News

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Irvine Mayor Don Wagner Wins Orange County Supervisor Seat in Special Election

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Irvine Mayor Don Wagner won a special election on March 12, filling a vacant seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “I’m declaring victory and thanking the voters of the 3rd Supervisorial District for their trust,” Wagner said. “I ran for it and I wanted it because they do good, important work on the Board of Supervisors, and I’m very much looking forward to doing some of that work to solve the county’s problems.” Wagner will represent the inland Orange County 3rd District seat for 21 months. He likely will take office either March 26 or April 9. He also will be...
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Multitude of Irish-US/California Trade, Investment Ties in Spotlight

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The strong trade and investment links between Ireland and the United States, as well as California, were celebrated last week at a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast held in conjunction with CalChamber Board events. The CalChamber Council for International Trade meeting, sponsored by Frontier Communications, was one of several gatherings in the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day featuring the release of the US-Ireland Business 2019 report by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Ireland. Speaking at the March 15 breakfast were the Honorable Simon Harris, Irish minister for health and former minister of state; Carin Bryans, vice president of AmCham...
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UK Fieldfisher Law Experts Detail Implications of Brexit for Irvine/US Medical Device Manufacturers and Distributors

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Deal. No deal. EU extension or second referendum. The one word everyone agrees upon when describing Brexit and its implications for the U.K. and every company that does business in the country is: uncertainty. Although the March 29 deadline is looming, negotiations with the EU for a delay and Parliament debate continues. Fieldfisher, the European law firm specializing in lifesciences and technology law visited the Greater Irvine Chamber on March 19. Alison Dennis, Partner with the London Office, met with the Chamber and its foreign direct investment delegation in 2017, just months after the Brexit vote. Knowing that Irvine has a...
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HSBC Returns to OC World Trade Week as the 2019 Presenting Sponsor

Monday, March 18, 2019

HSBC is the presenting sponsor for the fifth-annual Greater Irvine Chamber Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum, to be held on Thursday, May 16, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. A continued sponsor of the program, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, serving more than 39 million customers through four global businesses. The bank’s network covers 66 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and Latin America. HSBC has been connecting Americans to global opportunities since 1865. The OCWTW 2019 program...
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Leads Groups Training Ensures Best Outcomes for Business Development

Monday, March 18, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leads Groups provide members with the opportunity to expand their network of trusted professionals through structured, non-competitive meetings to exchange referrals and leads, which have a proven track record for increasing business development for participants. Leads Groups members closed nearly $20 million in sales during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, and have reached nearly $8 million in closed business so far for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. In addition to increasing business development for participants, Leads Groups contribute to the economic development of greater Irvine. “Our Leads Group members support the growth of Irvine’s local economy in a unique way,” said Bryan Starr,...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Offers Fifth Annual John Colvin Memorial Scholarship

Friday, March 15, 2019

For the fifth year, the Greater Irvine Chamber will award John Colvin Memorial Scholarships, of $2,500 each, to two students who have been accepted to or are currently enrolled in a four-year degree program at a university or college in Irvine. Eligible students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, a demonstrated commitment to a fitness lifestyle, and an objective of contributing to the health and economic vitality of Irvine and California in the future. The Chamber established the scholarship, in coordination with the Colvin family, in honor of John Greg Colvin, a long time-resident of Orange County, active Chamber member, and past...
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California Still a Top Exporting State

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The U.S. Department of Commerce now has 2018 trade statistics available through the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) “Trade Stats Express.” In 2018, California exported $178.4 billion to 230 foreign economies, up from $172 billion in 2017. California’s top export markets are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, and South Korea. California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $2.5 trillion. International trade and investment are major parts of the state’s economic engine that broadly benefit businesses, communities, consumers and state government. California’s economy is diverse, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports...
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Chinese Delegation Visits Greater Irvine Chamber

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A trade delegation of more than 20 business leaders and government officials from the Chinese province of Shaanxi in March visited the Greater Irvine Chamber to learn about services available through the Chamber, and how the organization operates as a business association. The Chamber’s economic development team presented on Irvine’s strengths as a master-planned community; the city is an economic powerhouse, with its strong life-science and technology sectors, and robust innovation eco-system. As part of their visit, the delegates met with Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. Driving forward economic development in the region, the Greater Irvine Chamber regularly hosts international delegations...
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Irvine Councilmember Anthony Kuo Speaks at Greater Irvine Chamber

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Irvine City Councilmember Anthony Kuo provided updates on Orange County Great Park progress and traffic improvements to business and community leaders at the March 7 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting. Councilmember Kuo pointed out how tax revenue collected from shopping and dining in Irvine goes back into the city’s general fund, financing public works, community development, and public safety. Referencing the city’s ample parks, retail shopping centers, and world-class schools, Councilmember Kuo highlighted the exemplary quality of life that Irvine residents enjoy. Councilmember Kuo was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2018, bringing nearly eight years of experience as a planning commissioner,...
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Volunteer Facilitators Sought for Greater Irvine Chamber Career Edge Workshop for College Students

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Business professionals interested in community service are invited to help facilitate students from Orange County colleges and universities as they participate in the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge workshop, Successful Business Etiquette and Workplace Behaviors, on Saturday, April 6, at the Greater Irvine Chamber, 36 Executive Park, Ste. 100,  8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. “Facilitators from the Irvine business community play an important role in engaging students in the Chamber’s Career Edge program. Facilitators can draw from their professional experience to help inspire and guide students to develop soft-skills, which are highly sought by employers,” said Linda DiMario, vice president, Greater...
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California Employers: Beware More Stringent Criminal Background Check Requirements

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling has made already strict background check requirements even more stringent. The court held that the disclosure required under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) can consist only of the FRCA disclosure; it can’t contain any additional information, including the disclosure required under California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) (Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores, LLC,913 F.3d 1169 (9th. Cir. 2019)). The FCRA requires that prior to obtaining an applicant’s consumer report, an employer must provide the applicant with a disclosure of its intention to do so and obtain the applicant’s consent. The disclosure...
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New Required Poster for California Employers Starting April 1

Monday, March 11, 2019

Last week, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Fair Employment and Housing Council’s (FEHC) changes to the Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA Leave) and Pregnancy Disability notice (now called Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave), adding information about the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA). California employers covered by the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the NPLA are required to post this new notice starting April 1, 2019. The NPLA is a narrowly tailored California leave law that took effect last year. Both the CFRA and NPLA provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave to bond with a newborn...
US Adds Just 20K Jobs; Unemployment Dips to 3.8 Percent

Monday, March 11, 2019

Hiring tumbled in February, with U.S. employers adding just 20,000 jobs, the smallest monthly gain in nearly a year and a half. The slowdown in hiring, though, might have been depressed by harsh winter weather and the partial shutdown of the government. Last month’s weak gain came after employers had added a blockbuster 311,000 jobs in January, the most in nearly a year. And over the past three months, job growth has averaged a solid 186,000, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Despite the tepid pace of hiring in February, the government’s monthly jobs report included several positive signs that...
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Advocacy Releases “Small Business GDP, 1998–2014”

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy: they create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. A new report shows that they account for 44 percent of U.S. economic activity. This is a significant contribution, however this overall share has declined gradually. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of the goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States. Across the 16 years from 1998 to 2014, the small business share of GDP has fallen from 48.0 percent to 43.5 percent. Over the same period, the amount of...
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Survey: US Businesses Added a Solid 183,000 Jobs Last Month

Thursday, March 07, 2019

are continuing to hire even as economic growth is likely slowing. Payroll processor ADP said that last month’s job gains were down from the 300,000 added in January, a figure that was revised up sharply from 213,000. It was also below last year’s average monthly gain of about 235,000. Hiring occurred across all major industries tracked by ADP, including professional and business services, which includes high-paying fields such as accounting and engineering, which gained 49,000 jobs. Education and health care added 37,000. Construction gained 25,000 jobs and manufacturing 17,000. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, a forecasting firm that compiles the ADP...
Trade Policies and Tax Reform Are Working For Small Businesses

Thursday, March 07, 2019

During the State of the Union, President Trump highlighted the bold changes to trade policies and tax reform that he is making in order to fight for American workers and businesses that will expand prosperity. This reform is working. Based out of Chino, Thin Metal Sales had been experiencing a decline in sales due to the high availability of imported, low-cost steel. Jonathan Mulvihill knows his company inside and out since he began working summers at Thin Metal Sales at the age of 12. The company was founded by his uncle in 1976 and acquired by his father in 1983; in 2017...
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Successful Greater Irvine Chamber-Led Delegation to UK Showing FDI Progress

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber in February led a delegation focused on foreign direct investment and composed of Irvine city officials, executives, and lifescience and technology experts to London, where they formally interviewed company executives from those industry sectors who are considering expansion to the U.S. “Two previous missions and a lot of groundwork and follow-up has enhanced the reputation of Irvine in the U.K. so that company executives were eager to meet with us and discuss expansion opportunities,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Our foreign direct investment work is gaining measureable traction and progress among U.K. lifescience companies...
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Irvine is Home to Most California Distinguished Schools in Orange County

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Irvine Unified is home to the most California Distinguished Schools per district in all of Orange County. Irvine High, Rancho San Joaquin Middle, Sierra Vista Middle, and Woodbridge High each received the distinction. “Distinguished School award winners represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaboration, but also highly successful school climate efforts ranging from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention,” a statement from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said. The California Distinguished Schools program recognizes outstanding education programs and practices. Schools are awarded for achieving exceptional student performance for two consecutive school years or closing the achievement...
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US Chamber’s Small Business Awards Submissions Open

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with MetLife, is accepting nominations and submissions for the Dream Big Awards, which recognize the very best in American small business. The awards program honors the achievements of small businesses and highlights their contributions to America’s economic growth. The Dream Big Award winners will be formally recognized at the annual Small Business Summit, Oct. 16 – 17, in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Awards nominations and submissions will be accepted in the following categories: Dream Big Small Business of the Year Emerging Business Achievement Award Green/Sustainable Business Achievement Award Minority-Owned Business Achievement Award Veteran-Owned Business Achievement Award Woman-Owned...
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OCTA Seeks Volunteers to Serve on Public Committees

Monday, March 04, 2019

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is looking for new committee members for two public committees. The committees are the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and the Taxpayer Oversight Committee (TOC). These committees help advise OCTA on a wide range of policies, procedures, and actions. OCTA strongly encourages residents and community leaders to get involved and help improve the quality of life for all Orange County residents. The Citizens Advisory Committee actively participates in helping examine traffic solutions, providing input to OCTA’s transportation studies and communicating with their constituencies. Committee members also participate in roundtable discussions and hear special presentations on various transportation...
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CalChamber Continues Fight for Worker Opportunities

Friday, March 01, 2019

Legislative intervention is needed to provide clarity to employers and prevent loss of opportunities for millions of individuals following last year’s court decision upending the test for determining who is an independent contractor, the California Chamber of Commerce testified last week. Speaking at an informational hearing of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on February 26, CalChamber Executive Vice President Jennifer Barrera outlined the challenges employers face in the sudden change from the independent contractor test in use for nearly 30 years. Barrera explains that legislation clarifying employer obligations is needed to prevent loss of opportunities for millions of individuals following last...
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CalChamber Joins in Launching Coalition Supporting U.S.-Mexico-Canada Pact

Friday, March 01, 2019

The California Chamber of Commerce has joined more than 200 companies and associations in launching the USMCA Coalition, which will advocate congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The coalition includes a diverse group of businesses, farmers and ranchers, manufacturers, service providers, and technology companies in support of the USMCA. To join the coalition, click here. Over the coming weeks and months, the USMCA Coalition will make the case for expeditious passage of the agreement to members of Congress, and will work to educate employers and members of Congress about the benefits of the new deal. The effort will harness the advocacy strength of a broad...
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California's Lieutenant Governor to Focus on Foreign Trade

Friday, March 01, 2019

California's lieutenant governor has a new role promoting the state as an international trading partner. Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis will head a committee tasked with reopening trade offices in foreign countries and promoting the state's trade interests, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced. The new committee is the latest example of California seeking more influence on the global stage during the Trump presidency. California already has a trade office in China, opened under former Gov. Jerry Brown, and Newsom wants to reopen a trade office in Mexico. Kounalakis, a Democrat and former ambassador to Hungary under former President Barack Obama, said she's excited to...
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Irvine’s Balanced Checkbook

Friday, March 01, 2019

By Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber, as seen in the March issue of Irvine Standard. You probably know Irvine has been ranked No. 1 in public safety for 13 consecutive years. But you might not know why. One reason is another No. 1 ranking Irvine just received: Tops in California in fiscal strength — beating every other large city from San Francisco to San Jose to San Diego. How did the city become so fiscally strong? Think of the well-maintained shopping centers you visit, and the strength of your home value. Retail and property taxes fund two-thirds of the city’s budget. Now think...
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March 12 Special Election for 3rd District Supervisor

Friday, March 01, 2019

A Special Election will be held on March 12 for the purpose of electing a County of Orange 3rd District Supervisor to fill a vacancy left by the November 2018 General Municipal Election. The Registrar of Voters will host a mobile “pop-up” election booth for early voting on Monday, March 11, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Irvine Civic Center. The “pop-up” Early Voting Service Center is open to all Orange County residents who reside in District 3. Services include: In-person Early Voting Secure Ballot Drop-Off, including Vote-By-Mail Ballots Replacement Ballots Full-Service Voter Assistance Same Day Conditional Voter Registration On Tuesday, March 12, Election Day, the Irvine Civic...
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California is No. 1 in Medical Device Industry

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Despite complaints about the high costs of doing business, California is unrivaled when it comes to the size of its medical device industry — not to mention the range of innovations. From medtech employment to patent numbers to the amount of venture capital investment, California is well ahead of other states. It accounted for nearly a fourth of the U.S. medical device industry’s revenue in 2017, according to IBISWorld. Top 10 Medical Device States California Minnesota Massachusetts Florida Indiana Pennsylvania New York Texas Illinois New Jersey The Golden State’s medical device industry is actually made up of a number of major hubs running down the length of the state: Orange County Orange County exported more than...
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Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner Delivers State of the City Address

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner on Feb. 26 delivered his State of the City Address, providing an opportunity for constituents to hear updates on the city’s traffic improvements, homelessness, two-year budget, and continued development of the 688 acres at the Orange County Great Park. Highlighting continued financial support of Irvine’s public schools, the city’s reputation as one of the nation’s safest communities, and its vibrant business community, Mayor Wagner told a capacity crowd at the Irvine Civic Center, “People want to make Irvine their home because of our quality of life.” “Mayor Wagner, the City Council, and the city’s management team have proven...
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Irvine's Culinary Diversity Headlines OC Restaurant Week

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

This year, more than two dozen Irvine restaurants are participating in the 11th annual Orange County Restaurant Week, March 3 – 9, offering food lovers unique dining experiences from a diverse range of cuisines. Participating Irvine Restaurants: Agora Churrascaria Andrei's Restaurant Angelina's Pizzeria Napoletana Bistango Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen CUCINA enoteca Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse Del Frisco's Grille EATS Kitchen & Bar EMC Seafood & Raw Bar Eureka! Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen Il Fornaio Kabuki Japanese Restaurant Paul Martin's American Grill Puesto - Los Olivos Puesto - Park Place Ruth's Chris Steak House Square One Pizza Taco Rosa TAPS Fish House & Brewery Texas de Brazil The Melting Pot Twenty Eight Yard House During the weeklong event, 125 of some of the best restaurants in Orange County will offer...
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Study: EU Single Largest Foreign Investor in US

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The European Union, currently a 28-nation bloc, is the single largest foreign investor in the United States, with $2.37 trillion in foreign direct investment, according to a recent study by the EU Delegation to the U.S. The U.S. and the EU enjoy a balanced trade relationship to the benefit of both: $528 billion in U.S. exports of goods and services to the EU in 2017 and a commensurate $629 billion in EU exports of goods and services to the U.S., the study found. This trade and investment relationship generates nearly 7 million jobs for U.S. workers. An online interactive data tool lets users explore...
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2019 Woman of Influence Award Nominees Announced

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

An impressive group of women have been nominated for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s inaugural Woman of Influence Award. Each of the nominees has demonstrated exemplary professionalism, held a leadership role in her community, and has served as a mentor or a source of inspiration for other professional women. The nominees are: Susan DeGrassi, Director of Cause, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing Dr. Gwen Finestone, MFT and President of California Southern University Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association Kate Klimow, Chief Administrative Officer and Director of External Relations, UCI Applied Innovation Christine Lambino-Cunliffe, Partner, Bobo Strategy, Inc Sharon Frisbie Macdonald, Owner/Operator, McDonalds/Frisbie Management Inc. Susan Parks, CEO, Orange County United...
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Irvine Councilmember Anthony Kuo to Address Government Affairs Committee

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Newly-elected Irvine City Councilmember Anthony Kuo will address business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs committee meeting on Thursday, March 7, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Kuo was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2018, bringing nearly eight years of experience as a planning commissioner for the city, including four consecutive terms as chairman. During that time, he also served on the city’s Task Force on Housing Needs for the Developmentally Disabled and the Ad Hoc Committee on Veterans Affordable Housing. He is a graduate of the Irvine Community Police Academy. In addition to representing the City of Irvine on...
Canada-California Trade

Friday, February 22, 2019

Consul generals for Canada and Mexico are joining California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg for a panel on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The new trade arrangement came from a year of negotiations after Trump disregarded the former North American Free Trade Agreement as the “worst deal ever made.” Amid the settling in to a new agreement, Canada wants to send a clear message: We love you California. As San Francisco’s Consul General of Canada Rana Sarkar told The Sacramento Bee, “Canadians often fly under the radar, but we are significant partners with the state of California.” According to Global Affairs Canada, California...
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China to Propose $30 Billion More U.S. Agriculture Purchases

Friday, February 22, 2019

China is proposing that it could buy an additional $30 billion a year of U.S. agricultural products including soybeans, corn and wheat as part of a possible trade deal being negotiated by the two countries, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The offer to buy the extra farm produce would be part of the memoranda of understanding under discussion by U.S. and Chinese negotiators in Washington, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are confidential. The purchases would be on top of pre-trade war levels and continue for the period covered by the memoranda, they said. U.S. Agriculture...
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NAFTA 2.0 Creates Freer, Fairer Economic Growth

Friday, February 22, 2019

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) underscores a renewed understating among the USMCA parties on the importance of our mutual trading relationships, everyone agreed yesterday at an international luncheon at the California Chamber of Commerce to celebrate Canada Day in Sacramento. With the support of the Consulates General of Canada of San Francisco and Los Angeles and the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, experts convened at the CalChamber for a thorough update and discussion on the agreement with more than 100 attendees. The Honorable Zaib Shaikh, the new Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles set the tone for the discussion saying...
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Applied Innovation Doubling Cove Footprint at UCI Park

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Cove, the University of California-Irvine’s tech facility and office space that is home to the school’s Applied Innovation business and entrepreneur incubator program, is gearing up to expand its presence in Orange County’s startup scene. UCI Applied Innovation this month told the Business Journal that it had put the finishing touches on a new lease that will nearly double the Cove’s square footage at UCI Research Park, a 36-building business park next to the university that’s run by Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. Applied Innovation currently occupies about 46,000 square feet of space at UCI Research Park; its new home will run...
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Assembly Committee Holds Hearing on Privacy Act

Thursday, February 21, 2019

California Chamber of Commerce Policy Advocate Sarah Boot addressed the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee at an informational hearing to discuss the rights, protections and obligations established by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). California Consumer Privacy Act The CCPA is a sweeping privacy law that applies to businesses of all sizes across almost every industry. It was rushed through the legislative process in the summer of 2018 without the benefit of input from numerous crucial stakeholders. As a result, the law is deeply flawed. Many of the CCPA’s provisions are simply unworkable in practice or will result in numerous unintended consequences....
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Federal Tax Changes Could Be Why California’s Budget Is More Than $2 Billion Below Projections

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s hopes for a record-setting tax revenue windfall this year could depend on whether California’s wealthiest residents are simply waiting until the last moment to pay up — a reaction to the 2017 federal tax changes championed by President Trump. State financial experts reported fiscal year-to-date revenues are more than $2.3 billion below the expectations set by Newsom’s first spending plan. But they believe the money is simply delayed, not missing.  “We don’t think it reflects any underlying weakness in the economy,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the California Department of Finance. Instead, what state economists are now projecting is...
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Global Green to Expand Biogas Generation & Food Recovery Initiative for a Second Year - Seeking Two New Southern California Partner Cities

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Non-profit Global Green announced it will select two Southern California cities as new partners in the second year of its Expanding Biogas Generation & Food Recovery Initiative, which increases access to and the effectiveness of food waste recycling programs and demonstrates food-waste-to-biogas scenarios for participating cities. The initiative uses an Eco-Ambassador resident outreach model, which recruits motivated apartment dwellers to take ownership over their building’s waste diversion and serve as a community resource in order to expand participating cities’ food waste recycling programs. Global Green will also select two additional cities to model food-waste-to-biogas scenarios. Cities will be chosen based on...
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Destination Irvine’s Leading Role in Hotel Partners’ Success

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Wendy Haase, senior director of Destination Irvine, and colleagues AnaLaura Beccera, director of corporate sales, and Dave Lucey, director of sports sales, recently presented details to Irvine hotel directors and sales managers on Destination Irvine’s central role in promoting the city as a preferred overnight destination in Southern California for meeting groups, sports organizations, and business and leisure travelers. The presentation provided insight on how the hoteliers can leverage their partnership with the organization’s sales team and utilize Destination Irvine resources when booking business at their properties, including meeting planner incentives and marketing materials like the annual Irvine Visitors Guide. “This was...
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IPSF Awards Over $200,000 in Innovative Grants to Irvine Teachers

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Each year, Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) offers teachers and staff in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) the opportunity to apply for funds through the Innovative Grants Program to implement new and creative approaches to teaching and counseling. The purpose of this grant program is to support innovation in schools by awarding funds to launch new curriculum and improve the educational experiences of students. The program in total will award 25 projects and over $200,000 in grant monies this year to support innovative teaching methods in schools. IPSF, a Greater Irvine Chamber education partner, this year awarded eight mega grants, up to...
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iShuttle Gets Commuters the ‘Last Mile’ to Work

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A cooperative agreement between the City of Irvine and Orange County Transportation Authority has resulted in an expansion of the weekday commuter iShuttle routes from two convenient train stations. “My commitment to reducing traffic is helped each workday with the longtime success of the iShuttle from our two stations,” said Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner. “Hundreds of Irvine workers arrive daily from other cities and hop aboard for the ‘last mile’ ride to their destination. Some Irvine residents, of course, also are taking the iShuttle to the stations, to work elsewhere. These two new routes will make the daily trips to...
Irvine: The City of Health

Monday, February 18, 2019

By Bryan Starr, President and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce As published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Orange County Business Journal. Irvine is an impressive community in many ways as the result of the visionary Irvine Master Plan established more than a half-century ago. A major factor in the city’s exceptional quality of life today is convenient access to some of the finest healthcare institutions in the world. Patients accessing healthcare in Irvine, from routine maintenance to advanced disease treatment, receive top care delivered by some of the world’s most expert practitioners using the latest science and technology. Greater Irvine...
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UC Irvine Most Popular UC Campus Among California High School Students Applying to College

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member University California, Irvine  has become the top choice in the UC system for California high school students. The university announced recently that the 70,540 soon-to-be graduates who applied to the campus for the upcoming fall semester were the most among the nine campuses in the University of California system. “We have very robust outreach efforts,” campus spokesman Tom Vasich said. That includes helping high school students realize they have the potential to attend college and helping them navigate the application process. The university has partnerships with high schools and community colleges in Santa Ana, Anaheim, Compton, and...
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Irvine Unified Students to Present Ethics Forum Projects to Greater Irvine Chamber Committee

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Eight teams from a total of 28 students from Irvine High School will present their final Ethics Forum projects to business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Business and Workforce Development Committee meeting, on Tuesday, March 19, 4 - 6 p.m. Chamber members and guests are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Chamber, located at 36 Executive Park, Suite 100. The presentations serve as the final piece of the semester-long Ethics Forum program, created for students by the Business and Workforce Development Committee in partnership with Irvine Unified School District and Webster University, Irvine...
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Meet the Speakers at the Women of Influence Champagne Reception

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

This year’s Women of Influence event, on Friday, March 8, will feature a champagne reception from 2:15 to 3 p.m., immediately following the program, providing the opportunity for professional women to connect and meet keynote speaker Gina Osborn, president of G-Girl Productions and former FBI Special Agent; and opening speaker Marisa Wayne, owner of GritCycle and founding member of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Attendees will also have a chance to win a luxury giveaway basket valued at more than $300 during the reception. New this year, the program will include the presentation of the 2019 Greater Irvine Chamber Woman of...
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Electronic Filing Doesn’t Relieve Employers of Hard Copy Requirements

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The recent requirement to submit Form 300A data electronically doesn’t relieve employers of the responsibility to post the hard copy Form 300A each year. Each establishment (place of business) must post the Form 300A from February 1 to April 30 in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees normally are posted. This requirement, in addition to all others listed in Section 14300.32 of the California Code of Regulations, remains in effect. Unfortunately, this fact was not included as a note in the electronic filing regulation to ensure that the electronic filing requirement was not perceived to be the new norm, bypassing the requirement for the hard copy. Providing Form 300A Copy Employees...
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City of Irvine, Business Community Band Together for Educational Excellence

Monday, February 11, 2019

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) has released its 2019 list of Top 100 Companies Supporting Education Excellence. Heading the list is the City of Irvine. Also included is the Greater Irvine Chamber and several of its Leaders Circle sponsors, Allergan; Cox Automotive; Cox Communications; FivePoint; Google; Google Fiber; Hoag Hospital; Hoag Orthopedic Institute; Kaiser Permanente; Kia Motors America; University of California, Irvine; UPS, Waste Management; and Wells Fargo. All 100 supporting organizations were formally recognized during a VIP reception at the Resort at Pelican Hill in February. Greater Irvine Chamber Vice President of Operations, Jessica Welch, and Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner. Steve Churm, , FivePoint,...
Greater Irvine Chamber Receives Industry's Top Honors

Monday, February 11, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr has been named the 2019 Executive of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.). Starr was selected from CEOs throughout the Western United States and was formally recognized during the 2019 W.A.C.E. Conference in Anaheim in front of more than 500 attendees. Starr was honored for leading the Greater Irvine Chamber to achievements in membership attainment goals, economic development, staff empowerment, thought leadership, and positioning the organization as a leader in advancing economic vitality in greater Irvine. Greater Irvine Chamber Vice President of Operations Jessica Welch, IOM, received the 2019...
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SB 1300 Expands FEHA Litigation

Monday, February 11, 2019

Last fall, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed SB 1300 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), a comprehensive bill that makes several changes in the law for litigating sexual harassment claims. SB 1300 prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a release of claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) in exchange for a raise or as a condition of employment. The bill also amends FEHA to specify that an employer may be responsible for the acts of nonemployees for all forms of harassment, rather than the responsibility being limited to sexual harassment, as it was before SB 1300 took effect. Further, the bill prohibits...
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Workers Waiting ‘On Call’ Must Be Paid, Court Rules

Monday, February 11, 2019

Employees who are required to stay “on call” before the start of a possible work shift — phoning their employer two hours before the shift to learn whether they’re needed — are entitled to be paid for that two-hour period regardless of whether they’re called in to work, a state appeals court ruled. In a 2-1 decision with potentially broad impact, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles said on-call employees are protected by a 1943 California Industrial Welfare Commission wage order, still in effect, that entitles employees to “reporting time pay” as soon as they are required to report...
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Community Partnerships Strengthen Future OC Workforce

Friday, February 08, 2019

Nearly 300 students from Orange County high schools and community colleges visited Irvine-based technology and life science companies for the second annual Irvine Career Discovery Day on Feb. 5, hosted by the Greater Irvine Chamber along with nonprofit partners Irvine Public Schools Foundation, Orange County United Way, and Vital Link. “Irvine Career Discovery Day is part of the Chamber’s workforce development initiative. The event provides an opportunity for students to see first-hand the exciting 21st-century career paths available to them here in Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Preparing our future workforce is key to fulfilling the Chamber’s mission to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine.” The career exploration...
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A Robust Job Gain in January Shows US Economy’s Durability

Monday, February 04, 2019

U.S. employers shrugged off last month’s partial shutdown of the government and engaged in a burst of hiring in January, adding 304,000 jobs, the most in nearly a year. The healthy gain the government reported illustrated the job market’s resilience nearly a decade into the economic expansion. The U.S. has now added jobs for 100 straight months, the longest such period on record. The unemployment rate did rise in January to 4 percent from 3.9 percent, the Labor Department said, but mostly for a technical reason: The number of people counted as temporarily unemployed jumped 175,000, with most of that increase consisting...
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California to Thrash Out Gig Worker Status in Upcoming Bills

Monday, February 04, 2019

Gig worker or employee? California will wrestle with that question this year with efforts under way in Sacramento to either codify or limit a groundbreaking state Supreme Court decision issued in April. The ruling, in a suit brought by delivery drivers at Dynamex, made it harder for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors. It implemented a formula, called the ABC test, that says workers are employees if companies control what they do, if their tasks are central to a company’s core business, and if they don’t run independent businesses doing that work. The ruling could upend scores of industries that rely on...
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City of Hope Brings its World-Class Cancer Care Network to Orange County

Monday, February 04, 2019

In one of the most ambitious initiatives in its 106-year history, City of Hope is expanding its world-class cancer care network to Orange County, beginning with the purchase of a 12,500-square-foot facility in Newport Beach. The new 1601 Avocado Ave. facility is the official start to City of Hope extending its personalized, compassionate, and technologically-advanced care to the county. The Newport Beach site is projected to open in late 2019 and will house lifesaving medical services, such as breast and other medical oncology, and convenient access to subspecialists. This expansion will be the first spoke of the main health campus planned to...
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Class Action Settlement Doesn’t Prevent 2nd Lawsuit

Monday, February 04, 2019

An employee who was a member of a wage-and-hour class action settlement with her employer, is able to pursue a subsequent lawsuit against her employer for a claim that was not alleged in the first case, said the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a recent opinion. The employer settled in federal court a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit that claimed the employer failed to pay wages and overtime, provide meal and rest breaks, provide accurate wage statements and reimburse business expenses. Second Lawsuit After the first case was settled, one of the class members filed a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) case in...
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CPA Pushes for Trade-Competitive Tax Policies

Monday, February 04, 2019

The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) is asking Congress to improve the federal tax system to promote U.S. trade competitiveness. In a letter to both the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees, CPA pressed for consideration of both a destination-based Sales Factor Apportionment tax system (SFA) and a Strategic Goods and Services Tax (GST). “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act represented an important step forward and is supported by many of our members,” said Brian O’Shaughnessy, CPA’s Vice Chairman. “However, Congress now has the opportunity to dramatically improve the international trade competitiveness of U.S.-based companies and workers. Our...
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Destination Irvine Promotes City During International Media Marketplace

Monday, February 04, 2019

Wendy Haase, director of tourism marketing, Destination Irvine, shared Irvine story ideas with travel journalists and influencers during the 3rd Annual TravMedia International Media Marketplace (IMM) in New York City on Jan. 24. IMM is the travel and tourism industry’s leading event for the media to meet travel and tourism brands. Destination Irvine had 24 pre-scheduled appointments with top travel journalists, editors and influencers to discuss the destinations’ latest news, events and developments. For more information about Irvine as a destination, visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Destination Irvine Promotes City’s Sports Assets at America’s Most Unique Sports Trade Show

Monday, February 04, 2019

Dave Lucey, director of sports sales for Destination Irvine, in January met with more than 20 organizations, including USA Volleyball, USA Rugby, and International Slow-pitch Softball, during one-on-one appointments and networking opportunities at the third annual Sports Express trade show held in Honolulu, Hawaii. Unlike other sports industry conferences, the week-long Sports Express trade show is centered on maximizing attendees’ interactions with the industry’s most active sports planners. Lucey works to promote Irvine’s sports facilities, including those at the Orange County Great Park, to attract major sports tournaments and events worldwide. During the first six months of the 2018-2019 fiscal year, he...
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EEO-1 Filing Delayed and Extended

Monday, February 04, 2019

The EEO-1 submission deadline has been extended to May 31, 2019. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has delayed the “opening day” of the 2018 EEO-1 Survey to early March 2019 and moved the due date to May 31, 2019. The recent government shutdown caused this postponement. The EEO-1 is an annual survey that requires all private employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract, subcontract or purchase order amounting to $50,000 or more to file the EEO-1 report. Details and instructions for the 2018 EEO-1 filers, including the exact date...
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Form 300A: Don’t Forget to Post Through April

Monday, February 04, 2019

Businesses need remember to post the Form 300A summary of job-related injuries and illnesses from 2018 at their place of business from February 1 through April 30. Employers are required to post only the summary (Form 300A) — not the log (Form 300). The summary must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in the previous year and were logged on the Form 300. Companies with no recordable injuries or illnesses in the previous year still must post the summary with zeros on the “total” line. A company executive must certify all establishment summaries. The summary must be displayed in a common area...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Members Recognized in Forbes’ America’s Best Employers for Diversity

Monday, February 04, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle members Kaiser Permanente, Google, and University of California, Irvine, have been recognized as some of America’s Best Employers for Diversity in 2019 by Forbes. Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to create its second annual ranking of America’s best employers for diversity. The list was compiled by surveying 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions. Respondents were first asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation equality, as well as that of general diversity. These responses were...
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Irvine Wins 2018 California Park & Recreation Society’s Award of Excellence in Marketing

Monday, February 04, 2019

The City of Irvine was selected as the 2018 California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) Marketing and Communications Award of Excellence recipient for the “Your Irvine” marketing campaign. The city competed for the award against government agencies serving populations of 250,000 or more. “This award is due to the hard work of a lot of good people in the city dedicated to making life easier and better for our citizens and for everyone who uses our world-class parks,” said Mayor Donald P. Wagner. The CPRS award reflects Irvine’s commitment to strategically and efficiently implement a new online registration and reservations software system...
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OC World Trade Week 2019 Presents Export Experts in the Program’s Panel Discussion

Monday, February 04, 2019

Leading Orange County exporters Billy Grenham of Taco Bell, Harvinder Mudahar of Technologent, and Michael Delaney of Worldwide Environmental Products, Inc., will share their experiences in international trade during the Export Success Panel at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s fifth annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on Thursday, May 16, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. The Export Success Panel is a perennial favorite, offering attendees insights into the challenges and opportunities for business expansion through exporting. Billy Grenham leads international marketing for Taco Bell out of the Global Headquarters in Irvine. He is...
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Career Edge Workshop Helps College Students Hone Employer Sought Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Two dozen students from Orange County colleges and universities attended the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Feb. 2 Career Edge workshop, Practical Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, instructed by Dr. Brian Dozer, director of Webster University, Irvine Metro Campus. Dr. Dozer, who serves as co-chair of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Business and Workforce Development Committee, introduced the group to ethics, ethical issues, and how personal ethical considerations can change the way one makes important decisions.  “Critical thinking and problem solving are essential skills in the 21st century. Dr. Brian Dozer is just the right person to coach attendees in these vital areas of expertise,”...
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City of Hope Joins Greater Irvine Chamber as Platinum-Level Leaders Circle Sponsor

Friday, February 01, 2019

City of Hope has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a Platinum Sponsor. “City of Hope Orange County is proud to join the Greater Irvine Chamber. We look forward to a collaborative year ahead,” said Annette Walker, president, City of Hope Orange County. “Our organizations are committed to passionately advocating for the interests of the Orange County community. The Chamber is focused on improving the community’s economic health, and City of Hope Orange County strives to improve cancer health—it’s a partnership that goes hand in hand.” City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and...
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Taco Bell HQ Renews Lease In Irvine, Staying True to SoCal Roots

Friday, February 01, 2019

Taco Bell, America’s #1 Mexican restaurant, will remain headquartered in Southern California until 2030. The global brand has agreed to an 11-year lease extension for its Restaurant Support Center at the 1 Glen Bell Way location in Irvine. Taco Bell has spent all of its nearly 57 years of business in Southern California and moved into its current building in 2010. The lease agreement with property owners LBA Realty was facilitated by Cushman & Wakefield’s Irvine office.   “As a brand with Southern California in our DNA, we’re excited to remain in Irvine and continue to grow where we have deep roots,”...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Executive Leadership Present State of the Chamber to Irvine City Council

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber executive team made a presentation on the State of the Chamber to the Irvine City Council and members of the public during the Jan. 22 Irvine City Council meeting. The presentation provided insight into recent accomplishments and current initiatives as they relate to the Chamber’s mission to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine. “[Chamber executives] are here to talk about the [Greater Irvine] Chamber and Irvine’s economic vitality,” Irvine Mayor Don Wagner said. “And, there is no better partner than the Chamber of Commerce.” Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Chamber, and Linda DiMario, executive vice...
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Irvine Tops List in Financial Health

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Irvine is the financially healthiest big city in America, according to a new study by a nonprofit dedicated to financial transparency in the public sector. “Irvine is a community that was master-planned for success from its inception more than 50 years ago. Its founders planned the city to ensure sustainable fiscal strength long into the future,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO,Greater Irvine Chamber. “It comes as no surprise that Irvine has been recognized for its financial health.”  California’s other big cities fall firmly in the middle, with Southern California burgs healthier than many of their Northern California counterparts, says Chicago-based watchdog group Truth in Accounting. The...
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OC Students to Explore Career Paths at Irvine-based Tech and Life Science Companies

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Nearly 300 students from Orange County high schools and community colleges are set to visit Irvine-based technology and life science companies for the second annual Irvine Career Discovery Day on Feb. 5, hosted by the Greater Irvine Chamber along with nonprofit partners Irvine Public Schools Foundation, United Way Orange County, and Vital Link. “This is an opportunity for students to see first-hand the exciting 21st century career paths available to them here in Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Irvine Career Discovery Day is part of our workforce development initiative. The Chamber’s mission is to advance the economic...
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Thought Leaders Deliver Insights at Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation Forum

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Thought leaders from the Greater Irvine Chamber and UCI Applied Innovation as well as others from healthcare and technology sectors in Orange County discussed strategic partnerships to an audience of business and community leaders during the 2019 Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation forum hosted by Executive Next Practices Institute on Jan. 24, at UCI Applied Innovation. “The Greater Irvine Chamber is engaged in supporting the innovation ecosystem in impactful ways – research, activities, programs, and most importantly, collaboration with partners to advance our rate of innovation. We are proud to contribute to an ecosystem that fuels amazing levels of life science...
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With Nearly Half a Million Dollars in Closed Business, Kim Am Earns Rainmaker Award for Final Quarter in 2018

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

With $408,385 in closed business, Kim Am has earned the Greater Irvine Chamber’s title of Rainmaker for the last quarter in 2018. Her performance in the Thursday Morning Leads Group contributed to the group’s total of $446,536, putting it in the top spot among all the Leads Groups for total closed sales during the period. Am, vice president and director of sales-payments for Commercial Bank of California, has participated in the Thursday Morning Leads Group since joining the Chamber in November 2018. “Whether it’s showing up to network, continuing to serve others, or continuing to seek opportunities to learn and grow as a person, putting...
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Call for Nominations: Inaugural 2019 Woman of Influence Award

Monday, January 28, 2019

For the first time, the Greater Irvine Chamber will present the Greater Irvine Chamber Woman of Influence Award as part of its Women of Influence event, set for Friday, March 8. The recognition will be awarded to a nominee with demonstrated exemplary professionalism, commitment to providing leadership within their community, and who serves as a mentor or a source of inspiration for other professional women. Nominee must meet the following criteria: Be employed by an active organization located or operating in Orange County. Have a proven track record of professionalism and integrity. Provides leadership, serving her community or industry. Is known to motivate other women within...
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Global Managing Director of Experian Decision Analytics, Steve Wagner, to Deliver OC World Trade Week Keynote Address

Monday, January 28, 2019

Steve Wagner, global managing director of Experian Decision Analytics, will deliver the keynote address at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s fifth annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on Thursday, May 16, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. Wagner was appointed global managing director of Experian Decision Analytics in 2018 and serves as the global business leader for Experian’s analytics, fraud, identity, and decision software businesses. He also serves on the Global Operating Committee of Experian, PLC and as chairman of the Experian social innovation fund, focused on improving the lives of...
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Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner to Provide Annual Update at February Government Affairs Meeting

Monday, January 28, 2019

Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner will provide an annual update to a gathering of business and community leaders at the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Each year, Mayor Wagner addresses the Government Affairs Committee to provide insight on city plans for the upcoming year. This year, Mayor Wagner will discuss the recent election of two new Irvine City Council members, the newly elected officials at the state and federal levels, and the open seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Mayor Wagner has served the City of Irvine since 2016, and was recently...
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NLRB Empowers Companies to Treat More Workers as Independent Contractors

Monday, January 28, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board made it easier for companies to treat their workers as independent contractors excluded from federal labor protections, overturning an Obama-era precedent. By a 3-1 party-line vote, Republican board members sided against shuttle van drivers for SuperShuttle, who were seeking to unionize at Dallas-Fort Worth airport. The NLRB ruled that they were independent contractors, not employees, and therefore weren’t protected by a New Deal-era law enshrining workers’ right to organize. The board overruled a 2014 case, FedEx Home Delivery, in which a Democratic majority on the NLRB had established a standard making it easier for workers to be...
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US Treasury Set to Borrow $1 Trillion for a Second Year to Finance the Deficit

Monday, January 28, 2019

The U.S. Treasury Department is set to maintain elevated sales of long-term debt to finance the government’s widening budget deficit, with new issuance projected to top $1 trillion for a second-straight year. Many strategists at primary-dealer firms predict that the Jan. 30 quarterly refunding announcement will see the Treasury maintain note and bond sales at the record high levels they have boosted them to in recent months. The total amount of 3-, 10- and 30-year securities to be offered at next week’s refunding auctions is seen by most at $84 billion. While that’s $1 billion more than the total for these maturities three months...
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Breaking Down the H-1B Visa Process

Friday, January 25, 2019

H-1B visa season officially opens on April 1, 2019, but employers seeking these high-demand visas have much work to do to be prepared when the day comes — because believe it or not, they’re typically claimed within a week.  The H-1B program allows companies in the U.S. to temporarily hire foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge — workers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher in their specific specialty, or its equivalent, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Stated simply, the H-1B visa — commonly known as a U.S. work visa — allows American employers to...
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Updated Human Trafficking Notices Released

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) recently released updated human trafficking notices for employers. California law requires some businesses to post a human trafficking notice near the public entrance or another conspicuous location where the public and employees may view the notice. The notice provides hotline and text numbers for the public and victims of human trafficking to seek help or report unlawful activity. The notice must be at least 8.5 x 11 inches in size, written in a 16-point font and must be in English, Spanish and one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the county where the business...
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Orange County Great Park Development to Speed Up In 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Progress at the Orange County Great Park was slow for nearly a decade after its most visible feature – the big orange balloon – debuted, but after picking up in 2017, development there is expected to snowball in the next several years. This year at Irvine’s 688-acre sports and recreation mecca, new features are opening, including one of the largest public ice facilities in the country and a 40-acre natural area with trees, walking paths and a dog park. Residents will also get a glimpse of things to come, with the city expected to sign agreements to bring a children’s museum, water...
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Former FBI Special Agent Gina Osborn to Deliver 2019 Women of Influence Keynote

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Gina Osborn, a former FBI Special Agent and current president of G-Girl Productions, will deliver a keynote address to more than 500 expected attendees at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s sixth annual Women of Influence luncheon on Friday, March 8. Osborn is a screenwriter for G-Girl Productions, her entertainment production and content development company. Much of her work is inspired by her 28-year career in law enforcement. She began her career in 1986 by enlisting in the U.S. Army as a Counterintelligence Special Agent where she served six years during the Cold War working the highest profile espionage cases in the European Theater.   In...
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Irvine City Management Addresses Packed House at January Economic Vitality Council Meeting

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Irvine’s city management team provided an update on its plans for the upcoming year to a packed house during the Greater Irvine Chamber’s January Economic Vitality Council (EVC) meeting. “Irvine is a city of tremendous ambition. It was born of ambition. Irvine has a great past and an even greater future ahead of it,” Irvine City Manager John Russo said to more than 60 business and community leaders that attended the meeting. Among other topics, Russo discussed plans and progress at the Orange County Great Park. Maryanna Marisheva, assistant city manager, provided details of Irvine’s newly approved two-year budget. Pete Carmichael, director of...
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$10,000 Grant Awarded to Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution in Orange County

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Edison International recently recognized the Latina Leadership Conference at Concordia University Irvine for its outreach to students in underserved communities with a $10,000 grant. The grant, part of Edison’s commitment to cultivate access to higher education in underserved communities, supports the free half-day Conference for first-generation high school and community college girls and parents to learn how to navigate the road to college. The award marks the first time that the Conference—only in its third year—is recognized with a grant award. With nearly a quarter of its undergraduate student population identifying as Hispanic or Latino, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Concordia...
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Chamber Life Science and Technology Delegation Returning to UK

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber is leading a delegation of City of Irvine officials, business leaders, and life science and technology experts returning to the U.K. The delegates are set to meet with more life science and technology companies that may be exploring expansion into the U.S. and Irvine/Orange County in Southern California specifically. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science/technology industry strength and identify, connect with, and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when considering expansion into the U.S. This Foreign Direct Investment mission, planned for Feb. 11-15,...
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From Travel to IPOs, How Shutdown is Upsetting US Economy

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Delta Air Lines can’t get eight new aircraft in the air. Roughly a million government employees and contractors aren’t being paid. Some Americans who are trying to start small businesses face delays in obtaining the required tax identification number from the IRS. As the partial government shutdown moves through its fourth week with no end in sight, the economic blow is being felt not only by federal workers but also by business people, households and travelers across the country. And while the hit to the overall economy so far remains slight, economist foresee real damage if the shutdown drags into February...
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Major Free Trade Agreements Pending

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

As the new year begins, a number of international trade agreements are pending between the United States and major trading partners. Trade agreements can ensure that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, which will result in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans. U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement First is the 2018 negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement, with the objectives to eliminate barriers to trade, promote conditions of fair competition, increase investment opportunities, provide adequate protection of intellectual property rights, establish effective procedures for implementing and applying the agreements and resolving disputes, and to further trilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation. The...
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SB 1300 Expands FEHA Litigation, But Employers and Lawyers Beware

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1300 (Jackson) on Sept. 30, 2018 as Chapter 955. Among other provisions, this comprehensive bill makes a number of statutory changes for litigating sexual harassment claims and prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a release of claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act in exchange for a raise or as a condition of employment. Effective Jan.1, 2019, the bill amends Sections 12940 and 12965 of and adds Sections 12923, 12950.2 and 12964.5 to the Government Code. This article first examines the statutory changes made by SB 1300 and then reviews the legislative intent...
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2019 Will ‘Be a Good Year,’ Economist Says

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

“It’s going to be a good year. Things are wonderful. You’re going to have a great 2019,” said expert economist and Greater Irvine Chamber Business Outlook keynote Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics. In his economic forecast presented to more than 600 business and community leaders, Thornberg, who predicted the housing market crash in 2007, expressed overall optimism regarding economic growth in the year ahead. He attributed his positive outlook to rising wages, low unemployment, and increased consumer spending. Also confident moving into the new year was opening speaker Chris Schwarz of the UCI Paul Merage School of Business, who broke down recent...
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Brandman University Open House

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber has partnered with Leaders Circle member Brandman University to welcome community and business leaders to the university’s open house on Thursday, Jan. 31, 5 – 8 p.m.  The open house will feature an expert panel discussion on “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” moderated by Jalin Johnson, Ed.D., Brandman University’s 2017 Faculty Member of Year. A Q&A session with the expert panelists will follow. Attendees will also have the opportunity to explore Brandman University educational programs and scholarships. The Brandman University Irvine Campus is located at 16355 Laguna Canyon Road, Irvine. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP here.
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City’s Budget Presentation Wins National Award

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The City of Irvine has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The award represents the highest form of recognition in government budgeting for a municipal entity. “The City of Irvine being recognized with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, is a testament of the deliberate strategy set forth by the Irvine Master Plan more than half a century ago and the diligence of the Irvine city management team,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “The Chamber’s Board of Directors and professional staff congratulates the Irvine...
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February Career Edge Workshop to Offer College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in collaboration with Google, Irvine Valley College, Webster University, and the business community, will host students from Orange County colleges and universities for the Feb. 2 Career Edge workshop, Practical Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, to be instructed by Dr. Brian Dozer, director of Webster University, Irvine Metro Campus. “Critical thinking and problem solving are essential skills in the 21st century. Dr. Brian Dozer is just the right person to coach attendees in these vital areas of expertise,” Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber said. Courses are designed to inspire, inform, and empower students...
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Meet the Individuals Leading the Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors For Four Decades

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Over the past four decades, the Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors has been chaired by 38 of Orange County’s most accomplished business leaders. They have held fiduciary responsibilities for the Chamber and have been committed to supporting the Chamber’s mission of advancing the economic vitality of greater Irvine. As the Chamber celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2019, the Board is now led by Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of External Relations at UCI Applied Innovation. “The diverse group of business leaders that have served over the past 40 years and continue to serve today on the Greater Irvine...
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Rose Hills Renews as Bronze-level Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Sponsor

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Greater Irvine Chamber member since 2010, Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary has renewed as Bronze-level Leaders Circle sponsor. Since 1914, Rose Hills has been a place to remember. Rose Hills is North America’s largest memorial park, with two full-service mortuaries and five planning centers that serve the world. The year 2019 marks the opening of Hua Yuan at Rose Hills. Hua Yuan ceremonial center provides intentionally designed product and services that meet cultural traditions. Rose Hills is proud to be a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation, and cemetery service providers. With more than 1,800 network providers across...
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South Korean Delegation Visits Greater Irvine Chamber

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A trade delegation of business leaders and tech experts from Gumi, South Korea, along with City of Gumi representatives and Mayor Dr. Se Yong Jang visited the Greater Irvine Chamber to learn more about Irvine’s strong tech sector and to deepen partnerships with tech companies based in Irvine. Facilitating a soft landing for potential foreign direct investors, the Chamber provided delegates a presentation on resources available through the Chamber. As part of their trip, the delegates met with Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr and Executive Vice President Linda DiMario, as well as Irvine city leaders including Mayor Donald...
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California Bill Would Require Businesses to Offer E-Receipts

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

California would become the first state to require businesses to offer electronic receipts unless customers ask for paper copies under legislation proposed on Tuesday. Many businesses and consumers already are moving toward e-receipts, said Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco. But he said a law is needed because many consumers don’t realize most paper receipts are coated with chemicals prohibited in baby bottles, can’t be recycled and can contaminate other recycled paper because of the chemicals known as Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS). His bill would require all businesses to provide proof of purchase receipts electronically starting in 2022 unless a customer...
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Tourism Industry Jobs Form Big Piece of California’s Economic Foundation

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

By Terry MacRae, 2018 chair of the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, commissioner on the Visit California Board of Directors, chief executive officer, president and founder of Hornblower Cruises & Events. Vacations to California’s natural wonders, cultural riches and exciting city attractions fuel stable employment and the world’s fifth largest economy. Regardless of where travelers go and what they do in California, vacations are more than memories—they also spur one of California’s strongest economic pillars. In fact, tourism drove $132 billion in travel-related spending in 2017, generating $11 billion in state and local tax revenues. Running a cruises and events company...
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New Year, New Labor Laws to Know

Monday, January 14, 2019

The beginning of the new year is a good time for business owners to take a few moments to familiarize themselves with the new employment laws that they will need to know in 2019. Employment law counsel for the California Chamber of Commerce analyzed the significant bills signed into law last year and prepared a white paper summarizing the legislation’s effects on California employers. Read the latest information on: • An increase in the minimum wage as well as the minimum salary for exempt employees; • A new mandate to train nearly every California employee about sexual harassment prevention that applies even to smaller employers; •...
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Newsom Elevates Labor Commissioner Su to Head State Agency; Picks Business Founder/Forward Thinker as Chief Economic Adviser

Monday, January 14, 2019

The team Governor Gavin Newsom has selected to lead key efforts in his administration includes individuals with many years of experience in both governing and advising policymakers. Two appointments of particular interest to employers are: • Julie Su, state Labor Commissioner in the Brown administration, as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA); and • Lenny Mendonca, longtime advocate for rethinking government operations as co-chairman of the nonprofit organization California Forward, as chief economic and business adviser and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). As labor commissioner and chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement...
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Free 2018 Tax-Preparation Services Available in Irvine

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The City of Irvine, in partnership with Orange County United Way, is offering free tax preparation services to taxpayers who earned less than $60,000 in 2018. Qualifying taxpayers who live, work, or attend school in Irvine can receive help filing their taxes from IRS-trained and certified volunteers, who will also assist eligible taxpayers in applying for tax credits, including the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). Free tax-preparation services are available at Cypress Community Park, 255 Visions in Irvine, from February 5 to April 11. An appointment is required; no walk-ins will be accepted. Call Orange County United Way...
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Marisa Wayne Announced as Opening Speaker at Women of Influence 2019

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Join more than 500 expected attendees at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s sixth annual Women of Influence event on Friday, March 8 where they will hear from opening speaker Marisa Wayne, fitness entrepreneur and co-founder of boutique fitness studio, GritCycle. Wayne drew inspiration from her father, beloved legendary actor John Wayne, for his role in the 1969 movie True Grit, when creating GritCycle. The indoor cycling classes take place in the “Saddle Room” and riders are inspired by the definition of “grit” strategically placed throughout the studios as, “passion and perseverance to achieve one’s goals.”  With three studios in Orange County and their...
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Brandman University Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a Gold-Level Sponsor

Monday, January 07, 2019

Brandman University, a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber since 1998, has joined the Chamber’s Leaders Circle as a gold-level sponsor. “Brandman University couldn’t be more aligned with the mission of the Greater Irvine Chamber. We both help companies recruit and retain highly skilled employees. The Chamber’s recent five-star rating, and our honors for innovation and leadership highlight our organizations’ commitment to excellence. And we both strive to be of service to grow and improve our thriving community. We are thrilled to partner with the Chamber and fellow members,” said Shelly Neal, vice chancellor of Strategic Initiatives, Brandman University. Brandman University is...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Members Among Glassdoor Best Places to Work in 2019

Monday, January 07, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle members Google and Kaiser Permanente as well as Chamber member Smile Brands, Inc. were ranked in the top 100 best places to work in a recent Glassdoor survey. Google is one of three companies that have made the list every year since its inception in 2009. The Glassdoor survey breaks down its lists using company size: 50 Best Places to Work (honoring employers with 1,000 or more employees) and 50 Best Small & Medium Companies to Work  (honoring employers with fewer than 1,000 employees). Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Work in 2019 list features winning employers hiring across a range of...
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Irvine Ranked Among Top Ten Safest Cities Worldwide

Monday, January 07, 2019

“Irvine has held the status of the Safest City of its size in America by the FBI for 13 consecutive years. It is no surprise to learn that our city is now ranked among the top ten safest cities in the world,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “This accomplishment is in large part the result of a visionary Irvine Master Plan set forth more than a half a century ago, excellent city management, a world-class police department, and engaged residents and business leaders that take pride in their community.” According to a recent statistical analysis by CEOWORLD...
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Life Science & Technology Delegation Returning to the U.K.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber/Orange County, California January 7, 2019                                                                                               The Greater Irvine Chamber is leading a delegation of City officials, business leadership and life science and technology experts returning to the U.K.. We plan to meet with more life science and technology companies that may be exploring expansion into the U.S. and Irvine/Orange County in Southern California specifically. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science/technology industry strength and identify, connect with and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when they consider expansion into the U.S. This Foreign Direct Investment mission...
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US Payrolls Rise 312,000, Wages Accelerate in Jobs Blowout

Friday, January 04, 2019

U.S. employers added the most workers in 10 months as wage gains accelerated and labor-force participation jumped, reflecting a robust job market that nevertheless faces mounting risks in 2019. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 312,000 in December, easily topping all forecasts, after an upwardly revised 176,000 gain the prior month, a Labor Department report showed. Average hourly earnings rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier, more than projected and matching the fastest pace since 2009. Meanwhile, the jobless rate rose from a five-decade low to 3.9 percent, reflecting more people actively seeking work. The dollar surged, U.S. stock futures remained higher and Treasuries...
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Senate Leader Announces Committee Assignments for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session

Thursday, January 03, 2019

California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), has announced the Senate’s leadership positions and committee assignments for the 2019-2020 legislative session, which reconvenes on January 7. Designated committee chairs and vice chairs will be formally adopted by the Senate when it reconvenes. Senate Leadership Positions Senator Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Senate Majority Leader. Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Assistant Majority Leader. Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Majority Whip. Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Scott D. Wiener (D-San Francisco), Assistant Majority Whips. Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), Democratic Caucus Chair.   Standing Committees Agriculture Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), Chair. Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), Vice Chair. Appropriations Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D-La...
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Why Slowing Economies Could Prod US and China to Reach Deal

Thursday, January 03, 2019

The Trump administration and China are facing growing pressure to blink in their six-month stare-down over trade because of jittery markets and portents of economic weakness. The import taxes the two sides have imposed on hundreds of billions of each other’s goods — and the threat of more to come — have heightened anxiety on each side of the Pacific. The longer their trade war lasts, the longer companies and consumers will feel the pain of higher-priced imports and exports. Their conflict is occurring against the backdrop of a slowdown in China and an expected U.S. slump that a prolonged trade war...
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280,000-Square-Foot Ice Skating Facility Opens at OC Great Park

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Whether you’re practicing triple salchows or tying your laces for the first time, the new Great Park Ice facility is open for public skating sessions as of Wednesday, Jan. 2. The long anticipated 280,000-square-foot rink – part of the Anaheim Ducks RINKS network – has been under construction since February 2017. Though two of the four ice sheets, a restaurant and Ducks team store aren’t quite finished, the public is invited to check out the facility and take a whirl on the two completed ice sheets, said Art Trottier, vice president of the Anaheim Ducks RINKS, which runs ice facilities in Anaheim and four...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Marks its 40th Year Supporting the Visionary Irvine Master Plan

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A Message from Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr Originally published in the Jan. 3, 2019 issue of the Orange County Register|Irvine World News. As the Greater Irvine Chamber celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year, the organization’s professional staff and Board of Directors continues its work to support the Irvine Master Plan and to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine. Through its numerous programs and events, the Greater Irvine Chamber convenes thousands of business leaders every year to build long-lasting professional relationships. The Greater Irvine Chamber has partnered with Irvine’s highly-ranked schools and 15 colleges and universities on programs that help ensure a...
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Pacific Western Bank Returns as Women of Influence Title Sponsor

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Pacific Western Bank is returning as the title sponsor for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2019 Women of Influence event. Pacific Western Bank, ranked the #1 best bank in America for 2017 by Forbes, is focused on the needs of the business community. With over $25 billion in assets, Pacific Western Bank’s local focus and national reach is achieved through the concerted efforts of a family of companies, which includes CapitalSource and Square 1 Bank. Pacific Western Bank has a proven track record of delivering a level of service, expertise, and speed of execution for any company, regardless of size, scope, industry or...
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Strength of Master Plan Highlighted in Business Facilities Magazine

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

The strength of Irvine’s Master Plan was recently featured in an online article from Business Facilities Magazine, a leading full-service media brand specializing in the site selection marketplace. Mentioned in the feature are the many reasons Irvine is poised for economic growth and success, including its highly-ranked educational institutions, its growing innovation ecosystem, and livable neighborhood centers. Read the full article below. Irvine, CA: The Smart Choice Why Irvine, CA? Sometimes the address says it all. Everyone knows that there are certainly less expensive places to start or locate a business—any city in North Dakota or Alabama for starters—but there isn’t a smarter...
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CalChamber Poll: Optimism on Jobs, Anxiety over Cost of Living

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

California voters are feeling better about the economy, but are still anxious about the cost of living, according to the recently released 2018 CalChamber Poll. Nearly two-thirds of voters say that more new jobs have been created where they live, up steadily from just 43 percent in 2015. Job increases have been noticed in every region of the state, including inland California. In addition to more new jobs overall, voters statewide say that most of the jobs being created lead to higher pay, as opposed to being dead-end jobs. A majority of residents in every region of the state, except the Inland...
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Data Showing Balanced Growth Contrasts with Public Pessimism on State of Economy

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, will be the keynote speaker for the Greater Irvine Chamber's Jan. 10, 2019 Business Outlook event. In an article for CalChamber, Thornberg addresses the impact of President Trump’s actions in the months ahead on economic outcomes in 2020: The 2018 midterm election is finally behind us, and proved to be just as dramatic as would befit today’s hyper-charged political environment. Moreover, the final results pretty much assure that the drama coming out of Washington, D.C. will not lessen over the next two years of the Trump administration. Indeed, without even taking a breath, it feels as if...
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Irvine City Management to Detail 2019 Plans at January Economic Vitality Council Meeting

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s January Economic Vitality Council (EVC) meeting will include a special opportunity for business and community leaders to meet with Irvine’s city management team as they provide an update on their plans for the upcoming year.  “We are very excited to have the Irvine city management team visit the Chamber and share their vision and progress in-person with all our hard-working chamber and committee members. It’s a valuable opportunity for all those working to support the economic health of Irvine to listen, learn and collaborate further" said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. Irvine City Manager John Russo will...
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State-Run Retirement Savings Plan Gets OK; Mandatory Enrollment Coming in 2020

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

California employers that don’t already offer a workplace retirement savings vehicle will be required to either begin offering one via the private market or provide their employees access to CalSavers, a state-run retirement savings plan, as early as June 2020. The CalSavers pilot program is open for employers to enroll; however, mandatory enrollment and contributions do not go into effect until 2020. Employers need not register until then, or later for smaller employers. Emergency regulations governing the CalSavers program were recently approved by the Office of Administrative Law. CalSavers is the result of 2016 legislation enacting the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SCRSP) for...
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CalChamber White Paper Recaps New Laws for 2019

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce has released the list of new employment laws scheduled to take effect in 2019 and later that will affect daily operations and policies of California employers. Three of the new 2019 laws are featured in the latest edition of the CalChamber Capitol News Report. The video provides details about expansion of sexual harassment prevention training requirements and the need to provide lactation accommodations in the workplace, as well as providing information about a mandate requiring that women be placed on corporate boards. Sexual Harassment Training In the video, CalChamber Executive Vice President and General Counsel Erika Frank discusses new...
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Southern California Office Markets Offer Diverse Choices for Expanding Businesses

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

By Arlyn Stoik, Principal, Avison Young After more than 24 years in commercial real estate, Avison Young has never been more excited by the multiple, diverse options for expanding businesses in Southern California. Many of us have heard about Southern California’s booming economy. When we focus on commercial real estate, however, we get a much clearer picture of the industries, properties, regional markets, and undiscovered opportunities that underlie the region’s prosperity and promise. It is a region ideally suited to a broad range of users with a diversity of real estate needs. Commercial real estate touches every industry and all of our...
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2018 Validates Strength of Master Plan

Monday, December 17, 2018

Looking back on 2018, it’s clear that Irvine’s Master Plan has created a city built to succeed. This year’s accomplishments touch almost every aspect of life — schools, safety, family, jobs and open space. “This didn’t happen by chance,” says Bryan Starr, president of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “Irvine was master planned to succeed.” As the city prepares for its 47th birthday on Dec. 28, one thing is clear: Irvine is hitting its stride. Photo courtesy of Ryan Lilyengren.             HERE’S THE YEAR IN REVIEW: In January, Irvine was named the most fiscally sound city in America by The Fiscal Times. In April, about 300 people gathered...
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7 Companies That Do Everything Well

Monday, December 17, 2018

There are companies that do one thing well. There are companies that do a few things well. Then there are the companies that do everything well. This year, seven companies stand apart for scoring well beyond most of the pack in every one of the five categories that go into the Management Top 250, a ranking compiled by the Drucker Institute of the most effectively run major U.S. companies. Those seven companies: Apple Inc., Intel Corp., Accenture PLC, Procter & Gamble Co., 3M Co., Nike Inc., and Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Edwards Lifesciences Corp. As a group they aren’t the seven...
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Irvine Poised for Continued Economic Stability, However, Control Your Enthusiasm for the US

Monday, December 17, 2018

By Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. As we are about to kick off the new year, the Greater Irvine Chamber has every reason to be grateful for the current state of the city and optimistic about its future. While trends affecting other regions and the nation as a whole may indicate volatility, the City of Irvine remains far ahead of the curve on the issue of economic health because of the diversification of its commercial portfolio. This did not just happen by chance, it was a deliberate strategy set forth by the Irvine Master Plan more than half...
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United Kingdom Life Science Companies Experience Firsthand the Reason Irvine's Strong Innovation Ecosystem is Capturing the World's Attention

Monday, December 17, 2018

Not taking a second seat to Boston, the Bay Area, or anywhere else for that matter, the Greater Irvine Chamber has strategically targeted U.K. companies for expansion into Irvine’s strong life science and innovation ecosystem. From research conducted by the Chamber’s economic development team, the U.K. life science sector was identified to have the greatest potential globally for expansion to the U.S.—more specifically, to Irvine. The Chamber engaged its foreign direct investment initiative (FDI), sending a Chamber delegation twice to the U.K. to convene with executives who have expressed readiness to expand their companies into the U.S. As a follow-up to...
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Horizon Consumer Science Says Outlet Malls ‘Winning Price Game’ With Airport Travel Retail

Friday, December 14, 2018

Global shopper spending has fallen by $15 billion in two years, with the Chinese now accounting for 40 percent of purchasing in travel retail. The convenience factor and speed of the shopping experience means airport shops can’t compete with downtown outlets in categories attracting typically higher spends, according to Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Horizon Consumer Science. Responding to a question on the rise of liberalized tax and duty free regimes specifically in places like Hainan, China, Horizon founder Dr. Ian L. Cesa told TRBusiness: “[Airports] have decent prices, but they are not considered the best prices – outlet malls win...
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Irvine Has the Best Broadband in the US

Friday, December 14, 2018

Analysis of more than 115M Internet speed tests reveals that Irvine, California, has the best broadband in the country, with an average download speed of 124Mbps and an upload speed of 52Mbps. Unsurprisingly, that was on Google Fiber, as were most of the top 10 cities, shown below. Speed test company Ookla said that it calculated the rankings by using a weighted average of upload and download speeds. When analyzing fastest ISPs, Ookla considers top providers (all ISPs with 3 percent or more of total test samples in the market for the period). The company then determines the fastest provider using Speed Score which...
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Coded in OC Partner Vincit California Acquires Devise Interactive

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Irvine-based software design and development company, and Coded in OC founding partner Vincit California has recently acquired Devise Interactive, an award-winning brand-focused, engineering studio. Devise Interactive was founded in 2013, and has designed prominent digital solutions for many notable clients, including Tapatio Hot Sauce, Creamistry, and Dacik Fit Foods. “Orange County is a well-known hub for many leading food and restaurant brands. With Devise Interactive we have even stronger expertise to serve these industries,” said Ville Houttu, CEO, Vincit California. "I welcome our new employees to the wonderful group of Vincitizens, and look forward to working with them and their fabulous...
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Destination Irvine Promotes Irvine to Nearly 200 Chinese Tour Operators

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Destination Irvine’s senior director Wendy Haase and director of corporate sales AnaLaura Becerra attended on Dec. 5 the Orange County Visitors Association and Disneyland Resort Tour Operator Trade Show at Disney California Adventure where they promoted the destination to nearly 200 Los Angeles and Southern California-based Chinese tour operators. The trade show included networking and a presentation by Destination Irvine, highlighting Irvine’s many attractions including the 118-foot-high helium Great Park Balloon, and world-class shopping destination, Irvine Spectrum. According to Visit California, by the end of the decade, China is projected to surpass Canada in arrivals, bolstering its already-lofty position as California's top...
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Emerging Business Leaders Spread Holiday Cheer to Nonprofits

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Nearly 200 guests were in the holiday and giving spirit at the annual Greater Irvine Chamber Holiday Party. The Dec. 5 event, hosted by the Emerging Business Leaders Council at AV Club, Irvine, raised more than $3,500 to benefit several Orange County nonprofit organizations. “The Greater Irvine Chamber is committed to supporting our nonprofit community partners. This event provided us with an opportunity to raise awareness as well as funds for these philanthropic organizations,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber.  All funds collected through monetary donations to the individual charities and silent auction purchases, for such items as a...
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Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel Presents New Drone Program

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel presented an overview of the Irvine Police Department’s new drone program to a room of business and community leaders during the Dec. 6 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. Joining Chief Hamel was Lieutenant Bill Bingham who relayed the details of the program, and the various situations in which the drones will be deployed such as search and rescue missions, high-risk operations, and fire monitoring. The presentation from Chief Hamel and Lieutenant Bingham is part of the department’s commitment to remain transparent and inform Irvine constituents of the steps being taken to protect Irvine’s residents, business, and...
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Swearing-in Ceremony Held for Irvine City Council

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Donald P. Wagner was sworn in for a second term as the City of Irvine’s Mayor, and newly elected Councilmembers Farrah N. Khan and Anthony Kuo were sworn in to office on Dec. 11 in front of a capacity audience during the City Council meeting at the recently renovated Council Chamber. "The Greater Irvine Chamber is enthusiastic about our new city leadership. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the city as we work to enhance the economic vitality of Irvine," said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. Mayor Wagner was sworn in for a two-year term, while Councilmembers...
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Next Steps for North American Trade

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

After more than a year of negotiations, with plenty of ups and downs along the way, President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and now former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on November 30. This agreement – a follow-on to NAFTA – will modernize the trade partnership that has formed the basis of North American relations for a quarter of a century.  After carefully assessing the new deal and its impact on our members, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has thrown its support behind the USMCA, which is critical to maintaining strong economic growth in...
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Statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Japan Business Council

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Japan Business Council provided a written testimony to the U.S. International Trade Commission on Dec. 10, on negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. As stated in the testimony, the organizations aimed to “emphasize the importance of any potential U.S.-Japan trade agreement to set high-standards and rules in the Indo-Pacific while noting that others in the region are rapidly pursuing and finalizing agreements that have similar potential and far-reaching implications for American business interests.” The potential agreements include the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership that will enter into force Dec. 30, 2018, and...
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UK Trade with Canada Up 14 Percent since New Free Trade Agreement Introduced

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

New statistics released in December reveal that British businesses are already benefiting from the ability to trade freely with Canada without paying any duties at Canadian customs. UK exports of goods to Canada have increased by 13.7 percent to £6.15 billion in the last 12 months since a new free trade agreement was introduced. The growth in exports coincides with the provisional implementation of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in September 2017. It is a significant increase when compared to the 5 years prior to the agreement being introduced, which saw annual trade increase by an average of just 3.9...
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US Companies Can Grow Their Business in Southeast Asia Thanks to New Agreements with Singapore

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Commercial Service team in Singapore has developed several new agreements with Singapore leaders that will help U.S. companies grow their business in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in the region known as ASEAN—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. With a combined population of 647 million people, a burgeoning middle class, and a young and growing population, the ASEAN region presents tremendous commercial opportunities for U.S. companies. On Sept. 13, Under Secretary for International Trade Gil Kaplan signed Statements of Intent on behalf of the International Trade Administration (ITA) with the Singapore Business Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Singapore Manufacturing...
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Irvine CubeSat STEM Program Successfully Launches First Two High School Student-built CubeSat in the West Coast

Friday, December 07, 2018

On Nov. 10 and Dec. 3, 2018, the students, instructors, and supporters of the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program celebrated the final milestones in the student’s journey to assemble, test and launch the Irvine01 and Irvine02 nanosatellites into orbit. The successful launches makes it the first high school program in the West Coast to launch operational, all high school student-built CubeSat’s into orbit. The Irvine CubeSat STEM Program (ICSP) is a collaboration between Greater Irvine Chamber education partners Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), Irvine Unified School District and Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) to train and inspire the next generation of STEM...
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Survey: US Businesses Added a Solid 179,000 Jobs Last Month

Friday, December 07, 2018

U.S. businesses hired new workers at a solid pace in November, adding 179,000 jobs, according to a private survey. The report comes as other data also suggest the U.S. economy remains healthy, even as the financial markets have gyrated over concerns about a trade conflict with China and slowing global growth. Payroll processor ADP said that last month’s job gains slowed from October’s strong showing of 225,000. Still, November’s hiring is enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Job gains were strong in health care, which added 37,000 jobs, and in hotels and restaurants, which gained 26,000. Professional and technical services, which...
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More People Are Going Abroad but They Are Spending Less Money on Their Travels, Reveals Ongoing Worldwide Study of Travel Shopping Behavior

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Recent travel trends underline a significant worldwide spending downturn that could have serious implications for the travel retail industry, says Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Horizon Consumer Science. The 2018 Global Traveler Report reveals that despite record numbers of air travelers, up from 415 million in 2012 to a projected 808 million this year, the size of the travel retail market is slowly shrinking. Global travel retail spending has dropped by $15 billion from $397 billion in 2016 to a projected $382 billion this year. About The 2018 Global Traveler Report: More than 31,000 traveling consumers from 38 countries have been surveyed...
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#ShopIrvine and Discover New and Familiar Favorites

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

With the holiday season in full swing, shopping and dining activity is, too. The #ShopIrvine initiative reminds Irvine residents that their sales tax dollars support programs that benefit all of the city’s citizens. “As a resident of Irvine, it makes sense to shop and dine here because tax dollars generated go toward our many fine services such as education, infrastructure, parks and open spaces, and police, which help to keep Irvine’s status as the safest big city in America,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. It’s not just the holiday season that makes the timing of the #ShopIrvine initiative...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Primary Research Reveals Business Needs

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Conducting primary research on behalf of the Greater Irvine Chamber, 35 Chamber member volunteers visited more than 210 Irvine businesses during the October Business Outreach Rally. The volunteers conducted a survey to identify challenges that Irvine businesses face, and provided copies of the Business Outreach Resource Guide, which features information about support resources offered through the Chamber and its partner organizations. Out of the businesses surveyed, a majority felt that they either well exceeded or met their business performance goals. More than half of the businesses surveyed export and/or import products or services. The top two challenges that the surveyed businesses...
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Kate Klimow Announced as 2019 Business Outlook Master of Ceremonies

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of External Relations at UCI Applied Innovation, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 10th annual 2019 Business Outlook Breakfast to be held on Thursday, Jan. 10.  The economic-forecast event is one of the largest of its kind in Orange County, drawing hundreds of professionals, executives, and community leaders from throughout the region. Klimow has experience working in both public and private sectors throughout her career. Her varied experience in government relations and public affairs includes working for the Arizona Department of Commerce, Parsons Corporation, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disneyland Resort,...
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Swearing-in Ceremony Set for Irvine

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Donald P. Wagner will be sworn in for a second, two-year term as the City of Irvine’s Mayor, and newly elected Councilmembers Farrah N. Khan and Anthony Kuo also will be sworn in, each to a four-year term. They join sitting Mayor Pro Tem Christina Shea and Councilmember Melissa Fox. The swearing-in ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 11, in the newly renovated Council Chamber. "The Greater Irvine Chamber is enthusiastic about our new city leadership. I encourage the business community to join us in congratulating them as they assume office," said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine...
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Labor Pushes to Protect California Ruling That Redefines Who Is an Employee

Monday, December 03, 2018

Seeking to protect a legal victory they believe is the most important for California workers in a generation, organized labor and its allies will launch efforts to bolster a recent state court decision on independent contractors. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, will introduce legislation to add to state law a stricter “ABC test” for defining employees. The test, adopted unanimously by the California Supreme Court this spring, threw nearly three decades of legal precedent up in the air and generated intense pushback from the business community. The bill would strengthen rules that make it harder for employers to classify workers as contractors and...
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US, Mexico, Canada Sign New Trade Agreement

Monday, December 03, 2018

On November 30, President Donald J. Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). President Trump called the new USMCA the “most modern, up-to-date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country.” At the signing, at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, President Trump personally thanked outgoing Mexican President Peña Nieto, who then concluded the ceremony celebrating the close relationship between Mexico, Canada, and the United States, saying, “We’re ready to begin a new chapter in our shared history.” Next Steps Now that the agreement has been signed, the next steps per...
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Linda DiMario to Serve as Panelist at Executive Next Practices Workshop

Friday, November 30, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, will serve as a panelist at the 2019 Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation forum hosted by Executive Next Practices Institute on Thursday, Jan. 24, 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. at UCI Applied Innovation, 5141 California Ave, Irvine. DiMario will discuss strategic partnerships to an audience of business and community leaders. Other panelists include Feyzi Fathel, CEO, Corent Tech, Shawn Dougherty, COO and founder, mophie/EXOIO, Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer, director, external relations, UCI Applied Innovation, and Debbie Nix, vice president, HR and Risk Management, Covenant Care. “I look forward to sharing the stage with these experts and...
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Tammi Nieto Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Team

Friday, November 30, 2018

Tammi Nieto has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber professional staff as Operations Coordinator. Her primary areas of responsibility include guest services, general office administration, and departmental support. “I began employment with the Greater Irvine Chamber as a short-term employee. When offered to fill the position permanently and continue to work with such a professional, positive team, I immediately embraced the opportunity,” said Nieto. “I am thrilled to continue to provide superior customer service, and contribute to the strengthening of the businesses in the City of Irvine.” Prior to joining the Chamber staff, Nieto worked in educational institutions for 12 years performing project...
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Irvine Transitions to a Two-Year Budget

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Irvine City Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Nov. 27 to enhance long-term financial planning by transitioning from an annual budget cycle to a two-year budget cycle. The two-year budget cycle, beginning fiscal year 2019-20, will be developed in the context of a comprehensive five-year financial plan. A two-year budget promotes transparency, brings increased accountability to government spending, greater stability, and allows for long-term strategic planning. The process provides for enhanced long-term planning and sets spending levels for a two-year period. The creation of the City’s two-year budget will begin with the Finance Commission reviewing the initial baseline budget in...
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2019 Women of Influence Event Set for March 8

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s sixth annual Women of Influence event is set for Friday, March 8, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m., at the Marriott Irvine, 18000 Von Karman Ave. Each year the program draws hundreds of attendees and features keynotes delivered by prominent professional women who share details of their journeys as they find their way through challenges and discovery to achieve success. Watch for more details as they develop and register now to secure your seat at the 2019 Women of Influence event. Tickets for the 2019 Women of Influence luncheon event are $90 for Greater Irvine Chamber members, and $115...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Sandra Crouch Nominated for OC Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Award

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sandra Crouch, CPA, the controller for the Greater Irvine Chamber, has been nominated by colleagues for the Orange County Business Journal’s 2018 Chief Financial Officer of the Year Award in the category of controller. “I’m humbled and grateful to work with a professional staff and leadership that recognizes the value of the foundational work necessary to make an enterprise successful,” Crouch said. Since joining the Chamber staff in 2014, Crouch has handled financial affairs for the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce including the organization’s Business and Economic Development, Destination Irvine, Greater Irvine Education Foundation, and Prosperity Political Action Committee. She has been...
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Holiday Party to Benefit Greater Irvine Chamber Nonprofit Partners

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

As part of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s annual Holiday Party on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at AV Club Irvine, a silent auction will be held in benefit of the following Chamber member nonprofit organizations:   Alzheimer’s Association Families Forward Habitat For Humanity of Orange County Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Make-A-Wish Orange County & Inland Empire Olive Crest Ronald McDonald House Orange County Tilly’s Life Center United Way Orange County Items up for auction include a suite at an Anaheim Ducks game, tickets to a Live Nation-hosted concert, a stay at the Fashion Island Hotel, and other valuable items. Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to make monetary donations to these participating...
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City of Irvine Has Released Interactive Web-based Development Map

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The City of Irvine has released a new electronic, interactive, web-based map to track development proposals in an effort to enhance transparency and aid citizens in understanding projects that may affect the community. The map features an overview of major developments approved in the last five years, including those under construction and recently completed. The map will be regularly updated as new proposals are submitted for review and as major projects start construction. City of Irvine staff has placed this valuable information on the City’s website. For more information, call 949-724-6450, or visit cityofirvine.org/transparency.
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IRS Reminds Eligible Employees to Plan Now for Health FSAs in 2019

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding eligible employees that now is the time to begin planning to take full advantage of their employer’s health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) during 2019. FSAs allow employees to use tax-free dollars to pay medical expenses not covered by other health plans. Eligible employees need to decide how much to contribute through payroll deductions before the plan year begins, so many employers are offering their employees the option to sign up now for participation during the 2019 plan year. Employees who want to contribute to an FSA must make that choice for 2019, even if they contributed...
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Important California Labor Law Changes for 2019

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

With the new year around the corner, now is the time to prepare for new labor laws that will impact California businesses in 2019. Among those includes a new law, signed in 2016, which raises the minimum wage incrementally, boosting it on Jan. 1 to $11 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and $12 per hour for businesses staffing more than 26 employees. “I think a lot of companies are already paying more than minimum wage,” said Karen Alary, managing partner of The Personnel Perspective, an HR consulting firm in Santa Rosa. “Because our unemployment rate is so low and qualified workers...
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Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel to Discuss the City’s New Drone Program

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel will address business and community leaders at the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting on Thursday, Dec. 6, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Chief Hamel will discuss Irvine’s new drone program, which has been implemented to help with search and rescue, fire monitoring, and acquiring access to miles of inaccessible terrain. As the FBI’s #1-ranked Safest Large City in America since 2005, Irvine’s Police Department maintains a stellar reputation that helps to protect Irvine’s residents, business and visitors. A 25-year law enforcement veteran who has been with Irvine Police Department (IPD) since 1995, Chief Hamel is the first Irvine...
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Cal Chamber - Led Coalition Continues to Seek Changes to Confusing Regulations

Monday, November 19, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce continues to seek technical changes to state regulations proposed to implement the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) and the statewide ban-the-box law, which both went into effect on January 1. These laws amend the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In September, a CalChamber-led coalition sent a letter urging the Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) to clarify the overly broad and confusing regulations because they make it difficult for employers to comply. The council has since revised its regulations and the coalition submitted additional comments because the draft regulations still are confusing for employers. Regulating Criminal...
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Save-The-Date: Orange County World Trade Week 2019 Slated for May 16

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber will host the fifth annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on Thursday, May 16, 2019, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. The OCWTW 2019 program will feature a keynote address by a representative from Experian Decision Analytics, an Export Success Panel discussion, and an International Resource EXPO. Returning are Founding and Presenting Sponsor UPS, and Champion Sponsor HSBC. OCWTW brings together Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and members of business community to grow awareness of the impact of international trade and export...
A Strong U.S. Economy Will Boost Global Growth in 2019

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

By Peter Coy, Bloomberg Business Judging by recent headlines, the global economy is on a wild roller coaster that’s going mostly downhill. There are Brexit, trade wars, Italy’s fight with the European Union, renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, a Chinese debt bomb, jittery stock markets, intermittent capital flight from developing nations, and more. The data tell a calmer and happier story. According to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy is on track to grow a healthy 3.7 percent in 2018. That’s exactly how fast it grew in 2017. The IMF’s forecast for 2019? Again, 3.7 percent. It’s a plateau, all right, but a high plateau—call it the Altiplano of...
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UK Life Science Executives Visit the Cove @ UCI to Explore US Expansion in Irvine

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

As part of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Life Science Showcase event, life science company executives from throughout the U.K. made their way to UC Irvine. In collaboration with UCI Applied Innovation, the Greater Irvine Chamber hosted 10 executives from U.K.-owned life science companies to position Southern California and UCI as a strong global brand for innovation and entrepreneurship. Applied Innovation worked closely with the Chamber to promote industry cluster growth in the region. U.K. life science company executives join the Greater Irvine Chamber and UCI Applied Innovation executives for a lunchtime presentation at the Cove @ UCI. Photo: Michelle Mar “When you study the facts, every indicator reveals...
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US Chamber Awards Greater Irvine Chamber the Nation's Highest Accreditation

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The United States Chamber of Commerce has awarded the Greater Irvine Chamber with 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community. “Receiving the highest honor in the chamber industry is a testament to our tremendous Board of Directors, dedicated volunteers, and exceptional professional staff,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “I’m extremely proud of our collective accomplishment as we continue our efforts to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine.” The Greater Irvine Chamber is one of seven chambers in California to hold this distinction, and one of 120 in the nation....
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Cox Automotive Renews as Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Sponsor

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cox Automotive has renewed its partnership with the Greater Irvine Chamber as a Silver-level Leaders Circle sponsor. With more than 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents, Cox Automotive strives to understand client needs by pairing its insights and research with business goals – delivering inspired results to bridge the gap between consumers, manufacturers, dealers and lenders at every stage of the automotive experience. The organization focuses on continually improving its products to create faster vehicle transactions, enabling consumers to have a seamless online-to-offline experience. Leaders Circle members of the Greater Irvine Chamber are among the most influential companies and organizations in Irvine...
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Strong Jobs Growth in October Powers US Economy Forward

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) praised the latest monthly jobs report, which shows that the U.S. economy continues to grow strongly and create jobs. However, a September trade deficit running 21 percent worse than a year ago means urgent action is required on the trade front. The monthly jobs summary reported 250,000 new jobs in October, including 32,000 new manufacturing jobs. So far this year, U.S. manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs, the best record since 1995. Unemployment remains at a historically low level of 3.7 percent, while 3.1 percent growth in average hourly earnings has finally broken through the 3 percent threshold.  Unfortunately, the latest federal data also reveals serious...
OC Business Journal Directory of Influence Features Greater Irvine Chamber Member Executives

Thursday, November 08, 2018

More than 50 executives from Greater Irvine Chamber member companies have been featured in Orange County Business Journal’s third annual OC 500 Directory of Influence. The directory features an impressive list of influential business and community leaders from a variety of Orange County companies, ranging from nonprofits to large corporations. Congratulations to the following professionals for this prestigious accomplishment: Barry S. Arbuckle, President, Chief Executive, MemorialCare Health System Paul Bay, President, Americas, Ingram Micro Steve Bilt, Chief Executive, Smile Brands Gary Brahm, Chancellor, Chief Executive, Brandman University Donald Bren, Chairman, Irvine Co. Richard Cabrera, Executive Vice President, Umpqua Bank Bill Carpou, President, Chief Executive, OCTANe Steve Case, EVP, Office Properties,...
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Destination Irvine Recognized as Finalist in 2018 Stella Awards

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Destination Irvine was recognized as a finalist in the 2018 Stella Awards in the Best CVB/DMO Far West category. The Stella Awards are Meetings & Conventions and Successful Meetings comprehensive awards program, which recognizes organizations from around the globe that consistently deliver quality service and innovation to meeting and event professionals. Eligible organizations include hotels, convention centers, conference centers, destination  marketing organization (DMOs)/convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs), destination marketing companies (DMCs), airlines, and cruise lines in 18 categories in six regions in the United States and worldwide. Finalists in each category are determined by meeting planners during an open voting period online,...
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Help Make this Holiday Special by Donating to Toy Drive Benefitting Boys & Girls Club OC

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Emerging Business Leaders Council is hosting a holiday toy drive to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Orange County. A collection bin is located in the lobby of the Greater Irvine Chamber office at 36 Executive Park, Suite 100 in Irvine. Donations of new, unwrapped gifts are encouraged through Dec. 12. Drop off hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Toys collected will be delivered to children ages 6 - 12 on Dec. 15 at the Boys & Girls Club Winter Wonderland event in Santa Ana. The...
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Irvine City Manager John Russo Speaks to a Full House at Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Irvine City Manager John Russo remarked on the master-planned city to a packed room of business and community leaders during the Nov. 1 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. “This is a city that was built on a vision. This is a city that believes in a vision... It’s a city marked by ambition,” Russo said as he cited the brilliance of the Irvine Master Plan set in place more than 50 years ago. Additionally, he gave an overview and examples of what he sees as the five essential values for good governance: transparency, responsiveness, accountability, fiscal prudence, and decisiveness. As a...
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Square Root Designs Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Square Root Designs has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a Gold-level sponsor. The professionals at Square Root customize each project to their clients’ vision – from classic to contemporary, understated to over-the-moon. Square Root has been contracted by international and local celebrities, philanthropists, politicians, athletes, and artists, with event production in Japan, Miami, Nevada, Utah, and New York. The companies work has been covered by shows on Bravo, VH1, HGTV, the Style channel, and many more. Square Root floral designs for The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel have been established as the stapled look for the Ritz-Carlton brand throughout the...
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Edwards Bets Big On Investments

Monday, November 05, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Edwards Lifesciences Corp., Orange County’s largest public company with a nearly $30 billion market value, is also one of its fastest-growing public companies, both in sales and stock growth. The Irvine-based medical device giant, which employs over 4,600 in OC, had two-year sales growth of 29 percent for the period ended June 30, with $3.5 billion in sales. The percentage gain was fourth-best on this week’s Business Journal ranking of the fastest-growing large businesses. More is in store, according to Chief Executive Michael Mussallem, who’s led Edwards since it became an independent company when spun out of...
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IRS: 401(k) and IRA Contribution Limits Increase

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. The IRS issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2018-83. Highlights of Changes for 2019 The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,500 to $19,000. The limit on annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA), which last increased in 2013, is increased from $5,500 to $6,000. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to...
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Irvine Valley College Ranked #3 for Best Online College in California

Monday, November 05, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member Irvine Valley College was ranked third on the 2018-2019 list of Best Online Colleges in California created by the Community for Accredited Online Schools. The ranking for 2-year colleges was created using data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, and considered factors such as quality, affordability, flexibility, and program. “Irvine Valley College is committed to ensuring our students can pursue their educational goals as efficiently as possible,” said President Glenn Roquemore. “Offering a wide variety of online, hybrid and on-campus classes ensures that students have the flexibility to complete their education in...
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Long-term Financial Planning and Transparency in Irvine

Monday, November 05, 2018

This month, the Irvine City Council will consider a significant change to how Irvine prepares and approves its budget. The City’s first-ever two-year budget, developed in the context of a comprehensive five-year financial plan, will be before the City Council at its Nov. 27 meeting. A first review will be before the Finance Commission at its Nov. 5 meeting. The Commission also is expected to provide input to planned Community Budget Workshop locations scheduled for early in 2019. Click here for the Nov.5 Staff Report. City Council approval of a two-year budget cycle would build on the recent Irvine Sunshine Ordinance, which...
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Coded in OC Adds to its Roster of Tech Companies

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Coded in OC, a nonprofit initiative designed to highlight technology companies while growing and retaining a strong technical workforce in Orange County, has recently added four new members to its roster of tech companies: Parapxl, Bold Array, Arcules, and adQuadrant. These companies are featured on the Coded in OC website. Joining the initiative along with community partners Greater Irvine Chamber and Irvine Valley College, is fellow Chamber member UCI Applied Innovation, which is supporting the project with resources ranging from physical space at The Cove and mindshare, to amplifying Coded in OC messaging to their constituency.  Two Greater Irvine Chamber members that are part of...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Welcomes Delegation of UK Life Science Companies

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

As part of its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) initiative, the Greater Irvine Chamber last week hosted a three-day Irvine Lifescience Showcase for executives from 10 U.K. life science companies seeking expansion to the United States. The executives are from Forte Medical, Ampersand + Ampersand, Austin Fraser, Medical Realities, Plasticell, uMed, Innovarius, Cambridge Epigenetix, Kokoon, Performance Fifteen, and the Association of British HealthTech Industries. The visiting executives joined more than 800 conference attendees at OCTANe’s Oct. 29-30 Medical Technology Innovation Forum (MTIF), which is focused on high-growth medical technology innovation and investment. Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber, who...
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OC Tech Funding Tops $100M in 3Q

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Orange County tech funding is growing. According to research from JLL, there was $106 million in total tech funding in the third quarter. It was the second consecutive quarter when tech funding surpassed $100 million and the fourth consecutive year when tech funding has surpassed $500 million. Venture capital and private equity has made up a bulk of the tech funding in the market, and a majority of the capital has gone to IT and software companies. Source: Globe St. Related article: Heavy Concentration of Orange County Startups Located in Irvine
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US GDP Grows Above-Forecast 3.5 Percent on Consumers, Inventories

Friday, October 26, 2018

The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter as consumers opened their wallets, businesses restocked inventories and governments boosted spending, marking the strongest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2014. The annualized rate of gains in gross domestic product compared with the 3.3 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 4.2 percent advance in the prior three months, according to a report from the Commerce Department. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, unexpectedly accelerated to a 4 percent increase -- the best since 2014 -- while the 0.8 percent gain...
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CalChamber Issues Vote Record on Major Business Bills 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce has released a report of California legislators’ floor votes for the second year of the 2017-18 legislative session, focusing on priority bills for the state’s business community. This is the 44th vote record the CalChamber has compiled in response to numerous requests by member firms and local chambers of commerce that would like a gauge by which to measure the performance of their legislators. To help readers assess legislators’ vote records, the charts group bills into 12 areas: agriculture, food and natural resources; corporate governance; education; energy; health care costs, housing and land use; immigration; industrial safety...
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Greater Irvine Chamber to Recognize Emerging Professionals at Inaugural 40 Under 40 Event

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber announces its inaugural 40 Under 40 event that will celebrate and recognize 40 emerging Orange County professionals under the age of 40. The event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum, 6 – 8 p.m. “Orange County and especially Irvine are home to some of the most highly-educated, innovative, and entrepreneurial young professionals in the world. Having the privilege to carry forward the recognition of this unparalleled talent is an honor,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “The Chamber is thrilled to shine the spotlight on the current and...
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Three-day Lifescience Showcase to Highlight Irvine’s Assets to UK Delegation

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber on Oct. 28 is welcoming 10 life science companies from the U.K. seeking expansion to Orange County, and especially Irvine. Executives from Forte Medical, Ampersand + Ampersand, Austin Fraser, Medical Realities, Plasticell, uMed, Innovarius, Cambridge Epigenetix, Kokoon, Performance Fifteen, and the Association of British HealthTech Industries will attend OCTANe’s Medical Technology Innovation Forum, tour some of Irvine’s leading med-tech and innovation companies, and meet with leading hospitals, clinicians, healthcare executives and scientists. The three-day Lifescience Showcase will feature partners including Edwards Lifesciences, Hoag Hospital, The Cove at UCI Applied Innovation, and UCI Medical Center, MemorialCare, and OCTANe among...
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401(k) Rule Change Would Ease Small Companies’ Path to Joint Plans

Monday, October 22, 2018

A new Labor Department rule would make it easier for small businesses to offer 401(k) plans, part of an effort to close a retirement-plan coverage gap that affects millions of employees. The proposed regulation would allow companies to band together to offer 401(k) plans sponsored by entities including business associations. Such arrangements, often called multiple-employer plans, are allowed now for employers with an affiliation or connection, such as companies with a common owner or members of the same industry trade association. The regulation—which the department said could go into effect as soon as early 2019 after a period for comments and possible...
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Destination Irvine's AnaLaura Becerra Promotes City to Medical Technology Stakeholders

Monday, October 22, 2018

AnaLaura Becerra, director of corporate sales, Destination Irvine, developed professional relationships with more than 35 stakeholders from the medical and technology sectors during one-on-one meetings at the Oct. 14 - 15 Connect Medical | Connect Tech conference in Las Vegas. Becerra provided information on Irvine hotels and amenities to life-science companies with an interest in booking meetings in Irvine, including Syneos Health, Stratpharma, Siemens Healthineers, Solara Medical Supplies, Philips, and JTB USA, which has a strong presence in the Japanese market. She also connected with third-party planning organizations, Pinnacle Management, Russell Harris, TW Metals, Honeywell, RedHorse Corp., and Meetings Made Easy, on...
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Irvine City Manager John Russo to Address Business, Community Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, October 22, 2018

Irvine City Manager John Russo will address business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting on Thursday, Nov. 1, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Having served as a city councilmember, city attorney, and city manager, Russo will discuss how his experience at three California cities gives him a unique perspective as he leads Irvine in implementing the vision and direction of its city council. Russo has 23 years of results-oriented public service gained through leadership positions in Oakland, Alameda, and Riverside. The Brooklyn native graduated with honors in economics and political science from Yale University, and earned his law...
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MacKenzie Corporation Makes Atlas-Explorer Available For Public Licensing Game-Changing Data Visualization & Analytics Tool Will Upgrade Sales & Marketing Processes

Monday, October 22, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member MacKenzie Corporation, a full-service data analytics and market research company, announced that its game-changing data visualization tool Atlas-Explorer is available for public licensing. After years of privatized use, this powerful yet easy-to-use program can be customized for your brand, your industry, and your unique corporate structure. The program synthesizes various sources of data into one location, converting the flood of data into a consumable, visually dynamic format that provides the information needed to understand your market and maximize your sales efficiency. According to MacKenzie Corp leadership, the Atlas Explorer program has far exceeded their already lofty internal...
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California's Tax Revenues Beat Expectations by $1 Billion Over the Summer Months

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Californians paid some $1 billion in taxes above official projections during the first three months of the state’s fiscal year, in what could be a major boost to the government’s bottom line once Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office in January. A monthly report issued by the state Department of Finance attributed most of the unexpected revenue — $990 million — from personal income taxes paid between July 1 and Sept. 30. Sales taxes were slightly below expectations written into the budget crafted by Brown and state lawmakers in June, while corporation tax revenues were slightly above forecasts. The new tax windfall comes...
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Enhancing Government Transparency in Irvine

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Irvine City Council will consider approval of an Irvine Sunshine Ordinance that would expand review time of nearly all upcoming agenda items to 12 days – which is four times longer than California law requires. The proposed ordinance will be heard during the City Council meeting beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. An ordinance requires a second reading, which would be Nov. 13. “The 12-day window allows every community member the time they need to review agenda items thoroughly,” said City Manager John Russo. California’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, requires an agenda be posted a mere 72...
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MemorialCare Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Thursday, October 18, 2018

MemorialCare has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a silver-level sponsor. “MemorialCare is proud to join the Greater Irvine Chamber at the Leaders Circle level. We look forward to a very productive and exciting year ahead,” said Chris Arias, Director of Business Development. MemorialCare is a nonprofit integrated healthcare delivery system that includes Long Beach Medical Center, Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Medical Center, and Saddleback Medical Center; award-winning medical groups – MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians; Seaside Health Plan; and convenient outpatient health centers, imaging centers, breast centers, surgical centers, and dialysis centers....
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Destination Irvine Showcases Great Park as SoCal Go-To Sports Facility

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dave Lucey, director of sports sales, Destination Irvine, met with representatives from 40 sporting event planning and hosting organizations during the Oct. 1-4 TEAMS (Travel, Events, and Management in Sports) conference in Louisville, KY. Lucey was joined by City of Irvine staff members Chris Alfaro and Collum McLaughlin, and hoteliers Brittany Valverde of Hilton Irvine and Jeremy Yujuico of Doubletree Irvine. Together, they strengthened relationships with sports organizations such as USA Field Hockey, USL Soccer, and USA Rugby and provided updates on the newly completed sport facilities at the Orange County Great Park. The sports facilities, which opened last year, include a...
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Emerging Business Leaders Holiday Party to Benefit Nonprofit Partners

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Emerging Business Leaders Council will host its annual Holiday Party on Wednesday, Dec. 5. As part of the council’s initiative to help support local nonprofits that are members of the Greater Irvine Chamber, the party will feature a silent auction in which all proceeds will be donated to the organization’s nonprofit partners. “We are lucky enough to partner with nonprofits and feature them at our bimonthly mixers, but as we strategically planned for 2018, we wanted to gather all our nonprofit partners in one place and celebrate the great work they do by giving back to them,” said...
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Greater Irvine Chamber and Destination Irvine Sweep 2018 MarCom Awards

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber and Destination Irvine have received top awards in the MarCom 2018 Competition for marketing and communication materials. The Greater Irvine Chamber received a Platinum Award for its Irvine Master Plan video, a Gold Award for its Irvine – Uniquely Qualified video, and an Honorable Mention for its Irvine UK Foreign Direct Investment video. Destination Irvine received a Platinum Award the organization’s website destinationirvine.com along with two Gold Awards, one for the 2018-2019 Official Irvine Visitors Guide and one for the video Irvine, CA. - Where Tech Meets Trek. “This prestigious recognition is a validation of all the great work being done at the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Hosts Students for Fourth Installment of Award-Winning Career Edge Program

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in collaboration with Google, Irvine Valley College, Webster University, Irvine, and professionals from the business community, on Oct. 6 hosted 33 students from Orange County colleges and universities for the Effective Business Communication Career Edge workshop instructed by Dr. Roopa Mathur, chair and professor, School of Business Sciences at IVC. Helping guide students as they learned business writing, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills during the session were volunteer mentors Brian Andersen, Telecomprehensive Solutions; Julie Cho, Cho Law Firm;  Dr. Cathleen Greiner, Rancho Santiago Community College District; Carlos Oregon, Thinkbox Technology Group; Pepper Russell, Greater Irvine Chamber;...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Women of Influence Committee Initiates Outreach Aimed at Empowering Women

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Members of the Greater Irvine Chamber Women of Influence Committee have expanded their objective to assist in the planning of the annual event, to include community outreach aimed at empowering women and supporting local nonprofit organizations. “Launching this outreach initiative has allowed our committee members to meet with women within our community who are making a difference and inspiring each other to grow, both professionally and personally,” said Danni Remington Smithson, regional manager, Pacific Western Bank, and Women of Influence Committee chair. As part of the committee’s initiative, its members recently participated in the Huntington Beach Walk to End Alzheimer’s, hosted by...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch Presents California Women’s Leadership Association Women to Watch in 2019 Award

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

As a 2018 California Women’s Leadership Association (CWLA) Community Heroes award recipient, Jessica Welch, IOM, vice president of operations, Greater Irvine Chamber, presented this year’s awards during the CWLA’s Women to Watch in 2019 luncheon. Women to Watch in 2019, who were formally recognized during the Oct. 11 luncheon, are Peggy Grande, Hon. Virginia Vaughn, and Laura Meier, for being active on the frontline of issues in their communities. “As a past recipient, it is an honor twice over to present this award to professional women who are making a difference in their communities,” Welch said. Welch was nominated in 2017 by her peers...
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Greater Irvine Prosperity Political Action Committee Endorses Midterm Election Candidates

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Greater Irvine Prosperity Political Action Committee trustees met on Oct. 11 to create a list of endorsed candidates for the upcoming Nov. 6 midterm elections. The following candidates have demonstrated a pro-business agenda, and have received endorsement by the group:   Governor: John Cox Secretary of State: Mark Meuser U.S. House of Representatives (CA-45): Mimi Walters* U.S. House of Representatives (CA-49): Diane Harkey U.S. House of Representatives (CA-39): Young Kim CA State Senate 34th District: Janet Nguyen* CA State Assembly 55th District: Phillip Chen* CA State Assembly 68th District: Stephen Choi* CA State Assembly 72nd District: Tyler Diep CA State Assembly 73rd District: Bill Brough* CA State Assembly 74th District: Matthew Harper* *denotes...
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Launch Pad - 10 Legal Considerations for Marketing and Selling Products in Canada

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Despite the talk of trade disputes and the apparent political divide between Canada and the United States the two countries continue to be closely connected in many ways, including with respect to consumers and consumer products.  Building your brand and product in the United States in many cases means that you have also built a reputation among Canadians due to the frequent travel of Canadians to the United States and the American media presence in Canada. This creates an ideal opportunity for many companies to launch their products and brands in Canada. While there are many similarities between the countries with...
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California Receives Federal Grant for Global Trade Expansion Program

Friday, October 12, 2018

California has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help California small businesses boost trade and exports abroad. The grant was allocated to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). “California is the 5th largest economy in the world and this announcement bolsters the state’s efforts to help more small businesses become international exporters,” said GO-Biz Director Panorea Avdis. “Small businesses can use these funds to connect with international customers, market products globally, and identify new business opportunities. These resources empower companies to scale-up operations,...
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Irvine Honored with Information Technology Award

Friday, October 12, 2018

The City of Irvine has been awarded for its “exemplary Information Technology (IT) practices” by MISAC, the Municipal Information Systems Association of California. MISAC announced the Technology Achievement awards for 2018 this month. Public agencies are recognized for best practices in IT standards and the use of technology for: budget, strategic planning, operations, customer satisfaction, Internet solutions, and security. “My colleagues on the City Council and I take great pride in Irvine being a leader of innovation in California,” said Mayor Donald P. Wagner. “Technology advancement enables us to provide exceptional services to the public. I am proud of our staff’s diligence in...
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Pay Gap a Priority for Women in the Workplace

Friday, October 12, 2018

In a recent all-female survey, 42 percent of respondents cited the pay gap as the most important issue they face. Female professionals share several challenges in today’s workplace, such as career advancement, re-entering the workforce and sexual harassment, to name a few. But according to a recent Korn Ferry survey, 40 percent of women professionals said they’ve missed a promotion or an opportunity simply because they’re female. What’s more, the most important issue facing women in the American workplace is the pay gap, with 42 percent of respondents selecting that over gender discrimination (26 percent), glass ceiling (25 percent) and sexual harassment...
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US Consumer Prices Up Slight 0.1 Percent in September

Friday, October 12, 2018

Consumer prices edged up a slight 0.1 percent in September as energy prices retreated after a big gain in August. The Labor Department said that the September gain in its closely watched consumer price index followed a 0.2 percent rise in August. It was the smallest monthly gain since June. Inflation has been on a slight rise this year after a prolonged stretch when prices kept falling below the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve. For the 12 months ending in September, consumer prices were up 2.3 percent. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food costs, rose 0.1 percent in...
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TN Visas Remain Under NAFTA Replacement

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Despite rumors that the TN visa category would be eliminated when the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was replaced, the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) appears to preserve the status quo. Consensus over the replacement trade agreement was announced on the evening of Sept. 30. Notably, the text of USMCA’s Chapter 16 – granting temporary entry for certain Canadian and Mexican business professionals and the right to engage in business activities at the professional level – remains essentially unchanged from the original NAFTA text. While all three countries are required to ratify the agreement, U.S. employers seeking to continue to hire...
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US Producer Prices Increase for First Time in Three Months

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

U.S. producer prices rose for the first time in three months amid a surge in gauges reflecting airfares and rail-transportation costs, a Labor Department report showed in Washington. Highlights of Producer Prices (September) Producer-price index rose 0.2 percent m/m (matching est.) after a 0.1 percent drop in prior month; up 2.6 percent y/y (est. 2.7 percent) after 2.8 percent gain Excluding food and energy, core gauge rose 0.2 percent m/m (matching est.); up 2.5 percent y/y (matching est.) after 2.3 percent PPI excluding food, energy and trade services, a measure some economists prefer because it strips out the most volatile components, rose 0.4 percent...
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CalChamber Stops All 29 Job Killer Bills

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

On his final day to act on legislation, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. vetoed the last surviving California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bill. AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) would have banned arbitration agreements beneficial to employees, employers and the courts. “We are grateful to the Governor for vetoing this bill and recognizing that, had it become law, AB 3080 would have been preempted by federal law,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg. “The Governor’s veto saved California employers from a significant amount of unnecessary litigation.” In his Sept. 30 veto message, the Governor stated: “Since this bill plainly violates federal...
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Chamber VP Shows it’s Possible to Juggle Work, Life, and School Thanks to Brandman MyPath™

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Getting a college degree wasn’t part of Jessica Welch’s game plan when she was growing up in Washington state. Jessica Welch, vice president of operations at the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, is able to do work on her Brandman MyPath™ competencies during her lunch hour or at home. The degree program's flexibility has made all the difference, she said. Her family, both for economic and religious reasons, didn’t make it a priority. When she graduated from high school and moved to Southern California 16 years ago, a booming economy and a good job in the mortgage industry didn’t require one either. Marriage,...
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Charles Antis Delivers Powerful Message on Corporate Social Responsibility

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

In front of a sell-out crowd at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Oct. 4 Legends & Leaders event at the Hilton Irvine, keynote speaker Charles Antis, founder and CEO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, told of touchpoints that led to his commitment to corporate social responsibility. From experiences such making a house call early in his career where he encountered a family in a dire situation but without the means to resolve it, Antis was inspired to adopt a purpose before profit approach to business. As the central tenet to his corporate philanthropy, he shared that the purpose before profit philosophy ensures...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Enters Strategic Alliance with Executive Next Practices Institute

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is partnering with the Executive Next Practices Institute (ENP) to sponsor ENP’s forums and thought leadership events, which are attended by C-suite and senior executives from leading Orange County companies. “We are delighted to form an alliance with the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, bringing value to the members of both of our groups, which represent the upper echelon of business owners, entrepreneurs and executives in Orange County,” said Scott Hamilton, CEO, Executive Next Practices. “This was a natural alliance for the Chamber to make for a number of reasons. Executive Next Practices offers very high quality programs...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Partners with Vincit California for Coded in OC Initiative

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is partnering with software development and design company Vincit California as they launch Coded in OC, a website that highlights Orange County software development companies, which are helping to fuel the local economy. The recently launched site promotes several prominent companies that produce their software in Orange County. Companies that register are vetted before receiving a Coded in OC insignia to place on their website showing their commitment to growing the local economy and workforce. “The importance of Coded in OC is to grow the local economy by encouraging companies to invest in local talent, grow and retain the local workforce,...
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Trade Report: California Exports Rise Despite Tariff Wars

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

California’s merchandise export trade maintained a growth trajectory in August despite a fall-off in farm exports, according to a Beacon Economics analysis of U.S. trade statistics newly released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Foreign shipments by California businesses totaled $15.18 billion for the month, a nominal 3.3 percent gain over the $14.69 billion recorded one year earlier. Although exports of manufactured goods were up 4.6 percent to $9.99 billion from $9.55 billion in August 2017, exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) dropped by 6.3 percent to $1.54 billion from $1.64 billion. The value of re-exported goods rose by...
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A Look at the Bills That Did and Did Not Make California Law This Year

Friday, October 05, 2018

California’s Legislature revved into high gear when it came to writing laws in 2018, sending the most bills to the governor’s desk in more than a decade. In all, Gov. Jerry Brown weighed in on 1,217 pieces of legislation passed by the state Senate and Assembly. He signed 1,016 into law, and most will take effect on Jan. 1. Some of the new laws are momentous, others minuscule. Taken together, they are a grab bag of limitations and expectations on the personal and professional lives of Californians. Few residents will agree with all of them; some might not pass legal muster. And...
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Governor Signs New Employment Laws for 2019

Friday, October 05, 2018

Governor Jerry Brown signed several key employment law bills that businesses need to be aware of for the coming year. With a few strokes of his pen on Sept. 30, the last day to sign or veto bills, Governor Jerry Brown altered the landscape for California employers in a number of significant ways. Here are some of the new laws taking effect in January 2019 that employers should anticipate: Assembly Bills Lactation Accommodation (AB 1976): Under current state law an employer must provide a location other than a toilet stall for an employee to express breast milk. The location must also be private...
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Irvine Schools Will Turn Orange in Support of Irvine Public Schools Foundation

Friday, October 05, 2018

On Thursday, Oct. 18, the 40 schools in Irvine will come together to Turn Irvine Orange in support of Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), and educational excellence in Irvine on IPSF Giving Day. Students, parents, teachers, and community members are invited to wear orange to school, work and in the community, and post photos on their social media to celebrate this day of raising awareness for the causes that they care about. “For us, IPSF Giving Day is more than a day to donate to our Educational Excellence Fund, it gives us an opportunity to bring the community together to recognize...
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US Weekly Jobless Claims Near 49-Year Low; Factory Orders Surge

Thursday, October 04, 2018

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 49-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength, which should continue to underpin economic growth. The labor market, which is viewed as being near or at full employment, is steadily boosting wage growth, which could help to support consumer spending as the stimulus from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package fades. “The momentum in the labor market remains strong and we expect the unemployment rate to continue to decline,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Receives Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber won three Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The Chamber received a Silver Award for its Business Outreach Rally in the category of Business Retention and Expansion Program of 3 Years or More, a Silver Award for its Global Microsite in the Special Purpose Website category, and a Bronze Award for its Career Edge program in the Human Capital category. The awards were formally presented to Linda DiMario, executive vice president, and Pepper Russell, research and support services manager, Greater Irvine Chamber, during the Oct. 2 IEDC Annual Conference, in Atlanta, Georgia. “I’m...
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Linda DiMario Recognized for Business Excellence and Leadership in Orange County

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, received an Excellence in Business award from the British American Business Council of Orange County (BABC), and the Leadership in the Success of Orange County award from OCTANe. “Receiving these awards is such an honor,” said DiMario. “The partnership that we have built with both organizations is essential to the economic development work of the Chamber, particularly our work to help U.K. companies expand here, and our mission to enhance the vitality of the innovation and life science sectors in Irvine.” Formally presented during the Sept. 26 British American Business Awards event, the Business...
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Department of Homeland Security Representative Addresses Greater Irvine Chamber International Development Committee

Monday, October 01, 2018

Among its high-profile and critical functions, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) monitors trade security. During the Greater Irvine Chamber’s September International Development Committee (IDC) meeting, a representative from the Southern California DHS office provided insights on the ways in which the organization protects trade in Orange County. Discussed were the resources that the Department of Homeland Security offers to businesses with international trade relations, including providing information on trade, finance and transportation activity, trade policy, and other economic security decisions. “It was reassuring to know that the Department of Homeland Security not only protects the U.S. against terrorism, but it also...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee Recommended Positions on Nov. 6 General Election Ballot Measures

Monday, October 01, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee has provided a list of the measures that will appear on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot with their accompanying recommended positions on each. The committee offers their position recommendations with the interest of local businesses in mind.   Support: Proposition 1 – Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for housing-related programs, loans, grants, and project and housing loans for veterans. Proposition 3 – Authorizes bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance, and groundwater sustainability and storage. Proposition 5 - Changes requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property...
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Here Are the Key Differences Between NAFTA and the US, Canada, and Mexico's New Trade Pact

Monday, October 01, 2018

The U.S. and Canada on Sunday sealed the deal on a new trade agreement that, along with an earlier U.S.-Mexico agreement, opens to door to a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The new deal, dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is expected to be signed by the leaders of the three member countries — U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto — in Nov. The deal must also be approved by each country's legislature before it can come into force. While Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council, said...
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Irvine Spectrum Center Named Best Shopping and Dining Destination in Orange County

Monday, October 01, 2018

The Irvine Spectrum Center has been named the Best Shopping and Dining Destination in the county by the Orange County Register. Irvine Spectrum is not one to rest on its laurels as a go-to spot for shopping, dining and entertainment since it opened in 1995. A $200-million redesign for 2018 emphasizes its community vibe with expanded lawns, more outdoor seating and shaded areas, refurbished and new fountains and updated landscaping. Thirty new tenants join more than 150 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. Along with more than 1,500 more parking spaces, Irvine Spectrum Center is bringing enhanced interactive technology to all of its...
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Southern California Edison Remains Committed to Wildfire Prevention and Response

Monday, October 01, 2018

In response to the growing risk of wildfires in Southern California, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Southern California Edison (SCE) is taking action to address wildfire prevention, response, and liability, and is committed to working with state leaders on practical policy solutions to more effectively address these issues.  Senate Bill 901 (SB 901) was signed recently into law. While this legislation is a step forward, SCE believes that more work still needs to be done to address wildfire prevention, response, and liability, and remains committed to working with state leaders on practical policy solutions to more effectively address these issues. SCE...
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The FCC’s 5G Plan Deserves 5 Stars

Monday, October 01, 2018

This week, 5G will be front and center as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will take up a plan to eliminate regulatory barriers for deployment and the White House will hold a summit to address spectrum, infrastructure, and technical standards. While it will require many different forms of communications technologies such as satellite and cable to bridge the digital divide, 5G promises to revolutionize how people and devices connect. It is critical that our leaders promote policies that encourage the deployment of cutting-edge communications equipment. What is 5G and why does it matter? 5G is what its name implies – it is...
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What Will Irvine Look Like in 20 Years?

Monday, October 01, 2018

Emile Haddad of Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member FivePoint is experimenting with something that at first glance appears antithetical to the Southern California lifestyle—a home without a garage. And a homeowner who’s not a car owner. “These will be the first single-family homes with no garages,” Haddad said. “We all love our cars, but the minds of the next generation won’t love them as much as we do.” It’s a proof-of-concept project that will entail 50 to 60 homes. A timeframe for opening hasn't been set, he said. A builder hasn't been chosen for the homes, which are being designed by...
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Irvine is Safest City for 13th Year

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Irvine is the Safest City of its size in the nation, according to FBI data. The information released shows that Irvine has the lowest rate of violent crime per capita of any city in the nation with a population of 250,000 or more. This is the 13th consecutive year Irvine has earned the Safest City designation. This year, Irvine also had the lowest rate of total Part 1 crime for a city of its size. The FBI’s Annual Uniform Crime Report measures Part 1 crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft and arson.  “The men and women of...
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Business Outreach Rally Volunteers Needed

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber will host its ninth Business Outreach Rally on Thursday, Oct. 25. Chamber member volunteers participate in the award-winning program to outreach to local businesses, conducting primary research on their most pressing needs. The volunteers will set out with a goal of discovering the challenges businesses face and will provide copies of the Chamber’s Business Outreach Resource Guide, which features information about support resources offered through the Chamber and its partner organizations. The Chamber is seeking volunteers for two, or both, shifts: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Breakfast and coffee will be provided.   12:30 – 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided.   Volunteers will receive...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Legislative Policy Handbook Approved by Board of Directors

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee has recently published its 2018-2019 Legislative Policy Handbook, which reflects the interests of the local business community. The handbook serves as the policy platform for the Chamber and is used as a guide by the organization to remain consistent in its advocacy functions.  Ranging from consumer privacy to workforce preparedness, the handbook provides policy objectives, positions, and backgrounds on issues that are important to the Chamber and its members. The Government Affairs Committee updated the handbook, outlining details of the Chamber’s position on issues.  The Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors approved the...
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Starr's Perspective on the Success of Irvine's Balanced Master Plan

Monday, September 24, 2018

By Bryan Starr, President & CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, as published in the October 2018 issue of Irvine Standard. As an Irvine resident, I have always been pleased to learn of the many distinctions our city receives for being a great place to live and do business. Now, as the President and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber, directing the organization’s mission to promote Irvine, I am keenly aware of the reason we have emerged as one of America’s great cities: it’s our balanced Master Plan. Many cities may have ample housing but few jobs. Some have plenty of jobs but few parks...
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Delivering LA and Southern California to the Global Market - How Does Your Business Plan Fit?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Southern California has a huge business presence globally. It is one of the most vibrant business environments in the world. Los Angeles is the third largest municipal economy in the world. Tokyo is the largest and New York is second. LAX is the 4th busiest airport in the world and the Port of LA ranks as the busiest port in the western hemisphere. This growth of SoCal’s economy brings with it opportunities for businesses from around the world to participate in the building of infrastructure and providing services throughout SoCal. It is an opportunity to gain market share in this...
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Economic Advisory Council: U.S Economic Expansion Continues, But Growth Surge May Be Temporary

Friday, September 21, 2018

Far from losing steam, the U.S. economy has been on a solid upswing lately. But as always, a deeper look at the data suggests that there are issues to keep an eye on, according to a recent report by the California Chamber of Commerce Economic Advisory Council. The United States is currently in the midst of the second longest expansion in the nation’s history at 111 months and counting. In July of next year, we will officially be in the midst of the longest expansion on record. Below are some of the highlights from the economic report. Read the full report. A Deeper Look Consider...
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Governor Signs CalChamber-Supported Bill Protecting Businesses from Lawsuits

Friday, September 21, 2018

A California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill related to food and consumer product packaging was signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. CalChamber supports AB 2632 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) because it protects consumer product and food manufacturers from lawsuits by clarifying package labeling requirements regarding the amount of product and packaging. Specifically, AB 2632 would ensure that consumer product and food manufacturers cannot be deemed to have violated California’s “slack fill” law when the product’s exterior packaging contains information that clearly communicates the amount and size of the product contained in the packaging. Slack fill is the difference between the actual capacity of a container and the volume...
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Irvine Voted Best OC City in Which to Live

Friday, September 21, 2018

The City of Irvine has been voted “Best City to Live in” for the third consecutive year by Orange County Register readers. Irvine’s commitment to safety, its unparalleled parks and open space, and quality of education helped it maintain its status as the best place to live in Orange County. Register readers select the best categories, so this is particularly important in that so many community members took the time to choose Irvine as No. 1. “The Register confirms what we already know here in Irvine. This is the best place to live in Orange County! Our public safety, our schools, our...
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Just Who Is An Independent Contractor?

Friday, September 21, 2018

A sweeping new California Supreme Court ruling restricting who is an independent contractor is shaking up an exceptionally diverse range of industries. The ruling, issued in April, affects an estimated 2 million independent contractors working in healthcare, beauty salons, gig economy jobs like Uber and Lyft, journalism, music, real estate, education, financial planning, agriculture, construction, technology, insurance, transportation and more. The decision is praised by the California Labor Federation as offering workers protections like minimum wage, unemployment, workers’ compensation and disability insurance. But some independent contractors say they like their freedom and have no interest in being employees. “The interesting rub on this...
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New Proposition 65 Rules Include Supply Chain Liability

Friday, September 21, 2018

Minimizing liability is quintessential for any prudent business. Liability could mean costly lawsuits, the loss of valuable business opportunities or relationships, large monetary penalties, serious financial or reputational damage, or even product recalls. Under Proposition 65, liability for businesses can be all of the above. For decades, companies selling products, food or beverages in California or that manufacture, supply or distribute products sold in California have wrestled with the requirements of Prop. 65. In 2017 alone, nearly 700 cases were settled with defendants paying more than $25 million in plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees and penalties—not including defense counsel fees, business interruption and other...
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Overview of November Ballot Measures

Friday, September 21, 2018

Following are brief summaries of the measures that will appear on the November 6 General Election ballot. When the California Chamber of Commerce has taken a position, the reasons for that position are summarized. The CalChamber encourages employers to share this information with their employees. Businesses are within their rights to do so—just remember: no paycheck stuffers, no coercion, no rewarding or punishing employees (or threatening to do so) for their political activities or beliefs. Proposition 1 CalChamber Position: Support Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs. Legislative Statute. Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs for low-income residents, veterans,...
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Award-Winning Career Edge Program Offers College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in collaboration with Google, Irvine Valley College, Webster University, Irvine, and the business community, will host students from Orange County colleges and universities for its fourth series of Career Edge workshops. Students that participate in Career Edge will have an advantage during their job search and will bring distinctive and marketable soft skills to the jobs they land, greatly increasing their success rate and on-the-job performance. Qualified business professionals are needed to volunteer as mentors to help guide students through the award-winning Career Edge program as they learn business writing, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. For more...
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British American Business Council OC to Honor Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The British American Business Council in Orange County (BABC OC) will formally honor the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber Leaders Circle members Edwards Lifesciences and The Irvine Company during the BABC OC 2018 Innovation Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 26. The Greater Irvine Chamber is being recognized for its partnership with the British American Business Council, in support of its foreign direct investment initiatives. Together, the organizations collaborate to promote the vitality and diversity of Irvine’s life science sector to companies in the U.K. Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, will participate in a panel discussion during the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Whit Peterson Participates in National Discussion on Business Advocacy

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Whit Peterson, director of government affairs, Greater Irvine Chamber, joined Chamber professionals from across the nation to meet with U.S. Chamber of Commerce staff at the 2018 Chamber Federation Advocacy and Growth Conference in New Orleans, on Sept. 12 – 14. “Having access to U.S. Chamber staff is valuable for bringing local issues to the national conversation and to learn of the work being carried out on the national level that addresses business-related issues,” Peterson said. “Tapping into their expertise as well as making contacts with other chamber professionals from around the country is important as we work toward a shared vision.” Co-hosted...
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Is Canada ‘Ripping Us Off’? Or Is It the Best US Trade Partner?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The $4 trillion in goods exchanged last year between the two nations was about evenly divided between imports and exports. With President Trump’s repeated vows to punish Canada with auto tariffs, you might think that the border was a southbound one-way street, running wholly against the U.S. auto industry. On a recent campaign trip, Trump said Canada was "ripping us off" and threatened a tariff on cars from Canada that "would be the ruination of the country." It would be a massive escalation of the trade hostilities that began this year with U.S. tariffs on washers, solar cells, aluminum and steel. But the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch Promoted to Vice President of Operations

Monday, September 17, 2018

Jessica Welch, IOM, has been promoted to Vice President of Operations at the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. The promotion follows more than a decade of service at the Greater Irvine Chamber, most recently as Senior Director of Operations and previously as Director of Programs and Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. “Jessica has dedicated 11 years of her career in service to this organization. In that time, she has risen through the ranks achieving a key spot on the Chamber’s executive management team. She continues to demonstrate exceptional leadership and professionalism earning her the respect of her colleagues, the...
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Orange County Great Park Reaches a Development Milestone as One of California’s Largest Public Sports Parks as it Debuts its Championship Stadiums and Fields

Monday, September 17, 2018

More than 1,000 residents, baseball and softball families, elected officials, and community leaders gathered to celebrate the completion of all stadiums and fields at the Orange County Great Park Sports Park on Sept. 16.  The completion of the 194-acre Sports Park is a major step in the public-private effort to develop the entire 688-acre Great Park into a metropolitan park rivaling the best in the nation. The Sports Park, built and funded by FivePoint's joint venture, is twice the size of Disneyland. FivePoint had committed to build the Sports Park in five years. It was completed ahead of schedule in just four...
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Updated Family and Medical Leave Act Forms Are Now Available

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Federal Department of Labor (DOL) has released updated forms for managing leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employers must use the current FMLA forms, which are also available on the federal Department of Labor website. As we previously reported, the DOL has to submit forms to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review every three years. The DOL submitted the FMLA forms to the OMB in April, and requested a three-year extension of the current forms, without any changes to the substance of the forms. The OMB did not approve the new forms before the June...
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#ShopIrvine Initiative Promotes the City's Retail Centers

Friday, September 14, 2018

One component of the Irvine Master Plan is the city’s retail centers. The Irvine Spectrum Center, Woodbridge Center, and Diamond Jamboree offer diverse shopping and dining experiences to visitors and residents alike. These Irvine destinations continue to evolve, providing shoppers with eclectic options that remain at the pinnacle of style, relevance, and ambiance. Timing of the #ShopIrvine initiative couldn’t be better. Recently completed renovations at two of Irvine’s most popular and picturesque shopping centers – Irvine Spectrum Center and Woodbridge Village Center – are primed to add significant value to shopping and dining in Irvine. Irvine Spectrum Center, which draws more than...
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Campaign to Attract United Kingdom Life Science Companies to Irvine Yields Results

Friday, September 14, 2018

Irvine is home to one of the most robust life science sectors in America, a sector where British-owned life science companies are a strong presence. Because the mission of the Greater Irvine Chamber is to enhance Irvine’s economic vitality, we looked to expand the life science sector by launching an aggressive foreign direct investment initiative to recruit U.K. life science companies for expansion to Irvine. The Chamber conducted thorough research into the market to effectively position Irvine/Orange County in a competitive field. We learned that while California is a very strong global brand, most U.K. companies still thought of Boston first...
Greater Irvine Chamber Welcomes Its Newest Board Members

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber recently welcomed five new members to its Board of Directors. They are Orange County entrepreneurs and executives that will support the Chamber’s mission and serve in a fiduciary role. Vivian Atkinson, Owner, Express Employment Professionals As the long-term owner of an Irvine-based staffing and recruiting company, Vivian Atkinson has a vested interest in helping local employers grow and supporting the reputation of Irvine as a great place to do business. Prior to settling in Irvine, she worked in commercial real estate for Colliers International and McDonalds Restaurants of Canada. Born and raised in Shanghai, and having become both...
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Next-Generation Connectivity Comes to Irvine

Friday, September 14, 2018

Irvine’s planners have designed this city so it can adapt to the future. One area where you see that happening is technology. Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle members Google Fiber and Southern California Edison are quickly deploying their fiber-optic networks using underground conduit installed over the past few decades. “Irvine Company had the foresight to install a vast network of conduit,” said Erin Schultz, head of the Google Fiber operations in Orange County. “This infrastructure, coupled with their understanding of the importance of access to high-speed internet, has paved the way for a strong partnership with Google Fiber.” Google Fiber offers Irvine residents...
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The New Mall Experience

Friday, September 14, 2018

A row of old kitchen equipment is all that remains of the Red Robin restaurant that left the Irvine Spectrum Center in June. Now, the air conditioning cools powerful computers, high-tech headsets and dozens of high-definition screens. The traditional shopping mall menu of burgers and brews has made way for “Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future,” a virtual reality attraction based on the “Terminator” film franchise. And since the late-August opening, it has attracted visitors who said they hadn’t been to a mall in months. “I brought my brother up from San Diego to play and it was so realistic,” said Karen...
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Irvine’s Tech Strength Attracts Bay Area Companies

Friday, September 14, 2018

As envisioned by the Irvine Master Plan, the city was built around a major university – what is now the University of California, Irvine (UCI) – to ensure area employers would always have a readily available workforce skilled in the latest technology. Irvine-based companies recognize this as a distinctive asset. And, executives at Bay Area tech firms are noticing. One such firm diving into Irvine’s high-tech talent pool is Vincit, a digital design and app development agency. Vincit California has successfully expanded from Finland to Irvine’s Spectrum Business Center – by way of Silicon Valley. After starting its U.S. venture in the...
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California Approves Goal for 100 Percent Carbon-Free Electricity by 2045

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ahead of a summit meant to galvanize regional action on climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that would put California on the path to eliminating fossil fuels from its energy sector. Senate Bill 100 speeds up the state’s timeline for moving to renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and requires that all retail electricity be carbon-free by 2045. California is the second state to adopt such a goal, after Hawaii. “It’s not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” Brown said at a signing ceremony in Sacramento. “California is committed to doing whatever is...
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US Policy Expert: Trade Talks to Open Markets Work Better than Tariff Wars to Boost Economy, Jobs

Thursday, September 13, 2018

In an era where “trade is invading every zone,” increased tariffs on imports are the wrong way to generate prosperity for U.S. businesses, a trade policy expert told a California Chamber of Commerce gathering last week. John Murphy, senior vice president of international policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, emphasized that the rest of the world is moving forward in areas where the United States has stepped back from trade talks. If the United States doesn’t get back to working on opening markets to American goods and services, “we’re going to be on the outside looking in,” Murphy said at the...
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AnaLaura Becerra Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Staff

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

AnaLaura Becerra, CMP, CTA, has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber professional staff as Director of Corporate Sales for Destination Irvine. In this role, Becerra promotes Irvine as a corporate meeting, convention and event destination to meeting and event planners in the local, regional, state, and targeted national meetings markets to generate group hotel room nights through overnight stays. “I’m looking forward to working with hotels and other venues to showcase Irvine to visitors and to attract corporate, government, and association groups to the city for their meetings and overnight stays,” Becerra said. Prior to joining the Chamber staff, Becerra was a national...
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Irvine Residents Learn About Irvine City Council Candidates

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber hosted the 2018 Irvine City Council Candidates Forum at the Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center on Sept. 5. The event provided residents the opportunity to meet and hear from the candidates running for Irvine City Council. Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner welcomed those in attendance, stressing the importance of the forum and the role it plays in keeping Irvine residents informed.   Nine of the 12 city council candidates who participated in the forum were Kev Abazajian, Farrah Khan, Anthony Kuo, Frank McGill, Lauren Johnson-Norris, Carrie O’Malley, John Park, Liqing “Lee” Sun, and Jaci Woods. Jerry Amante, the...
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Irvine Ranked Best Place in California to Raise a Family

Monday, September 10, 2018

Whether you are currently expecting or already have children, deciding where to raise your family is an important decision. In an effort to help you choose the perfect city to call "home," a new report by WalletHub ranked the best and worst places to raise a family. The experts at the personal finance website compared the family-friendliness of more than 180 cities across the country based on 46 key metrics. The data set ranges from the cost of housing to the quality of schools. Irvine in Orange County came in as the second-best place in the U.S. and the top place in California to...
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New 280,000 Square-Foot Ice Arena in Irvine Will Have Four Practice Rinks for Ducks, Figure Skaters

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mounds of dirt sit in the space that will be used by thousands of kids on ice skates. The ground-level concession stand and skate shop have exposed beams but will soon be bustling with families. And the expansive upstairs lobby is where countless parents will watch their children. The Great Park Ice skating facility is a construction site, but it’s not difficult to envision that it might someday help produce the next locally trained NHL player or Olympic figure skater. “I don’t think it’s that far off,” said Art Trottier, vice president of the Ducks’ RINKS program that has grown hockey at the...
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UCI Ranked Highest-ever 7th Among Public Universities by U.S. News & World Report

Monday, September 10, 2018

U.S. News & World Report has rated Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member University of California, Irvine the seventh-best public university in the country in its 2019 Best Colleges evaluation, released today. UCI also placed 33rd among all American universities – public and private – marking its highest-ever performance in both categories since the magazine began reviewing colleges in 1983. The rankings are derived from 16 measures of academic excellence, weighted by relevance to high-quality education. “We are delighted that UCI has once again been recognized as one of the premier universities in the nation,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “This year’s rankings...
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Bruce Tromberg to Lead the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Friday, September 07, 2018

Bruce Tromberg, Ph.D., director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic and professor of biomedical engineering and surgery at the University of California, Irvine, has been chosen by the National Institutes of Health to head the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Headquartered in Maryland, NIBIB was formed in 2000 to spur the invention and implementation of new technologies to research, diagnose and treat human diseases. It’s one of 27 institutes and centers under the NIH, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tromberg will take on the role of NIBIB’s second director in early...
Heavy Concentration of Orange County Startups Located in Irvine

Friday, September 07, 2018

A majority of Orange County’s tech startups are located either in the Airport Area or Irvine Spectrum submarkets. Airport Area startups have raised $195.2 million compared to the $152.2 million raised by their Irvine Spectrum counterparts. Collectively, the two account for 91 percent of startup funding in Orange County. Tech and startup companies alike are drawn to these two submarkets because of the high concentration of millennials, strong retail and lifestyle amenities, and the depth of available labor. Orange County startups have greatly contributed to the technology sector, emerging as a significant driver for the local economy and driving growth for the...
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US Wage Gains Pick Up to 2.9 Percent While Payrolls Rise 201,000

Friday, September 07, 2018

American wages unexpectedly climbed in August by the most since the recession ended in 2009 and hiring rose by more than forecast, keeping the Federal Reserve on track to lift interest rates this month and making another hike in December more likely. Average hourly earnings for private workers increased 2.9 percent from a year earlier, a Labor Department report showed Friday, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey and the median projection for 2.7 percent. Nonfarm payrolls rose 201,000 from the prior month, topping the median forecast for 190,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9 percent, still near the...
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TCA’s New Payment Method: Simple and Sticky

Thursday, September 06, 2018

For those of us who never dedicated windshield space to the toll roads transponder and are still chasing the 4-inch plastic box all over the dashboard—relief is on the way. Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Transportation Corridor Agencies, operators of state routes 73, 133, 241 and 261, are replacing the hard-case transponder with adhesive 6C tags. The Band-Aid-sized stickers, which will be available on July 1, are cheaper to make, store and mail. TCA says the switch will save toll-road operators about $3 million a year, and that it’ll pass on the savings to 1.3 million account holders by eliminating...
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Economic Vitality Council Meeting Identifies Solutions for 21st Century Workforce Development Challenges

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Economic Vitality Council Meeting held in August provided business and community leaders an opportunity to explore 21st-century solutions to common obstacles in business development. The biannual meeting brought together the Business and Workforce Development Committee and International Development Committee members and community partners to tackle a variety of issues. One of the topics discussed was how the Chamber can help Irvine businesses attract and retain talent. As an alternative to traditional job fairs, the group discussed career education programs including coaching junior high and high school teachers and counselors with information on career opportunities in the life science and technology...
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Former US Secretary, Dept. of Homeland Security Slated as Keynote for World Affairs Council of Orange County Cybersecurity Event

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The World Affairs Council of Orange County presents Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age with keynote speaker Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, on Thursday, Sept. 13, at Hotel Irvine at 6:45 p.m. Chertoff was the second ever Director of Homeland Security. Chertoff’s unique background leading up to that strategic appointment, combined with his government service and private sector work since then, give him comprehensive expertise in cyber technology and how it can impact and even control us.   Chertoff has developed proposals for how we can protect ourselves in...
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John Wayne Ride-Share Growth Prompts Fee Revamp

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

John Wayne Airport will raise fees paid by ride-share companies, limousines and shuttles starting Sept. 1 to be comparable with other airports and profit from fast-growing firms, including Lyft Co. and Uber Technologies Inc. Transportation companies here currently pay $2.25 per pickup of passengers and nothing to drop them off. Beginning Sept. 1, the fee applies to both pick-ups and drop-offs. Then on March 1, each fee rises to $3. Transportation fees haven’t changed at JWA since 2002, and rates were the lowest of six airports, including those in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Ontario, Burbank, and San Diego, which already charge $3 to...
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Karen Maldonado Named Member of the Month for July 2018

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Karen Maldonado, business development manager, IES Communications, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Month for July 2018. Since joining the Chamber in 2016, Maldonado has become actively involved in a number of the organization’s committees and events. She is currently a member of the Tuesday Leads Group, and has participated in two Business Outreach Rallies to survey Irvine businesses. She has attended the Business Outlook Breakfast and is involved with the Economic Vitality Council. “Through involvement in Greater Irvine Chamber, I have grown my network, learned from others, and helped others grow. The commitment of the members to...
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Orange County Soccer Club Enters World of eSports

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Orange County Soccer Club makes United Soccer League and U.S. professional soccer history, establishing the club's first eSports team. This digital extension of the club’s on-field squad launches with the creation of a FIFA 11v11 team, which will compete in the Virtual Pro Gaming league. As the world’s favorite sport, it translates well from the field to the eSports world. For more details, visit orangecountysoccer.com/esports.
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Small Business Awards Program in 68th Assembly District Begins in September

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Each month Assemblyman Steven S. Choi will recognize a small business in the 68th Assembly District as the Small Business of the Month to help promote and salute local entrepreneurs who contribute to their community.    To qualify for recognition, nominees must have fewer than 100 employees and be located within the 68th Assembly District, which includes Irvine, Tustin, Orange, Lake Forest, Villa Park, and Anaheim. Nominations are due to Assemblyman Choi’s office on or before the last Friday of each month and will be recognized the following month. For more information and to nominate a business, contact Jose Martinez, senior field representative, Office...
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US Second-Quarter GDP Growth Raised to 4.2 Percent

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

U.S. economic growth was a bit stronger than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its best performance in nearly four years and putting the economy on track to hit the Trump administration’s goal of 3 percent annual growth. Gross domestic product increased at a 4.2 percent annualized rate, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate of GDP growth for the April-June quarter. That was slightly up from the 4.1 percent pace of expansion reported in July and was the fastest rate since the third quarter of 2014. The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the January-March period. The...
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USA Water Polo Picks Irvine for its National Headquarters

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

A proposed plan to build a world-class aquatics facility that would serve as the national headquarters for USA Water Polo at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine was presented to the Irvine City Council during the Aug. 28 council meeting. The site would also provide the opportunity for Irvine to serve as a venue for the 2028 Olympic Games and the preceding Olympic trials. At present, Irvine hosts at more than five well-attended water polo events, generating $2 million annually in direct spending. The economic impact for Irvine hotels and businesses is approximately $160,000 annually in transient occupancy tax for...
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State Supreme Court Ruling Protects Employers, Preserves Workers’ Comp Exclusivity

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The California State Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of employers finding that an employee’s tort claims against a doctor who reviewed workers’ compensation cases is preempted by the workers’ compensation law. In December 2016, the California Chamber of Commerce filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case of King v. CompPartners, Inc. (S232197), arguing that the appellate court erred by ruling that utilization review doctors—who look at records to decide whether a worker’s treatment was appropriate, but do not examine the patient personally—have established a physician-patient relationship and therefore owe a duty of care to the injured workers. CalChamber had urged the state high...
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US, Mexico Reach Preliminary Trade Update Agreement

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

According to President Trump and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as of August 27, the United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement in principle, subject to finalization and implementation, to update the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement with modern provisions representing a 21st century, high-standard agreement. According to the USTR, the updated agreement will support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America. The California Chamber of Commerce looks forward to learning more details of this agreement, and to a completed trilateral free trade agreement including Canada that allows...
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‘Ban-the-Box,’ Baby Bonding Regulations Moving Forward

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) is currently considering amendments to the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to address two fairly recent laws — the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) and the statewide ban-the-box law — both of which became effective on January 1, 2018. Baby Bonding Integration The draft regulations integrate the NPLA — which requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child — into the existing California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The CFRA also provides for baby-bonding leave, but applies to employers...
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Dave Lucey Honored as 2018 Connect Sports Game Changer

Monday, August 27, 2018

Destination Irvine’s Dave Lucey, director of sports sales, was honored as a 2018 Game Changer at Connect Sports, an industry conference held in Salt Lake City, Aug. 23-25. “This is a well-deserved recognition of Dave. He’s one of the Chamber’s super stars and has brought more than double the amount in bookings for Irvine hotels since he arrived at Destination Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Dave has effectively put Irvine on the map as a sports tournament destination.” During the event, Connect Sports formally presented awards to 21 of the sports tourism industry’s “sharpest minds – the people who...
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How Richard Sudek is Growing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Monday, August 27, 2018

Firms with connections to the University of California, Irvine have raised more than $18.9 billion over the past 10 years, according to Richard Sudek, an angel investor and executive director of the school’s Applied Innovation center. Nearly 40 percent of the capital the companies raised came in the past couple of years, a timeline that coincides with Sudek’s tenure at the center. “There’s an upward trend that shows that UCI, and what we’re doing at Applied Innovation, is really accelerating the startup activity here in Orange County and generally for UCI alums,” he said, adding that he’s particularly proud “that about...
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UCI Paul Merage Professor Chris Schwarz Announced as Opening Speaker for Greater Irvine Chamber Business Outlook Event

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber and the University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business present Chris Schwarz, associate professor of finance and faculty director of the Center for Investment and Wealth Management at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business as the opening speaker for the 10th Annual Business Outlook Breakfast on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Schwarz’s research on the investment fund industry has been published in many leading academic and practitioner financial journals, cited in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and New York Times, and included in testimony before the U.S. Congress House Financial Services Committee. Prior to arriving at UCI, Schwarz received a Ph.D. from...
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17th Annual Irvine Global Village Festival Moves to Orange County Great Park

Friday, August 24, 2018

Travel the world at the 17th annual Irvine Global Village Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. This all-day event, now at the Orange County Great Park, features more than 100 performances representing cultures from around the world, international cuisine, kids’ crafts and activities, cultural and religious exhibits, and an international marketplace.  Festival admission and on-site parking are free. A variety of sample-sized servings of food will be available for purchase, with prices ranging from $2 to $5; bringing cash is encouraged. Orange County Great Park is at 8000 Great Park Blvd. in Irvine. For more information on the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Hosts Demystifying Business in Japan Panel

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service, hosted on Aug. 22 a panel discussion on Demystifying Business in Japan. The panel, moderated by Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, featured several expert panelists who shared their experiences and successes navigating the Japanese market. Panelists included Michael Delaney, chief development officer, Worldwide Environmental Products, Pat Cassidy, commercial officer, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Mohammad Sadjapour, CEO, Militus Cyber Solutions. Each of the panelists shared their extensive and practical experience working with a U.S. company entering the Japanese market. They suggested specific strategies to improve the likelihood of success...
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Irvine Featured in Smart Meetings’ ‘The Real Cities of Orange County’

Friday, August 24, 2018

Irvine was recently highlighted as a top option in Orange County for meetings in the meeting-industry publication, Smart Meetings. The article features several cities in the county that offer attractive options for meetings groups. Here’s what they had to say about Irvine: Why we love it: Irvine almost always appears on lists of best places to live, work and do business. It’s one of America’s largest and most successful master-planned urban communities. That plan emphasized responsible growth and preserving the natural environment. Today, there are more than 100 global corporations there. There are also more than 16,000 acres of preserved natural habitats, and...
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Irvine is a Globally Positioned City for Globally-minded Companies

Friday, August 24, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, was recently featured in a Global Trade Magazine Podcast. DiMario, who leads Economic Development initiatives at the Chamber including business attraction, discussed ways for companies to find success in the global marketplace, how a major piece of that puzzle is location, and how Irvine, as a master-planned community, works for globally-minded companies. “Those that created the city did so with a long-term vision. This is sustainable and responsible growth and development,” DiMario said. On foreign direct investment, she said, “Irvine, California is a very smart solution to United States expansion plans.” Listen to the podcast here.
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US, New Zealand Conclude Talks for Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The United States and New Zealand concluded two days of meetings on July 20 under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), noting the strong and growing trade relationship between the two countries and discussing a full range of bilateral issues. U.S.-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Members of the U.S. Congress have requested negotiations for a free trade agreement with New Zealand for years. New Zealand and the United States have been strong partners and good friends for more than a century. Political ties are close, business links are strong, and cultural links are many and varied. In the aftermath of September 11, New Zealand...
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Edwards Grows HQ After $36 Million Land Buy Next Door

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has proposed a major expansion of its Irvine headquarters, paving the way for Orange County’s largest public company to add hundreds of jobs to its local operations. The medical device maker, whose market valuation is $28.7 billion, recently filed plans with the city to build two office and laboratory buildings, an employee amenities facility, and a parking structure on 7.6 acres next to its current headquarters on Red Hill Avenue. The buildings would total about 471,450 square feet and be built in three phases over a period of years, city records indicate. Office, lab,...
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Executive Leadership Changes at City of Irvine

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Longtime public works employee and city engineer Mark Steuer has joined the City of Irvine as Public Works Director, and Kaitlyn Nguyen also has been hired as Economic Development Manager. “Kaitlyn Nguyen and Mark Steuer are dynamic and innovative public executives who will bring new ideas and energy into an already excellent City organization,” said Irvine City Manager John Russo. Steuer becomes part of the City’s executive management team which includes the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Deputy City Manager, the Director of Public Affairs and Communications, and the department directors of Community Development, Community Services, Public Safety, Transportation, City Clerk,...
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Shanghai Delegation Visits Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A delegation of 22 Shanghai government executives met with Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber on August 13. The delegation traveled to Irvine to gain insights on the city and its assets that foster business growth. The meeting highlighted Irvine’s strengths as a master-planned community; the city is an economic powerhouse, with strong life science and technology sectors, and a robust innovative eco-system. It also provided an opportunity for the executives to learn about the Irvine Master Plan, the Chamber’s role in Irvine’s growth and business resources available through the Chamber. “Delegations visiting from China are always fascinated by the...
California Legislature's #MeToo Bills Draw Opposition from Business Groups

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Less than a year after the Me Too and “We Said Enough” movements reverberated around California’s Capitol, a pack of bills that seek to address sexual harassment in the workplace is drawing pushback from business groups that fear a sharp increase in lawsuits. Among them: efforts to ban nondisclosure and limit nondisparagement agreements, end forced arbitration, make harassers personally liable, and extend the statute of limitations to file a claim with the state. “As employers, you want to protect your workforce and the employees that you have working for you,” said Jennifer Barrera with the California Chamber of Commerce. But she said...
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Irvine Spectrum Center Unveils $200 Million Expansion That Converted One Mega Store into 30 Smaller Shops

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A tarp-covered fence at the Irvine Spectrum Center separates established merchants from their new neighbors, who bustle about readying for their imminent grand opening. Printed across the temporary divider, a message beckons: “Experience the Expansion.” Visitors will be able to do just that when the curtain comes down Aug. 18, revealing the Spectrum’s $200 million renovation. Among the dozens of just-unveiled shops and eateries will be Stance, a San Clemente-based sock couturier launched in 2009.  “We’re receiving inventory, training staff and putting the finishing touches on the interior,” co-founder John Wilson said. “We can’t wait to turn on the lights, open the door and welcome...
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Pay Data Disclosure Bill Amended to Remove Job Killer Status

Thursday, August 16, 2018

As a result of recent amendments, a California Chamber of Commerce-opposed bill dealing with pay data disclosure has been removed from the job killer list. SB 1284 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) was amended on August 8 to help rectify the public shaming aspect of the bill and therefore remove the job killer tag. CalChamber remains opposed to SB 1284 because of the administrative burden it still places on employers by requiring them to turn over pay data information that could give the false impression of pay disparity where none may exist. Creates False Impression of Wage Discrimination SB 1284 requires employers to collect pay data in...
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These Are the Highest-Paying Jobs in the US Right Now

Thursday, August 16, 2018

More than half of the 25 highest-paying jobs this year were in the technology sector, shows a new report.  For the fourth consecutive year, the technology sector boasted the highest-paying jobs in the U.S., according to an annual report from Glassdoor. Thirteen of the 25 highest-paying jobs this year were in tech, up from 11 in 2017, according to the report. Within the industry, enterprise architects, software development managers, software engineering managers and software architects received the highest pay, with the lowest average base salary well over $100,000. The report gathered salary data from millions of employees, examined job titles that received a minimum of 100 salary reports over...
US Housing Starts Rebounded in July on Single-Family Gain

Thursday, August 16, 2018

U.S. new-home construction rose less than forecast in July amid a rebound in groundbreaking for single- and multi-family houses, indicating the industry was trying to regain its footing at the start of the second half. HIGHLIGHTS OF HOUSING STARTS (JULY) Residential starts increased 0.9 percent to a 1.17m annualized rate (est. 1.26m) after a downwardly-revised 1.16m pace in prior month, government figures showed Thursday Multifamily home starts rose 0.7 percent; single-family climbed 0.9 percent Permits, a proxy for future construction of all types of homes, rose 1.5 percent to 1.31m rate (matching est.) after 1.29m pace  Key Takeaways A strong labor market, lower taxes and improved...
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US Retail Sales Rise More Than Forecast in Broad-Based Advance

Thursday, August 16, 2018

U.S. retail sales rose by more than forecast in July as Americans snapped up clothes and headed to restaurants, extending solid consumer-spending gains to the start of the third quarter. The value of overall sales advanced 0.5 percent from June, whose gain was revised down to 0.2 percent, Commerce Department figures showed. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.1 percent gain. Excluding purchases of autos and gasoline, sales climbed 0.6 percent, topping the median estimate for a 0.4 percent rise. The data suggest consumer spending is continuing to drive the economy early in the quarter. Tax cuts...
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Good Sportsmanship: Irvine Ups Old-School ‘Gaming’

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Destination Irvine and area hotels are courting more sports-related meetings and events as facilities at the city’s Great Park continue to open. Many amenities are community-based, including basketball courts and playgrounds near Great Park Neighborhood homes. But the “hundred acre wood” of offerings—in June, Great Park Sports Complex topped 101 acres of fields and facilities—goes beyond kid-friendly to include a newly opened championship soccer stadium and four sheets of ice under construction that will be suitable for NHL or Olympic-level hockey. “Irvine was a decent sports area prior to the Great Park, now it’s a hot spot,” said Dave Lucey, director of...
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US Economy to Grow at 3.1 Percent in 2018, CBO Says

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The U.S. economy is projected to grow by 3.1 percent this year, as more government spending and tax cuts help propel an expansion, the Congressional Budget Office said. But the robust run of growth may stall as early as next year, with the U.S. economy expected to slow down in 2019 and during the following decade once temporary government policies expire, according to the nonpartisan CBO’s report. Economic growth will slow to 2.4 percent in 2019 and to 1.7 percent in 2020, staying at about that level over the next decade, the CBO projected. If the CBO’s numbers prove correct, U.S. economic growth...
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Congresswoman Mimi Walters Receives Spirit of Enterprise Award from the US Chamber of Commerce

Monday, August 13, 2018

For her continued support of the business community, Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-CA 45th District) was presented with the Spirit of Enterprise Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the Greater Irvine Chamber. Chamber members had the opportunity to meet and hear from Congresswoman Walters during the Aug. 8 event, which was hosted by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center. She discussed topics such as free trade and economic growth, and provided updates on a number of initiatives in which she is currently involved. “I am committed to promoting free trade, which supports...
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How Irvine, California’s Masterful City Plan Helps It Grow and Thrive

Monday, August 13, 2018

In the early 1980s, the City of Irvine consisted of a bustling university, commercial and industrial parks, thousands of acres of strawberry and tomato fields, and about 30,000 residents scattered in neighborhoods. Then new business started to move in. A new magazine, Entrepreneur, set up shop near John Wayne International Airport. Broadcom and Western Digital came to town and transformed the business landscape forever. Finally, the Irvine Co., landholder of the former 150,000-acre Irvine Ranch, worked with city officials to create a city around the university that also set aside 60,000 acres for open space. Today, Irvine is one of the most vibrant life...
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New Projections Show Future of Work in California

Monday, August 13, 2018

California will add two million jobs in the next decade, with the fastest job growth coming in sectors that require college degrees, according to new projections from the California Employment Development Department. The number of jobs that require at least an associate degree will grow by 810,000, or 12 percent, by 2026. By comparison, jobs that do not require a degree will grow by 1.1 million, or 9 percent. One major exception to that trend will be personal care aides — workers who take care of the elderly so they do not have to leave their homes. As baby boomers age, California...
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Lorie Eber Named Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador of the Year for Second Consecutive Year

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Lorie Eber, owner and principal of Lorie Eber Wellness Coaching, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber 2018 Ambassador of the Year. This is the second consecutive year in which she has earned the title. Upon joining the Chamber in 2014, Eber soon realized the value of being an engaged member. In 2015, she became an Ambassador for the Chamber, serving as a team leader for two years before becoming chair for the 2017-18 term. She also joined the Monday Leads Group and served as its chair from 2016-17, following her role as vice chair from 2015-16. “Working with people in a committee setting is a...
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Orange County Soccer Club Supports Alzheimer’s Association

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The Alzheimer’s Association had the honor of being the non-profit beneficiary from the Orange County Soccer Club’s (OCSC) game on Saturday Aug. 4, in which they played against the Swope Park Rangers. For the first time in the team’s history, all players wore special purple laces to bring awareness to the Alzheimer’s Association. “We hope this prominent activation with our players and technical staff will give greater attention to the Alzheimer Association’s cause,” says OCSC Sr. Director of Marketing, Austin Hurwitz. OCSC will also be hosting a walk team during the Walk to #EndALZ on Sept. 29 at the Orange County Great Park. “We...
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Pepper Russell Promoted to Research and Support Services Manager, Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Pepper Russell has been promoted to Research and Support Services Manager for the Greater Irvine Chamber. Since joining the Chamber staff in 2015, Russell has served in a support role for Economic Development, previously as Executive Assistant for Economic Development & Tourism. “I’m proud to be a part of the professional economic development staff at the Greater Irvine Chamber,” she said. “I’m looking forward to contributing in my new role to help ensure the business community in the greater Irvine area continues to thrive.” Russell’s area of responsibility includes collecting, organizing, and evaluating data and research from a variety of resources on...
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COX Charities to Award $55,000 in Grants to Orange County and Palos Verdes Nonprofit Organization

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Cox Charities will award a total of $55,000 in grants to Orange County and Palos Verdes nonprofit organizations to support initiatives that focus on youth, education, conservation, and the military. Applications are currently being accepted online at www.coxcharitiesca.org and must be submitted by Aug. 31, 2018. Cox Charities, the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications funded by employee donations that are matched by the company, will consider requests up to $5,000. To apply for a Cox Charities nonprofit grant, organizations must meet the following qualifications: Be a 501(c)3 non-profit organization; Be located or provide services in a Cox service area in Orange County and Palos...
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New Study Advises Policymakers to Consider Renewable Natural Gas for Low-Carbon Buildings Strategy

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has joined businesses, affordable housing advocates, scholars, and local government leaders to announce the results of a new study it commissioned by Navigant Consulting, Inc. that advises policymakers to consider renewable natural gas for California’s low carbon building strategy as a pathway for California to achieve its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. The analysis forecasts that replacing just 16 percent of the traditional natural gas supply with renewable gas (RNG) captured from sources like dairies, wastewater treatment plants, and landfills, can achieve GHG reductions equivalent to converting 100 percent...
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SBA Tops $50 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West announced today that SBA has approved more than $50 million in federal disaster loans for California businesses and residents impacted by the wildfires, flooding, mudflows, and debris flows directly related to the wildfires in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties that began Dec. 4, 2017. According to Garfield, SBA has approved $9,922,900 for businesses and $40,133,800 for residents to help rebuild and recover from this disaster. Garfield said, “Although the deadline to apply for property damage loans has expired, small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations...
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UCI Awarded $5 Million NSF Grant to Boost Low-Income Engineering Enrollment

Friday, July 27, 2018

Aiming to increase the number of low-income engineering students specializing in advanced manufacturing, University of California, Irvine has won a $5 million National Science Foundation grant that will provide scholarships to nearly 200 community college transfers. “We’re excited to launch the UC Irvine Pathways to Engineering Collaborative, which will train, mentor and tutor dozens of talented men and women as they study engineering at Irvine Valley College and UCI,” said project leader Lorenzo Valdevit, associate professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering. Under the program, each participating undergraduate will receive up to $10,000 annually over five years. In addition, researchers from UCI’s School of...
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Vincit California Named 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Entrepreneur of the Year

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Vincit California has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year. “I am grateful to the Chamber for creating such an open environment for new businesses to launch from,” says Ville Houttu, CEO of Vincit California. “The award belongs to my diligent and fun-loving team, as well as to our wonderful clients and partners making all this possible.” In addition to a successful expansion from Finland to Irvine, Vincit, a digital design and development agency, supports local schools and programs for junior developers including Orange County Code School, UCI Continuing Education Web Development, and Learning Fuze. Vincit was selected three...
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Waiting Time Penalties: Ignorance of the Law Won't Get You Off the Hook

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Employers in California can be penalized if they fail to timely pay an employee who quits or is terminated. These penalties are referred to as “waiting time” penalties. Labor Code section 203 states that if an employer “willfully” fails to pay all wages due to an employee at the time of termination (or within 72 hours if the employee quits without notice), the employer owes that employee one day’s pay for every day that the final paycheck is late, up to 30 days. These waiting time penalties apply not only when an entire final paycheck is late, but also when the...
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More than 400,000 California Entrepreneurs Use Bizfile in First Year

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Since its release last year, more than 400,000 entrepreneurs throughout the state have utilized bizfile, California’s online business filing and search services, according to government data released this month. The California Secretary of State (SOS) created the online portal in an effort to bring the process of filing business documents into the digital age. The agency's goal was to ensure that customers would no longer have to drive to an office and wait in line to search for business records or file financial statements. Rather, customers could simply go online, and at the click of their mouse, file or search for...
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State Approves $2.7 Billion for Water Storage Projects

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A state commission approved $2.7 billion in funding for a variety of water storage projects across California, but the money doesn’t guarantee that any of them will be built. The California Water Commission action was part of a complicated new process designed to depoliticize awards of state water bond funding by judging projects according to stringent guidelines that some of the biggest projects had trouble meeting. High-profile projects such as the Temperance Flat dam proposal on the upper San Joaquin River lost out, winning a fraction of what backers wanted and throwing the project’s future into doubt. Proponents of another big dam project, the Sites...
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Antis Roofing CEO Charles Antis to Deliver Keynote on Corporate Social Responsibility at Greater Irvine Chamber Legends & Leaders Event

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s second annual Legends & Leaders event on Thursday, Oct. 4, will feature keynote speaker Charles Antis, founder and CEO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, the Chamber’s 2018 Business of the Year. Antis will discuss his innovative “Give to Grow” approach to Corporate Social Responsibility. As the central tenet to his corporate philanthropy, Antis will share how the “Give to Grow” philosophy ensures that the company, its employees, and the entire community thrive together. Antis is a community-minded business leader and roofing industry expert. Currently, he serves on the Board of the National Roofing Contractors Association, is a member of...
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Both Employers and Employees Get Benefits Under the Workflex in the 21st Century Act

Monday, July 23, 2018

There’s a new entry in the paid-leave debate, and it supports a trend already occurring in the modern workplace: Employers are increasingly embracing workplace flexibility by offering more options for their employees regarding when, where, and how work is done. This approach is one that both workers and employers can embrace. The Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219) is an innovative, national approach to increasing the availability of paid leave and flexible work options for families that also helps employers navigate a patchwork of conflicting regulations. The Workflex bill, introduced by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), stands apart from previous national proposals by relying...
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Businesses and Consumers Reel From Trade Measures

Monday, July 23, 2018

The evidence is stacking up and the word is spreading: Tariffs are a major financial strain on American consumers and businesses alike. The Trump administration has imposed billions of dollars in tariffs on imports from around the world, provoking retaliatory actions from other nations and boomeranging back to hit the American economy. A new analysis and online interactive map by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce show the state-by-state impact of this brewing trade war on American businesses, farmers, and consumers – and it isn’t pretty. As of last week, approximately $75 billion worth of U.S. exports are now subject to retaliatory tariffs, making American-made goods...
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Dave Lucey Earns Director of Sports Sales Role for Destination Irvine

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dave Lucey has been promoted to Director of Sports Sales for Destination Irvine. Lucey’s priority is to promote Irvine's sports facilities, including the Orange County Great Park Sports Complex, as a preferred destination for large-scale sporting events to state, regional, and national markets, bringing millions of dollars in economic impact to Irvine annually. “We are very impressed with Dave’s sports industry knowledge and the depth of his network within the sports industry,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “We are so fortunate that he is putting that experience and reputation to work for Irvine.” Lucey was previously Sales Manager for the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Named a Best Place to Work by Orange County Business Journal

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber has been named one of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Orange County by the Orange County Business Journal. Pennsylvania-based Best Companies Group conducted the research on behalf of the Journal, grouping companies by the size of their staffs: large, with 250 or more on the payroll; medium, with 50 to 249 workers; and small, with 15 to 49 employees. “The Board of Directors congratulates the professional staff at the Greater Irvine Chamber for being named a 2018 Best Place to Work by the Orange County Business Journal,” said Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of external...
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Irvine Police Department’s Ray Chips to Provide Active Shooter Response Training at the Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Emerging Business Leaders Advisory Council is hosting an Active Shooter Response Training Luncheon on Friday, August 3, 11:30 a.m.  – 1 p.m. Ray Chips, program specialist for the Irvine Police Department, will provide information on the most up-to-date tactics on how to handle an active shooter situation, as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security. Chips’ career has been centered on ensuring community safety. Prior to his current position, he served as a Public Safety Assistant for the Irvine Police Department, specializing in crime prevention and emergency management. He was also the Director of Safe Schools for the Anaheim...
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Irvine Ranked Fourth Nationally for Quality of Life in Business Facilities Magazine

Monday, July 23, 2018

In its 14th Annual Rankings Report, Business Facilities Magazine ranked Irvine as one of the top 10 metropolitan cities within the nation in its Quality of Life category. Irvine is one of the nation's largest and most successful master-planned urban communities, encompassing 66 square miles and featuring some of the best outdoor recreation, family activities, shopping, dining, sports facilities and meeting venues across the nation. Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years. For more information on Irvine’s assets, visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Port of Long Beach Sees Busiest Month Ever

Monday, July 23, 2018

ONE Competence arrived at the Port of Long Beach on July 3, 2018. Container cargo volumes reached record heights at the Port of Long Beach last month, surging past the previous mark and distinguishing June 2018 as the Port’s best month ever. Trade increased 14.2 percent in June, compared to the same month in 2017. The Port’s terminals moved 752,188 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), 4.4 percent higher than the previous “best month” record set in July 2017. Through June, the Port has handled nearly 4 million TEUs. The figure is 14.5 percent above the pace set by 2017, the Port’s busiest year...
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The Historic Tariff Increase in One Chart

Monday, July 23, 2018

The U.S. economy has been performing particularly well since President Trump took office. The administration’s policies, most notably regulatory reform and tax reform, deserve considerable credit for this improvement. However, the recent actions on tariffs – and the responses by our trading partners – threaten these gains. Major exporters stand to lose from coast to coast. A recent U.S. Chamber analysis found that in California about $5.6 billion in exports are at risk due to the already implemented retaliatory tariffs, including more than $1.4 billion in exports of electric vehicles, harming one of America’s nascent growth industries. In Washington State, more than $6.2 billion of exports are threatened...
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Brian Andersen Named 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Brian Andersen, founder and CEO of Telecomprehensive Solutions, a telecommunications and technology consulting company, has been named the 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year. Since joining the Chamber in 2013, Andersen has been actively involved in the Chamber, joining a number of committees, and attending various events. He currently serves as co-chair of the Chamber’s Business and Workforce Development Committee, working to educate, inform, retain, grow, and expand existing businesses in Irvine. He is also involved in the Chamber’s Economic Vitality Council where he collaborates with other members, finding ways to energize the start-up eco-system, improve business retention, and cultivate a collaborative...
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Horizon Consumer Science Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Horizon Consumer Science has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a silver-level sponsor. “As a member of the Leaders Circle at the Greater Irvine Chamber, Horizon Consumer Science has been able to connect with like-minded executives, make mutually beneficial relationships and gain understanding on how its services can positively impact the needs of the local business community,” said Dr. Ian Cesa, president and CEO, Horizon Consumer Science. “We want to engage the business community and help them ask the right research and business questions, and get them the right answers to help their businesses and the community thrive.  Membership at this level offers...
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Kaitlynn Irvine Promoted to Greater Irvine Chamber Events Manager

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Kaitlynn Irvine has recently been promoted to Events Manager for the Greater Irvine Chamber. Since joining the Chamber professional staff in 2017 as Events Coordinator, Irvine has successfully planned and executed Chamber signature events with an extremely high production value. In all, she has managed a calendar of more than 400 annual Chamber events. As Events Manager, her duties include managing and developing client and supplier relationships as well as operational and administrative functions to ensure specific projects delivered efficiently. “Since joining the Chamber team, I have had the opportunity to incorporate fresh ideas that further facilitate business relationships for our members,” said Irvine. “I am...
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US Chamber Fights Trade Tariffs

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The United States is sinking deeper into a costly trade war. You have seen the stories, and your company may already be feeling the effects.  The U.S. Chamber has been fighting against these counterproductive policies from the beginning, and its most powerful and persuasive tool has proven to be your voice. The administration pays close attention to the impact the tariffs are having on businesses like yours.  The tariffs imposed by the U.S. on our trading partners have prompted approximately $75 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on American products. Now the administration is preparing or considering hundreds of billions of dollars in...
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Wendy Haase Promoted to Senior Director of Destination Irvine

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wendy Haase has been promoted to Senior Director for Destination Irvine. In this new role, Haase becomes the de facto executive director of this high-performing destination sales and marketing division of the Greater Irvine Chamber. She will oversee and manage the corporate sports and association sales team and initiatives, as well as all meeting and leisure marketing strategies. She previously served as Director of Tourism Marketing for the organization. “Wendy has earned this opportunity to lead Irvine’s destination marketing organization,” said Linda DiMario, Greater Irvine Chamber’s executive vice president. “She has continually demonstrated a great commitment to raising the profile of Irvine as a...
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School of Business at Concordia University Irvine Appoints New Professors

Monday, June 25, 2018

Experts in cybersecurity and accounting added to faculty The School of Business at Concordia University Irvine has named new professors to its full-time faculty. Professor Kim Chatani of Irvine and Professor Michael Kinnen of Riverside will begin teaching courses this fall in the business school of the Christian liberal arts university.    Professor Kim Chatani will teach graduate and undergraduate-level courses including accounting, finance, governance and risk management, international finance, and financial statements analysis. Prior to joining Concordia University Irvine as an adjunct professor in 2015, Chatani’s corporate background included partner and director roles at national firms such as Arthur Anderson LLP...
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Orange County Great Park’s Next Phase Now Open

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Another 48 acres of amenities are now open at the Orange County Great Park’s Sports Complex. Opened to the community on June 15 were six new synthetic soccer/lacrosse fields, a natural turf flex field that can accommodate four additional soccer fields, four basketball courts; and a restroom and parking lots. The additions complement the 53 acres that opened in August 2017 as part of the developing Sports Complex that enhances the Great Park’s 1,300 acres. The 48 acres are part of 130 acres of playfields and trails that will open this year. Next up are the Great Park Trails that are 1-mile-long from Irvine...
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Irvine High School Students Are Ready to Launch First Cubesat into Space on June 22 with Rocket Lab

Monday, June 18, 2018

Irvine CubeSat STEM Program to attempt the first successful launch of a high school student-built CubeSat in California and the West Coast. WHAT: Over 150 students from six Irvine high schools have joined forces as part of the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program to attempt the first successful launch of a high school-built CubeSat in California and on the West Coast. One final phase remains for IRVINE01: the launch. The students packed up the completed CubeSat at the launch integrator, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc., a worldwide leader in nanosatellites, and it has been transported to New Zealand as part of US...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Announces 2018 Business of the Year Nominees

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has announced the nominees for its Business of the Year Awards. Nominees will be recognized for community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship in the categories of Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Philanthropist of the Year, and Young Professional of the Year. The recipients of the awards will be announced at Celebrate Irvine, the Chamber’s annual business awards luncheon, hosted in partnership with the City of Irvine, on Wednesday, June 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Rd. Award Nominees: Business of...
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Irvine June 5 Election Results

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Irvine voters headed to the polls yesterday to vote in the Primary Elections. Voters approved Greater Irvine Chamber-supported Measure C, a taxpayer protection measure will require a two-thirds vote of the Irvine City Council to impose new taxes or raise existing taxes in the city. Similar protections have been approved by other charter cities in Orange County including Newport Beach, Anaheim, and Huntington Beach. The protections enforced through Measure C ensure that our essential services such as police, fire, and infrastructure updates remain properly funded and help maintain the vision and mission of the Irvine Master Plan. Chamber supported Measure D, an amendment...
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OCBJ, OneOC to Recognize Corporate Civic Engagement

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

By Pete Weitzner, Orange County Business Journal Last year, for the first time in a local market, the Orange County Business Journal presented the 2017 Civic 50 Orange County in partnership with OneOC, recognizing the 50 most community-minded small, medium, and large Orange County companies. OneOC is taking entries for the second annual Civic 50 now through June 29. Research proves community-minded companies do well by doing good. The companies get a measurable business lift in consumer preferences, company reputation, and employee attraction and retention. Community engagement isn’t just for large companies; small and medium-size businesses feel increased expectations to be more strategic...
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Destination Irvine Joins Hundreds of Travel and Tourism Industry Representatives for 36th Annual CalTravel Summit

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The CalTravel Summit, on May 29-June 1 in San Diego, brought together the entire travel and tourism industry in the state for three days of timely, issue-driven content, expert insights, interactive workshops, motivation, and one-of-a-kind networking opportunities. Wendy Haase, director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine took part in the summit as part of a larger strategy to keep the award-winning organization a top-performing DMO (destination marketing organization). The theme of this year's summit was "Voices Carry" and topics included the state of the homeless crisis in California communities; the forecast of the top economic trends and signals that will drive California’s...
CMTC Forms “California’s Manufacturing Network” to Support Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers Throughout California

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) is leading an initiative to establish “California’s Manufacturing Network.” The Network is a collaborative of manufacturing-focused partners designed to expand CMTC’s ability to serve small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) statewide. California’s Manufacturing Network delivers the capacity to provide a broad range of services from improvements on the production floor to the discovery of new products and markets. The Network measures its performance from financial impacts realized and satisfaction ratings reported via client surveys conducted by a third party. “California’s Manufacturing Network will be the 'Go-To' organization to support small and medium-sized manufacturers throughout California. The Network...
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Destination Irvine Promotes City at Travel Industry’s Premier International Marketplace

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Destination Irvine’s Wendy Haase, director of tourism marketing, and Demea Metcalf, director of sales, represented the organization at the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW, May 20-23 in Denver, where they promoted Irvine during the travel industry’s premier international marketplace. Haase promoted Irvine as a destination to dozens of travel media from around the world and attended a media luncheon with Denver-area journalists hosted by Visit California. Metcalf, along with Evelyn Shimada, business travel sales manager for Hotel Irvine, met with 40 international and domestic buyers from more than a dozen different countries during pre-scheduled appointments.  IPW is attended by 1,300 international and domestic...
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Destination Irvine Sales Manager Dave Lucey Named Finalist for Connect Sports Game Changers Awards

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dave Lucey, sales manager for Destination Irvine, was nominated by one of his peers and selected for this year’s Game Changers awards by Connect Sports magazine. This is the third year Connect Sports has conducted the recognition program for professionals in the sports tourism industry. The awards honor the industry’s sharpest minds—the people who have elevated sports tourism through innovation and precise execution. Winners will be featured in the fall print magazine and honored at Connect Sports 2018, August 23-25, in Salt Lake City. For information about sport venue opportunities in Irvine, contact Dave Lucey.
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During Capitol Summit Governor Jerry Brown Says Californian’s Ingenuity Generated $2.7 Trillion, Earning the State’s Status as the Fifth Largest Economy in the World

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A highlight of the May 23-24 California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) annual Capitol Summit was the 93rd Sacramento Host Breakfast, a segment during which the Governor typically addresses the state of California and speaks about the future and vision for the state. As Governor Brown is winding down his time of service as Governor, his speech was more reflective of his time in office than it was about the future of the state.  “Even 40 years ago there were a lot of people [talking about] California’s regulations, the taxes, the employment, [and] the anti-business climate. There’s always an element of truth to all...
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Five CalChamber-Supported Job Creators Move to Senate and Assembly Floors

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Five California Chamber of Commerce-supported job creator bills have advanced to the Senate and Assembly floors following the May 25 deadline to pass the appropriations committees. The following job creator bills that are awaiting action this week by the full Senate or Assembly: AB 1734 (Calderon; D-Whittier) Extension of Film Tax Credits —  Extends California’s current tax credit for motion picture and television productions, which has a sunset date of July 1, 2020, for an additional five years, continuing the success of this tax credit, which has brought more film and television production jobs to this state and has increased business to California. Assembly...
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Irvine Highlighted as Haven for Groups in Meetings Today Magazine

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Irvine was highlighted in Meetings Today magazine feature article, Healthy Spaces, which covers Orange County locations that offer travelers opportunities to sustain healthy lifestyles while on business trips. Irvine’s expansive 12,000 acres of preserved natural land was described as a place for meeting groups to take a deserved break from work and enjoy nature’s beauty, either on the hiking trails or bike paths. “Irvine’s founders truly thought ahead and master-planned the area’s growth,” said Demea Metcalf, director of sales for Destination Irvine. “Irvine’s biggest pastime is taking advantage of the outdoors. Sunshine is the best remedy to maintain your group’s well-being.” Also highlighted, are...
You Can’t Fight City Hall and Their Local Ordinances

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

From the Bay Area to San Diego, California cities and counties are enacting their own employment ordinances. These local ordinances regulate wages, paid sick leave and other employment matters. Keep in mind that local and statewide requirements can vary significantly, even between municipalities. All of which creates a greater compliance challenge if you have employees working in multiple cities with local ordinances. Join our employment law experts online on June 14 for a local look at: Minimum wage, paid sick leave and criminal background checks; Other labor-related ordinances, including San Francisco’s new lactation accommodation and salary history ban ordinances; Interaction between state and local laws; Compliance...
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International Forum: California Continues to Blaze Trail in Trade

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

U.S. and California politics and trade priorities, global connections and the importance of exports were the topics discussed by an international trade expert, a veteran political columnist, and an economist at the recent international forum presented by the California Chamber of Commerce. The May 23 forum, moderated by Susanne T. Stirling, CalChamber vice president of international affairs, brought together nearly 200 attendees, including representatives of the business community, CalChamber Board members, representatives of the California consular corps and foreign economic partners, plus representatives of state, local and federal governments. U.S. Trade Issues The Honorable Dale Tasharski, acting deputy director general of the U.S....
Irvine Roundtable Discussion

Friday, May 25, 2018

Join the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Greater Irvine Chamber as we convene a roundtable discussion led by Bryan O’Byrne, SBA’s Chief of International Affairs and Trade Policy, on Tuesday, June 5, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Greater Irvine Chamber, 36 Executive Park, Suite 100. This discussion provides the latest updates on trade policy topics and enables you to provide direct feedback to a senior representative on what changes would be beneficial to your business as you seek to start or grow your export opportunities. In this capacity, O’Byrne helps ensure U.S. small businesses are afforded expanded export market opportunities through negotiated...
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Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that class action waivers contained in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Nos. 16-285, 16-300, 16-307 (May 21, 2018)). Background In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the validity and enforceability of individual arbitration agreements for consumers (AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333 (2011)), which led to some employers adopting arbitration agreements with class action waivers. In 2012, however, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements...
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Destination Irvine Nominated for Meeting Industry’s Stella Award for Excellence

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Destination Irvine is a nominee for the meeting industry’s Second Annual Stella Awards, which recognizes destination marketing organizations (DMO)/convention and visitor bureaus (CVB) and destination management companies that consistently deliver quality service and innovation to meeting and events professionals. Honors are awarded in 18 categories celebrating overall excellence, superb food and beverage, professionalism of staff, technology innovations, and other critical aspects of the meetings and event experience. Finalists in each category are determined by industry professionals during an open voting period, while winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges overseen by the editors of Northstar Meetings Group's leading brands, Meetings & Conventions and...
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Greater Irvine Chamber's Whit Peterson Travels to Sacramento for CalChamber Capitol Summit

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gathering information about election year and state policy issues, Greater Irvine Chamber Director of Government Affairs, Whit Peterson, is taking part in the California Chamber of Commerce annual summit for business and local chamber of commerce leaders from throughout the state, on May 23-24. The Host Breakfast held on May 24 includes speakers Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Terry MacRae, 2018 CalChamber Chair and CEO of Hornblower Cruises & Events. The Capitol Summit features political insiders and CalChamber policy advocates. Opening the program will be CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg, who will give a straight talk about priority business issues. Zaremberg will also moderate “Capitol Scoop: Today’s...
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Southern California’s Foreign-Owned Businesses Jump Above 10,000, Employ 428,000

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Southern California is home to 10,378 foreign-owned businesses that employ 427,954 workers and generate nearly $27 billion in annual wages, according to a report from World Trade Center Los Angeles. The study, compiled in partnership with Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy and sponsored by American Airlines, says those employees represent 5.4 percent of the region’s total workforce. “The biggest thing this report shows is that international trade is creating jobs,” said Stephen Cheung, president of the trade center, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “We might see some fluctuation up and down, but the fact that this region is able to attract more than...
Businesses Can Help California Schools Train Students for ‘New Collar’ Jobs

Monday, May 21, 2018

The key to California’s long-term economic growth can be found in the classroom. Job growth in California has been robust since the last recession. But recently that growth has slowed because of the lack of employable workers. The projected shortage of skilled workers in the state through 2030 is more than a million graduates with bachelor’s degrees as well as hundreds of thousands of workers with two-year associate’s degrees and certificates. Only 39 percent of the state’s workers are trained to the “middle-skill” level, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. Filling that talent pipeline will be a challenge unless we...
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Orange County World Trade Week Draws Record Crowd with Senior Federal Official and Global CEO as Headlining Speakers

Monday, May 21, 2018

Breaking records and new ground, the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum exceeded expectations with 550 attendees, Consul Generals and consulate representatives from 17 countries, and professionals from Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and the business community. Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Sarah Kemp, addressing the sold-out May 17 crowd, reminded and praised the trade climate in Southern California. “Orange County and LA counties together account for 40 percent of California trade,” she said. “Orange County educational institutions are creating trade experts...
Supreme Court Rules Employers Can Ban Class Action Lawsuits in Arbitration

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Supreme Court, dealing a potential blow to the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, ruled that employers can require as a condition of employment that workers waive their rights to participate in class action lawsuits. In a 5-4 ruling on a trio of cases penned by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the court’s Republican majority sided with businesses whose employment contracts include mandatory arbitration clauses that prevent class action lawsuits. Instead, workers who take to the courts against an employer must do so as individuals. None of the cases at issue concerned sexual harassment — and sexual harassment claims, though often impeded by mandatory...
Trump Pulls Back from Brink of Trade War with China

Monday, May 21, 2018

President Donald Trump on Monday hailed his administration’s temporary truce with China on trade, even as his Treasury secretary and China struck a note of caution on the latest agreement. After high-level talks in Washington last week, Beijing has agreed to “substantially reduce” America’s trade deficit with China. “On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time,” Trump tweeted. Farmers, he promises, will come out on top. “Under our potential deal with China, they will purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce,” he tweeted. Both sides, however, have said there are no guarantees trade tensions are...
State Senator Renewing Push for Business-to-Business Service Tax

Thursday, May 17, 2018

After testing the waters for the last three years, state Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) is making his strongest push yet to pass legislation that would impose a tax on services provided to businesses. Hertzberg says Senate Bill 993 would better align the state’s tax code with the shift toward a more service-based economy. By 2022, the bill would create a new 3 percent tax on services — such as legal representation, accounting, design work and consulting — delivered to businesses in California. Hertzberg estimates that the new tax would bring in about $14 billion per year. To offset the tax increase, the bill includes a...
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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Rise; Unemployment Rolls Smallest in 45 Years

Thursday, May 17, 2018

New applications for U.S. jobless benefits increased more than expected last week, but the number of Americans on unemployment fell to its lowest level since 1973, pointing to diminishing labor market slack. Other data showed an acceleration in mid-Atlantic factory activity this month, with manufacturers saying they were boosting employment and asking for higher prices for their products. The combination of a tightening labor market and firming inflation bolsters expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month. “The U.S. labor market is headed toward becoming the tightest in recent memory,” said Kathryn Asher, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Initial...
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Annual National Infrastructure Week Focuses on Economic Impact

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 14 kicked off the 6th Annual National Infrastructure Week in the U.S.  Each year events are held across the country to emphasize the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. The event was held at Union Station in Los Angeles kicked off Infrastructure Week on the west coast.  The keynote speaker for this year’s National Infrastructure Week was Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti. During his address, Garcetti displayed optimism in regard to the future of our infrastructure, citing that the residents of California have taken initiative in creating change. California residents voted for to approve transportation ballot Measure M, as well...
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Californians Could Vote on as Many as Five Housing Measures in November

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown’s embrace last week of a $2-billion bond to fund homeless housing could make for an even busier ballot in November. Should lawmakers agree to put the bond before voters, Californians could see as many as five housing measures on the November ballot. In addition to the homeless housing plan, backers of initiatives to expand rent control, increase Proposition 13 benefits for homeowners and finance the cleanup of lead paint in homes all say they’ve collected enough signatures to ensure their proposals can make the ballot. Lawmakers have already agreed to put a $4-billion bond to subsidize new developments for low-income residents and provide home loans for veterans before voters in...
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Destination Irvine Takes Two Platinum Awards in Hermes Creative Awards

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Destination Irvine received two Platinum Awards from Hermes Creative Awards for the organization’s website destinationirvine.com and its social influencer digital marketing campaign with Entercom. Destination Irvine launched a redesign of its website in October 2017. The social influencer digital marketing campaign included banner ads, targeted emails, and a sweepstakes, and ran for six weeks beginning January 10, 2018, and garnered 10.4 million impressions. Hermes Creative Awards is an international awards competition for creative professionals involved in concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media; and recognizes outstanding work in the industry while promoting the philanthropic nature of marketing and communication professionals. Over 6,000...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Member SendGrid Opens New Irvine Spectrum Center Office

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member SendGrid, Inc., a leading digital communication platform that drives engagement and growth, celebrated the opening of its new Orange County office at 400 Spectrum Center Dr. in Irvine, with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Chamber. The new space nearly triples the footprint of the previous Orange County office, and is located at the heart of the region’s rapidly growing technology center. The new office, which has over 22,000 square feet of office space, is designed to hold more than two times the current employee base of 60 in Orange County to accommodate SendGrid’s plans for future growth....
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Public Hearings Provide Irvine, Tustin Residents an Opportunity to Learn and Provide Input on Proposed I-5 Improvement Projects

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The public is invited to attend the public hearings to learn more about the proposed I-5 Irvine & Tustin Improvements Project and submit comments. Hosted by the Orange County Transportation Authority, a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber, and California Transportation Department, the open-house hearings are planned for Thursday, May 24 at Tustin High School between 5:30 and 8 p.m., and Wednesday, May 30 at Lakeview Senior Center between 5:30 and 8 p.m. In order to decrease congestion on the freeways and allow for a future steady flow of traffic, the transportation organizations have joined forces to introduce renovations which will...
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Recently Renovated Irvine Hotels Showcased in California Meetings + Events Magazine

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The spring issue of California Meetings + Events magazine feature article, Meetings on the Fly, highlights the draw of updated guest suites, and event spaces offered by local hotels including the Embassy Suites by Hilton Irvine Orange County Airport, and the Wyndham Irvine – Orange County Airport. Newly renovated Irvine hotels have been featured as more than a quiet resting place for business travelers arriving at John Wayne Airport. Airport-adjacent gatherings save time and money without having to compromise on quality, style, and amenities. In addition to modernized amenities, California Meetings + Events shares that traveling professionals are offered opportunities to...
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State Economy Draws Strength from Trade

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

As the Trump administration and the 115th Congress now are into their second year, the California Chamber of Commerce continues to communicate its international trade priorities and support for working together to secure a national free-trade agenda. The designation of May as World Trade Month each year provides an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of global trade—the regular attacks notwithstanding—and the economic advances that international commerce makes possible. Promoting Trade a Priority California’s economy is more diversified than ever, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods and services by California-based companies, to exports and imports through...
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How California Regained Title of World’s 5th Largest Economy

Friday, May 11, 2018

California has regained its lofty perch as the world’s fifth-largest economy. Last year’s ranking — using the gross domestic product yardstick — is another example of the state’s revival from the financial pain inflicted by the Great Recession. By this math, California’s economy has rebounded from its post-recession standing low set in 2012 when it ranked as just the tenth-largest economy on the planet. This isn’t just about a mythical scorecard showing the huge scope of the state’s economy. The turnabout in the business climate — by no means perfect, but a reversal that stunned doubters — has created job opportunities, boosted...
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Anna Spitz Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Professional Staff

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Anna Spitz has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce professional team as Communications Coordinator. She will help develop and deliver relevant content about important Chamber affairs. Spitz recently earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton, with an emphasis in public relations. She will draw upon her skills in content development, social marketing, and copywriting for her new position. Previously a small-business employee, Spitz understands the importance of building meaningful relationships in order to foster sustainable growth. “I look forward to applying what I know in a way that will help advance the chamber’s mission and to help its...
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Nominations for Business Excellence Awards Accepted Through May 30

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Nominations for Greater Irvine Chamber business excellence awards are being accepted through May 30 in the categories of Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Business Philanthropist of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Self-nominations are also being accepted. Nomination forms for businesses and individuals in Irvine can be downloaded from the Business Awards page. Each year, the Greater Irvine Chamber recognizes businesses and individuals in Irvine that have demonstrated the principles of community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship. Join the City of Irvine and the Greater Irvine Chamber for...
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Tourism Saves OC Taxpayers $825 per Household

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

As a part of National Tourism Week, the 10th Annual Orange County Tourism Conference took place on May 7 at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. The conference recognized the contribution of travel and tourism to the local, regional, and national economies, and provided OC tourism industry leaders with insights, which they can draw upon for showcasing the region as a destination in the future. “Centrally located, with world-class outdoor recreation space and dining and shopping experiences, Irvine plays a plays an important role in destination travel, with millions of dollars in economic impact for the city,” said Bryan Starr, president...
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State Controller Betty Yee Provides Fiscal Overview of California and Orange County

Monday, May 07, 2018

Covering a wide range of issues that affect the state’s fiscal health, California State Controller Betty Yee addressed a group of business and community leaders during the May 3 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member. She chairs the Franchise Tax Board, and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards, which have a combined portfolio of nearly $500 billion. ...
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U.S. Department of Commerce’s Sarah Kemp to Speak at OC World Trade Week

Monday, May 07, 2018

Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum, to be held Thursday, May 17, 7:00 – 11:00 a.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave., will include an address by Sarah Kemp, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. In this role, Kemp oversees the daily operations of the International Trade Administration (ITA), which has an annual budget of $483 million with approximately 2,100 trade and investment professionals – based in more than 100 U.S. cities and 70 markets around the world. As Commercial Counselor, Kemp serves as a key adviser...
Voting Season Begins Today; Key Dates to Remember

Monday, May 07, 2018

Today is the first day to vote by mail in California’s primary election. CalChamber Positions Proposition 68 Authorizes Bonds Funding Parks, Natural Resources Protection, Climate Adaptation, Water Quality and Supply, and Flood Protection. Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for: parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply, and flood protection. Placed on Ballot by: Legislature. CalChamber Position: Support Reasons for Position The CalChamber Board voted to support the measure because it will provide funds for: groundwater cleanups that improve water quality; flood protection and repair; clean drinking water projects; and parks in urban and disadvantaged communities. More Information: www.yes68ca.com Proposition 69 Requires that Certain New Transportation Revenues Be...
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California Now World's 5th-Largest Economy, Surpassing UK

Saturday, May 05, 2018

California's economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world's fifth largest, according to new federal data made public Friday. California's gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion, according to the data. Meanwhile, the UK's economic output slightly shrank over that time when measured in U.S. dollars, due in part to exchange rate fluctuations. The data demonstrate the sheer immensity of California's economy, a state that is home to nearly 40 million people, a thriving technology sector in Silicon Valley, the world's entertainment capital in Hollywood and the nation's salad bowl in the...
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Irvine Inspired Showcases the City as Orange County’s Economic Engine

Friday, May 04, 2018

As recently promoted in the Orange County Register, Irvine is a vibrant center of technology, education, employment, and fiscal fitness. “Irvine was master-planned to be an economic powerhouse,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. It’s part of the long-term vision of the city. All of that planning is coming to fruition.” Irvine has evolved into a contemporary, multifaceted city that has more than 17,000 companies, employing some 250,000 people, resulting in a jobs-to-population ratio of 94.8 percent, the best ratio of all American cities of its size or larger. From global companies locating their U.S. headquarters...
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Let Your Voice be Heard – Register to Vote

Friday, May 04, 2018

In an ongoing effort to promote voter registration and participation, the City of Irvine encourages all eligible residents who are not registered to vote to do so by May 21.  By registering to vote, qualified voters can participate in the June 5 Special Municipal Election that has been consolidated with the Statewide Direct Primary. Registration can be completed online at ocvote.com or by mail. Voter Registration forms are available online at ocvote.com, the Irvine Civic Center, in local libraries, and City of Irvine community centers.  The Irvine Civic Center will also serve as an Early Voting Service Center, beginning Saturday, May...
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Forbes Ranks UCI 4th in Nation for ‘Best Value’

Monday, April 30, 2018

When it comes to getting the best value for your tuition dollar, University of California, Irvine now ranks fourth in the nation, according to Forbes magazine. The new listing puts UCI, a Leaders Circle member of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, in the company of Harvard University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and other elite institutions. The Forbes 2018 Best Value College survey rated 300 schools on their ability to deliver the best bang for the tuition buck based on tuition costs, school quality, post-grad earnings, student debt and graduation success. UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Brigham Young University led the list, with UCI outpacing Harvard, the...
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State Controller Betty Yee to Address Business, Community Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, April 30, 2018

California State Controller Betty Yee will address business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting on Thursday, May 3, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Yee will discuss topics including infrastructure, housing, workforce development, and the state’s business climate. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member. Now serving as the state’s chief fiscal officer, Yee chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement...
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CalChamber-Supported Regulatory Reform Bills Pass Committee

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Three California Chamber of Commerce-supported regulatory reform bills passed the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee yesterday with bipartisan support. AB 2087 (Waldron; R-Escondido) enhances California’s ability to deliver services by improving and updating our state’s information technology systems to take advantage of modern technologies. AB 2671 (Fong; R-Bakersfield) promotes greater accountability, transparency, improved efficiency and modernization of regulations by requiring agencies to review and update their regulations, as well as to submit major regulations to the Legislature for review, which paves the way to effective and least burdensome regulations. AB 2971 (Calderon; D-Whittier) will save taxpayer dollars, streamline government operations, improve public services, and reduce duplication and waste...
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OCTANe And California Life Sciences Association Announce New Accelerator Program

Thursday, April 26, 2018

 OCTANe, Orange County’s life sciences and technology accelerator and California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the trade association representing California’s life sciences industry, today announced the Life Sciences Growth Accelerator Program – a unique dual membership program designed to address the specific growth challenges of emerging life sciences companies. In today’s competitive environment, emerging life sciences companies face unique challenges – the need to attract key talent, make connections with funding and industry experts, and conserve capital while working to bring innovative products and treatments to market. “California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and OCTANe are thrilled to create a program that strengthens emerging Southern California...
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Ophthalmology Technology Summit 2018 Poised to Foster New Breakthroughs and Valuable Collaborations

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

OCTANe, Orange County’s technology and life sciences accelerator organization and a Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member, announced on April 25 that it has partnered with the CEDARS/ASPENS Society to enhance offerings related to ophthalmic surgery for its annual Ophthalmology Technology Summit (OTS). OTS 2018 will be held June 29 at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, bringing together a high-powered lineup of leading ophthalmology technologists, researchers, clinicians and entrepreneurs in Orange County’s technology-rich epicenter for ophthalmology. The not-for-profit CEDARS/ASPENS Society is comprised of two merged groups, the Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Society (CEDARS) and the American Society of Progressive...
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Rent Control Measure on its Way to California Ballot

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

California voters this year will likely decide whether cities across the state should have more power to enact stronger rent control. Rent control proponents behind a proposed November ballot initiative that would allow cities and counties to pass strong rent control laws say they now have enough signatures to qualify the measure. "People understand that rents are out of control, that's why I think you're seeing this initiative move forward," said Damien Goodmon, director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's "Housing is a Human Right" campaign. Funded primarily by the foundation and backed by labor and tenants' rights groups across California, the initiative seeks to repeal a...
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Destination Irvine Garners Travel Blogs Featuring the City

Monday, April 23, 2018

In conclusion of a recent social influencer campaign with Travel Mindset, Destination Irvine hosted Jade Broadus, a blogger for Vagabond 3, a travel blog for adventure lovers. Under the direction of Destination Irvine, Travel Mindset coordinated Broadus’ Irvine itinerary.  Read the blog: Get Outside: Discover the Great Outdoors in Irvine. Read the blog: Irvine Girlfriend Getaway. For more information on Irvine as a destination, visit Destination Irvine.com.
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Destination Irvine’s Wendy Haase Shares Her View at DMO Mojo on New Ways to See Irvine and its Visitors

Monday, April 23, 2018

Wendy Haase, director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine was invited to attend her fourth DMO Mojo. This year, held April 19-21 in Bermuda, Haase was asked to be on the panel “A New View: New Ways to See Our Destinations and Our Visitors,” where she shared her experience on working with social influencers and the organization’s successful digital campaign with Entercom. DMO Mojo is MMGY Global's annual think tank and premier conference for destination marketers. Approximately 30 destination marketers are invited annually. For more information on Irvine as a destination visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Emerging Business Leaders’ April Mixer Connects Young OC Professionals

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s Emerging Business Leaders Advisory Council (EBL) collaborated with the Center Club Orange County’s C39, a committee of young executives, and NAVIGATE, a young professional’s group from the Newport Beach Chamber, presenting a networking event at the Center Club on April 12 called “The Social.” The April Social brought together 60+ professionals from throughout Orange County. “Events such as The Social provide professionals who are early in their career with an opportunity to connect and expand their network and circle of influence, with the goal of helping them to advance in their careers,” said Ryan Strzalka, EBLAC chair. The mission...
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Jessica Yip Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Professional Staff

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jessica Yip has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber as Manager, Business and International Development. She will be helping manage a wide variety of robust economic development programs, activities and events developed by the Greater Irvine Chamber to impact, sustain, and grow Irvine’s economic vitality. She brings to the Economic Development team four years of experience in workforce development. As an account manager at Vital Link, a business-to-education facilitator serving Orange County schools, Yip was focused on fostering strong industry partnerships for her organization and developing career education opportunities for young students looking to explore different vocational paths. As the lead for...
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OC World Trade Week Exporter of the Year Nominees Announced

Monday, April 23, 2018

The 2018 Exporter of the Year nominees have been named by the Greater Irvine Chamber. Ampronix, Inc., Grandma Lucy's, Home Franchise Concepts, and Nutrawise Health & Beauty Corporation will be featured during the Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum through promotional videos and recognition from the podium. Nominated businesses have showcased successful export strategies representing best practices in business growth and increasing their sphere of influence. Nominations are under review by members of the District Export Council and Women in Trade Orange County. The 2018 Exporter of the Year to be announced during the OC World Trade Week event,...
Protect Harassment Victims, Employers From Defamation Suits

Monday, April 23, 2018

In 2016, 554 Californians filed sexual harassment complaints with the state civil rights agency, and many other employees have complained directly to employers without involving a state agency. But in none of these cases was an employer free to warn another employer that a prospective employee was found to be a sexual harasser, lest they be subject to a costly lawsuit for defamation. Worse, even the victim may be subject to allegations of defamation or emotional distress for merely making those charges — first, harassment at work, then harassment in the legal system. Outrageous as it may seem, harassers are attempting to wriggle...
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Sweeping EU Trade Deal with Mexico Seen as Signal to US

Monday, April 23, 2018

The European Union says a sweeping new trade deal with Mexico is a signal to the rest of the world — including the Trump administration. EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malstrom said Monday that the preliminary deal, agreed on Saturday and to be finalized this year, is a "powerful signal to the whole world." She said it shows that "with increasing protectionism in certain parts of the world, many of us do believe good trade agreements can be made ... to the benefit of consumers and companies." The deal comes as Trump's America-first policies have thrown U.S.-Mexico trade into uncertainty and stalled efforts for...
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The CDC Small Business Finance Wins SBA’s 2018 Jody C. Raskind Lender Award

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Certified Development Company (CDC) Small Business Finance, a California-based SBA 504 CDC Lender, Community Advantage Lender and Microloan Intermediary, has been selected as this year’s Jody C. Raskind Award recipient.  This recognition is presented annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration to a mission-focused lender that has distinguished itself in helping small businesses start, grow and expand. The award will be presented by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon to CDC Small Business Finance President and Chief Executive Officer Kurt Chilcott on April 29, during the inaugural event of National Small Business Week at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C. CDC...
Irvine Small Business – Big Opportunity luncheon

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Are your business records and data secure? Can you maintain operations if something unexpected happens? Get a jump start on your business "to do" list and tackle big questions on small business success at this free luncheon. For National Small Business Week, Travelers Institute, Small Business California, and the U.S. Small Business Administration Orange County / Inland Empire District Office bring together small business owners and decision-makers with industry leaders and advocates to examine the latest trends in cybersecurity, accessing capital and business continuity planning for the year ahead. Make the most of lunch. Don't miss it! When Monday, April 30, 2018 11:30 a.m. Registration &...
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SBA Deputy National Ombudsman to Host Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Roundtable in Indio

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Small business owners, representatives of local economic development organizations, trade groups and community leaders are invited to join the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Deputy National Ombudsman Natalie Duncan in Indio on Tuesday, May 1 at 9 a.m. to discuss federal regulatory issues impacting Inland Empire small businesses. This regulatory fairness roundtable is an opportunity for the small business community to learn how the SBA’s Office of the National Ombudsman can help entrepreneurs save time and money in resolving difficult federal regulatory compliance and enforcement issues. Business owners will also have an opportunity to provide real-time input on regulatory enforcement fairness issues affecting...
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South Orange County Community College District Dedicates First Building at the Advanced Technology and Education Park

Thursday, April 19, 2018

On April 18, the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) dedicated the first building at the Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP) in Tustin. Over 200 people came together to mark the grand opening for the new Integrated Design, Engineering and Automation (IDEA) Building. Following the ceremony, guests interacted with exhibits from community partners and programs within the School of IDEA.   The IDEA building will house career technical education programs for Irvine Valley College (IVC) at the ATEP site, which is currently under development and comprises 62 acres at the former Marine Corps Air Station at the Tustin Legacy.  ATEP will...
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California Expects $14 Billion in Tax Payments This Month

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget is built on what taxpayers might find an audacious assumption: almost $14 billion in tax payments in the month of April, an average of $83 million collected per hour on every business day of the month. Most of that money will come from the taxes Californians pay in advance of Tuesday night’s filing deadline for income tax returns. If history is any guide, the rate of payment could quadruple by week’s end. While tax rules have shifted some of the payment schedules to other months, April remains a vitally important month to the fiscal health of state government. The state...
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Civic 50 Draws Community-Minded Orange County Business Leaders to its 2018 Kick-off Event

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Now in its second year, the annual Civic 50 kick-off event was held on April 16 at the Center Club Orange County, drawing nearly 100 business leaders. Civic 50, presented by the Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ), in partnership with OneOC, annually recognizes the 50 most community-minded small, medium, and large Orange County companies. Jessica Welch, senior director of operations, Greater Irvine Chamber, joined Daniel McQuaid, president & CEO of OneOC and Civic 50 Board member, and Kim Sherman, president & CEO of ECHO Media Group and 2017 Civic 50 honoree, for the kick-off event. “The Greater Irvine Chamber is proud to support Orange County’s business community and take part in...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario Participates on Panel During Orange County Leadership Academy

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation in the political process, presented the Orange County Leadership Academy at Cal State Fullerton, Irvine Campus on April 6 – 7. Attendees included current and former elected officials, those aspiring to elected positions and those engaged in public policy. Featured speakers included Congressman Allan Lowenthal, 47th Congressional District, Congressman Lou Corea, 46th Congressional District, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, 65th Assembly District, and mayors and council members from Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Alhambra. Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber took part in an...
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Proposed “No-Growth” Measure for Irvine Fails to Make it to November Ballot

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A proposed ballot measure intended to stop of development in Irvine has failed to garner enough support to be put on the November 2018 ballot. The group behind the initiative declined to submit the signatures they have collected, indicating that they failed to meet the requisite number of qualified signatures for ballot qualification. The measure, if placed on the ballot and passed by the electorate, would have required a city-wide vote for virtually all new development projects proposed in the city, directly contradicting the carefully-crafted Master Plan the city uses to guide its land use. This poorly written initiative was fraught with unintended...
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GO-Biz Committee Approves $76 Million in Tax Credits for 63 Companies Adding 6,100 Jobs in California

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Today, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced that the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) committee approved $76 million in tax credits for 63 companies projected to create 6,166 jobs and make $490 million worth of new capital equipment investments across California. View the complete list of approved companies and award amounts.   “The California Competes Tax Credit encourages companies from around the world to locate, expand and add good paying jobs in California,” said Panorea Avdis, GO-Biz Director and Chair of the California Competes Tax Credit Committee. “In the last four years, hundreds of companies have made commitments...
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Irvine’s OCTANe and Small Cap Nation Partner to Sustain Innovation Ecosystem

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

OCTANe, a Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member and Orange County’s technology and life sciences accelerator organization, has announced a strategic partnership with Small Cap Nation (SCN), a financial media content distribution platform that specializes in developing and delivering breaking, on-demand news and information focusing specifically on the domestic and international small cap sector. “We are very excited to announce our strategic partnership with Small Cap Nation,” said Bill Carpou, CEO of OCTANe, “This partnership will open an important source of capital for our LaunchPad companies and those associated with OCTANe’s Growth Services platform that are raising capital. It also further...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leads Groups Surpass Record in Closed Sales with Over $6 Million Posted in Q1 2018

Monday, April 09, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leads Groups have surpassed total closed sales figures in any quarter previously recorded by the groups. Total closed sales earned by all five Leads Groups for the first quarter in 2018 is $6,349,241. Each quarter, the Chamber recognizes the member recording the highest in closed sales dollars for the period with its Rainmaker Award. Scott Schultz, of RH Morris Financial Group, has been named the Rainmaker for Q1 2018. “The Leads Group has given me the opportunity to get to know my fellow chamber members on a deeper level and develop better relationships that help me understand who they...
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Irvine Showcased as an Affordable Winter Destination for Canadian Travelers

Friday, April 06, 2018

In March, Rishi Modi, CEO and founder of Next Departure Inc., visited Irvine to showcase the city as an affordable winter destination for Canadian travelers on his blog, “Next Departure.” Making the trip with his wife, Farah, Modi’s interest was influenced by affordable flights to Southern California and Canadians’ search for an alternative to Florida as a sunny travel destination. The couple sought specifically to experience Irvine’s outdoor recreation. Destination Irvine worked with tourism partners to coordinate a fun-filled itinerary for the bloggers. Read about the bloggers’ Irvine experience here: nextdeparture.ca/irvine
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Nominate an Outstanding Small Business Leader

Friday, April 06, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual Small Business Advocate of the Year Award. The award recognizes small business owners who have done an exceptional job with their local, state and national advocacy efforts on behalf of small businesses. “Telling the business story is an important part of every advocacy program,” said Dave Kilby, CalChamber executive vice president, corporate affairs. “We look forward to receiving many nominations so that the CalChamber can recognize outstanding spokespersons from around the state.” Application The application should include information regarding how the nominee has significantly contributed as an outstanding advocate for small business in...
Small Biz Week

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber partners U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE Association will host a free, 3-Day Virtual Conference during National Small Business Week. The conference will take place Tuesday, May 1 – Thursday, May 3 between 12:30 pm ET - 6:30 pm ET each day. Registration is free to the public. A schedule of live events will be sent to registrants via email. Participate in this free, online conference to listen to practiced advice on current business strategies, meet other business owners, and chat with industry experts! The Virtual Conference offers all the best parts of an in-person conference, but without...
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Business Leaders Encouraged to Tell Their Stories to State Lawmakers During the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Inaugural Sacramento Advocacy Trip this May

Monday, April 02, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce invites Irvine area business leaders to join its inaugural Advocacy Trip to Sacramento, which is a part of the Chamber’s strategic commitment to further the voice of Irvine and Orange County business to state legislators. By making the visit along with Chamber representatives, business leaders have the opportunity to tell their own stories to state lawmakers and gain insights into the governing process. In conjunction with the California Chamber of Commerce (also known as CalChamber), the Greater Irvine Chamber and participating business leaders will spend May 23-24 receiving policy and election briefings and speaking with...
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Chapman's Rinker Health Science Campus earns WaterStar Certification

Monday, April 02, 2018

The Rinker Health Science Campus, ideally located in the Irvine Spectrum technological hub to provide cutting-edge health-science education, recently earned WaterStar Certification for installing water-efficient plumbing fixtures throughout campus buildings and making drought-friendly landscape changes.
China Raises Tariffs on U.S. Pork and Fruit in Trade Dispute

Monday, April 02, 2018

China raised import duties on pork, fruit and other products from the United States on Monday in an escalating tariff dispute with U.S. President Trump that companies worry might depress global commerce. The Chinese Finance Ministry said the charges were in response to a U.S. tariff hike on steel and aluminum that took effect March 23. But a bigger dispute looms over Trump's approval of possible higher duties on nearly $50 billion of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy. Forecasters say the immediate economic impact should be limited, but investors worry the global recovery might be set back if other...
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Record Number of Consul Generals, Top-Tier Foreign Trade Representatives to Take Part in the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum

Monday, April 02, 2018

To date, a record 14 countries are confirmed to send Consul Generals or top-tier trade representatives to the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum, to be held on Thursday, May 17, 7 – 11:00 a.m., at the Irvine Marriott located at 18000 Von Karman Ave. “The response we have received from Consul Generals and top tier trade consuls who have committed to attend our OCWTW Breakfast & Forum clearly demonstrates the growing prestige of this annual trade event,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “We are ready to welcome a record-setting number of...
StartUp OC Investor Showcase Continues to Connect New Tech, Healthcare Businesses to VC Opportunities

Monday, April 02, 2018

Now in its second year, StartUp OC Investor Showcase, a collaboration between UCI Applied Innovation, OCTANe, and the Greater Irvine Chamber, was designed to introduce our young Irvine/Orange County companies to the venture capital they need to grow their business. Ten (10) venture capital firms attended to review and learn more about the selected the companies. “Raising the profile of our innovative new technology and life science companies and helping them identify new rounds of funding strengthens and enhances the value of our eco-system in Irvine/Orange County,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber and its Economic...
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City of Hope coming to Great Park Neighborhoods

Friday, March 30, 2018

City of Hope, a world-renowned independent cancer research and treatment center, and Five Point Holdings, LLC (NYSE: FPH), the largest owner and developer of mixed-use, master-planned communities in coastal California, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding formalizing a collaboration to build a $200 million, best-in-class, cancer center in Irvine. The cancer center, part of FivePoint’s Great Park Neighborhoods project on the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, will be equipped with leading-edge technologies and dedicated oncology specialists to provide innovative, high quality care to Orange County and beyond. The center will be developed on property donated to City of Hope by the FivePoint...
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OCTANe and California Life Sciences Association Announce New Accelerator Program

Friday, March 30, 2018

OCTANe, Orange County’s life sciences and technology accelerator and California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the nation’s largest statewide public policy and business solutions organization representing California’s leading life sciences innovators, announced the Life Sciences Growth Accelerator Program - a unique dual membership program designed to address the specific growth challenges of emerging life sciences companies. In today’s competitive environment, emerging life sciences companies face unique challenges – the need to attract key talent, make connections with funding and industry experts, and conserve capital while working to bring innovative products and treatments to market. “CLSA and OCTANe are thrilled to create a program...
U.S. Annual Inflation Posts Strongest Increase in Nearly a Year

Friday, March 30, 2018

Prices rose in February and annual inflation edged closer to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, a sign of strengthening U.S. inflation pressures that could encourage the Fed to continue lifting interest rates this year. The Commerce Department said Thursday that its personal-consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.2% in February from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis. Excluding the often-volatile categories of food and energy, prices also increased 0.2% last month from January. The overall index increased 1.8% in February from a year earlier compared with 1.7% annual price growth in the three preceding months. The February increase...
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U.S. Jobless Claims Decline to Lowest Level Since January 1973

Friday, March 30, 2018

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since January 1973, further evidence that the labor market remains tight, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week ended March 24) Jobless claims decreased by 12k to 215k (est. 230k) Continuing claims rose by 35k to 1.87m in week ended March 17 (data reported with one-week lag)  Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 224,500 from the prior week's 225,000 Key Takeaways Claims at the lowest level in 45 years underscore a persistent shortage of qualified workers that has made employers reluctant to...
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United States, South Korea Reach Agreement on Amendments to Free Trade Agreement

Friday, March 30, 2018

The United States and South Korea this week announced reaching an agreement in principle on the general terms of amendments and modifications to the United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). “This represents important progress in improving U.S.-Korea trade and economic relations, based on their strong and enduring security relationship,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the nations have also agreed on terms for a country exemption for the Republic of Korea from tariffs imposed on steel imports. Negotiators are finalizing the terms of the KORUS FTA, which are subject...
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CalChamber to Offer Live Webinar on Hiring

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Source: CalChamber Recruiting, interviewing and hiring new employees involves significant legal risks if not handled properly. In fact, California has stricter protections for job applicants than do federal laws—even more so since January 1, 2018. To help California employers navigate this process, the California Chamber of Commerce is hosting a live webinar, “Hiring Steps You Don’t Want to Regret,” on Thursday, March 29. “California employers should be aware of recent changes to their hiring practices in 2018,” says Erika Frank, webinar co-presenter and CalChamber executive vice president of legal affairs. “For example, asking about an applicant’s prior salary is a thing of the...
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California Consumer Confidence Index Back at Record High

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Source: Orange County Register  California shoppers continue to see through various bits of economic and political turmoil to push one measure of statewide consumer optimism to a new record high. The March reading of the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index shows California’s benchmark rising to a new high, breaking the previous peak set in December. The data show California shopper’s confidence in current conditions sits just below a record set in December while their outlook for the financial future hit a new high in March. California confidence, by this yardstick, has grown at an annualized rate of 9 percent in the 14 months since...
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High Court Decisions Leave Employers with Uncertainty

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Source: CalChamber Labor Law Standards Subject to Interpretation California employers are once again left with uncertainty regarding the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Enforcement Policies and Interpretations Manual following a California Supreme Court ruling earlier this month. The state high court’s March 5 ruling in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California dealt mainly with how an employer must calculate overtime compensation for an employee who earns both an hourly rate and a flat sum nondiscretionary bonus. In its analysis, the Supreme Court also provided lengthy discussion on whether the DLSE’s manual was binding authority on the courts. The Supreme Court concluded that the DLSE Enforcement Manual is a...
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Tickets on Sale for the 2018 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship at the OC Great Park

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) will hold their 2018 and 2019 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship in Irvine, in the new 2,500-seat Championship Stadium at the Orange County Great Park Sports Complex. Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Championship, at http://www.gsacsports.org/NAIA_MSOC_18. Irvine winning the bid to host the Championship was a true community effort; the support of the City of Irvine, its new Orange County Great Park Sports Complex, along with the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce hotel partners made it possible for the Destination Irvine sales team to secure this event for Irvine. The potential economic impact the...
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U.S. Seeks China Trade Moves on Autos, Financials, Chips

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Source: CalChamber Top Trump administration officials are asking China to cut tariffs on imported cars, allow foreign majority ownership of financial services firms and buy more U.S.-made semiconductors in negotiations to avoid plans to slap tariffs on a host of Chinese goods and a potential trade war. A person familiar with the discussions said these were among the asks from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as they pursue talks with Beijing. The Wall Street Journal first reported the demands from U.S. officials, saying they came in a letter sent to Beijing last week. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro...
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Aluminum and Steel Duty Update

Monday, March 26, 2018

Source: Pisani & Roll LLP With the March 23 effective date for additional 10 percent duties on aluminum and 25 percent duties on steel now having passed, U.S. Customs & Border Protection ("CBP") is monitoring and enforcing the new duties.  There also have been several key developments with regard to these duties. First, the list of countries whose aluminum and steel products are not subject to additional duties has expanded.  The initial proclamations exempted only Canadian and Mexican aluminum and steel.  While not indefinite, the original proclamations did not have an explicit "expiration" date for these two countries exemptions.  Rather, the proclamations stated...
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Federal Trade Program Saving Businesses Millions Back in Force

Monday, March 26, 2018

Source: CalChamber The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed by the President on March 23, averting a government shutdown, includes language renewing a federal trade program that saves U.S. companies millions of dollars. The language renewing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in February. The bill will renew GSP through December 31, 2020. The renewal of GSP will refund tariffs paid from January 1, 2018 through the reinstatement date. The bill also will change the annual review announcement date from July 1 to November 1, update some dates related to “competitive need limit” (CNL) reviews,...
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Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel to Share Details of the City’s Public Safety Record with Business and Community Leaders

Monday, March 26, 2018

Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel will join the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee to discuss public safety in Irvine. As the FBI’s #1-ranked Safest Large City in America since 2005, Irvine’s Police Department maintains a stellar reputation that helps to protect Irvine’s residents, business and visitors. Join us Thursday, April 5, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m., at the Greater Irvine Chamber to meet Chief Hamel and find out how his service to the community preserves Irvine’s public safety record. A 22-year law enforcement veteran who has been with Irvine Police Department (IPD) since 1995, Chief Hamel is the first Irvine Police Chief to rise...
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Organizations Serving Trade/Exporting Sponsor 2018 OC World Trade Week

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sponsors enable the Greater Irvine Chamber to bring together Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and members of business community for the 4th annual Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum (OCWTW), to grow awareness of the impact of international trade and export in Orange County.  Along with Founding & Presenting Sponsor UPS, 2018 OCWTW is supported by Champion Sponsor HSBC Bank; Advocate Sponsor the Consulate General of Canada and District Export Council of Southern California; Supporter Sponsors Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Global Registrations, Google Fiber, Horizon Consumer Research, and JD.com; and port sponsors Port of Long...
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Brian Dozer Named Member of the Month for March 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Brian Dozer, director of Webster University – Irvine, has been named as the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Member of the Month for March 2018. Since joining the Chamber in 2015, Dozer has been highly involved with the Chamber, including holding leadership roles on committees. He currently serves as co-chair of the Chamber’s Business & Workforce Development Committee, and in 2016-2017 he served as co-chair of the Economic & Workforce Development Committee. Furthering his commitment to the workforce of tomorrow, he has served as a volunteer mentor for the award-winning Career Edge soft-skills program for area college students, and a facilitator for Financial Forum,...
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Orange County Unemployment Falls to 3.1 Percent

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.1 percent in February, compared with a revised 3.2 percent in January but well below the 3.8 percent reported a year earlier, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. The state’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent while the U.S.’s was 4.4 percent. The most recent February numbers for the county, state and the U.S. are not seasonally adjusted. Nonfarm OC employment increased 6,300 jobs month-over-month to 1.63 million.  Eight of 11 sectors reported increases. The biggest was a 4,500 increase in government workers, mostly local education workers returning to work after the holidays. Higher education and...
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2017 Trade Figures Show California Maintains Position as Top Exporting State

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source: CalChamber The U.S. Department of Commerce now has 2017 trade statistics available through the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) “Trade Stats Express.” In 2017, California exported $171.9 billion to 229 foreign economies. California’s top export markets are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Hong Kong. California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $2 trillion. International trade and investment are major parts of the state’s economic engine that broadly benefit businesses, communities, consumers and state government. California’s economy is diverse, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods...
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Duration of Written Meal Period Waivers Depends on Your Needs

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source: CalChamber We have employees working 6-hour shifts who want to waive their meal period and employees who want to waive their second meal period after 10 hours. How often do we have to renew the written waiver? Pursuant to the California Labor Code, both the 6- and 10-hour waiver allow an employer and employee to mutually waive the required meal period. Although other types of meal waivers must be in writing, a written waiver is not required in these instances. Meal period rules and regulations are found in both the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) orders and in the California Labor Code, Section...
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High Court Decisions Leave Employers with Uncertainty

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source: CalChamber California employers are once again left with uncertainty regarding the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Enforcement Policies and Interpretations Manual following a California Supreme Court ruling earlier this month. The state high court’s March 5 ruling in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California dealt mainly with how an employer must calculate overtime compensation for an employee who earns both an hourly rate and a flat sum nondiscretionary bonus. In its analysis, the Supreme Court also provided lengthy discussion on whether the DLSE’s manual was binding authority on the courts. The Supreme Court concluded that the DLSE Enforcement Manual is a void underground regulation and not...
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State of Judiciary Address Highlights Civil Justice Reforms

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source:CalChamber The funding boost proposed in the state budget plan for the coming year will help the judicial branch continue reforms to provide access and fairness to court users, California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye told lawmakers in her State of the Judiciary address on March 20. After years of funding cuts, the 2018–2019 state budget proposed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. grants the state’s judiciary an additional $150 million for critical trial court operations and commits to funding construction for 10 new courthouse projects in the next two years. Funding Civil Justice Due to limited resources in past years, the judicial branch...
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Tariff on Chinese Imports Clouds Trade/Investment Gathering

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source:CalChamber As President Donald R. Trump’s intention of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of exports from China loomed like a cloud, the Chinese Consul General, Ambassador Luo Linquan, hosted a reception and dinner for approximately 30 business leaders at his residence on Wednesday, March 21. The event focused on foreign direct investment into China, as well as China’s outward foreign direct investment, but the President’s pending actions were the dominant topic. The Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, which also has responsibility for Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, covers 35% of U.S. trade with China. Attending the March 21 dinner...
Irvine Standard: A New Communication Forum Celebrating the World’s Best Master-Planned City

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Irvine Standard, a new communication forum, including a monthly newspaper and e-edition, website, and social media channels, celebrates the people, places, and events that make Irvine the world’s best master-planned city. Shared through these channels are stories and photos that highlight the way the city’s unique promises add value to residents’ lives. In the April issue of Irvine Standard, read a Q&A with Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr as he discusses the Master Plan as the foundation for Irvine’s economic strength. Visit IrvineStandard.com, watch for a copy of the newspaper in your mailbox, and follow on Instagram and Facebook! @irvinestandard...
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White House Announces 25 Percent Duties on Certain Chinese Origin Products

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The White House and US Trade Representative (USTR) announced on March 22 that additional duties of 25 percent will be assessed in the near future on certain Chinese origin goods. The additional duties will be charged under the authority of Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows for imposition of additional duties and other trade remedies in order to enforce trade agreements, resolve trade disputes, and open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services. It is the main authority under which the United States may impose trade sanctions on foreign countries that violate trade agreements or engage in unfair...
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Jackson Tidus Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jackson Tidus, A Law Corporation, has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as the newest silver-level sponsor. The highly accomplished attorneys at Jackson Tidus bring extensive legal and real-world business experience and knowledge to address challenges and goals unique to each of their clients. Areas of practice include real estate, land use development, subdivisions, mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment, tax and estate planning, mortgage guaranty insurance, insurance, intellectual property, business and corporate, environmental, and litigation. The firm and its attorneys support more than 100 community organizations and provide pro bono services to area nonprofit organizations. Jackson Tidus, an equal-opportunity and...
Six Wins as KORUS Turns Six

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

As we reach the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement’s sixth anniversary of entry into force today, it is useful to once again take stock of this important agreement – commonly known as KORUS. The U.S. Chamber and its U.S.-Korea Business Council have long maintained the view that KORUS has delivered on its goal of spurring trade, economic growth, and job creation for both economies.  Not everything with regard to KORUS is perfect. There are important areas where Korea has not met its commitments, and the U.S. Chamber is a leading voice urging both governments to resolve them. But these shortcomings should not...
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Celebrate Irvine 2018 Set for June 20

Monday, March 19, 2018

Celebrate Irvine, the Greater Irvine Chamber’s annual luncheon, will recognize outstanding achievements in Irvine's business and nonprofit community along with the success of Irvine's Master Plan. The event will be held Wednesday, June 20, 11:30 – 1 p.m., at the Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Rd. Nominations are being accepted, now through April 30, 2018, for businesses or individuals in Irvine that have demonstrated the principles of community service and charitable contributions and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship. The award categories are Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Philanthropist of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and Young Professional of the Year. The program...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Represents Diverse Business Community

Monday, March 19, 2018

With more than 70 languages spoken by residents, Irvine is rich in cultural diversity. That diversity is also well reflected in the business community. The Greater Irvine Chamber, which represents the interests of nearly 1,000 member and partner businesses, serving nearly 100,000 employees, is proud to provide a network for such diverse business professionals. Dinh Ta, new business manager for the Chamber, has produced videos for social media in more than 10 languages spoken by Chamber members, promoting the Chamber’s 7 to 30 events each month that provide members with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with one another. Languages represented through videos to-date include:  Arabic Chinese  Dutch Farsi German Hindi Korean Russian Spanish Swedish To learn about...
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Jessica Welch Elected as Chair of Western Association of Chamber Executives Emerging Leaders Council

Monday, March 19, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch has been elected to serve as Chair of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) Emerging Leaders Council. Her term is effective immediately. Council members will provide feedback and ideas to the W.A.C.E. president and board of directors, which in-turn result in innovative programming for the annual conference. The group also participates in identifying fundraising opportunities for scholarships. “Leading this group of exceptional young professionals who work diligently in the chamber industry is an honor,” Welch said. “Our hope is we can help the W.A.C.E. board encourage a forward-thinking model for chambers and associations throughout the nation,...
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OCTANe Announces 2017 Results and Strategy: Building the SoCal of Tomorrow

Monday, March 19, 2018

For Orange County and the entire Southern California region, 2017 was a pivotal year for innovation. The region has some of the nation’s best engineering talent, top-ranked universities, and a community of investors and innovators. With that in mind, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member OCTANe has been creating collaborative and strategic relationships with many organizations and creating the SoCal of tomorrow. The OCTANe 2017 Impact Report gives an overview of the region’s tech growth engine for the year as well as a forecast through 2025.   “The year 2018 will begin a new growth period for OCTANe as we execute...
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EU Calls for Industry Input on U.S. Tariff Retaliation List

Friday, March 16, 2018

The European Commission called for industry views on Friday on a list of U.S. products it will subject to import tariffs, the first step towards measures to counter planned U.S. taxes on European steel and aluminum. The European Union wants to be exempted from U.S. duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum that U.S. President Donald Trump approved last week. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom meet next week to discuss the issue. The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28 EU members, has said that, if the EU is not...
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Job Openings in U.S. Rose to Record in January, Above Forecast

Friday, March 16, 2018

U.S. job openings rebounded to the highest on record in January, reflecting a solid job market at the start of the year, Labor Department data showed Friday. Highlights of Job Openings (January) Number of positions waiting to be filled increased by 645,000 to 6.31m (est. 5.92m) from a downwardly revised 5.67m in Dec. (prev 5.81m): Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey or JOLTS Private hiring rose to 5.24m from 5.17m 3.27m Americans quit their jobs, down from 3.34m in Dec.; quits rate eased to 2.2% from 2.3% Key Takeaways The surge in January job postings may help explain February’s addition of 313,000 workers to employers’ payrolls, the biggest gain since...
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Crucial Irvine Wildlife Corridor Begins to Take Shape Within Orange County Great Park Fulfilling a Long-Held Dream

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A crucial wildlife corridor connecting the Cleveland National Forest with Orange County’s coastal habitat begins taking shape as Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC (a partnership of FivePoint Holdings, LLC) and Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. unveiled a nearly 2.5-mile ribbon of native vegetation that soon will host, among others, grey fox, bobcat, coyote, Gnatcatchers and other native species. The Irvine Wildlife Corridor is being developed on city land in the Orange County Great Park and is important to preserve the long-term biodiversity of native species and protect the heritage of coastal California. The March 13 unveiling follows decades of dedicated work by environmental groups to...
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U.S. Commerce Report: California Maintains Position as Top Exporting State

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Source: CalChamber The U.S. Department of Commerce now has 2017 trade statistics available through the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) “Trade Stats Express.” In 2017, California exported $171.9 billion to 229 foreign economies. California’s top export markets are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Hong Kong. California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $2 trillion. International trade and investment are major parts of the state’s economic engine that broadly benefit businesses, communities, consumers and state government. California’s economy is diverse, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods...
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California Partners and British Healthcare Association Forge Deeper U.S. Relations

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) has partnered with Southern California’s leading business accelerator OCTANe and the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce in a strategic three-way collaboration, to provide trade support for HealthTech companies.  The partnership will see UK companies connect with one of the US’s most diversified technology communities in Irvine and the wider Orange County area, to develop their market entry and growth strategies. ABHI CEO Peter Ellingworth said,“This particular district of Southern California is a real Health Technology hub and we are actively exploring opportunities for British businesses in the area. By creating these sustainable two-way trading bridges,...
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California’s Economy Will Continue to Outshine Most of the U.S.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The California economy has been going gangbusters over the past few years and should continue to march along nicely over the next two years. As one of the most populous states in the country, California contributes slightly more than 14 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product – far more than any state. And that should continue with the state’s economy predicted to grow 2.7 percent this year and 2.6 percent next year, according to the recent “Economic Forecast & Industry Outlook for 2018/2019,” released on Feb. 21 by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. The LAEDC report outlined a good-news scenario...
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Hoag Takes on PGA Tournament Sponsorship

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Orange County Business Journal has reported that Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has assumed the title sponsorship of Orange County’s only PGA Tour event, renaming it the Hoag Classic. The Journal article notes that senior circuit showcase had been known as the Toshiba Classic for more than two decades. Longtime OC executive and philanthropist Paul Folino was named chairman, replacing Ira Garbutt, who filled the post for 10 years in a run that will likely never be matched. Hoag Charity Sports, a unit of the Hoag Hospital Foundation, will continue to produce the tournament. Proceeds, which typically...
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Irvine Featured in The Via Blog

Monday, March 12, 2018

Irvine is included in The Via Blog spring round-up "4 Places for a Beachside Spring Break."  The round-up features Orange County and highlights The Great Park as one of the handful of attractions to visit in the entire region.  The Great Park is also featured in the slideshow. Via magazine is the AAA publication for Northern California – like Westways is for Southern California. The blog post is a result of Destination Irvine coordinating a media visit for Megan McCrea, senior editor of Via, last December.   https://www.destinationirvine.com/articles/post/4-places-for-a-beachside-spring-break/
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OC World Trade Week Partners Include International-American Chambers, Trade Organizations

Monday, March 12, 2018

The 2018 Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast & Forum is supported by an impressive list of Orange County International-American chambers and trade organizations as partners for the fourth annual event on Thursday, May 17 at the Irvine Marriott. “These groups are part of a powerful coalition of organizations that understand and appreciate the value of trade across the globe and implications for our economy and the global economy,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “This combined strength allows us to encourage businesses to export to increase their market share, and helps them learn what they need...
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Port of Long Beach Launches Data-Sharing Project with GE Transportation to Improve Cargo Flow Efficiencies Amid Record Volumes

Monday, March 12, 2018

(NYSE:GE) and the Port of Long Beach are collaborating to improve cargo flow at the busiest port complex in North America. As cargo volumes and the complexity of port operations increase, the Port of Long Beach is launching a pilot with GE Transportation to increase visibility, enhance real-time decision-making and optimize cargo movement through the Port. Building on the success of its pilot with the Port of Los Angeles, where the solution is helping to increase visibility of incoming cargo from two days to two weeks, GE Transportation will implement the Port Optimizer™ solution at marine terminals, including Total Terminals International and Long...
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Third Career Edge Workshop to Offer College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in partnership with Irvine Valley College and Webster University, Irvine, will host students from area colleges and universities for its third Career Edge workshop on Saturday, April 7, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The course, Successful Business Etiquette & Workplace Behaviors, a component of the three-part Career Edge workshop series, will be taught by Julie Hallsted, Certified Paralegal and Advanced Certified Paralegal currently managing legal support services for Island Restaurants. The workshop will cover how to adapt and leverage the workplace environment; explore basic business practices, etiquette, and professional attitudes; and characteristics that will define a new employee and...
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Women of Influence Event Inspires 300+ Professionals to Be Bold

Monday, March 12, 2018

Inspiration is a sweet thing. Keynote speaker Rosie O’Neill, co-founder and chief creative officer of Sugarfina, and other entrepreneurial executives shared their stories of inspiration and passion that led them to make bold business moves, during the Greater Irvine Chamber’s March 8 Women of Influence event at the Irvine Marriott. O’Neill told the professional women and men in attendance how she started the luxury candy boutique for grown-ups after being inspired by the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie,  she and her now husband Josh Resnick saw while on a third date. She also shared the top ten strategies for success that she...
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Destination Irvine’s Demea Metcalf Elected to Meeting Professionals International Orange County Board of Directors

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Demea Metcalf, CMP, MS, MA, a Certified Meeting Professional and Director of Sales for Destination Irvine, has been elected to the Meeting Professionals International Orange County (MPIOC) board of directors for 2018-2019. “With her expertise and position in the marketplace, Demea will be a great leader to serve on the board,” said Brian Gilman, president-elect, MPIOC. As director of member retention for MPIOC, Metcalf will help advance the organization’s growth and influence within the industry. “I am honored to be serving on the MPIOC board of directors during the next year as it will be an exciting time for me to build new relationships and enhance existing ones as...
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California Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Join Forces in Support of NAFTA

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Source: CalChamber The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) encourage California state leaders, and in particular the California Congressional Delegation, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in actively supporting the renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during the current renegotiation process. Trade between California and Ontario is extremely strong with an upward trajectory over the past five years. California and Ontario are key trade partners with billions of dollars at stake in sectors such as autos, medications, coins, fruits, motor vehicle parts and computers and computer peripherals. “The CalChamber is working with the Ontario Chamber...
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California Supreme Court Issues Worker Friendly Overtime Ruling

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Source: CalChamber Overtime pay in California is based on the employee’s “regular rate of pay,” which is not always an employee’s normal hourly wage and must include almost all forms of pay that the employee receives. But how do you calculate the regular rate of pay when an employee receives both an hourly wage and a flat sum bonus – such as an extra $15 for working a weekend shift? Yesterday, the California Supreme Court ruled that an employer must calculate the regular rate of pay by dividing the employee’s total compensation by the number of nonovertime hours an employee worked during the pay period, rather...
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Seventh Round of NAFTA Negotiations Concludes

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Source: CalChamber The seventh round of negotiations have concluded in Mexico City, Mexico, and the negotiators report closing three additional chapters of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Although the trilateral meeting didn’t close as many chapters as negotiators had hoped, they closed chapters on: Good Regulatory Practices, Administration and Publication, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. Negotiators also completed work on sectoral annexes related to chemicals and proprietary food formulas and said they are making substantial progress on Telecommunications and Technical Barriers to Trade. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reports that the three nations agreed to include a chapter on energy. “These chapters are important and...
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Survey: US businesses hire 235,000 new workers in February

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Source: CalChamber-APNEWS U.S. companies added a healthy 235,000 jobs last month, led by solid gains in construction, hotels, restaurants, education and health care, according to a private survey. The report Wednesday on February hiring from payroll processor ADP comes after businesses added 244,000 people in January and 249,000 in December. Those gains should be enough to reduce the unemployment rate, currently a low 4.1 percent, over time. With unemployment already so low, strong hiring should force employers to offer much higher pay to find the workers they need. Target, one of the world’s biggest retailers, raised its minimum starting pay for workers for the second...
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Irvine Emerging as a Destination Ready to Host Major Sporting Events

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Destination Irvine along with the City of Irvine are working together to promote the city as a destination for professional and amateur sporting events, tournaments, and qualifiers. The efforts are paying off as trade publications, like Sports Destination Management, feature Irvine as an “emerging  destination.” Read the article here.
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Call for Nominations: Orange County Exporter of the Year

Monday, March 05, 2018

Each year, the Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum takes the opportunity to showcase a business that has expanded its markets through successful export strategies. The Greater Irvine Chamber, in partnership with the District Export Council and Women in Trade is seeking nominations for the 2018 Exporter of the Year Award.  Eligible entrants may be small, medium, or large companies in Orange County, which have made the decision to expand their markets and grow their sales by exporting. The Chamber is looking to share interesting and compelling stories and novel strategies leading to success in exporting. “We want to recognize...
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City Magazine Q&A Profile Features Greater Irvine President & CEO Bryan Starr

Monday, March 05, 2018

In the Spring 2018 issue of Inside Irvine, a magazine of the City of Irvine, Greater Irvine President and CEO Bryan Starr provided insights into the role the business community and the Chamber plays in the overall success of Irvine. He also addressed why bringing and retaining jobs to Irvine is important. “Irvine has been master-planned to be an economic powerhouse. Ours is a world-class city that easily stacks up to any other city in America in terms of what it has to offer its residents and businesses,” Starr told Inside Irvine. CLICK HERE to read the full interview online.
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IRS, FBI Warn Employers to Beware of W-2 Phishing Scam

Monday, March 05, 2018

Source: CalChamber The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently warned payroll and human resources professionals of a dangerous Form W-2 phishing scam that victimized hundreds of organizations and thousands of employees during the last two tax seasons—and this season is no different. The scam goes like this: Cybercriminals identify your company’s chief operating officer or other high-level executives, pose as the executive and send emails to payroll personnel. In these emails, the fraudsters request copies of employee Forms W-2 or ask for a list of all employees and Social Security numbers (SSNs). Using a technique called...
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Irvine’s Business Community, a Key Component to the Irvine Master Plan

Monday, March 05, 2018

The job of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce is to promote business and tourism, and we couldn’t be prouder of the dynamic destination that Irvine has become for both. The city’s prosperity is no accident: The Master Plan creates a balanced and financially self-sustaining community. Irvine is steadily rising to the top of the best places in America to live, work, and play. Now more than ever, we are optimistic and excited about what’s next for Irvine. We see a young, vibrant city full of innovation poised to flourish over the next 50 years, thanks to a balanced and forward-looking Master...
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Top 10 Airports, Seaports and Border Crossings for U.S. Trade in 2017 Include Three that Serve Orange County

Monday, March 05, 2018

In a recent article, Forbes reported that five of the nation's top 10 gateways for U.S. trade are centered around just three cities: New York City, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Three of those gateways serve Orange County, which is included in the Los Angeles metropolitan statistical area. Out of the three gateways that serve Orange County, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are sponsors of the Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum. Forbes ranked the top 10 U.S. gateways for trade, based on the dollar value of that trade. Here’s how our region’s ports ranked: #1 - Port of...
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Women of Influence Event Provides Opportunity for Professionals to Pay it Forward through Working Wardrobes

Monday, March 05, 2018

As hundreds of professional women gather to hear inspirational stories from some of the business world’s boldest CEOs during the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Women of Influence event this Thursday, March 8, they will also have the opportunity to share their good fortune with others. Working Wardrobes will be on hand to accept new or gently-used accessories that can be used to help women (and men) who are overcoming obstacles and pursuing reentry into the workforce. “This is an excellent opportunity to pay if forward and provide a ‘second career’ for any unused business-appropriate accessories,” said Working Wardrobes founder and CEO Jerri Rosen....
California’s Economy Will Continue to Outshine Most of the U.S.

Friday, March 02, 2018

The California economy has been going gangbusters over the past few years and should continue to march along nicely over the next two years. As one of the most populous states in the country, California contributes slightly more than 14 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product – far more than any state. And that should continue with the state’s economy predicted to grow 2.7 percent this year and 2.6 percent next year, according to the recent Economic Forecast & Industry Outlook for 2018/2019, released on Feb. 21 by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. The LAEDC report outlined a good-news scenario for...
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Greater Irvine Chamber-Supported Measures Succeed at Irvine City Council, will be Included in June Ballot

Friday, March 02, 2018

During the Feb. 27 city council meeting, Irvine Mayor Don Wagner proposed two ballot initiatives to be voted upon by the voting public in Irvine on June 5.   The first of the two initiatives is a taxpayer protection measure to require a two-thirds vote of the city council to impose new taxes or raise existing taxes in the city. This protection was originally approved by California voters in 1986 as Proposition 62. However, it was later ruled in court that this law only applied to general law cities. As a charter city, Irvine was not subject to the protection and any proposed...
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Destination Irvine Takes Part in CalTravel Rally Day

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Wendy Haase, director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine, along with more than 80 fellow tourism representatives from across California visited the State capitol in Sacramento on February 28 for the Second Annual CalTravel Rally Day.  Advocacy is the core mission of CalTravel and Rally Day is an opportunity to cultivate influence and educate state legislators on issues that affect travel and tourism businesses. Following the meetings there was a networking reception for participants, legislators, and staff. Rally Day was held in conjunction with the CalTravel winter board meeting. Haase has served on the CalTravel board of directors since 2015. Photo: Lance Levitt,...
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Nominations Open for OCTANe High Tech Innovation Awards

Thursday, March 01, 2018

OCTANe High Tech Innovation Awards (HTA) seek to celebrate and recognize those individuals and companies who make Orange County a center of technology innovation excellence in industry and in education. In its 25th year, The High Tech Innovation Awards has recognized more than 300 innovators and over 85 companies. Nominations are open through April 15. For more information and to nominate a company, visit OCTANeHTA.com/nominate. HTA AWARD CATEGORIES • Outstanding Private Technology Company • Outstanding Public Technology Company • Best Public Company CEO • Best Private Company CEO • Outstanding Emerging Technology Company • Best Technology Innovation in Software • Best Technology Innovation in a Consumer Product • Outstanding Innovation in...
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Guidance for Employers on Immigration Enforcement Actions

Monday, February 26, 2018

Source: CalChamber Earlier this week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Labor Commissioner Julie Su issued two documents for California employers dealing with California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450). Attorney General Becerra issued an advisory providing an overview of and guidance on the privacy prescriptions under AB 450. Commissioner Su also issued joint guidance on frequently asked questions to help employers and workers understand and comply with the new state law. Under AB 450, all employers, regardless of size, must limit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents’ access to both the worksite and employee records, and must follow new notice obligations. This law applies to all California employers...
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IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker to Address Business and Community Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee will host Irvine Unified School District Superintendent Terry Walker on Thursday, March 1, as he provides an update on the state of the school district, how Measure E is working, and other activities in the district. The meeting is open to all Chamber members. No RSVP is necessary. For more information, CLICK HERE.
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State Offers Resources for Workplace Emergency Planning

Monday, February 26, 2018

Source: CalChamber The 2017 California wildfire season consisted of 9,133 fires that burned more than 1.3 million acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It’s considered the most destructive on record — and in January, the recently-charred land caused severe mudslides during a deadly storm that shut down about 30 miles of Highway 101 between Northern and Southern California. To help workplaces prepare for such unexpected occurrences, the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch (OHB) has provided a list of resources. The Cal/OSHA Emergency Action Plan standard sets minimum standards for workplace preparations and offers guidance for elements that...
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Texas Travel Show Features Irvine in Orange County Episode

Monday, February 26, 2018

Check out the Irvine segment that aired this past weekend on YOLOTX a weekly travel show about entertainment, food, and things to do across the U.S. that airs throughout the state of Texas. Destination Irvine worked with tourism partners Diamond Jamboree, Pedego Electric Bike Irvine, the Orange County Great Park and the Irvine Spectrum Center to promote Irvine's diverse culinary offerings, vast bike trails, sports tourism, shopping, and entertainment. For more information on Irvine as a destination, visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, Retired MSgt., USAF Serves on Women of Influence Speaker Lineup

Friday, February 23, 2018

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, retired MSgt., United States Air Force, will address hundreds of professional women at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Women of Influence event on Thursday, March 8, 11:30 – 2:30 p.m. at the Irvine Marriott. The award-winning speaker enlivens every speaking engagement with activities, and says, “You remember it because you’re experiencing the information rather than passively listening to it.” As CEO of Dynamic Vision International Inc., Fernandez offers leadership, negotiation, and communication training to corporate clients and small business owners internationally. Her business is built on a 23-year career as a contract specialist in the Air Force, where she negotiated hundreds of millions...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Recognized as Top Performing Catalyst, Convener, and Champion for Business Community

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The core initiatives of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce are focused on promoting local economic growth, advocating for the business community with federal, state and local government, and promoting the city as a dynamic business and tourism destination, and providing professional development, networking opportunities, and support services for professionals interested in advancing their careers and growing their businesses. In a recent publication of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.), the Greater Irvine Chamber was recognized for being a Catalyst for business growth, Convener of leaders and influencers, and Champion for the business community. These characteristics were found by W.A.C.E....
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Call for Nominations: Greater Irvine Chamber 2018 Outstanding Business Awards

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Each year, the Greater Irvine Chamber recognizes businesses and individuals in Irvine that have demonstrated the principles of community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship.  Nominations for businesses and individuals in Irvine are being accepted now through April 30, 2018 in the categories of Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Business Philanthropist of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Self-nominations are also accepted. Nominations forms can be downloaded from our Business Awards page. Join the City of Irvine and the Greater Irvine Chamber for Celebrate Irvine luncheon on Thursday, June...
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Connect 2 Met: Contracting Opportunities in the Water Industry

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is hosting Connect 2 Met, a free event covering contracting opportunities in the water industry.  Connect 2 Met is where entrepreneurs can learn how to contract with government agencies as well as meet our respective buyers and learn about contracting opportunities that range from as little as $500 all the way up to the millions of dollars. Connect 2 Met will be held Thursday, March 8, 9 - 11:30 a.m., at the Fullerton Community Center, 340 E. Commonwealth Ave., in Fullerton. Register Here.      
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Greater Irvine Chamber FDI Delegation Makes Meaningful Impact During Its Two-City Visit in U.K.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A delegation led by the Greater Irvine Chamber, the first ever economic development delegation to visit the New United States Embassy in London, traveled across the pond on a two-city foreign direct investment (FDI) mission in the U.K., Feb. 12-16. The goal of the mission was to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science industry strength and to identify, connect with, and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when they consider expansion into the U.S. The delegation collaborated with two of the U.K.’s most prestigious associations in the life sciences field: One Nucleus and the Association of...
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OCBJ Lists Top Foreign-Owned Companies in Orange County

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Orange County Business Journal recently published its list of 40 foreign-owned businesses in Orange County. Nine of these are Greater Irvine Chamber members: B. Braun Medical Inc. (Germany) – Leaders Circle member Toshiba (Tokyo) Thales Avionics Inc. (France) Alcon Research Ltd. (Switzerland) Meggit PLC (United Kingdom) Mazda North American Operations (Japan) – Leaders Circle member Kia Motors America Inc. (South Korea) Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. (Japan) Canon U.S.A. (Toyko) For more information about joining these global companies as a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber, contact Dinh Ta. (949) 502-4119.
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Orange County World Trade Week Welcomes Back UPS as Founding & Presenting Sponsor in 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber welcomes back UPS as the Founding & Presenting Sponsor for the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Forum and Breakfast. UPS has held the title sponsor role since the inaugural event in 2015, which drew nearly 250 attendees. Over 500 are expected to attend the 2018 event held Thursday, May 17, 7 – 11:00 a.m., at the Irvine Marriott. “We are very proud to have UPS back as our Presenting Sponsor this year. As a leader in global logistics, UPS is a perfect match for this event,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “UPS brings...
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Women of Influence Serves up Inspiration, Champagne Reception and Sugarfina Luxury Candy Tasting Experience

Monday, February 19, 2018

Indulge your mind. Indulge your (epicurean) senses. Join hundreds of professional women gathering at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Women of Influence for a Champagne reception and Sugarfina tasting experience, following a presentation of inspirational stories by some of the boldest entrepreneurs you’ll ever meet. Keynote speaker Rosie O’Neill, co-founder and chief creative officer of Sugarfina, a luxury candy boutique; Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, retired MSgt., United States Air Force, CEO of Dynamic Vision International, Inc.; and Cassandra Miller CEO of ridesharing company See Jane Go, will discuss details of their journeys that allowed them to “be bold” in their careers. Following up on...
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Trade Report: California Exports Finish Strong in 2017

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Source: CalChamber California’s merchandise export trade soared in December, according to a Beacon Economics analysis of U.S. trade statistics released February 6 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Foreign shipments by California businesses totaled $15.32 billion for the month, a 9.1% gain over the $14.04 billion recorded in December 2016. The state’s exports of manufactured goods in December rose 5.6% to $9.56 billion from $9.05 billion one year earlier. Exports of nonmanufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) jumped by 32.4% to $2.25 billion from $1.70 billion. Re-exports, meanwhile, rose by 6.7% to $3.51 billion from $3.29 billion. California accounted for 11.3% of the nation’s overall...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Earns Top Communications Award from Western Association of Chamber Executives

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce was awarded first place in overall Chamber Communications Programs for the entire Western United States, the highest honor of Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) in that category. The award was formally presented to members of the Chamber staff at the W.A.C.E. annual conference, held this year in Henderson, Nevada, Feb. 7-9. “We have put a great deal of emphasis on our strategic communications efforts this year, communicating the great work of our organization. As a testament to our effectiveness in raising our profile, the Greater Irvine Chamber has been honored with a major award...
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See Jane Go CEO Cassandra Miller Part of Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Women of Influence Bold Speaker Lineup

Monday, February 12, 2018

Cassandra Miller, CEO of See Jane Go, a uniquely feminine ride-hail service that offers a safer more comfortable ride and flexible income earning opportunities for women, will be among a lineup of dynamic speakers who will address hundreds of professional women (and men) at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Women of Influence on Thursday, March 8, at the Irvine Marriott. Miller is a serial entrepreneur who has spent her career building, developing, and growing service businesses. Her unique skill set is best described as a Business Architect. She sees the vision for an organization and translates the company vision to an...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Supports Habitat for Humanity Orange County

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber has made a $5,000 contribution to Habitat for Humanity Orange County earmarked for projects in the region. Chamber president and CEO Bryan Starr also presented a ceremonial check on Feb. 7 to Habitat president & CEO Sharon Ellis and vice president of Fund Development Chris Baiocchi. The Greater Irvine Chamber is dedicated to economic and community development in the region and supports other organizations that work toward the same objective. To learn more about the Greater Irvine Chamber and how to become involved, visit GreaterIrvineChamber.com.
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Prestigious U.K. Life Sciences Association Announces to its Constituents Arrival of Irvine FDI Delegation

Sunday, February 11, 2018

One Nucleus, one of the U.K.’s most prestigious associations in the life sciences field has announced in its news the arrival of the Irvine foreign direct investment (FDI) delegation, encouraging the association’s members to engage in the thought leaders panel “Building the Health Technology Eco-System between the U.K. and Irvine/OC.” Panelists include executives from University of Cambridge, Biotechspert/University of Cambridge, and Bill Carpou of OCTANe in Irvine and Steven Small, professor of Neurology, UC Irvine and chief scientific officer of the Medical Innovation Institute. The goal of the Chamber led FDI mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County life science industry...
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Destination Irvine Showcases the City's Assets to Texans

Friday, February 09, 2018

Destination Irvine, in a collaborative effort with Travel Costa Mesa and Visit Buena Park, hosted yoloTX, a weekly travel show about entertainment, food and things to do across the U.S. that airs in all four major metropolitan areas in Texas. The premise behind the joint destination effort was to showcase Orange County beyond the well-known attractions and beaches to one of the area's main visitors markets.  Destination Irvine worked with tourism partners Diamond Jamboree, Pedego Electric Bike Irvine, the Orange County Great Park and the Irvine Spectrum Center to promote Irvine's diverse culinary offerings, vast bike trails, sports tourism, shopping and...
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Greater Irvine Chamber FDI Delegation Wheels Up to London!

Friday, February 09, 2018

A delegation led by the Greater Irvine Chamber is headed to London – the first stop on its two-city foreign direct investment (FDI) mission in the U.K., Feb. 12-16. Chamber president and CEO Bryan Starr and executive vice president Linda DiMario are traveling to London and Cambridge with Irvine Mayor Don Wagner and executives from California State University Fullerton, Global Affairs; Edwards Lifesciences; Horizon Research and British American Business Council; Jones Lang LaSalle; OCTANe; Thinkbox Technologies; University of California, Irvine (UCI) Applied Innovation; and UCI Medical Center. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science...
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Greater Irvine Chamber's Career Edge Named Outstanding Program of the Year

Friday, February 09, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge was named the 2017 Outstanding Program of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.). The award was formally presented to members of the Chamber staff on Feb. 8 at the W.A.C.E. Annual Conference held this year in Henderson, Nevada. “In addition to the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received from students, educators, and the business community, recognition from our colleagues across the Chamber industry is further indication of the value of the Career Edge program and the Chamber’s role to ensure a highly-skilled, 21st-century workforce that our employers seek,” said Linda DiMario, executive...
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Irvine Public Schools Foundation’s 5th Annual Top 100 Reception Honors Companies that Helped Raise $3 Million for Irvine Schools

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber partner member Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), a leading educational nonprofit organization focused on enriching the educational experience of each child in every school, hosted its 5th annual Top 100 Reception on Feb. 6 at the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach. The list of Top 100 companies were honored for their commitment to excellence in education by supporting IPSF’s mission. Greater Irvine Chamber is among these socially responsible organizations are investing in Orange County's future by ensuring local youth have access to educational resources that will enhance their academic and future success. “We are proud to...
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Labor Commissioner Releases Notice to Employee for Form I-9 Inspections

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Source: CalChamber California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) provides California workers with protection from immigration enforcement while on the job. This law applies to all California employers and was effective January 1, 2018. One of the requirements of this new law is that employers must provide notice to all current employees when a federal immigration agency intends to inspect the employer’s Forms I-9 or other employment records. Required Notice to Employees If an employer receives a Notice of Inspection from a federal immigration agency, the employer must post a required notice to employees in the workplace within 72 hours of receiving the Notice of Inspection. The Labor Commissioner...
Students Learn Workplace Soft Skills during Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge Workshop

Thursday, February 08, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber hosted about two dozen students from area colleges during its Spring 2018 Career Edge workshop, Be the Most Effective New Employee!, as part of the Practical Critical Thinking & Problem Solving component of the overall soft skills workshop series. The Feb. 3 course was taught by Dr. Aaron Shaffer, organizational development expert working with organizations to identify, assess, coach, develop, and retain key talent. Shaffer has held senior leadership roles at MFlex, Motorola (a Google company), ITT Industries, and Network Appliance, and currently teaches at Webster University and UC Irvine. As adjunct faculty, Shaffer teaches MBA and...
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Portola High School Receives Best of the Best K-12 Education Award

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Irvine Unified School District has received two prestigious design and construction awards for Portola High School from Engineering News-Record (ENR).  This state-of-the-art education facility, which opened in August 2016, was honored with the Best of the Best K-12 Education Award in California and in the nation. According to ENR, “This announcement comes as the culmination of a nearly year-long effort put forth by dozens of industry judges and the ENR editorial team to identify the pinnacle of design and construction achievement in the entire U.S. among projects completed between May 2016 and May 2017. “Portola is our first high school built in accordance with IUSD’s...
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A Decade After Recession, A Jump in U.S. States With Wage Gains

Monday, February 05, 2018

Source: CalChamber The kind of pay raises for which American workers have waited years are now here for a broadening swath of the country, according to a Reuters analysis of state-by-state data that suggests falling unemployment has finally begun boosting wages. Average pay rose by more than 3 percent in at least half of U.S. states last year, up sharply from previous years. The data also shows a jump in 2017 in the number of states where the jobless rate zeroed in on record lows, 10 years after the financial crisis knocked the economy into a historic recession. The state-level data could signal...
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Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner Addresses a Packed Room at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s yearly Mayoral Update hosted Feb. 1, featured Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner. During the meeting Mayor provided an update from City Hall to a packed room of business and community leaders from Orange County. Mayor Wagner discussed an affordable housing project on the University of California, Irvine campus, and provided status updates on the Great Park Veterans Cemetery land swap, which will be an upcoming ballot item for the public to vote on, and the prospect of USA Water Polo program calling the Great Park home. Mayor Wagner also said the city is considering the potential to include...
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Students Hone Soft Skills during Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge Soft Skills Workshop

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber hosted about two dozen students from area colleges during its Spring 2018 Career Edge workshop Be the Most Effective New Employee!, as part of the Practical Critical Thinking & Problem Solving component of the overall soft skills workshop series. The Feb. 3 course was taught by Dr. Aaron Shaffer, organizational development expert working with organizations to identify, assess, coach, develop, and retain key talent. Shaffer has held senior leadership roles at MFlex, Motorola (a Google company), ITT Industries, and Network Appliance, and currently teaches at Webster University and UC, Irvine. As adjunct faculty, Shaffer teaches MBA and...
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The Power and Influence of the Greater Irvine Chamber Membership Continues to Expand

Monday, February 05, 2018

With more than 800 member businesses, the Greater Irvine Chamber remains one of the largest chambers of commerce in Southern California, and the power and influence of its membership continues to expand at record pace. Dinh Ta, business development manager for the Chamber, has introduced 31 businesses as new members in that many days during January 2018. Ta first surpassed a membership record in May 2017, with 28 new members, followed by 30 new members in November. The previous monthly average was 17 new members each month. Ta has exceeded other all-time new records in membership, including bringing on six new...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Life Science Delegation Returning to the U.K.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is leading a delegation of business and life science experts returning to the U.K. to meet with more life science and technology companies that may be exploring expansion into the U.S. and Southern California. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science industry strength and identify, connect with and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when they consider expansion into the U.S. This Foreign Direct Investment mission planned for February 12-16 follows the successful inaugural mission conducted in February 2017, during which the delegation met...
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Bloomberg News: Linda DiMario weighs in on Amazon HQ2 Process and the Economic Development Game

Friday, February 02, 2018

In a Jan. 30 article, Bloomberg News reported what Greater Irvine Chamber executive vice president Linda DiMario had to say about the Amazon HQ2 process and economic development: Economic development professionals are torn as to whether the campaign by cities and metro regions to win Amazon’s second headquarters will change the way the game is played. “Some people thought it was the most inefficient RFP process they’ve ever seen, but I saw it as quite brilliant, and I think it’s going to be good for other businesses,” said Linda H. DiMario, executive vice president of economic development and tourism for the Greater Irvine...
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Wage Growth Picked Up As U.S.Added 200,000 Jobs in January

Friday, February 02, 2018

The U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in January, and wages grew at the fastest pace in eight years. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%, the lowest since 2000, the Labor Department said Friday. Wages were up 2.9% compared with a year earlier, the best pace since June 2009. Wage growth has been the last major measure to make meaningful progress since the end of the Great Recession. The Federal Reserve would like wages to grow even faster -- 3% or more -- but Friday's report was a welcome sign for workers after years of stagnant pay. Economists say it's time to take note of...
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David Feldberg Earns Rainmaker Award for Third, Fourth Quarters in 2017

Thursday, February 01, 2018

With $1,750,000 in closed sales, David Feldberg has earned the title of Rainmaker for the fourth quarter in 2017. He also led in closed sales for the third quarter, earning him the title for two consecutive quarters. David Feldberg, principal broker and owner of the Coastal Real Estate Group, has participated in the Wednesday Noon Leads Group since joining the Greater Irvine Chamber in 2017.  When asked about the Chamber and Leads Group format he said it has been an amazing experience.  “I have made more great connections in my first year then I could have hoped for. I referred and closed some great business...
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Women of Influence Favorite Kim Shepherd Returns as Master of Ceremonies

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Following up on her high-energy panel participation at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Women of Influence event last year, Kim Shepherd will return to the 2018 event as Master of Ceremonies. Sure to once again engage hundreds of professional women at the 2018 Women of Influence on Thursday, March 8, at the Irvine Marriott, Shepherd knows a thing or two about engagement. Unconventional and witty, she is a highly sought-after speaker, author, and as chairwoman of Decision Toolbox, a provider of recruitment solutions, and its parent company, Engage2Excel, she leads the companies’ growth strategy, primarily through developing partnerships and alliances. She is also...
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NAFTA Negotiations Make Real Headway

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Source: CalChamber The sixth round of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made real headway, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The latest round of discussions between the United States, Canada and Mexico concluded yesterday in Montreal, Canada. In his closing statement, Lighthizer discussed the bilateral relationship between the United States and Canada, saying he believes there is some misunderstanding that the U.S. is somehow being unfair in these negotiations. “This is not the case,” Lighthizer said. Agreements are essentially grants of preferential treatment to other countries in exchange for an approximately equal grant of preferential treatment in their economy, Lighthizer explained,...
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Business Outlook Highlights Irvine’s Strengths, Greater Irvine Chamber Activities

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Business Outlook on Feb.24, drew nearly 700 business and community leaders.  Keynote speaker Spencer Rascoff CEO of Zillow Group, one of the country’s most successful CEO’s, discussed what Zillow is doing to ensure the housing market is inclusive, supporting the future success of local economies throughout the nation. Greater Irvine Chamber president and CEO Bryan Starr highlighted an extensive catalog of attributes that make Irvine an economic powerhouse. The 2018 Business Outlook was presented by the Greater Irvine Chamber in partnership with University of California, Irvine and presenting sponsor Farmers and Merchants Bank. CLICK HERE to download Business...
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Governor: State Will Persist in Leading Way for Nation

Monday, January 29, 2018

Source: CalChamber The need for perseverance was a recurring theme this week when Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivered his 16th and final report on the state of the state. He brought up the concept in discussing some of the major pending infrastructure projects, including the California WaterFix, transportation system maintenance and the high-speed rail system. The Governor opened his remarks with a recap of bipartisan efforts in recent years that led to passage of pension and workers’ compensation reform, the water bond, rainy day fund and the cap-and-trade program. These efforts, he said, show that “some American governments can get things done...
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Opposition Stops More Holdover Job Killer Bills

Monday, January 29, 2018

Sourcee: CalChamber Two job killer bills that remained eligible for consideration this year failed to advance in the Assembly this month. Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee were an unfair scheduling mandate, AB 5 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego and Kalra; D-San Jose), and a targeted tax on contractors, AB 43 (Thurmond; D-Richmond). AB 5 AB 5 would have burdened small and large employers with a scheduling mandate that requires employers to offer additional hours of work to employees before hiring a new employee or contractor and exposes employers to multiple threats of costly litigation for technical violations that do not cause an employee any harm. The mandate...
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Destination Irvine Promotes City During International Media Marketplace

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wendy Haase, Director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine, shared Irvine story ideas with travel journalists and influencers during the 2nd Annual TravMedia International Media Marketplace (IMM) in New York City on Jan. 28. IMM is the travel and tourism industry’s leading event for the media to meet travel and tourism brands. Destination Irvine had a dedicated branded table where they meet top travel journalists, editors and influencers to discuss the destinations’s latest news, events and developments. For more information on Irvine as a destination, visit destinationirvine.com.
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Greater Irvine Chamber Hosts Feb. 1 Mayoral Update with Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner

Saturday, January 27, 2018

During the Greater Irvine Chamber’s yearly Mayoral Update on Feb. 1, Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner will provide an update from City Hall and what he expects for the city for the coming year. The Mayoral Update will be held Thursday, Feb. 1, 7:00-9:30 a.m., at the Chamber office and is open to all Chamber members. For more information on how to become involved in the Chamber’s government affairs, contact Whit Peterson.
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How to Create the Best Executive Summary for Your Business

Friday, January 26, 2018

Source: SBA Most business owners have a general idea of the executive summary that comes with the traditional business plan.  However, in the real world, summaries come up much more often than just in the business plan. How to create the summary, and how to use it, depends on the business objective.  The summary you say every day I’ve always liked “Say your business plan every day,” which I heard first from Jim Blasingame, small business advocate.  Business is normally chaotic, so a quick reminder is a good idea. Start with a sentence or two describing the fundamental strategy. Keep that in mind as...
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Labor Code Includes Exceptions for Listing Hours Worked on Paystub

Friday, January 26, 2018

Source: CalChamber One of the criteria to be listed on the check stub is total hours worked. We have outside salespersons who do not keep time records. Do we have to list the total hours worked for these types of employees? No, you do not have to list the total hours worked for outside salespersons who meet the definition in the Industrial Welfare Commission orders. See CalChamber’s HRCalifornia.com for more information about the outside salesperson exemption. California Labor Code Section 226(a) lists nine categories of information that must be included on the itemized wage statement, also known as a check stub. One of those categories,...
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Reminder: Post Form 300A Starting February 1

Friday, January 26, 2018

Source: CalChamber Don’t forget that you need to post the Form 300A summary of job-related injuries and illnesses from 2017 at your place of business from February 1 through April 30. Employers are required to post only the summary (Form 300A) — not the Form 300 (Log). The summary must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in the previous year and were logged on the Form 300. Companies with no recordable injuries or illnesses in the previous year must post the summary with zeros on the “total” line. A company executive must certify all establishment summaries. The summary is to be displayed in a...
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Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Director Panorea Avdis on Governor Brown’s Final State of the State Address

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Director Panorea Avdis made this statement following Governor Brown’s Final State of the State Address: “Today, Governor Brown’s State of the State Address detailed California’s record of accomplishments during the last seven years, laid out an ambitious agenda for this year and offered a roadmap for California’s continued success in the years to come. As the sixth largest economy in the world and the world’s capital to industries ranging from biotech and clean energy to new, cutting technologies that are still in the concept and research stage, the Governor’s initiatives provide a framework for California’s...
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Irvine’s State of the City Address Set for Feb. 27

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The public is invited to attend as Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner delivers his State of the City Address on Feb. 27 in the Council Chamber at the Irvine Civic Center. The event begins with a free, public reception at 5 p.m., followed by the Mayor’s address at 6 p.m. The address will highlight accomplishments of the past year, as well as look to what’s ahead in 2018.  No RSVP is necessary to attend. The Civic Center is located at 1 Civic Center Drive. Interview opportunities are available after the speech. Since its incorporation in 1971, Irvine has become a nationally recognized city,...
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New Law Restricts Immigration Enforcement at Worksites

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Source: CalChamber As of January 1, California employers must comply with strict rules passed under the new Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450), which protects workers in the state from immigration enforcement while they’re on the job. Under AB 450, all employers, regardless of size, must limit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents’ access to both the worksite and employee records, and must follow new notice obligations. The Labor Commissioner and the Attorney General have authority to enforce the act’s provisions and employer missteps can result in fines of $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for each...
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Work requirements may prompt more states to expand Medicaid

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Source: CalChamber In an ironic twist, the Trump administration’s embrace of work requirements for low-income people on Medicaid is prompting lawmakers in some conservative states to resurrect plans to expand health care for the poor. Trump’s move has been widely criticized as threatening the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. But if states follow through, more Americans could get coverage. “I think it gives us a chance,” said Kansas state Rep. Susan Concannon, a moderate Republican who pushed unsuccessfully for Medicaid expansion last year in her state. In Utah, the office of Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said the Trump administration’s willingness to approve work requirements...
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How Does 2018 Look for American Business?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

With a new year under way, it’s a good idea to pause and take stock of where things stand for the American business community—and to set meaningful goals for the year ahead. Last year saw encouraging boosts in economic growth and business optimism. Now, our challenge is to strengthen and sustain that progress while ensuring it’s broadly shared by all Americans. We can do exactly that with the right policies and leadership in Washington.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently laid out its agenda for 2018 at our annual State of American Business event. At the top of the Chamber’s list this year is...
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How Should We Rebuild our Infrastructure? The U.S. Chamber Will Offer Up a Plan

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

When it comes to America’s infrastructure, most of us know it must be modernized for sustained economic growth. How can we get this done?  U.S. Chamber president and CEO Tom Donohue teased out the outlines of a plan to be released at America’s Infrastructure Summit. The part making headlines is one possible revenue source — raising the gas tax: With President Trump and Congress turning their attention to infrastructure in the coming weeks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is preparing for an uphill battle: a push to raise the federal gas tax by 25 cents per gallon to help pay for the initiative. The proposal, which will...
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Tech’s Impact on Small Business: Lessons for Policymakers and Tech Companies

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said on Jan. 10 in his annual State of American Business speech that “Technology is not a single, all-powerful industry. It is now a part of every industry.” He went on to explain that technology “will continue to change the way we work, communicate, and live—at a rapidly accelerating pace.” So it’s no wonder that small businesses across America are online and using digital channels to connect with customers, recruits, and seek new opportunities—either in the U.S. or around the world. But what is the real impact of digital tools, and specifically social networking...
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Farmers & Merchants Inaugural Year as Business Outlook Presenting Sponsor

Monday, January 22, 2018

In its first year as presenting sponsor of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Business Outlook Breakfast on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the Hotel Irvine, Farmers & Merchants Bank continues to demonstrate its decades-long commitment to supporting business in the communities it serves. Following the tradition of C.J. Walker, who founded Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M) of Long Beach more than 100 years ago, the bank continues to give back to the community, donating more than $1 million each year to charities, non-profit organizations, and religious entities. F&M is also committed to implementing green initiatives and has developed a new customer care center...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario Lends Expertise to Texas City in Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Monday, January 22, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, traveled to Aransas Pas, Texas last week under the auspices of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to lend a hand to the City and its business community in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. With a focus on the Downtown core, DiMario met with City Manager Gary Edwards, Mayor Ram Gomez, City Council members Carrie Scruggs, Vickie Abrego and Billy Ellis, city management, the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce, Destination Downtown, UNITY, the Library Board, business owners, property owners and San Patricio Economic Development Council discussing how to...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Partners with Brandman University to Invest in Orange County Workforce

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber has partnered with Brandman University to offer higher educational benefits to Chamber member organizations’ employees. The Brandman Premier Partnership provides some of the most flexible and affordable continuing education and degrees. “As part of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s commitment to offer solutions for sustaining a 21st-century workforce for Irvine and Orange County’s business ecosystem, providing educational opportunities for working professional is of great value, not only to the students and the companies for which they work but also for the business community as a whole,” said the organization’s president and CEO Bryan Starr. “Partnering with Brandman University...
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Greater Irvine Chamber CEO Bryan Starr Explains Why Irvine is still in the Running for Amazon HQ2

Friday, January 19, 2018

As part of the national and global conversation surrounding Amazon’s recent announcement of its HQ2 short list selections, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Bryan Starr has made a notable clarification. The Los Angeles Times’ Daily Pilot on Jan. 18 wrote that Starr isn’t willing to give up hope just yet for his city or others in the region. “Amazon shortlisting ‘Los Angeles’ doesn’t necessarily mean the city of Los Angeles,” the Times-Daily Pilot quoted Starr as saying. The quote continues, “While Irvine was not specifically mentioned, there is a very good possibility we are still in the running because...
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UCI Social Sciences Scholars Awarded for Work on Human Cognition, Nuclear Proliferation

Friday, January 19, 2018

Barbara Dosher and Etel Solingen, both University of California, Irvine scholars in the School of Social Sciences, have been honored by the National Academy of Sciences for major contributions to their fields. Dosher, UCI Distinguished Professor of cognitive sciences, will share the Atkinson Prize in Psychological & Cognitive Sciences with Richard Shiffrin of Indiana University. Dosher is recognized for her groundbreaking work on human memory, attention and learning. Each recipient will receive $100,000.   Solingen, the Thomas T. & Elizabeth C. Tierney Chair in Global Peace & Conflict Studies, will be presented with the William & Katherine Estes Award for trailblazing work on nuclear...
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Assembly Appropriations Committee to Hear Job Killer Bill

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Source: CalChamber The Assembly Appropriations Committee today will consider a California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bill that subjects employers to costly fines and multiple avenues of litigation for technical violations that do not actually result in any harm to the employee, is inconsistent with existing law and will limit job opportunities for unemployed workers. In addition, AB 5 will limit employers’ ability to effectively manage their workforce to address both consumer and employee requests. Proposes Unnecessary Burdens on Small Employers AB 5 mandates small employers with as few as 10 employees to offer all employees who have the skills and experience to perform...
China Reports Biggest-Ever Annual Trade Surplus With U.S.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

China reported its largest-ever annual trade surplus with the U.S. last year while its overall imbalance with the world shrank, potentially strengthening the Trump administration’s case for tougher penalties and other trade actions against Beijing. [Lingling Wei | January 12, 2018 | Wall Street Journal] A global recovery led by the U.S. provided a shot in the arm for Chinese exporters last year, boosting China’s economy. Rising American demand, in particular, pushed up Chinese shipments, expanding China’s trade surplus in goods with the U.S. by 10% to $275.8 billion in 2017, according to Chinese customs data released Friday. That figure, a record for the nearly five...
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January Webinar Explains What New Laws Mean for California Employers

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Source: CalChamber  A parental leave mandate for smaller employers is just one of the new employment laws in effect since January 1, 2018. If you’re not up to date on your obligations as a California employer, don’t miss CalChamber’s live 90-minute webinar on January 30. “Among the new laws for 2018 are two that significantly impact how California employers conduct the hiring process — California’s statewide “Ban the Box” law and the new salary history ban. Employers must be aware of the requirements of these two new laws and adjust their hiring processes accordingly or risk violations,” said Erika Pickles, CalChamber employment...
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Trump Administration's Infrastructure Plan Taking Shape

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Source: CalChamber The Trump administration is finalizing its long-awaited infrastructure plan, which would push most of the financing of projects to private investment and state and local taxpayers, according to sources familiar with the proposal taking shape. President Donald Trump, who spoke frequently of improving U.S. infrastructure during his 2016 campaign, may preview the plan in his Jan. 30 State of the Union address, but details are not expected until afterward, the sources said. Two people briefed on it said it would likely recommend dividing $200 billion in federal funding over 10 years into four pools of funds. The administration is structuring the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario Appointed to OCTANe Board of Directors

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber, has been appointed to OCTANe’s Board of Directors. She joins an active and results-oriented Board dedicated to growing OCTANe's impact. DiMario has collaborated with OCTANe leadership on annual events including the organization’s Medical Innovation Technology Forum and Venture Capital Investor Forums. Further strengthening the region’s industry presence on the world stage, she has partnered with OCTANe to lead a foreign direct investment trade mission to the U.K. last February as well as a second visit coming up in February 2018. "We continue to build the OCTANe board of directors to reflect the...
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2018 Tax Withholding Information Is Here — W-4 Update Coming Soon

Friday, January 12, 2018

Source: CalChamber Today, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released income tax withholding information for 2018 (Notice 1036) that shows new rates for employers to use. The 2018 withholding tables reflect changes due to the tax reform legislation enacted last month. A withholding table shows payroll service providers and employers how much tax to withhold from employee paychecks, given each employee’s wages, marital status and number of claimed withholding allowances. The IRS instructs employers to begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible but no later than Feb. 15, 2018. Employers should continue to use the 2017 withholding tables until they implement the 2018 withholding tables. Once...
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Governor Calls for Fiscal Prudence with Budget Plan

Friday, January 12, 2018

Source: CalChamber Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. this week proposed the final budget of his gubernatorial career, proposing to spend a record $190 billion without raising taxes and setting aside $13 billion in a rainy-day reserve. For the first time since 1998, it appears that a retiring governor will not pass along a budget deficit to his successor. Nonetheless, the Governor insisted that fiscal prudence must guide decisions this year, emphasizing that “we prepare for the recession, not when it comes, but years before.” The Governor noted that by the end of the next fiscal year, the economic expansion will be the longest...
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Proposal to expand rent control in California fails to advance

Friday, January 12, 2018

Source: CalChamber State legislation that would have expanded rent control in California failed Thursday after a lengthy and heated debate that brought landlord and tenant groups from across the state to the Capitol. At issue was a bill that would have repealed a nearly quarter-century-old law that prohibits cities and counties from implementing most new rent control policies. The measure died after four members of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, including Democrats Ed Chau of Arcadia and Jim Wood of Healdsburg, declined to support it. Chau and Wood said they were concerned that a large growth in rent control could slow...
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Irvine Public Schools Foundation Ranked 3rd in the Nation in Top K-12 Education Foundation Survey

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), a nonprofit organization focused on enriching the educational experience of each child in every school in Irvine Unified School District (IUSD), has been ranked the number three foundation in the nation, and number one in California, by Stepping Up: The Nation’s Top K-12 Education Foundations. The nation’s only annual study and ranking of K-12 education foundations was recently released, showing the large impact that local communities led by business leaders make on public education. The study — in its fourth year — is conducted by the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank The Caruthers Institute (formerly dewey...
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Join the Small Business Administration for networking, one-on-one business matchmaking, workshops, and guest speakers.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Southern California's Largest Business Development and Procurement Event of the Year! For additional information, please contact Sandra Anguiano at 714-560-7446 or sandra.anguiano@sba.gov Cost:  $85 if registered on or before March 20,2018; $95 after (includes continental breakfast and lunch) Join SBA and its partner network for an exciting day of presentations, workshops, matchmaking and business development opportunities. Last year's conference attracted more than 36 corporate and government sector buyers and drew more than 450 attendees.  We expect this year's event will be even bigger and better! For event details and to register, please visit www.SBAsmallbusinessConference.org.
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CalChamber-Backed Employments Bills to be Heard in Assembly Policy Committee

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Source: CalChamber On Thursday, the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee will consider two California Chamber of Commerce-supported bills that could help to reduce employers’ costs and accommodate employees’ needs. The CalChamber supports AB 281 (Salas; D-Bakersfield) because it reduces costs to business by reforming the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) to allow an employer the right to cure a violation before a financially devastating representative action is filed, and if civil litigation is filed, requires the employee seeking penalties on behalf of others to actually have suffered from the alleged violation. The policy committee will also consider AB 1173 (Harper; R-Huntington Beach) which provides employers with the opportunity to...
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Destination Irvine Garners Exposure for Irvine in Southwest Magazine Feature Story

Monday, January 08, 2018

Destination Irvine took advantage of a co-opportunity with fellow Orange County destinations to be included in an Orange County feature in the December 2017 issue of Southwest Magazine. “Your Adventure in The OC” includes Irvine Marriott, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Buena Park, John Wayne Airport, South Coast Plaza and Costa Mesa. Click here to read the article. 
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Greater Irvine Chamber Locks in Export Success Story Panel for OC World Trade Week

Monday, January 08, 2018

One of the most popular program segments of the Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum, planned for May 17, 2018 at the Irvine Marriott is always the Export Success Stories panel. Featuring executives from small, medium, and large companies in Orange County, these export and trade experts share their company experience with exporting their products around the globe. Their experiences range from challenges to successes, and provide a real glimpse into how these executives make their decisions and the facts and foibles of exporting. This year’s panel includes: Taher Sheybani, Managing Director, TS Pharma, Inc.; Soheila Mirhashemi, President & CEO,...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch and Whit Peterson Further their Professional Growth with Participation at U.S. Chamber’s Institute

Monday, January 08, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch, senior director of operations, and Whit Peterson, director of government affairs, earlier this month completed their respective third and first term at Institute for Organization Management, the four-year professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “The Institute for Organization Management is a combined personal growth and professional development experience that adds an enormous value to the ongoing elevation of the Greater Irvine Chamber staff,” Welch said. The five-day winter session was held at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, with participants attending from across the nation with the goal of graduating from the institute. “Institute...
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Here’s Your Opportunity to Set the Course for Irvine’s Business Community in 2018!

Monday, January 08, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Economic Vitality Council’s (EVC) Jan. 16 Forward Focus meeting will offer task force, Chamber members, and business community leaders an opportunity to participate together in a discussion and propose action on current business issues and challenges. The goal of the meeting is to set the course for 2018 and positively influence the business environment and economic vitality of Irvine and Orange County. The January EVC meeting will take place at the Chamber, 36 Executive Park, Suite 100, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., with a reception immediately following. Chamber members and members of the business community are encouraged...
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Irvine Featured in Popular Lifestyle and Travel Blog

Monday, January 08, 2018

In November, Destination Irvine hosted HudsonandEmily.com, a lifestyle and travel blog. Their Irvine visit was part of a California experience. See what good things they have to say about Irvine! Click Here for the blog post. Click here to jump to the Orange County section.
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SBA Small Business Certifications (Federal)

Friday, January 05, 2018

Learn How to Get 8(a), HUBZone, EDWOSB, and WOSB Certified. Small business certifications are like professional certifications: they document a special capability or status that help you compete in the marketplace. These certifications can help you pursue business opportunities with the federal government and prime contractors who often have goals to ensure small businesses are integrated into their purchasing and procurement efforts. At our Federal Contracting Certifications workshop, we'll give an overview and demonstrate how to apply for the following certifications: certifications: 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program The SBA's 8(a) Business Development program, named for a section of the Small Business Act, is a...
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Social Security Revises 2018 Taxable Wage Base

Friday, January 05, 2018

Source: CalChamber For 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the Social Security taxable wage base will be $128, 400. This is the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax for 2018. Initially, the SSA announced that the wage base would increase by $1,500 — from $127,200 to $128,700 maximum taxable earnings. However, the agency later revisedthat maximum to $128,400, an increase of $1,200 from last year. According to the SSA, this lower taxable maximum amount is due to corrected Forms W-2 that a national payroll service provider provided to Social Security in late October 2017. The taxable maximum amount change took effect January...
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U.S. Added 148,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment at 4.1%

Friday, January 05, 2018

The Labor Department released the latest figures on hiring and unemployment, with another gain capping a year of increasing opportunities for American workers. • 148,000 jobs were added last month, bringing the average over three months to 204,000. • The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, the same as in November. • Average hourly earnings grew by 9 cents, to $26.63, bringing the year-over-year increase to 2.5 percent. The Takeaway The report offers a picture of how the economy fared in President Trump’s first year in office. The numbers will be revised at least twice in the next months. But the data suggests that things have...
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U.S.-NAFTA freight up year-over-year for 12th straight month

Friday, January 05, 2018

Source: CalChamber U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $100.6 billion as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in October 2017 compared to October 2016, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The 7.9 percent rise from October 2016 is the 12th consecutive month in which the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased in current dollars from the same month of the previous year. The value of commodities moving by vessel increased 32.6 percent, pipeline by 9.3 percent, air by...
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United States, Korea Hold Amendment Negotiations on KORUS FTA

Friday, January 05, 2018

Source: CalChamber Negotiations on amendments and modifications of the California Chamber of Commerce-supported U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) will be held in Washington, D.C. today. The United States delegation at the meeting will be led by Michael Beeman, assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan, Korea and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The Republic of Korea delegation at the meeting will be led by Ms. Myung-hee Yoo, director general from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). With the recent completion of related domestic procedures in Korea, both delegations are meeting today to engage in and advance negotiations to improve the KORUS FTA. Background At the...
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GO-Biz Accepting Applications for California Competes Tax Credit

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Source: CalChamber The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has announced the first quarter application period is open for businesses interested in applying for the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC).  Applications must be submitted by January 22. The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses who want to come, stay, or grow in California. Tax credit agreements are negotiated by GO-Biz and approved by a statutorily created “California Competes Tax Credit Committee,” consisting of the State Treasurer, the Director of the Department of Finance, the Director of GO-Biz, and one appointee each by the Speaker of the...
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34 CalChamber Member Companies Recognized as Best Places to Work in 2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Source: CalChamber Thirty-four California Chamber of Commerce member companies were chosen in a recent Glassdoor survey as some of the best places to work. The Glassdoor survey breaks down its lists using company size: 100 Best Places to Work (honoring employers with 1,000 or more employees) and 50 Best Small & Medium Companies to Work For (honoring employers with fewer than 1,000 employees). Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Work in 2018 list features winning employers across diverse industries spanning technology, health care, consulting, travel and tourism, finance, consumer goods, retail, food services and more. Winners are ranked based on their overall rating achieved during the last year. 100 Best...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Hosts Delegation from Shandong Province, China

Monday, December 18, 2017

In partnership with California State University, Long Beach, the Greater Irvine Chamber on Dec. 14 hosted at its office a delegation of business leaders from Shandong Province, China, who were on an exploratory trip to the U.S. The delegates were representatives from the largest state and private companies in Shandong, a province known for Great Wall Wine—the largest brand of wine in the nation and a large source of pride for the region. The visiting delegates were particularly interested in innovative and logistics industries in Irvine. Via an interpreter speaking Mandarin Chinese, a presentation on the strengths of Irvine and its business...
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OC Leads in Cross-County Worker Inflow

Monday, December 18, 2017

Recent research by Greater Irvine Chamber partner Jones Lang LaSalle IP, Inc. shows that Orange County leads in worker inflow from neighboring counties. Located at the epicenter of Southern California, Orange County companies are able to recruit highly educated and talented employees from the entire region. In fact, the research shows that Southern California has among the largest county-to-county worker flows in the nation; 41.6 percent of workers in Orange County commute from outside the area. County-by-County Worker Flow into and out of Orange County: County                   Worker Inflows     Worker Outflows Los Angeles            326,187                     312,035 Riverside                 107,507                     38,488 San Bernardino       74,222                       37,733 San Diego                62,684                       37,069 Other                        86,324                      ...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Advocates for City's Largest Sales Tax Contributor

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Irvine City Council this week voted 3-2 to create a special ordinance to allow the Irvine Auto Center to continue to sell advertising space on its electronic freeway sign.  Placed on the Dec. 11 agenda following a request from the Irvine Auto Center, the item previously had a recommendation to deny the request from the Auto Center. But after months of work by the Greater Irvine Chamber to build a coalition with the Orange County Auto Dealers Association and the Irvine Auto Center to communicate the importance of this allowance by the city, the Irvine Auto Center request was successfully...
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UCI Breaks New Rcord with 116,000 Undergraduate Applications

Friday, December 15, 2017

A diverse group of 116,192 students, both incoming freshmen and transfers, have applied to the University of California, Irvine for fall 2018 – a campus record. It’s an increase of 12,000 applicants over last year’s high of 104,000 and a 41 percent increase over the last five years – the largest surge in the UC system, which has seen a significant rise in applicants this decade. “The verdict is in: High school and transfer students understand that UCI’s distinctive combination of quality, accessibility and affordability makes it a preferred destination among America’s leading universities,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Earlier this year, The New...
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CalChamber Takes Support Positions on Two Proposed Water Bond Initiatives

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Source: CalChamber The California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently voted to support two proposed initiatives dealing with water. THE STATE WATER SUPPLY INFRASTRUCTURE, WATER STORAGE AND CONVEYANCE ECOSYSTEM AND WATERSHED PROTECTION AND RESTORATION, AND DRINKING WATER PROTECTION ACT OF 2018 — SUPPORT  This initiative bond act (17-0010) is proposed for the November 2018 ballot.  It is an $8.877 billion State General Obligation Bond Law to finance various infrastructure projects and fund improvements to water safety and quality, watershed and fisheries, habitat protection programs, water conveyance, groundwater sustainability and storage, and surface water storage and dam repairs. The bond is needed because it...
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California Assembly Proposes $4.3 Billion in New Spending

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Source: CalChamber California, flush with cash from an expanding economy, would eventually spend $1 billion a year to provide health care to immigrants living in the state illegally under a proposal announced Wednesday by Assembly Democrats. The proposal would eliminate legal residency requirements in the state Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, as the state has already done for young people up to age 19. It's part of $4.3 billion in proposed new spending outlined by Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who leads the budget committee. Assembly Democrats also want to expand a tax credit for the working poor, boost preschool and...
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Fed Rate Increase is 3rd This Year; Foresees 3 more in 2018

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Source: CalChamber The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the third time this year and foresees three additional hikes in 2018, a vote of confidence that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing 8½ years after the end of the Great Recession. The Fed said Wednesday that it's lifting its short-term rate by a modest quarter-point to a still-low range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent. It is also continuing to slowly shrink its bond portfolio. Together, the two steps could lead over time to higher loan rates for consumers and businesses and slightly better returns for savers. The central...
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Destination Irvine Promotes City to Chinese Tour Operators

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wendy Haase, director of tourism marketing for Destination Irvine, represented Irvine at the Orange County Visitors Association and Disneyland Resorts Joint Travel Trade Show for Chinese Receptive Tour Operators and Guides held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on Dec. 7. More than 170 Chinese receptive tour operators and guides attended the event. Haase’s presentation included a newly produced video featuring Irvine’s outdoor amenities and highlights of what the city has to offer visitors. For more information on Irvine as a destination, visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Attract Visitors to Your Business with the Irvine Visitor Guide

Monday, December 11, 2017

Destination Irvine has published its 2018-2019 Irvine Visitors Guide, in continued partnership with Lunar Cow Publishing. The Visitors Guide is Destination Irvine’s premier award-winning promotional piece and is the first resource that many of the more than 1 million visitors use when they are planning their trip to the city, making this an effective way to market your business! For information on advertising opportunities in Destination Irvine’s Visitors Guide, contact Ed Asper at (800) 594-9620 x 31 or edasper@lunarcow.com.
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CA Controller Reports November Revenues Exceed Expectations as Retail Sales Remain Strong

Monday, December 11, 2017

State Controller Betty T. Yee reported today California’s total revenues of $8.31 billion for November were $449.8 million above expectations, powered by strong retail sales. Personal income tax (PIT), the largest state revenue source, fell short by nearly $200 million. For the first five months of the 2017-18 fiscal year, total revenues of $40.96 billion are outpacing budget projections by 2.5 percent, with retail sales and use taxes and corporation tax beating expectations. Sales tax receipts of $3.30 billion for November were $538.1 million higher than anticipated in the budget. For the fiscal year, sales tax receipts of $10.16 billion are $733.4...
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Destination Irvine Sales Team on Track for $4 Million in Economic Impact for Irvine for First Half of Fiscal Year

Monday, December 11, 2017

In just six months after the addition of Dave Lucey as its sales manager for sports marketing, Destination Irvine has closed more than $1M in one month, accommodating new groups looking to use the OC Great Park Sports Park.  This is a recording-breaking first in the destination marketing organization’s history.  Also shattering records, Destination Irvine has already posted an impressive overall $4.1 Million in economic impact for the first half year of the 2017 fiscal year. This figure includes room nights and food/beverage revenue. Destination Irvine promotes Irvine as a premier overnight destination and attracts visitors from around the world. See all that...
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Google Returns as Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Member

Monday, December 11, 2017

Google has renewed its Greater Irvine Chamber membership and retains its status as a Gold-level Leaders Circle member. Founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google is a global technology company specializing in internet-related products and services. With a full array of products including software, maps, translation, music and videos apps, smartphones, voice-recognition devices, virtual reality equipment, and Wifi, to name a few, Google offers convenience, connectivity, and knowledge all at your fingertips. Google also offers business tools such as AdWords, AdSense, Analytics, and enterprise Cloud services. Leaders Circle members of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce are among the most influential companies and...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Member Companies Make OC Register’s 2017 Top Work Places List

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber congratulates its members who made the Orange County Register’s Top Work Places for 2017. Companies that made the list were recognized during a Dec. 7 reception at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Greater Irvine Chamber members: Midsize companies: 8. Edward Jones Investments 10. CBE Office Solutions 20. Jones Lang LaSalle 26. Hoag Orthopedic Institute, LLC 28. Credit Union of Southern California 38. White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP Small companies: 13. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County 40. Everest Escrow 45. Westcliff University 63. Eagle Home Mortgage, a Lennar Corporation 67. Signature Resource – MassMutual 74. Epicuren Discovery 78. CSA Group 79. Robert Half For information on joining these award-winning companies as a member...
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International Economic Development Council Taps Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario to Consult Aransas Pass, Texas City Management on Strategies Following Hurricane Harvey

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s International Development Council works with volunteer members to offer communities assistance in the aftermath of natural disasters. Aransas Pass, Texas was among those communities in southeast Texas hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber was tapped by the International Economic Development Council to work with Aransas Pass city management to explore and evaluate how best to revitalize and reinvigorate their downtown corridor. DiMario will spend the week of Jan. 15 conducting an environmental scan, learning from focus groups, working with business owners, and consulting with the area’s chamber of commerce....
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Pacific Western Bank Sponsors Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Women of Influence Event

Monday, December 11, 2017

Pacific Western Bank has confirmed it will be the presenting sponsor for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Women of Influence event on Thursday, March 8, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. Pacific Western Bank, ranked the #1 best bank in America for 2017 by Forbes, is focused on the needs of the business community. With over $25 billion in assets, Pacific Western Bank’s local focus and national reach is achieved through the concerted efforts of a family of companies, which includes CapitalSource and Square 1 Bank. Pacific Western Bank has a proven track record of...
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Affordable Housing Barriers

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Source: CAJobKillers Barrier to Housing and Economic Development — Creates significant uncertainty for developers by requiring the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to amend the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines to redefine the baseline that may be used in the CEQA analysis and directing OPR, in drafting the Guidelines, to limit consideration of modifications to the environment at the project site caused by illegal, unpermitted, or emergency activities within the baseline conditions.  If prior illegal, unpermitted, or emergency activities are excluded in a project’s baseline, it may require projects to mitigate not only the impacts of the project itself, but...
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New Law Breakdown: California’s New Parent Leave Act

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Source: HRCalifornia For more than 20 years, only employers with 50 or more employees had to provide eligible employees with protected time off to bond with a newborn, or a child placed with the employee for adoption or foster care. That's because those employers were covered by the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Both laws give employees the right to take protected time off for certain qualifying reason, one of which is bonding with a new child.  Employers with less than 50 employees had no legal obligation to allow employees to take off time for...
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WaterStar: Where Star-Quality Efficiency is Rewarded

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Irvine Ranch Water District’s WaterStar Business Recognition Program helps companies improve water efficiency, obtain financial incentives for efficiency improvements, and save money on water bills. The program is open to all IRWD commercial, industrial and institutional customers, including commercial landscape companies managing irrigation sites within the IRWD service area. Eligible businesses and institutions can apply for WaterStar Program Certification any time of year. Certification is good for three years. The 2017 WaterStar Certification recipients include Tierra Verde Industries, Capital Group, Kawasaki Motors Corporation USA, and Imuraya USA. Most recently, Shimano American Corporation and Hyatt House Irvine joined their ranks. SHIMANO Shimano American Corporation is...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Partners with Irvine Public Schools Foundation to Help Build Future Workforce

Monday, December 04, 2017

Great schools don’t just happen, it takes a community of dedicated supporters to make an impact. To this end, the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) to raise awareness and funds to secure a 21st century workforce through quality education in Irvine.  “It is truly inspiring to see the Irvine community continue to come together in support of educational excellence for the over 34,000 students in our district,” said Neda Eaton, president and CEO, IPSF, “Through our partnership with the Greater Irvine Chamber, we are able to create opportunities for students to explore...
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International Development Committee Takes on the Topic of Globalism

Monday, December 04, 2017

During the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Nov. 28 International Development Committee (IDC) meeting, a discussion led by committee co-chairs Marv Sepe of CTC Global and Rima Nashashibi of Nashashibi International Consultants, LLC and the Patient Safety Movement Foundation examined the unique position Irvine holds in the global market, being centrally located between two major Southern California markets – San Diego and Los Angeles – and in close proximity to two of the world’s largest sea ports. According to Jim Mayfield, acting director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center and IDC partner, approximately 42 percent of all trade passes through the ports of Long...
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Hoag Health Center Irvine Receives TOBY Award from the Building Owners and Management Association Orange County

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hoag Health Center Irvine, the 150,000 square foot health care village on the corner of Alton and Sand Canyon, has been named The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) in the medical office category from the Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) Orange County.  Hoag Health Center Irvine took home top honors in its category and achieved the highest score – 96 out of 100 – of any building submitted to the 2017 BOMA Orange County TOBY Awards.  “We are extremely proud to have won this year’s TOBY award for Hoag Health Center Irvine,” said Sanford L. Smith, AIA, senior vice president, Real...
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SBA Disaster Assistance Available to California Private Nonprofit Organizations

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to certain private nonprofit organizations in California following President Trump’s federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance as a result of wildfires that occurred Oct. 8-31, 2017, announced Administrator Linda McMahon of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Private nonprofits that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance. SBA disaster assistance is now available in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba counties. “Private nonprofit organizations should contact Deputy Public Assistance Officer Robert Larsen of the Recovery Section at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services by calling (916) 600-3216 or emailing robert.larsen@caloes.ca.gov to obtain information...
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SBA Announces Veterans Business Outreach Center Funding Opportunity

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Private organizations, colleges and universities, private sector firms, nonprofit organizations and state, local or tribal governmental agencies are eligible to apply for funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide training and counseling to aspiring and existing veteran small business owners as a Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). The grant awardees will be providing training to service members and military spouses through the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training program, which is part of the Transition Assistance Program. Those organizations selected to receive the funding will provide training, mentoring and SBA resource navigation to veterans, active duty service members, Reserve, National Guard...
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New Mandatory Poster on Transgender Rights for California Workplaces

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Credit: CalChamber California passed a new law (SB 396) that requires all California employers to post a “Transgender Rights in the Workplace” poster starting January 1, 2018. The new transgender rights poster must be displayed along with other mandatory workplace notices in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws, has developed the poster. The correct version is dated November 2017, but the posting is not mandatory until January 1, 2018. The poster, in part, follows regulations developed by the Fair Employment and Housing Council that went into effect on July...
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Business Outreach Volunteers Recognized During Greater Irvine Chamber Business & Workforce Development Committee Meeting

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The 38 Greater Irvine Chamber members who volunteered for the Oct. 25 Business Outreach Rally were formally recognized during the Business & Workforce Development Committee’s November meeting. The volunteers visited 220 Irvine businesses, connecting with decision makers in order to better understand the needs of Irvine’s life sciences industry and to provide the Business Outreach Resource Guide which features information about support resources offered through the Chamber and its partner organizations. October’s Business Outreach Rally was led in activity by two volunteer teams: Gary Abraham and Willie Pyle who made the most contacts with local businesses, and Kaylen Munier and Siegfried...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Member Businesses Among OC’s Largest Employers

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Among a list of Orange County’s 84 largest employers released on Nov. 20 by the Orange County Business Journal, 17 are Greater Irvine Chamber member businesses. Leaders Circle member University of California, Irvine holds the #2 spot with 23,605 workers—all in OC—following The Walt Disney Company, which employs 30,000 in the county and 195,000 companywide. Kaiser Permanente is at #5 with 7,800 employees in Orange County, and 192,607 companywide. Combined, the top local employers added 2,300 jobs, a one percent increase over the past 12 months, according to the Journal. Chamber member businesses listed among top OC employers: Rank # Company # of employees in...
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2018 California Life Sciences Industry Report Highlights State’s Sector Strength, with Irvine Playing a Prominent Role

Monday, November 20, 2017

The 2018 California Life Sciences Industry Report, developed by California Life Sciences Association in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers and published annually, evaluates the profound impact of California’s life sciences sector on the state’s economy in the areas of sector employment growth, wages, research funding, and life sciences venture investment.  With Irvine ranked as the third most popular destination of life sciences in the state and the leader in medical device and ophthalmology, the findings in this year’s report confirm that California continues to lead the nation in the life sciences industry, supporting highly-skilled and well-paying jobs in communities across the state. Key findings include: California’s...
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GO-Biz Partners with CMTC to Promote ‘CA Made’ Manufacturing Labeling Program

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) today announced a partnership with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) designed to increase the benefits for businesses that participate in GO-Biz’s recently launched ‘CA Made’ state labeling program for manufacturers. The partnership provides CA Made manufacturers with access to the statewide benefits of CMTC’s ‘Made in California’ program.   “Our partnership with CMTC will increase the visibility of the CA Made program and provide manufacturers with improved access to suppliers, business-to-business networking and events, and technical assistance specific to the needs of manufacturers,” said GO-Biz Deputy Director Jesse Torres. “CA Made manufacturers will...
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Masimo Founder/CEO Joe Kiani to Give Keynote Address at Orange County World Trade Week 2018

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber proudly announces that Masimo founder, chairman, and CEO Joe Kiani will deliver the keynote address during the 4th annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on May 17, 2018, at the Irvine Marriott.  Kiani leads one of the world’s most admired global medical technology innovation companies and is a convention-breaking maverick as an inventor of world-changing noninvasive patient monitoring devices. As the head of Masimo, he has been a beacon for patient safety and innovation in healthcare for more than 25 years.  Kiani and Masimo have helped to solve the "unsolvable" problems plaguing patient monitoring through...
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OC Great Park Sports Park and Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge Program Recognized for Public-Private Partnerships

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Orange County Great Park Sports Complex on Nov. 16 was presented with the Orange County Business Council’s Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Award for Public-Private Partnership. The City of Irvine and FivePoint Holdings LLC have partnered together to develop approximately 688 acres of the Orange County Great Park. When complete, the included 194-acre Sports Complex will feature softball and baseball complexes, and basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. The already opened championship soccer stadium will be accompanied by “flex” fields that can be used for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, cricket, and other sports activities. The park will also feature one of...
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Linda DiMario Appointed for Second Term on International Economic Development Council Board

Friday, November 17, 2017

Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber, has been nominated and appointed for a second two-year term on the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). During the 2018 IEDC Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, DiMario will be on a panel for special plenary session, Chasing the Big Deal, on Jan. 30. DiMario, and three other economic development leaders, will review outcome goals and tactics used in the pursuit of big deals like Amazon HQ2 and others, and how to leverage resources to make it a win for economic development organizations as well as the...
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One Month Left to Apply for SBA Disaster Loans

Friday, November 17, 2017

Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West on Nove. 17 reminded California private nonprofit organizations of the Dec. 18, 2017, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury caused by severe winter storms, flooding and mudslides that occurred Jan. 18-23, 2017. Private nonprofits that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance. According to Garfield, eligible private nonprofits of any size may apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. “Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used...
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Tech Entrepreneur and Expert Economist Headline Greater Irvine Chamber 2018 Business Outlook

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tech entrepreneur and CEO of Zillow Group, Spencer Rascoff, is slated as the keynote speaker for the Chamber’s Business Outlook Breakfast on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, 7:30 - 9:30 a.m., at Hotel Irvine. Rascoff will discuss housing trends in the county as well as the integration of technology to bring a traditional market into the digital age. Rascoff oversees the Zillow Group’s portfolio of real estate and home-related brands, including consumer brands Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, HotPads, Naked Apartments and RealEstate.com. Fortune and Forbes both listed Rascoff as one of America’s most powerful CEOs under 40 and he is a recipient of...
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GO-Biz Committee Approves $69 Million in Tax Credits for 90 Companies Adding Over 6,200 Jobs in California

Thursday, November 16, 2017

On Nov. 16 the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced that the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) committee approved $69 million in tax credits for 90 companies projected to create 6,236 jobs and make $1.2 billion worth of new capital equipment investments across California. View the complete list of approved companies and award amounts.   “The California Competes Tax Credit encourages companies from around the world to locate, expand and add good paying jobs in California," said Panorea Avdis, GO-Biz Director and Chair of the California Competes Tax Credit Panel. “In just three years, hundreds of companies have made...
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CalChamber Releases List of New Employment Laws Affecting Businesses in 2018

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Source: CalChamber The California Chamber of Commerce has released the list of new employment laws scheduled to take effect in 2018 and beyond that will affect California employers’ daily operations and policies. Some new laws made significant changes while others made small changes to existing law. CalChamber’s new white paper, which summarizes the new laws’ effects on California employers, is available for download. The white paper explains new laws relating to: Leaves of absence; Hiring practices and enforcement; Discrimination, harassment and retaliation protections; Wage-and-hour; and Workplace safety and workers’ compensation. Some of the noteworthy new legislation includes: The New Parent Leave Act, which requires small businesses with as few as...
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Destination Irvine Earns SportsEvents Magazine 2018 Readers’ Choice Award

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SportsEvents Media Group, the leading industry publication focused exclusively on helping sports event planners produce excellent competitions in the United States, has announced that Destination Irvine in Irvine, CA has been recognized as a 2018 Readers’ Choice Award winner. Sports event professionals were asked to nominate destinations and sports venues that they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the youth and amateur sports groups they host. Nominations were received from readers throughout the year, and the top picks were selected based on results from an online voting system. This is the tenth year for the SportsEvents Readers’ Choice Award. More than...
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U.S. News & World Report: Best Business Credit Cards of 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

U.S. News & World Report recently published a guide aimed at improving financial literacy among small business owners who are exploring ways to help finance their operation. The guide breakdowns when a credit card makes sense for a business, their benefits, as well as strategies and best practices to minimize risk. Access to credit can be difficult to come by and expensive for small businesses. Small business credit cards can be flexible, invaluable tools for business owners facing short-term cash crunches. Interest rates can be lower than they are for other convenient sources of credit, such as advances against accounts receivable or...
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Dan Han Named 2017 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year

Monday, November 13, 2017

Dan Han, founderof Agapay, a payment processing company, has been named the 2017 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year. He was nominated by his fellow Chamber Board of Directors. Han serves as senior vice chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, chair of the Board Development Committee, and is a Finance Committee member. Since joining the Greater Irvine Chamber in 2013, Han distinguished himself by recognizing the value and benefits of an international outreach for the Chamber. Managing fellow Chamber members as part of the International Outreach Task Force, the group contacted mulitple of International-American chamber, business association, and government trade agency in Orange...
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Destination Irvine, OC Expedia Marketing Campaign Garners Nearly $800K Revenue for Irvine Hotels

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Destination Irvine participated in an Orange County joint marketing campaign with Expedia. The campaign ran August through October and included an image of Irvine along with 200 words of descriptive copy. When “Book Now” was clicked all 21 Irvine hotels were featured offering their individual rates. The campaign garnered 8.9 million impressions, resulting in 10,147 room nights booked with a total revenue to Irvine hotels of $784,975.   The next campaign will run January through March 2018. For more information about Irvine as a destination, contact Wendy Haase.
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Trade Report: California Exports Edge Upwards

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Source: CalChamber California’s export trade grew in September, according to a Beacon Economics analysis of U.S. trade statistics released November 3 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Foreign shipments by California businesses totaled $14.19 billion for the month, a nominal 4.0% increase over the $13.65 billion recorded in September 2016. The state’s exports of manufactured goods in September rose 7.5% to $8.79 billion from $8.18 billion one year earlier. Exports of nonmanufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) climbed by 8.3% to $1.82 billion from $1.68 billion. Re-exports, meanwhile, slipped by 5.5% to $3.58 billion from $3.79 billion. September’s export growth was mirrored in a...
Greater Irvine Chamber Conducts Research to Assist Life Science Vertical

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

With 484 life science companies including Allergan, B. Braun Medical, Edwards Lifesciences, Masimo, and Pfizer to name a few, Irvine is the main driver of economic growth in this prominent industry cluster. In order to better understand the needs of the life sciences industry, the Greater Irvine Chamber has connected with decision makers throughout the business landscape and provided resources to help businesses thrive. In its eighth Business Outreach Rally, the Chamber on Oct. 25 dispatched 38 member volunteers to visit 220 Irvine businesses with the goal of discovering the challenges they face and to provide the Business Outreach Resource Guide...
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SBA Sets New Lending Record for Orange County and Inland Empire Small Businesses

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced fiscal year 2017 lending numbers showing increasing loan levels in small business lending through the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, as well as increases in lending to women, veterans and emerging  communities.   Nationally, SBA approved over 68,000 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs in FY17.  These programs provided over $30 billion to small businesses.  There was record lending activity in FY17 for the SBA Orange County/Inland Empire (OCIE) District Office, as $1.57 billion was delivered to small businesses by participating SBA lenders, an increase of 11.3% by dollar amount over the prior fiscal...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Welcomes Korean Startups to Irvine

Monday, November 06, 2017

Chamber member Melinda Kim, founder of PeopleSpace, a co-work space and ideation hub for startups in Irvine, arranged for several Korean startups to visit Irvine for a three week exchange including meetings and collaborative work sessions within the Irvine/OC startup eco-system. The Chamber visit helped them understand how our public and private sector work together to fuel the startups in our area. And new resources and partnerships were discussed to help them grow their businesses and extend into the U.S.. Their products developed include a next generation 3D printing process and a hand-held spectrometer.
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US Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Special Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump Address OC Business Leaders in Private Meeting

Monday, November 06, 2017

United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Special Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump addressed a select group of business leaders from Orange County, including Greater Irvine Chamber staff members, during a private Nov. 6 meeting held in Newport Beach.  Secretary Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump were joined by a panel of eight business leaders from the Orange County region to talk about the impact of tax reform on the residents of Southern California. One of the marquee components of the proposal is to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, which would help spur innovation,...
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Attorney General Becerra Files Amicus Brief in Support of Requiring Out-Of-State and Online Retailers to Pay State and Local Taxes

Friday, November 03, 2017

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a bipartisan coalition of 36 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review and reconsider the Court’s outdated “physical presence” rule, which restricts states’ ability to collect certain taxes from out-of-state retailers. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue that states were prohibited from requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales and use taxes on goods purchased through the mail.  With the rise of online shopping, out-of-state retailers – including online retailers – have used the physical presence rule set forth...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Showcases Life Sciences, Innovation Hubs to Visiting U.K. Companies

Friday, November 03, 2017

As a follow up to the Greater Irvine Chamber led foreign direct investment mission in February, representatives from U.K. companies visited Irvine and Orange County Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, to learn about the city’s life sciences and innovation hubs and business opportunities in the city. Guests included Alex Garner of Raremark, Tony Jones of One Nucleus, Nishan Sunthares of Association of British Healthcare Industries, and Geoff Fernie and Catharine Hancharek of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber, led the group over five days touring Edwards Lifesciences, WeWork, 400 Irvine Spectrum Business District, the...
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GO-Biz Launches Cyber-Health IT Advisory Board with USC Center for Body Computing

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Today the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced the formation of a new Cyber-Health Information Technology Advisory Board as part of an ongoing effort to support cybersecurity innovation and bolster advanced technology industries. The advisory board will be led by the University of Southern California (USC) Center for Body Computing and will include representatives from industry and education cybersecurity experts.   “California’s entrepreneurs and innovators are on the cutting edge of technologies that will redesign everything from how we commute, grow our crops and manage our health,” said Panorea Avdis, Director, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “Cybersecurity...
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Foreign and Domestic Investors See Opportunity in the Heart of OC

Monday, October 30, 2017

By Bryan Starr Sitting in the center of Orange County, Irvine was master planned to be an economic powerhouse. Its business centers are home to an impressive list of leading companies in technology, innovation, biotechnology, medical, and communications sectors—21st century businesses like Google, Oracle, Edwards Lifesciences, Amazon, Allergan, Blizzard, and Cylance, to name a few. Our startup ecosystem is also vibrant with $600 million in venture capital investment made in 2016 by new technology and life science companies. The Greater Irvine Chamber’s economic development team is hard at work attracting new investment to the greater Irvine area as well. Just last month,...
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Irvine was Born for Amazon

Monday, October 30, 2017

A letter to editorial board of the Orange County Register-10-28-17. While the New York Times and other outlets initially failed to mention California—let alone Irvine—in the list of top contenders for Amazon’s HQ2, word about our beautiful state and vibrant city is getting out. What people are coming to grips with is, for the Amazons of the world, talent and a world-class lifestyle beat gimmicks and giveaways. Fortunately, Amazon has never overlooked California or Irvine. Amazon already has 30,000 employees in the Golden State— second only to the 40,000 people it employs in Washington. There are 1,200 Amazon employees working in office space...
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Unemployment Assistance Benefits Available for Workers Affected by Wildfires

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are now available for workers and self-employed individuals who lost jobs or had work hours substantially reduced as a result of the devastating California wildfires (Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba counties). Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced and the California Employment Development Department (EDD) confirmed this news recently. DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to people whose jobs or work hours were directly impacted by the fires. The White House declared a major disaster in California on October 10, which paved the way for DUA benefits for people affected by the fires but who don’t qualify for regular...
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Bryan Starr Radio Interview: Irvine Checks all the Boxes for Amazon HQ2

Monday, October 23, 2017

In an interview with the host of the Michael Smerconish Radio Show, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bryan Starr outlines why Irvine is uniquely qualified for Amazon’s second headquarters. Listen to the interview here. On Oct. 19, Irvine was among 238 cities in the U.S. and Canada to submit proposals. Officials at Amazon have said they will make their selection early next year. For more information on the Greater Irvine Chamber’s, the City of Irvine, and Irvine Company’s collaboration to land Amazon HQ2, contact Linda DiMario.
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Irvine Ranks as Second Most Lucrative Deal for Amazon HQ2

Monday, October 23, 2017

Business Insider today ranked Irvine’s Amazon HQ2 bid as the second most lucrative deal submitted to the tech behemoth. The proposal includes an offer from the Irvine Company to fully finance the Amazon HQ2 project, which is estimated to cost $5 billion. In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Irvine Company owner Donald Bren wrote, "In essence, you would have a one-click shopping opportunity and be able to capitalize on our in place property development rights, thus avoiding potential delays, because Irvine Company has invested more than 60 years master planning 93,000 acres of land, and designing and overseeing the...
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One City, One Company Meet HQ2 Requirements Delivered At The Speed of Amazon in Thriving Downtoan Metropilis

Friday, October 20, 2017

The City of Irvine made public today its proposal for Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2). Ranked No. 1 in the nation for its fiscal strength and budget discipline, the fast-growing city is offering Amazon a fully financed (by Irvine Company), fully approved one-click solution for HQ2 in Irvine Spectrum, at the center of Orange County in downtown Irvine. The proposal delivers all 8 million square feet in the heart of a thriving metropolis that was built around the University of California, Irvine (UCI), which has the largest combined engineering and computer sciences program in California and fifth-largest in the nation. The City...
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Linda DiMario Named Executive Vice President of Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, October 16, 2017

Following more than four years in senior leadership roles at the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, first as senior director then vice president of Economic Development and Tourism, Linda DiMario has been named executive vice president of the Chamber. Her new role reflects her contributions to the growing reputation of the Chamber and its role in Irvine by effective organizational decision making and expansion of local, regional, and global business development initiatives. “I’m honored to have the  confidence of our Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr and the team of this Chamber.” DiMario said. “I look forward to working with our...
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You can Find Anything on Amazon — Even Our Future

Friday, September 29, 2017

Published in the Daily Pilot, Sept. 29, 2017  | By Bryan Starr, President & CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber, Economic Development, Destination Irvine         When Amazon announced it was looking for a new city to build its second headquarters, many eyes turned to Irvine. As a highly educated, sunshine-filled city in the heart of three sprawling megalopolises, Irvine has a lot to offer the technology giant. Of course, Amazon can offer Irvine quite a bit in return: high-paying jobs, opportunities for synergy with our universities and secondary schools, progressing Irvine’s already stellar reputation as a safe, skilled community. That is why the city is working to...
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Greater Irvine Chamber a Lead Partner in Amazon Irvine HQ2 Campaign Delivers Testimony in Front of Irvine City Council

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

By testifying before Irvine City Council during a special session on Sept. 26, Greater Irvine Chamber Vice President of Economic Development & Tourism Linda DiMario expressed the organization’s official support for a bid for Amazon to locate its second headquarters in Irvine. Citing a public remark made by Irvine Company President Donald Bren, DiMario said that the Chamber agrees, Irvine is “uniquely qualified" to host Amazon HQ2. She expanded on this saying that Irvine was master-planned to be an economic powerhouse, offers an exceptional global reputation and brand, already thriving economy, enviable quality of life, and a global reputation for innovation...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Testifies in Support of MWD’s Proposed CA WaterFix

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Greater Irvine Chamber Director of Government Affairs Whit Peterson testified during a special board meeting held by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) at its Los Angeles headquarters on Sept. 26 in support of the proposed California WaterFix.  The WaterFix is a culmination of a decade long effort to shore up water resources in southern California. The plan, if approved, would begin the process of building two underground tunnels to transport water from the northern California Delta region which would guarantee the transport of reliable, clean and safe water to the 25 million residents, farms and businesses in central and southern California. The water...
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Irvine Among Best US Cities to Raise a Family

Monday, September 25, 2017

Neighborhoods.com has reported a WalletHub survey of the 150 largest cities in America to determine the best and worst places to raise a family. The study looked at 41 metrics to determine the rankings, including housing costs, quality of local schools, recreation, healthcare, and more.  Though home costs did California cities no favors, other factors still allowed multiple cities in Southern California to rank well compared to the rest. Chief among them was Irvine, which finished No. 9 in the overall scoring, and not too far removed from Fremont all the way up at No. 5. Irvine ranked particularly well in terms of “health and safety”...
Orange County Has What Amazon Wants

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Source article: Orange County Register, by Jim Doti, Lucy Dunn and Brian Calle When Amazon announced its plans for a second North American headquarters, cities throughout the country began to salivate over the prospect of becoming its home — and they should. An investment of $5 billion locally, adding 50,000 new jobs with average salaries in the six-figure range would be transformational for any community. It’s no wonder that so many luminaries in Orange County are wildly optimistic about the prospect of Amazon HQ2 moving here, and are beginning to mobilize to submit a bid to lure the massive online retailer to...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Helps Defeat Harsh Development Fee Proposal

Friday, September 15, 2017

For the past two months, the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has been working to combat a 108 percent traffic mitigation fee increase proposal that would affect residents, businesses, and hotels in the Irvine Business Complex (IBC).  The fee update, reexamined by the City of Irvine every two years, contained a proposal to increase the fees associated with developing in the area by a minimum of 108 percent. Originally adopted in 2010, the IBC Vision Plan created mixed-use and residential standards to facilitate the evolution of the area which was primarily office, industrial, and commercial use. At the time, the city developed a...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Economic Development Team Helps New Zealand Company Locate in Irvine

Monday, September 11, 2017

Attracting Foreign Direct Investment continues to be a key focus of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Economic Development team. To that end, we welcome Protempo U.S. Limited, which just moved on Sept. 1 into their new office headquarters in the Irvine Company owned and managed Executive Park in Irvine. The U.S. Consulate in Auckland contacted the Irvine-based U.S. Commercial Service office led by James Mayfield to advise him that a New Zealand company was looking at establishing a sales headquarters in Southern California. Mayfield contacted the Greater Irvine Chamber and after several communications, a meeting in March and a visit to the Chamber's Orange...
Greater Irvine Chamber’s Soft Skills Program Scaled to Include Offer to Students from all Irvine Colleges, Universities

Monday, September 11, 2017

More than 200 Irvine Valley College students have participated in the pilot phase of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge program over the past two years. Career Edge is a simple but important solution to a challenge that Orange County companies face: new employees who lack satisfactory business writing, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Because of the success of the pilot program, Career Edge is now being extended to students enrolled at any college or university located in Irvine. Volunteer mentors and presenters from a variety of professions facilitate the four-part Career Edge series, which includes topic on business communications and...
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CalChamber Support for U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement Reaffirmed

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The California Chamber of Commerce reaffirmed support for the U. S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) in a letter sent September 5 to members of the Trump Administration, including the Secretary of Commerce and the US Trade Representative. The U.S. business and agriculture community have received reports that the Administration is considering withdrawing from the agreement, due to the imbalance of trade figures. Withdrawing would harm many in the U.S. business and agriculture communities and help few.  It would also alienate a key ally at a time when regional security is fragile. Defending KORUS is a priority issue for the U.S. Chamber, the California Chamber, and businesses...
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White House Halts Requirement to Collect Pay Data by Race, Gender

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

On August 29, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued an immediate stay of a rule that would have required private employers with more than 100 employees to report how much they pay employees by race, ethnicity and gender on their EEO-1 reports. “It’s enormously burdensome,” Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, told The Wall Street Journal (subscription required). “We don’t believe it would actually help us gather information about wage and employment discrimination.” The administration also was concerned about the practical utility of the pay data reporting requirement as well as privacy and confidentiality issues,...
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OC World Trade Week 2018: UPS returning as Founding & Presenting Sponsor

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member UPS is returning as the founding and presenting sponsor in the 4th annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on May 17, 2018, at the Irvine Marriott.  The World Trade Week forum, first held in 2015, brings together Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and members of business community to grow awareness of the impact of international trade and export in Orange County. The inaugural OCWTW drew nearly 200 attendees and as the event has continued to grow, 450 people attended in 2017.  UPS’ support since inception...
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Webster University Offers Cybersecurity Master’s Degree in Irvine

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Classes for Webster University’s acclaimed Master’s in Cybersecurity program will be offered in Irvine later this fall, it was announced this week. It will be the first classroom-based Master’s in Cybersecurity program offered in Orange County. The Cybersecurity Program is offered through the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology. It was launched in Colorado Springs in 2014 at the request of the U.S. military. Since then, the program has since expanded to several Webster University locations in the United States and Europe as demand for the program from military and businesses has grown. The program is one of the...
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Director of U.S. Export Assistance Center to Address Business Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, September 04, 2017

Jim Mayfield, director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center of the International Trade Administration office in Irvine, will provide an update to business and community leaders at the Greater Irvine Chamber during its Thursday, Sept. 7 Government Affairs meeting. Mayfield will discuss what the U.S. Export Assistance Center does to help companies explore and gain entry into international markets. The 8 a.m. meeting is open to Greater Irvine Chamber members and guests, at no charge. For more information, contact Whit Peterson.
International Development Committee Analyzes NAFTA Negotiations

Friday, September 01, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s International Development Committee (IDC) continues to spearhead its initiatives to expand opportunities and grow the impact of trade, export, and foreign direct investment for Irvine and Orange County’s businesses. To that end, each of committee’s meetings are kicked off with a discussion to discover issues business and community leaders are facing in regard to international commerce.  During the August meeting, led by IDC co-chairs Marv Sepe of CTC Global, and Rima Nashashibi of Nashashibi International Consultants, more than two dozen business and community leaders who are IDC members focused on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the U.S., Canada,...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Member Edwards Lifesciences Opens New Atrium Building at its Global Headquarters in Irvine

Friday, August 25, 2017

A state-of-the-art lobby and office space for Edwards Lifesciences global headquarters located in Irvine debuted Aug. 24 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Providing welcome remarks were Irvine Mayor Don Wagner and the company’s Chairman and CEO Michael Mussallem. “This is a good symbol of how we feel about our future,” Mussallem said of the new structure. The new Starr Atrium is named in honor of Dr. Albert Starr, a cardiac surgeon who worked with Miles Lowell Edwards to create the first commercially available artificial heart valve and start Edwards almost 60 years ago. The 25,000 sq. ft. space serves as a meeting...
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Mazda Debuts Relocated American Operations Headquarters in Irvine

Friday, August 25, 2017

Just blocks from its previous location, Mazda has relocated its North American Operations headquarters to the Irvine Spectrum, with naming rights to the 200 building. An Aug. 25 ribbon cutting celebrated the location’s debut and included remarks form Mazda North American Operations President and CEO Masahiro Moro, Vice President of brand engagement and training Blase De Leo, and Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr. “As one of the world’s leaders in car manufacturing, we are so proud that, for a second time, Mazda has chosen Irvine as the home for its Mazda North American Operations headquarters,” Starr said. “We are...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Business and Workforce Development Committee Off to a Great Start

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

With a packed room of business, community, and education leaders, the Greater Irvine Chamber’s newly debuted Business and Workforce Development Committee, a combination of former Education and Workforce Development and Business Attraction and Retention committees, introduced its 2017-2018 co-chairs Brian Andersen and Dr. Brian Dozer, and co-vice chairs John Kurth and Brian Montes. The committee, mentioned as “ground zero” for bringing workforce and business development together, formed a 30- to 60-day “Future of Everything” task force, which will focus on analyzing how to overlay with what is known about the Irvine economy.  Also under the committee’s domain are programs such as Career...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Seeks Participants for 48 Hours in Canada

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber has partnered with MAPLE Canadian-U.S. Business Council® to assemble a delegation to travel to Toronto, Ontario for 48 Hours, Sept. 21-22. Chamber members interested in foreign direct investment and export opportunities there are invited to participate in the program. MAPLE is hosting a cross-border networking reception in Toronto on Thursday, Sept. 21, 5 – 8 p.m. to promote closer business ties between Southern California and the greater Toronto region. As part of the reception, a panel discussion on Doing Business with Southern California will feature Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario, vice president of Economic Development & Tourism, and Diana Le, manager...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Broadens OCTANe’s Medical Technology Innovation Forum to International Audience

Monday, August 14, 2017

OCTANe’s 11th Annual Medical Technology Innovation Forum (MTIF) in Orange County, the largest and most important medical device industry conference in Southern California, is scheduled for October 30-31, at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. This event attracts nationwide entrepreneurs, medical device industry corporate leaders and R&D executives, as well as university scientists, researchers, and venture capitalists. As a follow up to the Greater Irvine Chamber’s foreign direct investment mission to the U.K. in February, the Chamber has designed an Irvine showcase centered around OCTANe’s MTIF, expanding its reach internationally. Prospective life science companies identified during the Chamber’s trade mission...
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Zillow’s Spencer Rascoff Named as Keynote Speaker for Greater Irvine Chamber Business Outlook Program

Monday, August 07, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber is proud to announce that Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow Group, will be the keynote speaker for the Chamber’s Business Outlook Breakfast to be held on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 at the Hotel Irvine. Rascoff oversees the Zillow Group’s portfolio of real estate and home-related brands, including consumer brands Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, HotPads, Naked Apartments and RealEstate.com. He helped start Zillow in 2005, and served various roles including chief operating officer, until his appointment to CEO in 2010. Since becoming CEO, Rascoff has led Zillow through its 2011 IPO and 13 acquisitions. In 2015, he co-wrote and...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Deepens Ties with International Business Community

Thursday, July 27, 2017

As a booth sponsor, the Greater Irvine Chamber supported the annual OC International Summer Mixer and Business Showcase organized by the British American Business Council of Orange County, and held on July 26 at Strawberry Farms Golf Club in Irvine.  With more than 25 invited international-American chambers and business associations, the Chamber’s Diana Le, manager of Business and International Development, and Dinh Ta, manager of Business Development, connected with members of the international community during the evening networking event, which also included samplings of international cuisine. Among the participants were representatives from Britain, Germany, Iran, Poland, and Sweden to name a...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Participates in First-Ever West Coast Consul Trade Mission to Mexico

Monday, July 24, 2017

By invitation from local Mexican Consul Mario Cuevas, the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Vice President of Economic Development & Tourism Linda DiMario spent the Fourth of July weekend on a trade mission to Tijuana, Rosarito, and Ensenada as a prelude to the NAFTA renegotiations. This was the first such trade mission involving Mexican Consuls from the West Coast. Ten Mexican Consuls based on the West Coast invited a business guest to accompany them on a three-day tour designed to showcase the working relationship between Mexico and the U.S., featuring Mexico’s burgeoning wine and culinary district in the Ensenada region led by Mayor Marco...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Hosts California Manufacturing Technology Consulting Roundtable

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber in partnership with the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) on July 14 hosted a small roundtable of manufacturing CEO’s to hear their needs and see how the Chamber may assist. Monthly meetings put on by CMTC are where local manufacturing CEO’s can come together to share their experiences, challenges, and gain insight from their peers.  Greater Irvine Chamber Manager of Business and International Development Diana Le shared local resources with the CEO’s and provided an update on what the Chamber is doing in workforce development such as its CareerEdge program aimed at closing the small skills gap. ...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Economic Development Promotes Irvine’s Strong Life Science Sector at World’s Largest BioTech Convention

Monday, July 03, 2017

From experiments conducted in the microgravity space environment to the newest genomics capabilities for the future of precision medicine efforts, the BIO International Convention, held June 19-22 in San Diego, brought together CEOs of multinational pharma companies and startup biotech student groups together in one space to collaborate and share what they’ve been working on in the last year. Attracting more than 16,000 attendees worldwide, the BIO Conference, kicked off their first night with a reception at Petco Park and the following night shutting down blocks of the Gaslamp District for a night full of music and food. The high-caliber speakers and...
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Deputy Under Secretary, US Dept. of Commerce, International Trade Administration Visits Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sarah Kemp, Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration paid a visit to the Greater Irvine Chamber on June 15 to talk with and thank the Chamber for its World Trade Week event and its export and trade support work. President & CEO Bryan Starr, V.P. Economic Development & Tourism Linda DiMario, and Business & International Development Manager Diana Le welcomed Kemp. The hour-long meeting with Kemp and Irvine-office U.S. Commercial Service Director James Mayfield, Regional U.S. Commercial Service Director Richard Swanson, and Southern California District Export Council Vice President Marv Sepe, covered a variety of issues...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Economic Development Team Deploys to World’s Largest Biotech Conference to Attract Global Life Science Companies to Irvine

Monday, June 19, 2017

Continuing on its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) initiative the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce (GICC) is exhibiting at the BIO Conference, the largest life sciences and biotechnology convention in the world, today through June 22 in San Diego. Greater Irvine Chamber alongside Destination Irvine, Leaders Circle member OCTANe, and the Center for International Trade Development are here for the first time at BIO 2017 connecting with leaders in the global biotech community. “We are excited to be in the company of more than 16,000 global biotech leaders at this year’s BIO conference,” said Diana Le, manager, Business and International Development, GICC. “Our mission...
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Water Agencies, Business Leaders Dive in at OC Water Summit

Monday, June 19, 2017

Representatives from several water agencies and business groups, including the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce (GICC), gathered for the OC Water Summit on June 16 at the Grand California Hotel at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim to learn more about options, case studies, costs, and pitfalls associated with water management systems. “Orange County water agencies are on the cutting edge of innovation with water recycle and reuse technologies. Agencies such as Irvine Ranch Water District and Orange County Water District are recognized around the globe. These efforts coupled with future supply and storage infrastructure will help support our thriving economy,” said...
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Destination Irvine Promotes Business at Travel Industry's Premier International Marketplace

Monday, June 12, 2017

Last week, Destination Irvine along with Hotel Irvine attended U.S. Travel Association’s IPW in Washington, D.C. Representatives met with more than 25 international and domestic buyers, including leisure and corporate focused group tour operators, along with more than a two dozen media outlets from across the world who expressed interest in visiting Irvine. In addition, Destination Irvine hosted a private reception for nearly two dozen buyers and media representatives; Hotel Irvine and the Irvine Retail Company provided prizes for four lucky attendees.  IPW 2018 will be held in Denver and in 2019 the tradeshow will be in Anaheim. IPW is the travel...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Diana Le a Panelist Engaging Chinese Companies Interested in Investment in Irvine, OC

Monday, June 05, 2017

As part of ongoing global outreach, Greater Irvine Chamber’s manager of Business & International Development, Diana Le, on June 7 will be participating on a panel, engaging with 35-40 invited Chinese companies looking for business resources and opportunities in the Irvine and Orange County, which may lead to investment. Other representatives on the panel are from the China Enterprise Council; OC Center of International Trade Development; Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service; and Orange County Business Council, which is hosting the event. For information on foreign direct investment opportunities, contact Diana Le.  
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario Moderates Pitch Session at California’s Largest Technology Innovation & Investment Conference

Monday, June 05, 2017

Last week, Greater Irvine Chamber (GICC) Leaders Circle member, OCTANe, hosted the 2017 Technology Innovation Forum (TIF) conference, the largest in California focusing on high-growth technology innovation and investment. Linda DiMario, vice president of Economic Development & Tourism, GICC, moderated the LaunchPad “pitch session” during the two-day conference. Critique IT, Matrix Sensors, My Mobile Watchdog, and Evasyst were the four candidates DiMario introduced to the record audience and panel of judges. The recipient of the Launchpad Award was My Mobile Watchdog, a technology platform that provides parents with mobile security tools for keeping their children safe on smartphones for a subscription fee. Also,...
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Chamber Program Helps Middle School Students Learn Financial Investment Skills

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Over the last six years the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has helped more than 1,500 students from several Irvine middle schools to learn the value of financial investments through its Financial Forum program. The program, offered through the Chamber’s Education and Workforce Development Committee, is administrated by the committee’s Financial Forum Task Force leader Peter Chan, who is an experienced financial advisor at The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Members of the Greater Irvine Chamber staff and its Financial Forum Task Force volunteer to facilitate groups of students as they learn their assignment of tracking their mock investments using actual...
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Destination Irvine Continues to Exceed Goals for Business & Leisure Travel Attraction for May

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Month to date, Destination Irvine has closed eight meetings and events including Verizon, California Association of Realtors, and Community Sports Institute soccer tournaments with Irvine hotels. These meetings and events alone deliver 1,310 room nights and a $450K economic impact for Irvine. Additionally, 25 new leads with a potential of 8,124 more room nights for Irvine were generated for our Irvine hotels. For more information, contact Demea Metcalf, sales manager of Destination Irvine.
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Destination Irvine Participates in National Conference to Help Ready Students for Careers in Hospitality & Tourism

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Destination Irvine is committed to attracting visitors to Irvine, as well as ensuring professionals will be there to serve them well into the future. Demea Metcalf, director of sales at Destination Irvine, volunteered her time to serve as a judge in a presentation competition for high school students interested in careers in hospitality and tourism marketing. The student competition was part of the 2017 DECA International Career Development Conference, held at the Anaheim Convention Center in April, in partnership with the Destination Marketing Association (DMA) of the West and DMA West Education & Research Foundation. DECA is a non-profit international association of...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Economic Development Team Implements Phase II Strategic Logistical Plan to Attract Life Science Investment in Greater Irvine

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce (GICC), accompanied by Leaders Circle member OCTANe and trade organization partner California International Trade Center, will exhibit and participate for the first time at the biggest life sciences and biotechnology convention in the world, BIO June 19-22 in San Diego. BIO will host 16,000 attendees including leadership and representatives from broad spectrum life sciences. In February, GICC led an incredibly successful foreign direct investment life science trade mission to the U.K. meeting with 40 companies looking to invest in the United States.  “This opportunity is a logical strategy following our successful foreign direct investment life...
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New Destination Irvine Statistics Show Impressive Growth in Traveler Expenditures for Irvine Businesses

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Destination Irvine released statistics from the 2016 Visitor Impact report conducted specifically for Irvine. In 2016, traveler expenditures for Irvine came to an estimated $612 million, an increase of two percent over 2015, far exceeding the rate of growth in preceding years due to increased visitation. The travel industry contributed $34 million in local and state taxes. To view report.   For more information contact, Wendy Haase, director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine.
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UCI Heads New York Times Ranking for Colleges Committed to Economic Diversity

Friday, May 26, 2017

University of California, Irvine (UCI) has earned the #1 spot on the New York Times third annual College Access Index, for the university’s commitment to economic diversity. The index ranks colleges with a five-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent, the number of lower- and middle-income students enrolled, and the price of tuition, as a measure of which top institutions are doing the most to promote the American dream. Following UCI in the next 4 spots are other campuses in the system: UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC San Diego, and UCLA. UCI is a Leaders Circle member of the Greater Irvine...
USTR Accepting Comments on Topics for Nafta Renegotiation

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Now that the White House has notified Congress that it intends to begin to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 90 days, the US Trade Representative has published a Federal Register notice to advise that it is accepting comments from the public on topics for the renegotiation. A copy of the Federal Register notice may be found here. The specific topics for which the USTR is open to receiving comments are: General and product-specific negotiating objectives for Canada and Mexico in the context of a NAFTA modernization. Economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of removal of any remaining tariffs...
Irvine Ranked Seventh Best City for Hispanic Entrepreneurs

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Irvine was recently ranked the seventh best place for Hispanic entrepreneurs by the personal finance website WalletHub. The ranking was determined by an analysis of 21 key indicators of business friendliness toward Hispanic entrepreneurs, compared among the 150 largest U.S. cities, including four Texas and two Florida cities topping the list. Hispanic and Latino community’s contributions to the U.S. economy are expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades. WalletHub cites one report that indicates this demographic is expected to make up a third of the U.S. population by 2050, translating into immense buying power, and is anticipated to create businesses at 15 times the national...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s FDI Mission Featured in British Life Science Publication

Friday, May 19, 2017

Continuing to make news is the Federal Direct Investment (FDI) delegation mission to the U.K. in February led by Linda DiMario, vice president of Economic Development and Tourism, Greater Irvine Chamber, and the organization’s International Development Committee. The delegation included prominent leaders among the business community: Leigh Volkland, Edwards Lifesciences; Bill Carpou, OCTANe; Kate Klimow, UCI; Jason Lantgen, Jones Lang LaSalle; Lynn Stewart, Center for International Trade Development, and DiMario and Diana Le of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. Visiting London, Cambridge, and Manchester over four days, the delegation met with more than 75 life science organizations, life science corporate park...
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Innovating for Women Business Challenge

Friday, May 19, 2017

The U.S. Small Business Administration is looking for innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families. Our workforce looks very different from 50 years ago. Women now make up nearly half of the labor force and play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity. As the demands on women and families grow, the need for products and services that address these unique challenges increases. Through a gift from the Sara Blakely Foundation, the InnovateHER 2017 Challenge will provide a platform to fulfill that need where competitors vie for a portion of prize money totaling $70,000. Contestants...
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OC World Trade Week Draws Dignitaries from the Region, World

Monday, May 15, 2017

Orange County’s premiere trade event, the 2017 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum (OCWTW) held at the Irvine Marriott on Thursday, May 18, is expected to draw more than 450 guests, including several prominent leaders from throughout Orange County and the world. Among the confirmed guest list are Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones, Artesia Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj, and consuls general or their representatives from Cambodia, China, Egypt, France, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Representatives from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Congresswoman Mimi Walters’ office are also on schedule to attend. Incoming President and...
Destination Irvine Gains Insight into the State of Tourism at the OC Tourism Conference

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Orange County Tourism Association’s (OCVA) 9th Annual Tourism Conference was held on May 10 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove. The conference, held in conjunction with National Tourism Week, recognizes the role travel and tourism plays in the local, regional, and national economies. This year’s conference theme, “OC - The Heart of California Tourism” featured Caroline Beteta, President and CEO, Visit California; a panel presentation and discussion on The Impact of Expansion and Hotel Growth in The OC Over the Next Five Years by Bruce Baltin, Managing Director CBRE Hotels and Adam Sacks, President and Founder Tourism Economics...
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$17 Million Available to Spur Regional Innovation

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today published the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for its 2017 Regional Innovations Strategies (RIS) program. The application period will close June 23, 2017.  The $17 million being made available through the RIS NOFA will help to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. Under this competition, EDA is seeking applications for two separate funding opportunities: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition.  i6 Challenge ($13M): Across the country, regions and communities are helping entrepreneurs overcome challenging barriers to help build new companies and create jobs through the efforts of universities,...
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Chamber Supported Bill Welcoming Business to California Passes Key Hurdle

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Assemblyman Steven S. Choi’s job creation legislation, AB 1216 Welcoming Business to California, supported by the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, passed through the Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee with unanimous bipartisan support, a key step in moving the job creation bil forward. “I’m excited to see our bill gain the support of all the Democrat members of the committee including Assemblyman Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles). Rarely in Sacramento do you see cooperation from both parties on job creation legislation so I was appreciative of Chairman Ridley-Thomas for joining the bill as a joint-author. I am happy to see my bill passed the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Member FivePoint Goes Public

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce congratulates its Leaders Circle member FivePoint on a successful IPO. The New York Stock Exchange on May 10 welcomed executives and guests of FivePoint Holdings, LLC (NYSE: FPH), on their first day of trading. Marking the occasion, Emile Haddad, FivePoint Chair and CEO rang the opening bell. Watch as it happened:   As reported in the Orange County Business Journal, shares were trading above $15 as of mid-day Wednesday, giving the company a market value of about $3.3 billion, and completed its initial public offering that same day, raising close to $300 million.
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Greater Irvine Chamber Goes to Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 05, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s Director of Government Affairs, Whit Peterson, joined a group of more than 30 representatives from organizations and businesses throughout Orange County on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.  Meetings were held with the offices of Senator Cory Booker (NJ), Senator Kamala Harris (CA), Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), Congresswoman Mimi Walters (CA-45), Congressman Lou Correa (CA-46), Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49), the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Education.    Through such meetings between constituents and business leaders, the Chamber is able to help shape policy in Washington, D.C. Lawmakers often seek their constituent’s opinions when...
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Destination Irvine Team Expands to Include Dave Lucey

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has expanded its team to include Dave Lucey as Sales Manager for Destination Irvine, the official destination marketing organization for Irvine. Lucey will promote to the national market Irvine’s sports facilities as a preferred destination for large-scale sporting events. “The addition of Dave to the Destination Irvine staff answers the demand of a growing sports market as the development of the Great Park sports facilities are nearing completion and become available to host major events,” said Linda DiMario, Vice President of Economic Development & Tourism, Greater Irvine Chamber. “His efforts will help Irvine increase its...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Announces New President/CEO Bryan Starr

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Following an extensive national search, the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce on April 25 announced its new president and CEO, Bryan Starr. Starr will take the helm on May 19. “I’m honored to have been selected to lead the Greater Irvine Chamber into its next phase of success,” Starr said. “Having focused much of my career on business associations in Orange County, specifically Irvine and neighboring communities, I’m looking forward to expanding the Chamber’s influence and providing its members with the highest level of support and exposure.” A California native and long-time Irvine resident, Starr brings to the Chamber more than 12...
TriTech Small Business Development Center and NASA Forge New Space Act Agreement

Monday, April 24, 2017

TriTech Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted by Riverside Community College District (RCCD), is entering into an agreement with NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California to pilot a new business model to spur economic development. NASA and TriTech SBDC will sign the formal Space Act Agreement on April 17, 2017, at 5 p.m. at the RCCD Office Rooftop Terrace in Riverside. A major benefit of this partnership is to help facilitate the technology transfer and commercialization of NASA technologies into the Southern California region. The agreement enables TriTech SBDC to assist businesses to expand and open new avenues for creating jobs. “This partnership...
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How Strengthening Trade Ties to Mexico Will Support American Jobs

Monday, April 24, 2017

For over two decades, a rising tide of commerce between the United States and Mexico has boosted growth and trade, supporting millions of American jobs and delivering benefits for both countries. Tom Donohue, U.S. Chamber president and CEO, is optimistic that will continue. “We see many new opportunities for faster growth, deeper investment, and stronger North American competitiveness,” he told the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico. This optimism stems from the fact that President Donald Trump’s “administration is committed to revitalizing economic growth,” and that “the President has demonstrated a commitment to implementing policy in a pragmatic way that advances the...
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OC Nonprofit Offers Free One-on-One Coaching for Business Leaders

Monday, April 24, 2017

Executive Coaches of Orange County (ECOC), a nonprofit association that has been supporting the local community for over 10 years, provides one-on-one coaching to nonprofit leaders at no-charge. ECOC's staff of over 25 experienced executivs volunteer their time to help busy managers with the development of nonprofit management and leadership skills set specific goals and solve difficult issues in a confidential setting. Coaching can address issues such as board development, fundraising, management, finance, HR issues, and personal development.  ECOC is seeking nonprofit leaders interested in coaching services. To learn more and to apply for a coach, visit ecofoc.org or call 949-472-1349  
California Leads the Way in Innovation

Friday, April 21, 2017

Policymakers are constantly searching for the source of the jobs of the future, and a crystal ball would certainly help them plan ahead to support the industries that will drive future growth. Without such powers of prophecy, many California metros have instead invested and developed economies that facilitate innovation and commercialization, increasing the probability that whatever the next big thing is, California will discover and invest in crucial parts of it. In our current technology-driven economic cycle, this is bearing fruit for the Golden State. In the Milken Institute’s most recent edition of the Best-Performing Cities index — which ranks metros...
Companies Need to Exercise Extreme Caution in Selling to the Federal Government

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

President Trump on April 18 signed an Executive Order (E.O.) intended, in the words of a senior administration official, to "usher in a new, more muscular Buy American policy based on the twin pillars of maximizing Made in America content and minimizing waivers and exceptions to Buy American laws." The new E.O. will likely impact companies selling or planning to sell to the federal government. By way of background, those selling to the government are often governed by either the Buy American Act ("BAA") or the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 ("TAA"). The BAA establishes a preference for domestically-manufactured goods in government procurements. ...
The Robots Are Coming! Encouraging Work When Jobs Disappear

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Economic Self-Sufficiency Policy Research Institute at UC Irvine is hosting an evening reception and lecture with visiting professor, Jesse Rothstein, on April 25 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In his talk, Dr. Rothstein will discuss two policies designed to address issues related to workforce participation in a modernizing world: The Earned Income Tax Credit and Universal Basic Income. The EITC has become the centerpiece of our safety net. The motivating idea behind it is that too few people are working and so policies are needed to encourage work by subsidizing earnings. But what happens to low-skill workers in a...
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Optimism Soars for Midsize Businesses

Monday, March 27, 2017

Midsize businesses are a critical component of our economy, providing nearly 40 million jobs and 40 percent of America’s GDP. They are yesterday’s small businesses and tomorrow’s Fortune 500 success stories. To get a better sense of what Washington can do to help them grow, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce partnered with RSM—a leading tax and accounting company—to produce the quarterly Middle Market Business Index. According to the first quarter study released last week, leaders of America’s midsize companies reported record-high levels of optimism. They like much of what they’ve heard from our government leaders, especially regarding tax reform, fixing our...
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Technology Innovation Forum: SoCal is a TECH POWERHOUSE!

Friday, March 24, 2017

California is closing the gap as the leading technology innovation ecosystem and you will learn why in just the first few hours of the 2017 Technology Innovation Forum, June 1 & 2, at the Newport Beach Marriott. OCTANe's CEO, Bill Carpou, will open with a review of the state of the tech industry in Southern California including OCTANe's two-year transformation and the plan for next stage of growth, presenting  an aggressive forecast to produce measurable results. Paul Pickle, President & COO of Microsemi, will moderate a discussion with executives from Arrow Electronics, AT&T, IBM Watson, and Intel on future innovation trends, outlook for...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Calls for Business Awards Nominations

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its 2017 business achievement awards to be presented during the Chamber’s Celebrate Irvine event on June 22, at the Irvine Marriott from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Businesses and individuals in Irvine will be recognized for community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship. Nominations and self-nominations are being accepted for Business of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year, Business Philanthropist of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and Young Professional of the Year. Celebrate Irvine will also feature an update on the city from Mayor Don Wagner. General admission...
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Irvine's Pretend City Among Thirty Museums and Libraries Honored as Finalists for National Medal Award

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Institute of Museum and Library Services on March 20 announced 30 finalists for the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Among them is Pretend City, The Children's Museum of Orange County, located in Irvine. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 23 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families and communities. “The 2017 National Medal Finalists represent the leading museums and libraries that serve as catalysts for change in their communities,”...
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Annual Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum Returns May 18

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce will once again collaborate with an impressive group of sponsors and partners to produce Orange County’s premiere trade event, the 2017 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum (OCWTW) on Thursday, May 18, at the Irvine Marriott. In its third year, this preeminent event has continued to grow in response to Irvine and Orange County’s vital role in the California, U.S., and global economies. Trade and exporting of Irvine/Orange County goods and services fuels more than $19 billion in exports annually or 11 percent of California’s export economy. “Aerospace and high-tech may appear to be...
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The Acceleration of Innovation, Technology and IoT into Daily Life

Friday, March 10, 2017

In 1994, the American author and sci-fi writer William Gibson wrote, “There's a big cinder block stuck on the technology accelerator pedal, and we're only gonna go faster and faster, never stopping.” He was right. So when anyone proposes to talk about technology trends, you can almost hear the smirking laughter in company board rooms, labs, incubators, garages and co-work spaces across Irvine and Orange County. Technological advances are occurring hourly. There are no trends in this sense. There is just continuous improvement and innovation – and the IoT (Internet of Things).   The IoT is how technology companies, engineers and scientists,...
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Community Meeting to Provide Great Park Update

Thursday, March 09, 2017

A special Community Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 27, will provide a City of Irvine update on the nation’s largest parkland project of 688 acres including the 194-acre Sports Park; the state’s largest Community Ice Facility; and ask those who attend to provide input about still-to-be-built segments of the Orange County Great Park. The Great Park meeting will be at Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks. The team’s affiliate is developing a public Community Ice Facility at the Great Park, to grand open in 2018. The agenda includes a City staff presentation, special video, surveys for input, maps and ideas,...
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Chamber Hosts Canadian / U.S. Business Council Networking Event

Friday, March 03, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce will host at its office a spring member networking event of the MAPLE® Business Council, the Canadian / U.S. Business Council of Southern California, on March 9, 7:30 – 10 a.m. Anna Innis, national manager of Passenger Sales USA at Air Canada will be the featured presenter. Air Canada links Southern California to Vancouver, Toronto and the world and is Canada's national air carrier. Julian Leuthold, executive producer of GetGlobal will also present. GetGlobal is the premier conference designed to help American companies succeed in foreign markets. MAPLE® brings together executives and entrepreneurs interested in exploring cross-border trade...
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Chamber’s International Development Committee Leads Exploratory Foreign Direct Investment Delegation to UK

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s International Development Committee (IDC) led an exploratory Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) delegation on a mission to the United Kingdom the week of February 13-17, 2017. Marv Sepe, COO of CTC Global and Leigh Volkland, senior director of Government Affairs, co-chairs of the IDC, worked with Chamber leadership and the business community to launch this initiative. The goal of the mission is to identify and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to invest in Irvine/Orange County by re-location, expansion, research and development, or startup partnerships. Two full days of meetings in London, one full day in Cambridge and one full...
SBA Launches 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge for Innovations That Empower Women’s Lives

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced the launch of the 2017 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge, a nationwide business competition to drive attention and resources to innovative products and services that make our lives easier and longer.  Competitors vie for $70,000 in prize money provided to SBA for the InnovateHER competition through a gift from the Sara Blakely Foundation. “The return of SBA’s InnovateHER Business Challenge presents an exciting opportunity for some of our nation’s foremost entrepreneurs and innovators,” saidSBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “Women represent half of the U.S. workforce and control 80 percent of the nation’s purchasing power,...
SBA seeks small business champions to honor during 2017 Small Business Week

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Every year the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates National Small Business Week (NSBW) with a series of events and an awards ceremony in recognition of the small business community’s contribution to the American Economy and society. Throughout Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Los Angeles District Office, in conjunction with public- and private-sector small business supporters, will host special events to honor local entrepreneurs and those who support and champion small business. “National Small Business Week helps to spotlight small business champions who think big, take risks and work hard to achieve the ‘American Dream,’ all while creating jobs...
Allergan acquires Irvine-based Chase Pharmaceuticals for $125M

Thursday, December 01, 2016

(Source: Orange County Register)  Allergan has acquired Irvine-based Chase Pharmaceuticals for $125 million, the company announced last week. Chase is a clinical stage company focusing on drugs to combat Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to a $125 million upfront payment, Allergan will pay regulatory and sales milestones. “This acquisition adds a new Phase 3-ready program for Alzheimer’s disease to our CNS portfolio and builds on our commitment to develop innovative approaches to improve the lives of millions of patients suffering from this devastating illness,” said David Nicholson, Allergan’s chief research and development officer, in a statement. Allergan, which is based in Dublin, Ireland, but has offices in Irvine...
Edwards in $340M Mitral Device Deal

Thursday, December 01, 2016

(Source: Orange County Business Journal)   Edwards Lifesciences Corp. in Irvine will buy Valtech Cardio Ltd in Or Yehuda, Israel, for $340 million in cash and stock in a deal expected to close early next year. Milestone payments over the next 10 years could add $350 million to the purchase price, and Edwards also took an option to buy a second company to be spun off before the Valtech acquisition that could bring Edwards' total investment to about $1 billion. Privately held Valtech had raised about $100 million in backing from Peregrine Ventures, OXO Capital Valve Ventures, and NGN Capital, a news report...
Test Market Opportunity in Hong Kong

Thursday, December 01, 2016

California Corner at Yue Hwa HKG Test Market Program California STEP (State Trade Expansion Program), in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service and the Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium Ltd. department store in Hong Kong is providing an opportunity for U.S. companies to submit their products for evaluation and potential inclusion in an "in-store" retail promotion in Hong Kong in May 2017. "California Corner" is both a retail promotion and a test-market program for introducing California brands into the Hong Kong and South China marketplace  About the Promotion:  Target Market Baby Boomers-Gen X/professionals, health-conscious (35-65 yrs) Product categories include: Health and Beauty Products Vitamins and food supplements Organic food (ready to eat, non-refrigerated) "California...
International Trade Administration Accepting Applications for International Buyer Program

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The International Trade Administration is accepting applications for the International Buyer Program (IBP) and IBP SELECT for trade events taking place between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec.31, 2018. Details regarding the application, eligibility, participation requirements, and selection process are provided in the Federal Register Notices at the link below. The deadline for applying to the IBP and IBP SELECT for 2018 events is January 6, 2017. Since we are running the application periods simultaneously for both CY2018 programs, an application must be submitted for both IBP AND IBP SELECT should an applicant wish to be considered for both. To be considered for the 2018 IBP, applicants...
$100M in GO-Biz CA Competes Tax Credits Available in January

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

(Source: CDFA California Financing Roundtable Newsletter)   Cities looking to attract, retain or expand jobs in their community should consider the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) California Competes Tax Credit Program as part of their strategy.    Applications will be accepted for the California Competes Tax Credit program during its next funding period, which will be open from Jan. 2–23, 2017. This is the second application period for the program this fiscal year, offering $100 million. Twenty-five percent of these funds are reserved for small businesses with gross receipts of less than $2 million.   Applications are evaluated based on the factors required...
Fivepoint and Live Nation Entertainment Announce Proposed Interim Amphitheater in Orange County

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

  FivePoint, in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest live entertainment company, announced today a proposal to build a 12,000-seat outdoor music amphitheater adjacent to the Orange County Great Park with the objective of opening in time for the 2017 summer season.    FivePoint (on behalf of property owner, Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC) is partnering with Live Nation on the interim amphitheater, pending approval by the City of Irvine. FivePoint has applied for a conditional use permit with the City of Irvine to allow Live Nation to design and build an interim venue on approximately 45 acres next to the Orange...
Consultancy Names Interim CEO

Friday, October 14, 2016

Irvine-based Resources Connection, Inc. named Kate Duchene interim chief executive after the unexpected retirement of Tony Cherbak due to health issues. The company released the news after the close of the markets today. Its board plans to search for a permanent CEO, and Duchene is an eligible candidate. The company said Cherbak will remain a member of theboard and will become a part-time employee and a special adviser to Duchene during the transition. Click here for the complete article.
First Foundation Buys Branches

Friday, October 14, 2016

Irvine-based First Foundation Inc. has agreed to acquire two Pacific Western Bank branches, located in Laguna Hills and Seal Beach. No loans will transfer to First Foundation in the transaction. The bank gets only the branches’ combined deposits of $200 million by year-end. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Click here for the complete article.
GO-BIZ AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES ANNOUNCE $844,000 FEDERAL GRANT FOR TRADE AND EXPORT INITIATIVE

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) today announced that California received an $844,214 grant from the federal government to help small businesses boost trade and exports abroad. GO-Biz and the CCCCO will use the funds to help small businesses participate in activities like foreign trade missions and access foreign markets through trade promotion initiatives. “The success of last year’s program demonstrates the effectiveness of the STEP grants in helping more small business become international exporters.  We look forward to further expanding this program to bring even more California business into...
Irvine Lender’s First Marketing Head

Friday, October 14, 2016

Quick Bridge Funding in Irvine named Lisa Reickerd its first marketing director. Quick Bridge provides short-term loans of up to $200,000 to small and midsized businesses. Reickerd was brought on to take a more aggressive marketing strategy, according to a news release. Click here for the complete article.
Irvine-based cottage cheese maker raises $3 million

Friday, October 14, 2016

Savory cottage cheese is catching the eye of investors. Irvine-based Good Culture has closed a $3 million Series B funding round from CAVU Venture Partners in New York City, 301 Inc. in Minneapolis and company co-founder Anders Eisner. The company was founded about two years ago by Jesse Merrill and Eisner. It makes sweet and savory, organic cottage cheeses, such as strawberry chia and kalamata olive, that are sold in nearly 700 stores. Click here for the complete article.
Manufacturing can be a pathway to economic development

Friday, October 14, 2016

Manufacturing — Solano County’s answer to economic growth and job development. Such was the implication at Wednesday’s breakfast gathering of the Solano Economic Development Corporation for the first in a series exploring different industries that could contribute to increasing job opportunities. Dorothy Rothrock, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, and Bill Gaines, Chairman of Transfer Flow Inc., talked about the importance of manufacturing and the impacts it could have on the economy. Click here for the complete article.
Wound Device Maker gets $5M

Friday, October 14, 2016

Harbor MedTech Inc. in Irvine raised $5 million in equity funding from three investors as part of an unfinished $8.5 million effort, a regulatory filing said. The company develops tissue regeneration products from live sources—collagen protein, biologic substrates and xenografts—for chronic wounds, and hernia and joint repair. The company has said its approach improves compatibility and speeds regeneration in tissue grafts and tissue growth. Click here for the complete article.
The Case for the TPP: Defending Job-Creating Investment

Monday, October 10, 2016

(U.S. Chamber of Commerce) What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) all about? With debate over this 12-nation trade agreement now underway, the U.S. Chamber is publishing this series making the case for the TPP’s approval. This installment looks at the agreement’s rules on investment. Like trade, international investment is critical to American jobs and competitiveness. The investment ties between the United States and the other TPP countries are strong, but the TPP could multiply their benefits. The benefits of investments in the United States from the other TPP countries start with jobs and paychecks. More than 17,000 companies from these 11 countries have invested $720 billion in...
How Hard is it to Export Internationally? Here's one Irvine Business' Experience

Monday, October 03, 2016

(Orange County Register)  Two years ago, Robb Dorf, an Irvine entrepreneur, faced a calamity. In the cutthroat competition for supermarket shelf space, rivals had edged his high-protein, gluten-free, California-made nutrition bars out of a major American grocery chain. Dorf’s company, PureFit, had just three employees and under $10 million in sales, “but we didn’t curl up in a ball,” he recalled. “We kept fighting. We realized, there’s a lot more opportunity outside the U.S.” Today, PureFit exports to 20 countries from Switzerland to Singapore. Foreign sales rose 53 percent in two years, accounting for a quarter of revenue and making up for domestic losses. “International...
OC Business Council Study Showcases Economic Impact of Allergan on California Economy

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A new study conducted by the Orange County Business Council (OCBC) found that Allergan's California operations generated a combined annual economic activity in the state of approximately $6.35 billionand net economic impact of $3.45 billion. The economic impact is a direct result of the Company's strong influence on employment in the state, generating more than 16,600 direct, indirect and induced jobs, with annual total statewide labor income of ~$1.55 billion. The economic impact study, titled "The Economic Impact of Allergan on the California Economy," was conducted and developed by Dr. Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Adviser, at the Orange County Business Council. "The findings of this study clearly showcase...
Finally, A Pharma CEO Takes the High Road on Drug Pricing

Thursday, September 08, 2016

(Forbes.com) Almost a year ago, I argued that pharma needs to “heal thyself” on drug pricing– but I was skeptical the industry could end its addiction to price hikes far in excess of inflation, often taken several times in a single year. On Sept. 6, Brent Saunders of Allergan laudably rose to the challenge. Saunders is the first major drug company CEO to explicitly renounce egregious price increases. In a blog post outlining his company’s “social contract with patients,” Saunders vowed that Allergan would: Limit price increases to single-digit percentages,“slightly above the current annual rate of inflation,” net of rebates and discounts Limit price increases to once per year Forego...
119 OC Firms Make Inc. 5000

Friday, August 26, 2016

(Source: Orange County Business Journal) Orange County placed 119 companies on the Inc. 5000 ranking of the fastest-growing U.S. private companies. A dozen of the firms made the top 10% of the Inc. 500 list. Inc. Magazine ranks companies according to percentage revenue growth over three years. The highest-ranked local company was internet security firm Cylance Inc. in Irvine, which ranks No. 26, with three-year growth of 7,613%. Construction equipment firm BigRentz.com in Irvine grew 5,093% and took the No. 48 slot, and Santa Ana-based chain Nekter Juice Bar Inc. came in at No. 334 with 1,146% growth. Sovereign Health Group in San Clemente, which runs...
Irvine-based Lantronix Narrows Loss

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

(Source: Orange County Business Journal)  Irvine-based Lantronix Inc. reported lower net losses in its most recent quarter and year; shares rose 15% after-hours Tuesday but declined on a sell-off in Wednesday trading The company aims to provide secure data access and management in the emerging Internet of Things product category. Its net loss narrowed to $247,000 on net revenue of $10.5 million in its most recent quarter. The latest results compared with a net loss of $1 million on net revenue of $10.2 million in the same period last year. Its full-year 2016 net loss was $2 million on net revenue of $40.6 million...
OCTANe’s Accelerator Program Shows its Chops

Monday, August 22, 2016

(Source: MedCity News) Startups have a burning need to raise money; investors want the best possible returns. The trick is connecting these two groups. In Orange County, California, OCTANe is the reigning matchmaker. OCTANe was founded in 2002 to grow Orange County’s tech and life sciences sectors. Their primary tool is its LaunchPad accelerator, which matches interested investors with growing companies.  Startups that completed the nonprofit’s accelerator program raised $75 million in the second quarter, up from $27 million in the first quarter. OCTANe is also expanding its footprint by partnering with an organization out of state as well. “When a company comes through our accelerator, we can...
CleanTech OC Event to Examine Water Technologies and Solutions

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CleanTech OC presents its first signature event on water, Water Solutions at UCI Applied Innovation, on Aug. 31, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. The event will take a close look at the evolving technology and the solutions they provide to public and private organizations, and how organizations screen, procure, adopt and integrate those technologies. Featured speakers include: Nadereh Afsharmanesh, VP Sustainability, Earth Friendly Products Cristina Ahmadpour, President, Isle Utilities John Arena, Metropolitan Water District Ken Biele, CEO, JWC Environmental Manrique Brenes, CEO, Blossom Dennis Calvert, CEO, BioLargo Glen Casanova, President, Hittite Green Solutions Paul Cook, General Manager, Irvine Ranch Water District Mike Hardy, Partner, Misco Water Jim Herberg, General Manager, OC Sanitation District Courtney Jones, Environmental &...
So Cal's Leading Technology Startup Incubator Empowers Innovation

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

EvoNexus, a non-profit technology incubator and hub for Southern California’s startup community, is designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies. EvoNexus is supported with Class A office space and facilities by California’s leading real estate developer, Irvine Company and financially by global technology and life science corporations. These relationships make it possible for EvoNexus to take zero equity or fees from incubating startups and help grow Southern California’s innovation economy. EvoNexus Startup Incubator - Irvine is a group for entrepreneurs looking to meet tech startups and hear from talented Orange County entrepreneurs. The group hosts speaker and social...
2016 State Rankings: California Leads for Installed Solar Power Capacity

Monday, August 15, 2016

California maintained its formidable lead as Business Facilities’ top-ranked state for Installed Solar Power Capacity and Texas kept its crown as king of Installed Wind Power Capacity in the magazine’s 12th Annual Rankings Report. The Golden State’s installed solar capacity is more than four times greater than any other state. Arizona, North Carolina, New Jersey and Nevada filled out the top five, respectively, in BF‘s annual solar energy ranking. California also led the field in BF’s Solar Power Installation Leaders ranking, which tracked the largest number of new installations in 2015. CA added 3,266 megawatts (MW) in solar photovoltaic installations last year,...
EDA Establishes Office Economic Development Integration

Monday, August 15, 2016

EDA has been designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the federal government’s official economic development integrator in recognition of both the agency’s successful management of cross-agency initiatives, and in recognition of the fact that it is the only federal agency whose sole mission is economic development. The purpose of the Office of Economic Development Integration (OEDI) is to facilitate direct engagement between communities and multiple federal stakeholders to collaboratively solve complex economic issues. OEDI will connect communities to economic development opportunities across the federal government by serving as an internal resource to EDA regional staff who work...
Electronics Maker Makes Buy

Monday, August 15, 2016

Infinite RF Holdings Inc. in Irvine bought on undisclosed terms L-Com Inc., a maker of custom computer networking equipment in North Andover, Mass. Infinite RF supplies radio frequency components to military, aerospace, telecommunications and electronics customers. The deal adds, “quick-turn custom manufacturing [for] customers who need technical support and high quality products in a hurry,” to Infinite RF’s offerings said Chief Executive Terry Jarnigan. Click here for the complete article.
Google Fiber coming to Irvine apartments, businesses

Monday, August 15, 2016

Irvine apartment residents and businesses will likely be the first in Southern California to enjoy Google Fiber, a high-speed network provided by tech giant Google. Google announced Tuesday that it has teamed up with Irvine Co. to bring the gigabit network to apartment, commercial and retail properties in Irvine. The two companies are deciding which properties will receive the service, said Pete Albers, Google Fiber’s head of real estate partnerships. “We’re planning to begin work installing our infrastructure in buildings in the next month with the goal of delivering Google Fiber service in the coming months,” Albers said in an email. “This...
Housing projects approved at Irvine Business Complex

Monday, August 15, 2016

Plans to develop town homes, apartments and a hotel at the Irvine Business Complex got the green light, as part of the city’s effort to transform the aging industrial district into a mixed-use community. The city’s Planning Commission recently approved the following four projects within the job-rich district of more than 2,000 acres near John Wayne Airport. Click here for the complete article.
State releases final plan to transform freight system

Monday, August 15, 2016

In response to an Executive Order issued last year by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.,  state agency leaders today released the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, a comprehensive document that serves as a blueprint for transforming the state’s multi-billion dollar freight transport system into one that is environmentally cleaner, more efficient, and more economically competitive than it is today. The revised document is similar to the draft version issued in May 2016, but reflects new input provided by industry, labor, regional and local government, and community and environmental group stakeholders, who submitted more than 85 comments on the draft plan. “We listened...
Target to open county's first urban-style store near UC Irvine

Monday, August 15, 2016

Irvine will be home to Orange County’s first flexible-format Target store, as part of the retail chain’s effort to grow in urban and college campus markets. The new store is scheduled to open in July 2017 at the University Center mall, adjacent to UC Irvine at Bridge Road and Campus Drive, Target announced Monday. The company is opening stores with flexible designs at its smaller locations, offering a customized selection of items to meet the needs of local clients, such as the UC Irvine students. Click here for the complete article
Three-year Pilot Program Aids CA Small Business Trade and Export

Friday, August 12, 2016

The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program is a three-year pilot trade and export initiative authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Funded by federal grants and matching funds from the states, the STEP Program is designed to help increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to raise the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting so they can grow and create jobs. Goals of the STEP Progam: If you are exporting: to help your business export more. If you are not exporting: to help you get started. California Highlights The project will conduct about...
Killing Free Trade Deals Won’t Magically Bring U.S. Jobs Back

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Trans-Pacific Partnership isn’t perfect, but that’s the nature of negotiating. Wendy Cutler, former acting deputy U.S. trade representative, is vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Here’s my nightmare: In 10 years, Asia-Pacific countries are seamlessly trading and cooperating with one another, and the U.S. has been left out. And 2016 will be remembered as the year that the U.S. failed to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This outcome isn’t inevitable, but avoiding it will require our country to have an honest, fact-based debate about what trade agreements can and can’t accomplish. The TPP is not perfect. As one...