Biz Buzz: Early Projections for 2014

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The New Year is here, and we can truly look at 2013 without the rose-colored glasses. Overall business was good for most of Newport Beach, the state of California and the country as a whole.

Steve Rosansky, CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, shared some insights with me on local business.

We discussed the chamber and some possible changes in the works, including creating a more customized membership. Over the years I have worked with many chambers and speak from experience when I share that this chamber is one of the best. Though it has a small paid staff, it is driven and directed by volunteers, but of a much higher caliber than most. The ambiance, the professionalism and the fun within the chamber and the membership is notable and contagious, so it will be interesting to see what changes will be implemented.

Rosansky is a former political leader, and mentioned that four city council seat positions are up for grabs. This will be a fun campaign to watch. When asked if politics were in his future—again—he candidly replied “not for now,” possibly leaving that door open for future discussions.

Stay on top of Chamber events with the monthly “Wake up Newport” meetings, usually held the second Thursday of every month at the main library on Avocado. They are free open to the public.

From a city-wide perspective we have the College Football BCS championship coming in a few days. Two years in the making, this national sporting event should generate up to $6 million tourist dollars and is a great way to start 2014.

The BCS has been a target of much criticism over the years and even though Newport hosted the event just four years ago, we will take it out in style, since this is the last year in the current configuration. The game will be held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Monday, January 6.

In 2013 one of the strongest economic factors was the recovery of real estate appreciation and booming sales. We’ve seen this before and compounding the problem was a shortage of available inventory and a sense of urgency to buy “before it’s too late.”

As of December 20, the median price of Newport Beach real estate was just under $2.4 million, and the average Days on Market (DOM) was 120 days.

So what does the 2014 crystal ball say? Higher interest rates? Continued shortage of inventory?

These will all factor into 2014 stats. Details of the current market can be found in the Coastal Real Estate Guide at

Are new businesses starting or opening in the city? According to License Supervisor Monique Navarrette, we had 20,541 for the fiscal year 2013, a number that’s been relatively stable over the past few years.

We’ll keep you apprised of significant events and businesses you should know during the upcoming year.

Do you have a business or know of one that is noteworthy and should be profiled? Send me a note at [email protected].

Best wishes in the New Year.

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