A house is for sale in Point Loma. Photo by Chris Stone
A house is for sale in Point Loma in September. Photo by Chris Stone

The crazy home-bidding wars have slowed a bit across the U.S., but apparently not in San Diego. The region is still among the top five most active regions for bidding wars, according to residential real estate data service Attom.

The Irvine-based company’s most recent report looked at markets that are more or less vulnerable to damage from the coronavirus pandemic still threatening the economy.

The report shows that New Jersey, Illinois and Delaware boast the highest concentrations of the top at-risk markets — with the largest clusters in the New York City and Chicago areas — while the West was far less vulnerable.

The good news is that bidding among buyers slowed to a 2021 low in September — 59% faced competition in September. The bad news is that San Diego didn’t enjoy much of a drop, thought we did see a very meager 2% decline this year compared to last.

Raleigh, NC, had the highest bidding-war rate of the 45 U.S. metropolitan areas examined in the report — 73.9% of offers faced competition in September. Boston at 71.7% was No. 2 while Indianapolis at 71.4% was No. 3. Sacramento, and San Diego rounded out the top five, with rates of 70.5% and 70.3%.

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San Diego-based Founders First CDC, a nonprofit that helps support business expansion and job creation among diverse founder-led enterprises, says it has established the Stephen L. Tadlock Fund, a grant program to help veteran business owners.

The fund makes micro investments in owners who are running small businesses. The award, which will be made before Veterans’ Day, was inspired by Navy veteran Steven Tadlock, CEO Kim Folsom‘s brother.

The $25,000 fund will make its first investments in 50 veterans who are running employer-based small businesses. 

Veterans account for a big chuck of small business ownership nationwide.

There are more than 2.5 million veteran businesses in the U.S., according to a recent Census Bureau’s survey of small business owners. according to a news release. Veteran-owned small businesses employ 5 million workers and generate revenue of $1.14 trillion with a payroll of $195 billion. 

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A new nationwide study finds that the pandemic continues to roil the local hotel sector, especially in terms of lucrative business travel. 

An American Hotel and Lodging Association report says many would-be business travelers are canceling or postponing trips due to the potential impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

The report says San Diego’s business travel sales will be down 75% this year compared to 2019.

That’s a huge amount by any measure. According to a chart at the website, the group expects revenues to touch $394,000,000 compared to $1.6 billion in 2019 when travel patterns were normal.

Fortunately, leisure travel is faring much better, as visitors help make up for the slump in business travel.

San Diego remains among the top three tourist destinations in the United States for leisure travel—first in the West, according to the San Diego Tourism Marketing District.

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While we’re on the topic of travel…Tourism related businesses along Mission Bay have established a new tourism marketing agency for the area.

Discover Mission Bay recently launched to “amplify destination activation and experiences for travelers and the local region, bringing San Diego’s best-kept secret to the forefront of San Diego travel and lifestyle offerings.” Now that’s a mouthful!

In a news release about the launch of the agency, it was noted that San Diego Bay is “distinguished as the largest human-made aquatic park in the United States, offering 4,600 acres of marine adventure and 27 miles of sandy shoreline.”

The release said discovermissionbay.org should prove a go-to resource for vacation planning and day-tripping in Mission Bay.

Businesses behind Discover Mission Bay Include Action Sports Rentals, Bahia Resort Hotel, Catamaran Resort Hotel, Dana on Mission Bay, Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, Paradise Point Resort, San Diego Mission Bay Resort and SeaWorld San Diego

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Production of plant-based meat substitutes has become a big business, as an increasing number of consumers eschew the real thing for taste-alike meat options. The plant-based food sector now runs about $1.5 billion a year–and growing rapidly.

To meet the rising demand, Otay Mesa-based plant-based producer Before the Butcher started up production of a new processing line for its plant-based label on Oct. 1.

Plant-based meat patties in production in Otay Mesa. Courtesy Before the Butcher

The machinery can crank out 10 million pounds a year, with the ability to double production as demand continues to increase, according to founder Danny O’Malley, who launched the business in 2017 after working at a competitor.

He says a list of his company’s products can be found at such outlets as Wholefoods, Sprouts and Barron’s Markets, as well as such large agencies like the Los Angeles Unified School District. The meat-based substitutes include lots of “ground” product as well as sausages and “chunks.”

Before the Butcher occupies about 30,000 square feet of a 180,000 square foot industrial building, which also serves the production facility for the Jensen Meat Co. An investor group headed by Jensen purchased the plant-based startup from O’Malley about two and a half years ago.

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And finally, this item about the rapidly growing hotel sector in North County.

An important project featuring the construction of three hotels on Oceanside’s southern boundary is closer to reality, thanks to action taken recently by the Carlsbad City Council. The North County solons OK’d the projects at their Oct. 19 meeting.

The project involves a site near state Route 78 and Jefferson Street which borders the city of Carlsbad. Oceanside owns 9.8 acres of the 12.5-acre site just south of the Highway 78 and east of Jefferson Street. Carlsbad controls 2.7 acres along Buena Vista Creek.

The council revamped the land use designation from commercial to open space and voted permits for Signal Hill-based  Jenna Development to construct the Inns at Buena Vista Creek, work which will result in three properties totaling 426 rooms plus a 430-car parking structure and a bridge connecting The Shoppes at Carlsbad to the hotels across the creek.

The project still needs the approval of the California Coastal Commission.

Information about the meeting was first reported in the North Coast News.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.