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Daily Business Report — April 29, 2010

Economic Index Rises

The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 1.0 percent in March. The gain was led by big increases in building permits, initial claims for unemployment insurance and help wanted advertising. Local consumer confidence and the outlook for the national economy were also up solidly.  The only negative was a small drop in local stock prices. With March’s gain, the USD Index has now risen or been unchanged for two full years. The outlook for the local economy continues to be positive, said associate professor Alan Gin, author of the report. One area where things are picking up is the labor market, with 24,700 jobs added in San Diego Country between March 2010 and March 2011. Sectors showing good job growth include administrative, support, and waste services (up 6,500 year-over-year), professional, scientific, and technical services (up 5,900), leisure and hospitality (up 4,800), and health care (up 3,800). Construction (down 1,000 jobs year-over-year) and manufacturing (down 700) are the sectors that continue to lag. “While the gain is welcome, the local economy still has a long way to go to fully recover,” said Gin. “At the March rate of job growth, it will take another four years to get back to the same level of employment as the peak in December 2007. The local unemployment rate remains high, having topped the double digit mark now for 22 consecutive months.” March’s increase puts the USD Index for the county at 115.3, up from February’s revised reading of 114.1.

40 Under 40 Awards

The 2011 40 Under 40 Awards nomination period is in full swing. May 30 is the deadline for submitting nominations of people you believe are making substantial contributions to their community, their companies, organizations or institutions. You will find a nomination form on the front page of our Website (sandiegometro.com). Fill it out and submit. Editor’s Tip: Describe your nominee in depth. Give plenty of examples of major accomplishments.

Live Paper Dolls

Fashion designer Alexander Luque will unveil 10 unusual dress designs at the May Day Garden Party May 7 at the Marston House — a collection of dresses that are made entirely of paper. The Save Our Heritage Organisation is sponsoring the fundraiser to help restore the Arts & Crafts-era gardens at the Marston House, and Luque is creating his pieces using garden magazines. Luque, who was born in San Diego, heads his own fashion company, Ecopaperdolls, and is an art history student at Arizona State University. He creates all his dresses and accessories by recycling everyday paper products. Created on site at the Marston family’s former home, Luque’s paper doll creations will be modeled throughout the day for guests of the annual garden party, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The SOHO event will include springtime activities, home and garden tours, a plein-air art show, benefit art auction and live music. Also featured will be a wine garden from noon to 4 p.m. where, for a $10 admission, adults can obtain two glasses of wine in a keepsake Marston House wine glass. Baked goods will be served in the formal garden. Tea and lemonade from the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant, will complement the baked goods.  General admission tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. The Marston House is at 3525 Seventh Ave. For more information, call SOHO at (619) 297-9327 or (619) 297-7511. (Photo: Wearable sculptured art, a fan dress, by 18-year-old new artist Alexander Luque.)

SDSU Veterans Center Receives $1 Million Gift

San Diego State University will rename its Veteran Center after Joan and Art Barron after the couple donated $1 million for its operation. The gift will create an endowment to fund operations of the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center in perpetuity. Art Barron is a Navy veteran and SDSU alumnus. He and his wife were among the first to contribute to the center when it was established in 2008. “When President (Stephen) Weber visited us at our home in New Jersey and explained the veterans program he wanted to start at SDSU, we were ready to enlist,” said Barron, who attended SDSU on the G.I. Bill. “We have a special place in our hearts for SDSU and all veterans.  We are honored by all the young men and women who have given such service to our country and we owe them a big debt.” SDSU is home to one of the largest student veteran populations in California and ranks among top 30 most “military friendly” campuses in the nation. Opened in 2008, the center was the first in the California State University system and provides support for 1,200 veteran, reservist and active duty military students at SDSU as well as hundreds of military dependents. To accommodate more student veterans, the center was expanded and moved in 2010. SDSU admitted more than 450 new student veterans for fall 2011.

Giant Tree to Crown Groundbreaking

Sudberry Properties has scheduled a 10 a.m. groundbreaking event and Arbor Day celebration today at the site of its 230-acre Civita mixed-use community in Mission Valley. A three-story, 20-ton Morton Bay Fig tree will be planted. The tree will be lowered into place by crane. The Civita development’s first phase, Circa 37, will have 11 buildings containing 306 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, a clubhouse, game room, fitness center, Olympic-style salt water swimming pool and children’s play area and will be available for occupancy in April 2012. The overall development, formerly called Quarry Falls, is planned to include 4,780 residential units, retail and office space, a civic center with amphitheater, recreation center and public parks. (Photo: The 20-ton Morton Bay Fig tree is loaded onto a truck heading for today’s Civita groundbreaking.)

S.D. Agency to Offer Lower Small Business Loans

CDC Small Business Finance in San Diego has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration to start accepting and processing lower dollar loans for applicants in underserved communities. The pilot program was launched to help businesses hardest hit by the economic downturn. Officials said that even though SBA loans are three-to-five times more likely to go to women and minority-owned small businesses, underserved communities were hit disproportionately hard by the recession. The pilot program is aimed at expanding access to capital for small business owners by opening SBA’s 7 (a) loan program to agencies such as CDC Small Business Finance. That program offers loans of up to $250,000 with the SBA guaranteeing 85 percent for loans up to $150,000 and 75 percent for loans greater than that.

NAWBO Names BRAVO! Award Finalists

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) San Diego chapter has announced the nominees for its six 2011 BRAVO! Awards. The winners will be feted at a dinner event May 18 at the Marriott Courtyard Airport/Liberty Station. The nominees in each category:

Woman Business Owner of the Year — Michelle Bergquist, Connected Women of Influence; Mindy Bortness, Communications Works Inc.; Holly Green, The Human Factor; Debbie Solomon, Kid Ventures.

Signature Award — Shirley Abelsohn, Clone Duplicating & Printing; Michelle Rose Gilman, Fusion Academy & Learning Center; Suzanne Weinstein, In Sync Consulting.

Trailblazer Award — Wendi Pomerance Brick, Customer Service Advantage; Randa Cote, Moms in Business Unite Inc.; Nancy Fagan, The Divorce Help Clinic; Nicole Matthews, RECESS by The Henley Company LLC; Dominique Molina, American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches; Mia Roseberry, Wounded Warrior Homes.

Green Community Award — Angela Cortright, Spa Gregorie’s Day Spa & Salon; Kristen Victor, Sustainability Matters Inc.

Women’s Advocate of the Year — Adrienne Moch, Adrienne Moch Writing & Editing; Marilyn O’Neill, Nautilus Environmental; Mayumi Young, CPA Moms.

Rising Star — Kathleen Behrens, Teen Speaking Skills; Christina Hendrick, Christina Hendrick Photography; Deirdre Maloney, Momentum San Diego; Amy Mewborn, Xtend Barre Carlsbad; Tamara Romeo, Southcoast Feng Shui Design; JoAnn Stewart, Senior Care Discounts.

Imagine Communications Appoints Sales V.P.

Imagine Communications has appointed telecommunications veteran David Sykes as vice president of sales. Sykes, who has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, formerly was vice president of sales and marketing strategy for Opnext. Opnext acquired StrataLight Communications in January 2009. Prior to StrataLight, he spent more than six years at Turin Networks as vice president of market development. Sykes has held various leadership positions at Nortel Networks, Bay Networks and Network Equipment Technologies. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

SDG&E Honors Energy-Efficient Programs

Eleven local businesses and agencies have been recognized as Energy Champions by San Diego Gas & Electric for outstanding efforts in energy efficiency and conservation. Among the honorees was the county of San Diego for the first phase of its County Operations Center redevelopment project, which is expected to save $265,000 a year in utility costs, 2 million kilowatt hours in electricity and 571 kilowats in peak power demand. Another honoree, the Escondido Union School District, was cited for retrofitting more than 22,000 light fixtures, saving $230,000 off its electricity bill. Other award winners were Albertsons, Emerald Textiles, GNF Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, Harrah’s Rincon Resort & Casino, Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, United States Navy, University of San Diego, Portland Energy Conservation Inc. and Energy Logic Inc.


Small Business Workshops from SCORE San Diego

May 3 — Insurance — What You Need to Know to Protect You and Your Business. 9 a.m. to noon. SCORE Entrepreneur Center, 550 West C St., Suite 550, Downtown San Diego. Presenter: Bill Pope, a SCORE counselor who retired in 2006 after nearly 36 years with John Burnham Insurance Services. Registration fee: $49 pre-paid/$59 on-site. Pre-pay online at score-sandiego.org/workshops. Or call (619) 557-2011.

May 4 — QuickBooks Basic — Learn the bookkeeping software. A computer-based visual demonstration. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. National University Spectrum Academic Center, 9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego. Presenters: Tim Shortridge, owner of Shortridge Business Services; and Elaine Standring, certified QuickBooks consultant. $69 pre-paid/$79 on-site. Pre-pay online at score-sandiego.org/workshops. Or call (619) 557-7272.

May 5 — Intellectual Property-Promise and Practicalities. Covers trade secrets, patents, trademarks, copyrights, the cost to register, methods for valuing intellectual property and profit potential. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. SCORE Entrepreneurial Center, 550 West C St., Suite 550, Downtown San Diego. Presenter: Mark Wisnosky, a patent attorney who workd 20 years with Hewlett-Packard. $29 pre-paid/$39 on-site. Pre-pay online at score-sandiego.org/workshops. Or call (619) 557-7272.

May 7 — Business Plan 101: How to Develop Your Best Competitive Advantage. How to use every marketing strategy wisely. 9 a.m. to  3 p.m. National University, Building 705, 705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad. Presenters: John Bjeldanes, with over 30 years experience in owning and operating several small businesses; Earl Jacobsen, retired from the computer industry after nearly 43 years; and Larry Johnes, SCORE counselor with background in sales, marketing, strategic planning, product development and finance. $79 pre-paid/$89 on-site. Pre-pay online at score-sandiego.org/workshops. Or call (619) 557-7272.

May 10 — Marketing for Nonprofits. Effective target marketing explained, including how to market to two groups: those who need your service or product, and those who may contribute cash or time to help your cause. 9 to 11:30 a.m. San Diego Foundation, 2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200, in Point Loma. Presenters: Lin Holzinger, lengthy career in sales and marketing; Tom Nickols, former president and owner of Flex Metal Components; and Fred Schlaffer, president of a merchant processing company in San Diego that serves 400 merchants. $39 pre-paid/$49 on-site. Pre-pay online at score-sandiego.org/workshops. Or call (619) 557-7272.

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. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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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