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SBDC At UNM-LA Offers Social Media For Small Business Workshop

UNM-LA News:

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UNM-LA will be conducting a workshop for small business owners who want to leverage the power of social media to promote their businesses.

The workshop is 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Feb. 5, in room 306 on the UNM-LA campus. Workshop attendees will learn to engage their customers online and grow their business by using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WordPress.

Los Alamos marketing consultant and copywriter, Mandy Marksteiner, will lead the workshop. Marksteiner specializes in creating web content and utilizing social media to market small businesses.

“Before making a decision on what to buy, or who to hire, customers often reach out to their friends on Facebook and other forums for advice,” Marksteiner said. “Every day, people use social media to post compliments, reviews and complaints about businesses. If your company isn’t a part of this online conversation, you could be in trouble.”

Nancy Partridge, the manager of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, will teach a special bonus session on how to automate a Twitter campaign.

The fee for the workshop is $30, and participants can pay with cash or check at the beginning of class. The Social Media Workshop will be held in a computer-equipped classroom so that each student can actively participate on his or her own computer with Internet access under the instructor’s guidance.

Advance registration is required. Those wishing to attend should call the Los Alamos SBDC at 505.662.0337 to reserve their seat as soon as possible.

The SBDC office is located on the UNM-LA campus and provides business assistance services for entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and existing small businesses in Los Alamos. Included in the list of services offered by the SBDC are business plan development, accounting, finance, technology, training, marketing, government procurement, e-commerce, social media, legal structures, and research.

The mission of the SBDC is to provide quality assistance, education, and resources to potential and existing small businesses, through a partnership with UNM-LA.

For more information about the SBDC, or starting or expanding a small business, contact Ted Lopez at 505.662.0337 or by email, tedlopez@unm.edu.

 

Video: County Manager Presents 2014 Highlights

Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess presents of 2014 Thursday at UNM-LA. Screen Shot

STAFF REPORT:

Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess presented the highlights of County activity in 2014 during Thursday's Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast at UNM-LA.

Click here to watch a video of his presentation, taped by PAC 8 Executive Director Jean E. Gindreau.

Burgess also unveiled the print and online versions of the “Los Alamos County 2014 Annual Report” at Thursday's breakfast. To review the County's 2014 Annual Report, click here. To read more about the Council's goals and vision for Los Alamos County, click here.

 

Burgess Covers 2014 Highlights During Chamber Breakfast At UNM-LA

County Manager Harry Burgess

By NANCY PARTRIDGE
Chamber of Commerce Manager

County Manager Harry Burgess unveiled the print and online “Los Alamos County 2014 Annual Report” and presented the highlights of County activity in 2014 at Thursday's Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast. About two dozen people attended the Chamber’s regular monthly networking and business event.

Burgess kicked off his discussion of the year with the July ribbon cutting for Smith's Marketplace, noting the views from its deck. He also touched on the financially beneficial land deal with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the County and the Los Alamos School District, which made it possible for Smith's to develop the land.

In a lighthearted but professional manner, the County manager explained to the business owners present about the road construction on Central Avenue. He noted that the County generally has to rebuild Central Avenue about every seven years, and then joked that he is set to retire in seven or eight years and the County will not be touching the road again before then.

Construction activities were featured in Burgess’ presentation including the road improvements in Western area, HVAC improvements at the Aquatic Center, new Golf Course facility, Nature Center, White Rock Library and Teen Center remodeling. The ongoing effort to improve Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, efforts to bring in fiber communication lines, and the recently canceled commercial airline service were the few unresolved County projects Burgess touched upon.

Although they are upcoming projects rather than 2014 highlights, Burgess also mentioned the planned construction of a Del Norte Credit Union facility at the corner of Rover Boulevard and N.M. 4, and potential housing developments on the 60-acre A-19-a parcel along N.M. 4 extending from the White Rock Visitors Center to Pajarito Road. He stated the County has been negotiating with developers on the projects and details are yet to be finalized.

Looking further to the future, he built upon the opportunities presented by the recently legislated Manhattan Project National Heritage Park and Valles Caldera National Park. Burgess commented the parks could potentially double or triple the number of tourists coming to Los Alamos and change many things for the town in the years to come.

The Chamber of Commerce holds monthly business breakfast meetings at UNM-Los Alamos. On Thursday, Feb. 19, the business breakfast will include a panel discussion on customer service. On Thursday, March 19, there will be a panel discussion on the Economic Outlook for Los Alamos. The breakfasts take place at 7:30 a.m. and tickets are $15.

 

MainStreet Hosts 'Living Los Alamos' Kiosks Art Contest

MAINSTREET News:

Los Alamos MainStreet announces a call for original photographs or artwork that represent “Living Los Alamos”.

Winning art will be displayed in the four directional kiosks along Central Avenue. The only qualification is that the art should be representative of living in Los Alamos or the surrounding area.

To be considered, email artwork to ryn@losalamos.org. Deadline to submit artwork is Feb. 15. The MainStreet Futures Committee will judge entries and selected artists will be notified by email. For details visit losalamosmainstreet.com/contest.

Contest Rules:

  • Eligibility: The contest is open to any artist, professional or amateur. Drawings, paintings, printmaking, photography, digital art, and mixed media are eligible. All works submitted must be original in design and concept and appropriate for general audiences.
  • Image size, Format and Resolution: Please submit works that are 11.5″ x 17” and are portrait oriented. Images must be in jpg format only. The resolution should be at least 150 dpi.
  • File size limitation: The file size for each image is limited to 7MB.
  • File name: Label images with artist last name and title: ArtistTitle.jpg
  • Entry procedure: Art may be submitted by email in jpg format to ryn@losalamos.org.

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT: Feb. 15.

Selected Artists: Selected artists will have their art displayed indefinitely in the four directional kiosks along Central Avenue. Los Alamos MainStreet reserves the right to all images for promotional purposes, with credit given to the artist.

Notification: Selected artists will be notified by March 13, 2015 and will also be announced on the Los Alamos MainStreet website: losalamosmainstreet.com.

Los Alamos MainStreet is a program of Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation; a private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization serving the Los Alamos area since 1983. LACDC serves as the umbrella organization for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos MainStreet, the Los Alamos Meeting & Visitors Bureau, Los Alamos Small Business Center and the Los Alamos Research Park.

 

Intro To Entrepreneurship Returns To UNM-LA

Instructor Nik Seet will teach Intro to Entrepreneurship (Business Plan Development) at UNM-LA during the spring semester. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner

Instructor Nik Seet, third from left, with his students who raised more than $15,000 for their startups in a few weeks. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner

By Mandy Marksteiner

Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Learn the process of starting a successful company from someone who has both academic training in entrepreneurship and the experience of turning his garage-invented technology into a multimillion-dollar business.

“Everybody has an idea,” said Nicholas Seet, who will teach Intro to Entrepreneurship (Business Plan Development) at UNM-LA during the spring semester. “During this class I will give you the steps you need to take to turn your idea into a profitable business.”

Intro to Entrepreneurship (Business Plan Development) is open to everyone and runs noon to 4 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 20 to May 1in Room 625. Lectures will be videotaped, so students who may have to miss a session can still access the material.

Seet has taught entrepreneurship classes at UNM-LA and through the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation since 2013. His students have created business plans, produced working prototypes of their innovative products, and raised seed money to start their companies.

Access to early stage funding is often what makes the difference between a successful business and a failure. Last fall, Seet helped eight business owners raise more than $15,000 for their startups using the www.mainstreetcrowd.com crowd funding portal.

Biodidact raised $1,667, Daisy Chain USB raised $2,735, Los Alamos Atomic Play raised $2,201, More than a Mile Behind raised $1,650, Boozhound Laboratories raised $2,327, Pajarito Lactation raised $1,480 to buy breastpumps for new moms, Legacy Now Lived raised $1,546 and Launch Endurance raised $1,515.

The class’ combined efforts made it possible for them to have a high success rate. Eighty percent of the projects were fully funded. Most of the money came from friends, family and future customers, but the ventures also received generous support from sponsors: LANL Community Programs Office sponsored three projects by contributing a total of $1,500 and Carol A. Clark, publisher of the Los Alamos Daily Post, sponsored Biodidact by matching every dollar that was raised.

Students who enroll in Intro to Entrepreneurship will be introduced to the principles of entrepreneurship, write business plans, gain hands-on practical skills, and learn from the experience of others. Seet plans to bring in various guest speakers and engage the class in goal-oriented exercises and small group discussions to supplement the reading assignments. 

Seet is the founder of www.sivi.com, an online venture accelerator for entrepreneurs. He is the founder of Auditude®, which was acquired by Adobe® in November 2011 and is the fourth largest video ad network in the world. In 2005 he won the Rice University Business Plan Competition for his business concept. 

UNM-LA students can sign up for Introduction to Entrepreneurship (Business Plan Development) through the UNM Lobo network.

Non-Students should register in person at UNM-LA Student Services, 4000 University Blvd, or call UNM-LA Student Services at 505.662.0332. Space is limited, so register early.

Oh the possibilities for a new business are endless... Photo by iStock

 

Ribbon Is Cut At Unquarked The Wine Room

Anasazi Fields Winery owner Jim Fish and Black’s Smuggler Winery owner Tony Black cut the ribbon at today's grand opening of Unquarked The Wine Room in Central Park Square with help from servers and family members including Christelle Sanchez, Louie Holcomb, Brianna Wagner, Scott Beguin, Kyle Elliott and Mary Ann Black. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
A special ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce marked the official grand opening of UnQuarked The Wine Room at noon today in Central Park Square.

Owners of the new establishment at 145 Central Park Square were on hand to meet the public and provide samples of their wines from Anasazi Fields, Black’s Smuggler and Vivác wineries. Light snacks from local restaurants and caterers were served to complement the wines.

"I'm very, very excited and so happy that we were able to get everything started and now showcase our wines ... it's fabulous," Black’s Smuggler Winery owner Tony Black said.
 
"We are just so excited about being here and the support we are getting from the community ... it's been tremendous," Anasazi Fields Winery owner Jim Fish said.
 
Fish added that a solar company has reserved the space Sunday for a private party for 75 people.

"We will begin hosting a new series starting Sunday, Feb. 22 called Poetry on the Hill and we will host these poetry readings from noon to 5 p.m., the third Sunday of each month thereafter," Fish said. "We'll have poetry readers from 1-3 p.m. and open mic from 4-5 p.m. and we're kicking it off with myself and famous Placitas poet Larry Goodell."

Local poets interested in participating in Poetry on the Hill should contact Fish at fish@anasazifieldswinery.com. 

Today's grand opening event continues until 8 p.m. with live music by Fletcher and John from 5-8 p.m. and a short poetry reading by Fish during intermission.

The owners of UnQuarked The Wine Room first announced their intention in the Los Alamos Daily Post last April to open their establishment. Their journey began when they answered an interest seeking letter sent to wineries across the state from the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (LACDC).

LACDC and Central Park Square owner Philip Kunsberg are credited with being important catalysts in making it possible for the owners to have a space for the wine room in downtown Los Alamos.

UnQuarked The Wine Room is open 2-9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and for special events Sundays.

About the Wineries:

Anasazi Fields Winery sits on the western edge of the old village of Placitas, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Orchards and vineyards surrounding the winery are watered by a spring-fed irrigation system that dates back over 1,000 years to a time when the Anasazi people farmed the Placitas Valley. Nearby are petroglyphs, which have been reproduced on Anasazi Fields’ wine labels. Visit http://www.anasazifieldswinery.com.
 
The Black's Smuggler Winery is a small boutique winery 18 miles to the northeast of the Ladron (Thief) Mountains in Bosque. Notorious for being a “smuggler's refuge,” these mountains have served as a hideout for bandits and thieves since the 18th century. Local folklore is full of tales of these desolate, rugged mountains, of dangerous men, outlaw adventures, and of treasures stashed in mysterious caves. It is these "Thief Mountains" that have inspired the Black's Smuggler Winery name. Visit http://www.blackssmugglerwinery.com.
 
Vivác Winery in Dixon is the creation of brothers Jesse and Chris Padberg, along with their wives, Michele and Liliana Padberg, respectively. In November of 1998 the brothers embarked on a new mission ‘to make the best wine possible and have a good time doing it!’ This meant professionally crafted, world-ranked, dry red wines-a first for New Mexico. They found inspiration in France and Italy, and were especially drawn in by the Old World wine culture, where winemaking is a dance between art and science. Though extensive travel around the world and mentorships with other local winemakers, they learned about the wine business in general and more specifically about the wine business in Northern New Mexico. Visit http://vivacwinery.com .
 
In support of his fellow winemakers, longtime White Rock winemaker John Balagna attended today's grand opening event. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com 
 
Although competitors, Unquarked The Wine Room co-owners from left, Chris Padberg of Vivác, Jim Fish of Anasazi Fields and Tony Black of Black's Smuggler Winery clearly enjoy each others company and wines. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
Local small business owner LeAnne Parsons congratulates Unquarked co-owner Jim Fish and Operations Manager Veronica Black-Stepp. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 

President Signs Manhattan Project National Historical Park Bill Into Law!

Members of the Los Alamos Historical Society and supporters celebrate the President signing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Bill into law this afternoon. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
President Obama sign the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Bill into law this afternoon and the Los Alamos Historical Society is celebrating right now at the historic Hans Bethe House on Bathtub Row.

"The Los Alamos Historical Society is thrilled with the passage of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park through Congress and now the President signing it into law today," Executive Director Heather McClenahan told the Los Alamos Daily Post. "We have been working on this for a decade, and we are proud of the work we have done with our partners in Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Washington, D.C., to get through the political process. We are excited about the prospect of so many more people learning about our world-changing history through a national park. We also believe all the visitors coming to town will mean more restaurants and other businesses that benefit our residents and our tax base. It's an exciting time to be part of Los Alamos history!"

By a vote of 89 to 11, Congress passed the Manhattan Project National Historic Park Act Dec. 12. The bill preserves and interprets properties at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Hanford. The new Manhattan Project Park will also be one of the few that focus on American science, technology and industry.

 

Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess

Hear State Of The County At Chamber Breakfast Jan. 15

CHAMBER News:

The Chamber of Commerce Breakfast meeting Jan. 15 will feature County Manager Harry Burgess delivering the State of the County address.

The Chamber Breakfast is at UNM-LA Building 2, Room 230 and is for Chamber members and anyone interested in learning more about the Chamber.

Register on the Chamber website events page by clicking here. Tickets are $15.

 

Two Quickbook Classes Offered in January

 

Plateau Property Management Cuts Ribbon At Grand Opening And Unveils New Apartment Names

Cutting the ribbon at Wednesday's grand opening include Plateau Property Management staff from left, Hope Jaramillo, Jeanne Bridge, PPM partner Bruce Norman, Mike Lippiatt, Mike McNiel and Julie Smith. Photo by Carol A.Clark/ladailypost.com

STAFF REPORT

Plateau Property Management and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce hosted a grand opening ribbon cutting event Wednesday for the newly named Ponderosa Pines Apartment Complex and The Cottonwoods at Gold Street.

The event was held at the former Los Cerros apartments, now Ponderosa Pines at 3000 Trinity Dr.

The winners were announced in the renaming contest for apartments, recently purchased and undergoing major renovations also were announced at the event:

  • Valerie DeWulf won $250 in Chamber Checks for suggesting Ponderosa Pines;
  • Melissa Smith won honorable mention and $50 in Chamber Checks for suggesting Whispering Pines; and
  • Brandi Engeman won $250 for suggesting The Cottonwoods at Gold Street as the new name of the former Gold Street apartments.

There was a 3-way tie for honorable mention in renaming the Gold Street apartments Mountain View:

  • Elisa Enriquez won $25 in Chamber Checks;
  • Brandy Putt won $25 in Chamber Checks; and
  • Michelle Debardeleben won $25 in Chamber Checks.

 

Fusion Multisport Provides Ski/Snowboard Tuning

The ski and snowboard tuning shop at Fusion Multisport, 106 Central Park Square. Courtesy photo

Spotlight On Fusion Multisport

Staff Report

Well the snow is finally falling. Could this be the year Los Alamos breaks out of its 3-year snow drought? Predictions say yes but regardless, there will be snow somewhere. 

This means it’s time to get those boards in shape. Fusion Multisport at 106 Central Park Square in the heart of Los Alamos provides ski and snowboard tuning. Fusion Multisport does all manner of base and edge work from a simple hot wax to base and edge replacements. Tuning is done with a Wintersteiger Base and Edge Grinder and the store features waxes from Sun Valley Ski Tools and FastWax. Fusion Multisport also is the place to get Nordic skis tuned and waxed, with no appointment necessary.

Fusion Multisport co-owner Rose Nyenhuis

Rose and Brad Nyenhuis own Fusion Multisport. Rose is an accomplished runner, usually on the podium and often on the top step. She is a national class masters competitor who has an infectious love of running, outdoor sports, and fitness in general. She is a RRCA certified running coach and has been an AFAA certified personal trainer for 16 years.

Fusion Multisport co-owner Brad Nyenhuis

Brad is an avid mountain biker who has been competing for 20 years in races such as the 24 Hrs of Moab and Leadville 100. He is certified as a bicycle mechanic through Barnett Bicycle Institute.

He and Rose both enjoy skiing and mountain sports in general. Together they have a deep love of sports and, more importantly, the communities that are part of it. Their goal is to make Fusion Multisport the center of the running, skiing, and cycling communities in Los Alamos.

Fusion Multisport hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more infrmation, call 505.662.5000 or visit www.fusionmultisport.com.

 

LeAnne Parsons' Unique Tool Measures Energy Level

LeAnne Parsons. Courtesy photo

By MANDY MARKSTEINER

For some, the holidays can feel like an emotional roller coaster.

At times you’re bursting with generosity and positive energy. You look forward to connecting with loved ones, sharing good times and enjoying the season. But it can be easy to slip into negative thinking, depression, grief and loneliness. It’s almost as if your personality changes depending on your level of stress and energy.

It does.

Your energy level plays an enormous role in how you show up in the world. It can make the difference between people being motivated and inspired by you, or people avoiding you like the plague. Your energy shapes whether you take purposeful action to reach your goals and live to your fullest potential, or whether you are stuck feeling frustrated with life. Your energy levels affect your physical and mental health as well.

When people live their lives experiencing negative (or catabolic) energy, it’s impossible to connect with others on a healthy level. Their thinking is foggy, they have a hard time making decisions, and they may be stuck in conflict mode. Being at this level zaps you of energy and tears you down at a cellular level.

Living in positive, or anabolic, energy level does the opposite. People who are operating at a higher energy level feel compassion for others, they see opportunities around them, and they are bursting with creativity and feel connected to others. They are fully engaged with life.

If you’ve ever felt like your energy level is preventing you from living the life that you want, there is a way to change things. LeAnne Parsons, a Certified Life and Leadership Coach in Los Alamos, helps her clients recognize their current energy levels and find out how to shift to a higher energy level using the Core Energy Coaching™ model.

Parsons, who is a professional member of the International Coaching Federation, uses a tool called the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, which begins with a series of questions. The questions accurately measure the energy level that people normally operate under and the energy level that they revert to during times of stress. It also measures how an individual perceives and approaches work and life

This assessment tool makes it possible for people to see where they are and learn how to live life more fully by moving into higher, more positive, energy levels. The Energy Leadership Index is a one-of-a-kind assessment that enables people to hold up mirrors to their perceptions, attitudes, behaviors and over all effectiveness in the workplace, community as well as at home.

The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), that created the Core Energy Coaching™ process, conducted a study that statistically showed that people with higher levels of energy had greater satisfaction in 14 areas of life. The Zajonc Corporation, a leading expert of statistical research, used the Energy Leadership Index (ELI) assessment to measure the energetic composition of 1,361 participants.

After taking the assessment tool, the next step is to discuss the results with Parsons. The test gives you an energetic frame of reference that makes it possible to find out what is working well, how engaged you are with life and how you see the world.

“We have 100 percent energy,” said Parsons, who focuses on helping her clients reach their full potential, “but how do we spend it? Over time catabolic energy injures us, but anabolic energy helps us to grow.”

Parsons' Coaching Café is at 1475 Central Ave. Suite 210B in Los Alamos. She can be reached at 505.412.1817 or visit www.thewalkyourtalkcoach.com

 

LAVNS Hosts Chamber's Business After Hours

Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Executive Director Georgina Williams and Peggy Pendergast of Peggy P’s Delicacies share a smile at Wednesday's Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at the Visiting Nurse Service’s facility on Canyon Road. About 60 people attended the gathering. Visit the Chamber's Los Alamos Business page here. Courtesy photo

 
Los Alamos Retirement Community Patient Navigator Mary Yamada and KRSN 1490AM Chief Operating Officer David Sutton are entertained by Yamada’s granddaughter River Yamada at Wednesday's Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at the Visiting Nurse Service. Santa dropped by the business gathering to spread cheer and listen to holiday wishes. Two-year-old River visited Santa several times. Courtesy photo

 

Local Strategic Partnership Expands Business News

Chamber Manager Nancy Partridge, left, Los Alamos Daily Post Pubisher Carol A. Clark and LACDC Executive Director Patrick Sullivan shake hands on their strategic partnership to expand coverage of local business news through 'Los Alamos Business,' a Los Alamos Daily Post page devoted to business coverage. Courtesy photo

BUSINESS News:

Today, the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and Los Alamos Daily Post are announcing a strategic partnership to launch Los Alamos Business, a page on the LA Daily Post that is dedicated to local business news. This page carries news and feature stories about Chamber members, member announcements, and all things Chamber-related.

Frequently, business stories will start on the front page of the LA Daily Post and jump to the Los Alamos Business page, where they can be enjoyed by LA Daily Post’s more than 66,000 unique viewers, who account for the paper's approximately 500,000 monthly hits.

Chamber Manager Nancy Partridge said, “This strategic partnership allows the Chamber to support one locally owned, home-grown business while offering visibility and opportunities to many other local businesses.”

"Since its inception in February 2012, the Los Alamos Daily Post has been a strong advocate for local businesses and this partnership with the Chamber is an exciting opportunity to expand our coverage of the business community even further," Publisher Carol A. Clark said.

Los Alamos Business can be reached through its branded button on the upper right side of the LA Daily Post, or directly through the URL www.LosAlamosBusiness.com.

The Chamber will offer advertising opportunities in Los Alamos Business for Chamber members only. The partnership agreement stipulates that businesses with current advertising contracts with the LA Daily Post may not move their current advertising to the Chamber’s Los Alamos Business page - but are very welcome to advertise in the Los Alamos Business page in addition to the LA Daily Post.

“We are not looking to compete with the LA Daily Post for advertisers, but instead to offer opportunities to those businesses that may not have been able to afford advertising as part of their marketing plan,” Partridge said. “This is a member benefit for Chamber members only.”

Chamber members may recall Essence, the bimonthly printed Chamber publication that offered visibility through articles and advertising. Los Alamos Business is an expansion of the Essence concept, updated with the immediacy and accessibility of web communication.

For more information about Los Alamos Business, to obtain a Media Kit, or to submit a story, contact Chamber Manager Nancy Partridge at 505.661.4816 or by email at nancy@losalamos.org.

 

Local Business Community Briefed On Legislative Agenda

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard gives a legislative report at Thursday's Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast at UNM-Los Alamos. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce members listen to Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard's legislative report at Thursday's Business Breakfast. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba counties, briefed the local business community on the 60-day session opening next month.

Garcia Richard presented her talk at the December Chamber Business Breakfast Thursday at UNM-Los Alamos.

Garcia Richard concentrated on legislation affecting business owners and touched on other legislation as well. She said she works closely with the Los Alamos Chamber, as well as other entities, including Los Alamos County government.

“I want to build an even stronger relationship with the business community,” she said. 

The deadline for introducing new legislation is Feb. 19 and Garcia Richard urged citizens to approach her about legislation they would like to see her put forward. She touted the recent passage by the U.S. Senate of legislation to establish the Manhattan Project Historical Park, which will be located in Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Hanford, Wash.

Although establishment will take three to five years, the Park should have a positive impact on tourism in Los Alamos, Garcia Richard said.

Garcia Richard said the executive and legislative branches of government both want to build a business friendly climate in New Mexico, which is a hopeful sign for the upcoming session.

Hopeful signs include:

  • The non-partisan Tax Foundation recognized New Mexico’s successful bi-partisan approach with its prestigious award for “Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform”;
  • A new study by Ernst and Young determined that New Mexico has reduced tax rates for manufacturing by nearly 60 percent - the greatest drop, by far, in the western states; and
  • New Mexico’s after-credit manufacturing rate is now at 3.3 percent is the best in the region.

The state is working to establish a One Stop Portal, through which business owners could work with various agencies through a “one-stop shop” to negotiate the state regulatory system, Garcia Richard said.

Garcia Richard serves on the New Mexico Jobs Council, a group which includes labor, government, business people and economic developers. The group has conducted an in-depth economic study and its proposals had to be passed unanimously before being released. Some of those proposals included the following funding increases to state initiatives:

  • New Mexico Partnership - $500,000 increase in FY ‘16 and $1 million in FY ’17;
  • LEDA (Local Economic Development Act)  (Closing Fund) $50 million;
  • Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) $12 million;
  • Co-Op Advertising/Marketing $2 million; and
  • Economic Development Grant Fund (Staff Augmentation) $4.5 million.

The State’s goal should be to encourage outside businesses that “bring in new dollars - not just recycle what we already have,” Garcia Richard said.

“Workforce development is one of the most important things we can do to create a healthy business climate,” Garcia Richard said. “We need significant investment in jobs and the economy.”

Garcia Richard pointed to the State’s Forest Restoration Program as one such initiative. Solo businesses run from home or small offices will benefit greatly from broad-band initiatives as well, she said.

Other proposed legislation of interest to business owners that Garcia Richard is following closely include legislation concerning liquor license changes and other changes to liquor legislation that may affect breweries, wineries and distilleries as well as restaurants; and adding all nicotine products to the Tobacco Tax Act and prohibiting sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

Other items on Garcia Richard’s proposed legislation agenda include:

  • DUI Legislation;
  • Class size limits;
  • Education reform;
  • Procurement reform;
  • Changes to LEDA;
  • Campaign finance reform;
  • Omaree’s Law (child abuse protection);
  • STEM initiatives;
  • Possible LANL legislation; and
  • Regional water plans.

Garcia Richard noted that Dave Fox of CB FOX has begun organizing a group to investigate the possibilities of improving the road through the Jemez to Cuba that connects Los Alamos to the Four Corners region.

“If even 5 percent of the million visitors to the Four Corners come through Los Alamos, the impact would be huge,” Fox said. Reducing travel time from 2.5 hours to one or 1.5 hours would bring significant traffic to the town, he said.

“It needs to be a regional effort,” Garcia Richard said in reply. “Legislators need to hear from business owners.”

Although the revenue forecast is “not looking good” for this year, Garcia Richard said Gov. Susana Martinez “has given her stamp of approval” to four of the top pieces of legislation proposed by the Jobs Council, which is a good sign for businesses in New Mexico.

The 60-day session runs Jan. 20 to March 21.

Garcia Richard urged constituents to visit http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/ to keep up with what’s happening at the N.M. Legislature and to contact her at stephanie.garciarichard@nmlegis.gov, PO Box 4657, Los Alamos NM 87544 or 505.500.4343 with their questions and concerns.

 

Plateau Property Announces Apartment Contest Winners 

Newly renovated Plateau Property apartment. Courtesy photo
 
By NANCY PARTRIDGE
Los Alamos Chamber Manager

Plateau Property Management is holding a grand opening and ribbon cutting for two of its apartment properties 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17. The grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held, snow or shine, at 3000 Trinity Dr. #62.

Signs for Ponderosa Pines and the Cottonwoods at Gold Street will be unveiled during the celebration that will include tours, music, refreshments and a special presentation of awards to the winners of the apartment complex naming contest.

The new names for the apartment buildings were selected through a community-wide survey conducted by the Los Alamos Daily Post. Contest winners Valerie DeWulf and Brandi Engeman will each be presented with $250 in Chamber Checks at the grand opening. Melissa Smith, Elisa Enriquez, Brandy Putt and Michelle Debardeleben be presented honorable mention awards of $25 in Chamber Checks.

The apartment properties, formerly known as Los Cerros and Gold Street Apartments, are undergoing renovation and remodeling. As units become vacant, they are gutted and revamped with new windows, counters, sinks, toilets, tubs, vanities, range hoods, carpets and tile. According to Property Manager Mike Lippiatt, the process of remodeling all 144 apartments will take more than a year to complete.

Lippiatt said Plateau Properties is using local contractors and suppliers for as much of the investment in the properties as possible.

“There’s a lot of money being spent locally and we are really happy about that,” Lippiatt said. “It is surprising what you can do with local businesses and local contractors.”

The energy efficiency of the apartment buildings is being improved through installation of double pane solar panel windows. New insulated siding is being installed on the former Gold Street Apartments.

“They are all much more energy efficient and better looking,” Lippiatt said.

Additionally, Plateau Property Management, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a Chamber member this month, has more than doubled its staff for the facilities. The maintenance crew has been increased to 10 workers under the leadership of Maintenance Manager Mike McNeil. The office personnel also have been doubled to better serve the tenants. “We feel it’s a nice impact on employment for Los Alamos,” Lippiatt said.

Next Spring additional renovation work on the exterior of the complex will add a dog park outside the pet-friendly units at Ponderosa Pines, a new playground, a splash pad, and three grilling areas. Decks and pavilions will be added to create outdoor recreation and dining areas.

“They will be a really sought-after location when all the work is done,” Lippiatt said.

The public is invited to attend the grand opening, tour the renovated units, and help Plateau Properties celebrate its 25th anniversary as a Chamber member.