Category Archives: Business news

Lyft Launches Black Car Service in Sacramento

Due to increasing demand, Lyft, Inc. has begun offering its luxury service in Sacramento. Based in San Francisco, Lyft is a ride-sharing service which has swept across the United States since its launch in 2012.  Providing stylish “black car” transportation, Lyft’s new Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV services are geared toward businessmen and other formal travelers. According to a Lyft spokesperson, the luxury drivers can earn up to five times the far of a regular Lyft driver.

“We’ve listened to our community and know that there is a need for a more premium ride. Our drivers who have high-end vehicles now have the opportunity to expand earnings and fulfill needs of their passengers,” spokewoman Darcy Nenni wrote in an email.

Lyfts new service will also be launched in numerous other cities across the country. Drivers who participate in the new venture will have to meet strict vehicle requirements: a 2011 or newer model car in excellent condition, black exterior and leather seats, and ratings of at least 4.7 of 5.

Sacramento Business Impacted by New Marijuana Grow Permits

Sacramento has approved 6 commercial grow permits, and dozen of other properties have also applied for permission to grow the plant on their properties. Real estate prices and local businesses are already being affected.

KCRA 3 reports that mall business owners throughout the city are concerned. The permit process has pushed commercial real estate prices up dramatically, and as leases expire, businesses are being forced to look for new locations.

Brian Bendix and his family run one such business. Their American Stripping Company, based in Sacramento, has been in business for over 30 years.  Now that marijuana grow licenses are bolstering the real estate prices in the area, they won’t be able to afford to stay once this year’s lease is up. They, like many other, anticipate having to leave the city to stay afloat.

 

Sacramento Resale Prices Reach Post-Crash High

Prices of homes in Sacramento County have been on the rise, and have recently hit the highest mark since before the crash in 2007.

According to CoreLogic, the average resale price of a family home in the area was $340,500 in July. In August 2005, when housing prices were at their peak, the average price was $374,000, whereas prices in October 2011 dropped as low as $155,000.

The latest increase in prices, which is 10% higher than last summer’s, has been driven by a small market and high demand.

“New home sales were on the rise in Sacramento County, with a 29 percent increase since July 2016,”  CoreLogic reported. “That’s partly the result of a resumption of construction in North Natomas, after federal authorities lifted a de facto building moratorium they’d imposed because of flood risks.”

Some experts believe the new developments in the resale market will make new homes a more viable option for buyers. As a result, housing construction may pick up; a critical improvement to the Sacramento economy.

Sneak Peek into Amazon’s New Sacramento Facility

Amazon has offered a sneak peek into its new Sacramento fulfillment center this week. According to County Supervisor Phil Serna, the construction is moving forward at a quick pace.

“I think it bodes well for the future of the business park and for other property owners here to see that this is not just going to be a very successful operation employing a lot of people, but that Sacramento County is very committed to making sure that the permits necessary to do something like this can be streamlined,” he said.

$15m Plan to Revive Old Sacramento’s Business Scene

Old Sacramento may be getting a $15 million revamp thanks to riverfront project manager Richard Rich’s plans to boost tourism and local business in the area. In an effort to make a new name for the historic district, Rich proposed a wide range of improvements at a recent City Council meeting, with everything from a new Ferris Wheel or other landmark to upping local artistry and encouraging a new startup scene amongst the upper floors of old buildings.

 

Rich’s vision extends beyond just flashy cosmetic improvements. He stated that he hopes to draw attention to Old Sacramento’s entertainment scene as well as its historical position by restructuring the pedestrian experience, mainly by fixing up the K Street pedestrian tunnel under Interstate 5 and turning it into a dramatic, interactive light show. He also hopes to draw visitors of the California State Railroad Museum into the district by enhancing access to the River, adding barges and building a themed waterpark to entertain both locals and tourists.

 

Downtown Sacramento Partnership executive director Michael Ault believes Rich’s plans “would be a great addition to Old Sacramento and would enhance the entire city.” It will also boost local businesses and attract new companies to the area, doing wonders for the city.

Raising the Bar on Sac’s Music Scene

A new record label has been launched by one of Sacramento’s very own.  Partly as an effort to raise the bar on Sacramento’s local music scene, James Cavern just created Tree Tone Records.  With his tagline Support local music because it’s good, not because it’s local, he is hoping it will become a “curation and networking tool [which will] elevate the artists [he respects].”

Cavern is on this mission not because of local “mediocre” talent but because there is talent and it’s not being recognized.  He said: “We’re leveling up as a city when it comes to food, the beer scene and the arena.  There’s a lot happening right now that is really turning the tides for Sacramento, and in turn, everything else should go up, too. Especially music.”

So far the label is doing well. The  lineup includes: Soosh*e! (rapper emcee), Cameron Calloway (R&B soul artist from Las Vegas).  In September an art block party is being hosted by Tree tone for the Labor Day Weekend.

Sacramento to Become Hub for Alternative Meat Industry

The future of the animal-free animal products industry is booming.  And Sacramento seems to be becoming the address for a lot of its investments.  According to a recent article in Business Insider, “seventy-one investors worth a combined $1.9 trillion are working together to put pressure on the world’s largest food companies to “future proof” their supply chains by bringing more meat alternatives to market.”

Two biochemists recently came to San Francisco and opened up their research lab for their firm Finless Foods on a bench in a basement in SoMa, conveniently just beneath their San Francisco biotech accelerator investor – IndieBio. Finless Foods is attempting to create a simulacrum of bluefin tuna fillet to help relieve the pressure on the prized – but severely overfished – species.

What companies like Finless Foods are trying to do is respond to the decrease in demand for the future of animal produce and to hack yeast cells to produce egg whites; torque plant proteins into muscle-like fibers and grow slaughter-free “duck” or “chicken” in factories. Should this be the future, it will likely be Sacramento that will become one of the global addresses for hub (along with the rest of the Bay area). The entire factory farming industry is undergoing an evolution and investments are being put into animal agriculture.

Women Leading Tech Region

It seems that it would not be a bad idea – financially, logistically, ecologically – for women to lead the tech revolution in Sacramento. Here are some of the reasons why.

A new accelerator for women entrepreneurs in Sacramento – FourthWave – (which was originally launched in LA in 2014 with the intention of being developed in other states) – is helping this actualize.  Pointing to Kauffman Foundation research which found that  “women-led private technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieve 35 percent higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12 percent higher revenue than male-owned tech companies,” Fourth Wave executives are now trying to get the women the support they need.  Most significantly what they are lacking is early capital to get started, which traditionally is discriminately given to men over women.

It was most fitting that Sacramento was the first city to adopt FourthWave.  The city has many women leaders in the tech and design community (including Cheryl Beninga, Tracy Saville and Melanie Weir) and it is becoming quite the tech hub.  This is also due to the commitment to finances and mentoring with a city grant having been given to FourthWave Sacramento.

In addition, Sacramento is working on its ecosystem which is becoming evident through female leadership.  Female entrepreneurs are working in healthtech, edtech and more and it’s working out for them being in Sacramento.

Let’s not forget also that Sacramento is actually the nation’s largest economy and thus might be able to impact other cities that are seeking to rebrand themselves within different partnerships and with women in power.

With all this in mind, Sacramento could become the next best place for women in top tech executive positions.