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Business/Economy

  • Classic Air Medical is off the ground

    A cerermonial ribbon-cutting was held at noon today for Classic Air Medical, which will offer medical airlift service for Los Alamos County. Onlookers saw the helicopter and its interior at the ceremony.

  • Local economy is topic at breakfast

    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce will host a business breakfast Thursday to discuss potential economic development issues within the county.
    The breakfast will feature a panel discussion on the outlook for businesses. It’s scheduled for 7:30 a.m. at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, room 230.
    The panel will include Patrick Sullivan, the executive director of the LACDC, Eric Vasquez, Regional Economic Development Imitative manager for the Regional Development Corporation and Jeffrey Mitchell, UNM’s director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
    Mitchell has been with UNM’s economic research bureau since 2003. His work with the bureau has consisted of economic planning, statistical analysis and strategy development.
    Vasquez works with communities through Northern New Mexico through REDI, focusing on long-term planning for the region.
    Sullivan was named the LACDC director in 2014, taking over for Scott Randall.
    Tickets are $15. Those interested in attending can register on the events page of the Chamber of Commerce website losalamoschamber.com/events.
    For more information on the chamber breakfast, call 661-4816 or email Nancy Partridge of the LACDC at nancy@losalamos.org.

  • LA native opens third branch of Xynergy

    Xynergy, Inc., one of New Mexico’s leading web design and online marketing firm, has expanded with the opening of a third location in Taos.
    Xynergy, which already has offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
    The Taos location opened in mid-February. It is located at ​201 Camino de la Merced, Suite C1 — in the same Internet and media hub as Brownrice Hosting and TaosNet.
    Xynergy, Inc. was founded in 1994 by Jennifer Martin, president, who is a 1988 graduate of Los Alamos High school. From 2006-2009 Xynergy built the Intranet for Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    “Taos is a beautiful and culturally robust community.  I am so pleased to have two highly skilled Taoseños join our team and I am looking forward to working with more local talent as we grow,” Martin said.
    The move coincides with the restructuring of long-time Taos design and marketing firm, Webb Design, Inc. 
    Martin grew up in Los Alamos and has experience developing multi-media projects during and after college, specifically in CD-ROM and gaming industries. The business covers website development and digital marketing.
    She first established the business in the early 1990s.

  • Lottery for 2015 turkey hunt open

    The Valles Caldera Trust will hold a lottery for the chance for sportsmen to hunt Merriam turkeys on Valles Caldera National Preserve land.
    Those wanting to enter the lottery may do so until March 31.
    The 2015 turkey hunt will be the ninth such hunt on VCNP land since it was established in 2000.
    Eight hunt authorizations will be issued for the two hunts, which are scheduled for May 2-4 and May 8-10. Each applicant will be limited to one ticket per hunt, but may apply for both hunts.
    Lottery chances can be purchased for $10 each online through the VCNP website. All funds generated will be used for VCNP management, for activities such as habit restoration and the increase of recreational access.
    Those interested in the turkey hunt must also acquire proper licenses to do so from the state’s Department of Game and Fish.
    Lottery winners will be notified by email or they may visit the VCNP website on April 3.
    For more information, call 1-866-382-5537 or visit vallescaldera.gov.

  • Hiring strong, unemployment down in February

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A burst of hiring in February underscored the resilience and confidence of U.S. businesses, which are adding workers at the fastest pace in 17 years. Yet the strong job gains did little to raise wages last month.
    The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent, the government said Friday. But the rate declined mainly because some people out of work stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed.
    The average hourly wage rose just 3 cents to $24.78 an hour. Average hourly pay has now risen just 2 percent over the past 12 months, barely ahead of inflation.
    Still, over that time, 3.3 million more Americans have gotten jobs. More jobs and lower gas prices have led many consumers to step up spending. That’s boosting the economy, offsetting sluggish growth overseas and giving employers the confidence to hire.
    Most economists have forecast that the economy will grow about 3 percent this year, supporting about 250,000 job gains a month. Those increases should raise pay this year, they say.

  • CEO: Oil will remain cheap

    NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson expects the price of oil to remain low over the next two years because of ample global supplies and relatively weak economic growth.
    “People kinda need to settle in for a while,” Tillerson said at the company’s annual investor conference in New York.
    In a presentation to investors outlining its business plans through 2017, Exxon assumes a price of $55 a barrel for global crude. That’s $5 below where Brent crude, the most important global benchmark, traded on Wednesday. It’s about half of what Brent averaged between 2011 and the middle of last year.
    The price of oil plunged in the second half of 2014 when it became apparent that production was outpacing global demand. U.S. production was particularly robust, with the increase of 1.5 million barrels per day being the third largest on record, according to a report from BP. Meanwhile, weakening economic conditions in China, Japan and Europe slowed the growth in oil demand.
    BP CEO Bob Dudley made remarks similar to Tillerson’s in a recent call with investors. The CEOs comments reflect an increasingly common industry view that new sources of oil around the globe, relatively slow growth in demand, and large amounts of crude in storage will keep a lid on prices for the foreseeable future.

  • Saga offers pet house calls

    For residents of Los Alamos who are elderly or sick and have pets that are, well, elderly or sick, there is a veterinary choice in town for the furry friends.
    Vikki Saga is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and has noticed a need for veterinary house calls. VikkiVetCare is a mobile business Saga founded and opened in early February.
    Mobile vet care is becoming a growing trend in many communities. Saga works with people and animals in Los Alamos, White Rock and the outlying areas to Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
    Saga has worked as a veterinarian in Santa Fe and in Los Alamos. “Lots of people would come by my house, mostly neighbors, and ask for help or advice,” Saga said, who received a DVM degree in Canada.
    There are advantages to house calls. The service offers convenience and less stress for veterinary care because it takes place in an individual’s home. Most cats and older dogs have trouble with car rides.
    Also, the convenience extends over weekends and holidays, when clinics are closed or the emergency animal hospital is difficult to get to.

  • Casias wants to bring float tanks to local market in the near future

    Life’s stresses can weigh people down, as can chronic pain, fatigue and other ailments.
    Carlos Casias is a Los Alamos entrepreneur who will be opening Float Los Alamos in 2015 and he hopes to help local remedy those problems.
    Casias’ float studio will have at least two float tanks.
    A float tank is a light- and sound-free environment where a person can float atop a solution of about 10 inches of natural Epsom salt.
    While reducing external stimuli, the benefits of a zero-gravity environment can reducing muscle tension, joint pain and discomfort.
    Casias’s business, which is still in the planning stages, will make it possible for people to experience floating in a safe and clean environment.
    Casias had several ideas for businesses that he would like to bring to Los Alamos, but decided to go with the float tank idea because he personally loves the physical and psychological benefits of the overall experience.
    “I started floating in Albuquerque. Once you float, you just want to float all the time,” Casias said.
    He has been working with Ted Lopez at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Small Business and Development Center to develop his business plan and market analysis projections needed to raise startup funds and secure a loan.

  • Beer co-op gets its license

    After a six-month process, the Los Alamos Beer Coop (LABC) announced Tuesday that it has received its brewer’s license from the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, officially making Los Alamos’ first and only brewery and just the fourth cooperative-owned brewery in the United States.
    

The LABC’s brewery will be called “Bathtub Row Brewing” — a reference to the city’s historic Bathtub Row, named during the Manhattan Project era since the buildings on that street were the only ones that contained bathtubs.
    

“The state licensing employees were incredibly helpful with guidance and advice for streamlining the process, so we are very grateful for their assistance in helping us navigate everything,” said LABC board member Amy Engle. “People are beginning to understand the benefits of the cooperative model, and that is very exciting. We are also the first brewery in Los Alamos and the first co-op brewery in New Mexico, so we are very excited about finally putting our small town on the craft beer map.”
    
In the past few years, LABC aggressively recruited individual investors to help fund the venture, which now has 420 members. The LABC hopes to gain another 80 members by its opening, which the group anticipates will be sometime this spring.

  • LA store staying in business

    Despite the woes of RadioShack, local franchisee Bill Cabral said he’s not going anywhere.
    Cabral, who has operated the local RadioShack store at its current location on Central Ave. for more than 10 years, said his store won’t be affected by the current sell-off of stores around the country.
    “We have no plans of shutting down,” Cabral said. “We have a number of companies trying to get us to buy from them. We have other resources to buy merchandise.”
    Last week, RadioShack announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and had plans to sell between 1,500 and 2,400 company-owned stores nationwide.
    That sell-off won’t necessarily affect franchisees like Cabral, however.
    As for locally, Cabral said everything should operate at near-normal capacity, although he said it was unknown how long the RadioShack designation would be sustained.
    The only problem he envisioned, he said, might be getting some of the smaller electronic components the store carries, but he’s “working on other methods of getting supplies from other suppliers.”