Butte County EDC Logo Innovate, Initiate, Implement
Three "I's" That Mean Business ...
In This Issue
SmartPay Developer Makes Home in Chico
Streamlining the County's Permitting Process
ADA Workshop April 27 for Business Owners
Construction Industry Speed Dating May 2
NEW Butte County Company on the "Cutting Edge"
SmartPaySM developer from Chico to Release Innovative NEW Product in May

Tom Heeter
Tom Heeter, born in Mountain View, Calif., and now living in Chico is pretty smart. His parents worked for a major NASA project and he's been a self-admitted tech-geek his whole life. His knowledge may be paying off in a NEW, big way soon and it could mean additional technology, administrative and sales jobs to our area. When a tech application hits, it starts small but mushrooms quickly.
"It can go from three to thirty thousand very fast," he added.

Heeter said he's been surprised at the technology-oriented people who inhabit the Butte County area.

"If I can find the skill sets here to expand and operate my business, I'm happy to be here," he added.

Simply put ... SmartPay
SM is a free down-loadable cell phone application for micro-merchants & individuals.


      SmartPaySM is free to download and available in all major cell phone platforms (iPhone, Android and Blackberry). According to Heeter the technology provides:   

  • Secure, cheap fund transfer method
  • Enables users to monitor and track transfers from various sources
  • Real-time authorization from funding source
To receive payments from anyone with "smart" cell phone, micro-merchants simply download the free SmartPay "micro-merchant" app, set up their merchant account, and print out their micro-merchant decal. To pay any participating SmartPay micro-merchant, individuals simply download the FREE SmartPay "payment" application, type in the amount they want to pay, and then scan micro-merchant's  SmartPay decal with their smart phone. 
"The spirit of innovation is my passion; expressed through entrepreneurship," Heeter said.  "Currently, I am launching a startup company for a new mobile point of sale (POS) payment system."

To learn more about Heeter's new venture, listen to KZFR 90.1 FM at 6pm-7pm, Thursday, April 21, where he sill be intereviewed by Debra Lucero during Butte Views & Beyond


Streamlining the Permitting Process in the County: Is it Possible?
By Debra Lucero
A special meeting of a long-standing committee called the "User's Group" was held last Wednesday in Oroville and the Butte County Economic Development Corporation was in attendance.

The topic: "Streamlining the Permitting Process in the County."

While this was a special facilitated meeting, the group has been convening for at least a decade and it seems the problems have not gotten much better - at least if you listen to folks in the room.

Contractors, surveyors, architects, subcontractors and others met for two hours to discuss the issues surrounding the permitting process. These were not rookie permit-seekers. The room represented more than 250 years of experience and literally thousands of permits that had been pulled over the years. Additionally, two of the attendees (now working in the private sector) were former county employees. 

Problems cited by those in attendance ranged from length of time to process permits; to poor customer service and lack of knowledge by lower-level front desk staff; to a lack of creative problem-solving within the affected departments.  

Facilitated by an outside consultant, the purpose of the series of meeting is strategic planning, program improvement and design, communication enhancement, resolving contention, creating public input, discovery of purpose, values setting, and community development.

Linda Huffman was hired to receive input on process improvements and ideas for streamlining.  In addition to  meeting with the "Users Group", Huffman will also meet with county staff and administrators as well as Butte County Supervisors.

County staff was not present at the Wednesday meeting, which is part of an evaluation directed by the Board of Supervisors and guided by the County Administrator 's Office with Department input.

Huffman has more than 10 years experience as a private contractor in professional facilitation.  Her education includes a Master Degree in Public Administration and additional courses in specialized, intensive training in facilitation. She has facilitated meetings for public agencies, private organizations, and groups of private individuals. 

Butte County Economic Development Corporation will continue to report on this process. We are in the middle of designing a Permit-Puller Survey designed to create instant feedback. We'll keep you posted.



A FREE Business Owners Guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title 24Wednesday, April 27 from 10am-Noon

The Butte County Dept. of Developmental Services invites you to attend A Business Owners Guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title 24 on Wed., April 27, 10:00am-noon, at the Oroville Southside Community Center, 2959 Lower Wyandotte Rd. For more information or to register call Nancy Springer at 538-7159 or email her


Construction "Speed Dating Between General Contractors and Sub-Contractors"       9am-4pm, Mon., May 2 at Chico's Holiday Inn

Construction Speed Dating

Reonnect. Rebuild. Refine the construction business. It all starts with meeting people in the industry face-to-face. Today, that is more important than ever. Who is the person at the other end of a bid? Now's your chance to find out. Butte County Economic Development Industry has teamed up with the Valley Contractors Exchange to create this first-time event in our area.

Our goals are to:

1) Give general contractors a good update on what's new, what's happening and who's involved.
2) Reconnect or introduce subcontractors to general contractors and others ...
3) Create an atmosphere for business

Sponsors to date include:    Ashwood Construction
Butte County Economic Development Corporation
Valley Contractors Exchange, Inc.
County of Butte
InterWest Insurance
Bud Tracy Realty

8:00-9:00 Registration - Coffee, tea, water, pastries

9:00-9:45 -
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - Senator Doug LaMalfa and Assemblyman Dan Logue are scheduled to make opening remarks and take questions on California and matters affecting business.

10:00-Noon - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - Learn what regional development activity is underway. Three panels are planned: A Public Projects Panel and a Private Development Panel.  Learn what is on the table and being planned. Brush up on new building codes and requirements with a quick 15-minute review.

Noon-1:00 - CLOSED TO PUBLIC - Fuel up for the next "Speed Dating" round!

1:00-3:00 - CLOSED TO PUBLIC - Limited 24 Subcontractors & 12 General Contractors. Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. There is no cost to either. Designed to do business! 


Next Steps & Happy Business Hour 

Your next project may be right around the corner. Enjoy Hors d'oeuvres. The first drink is on us! No-Host bar follows.. Raffle prizes will be announced. Must be present to win.

Twelve General Contractors and 24 subcontractors in plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning and speciaity skills in new code compliance will participate. Those participating to date include:

Public Works & Projects Panel

Butte College
City of Oroville
City of Chico
City of Gridley
County of Butte
Chico Unified School District

Private Development Panel

Rod, Mummert, Ashwood Construction
Bill Brouhard, Guillon-Brouhard Real Estate
Georgie Bellin, The Group
Mike Evans, Lucky Hills, LLC
Tom DiGiovanni, New Urban Builders
Tom Lando Consulting

General Contractors (12 spots; 1 left)

Ashwood Construction, Inc.
BCM Construction
Better Builders ConstructionBillson Construction
Conroy Construction, Inc.
Guillon, Inc.
Lamon Construction
Modern Building
Slater & Son
Trilogy Construction

Sub-Contractors (24 Spots; 1 left)

1.   Advanced Home Performance, BPI
2.   Alternative Energy Systems, Inc. Chico Air
3.   Baird Roofing
4.   Heating & Cooling  
5.   Commercial Pump & Mechanical
6.   Cunningham Plumbing
7.   Darryl's Painting
8.   Davy's Heating and Air Conditioning
9.   Dean's Plumbing
10. Frank's Refrigeration & Heating, Inc.
11. Hall Electric                                      
12. Hawkins Electric
13. John Burger Heating & Air Conditioning
14, Lawler Electric
15. Lone Wolf Plumbing & Piping Systems
16. Meek's Insulation Installation
17. Miller Electric
18. Quiggle Construction
19. Richall Electric Co.
20. Tolar AVL, Inc
21. W.V. Alton, Inc.
22. Andrew Sprague Construction
23. Big Red Electric

The Butte County Economic Development Corporation's is to assist the Valley Contractor's Exchange in helping the construction industry rebuild.

To Sponsor this event at $150, become a Buyer or Producer, please contact Debra Lucero, CEO of Butte County Economic Development Corp. at 530-228-2860 or e-mail her at deblucero@sbcglobal.net

Butte County Company's NEW Product - Taking Cutting Boards to the Next Level ...
M-tech cutting board

 Photography by Ron Schwager Studios

MTECH Incorporated in Chico is the parent company that developed an innovative NEW product - CuttingConcepts. According to Matt Itamura,Vice President of Sales, the idea had been sitting under Tom Black (the owner's desk) for about two and a half years.   


"I recently joined MTECH and thought this would be a great product to bring to retailers nationally," Itamura said, adding they expect to begin taking wholesale orders by the first of May. The product is produced in Butte County. If the CuttingConcepts takes off commercially, it could mean job expansion for this Butte County company, Itamura said. 


Locally, the cutting board will be available at The Galley, 551 Country Drive in Chico. Photography and graphic design for the packaging was also done locally by Ron and Yvonne Schwager at www.schwagerphotography.com.  


Itamura said the board comes in two sizes - a home-use size and a larger professional size. CuttingConcepts is made from commercial grade cutting board material that meets FDA, USDA and NSF requirements so it can be used in a professional environment and well as home use. 


So ... how does it work?


According to Itamura, CuttingConcepts takes the hassle and mess out of cutting juicy meats, fruits and vegetables. Its unique raised and angled cutting surface provides an effortless platform from which to prepare or serve food. Simply cut, slide and store food beneath the CuttingConcepts.  


Think extra counter space. Think summertime barbecues. Life in the kitchen just got easier. 

m-tech cutting board 3

Photography by Ron Schwager Studios


CuttingConcepts Features:

             Chef-tested and kitchen-proven.

             Will not chip, peel, crack or splinter.

             Made with cutting board material that meets FDA, USDA and NSF requirements.

             Nonporous and will not absorb moisture, odor or bacteria.

             Will not dull knives and is dishwasher safe.

             Removable legs for use as a regular cutting board.

             Dishwasher safe

 M-tech cutting board 2

Photography by Ron Schwager Studios  


Retail price points:  


Large     17.5" X 12"          $65.00                  

XL           23.5" X 12"         $85.00 


For more information, please e-mail Matt Itamura or call 888.797.5100

B of A gives check to BCEDC

Photograph by Mike Donnelly  


Debra Lucero, CEO, Butte County Economic Development Corporation, accepts an $8,000 Bank of America Foundation grant from John Szabo of Bank of America. Monies will be used for operating and program support. BCEDC's mission is to help create and retain jobs in Butte County, while maintaining its role as a lead collaborator among business development groups.  

If you or a business colleague would like to be highlighted in this newsletter - a product of the Butte County Economic Development Corporation, please contact Debra Lucero or call 530.228.2860.

To us, "Economic development" is a verb not a noun. We need action. We need creative partnering. We need jobs and increased commerce in the North State. Think local. Think regional. Think BIG possibilities.

Butte County Economic Development Corporation is ready to assist. Staying connected is essential. Understanding our local assets and businesses is also essential.

Pass this along to someone you think may want to INNOVATE, INITIATE OR IMPLEMENT economic concepts in the North State. Let us help ... Look to the Three "I's" newsletter for the latest Information.

Wait! Is that a fourth "I" - Information?

Debra Lucero
Butte County Economic Development Corporation 

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