Gross Receipts Up 17% Year Over Year

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The City of Riverside Sales Tax Update for first quarter receipts for fourth quarter sales (October – December 2013) show positive growth in the retail sector. Riverside’s October through December sales ended 17% higher than the same quarter one year ago.

Cash receipts from all major industry groups were up with building and construction, business and industry, autos and transportation, food and drugs and restaurant and hotels showing double-digit increases and sales of new automobiles exceeded analysts’ forecasts. 

Excluding accounting anomalies, the local share of sales and use tax receipts from California’s 2013 holiday spending rose 3.4% over the fourth quarter of 2012.

Statewide, auto sales and leases and all categories of building and construction materials were substantially up over the previous year while tourism and convenience-driven consumer demand continued to produce healthy gains in restaurant related revenues.

To read the full Riverside Sales Tax Update, click here.

Riverside Among EPA’s Top 25 Cities in Nation with Most Energy Star Certified Buildings

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 10, 2014 that Riverside is ranked number 22 in their top 25 list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings.

“This is another exciting green milestone for our great city to reach,” said Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey. “It helps to validate Riverside’s commitment to providing building owners and managers with the technical guidance, best practices, and training they need to make their buildings more energy efficient and create a more sustainable community.”

The EPA ranks cities on the list according to how many buildings in their area achieved ENERGY STAR certification in 2013. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification, a building must earn a 1 to 100 ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, indicating that it outperforms 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide.

In Riverside, 75 buildings met that standard, totaling over 8.5 million square feet providing cost savings of $7.2 million dollars while offsetting emissions equal to the annual electric use of 2,500 homes.

“Riverside’s ranking shows how America’s leading cities are embracing efforts to protect the environment and fight climate change,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial program. “This partnership between cities and business leaders demonstrates the tangible benefits that result from embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money, reduce emissions, and protect the environment.”

Riverside Public Utilities provides several rebate and rate reduction programs to help businesses save money on their utility costs. To learn more about these programs, click here.

To read the full press release from Riverside Public Utilities, click here.

Business Spotlight: Lexus of Riverside

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Lexus of Riverside was acquired at the inception of the Lexus line of vehicles in 1989 by Dan Davidson and is one of the original 21 dealerships founded in America. Lexus of Riverside has shown tremendous growth over the past several years with sales having doubled between 2007 and 2013.

Lexus of Riverside’s commitment to excellence has been recognized with numerous awards over the years including:

  • Elite of Lexus Award
  • BMW of North America Awards for Profiles in Achievement - National Recognition for Outstanding Sales Management
  • North America Award recipient of the prestigious Center of Excellence Award City of Riverside Award for Environmental Excellence for Waste Water Management
  • City of Riverside Beautification Award for New Facility

Lexus of Riverside has been committed to helping the community in many ways.  General Manager Sandy Austell is highly involved in the Riverside business community and currently serves as the Arlington Business Partnership Vice President of Economic Affairs, President of the Riverside Auto Center Board and is a member of the City of Riverside Sign Code Review Committee. The dealership sponsors and supports many large organizations, such as The American Cancer Society,  Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, Oak Grove Center for Education Treatment and the Arts as well as  Mary S Roberts Pet Adoption Center and Police dog- Flash with Riverside Police Department.  They also hold many events at the dealership to help fund raise or provide public services. 

To learn more about the dealership, click here.

Home Price Growth Leads Nation

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The CoreLogic February 2014 Home Price Index Report ranks Inland Southern California as the number one region for year-over-year home price growth which far outpaced the national average. Home prices in the region have increased 22.2% since February 2013 compared to the 12.2% nationwide gain.

The Inland region was followed closely by the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale region which experienced an 18.8% increase in home prices. California leads the nation in the top 5 States with the largest year-over-year appreciation with 19.8% growth, followed by Nevada, Georgia, Oregon and Michigan.  

“February marks two straight years of year-over-year gains in national prices across the United States. The consistent upward movement in home prices should ultimately prove to be an important stimulant for higher levels of sustained market activity and growth in the housing economy” commented Anand Nallathambl, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

 About CoreLogic:
CoreLogix is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled service providers. The company’s combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources include over 3.3 billion records spanning more than 40 years, providing  detailed coverage of the property, mortgages and other encumbrances, and related performance information. 


To read the full report from CoreLogic, click here.

Riverside County College of Foreign Trade Hosts Second Seminar

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Established businesses, manufacturers, exporters, economic developers, professional service providers, agribusinesses who are seeking growth through global markets are invited to participate in the second seminar of the Riverside County College of Foreign Trade. The seminar will be held Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 2001 Iowa Avenue, Conference Room A, Riverside, CA 92507. 

This exclusive training program is free to attend and is designed to develop business strategies, insights, and networks of contacts necessary to successfully expand sales globally. Attendees will become informed about the financing export trade options and marketing assistance currently available through state and federal agencies.

The seminar topics include: 

  • Demystifying e-commerce and m-commerce 
  • International Marketing using the Internet 
  • How to expand Business to Business with International e-commerce 
  • Online Global Marketing Success Secrets 
  • Realistic expectations of time frame for success with international web marketing 
  • Business on the Internet 

The College of Foreign Trade is the collaborative effort of the Riverside County Economic Development Agency/Office of Foreign Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Commercial Service, and the City of Riverside.

RSVP To: Amanda Szydlowski, Admin Assistant, Office of Foreign Trade 951-955-9672 or 

Questions About Programs and Content: Richard Dozier, OFT 951-9551308 or Paul Smith, SBA 714-560-7448

To view the event flyer, click here.

UC Riverside to Host Second GO-Biz Innovation Series

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

University of California, Riverside and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) will host the second Innovation Series, an event designed to engage California’s higher education system with the GO-Biz iHub networks. The Innovation Series event will take place on April 22nd from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be held at the UC Riverside Alumni & Visitor Center located at 3701 Canyon Crest Drive, CA 92521. This event is second of a series to be planned throughout the state’s 16 Innovation Hubs.

The goal of the Innovation Series, which began in the fall of 2013, is to increase the visibility of California’s higher education system as a worldwide leader in education, research, and public service, and to expand its potential to produce innovation that leads to new business growth. The Series will highlight major updates and trends in innovation within the UC and California State systems as well as beyond. 

This event will include presentations on early, mid-level, and late stage campus-based innovation in each region. It will also provide an opportunity for networking and an interactive dialogue between presenters and attendees.

Speakers for the April 22nd event include:
Kim Wilcox, 
Chancellor, University of California, Riverside

Louis Stewart, Deputy Director, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
Anand Ray, Associate Professor, Entomology
Amro Albana, Founder and CEO, Innovation Economy Corporation
Frank Vahid, Professor, UC Riverside and Zyante, Inc. 
Sean Cutler, Associate Professor, Plant Cell Biology
Michael Nuccio, Chief Scientific Advisor and Chair, Syngenta
Terry Bill, iHub Partner, ESRI
Peter Gardner, Founder and CEO, Startgrid
Regis Kelly, QB3 Director and Managing Partner at Mission Bay Capital
Michael Pazzani, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, University of California, Riverside – Master of Ceremony

Please note that space is limited, and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is required.  To register, please send an RSVP to the team at UC Riverside or call (951) 827-6411. 

To learn more about the event, click here.


Riverside Prospector Helps Businesses Find a Location and Post Their Listings

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The Office of Economic Development provides businesses with several free online tools to help them find opportunities for investment and continued growth in their ventures. is a tool that provides comprehensive information to help new, expanding and relocating businesses find the optimal location for success in Riverside.

The web application provides businesses with access to:

  • Available Property Reports – An online database of available properties based on user-defined criteria with the ability to generate presentation-quality reports.
  • Demographic Analysis Reports - Create user-defined drive-time and radius analysis for a complete market overview of the areas around each property. Save and share demographic, consumer expenditure, wages, and labor force reports.
  • Search Businesses – By name, type, employees, and revenue and analyze businesses within a user-defined radius of the location of interest to view potential suppliers, customers, and competitors.
  • Add Properties – Property owners or Commercial Real Estate Agents can add their own listings to the site by simply requesting access and uploading the property information into the database.

We encourage all our businesses to explore the tool and take advantage of the free property and demographics data available to them. To use click here.

If you have questions while using the site please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (877) 748-7433 or email and we will be happy to assist you in getting the most out of

Nordstrom Rack at Riverside Plaza Opening April 3

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Riverside Plaza will be welcoming a new tenant to the center on Thursday, April 3 with the grand opening of Nordstrom Rack. The Rack is the first store to anchor the newly-renovated former Harris-Gottschalks department store building.

The new Riverside Plaza Nordstrom Rack will be the retailer’s 146th Rack location and spans approximately 45,000 square feet employing 50 part and full time employees for stock, service and sales positions.

Nordstrom Rack is the off-price division of Nordstrom, Inc. offering on-trend, of-the-moment clearance merchandise from Nordstrom stores and as well as items purchased specially for Nordstrom Rack. The store offers significant savings on great brands like Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, Trina Turk and Vince Camuto at 30-70% off. The Rack provides the ultimate treasure hunt to style-savvy customers.

The Nordstrom Rack invites the community to come early to celebrate the opening on April 3! At 8 a.m. the activities will kick off with music, breakfast treats and more. Customers can enter a raffle for a chance to win one of thirty (30) $100 gift cards – plus, one lucky winner will receive a $1,000 shopping spree and early access through our Rule the Rack sweepstakes. The first 1,000 customers who make a purchase at the new Riverside Plaza Nordstrom Rack will receive a complimentary Nordstrom Rack tote as a gift.

To learn more about Nordstrom Rack, click here.

Business Spotlight: Amtrak Reservation Center

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The Amtrak Reservation Center in Riverside is one of Amtrak’s two major reservation centers and has been in Riverside at the same location for over 20 years. The Center receives 600,000 calls per month and Amtrak earns 18% of its revenue from call centers. The Reservation Center employees 650 full and part time employees and hired 50 new employees in September 2013 and 50 in January 2014. The average tenure of employees at the Riverside Center is 20 years. 

Amtrak operates a nationwide rail network, serving more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces on more than 21,300 miles of routes, with approximately 20,000 employees. It is the nation’s only high speed intercity passenger rail provider, operating at a top speed of 150 mph (241 kph). More than half of its trains operate at top speeds of 100 mph (160 kph) or greater. In FY2012 Amtrak served 31 million passengers with 70% of those passengers traveling between New York and Washington D.C. alone.

Job postings for Amtrak employment opportunities can be found on

To learn more about Amtrak, click here.

Riverside Ranks Number 1 for Job Growth in 2013

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

A report by Lee McPheters, research professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, released March 20, lists the top ten cities and states for non-agricultural job growth, comparing 2013 to 2012. Riverside and the surrounding metro area was ranked number one in the nation with 4% job growth. California came in third, up 3% and ahead of Colorado, Texas and Nevada. 

The Top 10+ cities and surrounding metro areas (1 million or more workers) for non-agricultural job growth, comparing 2013 to 2012:

  1. Riverside, Calif. – up 4 percent
  2. San Francisco – up 3.9 percent
  3. Denver – up 3.6 percent
  4. Houston – up 3.5 percent
  5. Orlando, Fla. – up 3.2 percent
  6. Seattle – up 2.8 percent
  7. Phoenix – up 2.7 percent
  8. Dallas – up 2.6 percent (four-way tie)
    Los Angeles – up 2.6 percent
    Miami – up 2.6 percent
    San Diego – up 2.6 percent

“California is well-represented among the fastest-growing major metro labor markets with four cities, including Riverside and San Francisco in the top two spots,” explains McPheters. 

Furthermore, he notes that “Five big metro areas achieved job growth of at least 3 percent: Riverside, Calif.; San Francisco; Denver; Houston and Orlando, Fla. McPheters says the Riverside area was one of the most dynamic in 2013, leading all metro areas in the job-growth rate for construction, wholesale trade, warehousing and health care.”

The fifth edition of the Beacon Economics Report released this month emphasizes growth in Riverside stating, “Led by the Construction and Leisure and Hospitality sectors, the City of Riverside continues to demonstrate positive and steady growth in its labor markets.” To read the full report, click here

To read the full article from Arizona State University, click here