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Business/Economy

  • Feds declare LA disaster area

    Eight northern New Mexico counties that suffered economic devastation by this summer’s Las Conchas Fire are eligible for assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    The SBA acted under its own authority to declare the region a disaster area following a Sept. 9 request from Gov. Susana Martinez. The federal disaster declaration enables the SBA to offer low-interest, federal disaster loans to local small businesses and private, non-profit organizations that were economically impacted by the fire, which officially burned from June 26-Aug. 3.  

  • Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor--video extras

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.

    Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work.

    Even with the federal help, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and laid off its 1,100 employees.

  • Stocks rally on support plan for European banks

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rallied Thursday after central banks in Europe and the U.S. announced a joint move to support European banks. Markets in Europe soared. Gold dropped and Treasury yields rose as traders moved out of the safest investments.

    The European Central Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve and three other central banks said Thursday they would provide European banks with dollars in three loan installments.

  • Unemployment benefit requests jump to 428K

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level in three months.

    The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 428,000. The week included the Labor Day holiday.

    Applications typically drop during short work weeks. In this case, applications didn't drop as much as the department expected, so the seasonally adjusted value rose. A Labor spokesman said the total wasn't affected by Hurricane Irene.

    Still, applications appear to be trending up. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose for the fourth straight week to 419,500.

  • MainStreet makes the grade

    In recognition of its commercial district revitalization efforts, the Los Alamos MainStreet program has earned national accreditation by meeting the performance standards set by the National Trust MainStreet Center.

    “Being recognized on a national level makes of feel very proud and it lets the community know that we are working hard to revitalize downtown Los Alamos and everything that encompasses,” said Los Alamos MainStreet Manager Suzette Fox. “Our goal for this program is to support a vibrant downtown through events, promotions, participation and planning and design projects and through our business assistance activities.”

  • Census: US poverty rate swells to nearly 1 in 6

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of the nation's poor swelled to nearly 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment woes left millions of Americans struggling and out of work. The number of uninsured edged up to 49.9 million, the biggest in over two decades.

  • Obama wants tax hikes to pay for his jobs bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a sharp challenge to the GOP, President Barack Obama proposed paying for his costly new jobs plan Monday with tax hikes that Republicans have already rejected, and he accused them of political motives if they still refuse to go along.

    "The only thing that's stopping it is politics," Obama declared.

    The president's proposal drew criticism from House Speaker John Boehner, who'd previously responded in cautious but somewhat receptive tones to the $447 billion jobs plan made up of tax cuts and new spending that Obama first proposed in an address to Congress last Thursday.

  • Los Alamos MainStreet program gains national accreditation

    Los Alamos is among 11 local New Mexico MainStreet projects over the past year that have earned recognition for commercial district revitalization by meeting performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center.

    Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela, whose department houses the New Mexico MainStreet program, noted the MainStreet projects around the state.

  • Tech company to build science ghost town in NM

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico, home to several of the nation's premier scientific, nuclear and military institutions, is planning to take part in an unprecedented science project — a 20-square-mile model of a small U.S. city.

    A Washington, D.C.-based technology company announced plans Tuesday to build the state's newest ghost town to test everything from renewable energy innovations to intelligent traffic systems, next-generation wireless networks and smart-grid cyber security systems.

    Although no one will live there, the replica city will be modeled after a typical American town of 35,000 people, complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new.

  • Stocks fall sharply as Europe worries deepen

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell sharply in morning trading Tuesday as worries deepened about Europe's debt crisis and the weak U.S. economy. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell and gold rose as investors sought safety.

    An hour after the opening bell, the Dow was down 274 points, or 2.4 percent, to 10,961. All 30 stocks that make up the Dow average fell.

    The S&P 500 lost 30, or 2.6 percent, to 1,143. The Nasdaq composite fell 56, or 2.3 percent, to 2,424.