Archive for December, 2011

See You in the New Year!!!!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

I just love to end the year on a good note – our Company is busy at year-end, even with loans that borrowers want to close by the end of December.  We put out an email of 3 loan transactions needing to be funded, totaling $800,000; they were fully sold out within 45 minutes.  Not bad for a questionable economy, huh?  I guess there really is a Santa Claus.

According to a survey from The Conference Board, Consumer confidence shot up for the second month in a row in December.  It is probably too soon to tell if the year-end optimism is simply a rebound from declines earlier in the year or is a sustainable shift in attitudes.  Let’s hope for a shift in attitudes.

I’d like to take a few lines and remember a few of those that passed-on in 2011: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs—a little quirky perhaps but a creative genius; Elizabeth Taylor, strikingly beautiful and a devoted advocate for HIV/AIDS research; Andy Rooney, witty journalist and legendary commentator.

Have a safe New Year’s Eve, however you choose to celebrate.  I look forward to a prosperous and exciting 2012.  See you then . . . .

Happy Holidays & in the News!

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The Democrats & Republicans are at it again! They are taking front-center stage and are deadlocked in their debate over the pros and cons of the payroll tax holiday extension.  For a majority of employees it means an average of $40 per week, every two weeks, or about $1,000 per year. The economy looks to be getting some (yes, small) traction and perhaps this is the wrong time to stop pushing for a resolution. Remember, doing our job as citizens and voting intelligently is necessary.

It is nice to see there are some major private construction projects on tap for 2012 in Sonoma County: Oliver’s Market plans to open a store in the Bell Village Project in Windsor, in 2013; construction bidding is likely to open in Summer of 2012. An overhaul of the 12.5 acre former Barlow Apple Processing Plant in Sebastopol is due to be complete late in 2012. It will be 215,000 sq. ft. of commercial space tailored for artisan wine, beer and food producers. So far, 26 tenants have been lined up for 78% of the project space.

A Holiday Card from one of my nieces included some great words of wisdom that I would like to pass on: It is not what you do when you feel great but what you do when you feel awful that defines you. Never underestimate your ability to push it a step further. And, lastly, having a dream never goes out of style.

Have a Great Holiday!

Economy News

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

I would like to digress into sports for a minute—Albert Pujols signed with the Angels with a $250 Million, 10-year contract.  Wow!  The Major League Baseball average salary is $4.5 Million/year.  So, I ask you – is there a problem with a National Debt of $15 Trillion?  Perhaps some of these players could contribute extra towards paying off our debt!

As the 2012 presidential election heats up, the impact of small business on the economy has become a focus of serious debate.  Where does your candidate stand?  Small businesses make up more than 95% of all business, more than half of all employees work for small businesses and 60% of new jobs come from the small-business sector.  Let’s hope that whoever gets elected next year has some new ideas, other than cutting taxes, increasing spending or griping about current regulations.

Tis the season, so lighten up and enjoy!  Take in some family fun with Fireside Stories in Sonoma on 12/16 (Fri.), 7 to 9 pm, call 707-939-7862; or, a Sing-along Messiah presented by the SR Symphony League on Sat. 12/17, call 707-546-8742.

The Senior Population

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

There is different criteria used to determine at what age you are considered a “senior”; i.e.55 years for AARP, 65 years for Medicare, 65 or 70 years for senior ski lift ticket prices, 60 or 62 at some movie theatres.  The front edge of the nation’s generation of baby boomers started turning 65 last year.  As we are living longer, the Senior population is growing and will continue to grow, placing a significant demand for various services such as health care.  Government funding for senior services appears to be declining.  It will be interesting to see what programs survive and at what level they can function effectively.

On the other side of the coin, Seniors are a huge resource for communities needing volunteer services.  Seniors are used as mentors and volunteers  in schools and education, non-profits, hospitals and other businesses.  Several of us are still working full-time in our business.  I believe if you stay physically and mentally active, you live longer and feel better.

A couple of FREE events to consider – Take a drive to Occidental either Sat. or Sun. (12/10 & 12/11) and check out the Crafts Faire from 10 to 5pm, call 707-874-9407; go to Healdsburg on Sun. (12/11) and take the Victorian Inns Tour (6 different inns) from 2 to 4 pm, call 707-433-5228.