Business Digest: Xcel Energy adding jobs

By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor

Xcel Energy’s Texas-based operating company, Southwestern Public Service Co., is adding 65 positions to enhance service to its growing regional customer base, according to a company news release.
The utility will re-establish regional divisions based in Amarillo, Lubbock and Roswell, serving the Texas Panhandle, the Texas South Plains and eastern and southeastern New Mexico regions respectively. Each division will have regional managers for community and economic development and for construction and maintenance.
A community service manager will be named for Clovis.
In addition to management and organizational changes, additional field employees in the line and metering departments, substation electricians, designers and engineers are being added across the Texas-New Mexico service territory. About 22 of these employees will be hired this year and another 30 in 2008, the release reads.

Small business centers accredited
New Mexico’s Small Business Development Center network has been accredited by the national Association of Small Business Development Centers, according to an NMSBDC news release.
The state’s 20 Small Business Development Centers, including the center at Clovis Community College, provide counseling, entrepreneurial education and links to financing for small-business owners.
Full accreditation was awarded to the NMSBDC as the result of a site visit and review by the Accreditation Committee of the national Association of Small Business Development Centers.
Based primarily at universities and colleges, the nation’s SBDCs are funded by state governments and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

General store opens in Melrose
Dorothy McKibben said she opened McKibben General Store in Melrose so the town’s residents wouldn’t have to drive to Clovis for such basic items as brooms.
“In Melrose, it is about 90 percent senior citizens, and a lot of them can’t jump in a car and run to Clovis if they need something,” McKibben said. “In Melrose, there’s nowhere to get what you need right now. It’s quite a drive.”
The store doesn’t have a lot of inventory yet, she said. She also provides a delivery service for seniors who can’t drive.
“A lot of people have told me that they are really glad that store is here,” McKibben said. “Melrose is a really good town, and the people here are really good and they need something like that here. Melrose has been so great to me and I want to do something in return”
McKibben General Store is located at 107 Highway 60/84. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

IRS sending notice request via mail
The Internal Revenue Service has begun mailing educational letters to small tax-exempt organizations that may be required to submit a new annual notice, Form 990-N, “Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or 990-EZ,” according to an IRS press release.
With enactment of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, most small tax-exempt organizations are required to submit the e-Postcard. Previously, tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts of $25,000 or less were not required to submit information returns.
The first e-Postcards are due in 2008.
Any organization that fails to meet its annual reporting requirement for three consecutive years automatically loses its tax-exempt status under the new law. An organization that wants to regain its exempt status will then have to reapply for recognition as a tax-exempt organization.
Details, including exceptions to the reporting requirement and a copy of the educational letter, are available in the charities and non-profits section of the IRS Web site,

Young leaders sought for program
New Mexico professionals aged 25-40 who are proven or aspiring leaders may be nominated to participate in Connect New Mexico, a new program for Leadership New Mexico, according to a Leadership New Mexico press release.
The program is designed to offer young professionals the opportunity to develop personal leadership skills, learn how New Mexico systems and structures work, and explore critical issues facing the state, the release reads.
There will be two sessions: Oct. 3-6 in Albuquerque and Dec. 5-8 in Las Cruces. Each program will involve 40-45 young professionals from throughout the state.
Applicants must be nominated by a Leadership New Mexico graduate. Focus will be on four areas of diversity in selecting the class: gender, ethnicity, business sector and geographic location.
Tuition is $750. Applications can be downloaded at
Application deadline is Wednesday.
Information: 241-4800.

Business Digest is compiled by CNJ News Editor Jean Verlich. She may be contacted at 763-6991, or by e-mail: