SBA implemented a temporary refinancing program enacted under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which allowed small businesses facing maturing commercial real estate mortgages or balloon payments before Dec. 31, 2012, to refinance with an SBA 504 loan. The SBA change will lift the date limitation and will allow more small businesses to secure stable, long-term financing and avoid potential foreclosure on mortgages approved before and during the recession that were based on inflated real estate values. To be eligible for the temporary 504 refinancing program, a business must have been in operation for at least two years, the debt to be refinanced must be for owner-occupied real estate and have been incurred no less than two years prior to the date of application and the proceeds used for 504-eligible business expenses, and payments on that debt must be current for the last 12 months.

With publication in the Federal Register, which is expected by April 6, SBA will begin accepting applications from small business owners with mortgages maturing after Dec. 31, 2012. The program will be in effect through Sept. 27, 2012.

Reno Contracting and Envision Solar in Alliance

Reno Contracting will construct Envision Solar’s solar parking arrays in locations throughout the Southwest under an alliance announced by the companies. The solar arrays will include a tracking system that enables the solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day, while energy from the panels will be used to charge electric vehicles or delivered to the power grid. Reno Contracting said feeding all excess solar energy back into the power grid supports the state’s mandate of reaching 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. The first project is expected to be built in the second quarter followed by multi-location rollouts at corporate and commercial locations throughout the rest of the year and beyond. Reno Contracting’s selection of Envision Solar is a response to anticipated dramatic growth in both the solar and the electric vehicle market over the next decade, as well as a shared vision and philosophy, said Walt Fegley, company president. Last year, companies such as Staples, Frito Lay and Aramark introduced all-electric fleet vehicles and have plans to add to their fleets in 2011, Fegley noted. Companies like these, he said, as well as any business or educational institution that wants to provide an all-electric vehicle option, must have a green solution for their charging needs. Plugging into a grid-tied outlet isn’t the solution, he said.

Media Arts Center San Diego Receives $10,000 Grant

Media Arts Center San Diego

The California Council for the Humanities has awarded Media Arts Center San Diego a $10,000 grant for the production of a film that shares stories from San Diego’s LGBT community that explore principles of democracy, inequality and activism. Screening events for the film, “The Search for Equality: LGBT Stories of Democracy in Action,” will be done in partnership with the public library. Patric Stilman is project director for the film. Media Arts Center San Diego has relocated to a new home in North Park at 2921 El Cajon Blvd.

Cuyamaca College Offers Green Building Training

Cuyamaca College in May will provide free classes and hands-on work experience in green building and sustainable energy to eligible students through a training program funded by San Diego Workforce Partnership. The $1.6 million for the program comes from federal stimulus money along with grants from the State Energy Program, Workforce Investment Act,and State Energy Sector Partnership and others. Robert Garber, interim president of Cuyamaca College, said the green building program is part of the college’s commitment to train workers for the expanding green eco nomy.The four-week, 120-hour course takes place at Cuyamaca College from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, May 2-26. The college is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in El Cajon. Students must be 18 years of age or older, registered for selective services and hold legal status or have authorization to work in the United States. The Green Building Program will help displaced workers, the long-term unemployed, new workers, military veterans and older youths gain the skills to compete for jobs in the expanding green economy. To learn more about the program and register for a mandatory orientation April 6 or 7, visit cuyamaca.edu/preview/greenbuilding/index.htm. Orientations are from 9 a.m. to noon in Room L-101.

For more information on eligibility and enrollment, as well as college training schedules, visit the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s Website at sandiegoatwork.com or contact Gina Fiore at (619) 228-2913.

Nobel Prize-Winning Economist to Speak at UCSD

Nobel-Prize winning economist Amartya Sen will speak on “Justice: Local and Global” at 7 p.m. Thursday in the UCSD Price Center Ballroom West. The event is free and open to the public with no tickets or reservations required. Sen is regarded as one of the world’s foremost thinkers in the field of famine, poverty, social choice and welfare economics. He has published numerous influential books and articles, including the seminal “Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation” (1981) in which he proposed the theory that famine occurs not because of a lack of food, but rather because of inequalities built into the mechanisms of distributing food. In recognition of his work he was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics, the first welfare economist to be thus honored. He has since used some of the prize money to establish the Pratichi Trust to promote primary education in India.,He is currently professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University.,The lecture is presented by the Helen Edison Lecture Series in partnership with the UCSD Division of Social Science, and the Institute for International, Comparative and Area Studies.

Stem Cell Researcher Appears at SDSU

Renowned stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanak will discuss his breakthrough discoveries in the field during a special, free presentation at 9:30 a.m. at San Diego State’s Montezuma Hall. Yamanak’s research efforts showed that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), derived from adult skin cells, can replace human embryos, the subject of controversy. Yamanaka is senior investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco and professor at Kyoto University where he also serves as director of Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application. In addition to Yamanaka’s presentation, San Diego State will confer an honorary doctorate degree to Kazuo Inamori, founder of the Kyoto Prize, during the symposium. Inamori will receive an honorary doctorate in science, presented by SDSU President Stephen Weber.


Small Business Workshops

The Business & Entrepreneur Center and the Small Business Development Center at MiraCosta College will offer free upcoming workshops to help businesses succeed. The workshops will be held at Vista City Hall, 200 Civic Center Drive, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the following dates:

April 5:  Financing Options for Businesses: Direct lenders and the SBA will discuss financing options for a business.

May 3: Ways to Market A Business: Learn to identify the “right” customer for a business and easy ways to market your business to them.

June 7: Marketing A Business Using Google Tools: Learn how to use Google tools such as ad words, ad sense, Google trends and more.

Bring a lunch to the workshops. Drinks will be provided.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of SD METRO, the North Park News, Kensington News and the West Coast Craftsman.

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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: info@probolskyresearch.com