Robin Epley is a full-time reporter and part-time editor based in Chico, and an alumna of Chico State University. She previously worked as Comstock’s associate editor and is a native of Sacramento.
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The Cost of Caring
For mothers affected by the soaring cost of child care, companies that offer help have an edge
Tonja Candelaria would probably be living in the Pacific Northwest, working at her dream job of public relations for a zoo, if she hadn’t chosen to have children.
Back to Paradise
One year after the Camp Fire, some business owners have gambled on making a go of it again — but others see no reason to return
The biggest problem facing business owners is a lack of customers. No one knows what to do first: Build the customer base and create a demand for business, or rebuild the businesses and see if the customers follow?
Comstock’s Talks: Back to Paradise
PODCAST: The biggest problem facing business owners is a lack of customers. No one knows what to do first: Build the customer base and create a demand for business, or rebuild the businesses and see if the customers follow?
When social welfare and moral responsibility boost business
Oftentimes, the most fiscally-successful companies of today are those that have embraced a culture of giving back to the community that helped them grow, encouraging their employees to do the same. But the first hurdle is deciding what form of philanthropy to support.
Etsy Ain’t Easy (for Local Makers)
Local entrepreneurs get crafty for the holidays — but that doesn’t always translate to big business
There’s a pervasive myth that selling crafts is an easy way to make money, but even savvy entrepreneurs have to play the odds of a mercurial marketplace.
The market conditions preceding a bubble, where prices are overvalued and driven up, thanks to unsustainable demand.
As a child, working in her family’s print shop in Grass Valley, Judith Berliner’s job was to help her father produce custom maps and limited-edition books on the antique machinery. She now works those same presses as owner of Full Circle Press.
Sacramento Rotary Foundation’s annual Golf 4 Kids event
This story starts back in 1922.
That’s the year when a small group of Sacramento-based doctors combined their professional connections and their Rotary Club memberships to form a program that is now the longest-running Rotary fundraiser in the country.
An ability to invest time and energy in systems that allow small businesses to grow while still handling increased demands.
Yes 2 Kollege helps African-American students find an education and a career
Dee Lucien is waiting patiently. She’s on the shortlist for a spot in the prestigious doctoral program at UC Davis’ Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, thanks to a full-ride scholarship she says she never would have known about if it hadn’t been for one local nonprofit.
The process of starting a business on a shoestring budget without external help or capital. Such startups fund the development of their company through internal cash flow.
From the Editors: July Business Recap
Comstock’s monthly look at the business news in the Capital Region. So what happened in July (and the tail end of June)?
A company, usually a tech start-up, without an established performance record, but with a stock market valuation estimated at more than $1 billion.
The House Raises
A look at four new developments tied to local casino operations
Gaming facilities across the capital region are booming with expansions and new construction. Here’s a look at four new developments tied to local casino operations.
Raising the Stakes
Wilton Rancheria Casino could be an economic boon for both Elk Grove and the only Native American tribe in Sacramento County — if it ever gets built
While the project has support from city officials, some residents and special interest groups continue their attempts to stall it. Regardless, plans for the casino move forward.
Plenty of Fish in the Creek
Spawning Chinook salmon have returned to Deer Creek for the first time in nearly a decade
In order for spawning Chinook salmon to return to Deer Creek this autumn, they first had to swim against the stream from the San Joaquin River to the Mokelumne River, east of Rio Vista. Then, the determined fish had to make their way up to where the Mokelumne meets the Cosumnes River, and finally, migrate several miles more to get to the shady shores of Deer Creek.
Generally refers to a shift in entrepreneurial approach; describes the strategy most businesses employ to find the right customer, value proposition and positioning
For this month’s column, I thought I’d reach out to people who made multi-tasking an artform and get them to explain how they so easily “pivot” from one task to another on a daily basis. But I found out that’s only one definition of pivot, and so I pivoted this column to another, more business-oriented version. (See what I did there?)
From the Editors: May Business Recap
Comstock’s monthly look at the business news in the Capital Region. We fondly remember what happened in May.
To make someone stronger and more confident; to give (someone) the authority or power to do something.
The word is overused, and overuse leads to misuse. (Misuse leads to annoyance, and then we’re at a place where no one even understands or cares what you mean.)
But “empower” is not just another piece of jargon to be casually tossed around:
Women Leaders Share Their Morning Routines
This year’s six Women In Leadership recipients share what a typical morning looks like — setting them up for success the rest of their day
Comstock’s asked this year’s six Women In Leadership recipients to see how they prepare themselves for the day ahead.
She Who Leads
Our annual salute to women in leadership
Comstock’s presents our annual salute to female leaders, celebrating six extraordinary women of influence from throughout the Capital Region who are redefining leadership on their own terms.
A Sisterhood of Beer
Sacramento’s chapter of Pink Boots Society aims to give women in the brewing industry a place to call their own
Historically, the beer game has been just for men: Commercials for big brands have often shown guys clinking bottles together around a grill, or fly fishing while someone pulls a cold can out of the ice chest. The message was clear: Beer is manly, and you are made masculine by drinking it.
But, more recently, we are seeing females incorporated into this picture.
In a tweet from March 2015, Forbes magazine called bandwidth a “geeky, pretentious shorthand for available manpower,” saying it was “a gentler brushoff than ‘We literally don’t have the energy to deal right now.’”
In The Service Of Others
Through the work of the Dr. Hunter Foundation, a son honors not only his parents, but all veterans of Sacramento County
The Dr. Ernest and Arthella Hunter Foundation was started by Dr. Darryl Hunter. Ernest Hunter had been a career Army dentist for several decades and his son followed him into the military medical field, becoming a colonel in the Air Force Reserve and a radiation oncologist at Kaiser Permanente in the Sacramento area.
A Future So Bright
Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in 2014, Monica Sandoval became Future Sacramento’s first student to complete the program and graduate college.
To be disruptive now means to change things, to get people to look at something in a new light. (I’d like to go back and convince my 6-year-old self that it’s actually a good trait that got me sent to the time-out chair.)
Like all jargon, “disruption” started out well-intentioned: Who doesn’t want to be the one with the fresh vision of how things could be — not how they are?
In Land We Trust
The Yolo Land Trust has protected Yolo County farmers and farmland from encroaching development for more than 25 years
As modern-day farmers find it increasingly difficult to deny the financial gains of selling their land for development, the Yolo Land Trust gives them a viable business option to conserve their property.
Video Art Installation Coming to Downtown Sacramento
‘Beacon’ aims to light up K Street and foster dialogue
Inspired by current politics and an increased focus on California and its state capital, two Sacramentans are looking to instigate dialogue around a new project coming to downtown.
Generally speaking, an ecosystem describes how different, complex organisms work together. How could a deeply biological term have invaded the usually-technical jargon of business? According to Google Trends, searches for “business ecosystem” and “innovation ecosystem” first entered the lexicon in the late ’90s and hit a peak within the last year.
Impact of new OSHA Regulation on Emergency Responders Remains Unclear
Emergency responders could be subject to newly imposed worker-safety rule meant for construction industry
Under new federal OSHA rules, which will go into effect for construction companies across the nation on June 26, employers must prevent all respirable silica dust above a certain level, known as the Permissible Exposure Limit.
Clearing the Air
California construction companies fought nine years ago to bring common-sense exemptions to OSHA's dust regulations — now, federal updates are complicating compliance
More than 2 million workers nationwide (1-5 percent of the American workforce) are exposed to silica dust on the job every year, according to OSHA, including those that work in construction, glass manufacturing, landscaping, maritime work, foundries and dental laboratories, to name a few of many.
For construction workers, safety training is about more than wearing a hard hat
There’s an ethical reason to follow safety measures on construction sites, but there’s also financial reasons. The first is obvious: It’s simply the right thing to do to take care of your employees and ensure their workplace safety. The second is that insurance rates can skyrocket for companies that have numerous on-site injuries and incidents. It’s worth the time and investment in safety training, in order to save tens of thousands of dollars, he says.
5 Ways to Stay Safe at Work
We spend a large portion of our lives at the office, so whether it’s having multiple evacuation routes out of your building or routinely checking cords and heaters, office safety is not something we should take for granted.
Comstock’s Top 10 Stories of 2016
Last year was one for the history books. But as we start the new year, we wanted to take one last look back at some of our best-performing and most-read articles of 2016. Take a look and see if you missed any of our greatest hits — or if something might deserve a second read.
Buzzwords: Elevator Pitch
It happens every time: I’ll be at a business event and someone will inevitably say that we all need to “perfect our elevator pitches” and launch into a rote explanation (an elevator pitch of the elevator pitch, if you will). Cue the over-exaggerated rolling of my eyes.
The Next Act
New entrepreneurial workspace I/O Labs is in the limelight, poised to become the flagship California Innovation Hub — but Sacramento has seen this show before
Innovation cannot occur within a vacuum. While it’s nice to have an office door that shuts the world out, successful entrepreneurs understand that the best ideas are molded through collaboration.
Your Guide To 7 Workplace Dress Codes
No matter where you work or what you do, there’s always going to be a dress code. For people who work with their hands, that may mean steel-toed boots and protective eyewear, but for the average office worker, it’s less about safety and more about looking neat, organized and professional.
How To Get A New Facility Without Bankrupting Your Nonprofit
It’s a big job, fundraising for a cause as well as for a new construction project. You dream big — you’ve always been good at that. But how do you navigate the twisted way from the dream of a shiny, new headquarters to the steel and concrete reality of one?
Any video, meme, picture or internet-based media that becomes popular through the process of sharing, social media or email.
To understand the definition of going viral, let’s borrow a phrase from former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart: You’ll know it when you see it
7 Steps To Set Up Your Own Home Office
Do you get to work from home? Congratulations, you lucky person, you! But don’t just throw your laptop on the coffee table and call it a day — a home office is a must-have for any modern professional who works and lives in the same space. Follow these seven tips to be professional in the comfort of your own home.
Taking Flight at iFly in Roseville
Our writer faces her fears at indoor skydiving business
I have never been what I would consider a “thrill seeker.” In fact, I often sign myself up for things in a fit of bravado only to freak out at the last moment about all the ways I could feasibly die. But when I heard about indoor skydiving at iFly in Roseville, I was intrigued.
Keeping the Doors Open
Wind Youth Center is able to continue their mission in the homeless teen community thanks to local donors
It was as close to a miracle as you can get. Just when all hope seemed lost for Wind Youth Services, the only homeless teen shelter in Sacramento, a financially-solvent fairy godmother swooped in to save the day.
7 Sneaky Exercises You Can Do At Work
Your coworkers will never notice
Feeling stiff at work? Want to stretch out but don’t have the space or social courage to get up and bust out some exercise moves in front of your coworkers? Fear no more: We’ve compiled a bunch of stretches that can all be done in an office setting and best of all — ranked them from least attention-getting to the most disruptive.
Next Move Sacramento helps homeless families get back on track and lets homeless children experience normalcy
Next Move serves more than 10,000 people in the Sacramento area every year. They provide a safety net of services that range from arranging for bus passes to maintaining permanent housing for the disabled or mentally ill.
The Sacramento Region Community Foundation gives financial support to local nonprofits willing to work together
The Sacramento Region Community Foundation operates a little differently from your typical private foundation. According to SRCF Chief Giving Officer Priscilla Enriquez, community foundations enable would-be philanthropists in the Sacramento region to give back to their own community.
The Family Business Association of California is a lobbying firm founded to protect the interests of California family businesses in the state legislature, and to “fight against proposals which will add new regulations and costs to family businesses.”
Are you a customer that has fallen out of the funnel?
“If I have to use the word ‘funnel’ one more time today, I might die. #buzzwords” — @abhinemani
Posted on Twitter by Sacramento’s Chief Innovation Officer, Abhi Nemani, on Aug. 22, this was the tweet heard ‘round the Comstock’s office. It kicked off a lengthy debate among our staff about what “funnel” actually meant.
Death of the Family Doctor
As health care evolves and hospitals grow, running an independent practice becomes less feasible for more and more doctors
The friendly family doctor with a black bag who would come for house calls, remove swollen tonsils, check a child’s temperature during the flu season, deliver a young woman’s baby and carefully tend to the sick and dying in their own beds is gone.
Where the Wild Things Are
Local conservation and rehabilitation nonprofits fight for the rights of wildlife
We often only extend care and concern to the domesticated animals that share our homes with us — but Mittens and Rover aren’t the ones in danger here.
Home Away From Home
Public relations firm Randle Communications proves that family business employees don’t have to be related to earn the title
The word “family” can encompass a lot of different things. Sometimes it refers to the people you’re related to. Sometimes it means the people you care about. Overarchingly, those whom you count as your “family” tend to be the people you spend a lot of time with.