Weekly Issues

Lamoure’s faces fine, cleanup costs for downtown land in rail’s path

A former dry-cleaning business in downtown Fresno is facing an $18,000 fine and the cost of an environmental assessment and cleanup on property that will soon be taken over and leveled by the state's high-speed rail authority.
In 2010, the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board requested an assessment for potential contaminants at 1304 G. Street. The building, owned by the former family business Lamoure's Cleaners, is along the train tracks in downtown Fresno. Buildings in that section of the city are currently being purchased and demolished to make room for the Central Valley corridor of the California high-speed rail project.

Sandra Kaye

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 2.17.10 PMFounder

St. Francis Homeless Project

What’s the story behind St. Francis Homeless Project, Inc.?

Kings County: Economic growth via the skies

A number of factors look to prep Kings County for some economic growth in the year ahead.
Perhaps the most anticipated new development follows a recent decision by the U.S. Navy to base a total of 100 F-35C aircraft at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore. The new aircraft, made up of seven Navy Pacific Fleet Squadrons and one Fleet Replacement Squadron, will arrive in phases beginning next year to replace 70 aging F/A-18 Hornets currently on location by 2028.

Fresno County: Rail work, other factors drive optimism

Local economic development professionals see bright skies ahead for Fresno County in 2015, but the lack of rainclouds could signal continued trouble.
When it comes to the nonfarm economy, most agree the Valley is continuing on a positive trajectory. The unemployment numbers bear that out. In September, Fresno County’s jobless rate reached 9.5 percent — the first single-digit unemployment rate in six years.

New laws of interest for California businesses in 2015

The following bills were among the 900 measures signed into law by Governor Brown of interest to the business community:

AB 877
(Bocanegra)
For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, AB 877 disallows a deduction for the amount of any fine or penalty paid or incurred by an owner of all or part of a professional sports franchise where that fine or penalty is assessed or imposed by the professional sports league that includes that franchise.

Visalia approves ‘campus-style’ biz research park

The Visalia Planning Commission approved a development last week that will round out its business research park zone west of the city.
First brought before the city by Visalia developer 4Creeks Inc. last November, the Square at Plaza Drive aims to attract a variety of technology and office-oriented businesses at the southwest corner of Plaza Drive and Crowley Avenue.

Fresno retailer partners to offer Harley-Davidsons on lease

Valley residents interested in riding Harley-Davidsons will soon have more financing options available to them thanks to a partnership with Clawson Motorsports in Fresno and Chrome Capital. Founded in 2011, the national leasing company works with dealerships across the country to help make Harley-Davidsons more affordable for consumers.
Harley-Davidson Financial Services already offers help to customers who are looking to buy new motorcycles, but it does not offer leasing on new or used bikes.

Nonbank mortgage lenders seek more of the market

Nonbank mortgage lenders are regaining popularity on a level not seen since the financial crisis of 2008, once more infusing the industry with a variety of financial options and resources.
According to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry data and research newsletter, nonbank mortgage lenders accounted for 27 percent of the market in the third quarter of 2014. While that growth has slowed somewhat in recent months, the numbers show that this is the largest segment of the market nonbanks have held since 2008.

Scharton eyes ‘scrappy’ Fresno style with new venture

A new marketing firm focused on local food brands and producers will soon take root in downtown Fresno. 

Croptown Creative Team is the latest business venture by Craig Scharton, owner of Peeve’s Public House, and marketing partner H Steele. The two said they hope to grow Croptown out of their connections with local artisanal food manufacturers in the Fresno County area while also helping to establish a strong “Fresno style.”

Bank beefs up cyber security as threat level rises

In the wake of a high-profile security breach, Fresno’s United Security Bank has adopted tighter security measures in hopes of protecting customers.

The move comes as the banking and retail industries focuses its attention to cyber security as more hacking incidents emerge compromising millions of customers.

United Security Bank agreed in June to pay $350,000 to Bakersfield oil company TRC Operating Co. to settle litigation stemming from a 2011 cyber fraud incident. Dennis Woods, president and CEO of United Security Bank, said the bank has taken on additional security measures to protect corporate customers that frequently use the online money-wiring system.