Business and Labor
January 9, 2013 (San Diego) –In response to the long-time needs and present demands of the Vietnamese community, the Little Saigon Foundation is opening a Vietnamese Community Center in order to create a space for social services and cultural interaction. Early services include a Vietnamese Language School, Youth Leadership Development, Translation services, and physical health programs such as “Càng Khôn Thập Linh” (a combination of Tai-chi and yoga), as well as international ballroom dance. With spaces offered to local community groups to meet and hold events, the Center is the first Vietnamese Community Center in City Heights. Up until now, the organization has been operating on mostly the support of volunteers, but is now looking to add permanent paid staff. As such, the organizations will host the Little Saigon Fundraising and Award Dinner on Jan. 13 from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Lucky Star Restaurant, 3894 54th St., San Diego.
By Miriam Raftery
January 1, 2013 (San Diego)—“The Vietnamese community in San Diego is in need of a strong sense of identity in order to unite in the revitalization of our social and economic life,”Frank Vuong, president of the Little Saigon San Diego Foundation, writes.
He hopes to see the Vietnamese community become a cultural asset for our region by putting it on the map. So the Foundation has launched a petition to designate a Little Saigon District in San Diego’s Talmadge/Kensington area along El Cajon Boulevard between Euclid and Highland Avenues.
December 22, 2012 (Lakeside) – FUNbelievable Play of Lakeside won a 2012 Totally Awesome Award in the category of ‘Coolest Indoor Playspaces’. The contest was sponsored by “Red Tricycle” and had over 200,000 voters participating.
By Nadin Abbott
December 18, 2012 (San Diego)-- it was raining and it was cold this morning at Qualcomm Stadium, as union members prepared to give 500 families the fixings for a Christmas Dinner and toys for their children.
One of the recipients was Veronica, who did not share her last name. She is a member of the ATU, local 1309. She drives transit buses for a living. We just talked for a second. But the problem Veronica has, like many other low income families in San Diego, is that she does not get enough hours to make ends meet. She is a mother of several children.
December 20, 2012 (El Cajon)—Members of the East County Chamber of Commerce gathered for some seasonal merrymaking and networking at the Kia dealership in El Cajon. This event, along with a Chamber breakfast earlier in the month, also doubled as a toy drive to help brighten this holiday season for children from needy families.
Neighborhood National Bank committed to serving low-moderate income census tracts for more than a decade
December 17, 2012 (San Diego)—Neighborhood National Bank has reached its 15th anniversary as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The bank will celebrate its 15 year anniversary all-day open houses at each of its branch locations throughout the day on December 19, 2012. Guests are welcome to stop by any of the branches during business hours (9:00a.m.-5:00p.m.) for light refreshments and treats.
December 13, 2012 (San Diego)--San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is alerting business customers to be aware of an ongoing wire fraud that has been targeting SDG&E commercial customers. Reports indicate that individuals are misrepresenting themselves as utility employees by calling customers and threatening to turn off electric and gas service if an immediate payment is not made. Customers are instructed to purchase a pre-pay credit card, and are directed to another phone number where information is then obtained from the card and the cash value is then removed.
By Nadin Abbott
December 13, 2012 (La Mesa) Housekeeping and dietary workers were once again outside Grossmont Hospital walking the sidewalk yesterday. The employees work for Sodexo, a subcontractor whose workers are paid less than Sharp Hospital employees but are charged more for their healthcare, say union representatives who seek fairer wage and benefit terms for Sodexo workers.
Sodexo, a contract company that provides hospital personnel, was not available for comments on the ongoing labor negotiations.
December 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The board of directors of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) announced last month that CEO Debra L. Reed has been elected chairman of the company.
Effective Dec. 1, Reed will succeed Donald E. Felsinger, 65, who retired at the end of November after a 40-year career with the company. Reed was named Sempra Energy’s CEO in June of last year.
December 1, 2012 (Poway)—This year’s Holiday Mixer, hosted by the Poway Chamber of Commerce, will be at The Brigantine Seafood Restaurant on December 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Chamber invites all members of the Poway business community to mingle and build business at this festive event. The Brigantine Seafood is located at 13445 Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064. Holiday attire is encouraged.
December 1, 2012 (El Cajon) – East County Chamber of Commerce and Team KIA of El Cajon host the annual Business After Hours Holiday Mixer on December 12 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Team KIA of El Cajon, 541 N. Johnson Ave., El Cajon. Stop by for heavy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, holiday music and lucrative business networking.
Admission to the event is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. RSVP online here.
December 1, 2012 (Alpine) – East County Chamber of Commerce’s last First Friday Breakfast of 2012 will be held December 7 at 7:15 a.m. at Viejas Casino, 5000 Willows Rd., Alpine. The East County Toy & Food Drive will be showcased to highlight how many underserved families benefit each year from the charity and community spirit of East County residents and businesses.
November 29, 2012 (Lakeside) – Lakeside Chamber of Commerce’s 14th Annual Spirit of Christmas on Maine Ave. is December 1 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The lighting of the community Christmas tree will highlight the event. Santa will be in attendance for photo opportunities as well.
The event will feature local school performances, kid activities, jumpy jumps, rides and crafters booths. The event is free to attend.
November 27, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Center, with Viejas Enterprises, presents Breakfast with Santa on December 1 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the community center, 1830 Alpine Blvd., Alpine. A buffet style breakfast of pancakes, sausages and eggs will be served.
The event will also feature arts and crafts, decorate your own cookie, door prizes, silent auction items and drawings.
NATIONAL WALMART PROTEST REACHES EAST COUNTY AS LEAFLETTERS TARGET SHOPPERS AT GROSSMONT CENTER AND COLLEGE GROVE
Walmart's low wages keep workers on the public dole, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for its corporate profits
By Nadin Abbott
November 23, 2012 (La Mesa)-- Black Friday today was marked by a nationwide protest at 1,000 Walmart stores, including Grossmont Center in La Mesa.
Walmart workers are not unionized. So local volunteers and members of United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) staged the protest to give voice to grievances of Walmart employees who say they have been pressured to keep quiet and not participate in the demonstrations.
By Nadin Abbott
November 20, 2012 (San Diego)—Across the nation and in San Diego County, Walmart workers are poised to stage a walk out on Friday, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.
This Thanksgiving, Walmart workers at more than 1,000 locations are seeking a seat at the bargaining table.
By Nadin Abbott
November 20, 2012 (La Mesa)—Some workers arrived after their shifts ended; others came from home to join a march yesterday afternoon outside Grossmont Hospital. All were determined to draw public attention to their efforts to gain better working conditions and compensation.
United Healthcare Employees, affiliated with the AFL-CIO,continues contract negotiations for workers contracted by Sharp Healthcare through Sodexo to manage food services and custodial work.
by Ariele Johannson
November 20, 2012 (Alpine) --Viejas tribal leaders, casino executives, civic and community leaders, and guests came together for an outdoor Topping Off Ceremony on Wednesday, November 13, 2012. More than 100 people assembled in front of the new five-story Viejas Hotel, amid the noise of hammers, drills, and construction workers’ shouts.
This month, the much-anticipated Viejas Hotel enters its final construction stages. The non-smoking Viejas Hotel with valet parking is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013. Viejas Casino, owned by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, is one of the most successful tribal casinos in California.
November 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Small Business Saturday aims to help support local merchants in communities across America. This year, Saturday November 24 is Small Business Saturday-sandwiched between “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”
The Small Business Association and American Express urge consumers to support participating businesses in your community. Qualified small businesses can get free online advertising and marketing materials.
Last year, more than 100,000 people participated. Find more information at www.shopsmall.com and scroll down for additional details on how you can participate.
By Rama Beerfas
November 3, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – As we approach the end of 2012, it is time to review the year's business successes, challenges and (dare I say it?) failures. If we want to make a difference to the growth opportunities we have available in 2013, then it is critical that we evaluate what worked, what didn't, and where we didn't pursue opportunities that we should have. From that assessment, we can develop a more informed plan for the coming year that will be more likely to succeed than a plan made from hopes, dreams and wishes.
Business Mixer, Political Mixer, and Festivities Focus on Restoring American Dream
November 4, 2012 (San Diego)--Celebrate being American at a fun-filled two day festival at historic Tuna Harbor Park (700 North Harbor Drive) in San Diego, CA on November 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Freedom Festival is dedicated to connecting people to resources for establishing our original values as Americans, bringing together pioneers dedicated to the promise of the “American Dream” and the prospect of growing businesses to promote the American economy and jobs.
October 31, 2012 (El Cajon)— At the October 23rd Council meeting, Councilmember Wells proposed that the El Cajon City Council authorize the City Manager to expend General Fund revenues as a 50 percent match with the dealerships for the costs of creating an “El Cajon Auto Dealership Association,” not to exceed the amount of $10,000.
The City Council voted 4-0 to support this new partnership.
“It is empowering to create a useful commodity appreciated by family, friends and customers.” – Kerri Mixon
By Caprice Harrison, Editorial Assistant for East County Magazine
October 27, 2012 (Lemon Grove) -- Ask Kerri Mixon about making soap. You will be met with a smile and 16th-generation soapmaking expertise. Mixon is the owner, administrator, lead instructor and artisan of Soapmaking Studio in Lemon Grove, an inviting classroom and supply center open to the public.
October 29, 2012 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino, Southern California’s premier gaming, dining and entertainment destination, has been named Business Partner of the Year by Partnerships with Industry (PWI). The honor was announced at PWI’s annual awards event held on Saturday, October 20.
“For seven years Viejas Casino has been providing adults with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities the opportunity to change their lives through employment in the community. “PWI is excited to honor Viejas Casino for their support, commitment and dedication to PWI’s mission and for being a corporate partner that defines a ‘win-win partnership,’” according to Mark Berger, PWI’s chief executive
By Miriam Raftery
October 27, 2012 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon Brewing Company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but the owner says the restaurant aims to reorganize and stay in business.
The brewery has received at least $645,000 in funds from the City of El Cajon, including $300,000 in start-up funds approximately three years ago, followed by a $345,000 loan borrowed from redevelopment funds to complete the renovation, the U-T San Diego reported in April 2011.
Asked what the bankruptcy could mean for the city, Councilman Gary Kendrick told ECM, “This is a bankruptcy reorganization, so hopefully they will be able to reorganize their debt and continue operation or find another operator. The city has a lien on their equipment as security for the loan. The value of the equipment would cover a significant part of the unpaid loan balance.”
Congresswoman Susan Davis to Host Forum
October 25, 2012 (San Diego)--The Federal Government buys nearly anything imaginable and Congresswoman Susan Davis has assembled a Small Business Forum for local business owners, so that they may learn how to break into this huge marketplace.
Apple co-founder urges audience to be independent thinkers
Story provided by Aida Garcia at Tijuana Inovadora
October 20, 2012 (Tijuana)--Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak would like to develop a computer whose chips operate on light instead of electricity. If possible, it would make computing dramatically faster and use virtually no power.
October 22, 2012 (El Cajon)--A series of free “How-To” workshops designed to help East County small business owners improve their employee productivity and performance is being offered by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
“We’re proud to work with the chamber to offer courses dedicated to supporting East County businesses so that they can be as productive and effective as possible,” said Cindy L. Miles, college district chancellor.
October 18, 2012(San Diego) -- A six-part marketing seminar series directed at micro, small and mid-size business owners/managers. The first class was a sell-out, prompting the opening of a second session on developing a marketing plan on October 25th.
"This is the time of year when business owners and managers should be reviewing the successes and challenges of the past year and putting together a marketing plan for 2013 so they can hit the ground running come January 2nd," says Rama Beerfas, Chief Solutions Specialist at Lev Promotions and seminar presenter.
Rama Beerfas, Lev Promotions' Chief Solutions Specialist and Seminar Presenter
Group focused on rights of working San Diegans also takes stands for Prop 30, against Prop 32
By Miriam Raftery
October 11, 2012 (San Diego)—At its 15th anniversary gala last night, the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) honored “every day heroes” for providing education and training, “seeds of a strong future.”
In a packed ballroom at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, State Senator Christine Kehoe praised CPI for “shining a light” on truth with the organization’s research into issues such as poverty, wages and other issues impacting working people in San Diego County. “We need CPI more than ever,” she noted, adding “We have a very large voice of corporations."