Business Briefs – 4/7/2006

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Colorado courts 8th fairest nationwide, study says

Colorado’s state courts are the eighth-fairest in the country according to a study released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The ranking is based on more than 1,400 corporate attorneys’ impressions of states’ litigation environments and shows an improvement from Colorado’s ranking of 13th the previous two years. This marks the first time since 2002 that Colorado has ranked in the top 10 fairest states in the chamber’s study.

“Colorado’s improvement … shows tort reform has and continues to make our state a preferred location to do business,” said Colorado Civil Justice League Executive Director Jeff Weist. “The U.S. Chamber has found the majority of businesses take a state’s litigation environment into consideration when starting or expanding a business. This study shows they recognize Colorado as a place where all parties to a lawsuit can have their case heard in a fair manner.”

In addition to an improved overall ranking, Colorado scores highly for its strict rules regarding scientific evidence (third) and limiting out-of-control non-economic damages (sixth) and improved from 18th to 11th place in limiting excessive punitive damages. Colorado’s lowest ranking stems from a perception of juries’ unpredictability in civil cases putting the state 23rd in that regard nationwide.

El Pomar Foundation appoints trustees

Marguerite Salazar and Kurt Wilson have been elected to the El Pomar Board of Trustees.

Salazar occupies the regional trustee position designated for Coloradoans who reside outside El Paso County and metro Denver. She is president and CEO of Valley-Wide Health Systems Inc.

Wilson’s trustee position is designated for graduates of the El Pomar Fellowship program. He is president of Compass Outreach Media in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Grant will help complete library construction

The Pikes Peak Library District has received a $25,000 grant from the Boettcher Foundation to help complete construction of the Fountain branch.

The 10,000-square-foot library will include a community room, dedicated areas for children and teens, a computer center and a collection of more than 30,000 items. The building, whose total cost is about $2 million, is scheduled to open this spring.

LPP offering opportunity to ‘Experience the Springs’

Leadership Pikes Peak accepting applications for its “Experience the Springs” class on April 26-27.

The program provides a community snap shot and is tailored to new residents, new managers, those newly retired or anyone looking to become engaged as a leader of active volunteer.

The class includes food, transportation, tours and other information. The cost is $250, and the deadline to register is April 12.

To receive a brochure or to register, call 632-2618 or e-mail lpp@leadershippikespeak.org.

Mug-A-Bug earns excellence mark

Mug-A-Bug Inc. has received the QualityPro designation for excellence in pest management.

The designation recognizes qualifications in business operations, consumer relations, environmental stewardship and technician training.

Mug-A-Bug has been in business in Colorado Springs for 22 years.

Moving company wins franchise award

The Colorado Springs office of Two Men and a Truck has been named the top business movers among the franchise system’s 173 locations.

The Springs shop has been in business for 13 years and has completed more than 4,600 business moves. It received the award for having the highest annual business move revenue in the system.

The office has 18 trucks and more than 40 employees.

SBA seeking input on disaster response

The U.S. Small Business Administration has released a request for information soliciting input about how the private sector can best support the delivery of the SBA’s Disaster Assistance program, within its current operational framework and/or within a guaranteed lending framework.

In the aftermath of a federally declared disaster, the SBA provides assistance to qualified homeowners, renters and business owners in the form of long-term low-interest loans. The magnitude of the 2005 hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast region caused more home and business owners to apply for SBA assistance than any previous disaster in the agency’s history.

In order to prepare for future disasters, and to ensure that the disaster program is operating at its highest potential, the SBA is seeking ideas and options for complementing the agency’s existing resources. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. EST on May 2.

Information is available on the Fed
Biz Ops Web site
.

BBB approaching 90 million instances of service

Better Business Bureaus in the United States and Canada provided nearly 90 million instances of service to consumers and businesses in 2005.

In 2005, the BBB of Southern Colorado received 232,413 requests for company reports, had 120,220 Web site visitors and conducted 16 investigations.

Nationally, the top requests for information were about mortgage companies, roofing contractors, moving companies, work at home advertisers, contractors, new car dealers, home builders, construction and remodeling, auto repair and service, and swimming pool contractors.

The top categories for complaints were cellular phone service and supplies, new car dealers, furniture stores, Internet service, Internet shopping, collection agencies, banks, telephone companies, credit card companies, and auto repair and service.