Employment - Men still lag behind women. Overall, men have 699,000 fewer jobs now than they did in December 2007, when the recession began. Women, on the other hand, recovered all their lost jobs last year. Why is this happening? First, men were hit harder in the recession than women. Second, the jobs that are returning are not the same ones that were lost in crisis. Male-dominated industries like construction and manufacturing accounted for about half of all jobs lost in the downturn, and those positions have been slow to return.
Companies that only do three or four international sales a month are often not aware of the various payment mechanisms that are available to them.
“They may not focus on the risks that come with international transactions and how banks can help mitigate those risks,” says Ken Rosenberg, senior vice president and group manager for the International Banking Division at Bridge Bank.
Smart Business spoke with Rosenberg about letters of credit and the value they can provide in protecting companies engaged in international commerce.
Software companies usually don’t have the accounts receivable, inventory or equipment needed as collateral for traditional bank loans. But lenders, recognizing the growth of the software market, are finding ways to provide businesses with additional financing.
The Silicon Valley bizjournals.com reports that Downtown San Jose's largest-ever high-rise housing project could break ground before the end of the year, developers said after receiving all city approvals for the just-under 2-acre parking lot at North San Pedro and West St. James streets. Developer KT Properties is currently meeting with potential financing partners to get the more-than $250 million project going, and fast. On tap: Two towers rising 228 feet tall with about 643 units between them, and 20,000 square feet of retail.
Asset-based financing can help businesses get critical funding when traditional lending avenues might not be available.
“Perhaps they don’t have a strong balance sheet or good leverage. Maybe they have liquidity issues,” says Christopher Hill, senior vice president and team leader of the Capital Finance Division at Bridge Bank. “There are ways to structure a facility to meet their working capital needs.”
Smart Business spoke with Hill about the various products available to provide working capital to growing companies.
In the market for a two-bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley? Renters in the region must now make $31.71 per hour — far above average wages for hundreds of thousands of local workers — to afford a market rate two-bedroom apartment, according to a new report. Silicon Valley was ranked as one of the nation's three most expensive housing markets. Only San Francisco and Honolulu, with housing wages for a two-bedroom apartment of $37.62 and $35 respectively, were costlier than the San Jose metro area.
Mercurynews.com reported on January 30 that Fueled by mushrooming tech wealth, luxury home sales set new records in the Bay Area last year. While in most markets million-dollar-plus homes would be onsidered luxury, in the high-priced Bay Area, real estate agents say it's homes selling for at least $2 million that fit that description. The 2,604 homes that sold for more than $2 million represented a 28 percent jump from a year ago, according to the real estate information service DataQuick, and the highest level in the company's records dating to 1988.
Much of the country is still recovering from the recession, making it difficult for companies to secure financing. Northern California, however, is an exception.
“It’s definitely a bifurcated market right now. The environment for financing is very robust here in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs,” says Kelly Cook, senior vice president and market manager at Bridge Bank. “If you read the Wall Street Journal or the Economist, they say banks are still not really lending. That’s not the case here.”
Greater Bay Area Market Snapshot: Deal volume ended the year with its fifth highest amount on record – the market closed 2013 with more than $15.4 billion in total trades. Office product, particularly in Silicon Valley, dominated trading activity in 2013 accounting for nearly $7.9 billion in total volume. Investors continue to chase trophy assets but fewer availabilities has impacted deal activity. Over the course of 2013m we saw private entities being the most active in purchasing properties in the Bay Area accounting for 43% of total investment dollar volume.
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