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HYDROGEN HUB

PROFILE: How Mayor R. Rex Parris is luring alternative energy companies to Lancaster.

Hydrogen companies from around the world including SGH2, Hitachi Zosen Inova and Toshiba are setting up shop in Lancaster, hinting at that area’s potential to become a premier alternative energy hub. Creating a welcoming environment for such companies is a motivator driving longtime mayor and career lawyer R. Rex Parris. SGH2 last year signed a deal with the Antelope Valley city to build a first-of-its-kind plant called S2 that will use a NASA-developed method to incinerate the city’s recycled waste to create hydrogen, which could be used to fuel vehicles. In this interview, Parris says it’s “inevitable” that Lancaster will be known as a hydrogen hub and explains why he’s a big believer in alternative energy.

AROUND THE VALLEYS

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Curtains Close IN NoHo

Pandemic and rising rents force small venues out of business.

A year after the coronavirus pandemic put a pause on the performing arts, five live theaters in the heart of North Hollywood are closing their curtains for good.

Theme Park Stores Open

Disney and Universal resume shopping, dining.

NBCUniversal’s Universal Studios Hollywood and Walt Disney Co.’s California Adventure theme parks are reopening shops and restaurants as state regulations promise the reopening of all theme parks at limited capacity as soon as April 1.

Universal Studios to Reopen Shops, Restaurants as State Loosens Theme Park Guidelines

Universal Studios Hollywood theme park will reopen shops and restaurants on weekends at its Universal City campus beginning March 12, while state regulations promise the reopening of all theme parks at limited capacity as soon as April 1.

Disney to Close 60 Retail Stores

Walt Disney Co. will shutter at least 60 of its Disney retail stores in North America this year.

AROUND THE VALLEYS

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Toy Industry’s Pandemic Boom

Disney, MGA benefit from stay-at-home spending.

Toy sales in the U.S. grew 16 percent last year to $25.1 billion, according to a January report from New York research company The NPD Group.

State Sparks a Hotelier Exit

HOSPITALITY: Project Homekey buys properties in downturn.

Local governments have purchased at least eight hotels in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County for conversion into permanent homeless shelters through the state’s Project Homekey initiative.

State Orders Burgerim to Refund Franchisees

The state has ordered fast casual burger chain Burgerim to refund $57 million in franchise fees paid by more than 1,500 would-be restaurant operators after finding the Encino company violated California’s franchise regulations.

Avery Dennison to Acquire Label Maker

Label and packaging materials maker Avery Dennison Corp. has announced it will buy a similar company headquartered in Tennessee.

AROUND THE VALLEYS

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Paper Analyzes COVID for K-12

SynED publishes takeaways for higher education sector.

Thousand Oaks educational nonprofit SynED earlier this month published a report detailing insights from academics regarding the long-term impacts of the pandemic on teaching and learning.

Black Entrepreneurs Month: Tay Watts Posh Candle Co.

Van Nuys Business: Candle maker Email: hello@poshcandleco.com • Website: poshcandleco.com

SRAX Reconstitutes Microcap Index

SRAX Inc. has reconstituted its LD Micro Index, a fund comprising nearly 1,200 microcap companies in the U.S. and Canada.

AROUND THE VALLEYS

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Data Firm Goes Public by Reverse Merger

Westlake Village data firm BIGtoken announced it has gone public through a reverse merger with Force Protection Video Equipment Corp., a North Carolina company that sells video and audio equipment to police units.

Godiva to Shutter or Sell All Stores

The closure includes locations at the Glendale Galleria, Camarillo Premium Outlets and Westfield Topanga mall in Woodland Hills.

Music Chain Sheds $800 Million Debt

Guitar Center has ‘operational flexibility’ after Chapter 11.

In December, just a month after filing to reorganize under Chapter 11, Guitar Center Inc. emerged with a balance sheet lighter by about $800 million in debt.

Black Angus Trims Open Locations

20 restaurants temporarily shut due to coronavirus.

Black Angus Steakhouse has temporarily shuttered more than half its restaurants across the Western U.S. due to the coronavirus and resulting business restrictions.