Weekly Issues

Startup offers mountain loop guided tours

Since launching more than a year ago, the Majestic Mountain Loop has captured the attention of tourism professionals and travelers worldwide with its itinerary of sights in Central California’s three national parks.
But up until now, the promotion created by the Visalia and Oakhurst visitors bureaus and the Fresno Yosemite International Airport has been without a concierge-level service that would shuttle large groups as experienced guides bring the destinations alive.  

Homegrown cinema membership model gains steam across state

What Netflix did for television, Oakhurst residents Matt Sconce and Keith Walker are doing for movie theaters and even converting some couch potatoes back to the cinema in the process.
More than a year ago, the longtime buddies succeeded in saving their beleaguered local theater by starting up a movie membership model that charges patrons a monthly subscription fee instead of the usual ticket price.

Vape expectations

Local e-cigarette industry grows; concerns deepen

Across the country, a growing number of tobacco users are turning to smoke-free alternatives like electronic cigarettes and vaporizers. What began as a grassroots trend in major cities has finally made its way to the Valley, where more than a dozen vapor shops have opened in the last few years.
In Fresno County alone, there are an estimated 164,000 adult smokers. For Valley “vape” shop owners, this represents a vast and relatively untapped market.
Gianni Raines, owner of Elite Vapor Shop, said he sold vapor pens and accessories online for two years before opening his store in a north Fresno shopping center nine months ago.
“There was nothing in this area when I moved in,” he said. “I saw a growing need.”

Jeff Davis

Davis Commercial Real Estate Services in Clovis

What we do:
I opened Davis Commercial in April 2001 after a 13-year career with Grubb & Ellis/ Pearson Commercial. While there, I specialized in the sales and leasing of office and office-warehouse properties and the sales of investment properties. I currently handle sales, leasing and offer consultation services for all types of commercial property, but the majority of the transactions are still office related.

I graduated from CSU, Fresno in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration-Finance.
I have also taken various courses with the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute and completed a course in commercial real estate offered through Grubb & Ellis.


Spouse: Norma.
Children: Sons, Steven (26) Lives in Clovis and is an emergency room nurse, Nicholas (10), Jacob (8).

Brave new world of marketing Retailers track, bring deals direct to your mobile device

Hungry consumers shopping for the best food deals at their favorite restaurants can now do so on their mobile phone using search engines like LiveDeal and moGRUB.
moGRUB, is available for advertisers to sign up on and LiveDeal is preparing to provide its service in Fresno. Both are geolocation-based mobile marketing platforms.

Fresno Ideaworks seeks business collaborators

Last month’s Mini Maker Faire at the Fresno Art Museum and similar events in the past year didn’t happen by accident.
Instead, they sprung from a new community of builders and hobbyists working together to get their creations in the public eye or even sold with hopes of launching profitable enterprises.

Rail authority: 220 jobs created through preliminary work

With no rivets or rails yet in place, the state’s bullet train project is already bringing work for a number of small businesses helping the contractors get ready for the task ahead.
In the Central Valley, more than 20 locally operated businesses have agreements for services or supplies with Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, the joint venture contracted last June to design and build the first 30-mile section of the system from Madera to Fresno.

Downtown mural a soon-to-be Fresno landmark

Look on the north wall of the Pacific Publishing building in downtown Fresno and you’re reminded of what makes the city what it is today.
Instead of the dull, aging bricks that stretched the length of the building as recently as six months ago, the country’s largest painted mural stamp by artist FranCisco Vargas now greets downtown visitors with iconic characters and landmarks of Fresno’s past and even future.

Phil Owens

Area Manager
BBSI in Fresno

What we do: BBSI (Barrett Business Services, Inc.) works with over 3,000 companies daily helping small and mid-sized businesses achieve their goals. We do this by providing management solutions that bring predictability and stability to small businesses, providing resources most small companies do not have in-house.

Education: Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif.

Age:  49

Wife: Mary
Son: Ryan, a student at Fresno State

What is BBSI’s history in Fresno?
BBSI opened the Branch in 2004.

Experts: Farm equipment manufacturing needs a boost

The San Joaquin Valley stands unparalleled for its crop production.
At the same time, its manufacture of farm related goods — including harvest and tilling equipment — has plenty of room to grow.
The Valley has numerous farm equipment sales offices, but is somewhat limited in terms of farm equipment manufacturing capability. Much of that production is done at other U.S. locations.