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Business News Roundup

The law firm of Hatch & Parent now boasts a
land use planner–Eva Turenchalk–who has earned LEED (Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation. The firm prides
itself on representing the Santa Barbara developers to whom
environmentally minded elected officials have the hardest time
saying no
, and Turenchalk’s accreditation will help Hatch
& Parent maintain that position. Partner Rob Saperstein said
that many of the firm’s clients are interested in environmentally
friendly projects just for the sake of being good citizens. In
addition, the law firm–one of the few with planners on
staff—anticipates the advent of ever more stringent regulations for
reducing energy use.

The Santa Barbara Downtown Organization
announced on February 29 that it has selected Mark Chaconas to
serve as its new executive director, replacing the renowned
Marshall Rose
. Chaconas said that the organization’s 1400
members represent the city’s economic engine—encompassing State
Street, Chapala Street, and Anacapa Street from Micheltorena to
Gutierrez—adding that Rose, who headed the organization for 10
years, will be a hard act to follow. Chaconas takes the reins March
15. He has previously served as the executive director of the
Foundation for Girsh Park, the director of workforce housing for
Bermant Development, and as executive staff for former Third
District Supervisor Gail Marshall. As for Rose, he said he will
devote himself to establishing a new pub, to be known as the
Hollister Brewing Company, with his son Eric Rose—former brewmaster
of the Santa Barbara Brewing Company and the Anacapa Brewing
Company—and Elements owner Larry Kreider.

Women’s Economic Ventures, which specializes in
microloans to underserved would-be entrepreneurs — particularly to
female ones, though not exclusively — has itself received a
$250 million low-interest loan from Wells Fargo
bank’s Community Development Corporation. WEV cofounder Marsha
Bailey said her nonprofit will use the financing to increase the
number of loans it makes for the start-up and expansion of small
businesses, especially those that do not qualify for conventional
bank financing. WEV has made about $1.5 million in such microloans
since its inception in 1995. The interest rate on the Wells Fargo
loan—of a type known as an EQ2 investment—requires WEV to pay only
a relatively low two percent interest.

A Santa Barbara-based business launched on
February 22 represents a new concept in
eco-travel
. Instead of sending travelers exclusively to
resorts that use solar energy and recycled toilet paper, for
example, Green Pleasures uses the Environmental Protection Agency’s
“carbon credits” system of assigning points for energy use. Green
Pleasures assesses the impact on global warming that would result
from an excursion they book and then allot a proportional amount of
their revenue toward global warming prevention endeavors, such as
wind energy or reforestation. Green Pleasures acts as a web conduit
to Travelocity, explained founder Eric Woodroof, and customers pay
not a cent more than they would if they went to Travelocity’s
website directly.

Yardi Systems, already an international leader
in property management software, announced on February 23 that it
has acquired UK-based Advanced Program Base,
another leading real estate management software company. The
22-year-old Yardi is a privately held corporation headquartered in
Santa Barbara, with offices throughout the United States, Canada,
Europe, Asia, and Australia.

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