Archive of: Work Force

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Hotel robbery suspect charged

Prosecutors have charged a man in connection with a string of hotel robberies in the South Sound.

The robber hit hotels in SeaTac, Federal Way, Tacoma and Fife. The robber would reportedly enter the hotel lobby, get behind the counter before stealing the available cash from the clerks and registers and escaping in a nearby car.

October 2008

Tightened credit push SBA loan volume

A "perfect storm" of tightened credit by commercial lenders, declining creditworthiness, and reduced demand for loans from small business borrowers uncertain about the future has led to a substantial decline in the number of small business loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration in the last year, SBA Acting Administrator Sandy K. Baruah said today.
 
Although SBA posted a record year in 2007 with nearly 100,000 loans approved, that number dropped by nearly 30 percent in 2008. The dollar value of those loans declined by 13 percent, from a combined $20.6 billion in 2007, to $17.96 billion in 2008. Average loan size increased from $142,000 in FY 2007 to $183,000 in FY 2008, demonstrating that by increasing the average amount, these loans may in fact contribute to expanding more sustainable and successful small businesses. These program declines began not long after the fiscal year started in October 2007, and accelerated throughout the fiscal year. 

October 2008

Not-for-profits expect the economy to worsen

In a survey of chief financial officers and senior comptrollers in the not-for-profit industry, conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, 42 percent expect the economy to worsen during the next six months, while 45 percent say it will remain the same. More than 80 percent say employee benefit costs is their greatest pricing pressure.

October 2008

People on the move

Sandi Gregory, owner of Details, an interior redesign and real estate staging company located in Pierce County has recently received certification as a Dish on Design instructor, one of two in the state. Dish on Design Instructors provide one-day decorating workshops for homeowners passionate about decorating. In addition to being a certified workshop instructor, Gregory is also certified in interior decorating, interior redesign, real estate staging and color.

Colliers International of Olympia is leading the marketing 410 Fifth Ave. - the nine-story building between Capitol Lake and Budd Bay. Remodeling and refurbishment of the exterior and interior are planned for Spring 2009. The project's renovations will be to LEED silver specifications. Colliers has developed a carbon neutral concept for the building that would offset carbon emissions for 125 cars -- five days a week. Tenants who choose to work in this building will have the option to participate in the carbon offset initiative tied specifically to this building.

October 2008

Recession has begun, builders group says

The nation's economic troubles have finally caught up with the commercial and industrial construction industry as real nonresidential fixed investment, which includes the purchase of nonresidential structures, equipment and software, decreased 1 percent during the third quarter of 2008, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors report. The downturn comes in sharp contrast with the 2.5 percent increase the previous quarter, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department on the nation's gross domestic product.

October 2008

Looking for a job? You're not alone

More than 95 percent of business leaders said today they know someone who is searching for a new job, according to a worldwide survey of 188 senior executives and managers conducted by NFI Research.

Most business people know a handful of individuals looking. The majority, 65 percent,
of senior executives and managers know up to five people looking for a job. A third of business leaders say they know six or more people currently searching for a job.

October 2008

Puget Sound bucks national employment trend

Unemployment rates were higher in September than a year earlier in 349 of the 369 metropolitan areas, lower in 14 areas and unchanged in 6 areas, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Ten areas recorded jobless rates of at least 10 percent, while nine areas registered rates below 3 percent. The national unemployment rate in September was 6 percent, not seasonally adjusted, up from 4.5 percent a year earlier.
 
The greater Puget Sound region topped the list among the nation's urban areas for the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a 2 percent increase in jobs. The Tacoma market specifically fell a bit lower than that at 1.5 percent growth, but it was still enough job creation to put it among the top urban areas of the nation.

October 2008

Reservist loan program extended

Recent Legislative changes will make a U.S. Small Business Administration loan program more accessible to small businesses facing financial loss when the owner or essential employee is called to active military duty by extending the application period, increasing the unsecured loan threshold and raising the maximum loan limit.
 
Changes to the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program became effective yesterday.
 
"The SBA is proud to be able to support the men and women who serve in America's military services," said SBA Acting Administrator Sandy K. Baruah. "Their service is not only honorable and selfless, but it makes them more talented and resourceful employees when they return home. That makes it doubly important that the small businesses they left when they were called to active duty are still operating when they come home."

October 2008

Retailers want slice of stimulus pie

With consumer confidence at a record low and retailers expecting the weakest holiday season in six years, National Retail Federation officials asked a congressional committee considering possible economic stimulus initiatives to include a second round of tax rebate checks or other direct relief for consumers.

"With most economists predicting a weak economy into 2009 and consumer spending at record lows, NRF believes additional congressional action would help the economy and soften the negative impact on the American people," said NRF Vice President and Tax Counsel Rachelle Bernstein. "We believe an immediate stimulus that will put money into the pockets of consumers where it can have a ripple effect throughout the economy is needed. That stimulus could be accomplished in a number of different ways including more rebate checks, a nationwide sales tax holiday, a payroll tax holiday or other alternatives."

October 2008

Police seek South Sound hotel robber

Police agencies around the South Sound have linked a robber to as many as 10 hotel heists.

The robber hit hotels in SeaTac, Federal Way, Tacoma and Fife. 

October 2008
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