Daily Business Report-Feb. 12, 2016
Chad Crawford and Greg Lemon, owners of Milestone Running in North Park, received a $25,000 start-up loan from Accion. (Courtesy Accion)
Accion Reports Record Loan Production
New staff and board members added
Local microlender Accion last year had the highest year of production since its inception in 1994 with 329 loans disbursed in San Diego and Imperial counties to nearly 400 business owners for a total of more than $3.4 million.
Dollar amount of loans disbursed was up more than 20 percent in 2015 compared to $2.8 million in 2014. Loan issuance was also up 25 percent compared to 262 in 2014. The organization’s active portfolio also surpassed $5 million dollars for the first time.
“We continue to be a vital resource for small businesses to access funding and business support services such as one-on-one coaching and workshops,” said Accion CEO Elizabeth Schott. “Our loans empower start-up and existing entrepreneurs to create jobs in our community, increase their incomes, and contribute to the strength of our regional economy.”
On average, active Accion loan clients maintain and/or generate almost 1,000 jobs in the region.
In July, the organization expanded by servicing entrepreneurs in neighboring Imperial County. Of the 329 loans disbursed in 2015, 13 of those loans went to support Imperial County business owners.
Accion also hired its first remote business development officer, El Centro resident Diana Moreno-Inman. Moreno-Inman has over 15 years of experience in the business development, marketing and banking industries with a passion for financial literacy.
“After 21 years of serving entrepreneurs in San Diego, we developed a strategic plan that was focused on efficient growth to meet the rising demand for services,” said Schott. “We were able to exceed the goals we set for the region by disbursing more than $110,000 to Imperial Valley business owners in the second half of the year.”
Accion added San Bernardino and Riverside counties to its service areas in January.
Accion also added two new board members Lea Freeman, a venture capital associate at Qualcomm Ventures, and Joon Han, a longtime Accion volunteer and strategy specialist at Better San Diego.
El Nino Beach Survey Provides Glimpse
Of What’s to Come for the West Coast
Timely funding from the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is giving scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego a chance to create a detailed survey of the elevations of Southern California beaches and cliffs in the midst of one of the strongest El Niño seasons of the last 60 years.
Physical oceanographers Ken Melville and Luc Lenain are leading aircraft-based measurements using an imaging suite called the Modular Aerial Sensing System. During flights along the Southern California coast, light detection and ranging, or lidar, equipment measures the elevation of sand and cliffs along California’s beaches as they respond to storms and sea levels that are as much as 23 centimeters (9 inches) higher than historical averages. The lidar, coupled to global positioning system (GPS) instrumentation and inertial motion sensors, scans swaths of beach and ocean more than 600 meters (1,970 feet) wide measuring coastal topography on the scale of centimeters.
“The Department of the Navy is keenly interested in understanding the potential effects of climate change and sea-level rise, and this coastal survey is a great example of the strategic partnerships that we contribute to and learn from to that end,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Karnig Ohannessian. “The science informs key stakeholders in a whole-of-community approach to planning and adaptation, which ensures infrastructure resilience and enhances the Navy’s mission readiness.”
“The Navy has a huge infrastructure at sea level and needs to understand the impact of storms and sea-level change not only in Southern California, but around the globe,” said Tom Drake, the director of ocean, atmosphere and space research at the Office of Naval Research. “Scripps is a leader in beach and coastal science and provides an excellent team to gather and interpret a new coastal lidar dataset. The new data will greatly enhance our understanding of El Niño-driven shoreline processes in Southern California and give the Navy valuable insight and ability to predict future coastal change.”
Wermers Finishes Lofts on Landis
Wermers Multi-Family Corp., a San Diego-based apartment builder, has completed construction of the affordable housing project Lofts on Landis in Chula Vista. It is a community of 33 affordable apartments (including one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three bedroom units).
In addition to the residential units, Wermers also completed the project’s amenity spaces including a modern children’s play structure, health center, laundry facilities, and leasing offices. Wermers staff on the project included Vice President Richard Wood, Project Manager Kevin Hanson, and Project Superintendent Javier Avalos.
Civic San Diego Installs Wayfinding
Signs Downtown to Help in Navigating
Residents and visitors will have an easier time navigating Downtown San Diego by foot, car or bike after Civic San Diego installed more than 200 new wayfinding signs at a cost of $1.9 million.
Those unfamiliar with the neighborhood, or getting around on foot or by bike have long been faced with the challenge of reaching their destination using outdated signs originally designed for drivers, the agency said in announcing the project.
The program was launched to replace aging signage throughout Downtown’s eight neighborhoods. The completed project includes a new comprehensive pedestrian wayfinding, vehicular wayfinding, destination signage, Downtown gateway signage and kiosks with printed maps of Downtown.
Funding for the $1.9 million project was provided primarily through a reinvestment of dedicated parking-related revenue streams through the Downtown Community Parking District and a $335,000 grant from the San Diego Association of Governments. Maintenance agreements were also established with the Downtown San Diego Partnership, Little Italy Association and San Diego Unified Port District to perform upkeep of the signs in their respective areas.
SR Commercial Holdings Acquires
Space in Samuel Fox Building
SR Commercial Holdings has purchased three ground-floor commercial condos in the Samuel Fox Building at 531 Broadway (at Sixth Avenue) in Downtown San Diego. The three are leased by restaurant tenants Pipirins Carne Asada, Biga Italian and Ramen Yamadaya.
The four-story Samuel Fox Building was built in 1929 by entrepreneur Samuel Fox and originally accommodated Lion Clothing Company, which was the sole tenant of the building until 1984.
The building, and its design have been recognized as an artistic masterpiece as well as a merchandising success. The restorers maintained the original details of the historical construction. Today, the building features 23 loft- style residential condos and the recently purchased ground floor commercial space.
Padres Hire Former Pitcher Hideo Nomo
As Advisor for Baseball Operations
The San Diego Padres named former Major League pitcher Hideo Nomo adviser for baseball operations, a role in which he will be involved in player development and baseball operations, as well as helping the Padres expand their presence in the Pacific Rim.
Nomo’s hiring marks the second-straight season the Padres have added expertise in a specific international region from outside the organization. In 2015, former Major League outfielder Moises Alou was retained in a similar capacity, focusing on player development in the minor leagues, as well as continuing to expand the club’s presence in Latin America. Both Nomo and Alou join a group of baseball operations advisers that also includes former Padres Trevor Hoffman and Mark Loretta.
Nomo was the first Japanese player to permanently move to Major League Baseball, paving the way for more than 50 other Japanese players to follow. Nomo was inducted into the Japan Hall of Fame in 2014 at the age of 45, the youngest player ever elected.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Rescues Science Alliance Programs
City News Service
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center announced Thursday it will take over the flagship programs of a science education nonprofit ceasing operations at the end of this month.
Museum officials said by assuming the operations of San Diego Science Alliance, it can create a countywide learning resource for the so-called STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math.
The Fleet will operate two major SDSA programs — Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering, also known as BE WiSE, and the annual High Tech Fair.
“Our role is to be the central link between science and our communities, our schools and scientific organizations,’ said Steve Snyder, the Fleet’s CEO. “San Diego is a hub for technology and innovation, and the Fleet’s goal is to connect people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future for our community.”
The museum already provides STEM education programs in house, at schools and in the community, as well as teacher professional development opportunities.
Ellen Peneski, SDSA executive director, confirmed to City News Service that the organization is closing Feb. 29 after around two decades of service.
“I am confident that the Fleet Board of Directors and Steve Snyder and his team have the resources, enthusiasm and experience to continue to serve our stakeholders, carry on the SDSA legacy and thrive as the new go-to STEM resource for San Diego alliances,” Peneski said.
She said high school health academies supported by SDSA will continue operating through college and career readiness initiatives.
San Diego to be Home Port
for USS John P. Murtha
City News Service
The Navy announced Thursday that the future amphibious landing ship USS John P. Murtha will be home-ported at Naval Base San Diego following its commissioning in summer 2016.
The 684-foot-long Murtha is a San Antonio-class vessel being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss.
Stationing amphibious landing ships in a West Coast port supports the rebalance of U.S. military forces toward Asia, placing the most advanced vessels and greater capacity in the vital theater, according to the Navy. By 2020, roughly 60 percent of Navy ships and aircraft will be based in the region.
LPDs are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked landing craft — air cushioned or conventional — plus amphibious assault vehicles, helicopters, and vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
The ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups, the Navy said.
The Navy said a similar type of ship, the USS Anchorage, will be open to the public next Wednesday and Thursday at Broadway Pier.
Military Increases Security at
MCAS to Thwart Trespassers
City News Service
Faced with increasing trespassing problems, military officials are increasing security on the undeveloped outskirts of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, base officials announced Thursday.
Personnel at the northern San Diego USMC installation recently have had to deal with more frequent intrusions of hikers, mountain bikers and other unauthorized people on the federal facility, said 1st Lt. Matthew Gregory of the MCAS Miramar Public Affairs Office.
“It’s not a response to any one particular incident,” Gregory said.
Much of the base is not fenced in, particularly in its eastern reaches, where it abuts open-space preserves and environmentally sensitive land where barriers have not been approved. Signs warning against trespassing stand throughout those areas but have not always deterred those deciding to enter, according to Gregory.
Among the locations where military police will be increasing their presence are parts of the station east of Interstate 805 and north of state Route 52, along with the edges of East Miramar training sites.
“It’s not a new thing, but we’ll be having more (patrols),” Gregory said.
Intruders are subject to government trespassing citations that carry federal fines.
Every Day is an Opportunity to Change a Life
Frank Shankwitz will be in town as a keynote speaker for San Diego Women’s Week’s Inspiration Conference on Friday, March 18.
Shankwitz founded what has been called by Forbes “the most culturally significant nonprofit organizations in the country,” Make-A-Wish Foundation.