Biz Beat

Business Beat:

pguerra@modbee.comDecember 28, 2013 

    alternate text Patty Guerra
    Title: Breaking news editor
    Coverage areas: Breaking news, business
    Bio: Patty Guerra has been an editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 13 years. She has a journalism degree from Fresno State and previously worked at the Turlock Journal and Merced Sun-Star.
    Recent stories written by Patty
    On Twitter: @pattyguerra

Here we go again. I just get used to writing the correct year and it’s about to no longer be that year.

As we close out 2013, however, I got to thinking about the year in local business. We had plenty of bad and good news. Some longtime businesses, such as Sam’s Food City and Beardsley’s Book & Bible, closed their doors. But a number of new places opened, including a slate of new restaurants on all sides of Modesto.

While several new big-box chains, such as Dollar General and Walmart Neighborhood Market, opened new locations in our area, several independent businesses reported a very busy year as the desire to shop local grew. I know this firsthand as I was out on Small Business Saturday and saw lots of folks shopping at locally owned stores. I hope the trend continues.

It makes me wonder what the new year will bring. I hope it will be more good news than bad.

Speaking of the new year, if you want to get some gear for New Year’s Eve, which is Tuesday, Party City in Modesto has moved. But fans of the original store won’t have trouble finding the new one: It’s next door, at 2401 McHenry Ave., in the same parking lot as the old spot. But the new location is bigger, and, apparently, brighter.

“We are thrilled we could expand to our new location and continue helping Modesto residents celebrate special times,” said Brent Tracy, Party City’s district manager, in a news release.

For more information about the Modesto or other Party City locations, go to

Elsewhere around the Business Beat

• Grant Davis of GDI Insurance said his agency has been named insurance broker to a United Nations humanitarian program.

“The complexity of risk frankly is second to none compared to anything I have even heard of in my 34 years as an insurance broker,” Davis said in an email. “So it is a real honor for GDI to have beat out some of the largest insurance providers in the world to obtain this appointment.”

The program has a variety of goals, including eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, improving education, and reducing child mortality and HIV infection.

Davis offered some examples of the first few projects on which his agency is working: diamond and gold mines in South Africa, improved security for large-shipment containers and airports in Third World countries, and waste-to-energy projects.

For more information on the program, go to

• And finally, Comcast has moved. My thanks to reader Barbara Arnold, who pointed out that Modesto’s Comcast office has relocated from its Princeton Avenue site.

A sign at the original location informs customers that the new office is at 3801 Pelandale Ave., in the North Point Shopping Center. In an email, Arnold said she wanted to let people know because she sees folks lined up at the Princeton Avenue location to pay their bills.

Very thoughtful. Thank you again, Barbara. And a very happy new year to one and all.

Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at or (209) 578-2302. Follow her on Twitter @PattyGuerra.

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