May 8, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll questions: “How will hiring 2,000 for the opening of Graton Resort & Casino in late 2013 impact the local hospitality and leisure job market?” and “What job-market aspects would be most affected by Graton Resort & Casino hiring?”
In less than a year’s time, Sonoma County will be home to the Bay Area’s largest casino, a prospect that has some people and businesses anticipating a significant economic boon to the region while others still vow to block a project in the making since 2003.
May 1, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Do you think physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners and other mid-level health care providers can shore up the projected primary care physician shortage?”
As the Affordable Care Act looms large on the minds of health care providers, lawmakers and providers are increasingly calling for less stringent limitations on nonphysicians in order to meet demand spurred by the forthcoming influx of new patients.
April 24, 2013
Health insurance brokers, employers and individuals are all eagerly awaiting full-scale implementation of the California Health Benefits Exchange, a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act, but it’s still anyone’s guess as to what it will look like.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse poll question: “Will the Affordable Care Act be ready to implement in California in January 2014?”
March 20, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Has your organization enhanced its measures against embezzlement and fraud?”
As investigators continue to aggressively pursue allegations of business embezzlement in the North Bay, regional fraud experts warn that many local companies and nonprofits still lack the basic internal practices needed to catch and prevent those crimes.
March 13, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Amy’s Kitchen plans to hire up to 800 for a Santa Rosa production expansion. Should local government expedite that project?”
Amy’s Kitchen, one of the nation’s largest makers of natural frozen foods, is planning to build a second manufacturing plant in Santa Rosa that one day could employ an additional 800 workers.
Santa Rosa Mayor Scott Bartley and other city officials welcomed the news of what they said would be the largest business expansion in the city in a decade.
March 6, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Is the deterioration of North Bay roads impacting your business?”
Roads in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties are ranked the worst in the Bay Area, according to a new statewide study.
February 27, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “Sonoma Co. business confidence hit a six-year high in February. What is the outlook for your company’s business activity in the next six months?”
Executives of Sonoma County businesses are more confident about the current and near-term future prospects for the local economy than 2006, when the local economy started slowing, and are even more positive about their own industries. And the business outlook over the next six months for Sonoma County is positive in several industries.
Share your thoughts: How does Pliny the Younger popularity affect North Coast craft brews and tourism?February 20, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Russian River Brewing’s recent release of Pliny the Younger created a national stir. Does it bode well for growth in craft beers and related tourism on the North Coast?”
Russian River Brewing Co.’s cult-like Pliny the Younger, a rare triple IPA, has drawn international attention ever since it was rated the “best beer in the world” by trade magazine Beer Advocate three years ago. As a result, scores of beer aficionados flock to Santa Rosa in February to get a sip.
The Legislature is set to recognize the economic impact of that brand attraction, and local economy boosters are trying to quantify those effects.
February 13, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “Will consumers pay more for wine?”
Prices for winegrapes and wine available for purchase in bulk for production purposes spiked in 2012 as the industry fretted about having enough to supply growing wine sales.
As the costs embedded in the 2012 vintage reach store shelves over the next couple of years, a number of vintners are wondering how consumers will react to price increases.
February 6, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “As a small-business owner, would you use the California Health Benefits Exchange (Covered California)?”
As full-scale implementation of health care reform nears ever closer, looming heavy on the minds of employers, insurers and health care providers, questions continue to swirl around numerous key aspects, with California’s online health benefits exchanges high among the issues.
January 30, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Santa Rosa Junior College has embarked on a long-term strategic plan process. What do you see as the college’s role in the future?”
Amid budgetary challenges, as well as new state mandates, many community colleges have been forced to change registration priority and restrict class offerings to focus on the “core mission” of helping students graduate from a certificate program or transfer to a four-year institution.
Santa Rosa Junior College is embarking on a multi-year, unprecedentedly wide-ranging strategic planning process, with hope that widespread community participation will strengthen a longstanding spirit of collaboration between the 95-year-old college, the regional business community and other stakeholders throughout the North Bay.
January 9, 2013
Horizon Air, part of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and the only commercial airline at Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport, on Monday reported the highest number of passengers traveling through Santa Rosa in the nearly six years since such service returned to the city.
Share your thoughts in this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “Would you like another airline at the Santa Rosa airport?”
December 12, 2012
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Is the ‘fiscal cliff’ affecting your decision-making as an employer or investor?”
“Fiscal cliff” is one name given to a conjunction of large federal tax increases and spending cuts set to begin in January unless Congress takes action on those measures, which have been pushed into the future multiple times amid highly charged political battles.
“[B]usinesses are concerned about costs and uncertainty, as well as future increase in taxes and health care costs. With all these uncertainties, no one wants to make a move other than to hold on to their cash and resources,” one North Bay wealth manager told the Business Journal.
December 5, 2012
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Should the state return $5.5 million in Santa Rosa redevelopment funds for the Railroad Square Cannery project?”
At issue is $5.5 million in city redevelopment funds committed to 93 units of affordable senior housing that have been snatched away from Santa Rosa as Sacramento has shut down redevelopment agencies across the state. The funding is the critical link in the cannery area project.
Without it, the project collapses and it will be years if not decades before anything happens at what is considered Santa Rosa’s best opportunity for transit-centered downtown development.
November 28, 2012
The North Bay soon will have three new health-plan providers: Western Health Advantage, Blue Cross of California and Sutter Health.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Will the entrance to the North Bay of health plans from Western Health Advantage, Blue Shield and Sutter Health help lower employer health care costs?”
November 14, 2012
Employers face a host of complex issues related to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
With state and federal health exchanges — where both employer groups and individuals will be able to shop for what is hoped to be more affordable health coverage with government subsidies — coming online in the next two years, those same employers are weighing the economics of maintaining health coverage for employees.
Similarly, health plans are shifting quickly, often aligning themselves directly with providers to streamline care and prevent costly duplication of care.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “Is your company changing its staffing levels or structure in response to the Affordable Care Act?”
November 7, 2012
California voters on Tuesday approved Proposition 30, designed to temporarily increase the state sales tax rate by a quarter-cent for four years and personal income tax rates for taxpayers earning more than $250,000 annually for seven years.
These temporary tax increase would provide an estimated $6 billion a year from 2013 through mid-2017 to pay for programs funded in the state budget. Most would go to K-12 schools, and the rest to community colleges.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “How will the outcome of the vote on Proposition 30 impact California schools?”
October 31, 2012
With a steady increase in import-export activities by a growing number of companies and manufacturers in North Bay, the Port of San Francisco has approved eligibility for the expansion of the boundaries of its existing Foreign Trade Zone No. 3 to encompass much of Sonoma County, part of Napa County and all of Marin, Solano and Contra Costa counties.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “Would the proposed expansion of the foreign-trade zone benefit North Bay companies that export?”
October 24, 2012
The number of North Bay homeowners entering default fell markedly in the third quarter of the year, part of a statewide trend that has brought defaults to their lowest level in more than three years.
The median price paid for a home in the North Bay continued to rise in September.
Local real estate leaders in the region have expressed increasing confidence that housing is starting to recover from the crash of 2006.
Share your thoughts in this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “Is the North Bay housing market recovering?”
October 17, 2012
Supporters of a proposed half-cent sales tax for road repairs in Napa County are optimistic that voters will approve the measure this November, six years after a broader measure failed at the ballot box amid arguments that funds would flow to projects beyond the county’s ailing rural roads.
Officials in North Bay counties have long been aware of the looming road-quality problem, yet traditional revenue streams for road repair have significantly diminished in recent years.
Vote in this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “Do you support a local sales tax to fund road repairs?”
Business Journal connections
2013 Forty Under 40 winners
The Business Journal named winners of its seventh-annual Forty Under 40 awards, selected from more than 130 nominees.
Winners were chosen on the basis of their leadership in companies and organizations as well as their participation within the community across the North Bay. [read winner profiles]
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