Business Digest January 4, 2013
Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market opened its Longmont location on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 1101 S. Hover St., the former site of a Borders bookstore. Boar’s Head will give away 1,000 hot dogs on Saturday, Jan. 5, and children’s activities including cookie decorating will be held on the first three Saturdays the store is open. The 29,000-square-foot market, to be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, joins 21 other Sprouts locations in Colorado including stores in Boulder and Lafayette.
Hamburger chain Larkburger formally opened a new restaurant Dec. 12 at 4660 W. 121st Ave. in Broomfield. Larkburger has 11 restaurants including a 2,000-square-foot location at 2525 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder, which opened in 2009. The chain is known for all-natural menu items and a couple of gourmet ingredients, including truffles.
Boulder-based Siva Therapeutics Inc. will move into a 2,400-square-foot laboratory at 5541 Central Ave. in Boulder to continue its cancer research projects after receiving an undisclosed new angel investment. Siva also will hire a new bioengineer. Siva’s nanorod research involves minuscule rods that can be inserted into a cancer patient’s body and heated to kill tumors.
The statewide unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of one percentage point in November to 7.7 percent, according to a report released by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Nonfarm payroll jobs increased 8,000 from October to November to 2,317,100 jobs, according to a survey of business establishments. Private-sector payroll jobs increased by 7,000 and government increased by 1,000, according to the report. The unemployment rate in Boulder County decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in November to 5.7 percent, compared with 5.8 in October. The unemployment rate in the county in November 2011 was 5.7 percent. Broomfield County’s rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.8 percent, down from 6.9 percent in October. Broomfield’s rate in November 2011 was 6.9 percent.
Colorado’s full minimum wage and tipped minimum wage increased Jan. 1. An across-the-board increase of 14 cents brought the wages to $7.78 for full minimum wage and $4.76 for tipped employees. The increases are estimated to benefit 66,000 low-wage workers and bring $11 million to the state’s gross domestic product while providing $300 per year in wages for the average directly affected worker. The increase is the result of a state constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2006 that provides for annual rate adjustments to keep pace with the rising cost of living.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) will start daily flights between Denver and Los Cabos International Airport in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, beginning March 10. The service will be offered through AirTran Airways, which Southwest acquired nearly 10 months ago. Denver-based Frontier Airlines already offers nonstop service between Denver and Los Cabos, and three other airlines – American, Delta and United – offer one-stop service.
Life Care Center of Longmont has been named a Rehab Center of Excellence by its parent company, Life Care Centers of America. Each center undergoes an annual 111-point audit of how its rehabilitation team works with other departments to provide a cohesive plan of care. Regional rehab associates score the teams on environment, human resources, clinical programming and systems management. Facilities that achieve high scores on the audit are eligible to develop a specialty program based on the community’s needs. Once that specialty has been evaluated and shown to be strong, the facility is designated a Rehab Center of Excellence. Summit Rehab, Life Care Center of Longmont’s outpatient rehab component, developed a Parkinson’s rehab specialty program based on guidelines from the National Parkinson’s Foundation’s Allied Team Training program.
The Business Resource Center, 2095 W. Sixth Ave. in Broomfield, will receive $80,000 from the city of Broomfield for 2013 to continue to offer business training, consulting and other services. The Business Resource Center recently launched a new website: broomfieldbrc.com. A new radio show also is planned. Since it opened in July, the resource center helped create five new companies and generate about $885,000 in new capital in Broomfield, according to a memo from the Broomfield city staff.
Children’s Hospital Colorado — including its operation in Broomfield — has connected to a state health-information exchange, which is a protected online database of patient records. Patient lab test results, imaging reports and other information will be put in the database as part of the agreement between the hospital and the Colorado Regional Health information Exchange Organization, or CORHIO. The 20,000-square-foot Children’s Hospital Colorado Therapy Care Center in Broomfield sees more than 22,000 patients per year, according to the hospital system.
A medical monitoring and respiratory device marketed from Boulder will be integrated into Giraffe and Panda warmers for babies made by GE Healthcare. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed between Covidien plc (NYSE: COV) and GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE), headquartered in Little Chalfont, United Kingdom. The two companies in May signed a five-year collaboration agreement to incorporate Covidien measurement technologies into GE Healthcare patient monitors.
Source Local Foods has landed a contract to provide locally produced food products to three restaurants owned by Aspen Skiing Co. Source will provide products to the new Elk Camp restaurant in Aspen, and chefs at The Little Nell and Cloud Nine also will participate in the local sourcing program. Launched in 2011, Source partners with local farmers, ranchers and food manufacturers to provide locally grown foods. It maintains an administrative office and a distribution and storage warehouse in Broomfield.
Real Goods Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: RSOL), a provider of turnkey solar energy solutions, secured more than 5 megawatts in solar power projects across Arizona and California in education, municipal and commercial market segments. The contracts were awarded to RGS Energy, the Louisville-based company’s commercial and utility division. The project sites range from police and fire stations, city halls and community centers to educational facilities and a luxury resort. The installations will feature solar carports and rooftop arrays designed to blend into the individual aesthetics of each site, with all the projects expected to be completed in the first half of this year.
MWH Constructors Inc. in Broomfield received a $57 million contract to provide preconstruction and construction manager-at-risk services to upgrade and expand the city of Fremont, Ohio’s water-pollution control center. The existing wastewater collection system was built in 1949 and is a combined sewer overflow system. The project will expand capacity from 6 million to 24 million gallons per day. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring with a completion date of December 2015. MWH Constructors is the construction-services arm of Broomfield-based MWH Global Inc., an international consulting, technical engineering and construction services firm in the wet infrastructure sector.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) has selected Broomfield-based MWH Global Inc. as the design consultant for the Dugway Storage Tunnel project in joint venture with Hatch Mott MacDonald. The project’s 24-foot diameter tunnel will store and divert storm water runoff, representing an essential component of NEORSD’s 25-year plan to protect Lake Erie’s sensitive ecosystems from dangerous sewer overflows following storms.
Fighter pilots and emergency responders will be able to get better pictures of areas where they’re working after satellite-image company DigitalGlobe Inc. upgrade U.S. Air Force mobile ground stations. Specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed between Longmont-based DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI) and the U.S. Air Force, but the contract with the Air Force is part of DigitalGlobe’s up to $2.8 billion, 10-year EnhancedView service-level agreement contract between the company and the U.S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Adventure travel firms Natural Habitat Adventures and Explorers’ Corner have merged to create Natural Habitat Expeditions to offer physically challenging nature trips. Ben Bresser, founder and director of Boulder-based Natural Habitat Adventures, said the merger “allows us to expand our offerings to travelers seeking a more physically challenging immersion into the natural world.” Financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.
GeoTree Technologies Inc., a company that makes a geopolymer product to coat the inside of underground water pipes, was bought by Milliken & Co., based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed between Lafayette-based GeoTree and Milliken, which designs systems to strengthen existing infrastructure, such as water and sewer pipes. GeoTree is expected to remain at 1733 Majestic Drive, Suite 101, in Lafayette and to keep its name for the foreseeable future.
AT&T (NYSE: T) has turned on its 4G LTE network in Boulder. The latest generation of wireless network technology is capable of delivering mobile Internet speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G along with more efficient use of the finite wireless spectrum. AT&T is catching up with Verizon Wireless, which already provides 4G LTE service to Boulder and Denver. Sprint and T-Mobile do not yet provide 4G LTE. 4G LTE – it stands for “fourth-generation long-term evolution” - allows smartphones to access the Internet faster for activities such as downloading apps or streaming videos.
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