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Business Journal: Lucid, Gallina, SeatNinja, CIM

Courtesy of Lucid Motors

Menlo Park-based Lucid Motors this week picked Casa Grande, Arizona over Sacramento to build a $700 million manufacturing plant.

Courtesy of Lucid Motors

Menlo Park-based car maker Lucid Motors has decided against building a new $700 million manufacturing plant in Sacramento. The Sacramento Business Journal's Digital Editor Sonya Sorich says Lucid picked a site in Arizona instead.

"Executives with the company attributed the decision to shovel-ready land there as well as a quality workforce and a personal visit by the governor of Arizona leading up to this decision," says Sorich.

California state and Sacramento County officials worked for more than a year to lure the company to the capitol region. Under the deal with Arizona, Lucid will get a $5 million cash grant from the state and an array of tax breaks. Lucid has committed to hire 2,000 workers in Arizona by 2023.

The Sacramento region's largest accounting firm Gallina is merging with a nationwide company without any workforce cutbacks. Sorich says Gallina is merging with a Minneapolis-based firm called Clifton-Larson-Allen, effective Jan. 1.

"Gallina was founded in 1972 and through a series of mergers it has since expanded to include 12 offices across multiple states," says Sorich. "Locally it has a Roseville headquarters and an office in Rancho Cordova."

The Rancho Cordova office will consolidate with the Roseville headquarters. Gallina says its more than 300 workers will continue to serve clients in the Sacramento area and throughout the country.

A Sacramento area startup appeared on a reality TV competition this week. Sorich says SeatNinja is an app-based reservation system for restaurants.

"It's executives appeared on an episode of Billion Dollar Buyer which is a reality TV competition on CNBC," says Sorich. "Basically the CEO of a restaurant and casino conglomerate travels through the country looking for possible deals with entrepreneurs."

SeatNinja ended up not winning the contest mostly because of technological bugs in the app at the time of filming. But the app's founders say those problems have been resolved and the system is being used by almost 200 restaurants in Northern California. SeatNinja is part of The Glue Factory, a startup incubator in downtown Roseville.

Thousands of people will be running in the 34th annual California International Marathon this Sunday, stretching from Folsom to Downtown Sacramento. Many of whom are out-of-towners. Sorich says about 6,000 hotel bookings are attributed to CIM.

"December is generally a slow time for hotels in the area," says Sorich. "So this is a good boost for those hotels. Also a lot of these people coming in for the marathon aren't coming in alone, they're coming in with a team of supporters. And often they're staying in town after the marathon, at least briefly, to grab some brunch after the run."

CIM is estimated to give the Sacramento area an economic boost of between $7 million and $8 million, not only because of the hotel bookings but also because of more people eating at restaurants and shopping at stores.

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