Weekly Issues

As ESOPs grow, Valley firms pull out of employee ownership

While many business owners have turned to bonuses and benefits to boost productivity, others have continued to foster a more vested interest by giving workers a stake in the profits.
Employee ownership has increased steadily since the onset of the recession. In 2008, around 10,100 companies throughout the U.S. contributed shares toward their employees through special retirement accounts known as Employee Stock Ownership Plans.

60-year-old Fresno market shutting its doors

A long-time fixture in Fresno, Ronnie’s Midway Market on 7091 N. Blackstone Ave. is planning to close down at the end of January.
The market has been serving area customers since 1953.
The sputtering economy and increased competition from other larger stores has forced the owners to call it quits. “With Walmart, 99 Cents Only and Target carrying groceries, there is just too much competition,” said Jon Asadoor, who with his brother Steve has run the store for the past 30 years.

Michelle Mastro

Michelle MastroExecutive Director
Valley Caregiver Resource Center

What we do:    
Valley Caregiver Resource Center and its affiliated programs, Caregiver Resource, OASIS, PALS, Ombudsman & HICAP, offer a comprehensive array of services designed to assist elders and their families master the challenges that accompany the aging process. As long-standing advocates and collaborators in preserving the health and quality of life of others, our aim is to promote personal and community well being. VCRC connects the over-looked with what they need most in life.

Banks report record profits in ‘13

Central Valley banks that have reported fourth quarter and year-end 2013 earnings so far had a good year. Most had record net income numbers.

Central Valley Community Bank
Central Valley Community Bancorp, parent company of Fresno's Central Valley Community Bank, reported 2013 net income of $8.25 million, or 77 cents per share — up nearly 10 percent from 2012.

Farmers: Drought declaration a start; fallout remains to be seen

Continuing drought conditions in California will mean fewer crop acres and lost farm revenue in the Central Valley.
In light of the losses, area water districts and the farmers they serve are glad that Gov. Jerry Brown recently issued an emergency drought declaration designed to conserve water and hopefully make more water available to agriculture.
They see it as a positive start in addressing the crisis.

Tourism event to highlight spending

While planning its second annual State of Tourism Luncheon, the Fresno/Clovis Convention and Visitors Bureau wanted to tell a story.
The story, told by FCCVB staff and partners, is of Fresno County’s culture, entertainment, history and farming heritage, all packed into a few hours on January 28 at the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center.

Tulare OKs extension for $250M cheese plant

Startup firm CaliCheese Co. said it is steps closer to building a new 300,000 square-foot cheese plant on land owned by the City of Tulare, but needs more time to complete all financing arraignments.
The Tulare City Council Tuesday gave CaliCheese until June 30 to complete the purchase of the 60-acre site, granting an extension to the original Jan. 15 deadline.

Robert Wood

Generation Homes

What we do: Generation Homes was started in 1996 and has evolved from a production-subdivision homebuilder to a design-build residential and light commercial general construction firm. Our employment has grown from three to as high as 45 to our current level of 18. Our primary focus is residential remodeling and custom home building. Our clients typically are looking for a one-stop shop for construction design, management, and decorating services.  We offer all of those services with a process that is inherently transparent.  Our construction experience covers the gamut from custom and production homes, kitchen and bath remodels, home performance audits and retrofits to light commercial tenant improvements and new commercial construction.  We have also created a home performance division that offers a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of the home and added a painting division focused on residential and light commercial.

Real estate roundup: Fresno hits top 10 in home list price jump

Realtor.com, an online real estate site operated by Move, Inc., released its National Housing Trend Report for December 2013, showing that Fresno came in 10th on the nation’s top 10 of metropolitan statistical areas for the greatest year-over-year price increase for homes.

Survey: 13.5M tons of tomatoes under contract

The USDA-NASS California Field Office surveyed the state’s tomato processors for their intended contract acreage and tonnage and found contract sales will total 13.5 million tons this year.
The data reported by processors was either tonnage with derived acreage, or acreage with derived tonnage.