CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2013 |
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is making his first foray into the private sector, taking a post as a strategic advisor at the Banc of California - an aggressively expanding community bank led by specialists in high finance. Villaraigosa's part-time position advising the bank's chief executive, Steven Sugarman, as well as its board, will allow him to continue pursuing speaking engagements, an affiliation with a university or think tank, and a potential run for governor when Gov. Jerry Brown steps aside . The former mayor declined to reveal his salary or how his compensation would be structured.
July 9, 2013 |
Small-business optimism fell in June, a turnaround from a slight increase in May, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business. The group's economic index fell to 93.5, from 94.4 in May, which was its second-highest reading since the recession started. Job-creation plans increased slightly in June, the group reported, but expectations for improved business conditions remained negative. “The economy remains 'bifurcated,' with the big firms producing most of the GDP growth with little help from small business,” Bill Dunkelberg, the group's chief economist, said in a statement.
July 3, 2013 |
Despite making progress, the federal government fell short of its 2012 small-business contracting goals, according to figures released Tuesday. U.S. agencies awarded 22.25% of federal contracts to small firms, just shy of the goal of 23%, the Small Business Administration said. But it was an increase from 21.65% in 2011. The government did exceed its contract goals for small businesses owned by people of color and disabled veterans. However, it missed its goals for small businesses owned by women and those in historically underserved business zones.
July 1, 2013 |
Less than two years after Congress enacted a long-awaited overhaul of patent law, President Obama is pushing lawmakers to address more problems in the patent system. This time the target is "patent trolls," companies that exist solely to buy obscure patents and then collect money from manufacturers, retailers and even consumers for allegedly infringing them. The challenge is how to stop the trolls without leaving small inventors at the mercy of big manufacturers. The U.S. patent system is almost as old as the republic, dating back to 1790.
June 30, 2013 |
Standing between 1,300 product manufacturers and hundreds of thousands of retailers and businesses is Ingram Micro Inc., the world's largest wholesale distributor of computer hardware and software. The 34-year-old Santa Ana company buys technology products from such manufacturers as Microsoft Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Cisco Systems Inc., then sells them to retailers and other middlemen, which in turn sell the gadgets and the applications to consumers and small businesses.
June 25, 2013 |
The federal government is making 17,000 more employers eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration. The SBA enabled the expansion by changing the size standards for 70 industries. As a result of the changes, which go into effect in July, more firms will be eligible for SBA loans and grants and will be added to the agency's database for government contracts. Several markets, such as amusement parks, saw their revenue size standards rise to $35.5 million from $7 million.
June 20, 2013 |
On the drawing board, enterprise zones were a good idea. The state identified 40 economically distressed parts of the state where businesses would get tax breaks if they located there and hired local workers. They would be good for small companies: Tax credits for them could make the difference between staying in business or failing. They would be good for many workers: Employers who otherwise wouldn't give them a second look would instead give them training and job opportunities. They would be good for disadvantaged communities: Areas that were economically distressed would be able to demonstrate that they were good for business, could attract more employers and move more people from the unemployment rolls to the tax rolls.
June 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court, in its latest ruling to bar class-action claims against big corporations, blocked restaurant owners from joining together to sue American Express Co. over high credit card fees. In a 5-3 decision Thursday, Justice Antonin Scalia said American Express can use its arbitration agreement to squelch the class-action claim from the restaurants, even if the dominant credit card company is violating antitrust laws and the class suit is the only affordable way to raise the claim.
June 13, 2013 |
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones wants industry giant Anthem Blue Cross barred from the state's new health exchange for small businesses because he says the company imposes excessive rate hikes. Jones said the state's largest for-profit health insurer should be denied access to the state-run market where thousands of small employers will purchase health coverage for their workers. Covered California, the state agency implementing the federal healthcare law, said it would consider the commissioner's request alongside many other factors in deciding which insurers to pick.
June 11, 2013 |
Small business confidence grew slightly in May, the second highest reading since the recession started, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business. The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism rose 2.3 points to 94.4, edging up for the second consecutive month. However planned job creation fell a point and reported job creation stalled after increasing over the last five months. “Small business confidence rising is always a good thing, but it's tough to be excited by meager growth in an otherwise tepid economy,” Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist, said in a statement.