Business Digest – 01/31/2014

OPENINGS
Mark Van Grack, owner of The Hapa Group Inc., plans to open Motomaki, a build-your-own sushi roll restaurant, at 1600 28th St., Suite1216, in the Twenty-Ninth Street shopping district in Boulder this April. Customers will choose the kinds of fish or other protein, rice, vegetables and sauces that they want to have made into custom sushi rolls. The concept is similar to those employed by Subway and Chipotle restaurant chains.

Centura Health is partnering with 16 Healthcare Clinics located in Walgreens stores in Colorado. Centura’s health-care providers will help Healthcare Clinics providers with patient issues. Healthcare Clinics has locations at Walgreens in Broomfield, Lafayette, Loveland and Longmont and are included in the agreement. Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville belongs to the Centura Health network.

Mental Health Partners opened the Help Center in Lyons at the Walt Self Community Building, 335 Railroad Ave., to assist area residents impacted by the September floods. The Help Center provides immediate mental-health crisis services for residents coping with anxiety, sadness, depression, fear, sleeplessness, guilt, anger and other emotional distress. These services are available for children, teens, adults and seniors. No appointments are necessary. The Help Centers formerly in Longmont are closed and the Boulder Help Center at 1333 Iris Ave. closes Jan. 31. For information, call 720-415-9740.

NAME CHANGES
Louisville-based Real Goods Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: RSOL), a provider of turnkey solar energy solutions, has changed its brand identity to RGS Energy.

BRIEFS
Hydroponics food production is expected to increase by 6.5 percent over the next five years, according to a new report from Manifest Mind LLC in Nederland. The seven-person consulting company conducts research on environmentally sustainable topics from around the globe, said Carol Stimmel, founder and chief executive. Manifest Mind’s customers have included the Ministry of Energy in Canada. report also said the value of hydroponic producer farms will increase to $24.3 billion from $17.7 billion. A report summary is available on the company’s website at manifestmind.com. The company’s reports can be purchased online.

The city of Longmont reported a 10.6 percent increase year over year in sales- and use-tax revenue from transactions in November. Sales-tax collections in December, representing sales in November, were $4,340,018, up from $3,925,313 for the same period a year ago. Sales-tax collections increased by 9.5 percent over the same time period a year ago. Use-tax collections increased by 42.6 percent. Year to date, sales-tax revenue is up 6.2 percent, and use-tax revenue is up 6 percent. Lodgers’ tax collections for the period were up 36 percent, or $23,692 for the month, compared with $17,419 for the same month a year ago. Year to date, the lodgers’ tax is up 22.1 percent, or $326,705 compared with $267,494 at this time last year.

The city of Boulder posted a 4.4 percent increase in sales- and use-tax revenue from November transactions. Collections in December, representing November sales, were $7,549,846, up from $7,229,887 a year ago. Construction use-tax revenue was down 22.2 percent for the month of November from the same period a year ago. Construction use-tax revenue was $622,491 in November 2013, down from $799,522 in November 2012. For the first 11 months of 2013, construction use-tax revenue was up 36.6 percent over the same period last year. The retail sales-tax component, meanwhile, increased 7.5 percent in November. Retail sales-tax collections were $6,120,225 for November, compared with $5,693,025 collected for the same period a year ago. Retail sales-tax revenue remains 5.3 percent ahead of last year on a year-to-date basis at $71,745,413 collected for the first 11 months of the year. Year to date, sales- and use-tax revenue is up 7 percent. The city has collected $90,599,274 for the first 11 months of the year, compared with $84,661,243 collected for the same period last year.

CONTRACTS
Broomfield-based Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) signed an agreement with Telekom Malaysia Berhad, a telecommunications service provider in Malaysia, to provide Internet localization services, which will enable TM to locally cache high-demand content on its network improving efficiency, reliability and security.

Boulder-based Vaisala, a provider of environmental and industrial measurement instruments, has partnered with Weather Fusion LLC, to be the exclusive provider of its STRIKEnet Lightning Verification reports and lightning services to the U.S. insurance industry.  The transition from Vaisala to Weather Fusion as the point of sale for STRIKEnet will occur over the next few months, with completion expected by the second quarter of this year.

Boulder-based SEP Software Corp., a provider of backup and disaster recovery software, has contracted EsyWorld to distribute SEP Software’s flagship backup and disaster recovery product, SEP sesam, to the corporate market in Brazil.

SERVICES
The Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St. in Boulder, added an onsite fitness center where hotel guests can work out. The fitness room offers free weights as well as cardio options, including Star Trac treadmills, cross trainer and recumbent bike. Guests who are in search of a more complete workout can use a complimentary pass for the nearby One Boulder Fitness.

Deadline to submit items for Business Digest is three weeks prior to publication of each biweekly issue. Mail to Editor, Boulder County Business Report, 3180 Sterling Circle, Suite 201, Boulder, CO 80301-2338; fax to 303-440-8954; or email to news@bcbr.com with Business Digest in the subject line. Photos submitted will not be returned.

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