Unscrupulous vendors are a small part of the so-called shadow economy – the unlicensed contractor for sure, but also a vast black market of businesses, often cash-only, working out of homes or garages, that don’t pay the taxes or licensing fees their competitors do. While profitable for the person getting away with it, this underground economy hits all of us right where it hurts – in the pocketbook.
In California, lighting systems in commercial buildings account for an average of 35 to 40 percent of a facility’s total electrical use. That makes lighting systems the greatest target for potential savings as the state aims to achieve zero net energy in commercial buildings by 2030. Here’s what you need to know to get compliant.
The updated Title 24 energy efficiency standards will greatly impact how property owners design, construct and renovate buildings. Bernie Kotlier, co-chair of the nonprofit California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program, shares the best ways to navigate the changes:
What items gathered during the recruitment process can I share with others? We require approval from several parties before making an employment offer, and I am concerned that we may be sharing confidential information when “check complete” should be enough.
Whether you’re looking for tenants or shopping for space: Here are some tips that might sweeten the deal or — if overlooked — can make one go sour.
I own a small women’s apparel boutique. The neighboring sandwich shop just was served with a federal lawsuit regarding ADA compliance. I am concerned I could be next. This building is very old. Is anything “grandfathered in”? What can I do to protect myself?
With California leading the nation in ADA lawsuits, two years ago state legislators enacted a reform designed to thread the needle between those positions by educating more businesses about their responsibilities so they would make required access changes. Today, no one can say whether compliance has increased. But the number of ADA lawsuits has soared.
Patent infringement lawsuits have long been the business version of a first world problem — a thorny matter for the Googles and Samsungs of the world. But in recent years, so-called patent trolls, shell companies that exist only to sue other companies for allegedly violating patents the shell company owns, have been going after much smaller businesses, from coffee shops to real estate offices.
Janie Desmond Ison, 54, is the 2014 board chair of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. She also has more than 20 years of involvement with the Old Sacramento Business Association.
One morning last year, Cyberguys, a computer and tech accessories retailer, started getting a lot of calls from customers with the same question. Was the company really selling hard drives for $3?
Small businesses that bloom usually succeed by filling a niche that no one else can, offering unique skills, personal service or a killer product. But they also often depend on the know-how of one or a few irreplaceable people. If tragedy strikes them, it can take down the whole firm.
Hospitals, law firms and state agencies involved in implementing the Affordable Care Act have seen a sizable bump in workload — and in some cases, staff sizes — as they prepare for the major overhaul mandated by the 2010 law and to adjust to other industry changes.
U.S. Rep. Ami Bera has spent most of his career as one of the Capital Region’s leading voices on health care, first as a doctor and later as Sacramento County’s chief medical officer and a dean of admissions for the UC Davis medical school.
The scene was right out of a TV cop drama. Shots rang out. A crowd ducked for cover. The bad guys sped off in a getaway car. The incident in a Sacramento shopping mall last year was real life. But just like on television, the case was wrapped up in three hours, with the bad guys in jail and the car impounded.
Banks throughout the country are putting new practices in place to comply with an onset of new federal regulations prompted by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and other post-meltdown rule changes. Those expensive efforts are sparking major changes and concerns for some of the Capital Region’s smaller lenders.
Economic revival is giving some company owners hope that it may finally be a good time to sell their business. But without an exit strategy or some advance planning, those owners may be in for some sticker shock.
Last year, 2.5 million Californians were victims of security breaches that revealed their personal information to unauthorized people, according to the state Attorney General.
More dramatic than the number of people victimized is the conclusion that 1.4 million of those people would have been protected if merchants and businesses had taken the simple step to encrypt the data, inserting a digital key that locks access to information as it is transmitted.
In just nine months, the bulk of the federal Affordable Care Act will go into effect. Many of its provisions will have a real impact on the majority of small-business owners. Still, less than 1 percent of America’s small businesses are currently in a position to face penalties under the law. Here’s what you need to know:
California’s seven family business centers (including two in the Capital Region) are committed to addressing the needs and challenges of family-owned companies.
However, all are registered as 501(c)3 organizations, and as such are precluded from lobbying activities.
Terry Green was sitting at home a few years ago when his cell phone rang.
Would his company be interested in doing some projects in China?