Everybody’s business

Photo By Tom Angel

Cheers to beers
Now there are legitimate statistics that explain the benefits of beer consumption.

According to a study by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Beer Institute, beer-related businesses contribute $22 billion to the California economy.

The report, which is based on data from 2004, shows considerable growth over a similar study released in 2003.

According to the new report, the direct and indirect economic output of brewers, wholesalers, retailers and suppliers increased more than $4 billion from the 2003 study. The study also shows that California’s beer industry has helped add $1.44 billion in wages to the state economy and more than 23,000 jobs, including farmers, can manufacturers and retailers.

On a national level, the total economic impact of beer-related businesses is nearly $162 billion annually.

Moving to the MESA
Ajamu Lamumba (pictured), who’s spent 14 years as the programming director for A.S. Presents, has stepped down in order to try his hand at something else.

Lamumba is now the outreach coordinator for the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Program in the College of Engineering, where he’ll recruit students from high school and junior colleges. The MESA Program offers tutoring and counseling for underrepresented students wanting to enter the engineering program.

Lamumba said he enjoyed his tenure at A.S. Presents, where he advised a student committee that brings concerts, films and speakers to the campus. Under his direction, A.S. Presents has brought such acts as Maroon 5 and Jack Johnson as well as speakers like Maya Angelou and Spike Lee to Chico State.

Lamumba said it was simply time to move after doing the same thing for more than a decade.

“I don’t want to be pigeonholed as just being a program director,” Lamumba said.

A project for new projects
There’s a new business in town that helps, well, businesses. It’s called the The ChicoProject.

The company was formed by partners Ryne Johnson, Steve Kay, Erin Wade and Kyle Silvestro with the purpose of helping entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running.

The ChicoProject assists businesses by providing marketing, graphic design, web and IT development, product sales and financial support.

Johnson, CEO of The ChicoProject, said the company works with many local businesses but that more than half of its clients are from out of state. He said it employs about 14 people who lend different skills to new business owners.

“Most entrepreneurs don’t have those skills and can’t afford a full-time person,” Johnson said.

The group is currently working with the Women’s Environment & Development Organization, an international group that advocates for women’s rights in global policy, as well as Butte View Olive Oil.