July 20, 2007

Business Notes . . . Notas de Negocias

Steren Opens its First U.S. Store
The Leader in Electronics Launches SterenShop in Chula Vista

Steren, the electronics leader in Mexico for more than 50 years and 25 years in the USA selling only to wholesalers, announced that it has opened its first SterenShop retail store for business professionals and electronics consumers in the United States.

The Steren Story

As the No. 1 leader in wholesale electronics in Mexico, Steren operates a distribution network of more than 220 franchise locations that annually serve over 5 million customers. In addition, Steren has the most recognized Website for electronics in Latin America. The site www.steren.com receives tens of thousands of unique visitors each day.

Throughout Mexico, Steren is known for its extensive electronics inventory of more than 4,000 distinct products. Each product is manufactured with the latest in technology and provides high-quality performance. Steren also backs up its products with a one-year warranty. Steren’s premier product line, its excellent distribution and other services, and its emphasis on customer satisfaction have all contributed the company’s receiving the coveted ISO 9001:2000 certification from an international standards (UL) organization.

Enter SterenShop

Leveraging on Electrónica Steren’s high standards of service and quality, SterenShop is an exciting store concept. Serving business professionals as well as the electronics consumer, SterenShop offers a wide range of electronics accessories and many exciting novelty products.

Now, Steren has brought this unique retail concept to the United States. Inside the Chula Vista SterenShop, the buying public will find specialized electronics products—all at wholesale prices—in a wide variety of categories: Audio, Video, Phones and Accessories, Computer Accessories, Cables, Power and Batteries, Automotive, Tools, Security, Components, Semiconductors and all kinds of voice-video-data connectivity solutions.

This Chula Vista store is Steren’s first step to re-create within the U.S. the same successful strategy of expansion that begun in Mexico. The company’s goal is to open a SterenShop in each city or county with a population of at least 100,000. To achieve its objectives, Steren will invest in the necessary infrastructure to obtain the highest standards of quality, price and customer service. Steren’s ultimate mission is to make SterenShop the electronics store of choice in the U.S., which the company has achieved in Mexico.

The address of the new store is 1285 Broadway, Suite 100, Chula Vista, Calif. 91911, at the corner of Broadway and Palomar. Regular business hours are: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Comerciantes Latinos Asociados (CLA) was pleased to award Linda Garcia (pictured above with Bill de la Fuente), owner of Damari’s Boutique, the Comerciante of the Year Award at their June meeting. In addition to adding a second location of her Boutique this year, Ms. Garcia has continued to be a role model for other business owners through her many years of service to the CLA. She also received a special recognition from the City of Escondido, presented by Michelle Bromstead from the City’s Economic Development department.

Membership in the CLA continues to grow. For more information about the CLA Inland and Coastal branches, please contact Bill de la Fuente at (760) 716-5707.

Prime Home Sites Now Selling at Esmeralda

With the best located home sites now available for sale at Esmeralda by Pardee Homes, shoppers are invited to take advantage of this outstanding opportunity to buy a new home at this popular South county neighborhood. Located in the thriving Ocean View Hills master planned community, Esmeralda is conveniently located just off Otay Mesa Road and close to Interstate 805 and 905, providing residents with easy access to South Bay beaches, Baja California and downtown San Diego.

“Homebuyers who are seeking gracious styling and spacious floor plans with up to six bedrooms will find this is a great time to buy a home on a prime home site at Esmeralda,” said Rachel Collins, director of sales for Pardee Homes. “We anticipate a lot of interest in this grouping of homes so we invite you to visit this Sunday, July 22 to tour the models and enjoy refreshing California Quivers from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Esmeralda sales gallery.”

Priced from the high $500,000s, Esmeralda features stylish and flexible two-story homes with three to six bedrooms, two and one-half to four baths and approximately 1,849 to 2,963 square feet. Exteriors are designed with attractive Spanish, Italian and Tuscan styling while interiors are thoughtfully planned with a great room in Plans 1 and 3, and separate family room and formal living room in Plans 2 and 4. The two largest homes have three-bay garages.

Room options and variations include lofts, dens, super bonus rooms, extra bedrooms, master bedroom decks and a studio in Plan 3. With a fireplace, handy kitchen preparation island and dual-paned windows with spectrally selective glass, Esmeralda has it all, and like every new home that Pardee builds, the homes at Esmeralda incorporate significant energy efficiencies that translate into real savings.

As the last single-family neighborhood planned for Ocean View Hills, Esmeralda has been a top seller among Pardee Home neighborhoods in San Diego, and includes award-winning architectural design that stands out among the competition. Residents of Ocean View Hills enjoy sparkling new venues for recreation, work, shopping and entertainment.

For more information, call (619) 661-6433 or visit www.pardeehomes.com. To visit the Esmeralda sales office and model homes from I-805, go east on I-905, turn right at Caliente Avenue, then right at Airway Road. Turn left onto Otay Mesa Road then right on Crescent Bay Drive.

Attn: Qualified Homeowners and Renters - Time to Get Those Checks
Eligible homeowners can get nearly $500 and renters can get nearly $350

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today urged more than 600,000 eligible Californians to take advantage of assistance payments from the Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program.

“Last year, we issued more than $180 million in checks to elderly and disabled Californians who were happy to have that extra cash in their pockets,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang. “I encourage all eligible Californians to take advantage of a terrific program designed to help those who need it most.”

To qualify, homeowners must have owned and lived in their home at the end of 2006 and have a household income of $42,770, or less. Renters must have paid $50 or more in rent per month and meet the same income limits. Claimants must have been blind, disabled, or at least 62 years old on December 31, 2006, and must also be a U.S. citizen, designated alien, or qualified alien when the claim is filed. Renters living in tax-exempt housing do not qualify.

The state offers free assistance for completing the claim forms that eligible individuals need to file to receive their checks. To find help, visit the FTB’s Website at www.ftb.ca.gov, call your local Senior Citizens Information and Referral Service, or call your state legislator’s office. The FTB also is available to answer questions and provide general assistance over the phone by calling (800) 868-4171.

This year, the FTB is providing instructions in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, and Korean, as well as English. Translated copies are available on-line only through the Website.

The Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program benefit is based on the amount of property taxes paid by homeowners and indirectly paid by renters. Eligible homeowners can receive a payment of up to $472.50, while renters can receive up to $347.50. The FTB began mailing claim booklets in mid-June to prior year recipients. Eligible individuals can also get the claim form from the FTB’s Website. The FTB administers the program from July 2 through October 15, although claims can be filed as late as June 30, 2008. To avoid payment-processing delays, the FTB strongly advises claimants to file by the October deadline. The FTB will authorize payments once the state budget is signed.

Starbucks launches new, refreshing fruit-flavored food & beverage options this summer

As temperatures heat up, Starbucks offers consumers the perfect place to escape the heat. Whether you’re headed for the beach, the airport and/or the office, these zesty orange flavors are sure to keep you and/or your friends refreshed!

Throughout the summer, Starbucks will be rolling out several new, juicy food and beverage items across the U.S. and Canada, beginning with Orange & Cream flavors. Here’s what’s up first:

Orange Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème: A cold, creamy classic that combines the nostalgic flavors of sweet oranges blended in a swirl of ice and is topped-off with whipped cream and an orange drizzle (made with real juice and orange zest).

Iced Orange Mocha: Tangy sweet orange chocolate paired with Starbucks signature espresso roast and a delicious topping of whip-ped cream and orange drizzle (made from real orange juice and zest).

Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino Light Blended Crème: Strawberries & Crème Frap-puccino blended crème is back by popular demand and will be available as a lighter treat option at 1/3 fewer calories.

Reduced-Fat Orange Crème Coffee Cake: A zesty, orange-flavored cake with a kick of creamy vanilla for a guilt-free and decadent-tasting treat to beat the heat. And it contains just 9 grams of fat!

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