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Business/Economy

  • N.M. special session on Tesla eyed

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said her office is mulling whether a special legislative session should be held to help the state win a Tesla Motors facility.
    In a speech to an Albuquerque area commercial real estate development association on Monday, Martinez said her office is evaluating whether a special session is necessary to complete a package of economic incentives being crafted to help make New Mexico more appealing to Tesla, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
    “If it’s necessary, we are open to whatever we can do that would even include that sort of thing. I’ve had legislators say, ‘If it’s necessary, we’ll come,’” Martinez said.
    New Mexico is one of four states identified as finalists for a lithium-ion battery factory that would supply the company’s Fremont, Calif., assembly plant. Others are Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
    The Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla says it will invest $2 billion in the 10 million square foot factory, which will cost between $4 billion and $5 billion. Its partners will invest the rest.
    The new factory will provide enough batteries to supply 500,000 vehicles by 2020, Tesla said. Tesla expects to produce 35,000 vehicles this year.

  • Mari Mac Businesses Weather Construction

    The construction of a new entrance into the Mari Mac Shopping Center is making access to the center’s businesses even more challenging than usual. Owners and managers are coping as best they can, and a number of them are surprisingly upbeat about the situation.
    The Pajarito Brewpub and Grill and Daniel’s Café Haagen-Dazs are feeling the greatest impact, since they have lost not only their entrances but all their adjacent parking during construction — a critical factor for lunchtime business.
    “Parking was already a stress at lunchtime, because there are so many restaurants,” said Dan Sena, who co-owns Daniel’s with his wife Margie. Sena estimates they are losing 20 percent of their business daily. The day two additional lanes were closed for re-striping, that number jumped to 40 percent.
    But Sena thinks the end result will be worth it.
    “We’ve been trying to get this done for 30 years, so it’s a good thing,” Sena said. He called the current configuration, with a blind curve next the exit from the brewpub and cars turning into pedestrian crossings at both entrances “an accident waiting to happen” that could have led to a fatal incident.
    “Having a safer intersection is well worth any inconvenience right now,” Sena said.

  • SBDC-LA to host free workshops

    The Small Business Development Center-Los Alamos, in association with the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), will conduct two free workshops to help businesses get started with selling to the government.
    The workshops will take place April 3, on the UNM-LA campus.
    The first workshop, “Government Contracting Basics for Small Business” will cover such topics as whether the government purchases a particular product or service, how to get started selling to the government, whether government certifications are necessary, available resources to business owners, and how to market to the government. This workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. until noon and the cost is free.
    The second workshop, “Introduction to the System for Award Management” (SAM) will discuss how to register for SAM, which replaced the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system, and how to migrate to the new system. This workshop runs from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and the cost is also free.
    For more information, contact Elaine Palin, PTAP Advisor, elaine.palin@sfcc.edu. To register, visit http://nmptap.org/training-events/ptap-trainings/santa-fe-events/.

  • Rowberry joins LANB as senior lender

     Los Alamos National Bank announced the hiring of Chris Rowberry as senior lender this week. Rowberry brings with him 20 years of experience in the financial industry in various areas including investments, retirement funds, annuities as well as mortgage and commercial lending.
    “LANB looks forward to having this caliber of expertise on board,” LANB president Steve Wells said. “As senior lending officer, Rowberry will lead the commercial lending team at LANB. “
    Rowberry recently relocated from Denver to Los Alamos with his wife and two dogs. He graduated with a degree in Finance from Colorado State University and received a Master’s degree from University of Colorado at Denver and has a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation.  

  • Food co-op to celebrate third birthday Saturday

    The Los Alamos Co-op Market will celebrate its three-year anniversary from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at 95 Entrada Dr. Coined the “Tree Year” Anniversary, the Co-op will be donating trees to help offset carbon created by Co-op operations.
    Additionally, the market will be supporting local environment’s needs by sponsoring a seed ball making activity led by the Family YMCA. As always, there will be food samples and a 10 percent discount day for members.
    To celebrate, the Co-op invites the community to participate in several family-friendly activities.
    Schedule of events:
    9:30 a.m.: Chair massages by Greg Barthell
    10 a.m. to noon: Live performance by the String Theory String Quartet
    10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Dairy goats and dairy products from Camino de Paz school and farm will be onsite to teach the community about the upcoming season.
    11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: The Española Valley Fiber Arts Center will be teaching wool spinning.
    Noon to 1 p.m.: Birthday cake — and one gluten-free cake.
    Noon to 2 p.m.: Face painting by Son-shine Art for kids.

  • LANB unveils new fraud protection services

    ACH Alert, a comprehensive provider of ACH and wire risk management services, has partnered with New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Bank to introduce industry-leading fraud protection services for LANB’s customers with PRO-TECH.
    “ACH Alert has a proven track record for delivering outstanding state-of-the-art technology solutions that can provide another layer of fraudulent transaction safeguards to our customers,” said Steve Wells, president of LANB.
     “In addition to helping us improve service to our customers, PRO-TECH captures revenue opportunities that we’d otherwise miss out on.”
    ACH Alert’s industry-leading technology allows account holders to make the decision to pay or decline incoming electronic debits, preventing fraud and theft. Customers receive an alert when an electronic debit hits their account, enabling them to detect fraudulent entries immediately and return them instantly.
    All of this is done without a financial institution’s intervention, a time-saving benefit for businesses both large and small.
    “Fraudsters are continually finding ways to circumvent traditional security methods, leaving financial institutions and their account holders at risk,” said Debbie Peace, CEO of ACH Alert.

  • White Rock eatery to cater to health-conscious customers

    The Rosebud Café is set to open in White Rock sometime in mid-February. Owner Lana Crochet has been renovating the 2000 sq. ft. space next to Del Norte Credit Union for several months now, with the hopes of opening her doors by Valentine’s Day. As soon as all of the county inspections are completed, she is poised to begin the final equipment installations and put the finishing touches on the interior.
    Crochet has lived in various places, including Germany and Canada, with her scientist husband. She says she gained inspiration for her café from some of her favorite haunts in Montreal. There were several little cafés around her neighborhood that offered healthy foods and encouraged children. As a young mother, she enjoyed spending time with adults, while her child happily took advantage of the play area.
    She and her family have lived in Los Alamos for 3.5 years. Now a busy mother of 4, she recognized a need for something similar in White Rock. Crochet admits to being ambitious, but she also felt that the Rosebud Café would provide a balance for her and many other parents in the community.

  • American Legion diner under new management

    There is a new sign outside the building of the American Legion Post 90 at 1325 Trinity Drive. The Fabulous ’50s Diner has become Cat’s Post 90 Café.
    Owner and General Manager Charlie Bracken took over the business a few months ago after The Fabulous ’50s Diner’s then-owner Peter Olivas passed away in November.
    The eatery re-opened under its new name Jan. 2.
    The 1950s theme was more the Olivas’ style, Bracken said. “I wanted to change the décor to create something that represents me,” he said.
    The philosophy is still the same as before, “Good affordable food year round.”
    “If you want to bring family, have a good meal and not spend so much money, this is the right place,” Bracken said.
    The menu is basically the same, although slightly revised.
    The salad bar remains and there is still Blue Bell Ice Cream available. The food is cooked to order.
    The restaurant still participates in functions hosted by the American Legion Post 90, such as benefit dinners and fundraisers.

  • MainStreet offers matching grants to LA businesses

    Los Alamos MainStreet is offering matching grants to downtown business or organizations that plan to improve their curb appeal. A second grant is offered to help with event advertising or business promotions. With spring just around the corner, now is the time to take advantage of these grants.
     Curb Appeal Grants of up to $500 are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible projects will address curb appeal improvements such as signage, landscaping, or façade improvements. The application materials include a curb appeal self-assessment, a resource listing, and a guide to container planting in Los Alamos County developed by the local New Mexico State University extension office.
     Small Promotions Grants of up to $1,000 are available for advertising and marketing costs that promote downtown events or business promotions. All applications should be turned in prior to production so the Los Alamos MainStreet logo can be used in your marketing. Find application instructions and forms online at lamainstreet.com/grants. Contact Suzette Fox, Los Alamos MainStreet Executive Director, for more information: 661-4844, suzette@losalamos.org.

  • Local doctor receives Vein Center accreditation

    Dr. Kristen L Biggs, MD of Los Alamos, recently received word that her Vein Center in Santa Fe has received the distinction of becoming an accredited vein center by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). She is the first vein center in the state to receive the accreditation, and one of three in the nation.
    The IAC provides several medical accreditations, with the vein center accreditation being the newest to be offered.
    The IAC describes its accreditations as “a ‘seal of approval’ that patients can count on” and requires a thorough examination of the facility, the doctors, employees and the quality of care. For more information on the IAC accreditation process, visit intersocietal.org/vein/main/patients.htm.
    As soon as the accreditation was offered last October, Biggs began preparing her submission. She describes a lengthy and time-consuming process, where she had to detail everything from her office policies and procedures to equipment lists, and medical procedures. The mountains of paperwork are then submitted to the IAC where a panel of experts reviews the material. Her facility was scrutinized for quality, medical compliance and safety, and additional accreditations were required in order to complete the process. Her vascular testing center is also accredited by the IAC.