Bob Grandinetti needed $400,000 — fast.
With California’s unemployment statistics among the worst in the nation, there’s no hotter topic right now than jobs: how to keep, expand and create them. Increasingly, policymakers are focused on so-called “middle-skill jobs.”
Building a $50 million company from the ground up in six years doesn’t take a rocket scientist, but it does take one hell of an entrepreneur. Deon Taylor, the 36-year-old mettle behind Deon Taylor Enterprises, is that kind of guy.
Two years ago, I wrote in this column saying that Republican Congressman Dan Lungren might be in trouble in the November 2008 election. It seemed like a stretch at the time. Lungren had won re-election in 2006 with 59.5 percent of the vote against a weak Democrat, emergency room physician Bill Durston. However, a look at party registration trends showed that the district was trending Democratic. By 2008, the large registration edge enjoyed by Republicans this decade had all but disappeared.
San Joaquin County needed 3,000 more unemployed workers like it needed a hole in the head, but that’s what it got with the closing of the NUMMI auto plant in Fremont and the related layoffs at its major suppliers.
When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he vowed that if elected he would take up George Bush’s failed 2007 effort to reform the nation’s immigration policy, secure U.S. borders and provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons who had lived in America for years. Since then, however, issues such as health care reform have pushed immigration to the back burner.
Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar felt the recession in April 2008 when catering sales began to slide. When the financial pinch hit the chain’s eight restaurants in the second and third quarters of 2009, its management team refocused marketing efforts.
After four quarters of increasing venture investment, 2010 is off to a slow start. Venture capitalists invested $4.7 billion in the year’s first quarter, down from $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The life sciences sector, including biotechnology and medical device industries, took the biggest hit with a 26 percent decline in venture investment over the previous quarter.
Ready or not, California’s architects will go green starting in January. The state has adopted the Green Building Standards Code, or CalGreen for short.
When Meg Whitman arrives in Sacramento to campaign for the gubernatorial race, she stays at the Citizen Hotel. “It’s her home away from home,” says Mark Mathews, the hotel’s general manager.
In lean times, some businesses scrap corporate retreats as an unjustifiable expense to shareholders and staff, while others say that employee getaways are as valuable as ever. But all agree, 2010 is looking up.