San Dimas chamber to host small business workshop

San Dimas Chamber of Commerce’s September small business education workshop will address “Bookkeeping and understanding financial statements: How to make keeping your books fun and simple.” The workshop will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Red Roof Inn, 204 N. Village Ct. The workshop, conducted by the Small Business Development Center, is free but reservations are requested. A donation of $10 is requested to cover the cost of materials. Information and reservations: (909) 592-3818.

CSUSB gifted more than 200 acres north of campus

Cal State San Bernardino is the recipient of two parcels of land north of campus, university officials announced Sept. 16. Los Angeles-based Inland Communities Corp., which owns and is developing land north of Cal State San Bernardino, has donated 235 acres to the campus for use as a natural preserve, as well as four acres for the university to build future faculty and staff housing. The land gift will expand the San Bernardino campus to a total of 680 acres. Information:

Dance studio offers free classes to celebrate new location

The new Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Montclair will hold free dancing group workshops and a free evening dance to the public Sept. 20. The event is Kathryn and Steve Hammitt, owners of the dance studio, are celebrating the grand opening of the studio’s new location at 8660 Central Ave., Montclair. The group workshops include foxtrot at 1 p.m., salsa at 2 p.m., rumba at 3 p.m., merengue at 4 p.m., swing at 5 p.m., and waltz at 6 p.m. followed by the public dance beginning at 7 p.m. Information: (909) 920-3066.

Tax relief available for those affected by Gulf Coast storms

The state Board of Equalization has announced that emergency tax relief is available to California tax and fee payers directly or indirectly affected by recent hurricanes/tropical storms in the Gulf Coast region. Emergency tax relief for individuals and/or businesses impacted by the hurricanes may include extensions for filing returns or payments, relief of interest and penalties, and copies of BOE tax records. Information: (800) 400-7115, or online at

SB County instituting green-friendly software

     In its ever-widening scope of becoming more “green” friendly, San Bernardino County government is instituting a new program aimed at helping developers and architects cut down on using paper, ink, gas and vehicle emissions.

     Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Avolve Software announced Tuesday that the county will be using the company’s ProjectDox software, which “enables jurisdictions nationwide to offer web-based electronic file submission and review to citizens, architects and developers who work with their building, planning and public works departments in the review process of building and engineering plans,” a news release states.

     The goal is to reduce paper, printing costs, storage costs, drive time, fuel consumption and car emissions and streamline the process.

     Review and approval times for businesses and people using ProjectDox have been decreased up to 80 percent, depending on the project, the statement says.

     “With San Bernardino County being so large, some of our citizens were having to drive well over an hour each way to drop off and pick up paper plans,” said Julie Rynerson Rock, director of land use services. “ProjectDox will save our citizens drive-time, gasoline, paper and printing costs by allowing them to submit plans electronically for review. Using ProjectDox will contribute very positively to our Green County SB and Green Builder goals of reducing greenhouse gases and promoting environmental responsibility in the county.”


ULI to address best practices for sustainable development

ULI addresses best practices for sustainable development

Attendees will learn how to tackle sustainable development from Southern California’s wine country

The Urban Land Institute Inland Empire and Orange County councils will host, “Best Practices in Sustainable Development: How Southern California’s Wine Country is Leading the Way.” The program will be an in-depth discussion on how builders and developers can implement cost-effective sustainable development practices to build successful master-planned communities, resorts and wineries in Southern California’s wine country.

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B of A shareholders lose ground after Merrill Lynch acquisition

     Bank of America Corp. shareholders are licking their wounds from Monday’s losses, but some experts say they shouldn’t worry too much.

     The banking giant’s stock dropped 21 percent to close at $26.55 after it announced it is buying investment brokerage firm Merrill Lynch & Co. for $50 billion.

     Merrill Lynch has locations in Ontario, San Bernardino and Riverside.

     Bank of America recently bought Countrywide Financial Corp., which made loans to Inland Empire subprime borrowers who lost their homes, and it’s still holding the bag on thousands of mortgages that local homeowners might default on over the next year.

     “It’s not a question of the price, but the value of a company,” said Harlan Platt, professor of finance and corporate turnaround expert at Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration. “The stock is down quite a bit, but that always happens with a merger.”

     Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old investment bank hit hard by the crashing real-estate market, filed for Chapter 11 protection on Monday.

     “Everyone was focused this weekend on Lehman Brothers, and (Bank of America and Merrill Lynch) just snuck around it,” Platt said. “It was a gutsy move. Buying assets at a time when others are selling them is always painful and difficult.”


I. E. professionals question whether Merrill Lynch customers will jump ship

     Executives at three Merrill Lynch & Co. locations in the Inland Empire are answering to a new boss this morning following Bank of America Corp.’s $50 billion acquisition on Monday.

     But some local professionals are questioning whether it was a smart move.

     Still, the bigger issue is whether Merrill Lynch’s small business customers will jump ship because of its new behemoth parent company.

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Real-estate fraud still alive in the I.E.

   You’d think most predatory lenders – if not all of them – walked away from scamming people as the recent housing boom and the financial industry it fueled came crashing down.

   But a rise in real-estate fraud claims proves the business is still alive and well in the Inland Empire and the rest of Southern California.

   Over the past few years, the real-estate fraud unit of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has seen a 40percent year-over-year increase in residents claiming to be fraud victims.

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Inland Empire Network Partners looking for new members

    The Inland Empire Network Partners, a Chino Hills-area business networking organization, is looking for new members.  Anyone looking to join this networking group is urged to contact Christine Ritoli at 909-606-5825.  IENP is exclusive and only one type of business is allowed to join.  The group meets twice a month in Chino Hills.