December 4, 2013
Amid political stalemate in the nation’s capital over funding of the Affordable Care Act, the state’s online health exchange established under the law, called Covered California, went live Oct. 1 after months of anticipation and preparation.
The exchange opened online for small businesses on Dec. 2.
Share your thoughts and experiences on the latest NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Have you used the Covered California health-insurance exchange?”
September 25, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Do you think the pending split of Agilent, creating a new Santa Rosa-based company, is a good thing for the North Bay?”
Santa Rosa will soon be home to a multibillion-dollar international electronics measurement technology company following Agilent Technologies’ decision to spin off the division that is headquartered in the North Bay.
September 18, 2013
The Federal Reserve has decided against reducing its stimulus for the U.S. economy, saying it will continue to buy $85 billion a month in bonds because it thinks the economy still needs the support.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Did the Fed make the correct decision not to “taper” its bond-buying program?”
September 11, 2013
A number of commercial carriers have expressed interest in providing flights from Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport in recent years.
Regional leaders in business and tourism have speculated that expanded destinations could be a significant economic boost, particularly for eastbound destinations such as Denver and Salt Lake City.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Which of these oft-discussed destinations would you like to see served from the expanded Sonoma County Airport?”
September 4, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Does the Winery Definition Ordinance need to be revised to fit the future of Napa County?”
The Winery Definition Ordinance, or WDO, since 1990 has governed how wineries can operate in the unincorporated areas of Napa County, such as scale of production, which events they can hold and how they can market themselves.
Leading up to the renewal of the ordinance early this year, debate raged over leaving it as is and making certain changes.
The future of the wine business in Napa Valley and the interplay of land-use protections and necessary public visibility was center stage at the Business Journal’s Aug. 29 Impact Napa: Wine conference.
August 28, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “North Bay insurance brokers formed a taskforce to lower employer health care costs. Could this be a solution for rising premiums?”
A group of top health insurance brokers in the North Bay are putting aside their competitive natures to form a nonprofit organization that they say will focus exclusively on lowering health insurance costs for mid-sized employers in the region.
August 21, 2013
Smitten with the prospect of passing constitutional amendments with their respective supermajorities, the Assembly and the Senate between them are moving seven measures to lower local vote requirements for numerous local taxes, including several that could finance infrastructure improvements.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Should the Legislature lower the two-thirds approval requirement for local tax and bond measures?”
August 14, 2013
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Has your alcoholic-beverage company changed its policies with the new federal guidelines deeming social media interaction to be advertising?”
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recently unveiled new guidelines for how wineries, distilleries and breweries can market themselves and their products on social media, making the formal distinction that all activity on social media for such businesses is a form of advertising and thus subject to oversight.
July 10, 2013
Share your thoughts in this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “What do you think of the Obama Administration’s decision to delay the insurance mandate for large employers?”
The announcement that the Obama Administration will delay the mandate requiring employers with 50 or more workers to provide health insurance or pay a fine was greeted with a sense of relief and appreciation, allowing businesses to better plan for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to brokers.
June 19, 2013
Share your thoughts in this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll: “Can affordable housing be built at George Lucas’ Grady Ranch in the current funding environment?”
The Marin Community Foundation will no longer be involved in a proposal to construct a 100 percent affordable housing project at the site of filmmaker George Lucas’s Grady Ranch outside San Rafael, citing uncertainties in obtaining federal and state financing necessary to bring the project to fruition, according to a joint announcement by the foundation and Mr. Lucas’s real estate company.
May 29, 2013
As median home prices climb sharply in the North Bay, a recent report by real estate data tracker RealtyTrac shows that the Santa Rosa-Petaluma market is one of the most profitable nationwide for “flipping” homes.
Share your thoughts on this week’s NBBJ Pulse Poll question: “Is there a new bubble forming in residential real estate?”
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.
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