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Business/Economy

  • Local taxi service gears up for holiday season

    Local business owner Cindy Capelli is best known for her business New Mexico Wine Tours, but few are aware that Capelli also runs a local taxi service that provides a variety of affordable services to the community.
    Capelli launched Los Alamos Taxi a year ago this December, as a way to get locals home safe after holiday parties and events. Her main objective was to help limit the number of DWIs and associated accidents in the county, but she also wanted to do her part toward the initiative to provide residents with a night life close to home. Although the county runs the transit buses during the day, there were no transportation services available after 7 p.m. or the weekends. She wanted to fill that void.
    She started out slow, gradually adding services and additional vehicles to her fleet. She says the laboratory employees and visitors were the first to catch on. Rather than renting a car, lab visitors would employ her services to travel during their stay, including transportation to and from the airport in Albuquerque. She also began working in tandem with the commuter flight service that operates out of the local airport.
    Capelli says that visiting summer students also really enjoyed the taxi service this year. It made it easy to get around an unfamiliar town and provided a safe way to enjoy the local night life.

  • Publisher announces plans to step down

    Los Alamos Monitor Publisher Keven Todd has announced that he will step down from the post at the end of the year.

    In a meeting with staff Todd reviewed progress the multimedia news and information organization has made since he came on board as publisher in August of 2009.

    “I made a commitment to this operation and to the community to revitalize the Los Alamos Monitor,” Todd said. “The financial performance judged against a number of key benchmarks has continued to improve over the last three years—during a very challenging time for the economy both locally and across the nation. We’ve done a good job of diversifying our revenue streams, and there’s a strong team in place who have worked diligently to improve the value we deliver to our readers and advertisers. With those things accomplished, this is an opportune time for me to step aside to make way for fresh leadership who can take this operation to its next level.”

  • A co-op to call their own

    Since the opening in 2011, the goal of the Los Alamos Co-op Market has been to cater to the community.
    With the purchase of the building at 95 Entrada Dr., General Manager Steve Watts said that goal will continue. He said the community had a lot to do with purchasing the building.
    The co-op has been leasing the building from Main Gate LLC since its opening and Main Gate was instrumental in providing the co-op with an affordable and timely option when the co-op was looking for a location nearly four years ago, with a ground-breaking in 2010. The building was purchased late last month for $1.65 million. “Overall, it was a smooth process,” Watts said.
    The co-op board and Watts have worked on the purchase for approximately six months after determining that it would be in the best interest of the co-op member/owners to own rather than continue leasing.
    “This move has improved our cash position,” Watts said. “Because of the improved situation we are able to repay member loans.” There are about 180 investors. Repayment of member loans begins in 2015.

  • Timeout Pizza preps for LA eatery

    Six years ago, Trish and Omar Sanchez took a leap of faith and opened a new pizza restaurant in White Rock, which has seen its share of local restaurants come and go. Many closed, changed hands, names and faces; but Timeout Pizza has endured, grown and thrived over the years.

    The couple set out to create a family restaurant that also captures the originality and flair of the community. They did just that and they are now known as the local gathering place for parties and team celebrations. The walls of the restaurant are filled with sports memorabilia and antiques, most of which are relics donated by Los Alamos residents or came straight out of Omar’s childhood home in southern New Mexico. The menu offers pizzas, sandwiches, ice cream and more at affordable prices; as well as, conference space and delivery services.

  • Chamber’s golden milestone
  • Amazon.com Sees Delivery Drones As Future
  • Black Friday Deals Draw Shoppers
  • Udall endorses 'Small Business Saturday'

    Wednesday, U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement announcing his cosponsorship of a resolution to designate Nov. 30, 2013, as “Small Business Saturday” and to increase awareness of the importance of locally owned small businesses.
    On Saturday, Udall will visit Albuquerque small businesses to talk to owners and shoppers about the important role small business plays in our economy.
    “Small businesses have been the economic foundation of communities across America since our nation’s beginning, and they remain a driving force behind our economy. Small businesses in New Mexico are almost 96 percent of our state’s employers, and employ over half of our private-sector workforce.
    As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m working hard to implement policies that create opportunities for small businesses to grow, get access to capital and hire new workers.

  • Americans kicked off a holiday shopping marathon

    Holiday shopping this year is a marathon, not a sprint.

    More than a dozen major retailers from Wal-Mart to Target to Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving Day and planned to stay open through Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. As a result, crowds formed early and often throughout the two days.

    The holiday shopping season is transforming right before shoppers' eyes. For nearly a decade, Black Friday, which was initially named that because it was historically when retailers turned a profit for the year, had been the official start to the busy buying binge sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    But in the past few years, retailers have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night. Some like Macy's and J.C. Penney opened on Thanksgiving for the first time this year. Others like Gap Inc., which owns Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy, opened some of its stores earlier on Thanksgiving than the year before. And many pushed up the discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday into early November.

    A Kmart store in midtown Manhattan in New York City was packed with people shopping for clothing and holiday decor items. The discounter opened at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and planned to stay open for 41 hours straight. Clothing was marked down from 30 percent to 50 percent.

  • Financial advisor shows how money, happiness go hand in hand

    Managing money, planning retirement and making wise financial decisions can be a difficult process. Donna Skeels Cygan is a financial advisor that helps clients all over the state.

    Her new book “The Joy of Financial Security,” aims to continue educating her clients about handling money. The focus of the book explains how to determine human capital — the ability to earn money, track net worth, monitor savings and spending and the basics of estate planning. Skeels Cygan offers tools and strategies to make people understand where they are and how to move to where they want to be. “The key is to find a healthy balance with money and happiness,” Skeels Cygan said.

    Skeels Cygan started her financial planning firm in 1998 in Albuquerque. She sold the business in 2007 and decided to get out of the “rat race” and focus on other priorities, such as family obligations. After the financial collapse in 2008, she was contacted by former clients who wanted her to make a return to financial advising. In 2010, she started Sage Future Financial, a small firm in Albuquerque. She currently works with 40 clients throughout the U.S., including three in Los Alamos. “I want to get the word out to people about financial advising more than the firm can reach,” she said of her book.