Surviving the Great Recession wasn’t easy for anyone, but it had a unique impact on business owners who were looking forward to retirement. One-third of small biz owners are over the age of 55 – primed to step away from the day-to-day routine. When the economy went into a tailspin, those trying to either sell or otherwise transition the ownership of their business had to keep working, even as the long slump made staying in business a struggle.
On a hot, sunny morning last fall, 69-year-old retiree Pamela Chappell of Citrus Heights hit rock bottom. She was scraping by on Social Security checks and a tiny pension while paying for medication to treat her lymphedema, a painful swelling in her legs. Then she got a letter from the IRS warning her that it was about to empty her savings account of $8,000 — every dollar she had — for back taxes.
Juxtaposed against the crisp, modern lines of Brian Witherell’s home in Alkali Flat sits a trove of ancient treasures, premier antiquities cherry picked from his company’s massive antique collection.
Brian Collins is a 26-year-old director of accounts at Sacramento-based mobile applications marketing firm Appency. He makes what he calls “decent money,” is putting lots of it into a 401(k) and has an eye on his financial future. And, like most people his age, he’s decided that buying a house is not part of the plan.
Having just begun using social media in 2012, Safe Credit Union is relatively new to content marketing. But it hasn’t taken long for the company to discover the benefits of engaging online with its customers and potential consumers.
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.
I am no fan of Measure U, the voter-approved sales tax that went into effect in April. New taxes are rarely the answer to economic malaise.
As demand increases for U.S. products in China, government leaders in the Capital Region and across the country are making a push to foster connections between small, local businesses and the world’s fastest growing consumer market.
Among the many risks involved in commercial real estate lending today, energy risk is so poorly understood that lenders simply do not have the tools they need to measure it. This ignorance of energy risk — the likelihood that higher energy costs compromise a building owner’s ability to make their mortgage payments — leads to inflated loans. This is because both efficient and inefficient buildings are judged the same in the eyes of the lender. But UC Berkeley researchers have developed a tool they claim would measure the net benefit of energy savings investments.
Banks are running up against some odd new competitors these days. Big box retailer Costco is advertising mortgages. Wal-Mart has issued its own debit card. Amazon is offering loans to merchants in its online marketplace.