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Dust Bowl expanding again with Elk Grove taproom

in business

After closing its downtown Turlock location last year, Dust Bowl Brewing Co. will soon have three taprooms once again after announcing plans for a new space in Elk Grove. 

The new taproom is expected to open at 9676 Railroad St. this fall and will see the Turlock-based brewery expand in Elk Grove’s Old Town Historic District. The announcement this week came one year after Dust Bowl’s original taproom in downtown Turlock closed due to the pandemic and two years after the opening of their first satellite taproom in Monterey.

“While we had hoped to open a new taproom in 2020, those plans were put on pause while we all weathered the impact of the pandemic,” said Dust Bowl owner Brett Honore. “We used the time wisely to conduct further research and are excited with our decision to expand in Elk Grove. It’s in close proximity to our brewery in Turlock, which makes delivering fresh beer on a regular basis easy to execute.” 

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Many gifts, one spirit

in business

When Off Center Thrift & Gift first opened its doors to the public in December 2006, the goal was to make enough money to pay the rent and keep the lights on, said founding board member Sylvia Cox of the philanthropic shop. Just one month later, the Off Center Board of Directors was able to give its first monetary donation: $1,000 to the Children’s Crisis Center’s Verda’s House in Turlock. This week, the thrift store celebrated another significant milestone in donating over $1 million to dozens of nonprofit organizations in the area.

“Without the community supporting us with donations, we couldn’t achieve this goal,” said Normella Pimentel, the current Vice President of Off Center’s Board of Directors.

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Business forecast points to continued economic improvement in 2021

in business

Though the official report won’t be out for a couple more weeks, Dr. Gökçe Soydemir recently presented 2021-2023 San Joaquin Valley Business Forecast’s mid-year update to the Turlock Chamber of Commerce, painting an optimistic picture of recovery for the region as COVID restrictions continue to lift. 

In June 2020, Stanislaus State’s first of two forecasts authored by Foster Farms Endowed Professor of Business Economics Gökçe Soydemir correctly predicted that economic recovery would begin during the second half of 2020 — so long as everyone adhered to COVID-19 precautions and protocols. In his May presentation to the Chamber, Soydemir said that while the recovery did begin in late 2020, it was slowed due to the region’s hesitancy to wear masks as well as the development of new, mutated forms of the virus.

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Turlock businesses help feed fire evacuees

in Food

While smokey air and raining ash are the only ramifications of statewide fires suffered in Turlock over the past week, local business owners have taken it upon themselves to help the Salvation Army feed evacuees.

As the MOC Fire burns in Tuolumne County, evacuees settled into Mariposa hotels in recent days and anxiously awaited news on their homes. They didn’t have to worry about where their next meal would come from, however, as Turlock/Modesto Salvation Army Volunteer Coordinator Megan Patterson took to social media in search of businesses that were willing to donate food.

After posting a plea on the popular Facebook page Turlock To Go, the donations began pouring in. Restaurants and businesses that have helped so far include: Vito’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, Olde Tyme Pastries, MOD Pizza, Chong’s Cuisine, Willie’s Pizza and Wings, Village Fresh Market, Savor Charcuterie, Crumbl Cookies and Kraving Kebab Pizza. Local church group Hilmar Helping Hands has also contributed, as have local residents Chelsi Knowles of Cost Less Market, Lori Crivelli and Lana Casey.

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Lenny Mendonca steps down as Newsom’s business adviser

in Around California

Turlock native Lenny Mendonca, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top business adviser and chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority, is leaving the administration to focus on his family and personal business.

Newsom’s office announced the departure Friday night. In a statement, Newsom praised Mendonca for launching an initiative aimed at improving the economic fortunes of the state’s inland counties and kicking off Newsom’s Future of Work Commission.

Mendonca was often prominent in highlighting the Central Valley economy such as last November when the eighth annual California Economic Summit came to Fresno.

Mendonca, a former senior partner at the consulting powerhouse McKinsey & Company, has long been a go-to adviser for Newsom.

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L.A. & California Economy Strong, But Might Take Small Hit from Coronavirus

in Economy/Health

California and Los Angeles County are forecasted to enjoy moderate yet sustained growth throughout the next two years, according to a Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation forecast released on Feb. 19. Production slowdowns over the coronavirus outbreak, as well as entrenched issues such as housing and the cost of living in Los Angeles, are threatening growth.

California’s gross domestic product is forecasted to grow 2.0 percent in 2020 and 1.6 percent in 2021, according to the forecast. Los Angeles County’s gross domestic product is forecasted to grow 1.8 percent in 2020 and slow down to 1.6 percent in 2021. The 10-county Southern California region is forecasted to grow at 1.8 percent over the next two years.

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Turlock businessman appointed to state water post

in Local Roundup

Local businessman Matt Swanson will take his agricultural expertise to the state level after recently being appointed to the California Water Commission.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that Swanson, 51, has been appointed to a four-year term on the CWC — a position which requires Senate confirmation. Members are generally chosen for their expertise related to the control, storage and beneficial use of water or for their knowledge of the environment. Swanson has served as president and chief executive officer at Associated Feed in Turlock since 1998.

Associated Feed serves the animal feed market, offering product for the dairy, poultry, swine, beef, equine, sheep, ratite and rabbit industries. The company considers itself leaders in sustainable, ethical operation, replacing trucks with new, energy-efficient models, running rail cars using emission-lowering technology and upgrading equipment company-wide to state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies that help production run more efficiently in all aspects.

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