From BizTUCSON Publisher –
This BizTUCSON Fall 2015 issue: It’s all coming together. Our Downtown renaissance continues with the opening of the first grocery market there in 47 years. Even Phoenix with its lauded downtown success has yet to open a grocery – considered essential for attracting residents to the city core.
Ride the Modern Streetcar and you’ll see firsthand the impact of nearly a billion dollars of investment from the public and private sectors. Check out Johnny Gibson’s Market on the Sixth Avenue site where the downtown legend ran his barbershop, antique store and fitness business for decades.
Dan Sorenson gives us a taste of this expansive food-and-more market – then raises a toast to our burgeoning brew industry downtown and beyond. Our microbrewers even made the national radar in a USA Today report last year.
On the cover we feature two up-and-coming brewmasters who would likely be asked for their ID if they were ordering from the other side of the bar. Both are fresh from Eller College at the University of Arizona, ranked #4 in the nation for entrepreneurship. Pueblo Vida proprietors Linette Antillon and Kyle Jefferson may be new to the brew scene but they’re already expanding to meet market demand.
They’re part of an emergence of “magnificent millennials” in our community:
- R Bar’s Brian Cornelius recently received a $250,000 grant from the Arizona Commerce Authority. This former competitive cyclist turned energy bar manufacturer will be featured at StartUp Tucson’s 10West Festival – a “creative class” gathering of techies, innovators and entrepreneurs Oct. 18 to 24.
- Adriana Kong Romero is market president for Bank of America in Southern Arizona. Born in Tucson and raised in Douglas, she’s one of the youngest B of A market presidents in the nation. Community leaders agree she’s a dynamo.
- Josh Banayan and Jarrod Carr won an award as Eller students for their business concept for an electronic menu.
- After graduation, they launched a business called Tuch Tablets with another UA grad Tyler Martin. Tuch Tablets is changing the way diners order at restaurants nationwide.
At the other end of the entrepreneurial spectrum we feature three businesses that have thrived here for decades – the White Stallion Ranch, family owned and operated since 1965; PICOR, an independent commercial real estate brokerage founded here by Mike Hammond in 1985, and BeachFleischman, a garage startup 25 years ago founded by Marc Fleischman and Bruce Beach, now a $22 million CPA powerhouse.
Led by President and CEO Mike Varney, the Tucson Metro Chamber is working to make it easier for businesses to succeed – especially small businesses. In our special report “Forging the Future” you’ll learn how the chamber and its committed investors are reaching out to local, state and federal officials to promote pro-business policies, raising a $3 million incentive fund to attract New York nonstop flights, and improving education through the Cradle to Career collaborative partnership.
David Pittman reports on chamber activities and provides an in-depth look at the $820 million Pima County bond package that goes to vote Nov. 3. Seven initiatives would fund 99 different projects – yet cost the average homeowner just $17.54 a year.
Want to know more about one of the nation’s best places to live, work and play?
Check out our special report on the Town of Oro Valley, a community that’s masterminded its own growth over the past 40+ years to establish a diverse foundation of bioscience, art, education, recreation, sports and tourism. Jay Gonzales provides insights on a strategic plan that’s attracted national attention.
It is all coming together. This edition of BizTucson fuels our optimism for the future.
Steven E. Rosenberg
Publisher & Owner