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Business/Economy

  • LANB hires new commercial loan VP

    Los Alamos National Bank recently hired Michael Padilla, a 25-year banking industry professional, as vice president of commercial loans.
    “I am proud to join LANB in supporting local businesses and strengthening the local economy. We offer commercial loans and are eager to visit with our customers about new opportunities to realize their business goals,” Padilla said.
    Padilla, a native of Northern New Mexico, graduated from the University of New Mexico. He is active in the North Central New Mexico Economic Development District, the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, the New Mexico Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Council, Special Olympics, United Way and the UNM Lobo Club.
    “With the experience Michael brings to LANB, we are confident that he will be a great asset to our bank and our customers,” said Steve Wells, president of LANB. 

  • WR retailer chooses different direction

    Months ago, the town of White Rock was abuzz about a new furniture store opening directly across from the Bilingual Montessori School in the old village shopping center. The once frosted glass and dusty storefront suddenly began to glow with activity. It seemed that the lonely strip of empty retail spaces might finally get its second wind.

    Furniture is now beautifully displayed inside the spacious retail location, enticing passers-by to stop and take a second look; however, it seems now that the store will never open with regular hours. Owner Perry Handy shares that getting a business off the ground in Los Alamos is extremely difficult, especially in White Rock; and he is convinced that the area will never successfully support his furniture business, or any other retail business.

    The Handys are long-time residents of Los Alamos. They own the village center shops, which they purchased six years ago, when the buildings went into foreclosure. The family’s business offices for Hot Hole Instruments were already located in the village, and it was easier for them to purchase the property than to relocate.

  • House GOP unveils bill to counter Senate debt plan

    WASHINGTON (AP) — House GOP leaders unveiled their own plan Tuesday to counter an emerging Senate deal to reopen the government and forestall an economy-rattling default on U.S. obligations.

    Top Republicans unveiled a plan that would suspend a new tax on medical devices for two years and take away the federal government's contributions to lawmakers' health care and top administration officials in addition to funding the government through Jan. 15 and giving Treasury the ability to borrow normally through Feb. 7.

    The move came as a partial shutdown entered its third week and less than two days before the Treasury Department says it will be unable to borrow and will rely on a this cash cushion to pay the country's bills.

    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Republicans plan to pass the measure later Tuesday. It could prove tricky because Democrats probably won't support it. The House GOP plan wouldn't win nearly as many concessions from President Barack Obama as Republicans had sought but it would set up another battle with the White House early next year.

    "The jury is still out," said Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas.

  • Social Security raise to be among lowest in years

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For the second straight year, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect historically small increases in their benefits come January.

    Preliminary figures suggest a benefit increase of roughly 1.5 percent, which would be among the smallest since automatic increases were adopted in 1975, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

    Next year's raise will be small because consumer prices, as measured by the government, haven't gone up much in the past year.

    The exact size of the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, won't be known until the Labor Department releases the inflation report for September. That was supposed to happen Wednesday, but the report was delayed indefinitely because of the partial government shutdown.

    The COLA is usually announced in October to give Social Security and other benefit programs time to adjust January payments. The Social Security Administration has given no indication that raises would be delayed because of the shutdown, but advocates for seniors said the uncertainty was unwelcome.

    Social Security benefits have continued during the shutdown.

    More than one-fifth of the country is waiting for the news.

  • LANB hires new chief credit officer

    Los Alamos National Bank announced the hiring of Thomas (Tom) M. Lilly as chief credit officer this week.
    Lilly brings more than 25 years of community banking financial management experience overseeing credit administration, underwriting, loan operations and collections for several Mid-Western regional banks.
    “Tom is a great addition to LANB,” said Steve Wells, president, “he brings valued expertise to the credit quality function of the organization and will make us a better bank”.
    Lilly will oversee all credit administration of LANB and will lead the lending and credit operations in assuring strong asset quality and effective credit risk management.
    Upon accepting the position, Lilly said, “I’m excited to work for a community bank with the stature of LANB. I want to ensure that LANB continues to be an active and effective lender in the communities it serves.”
     Lilly has served on a number of non-profit boards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin including the American Cancer Society, the Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. He is particularly interested in serving the needs of children in the community.

  • Banks to help furloughed workers

    Some local banks and credit unions are offering help to those who have been or will be furloughed.
    Los Alamos National Bank is rolling out a program to provide relief for furloughed Federal Employees called “LANB S.T.R.O.N.G.”.
    “Our community and customers have always counted on LANB to be there for them. The unfortunate situation many may find themselves in due to government furloughs is a time when LANB can again help,” said bank President Steve Wells.
    LANB S.T.R.O.N.G. stands for “Short Term Relief Options (while) No Government.” It contains four main relief options for furloughed federal employees:
    • Payment Deferrals on Consumer Loans and Credit Cards (1 month)
    • Home Mortgage Loan Payment Forbearance (up to 6 months)
    • Waived Overdraft Fees
    • Short Term Relief Loans (new customers as well)
    They are up to $5,000, 24-month-term, five percent fixed rate, no fees, with approved credit and must be repain with a monthly payments of $219.36.
    Furloughed federal employees need only to contact LANB and the Bank will quickly assist with their request. Direct any questions or requests to: Toll Free: 800-684-5262, Los Alamos and Santa Fe 505-662-5171, Albuquerque: 505-449-5100

    Zia Credit Union

  • Christmas at Neiman Marcus: $1.9M Diamond Deal
  • 965 federal employees submit unemployment claims in NM

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials say nearly 1,000 federal employees submitted unemployment claims in New Mexico.

    Federal employees who are laid off — including those furloughed during the temporary shutdown of the federal government — can file for unemployment benefits through the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

    Department officials said Monday that there have been 965 total initial claims for federal employees filed on or after Oct. 1.

    They say federal employee claims are about 36 percent of all new claims, which total 2,700.

  • Great Reset: How Great Recession Changed Habits
  • E-cigarette shop aims for smoke-free world

    Gator’s LA Vapor opened in May with the purpose of helping people quit — as their motto suggests, “Thank You for Not Smoking.”

    Owners Darin Diffey and his wife Shannan know how hard it is to stop smoking so they both have turned to vapor after being heavy smokers for several years.

    E-cigarettes are different than its tobacco counterpart because there is no burning or smoke involved. An e-cigarette starter kit consists of a mechanism with a battery and a vaporization chamber that holds a cartridge of liquid nicotine. When someone takes a puff off the contraption, the liquid is heated, delivering nicotine into the lungs and the person exhales vapor instead of smoke.

    The argument that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco products is still in question by the FDA; however, according to the website Discovery Fit and Health, e-cigs only contain nicotine, which in itself is relatively safe. The e-cigarette lacks the 4,000-plus toxins and carcinogenic chemicals that tobacco cigarettes contain.

    Diffey said he always keeps up to date on the latest findings. This and other e-cigarette companies do not make safety or health claims, however they do push the benefits of e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco. There has not been enough research to reach a definite conclusion.