The News

Fresno’s WET-incubated companies raised $7M last year

One of the region’s best-known hubs for business startup assistance, the Central Valley Business Incubator has recently assumed a new title with a revamped mission focused on helping entrepreneurs in the water and energy sector.
Since its establishment in 1996, the Fresno-based organization has been providing startup and expanding companies with business consultation, education, access to capital and even office space to help them make their ventures profitable.

Economist: Fuel prices down, wealth up in ’14, beyond

Wells Fargo economist Gary Schlossberg spoke at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Fresno on Monday to give his assessment of what businesses can expect in the year ahead.
Rotary members look forward to the talk every year as Schlossberg, senior economist with Wells Capital Management in San Francisco, comes out each January to recap recent strides in the economy and offer predictions.

Web, video rule marketing in 2014

By all accounts, the Internet and digital video filmmaking appear to be the top growth areas in media marketing for 2014.

Web marketing
“Internet is growing and replacing ad spending, percentagewise. compared to TV, newspaper, magazine and radio,” said Chris Boling, vice president and chief strategic officer of Boling Associates in Fresno.

Mobile advertising takes to the skies

Fresno marketing firm to operate German-made airship

In the age of mobile Internet, old-school aerial advertising might seem a little out of step.
But the reality is that aerial advertising has enjoyed big-time success, especially when it comes to messages on the sides of large blimps. While blimps are not planned for Fresno, something similar is on its way.

Yokohl Ranch project awaits Tulare Co.

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors elected a new chairman this week, selecting District Three Supervisor Phil Cox to the top position. Cox replaces District Two Supervisor Pete Vander Poel.
Cox said he is happy to report that the landscape is nothing like when he took the gavel five years ago. “It’s not all doom and gloom, looking to lay off 400 people and watching for more expected cuts from the state,” he said.

Fresno TV stations’ new studio 99 percent complete

KSEE 24, Fresno’s NBC affiliate, and KGPE 47, the CBS affiliate, are now housed together, but operate separate high-definition newscasts in a renovated KSEE building at 5035 E. McKinley Ave.
The arrangement, made possible with heavy investment by owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group and advances in digital technology, has resulted in a more professional look in local programming.
Matt Rosenfeld, vice president and general manager of the two stations, said the refurbished building is about 99 percent complete. The two stations have new sets for their news broadcasts, which are now available in high definition.

Fresno aquarium project hits milestone

With 10% of funds raised, a long way to go yet

While still years from a groundbreaking, planners of Fresno’s long-awaited aquarium project are celebrating an initial fundraising milestone on the way to bringing the Valley’s largest collection of sea life to local guests.
The Aquarius Aquarium Institute’s decade-long venture calls for 14 different exhibits of sea and river animals during its first phase on a 10-acre site just west of Highway 99 along the San Joaquin River.

Fresno warehouse expanding for solar panels

Trucks are not the only things moving for Quali-T-Ruck Service in Fresno, whose Sierra West Warehouse is expanding with a planned 50,000 square-foot warehouse to store a incoming stock of solar panels.
Owner Dale Mendoza acquired his first 60,000 square-foot warehouse at a six-acre site on Church and Orange avenues south of downtown Fresno in 1989 to distribute iron, lumber, oil and other commodities.

Most Valley counties grew in last year

California grew by 332,000 people between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013 to total more than 38.2 million, according to official population estimates released by the Department of Finance. The growth rate of 0.9 percent and the 332,000 numeric gain are the highest for California since the pre-recession year of 2003-04.
Although the birth rate itself continues to decline, California births were slightly higher than last year. Births less deaths, called natural increase, remain a primary source of the state’s population growth.

Dry conditions above and below prompt well-digging frenzy

Dry weather conditions have kept Valley well diggers busy, both for residential and agricultural uses.
In addition, the underground water table and well levels have fallen, meaning higher demand for new wells and deeper wells.
Fresno alone has 260 pump stations. But the county has many more wells, including those dug for residents in the country and wells used for farming and industrial users.
Fresno County has a total of 26,567 well drilling permits on file. In 2012, the county issued 503 well drilling permits.