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Entries Tagged as 'Office Space'

The Future of the Workplace: No Office

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Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design , Virtual Office Space

SBA Chief on Increasing Small Businesses' Access to Capital

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Karen MillsPhoenix Business Journal Friday, February 26, 2010 (Excerpts) - Karen Mills was sworn in as head of the U.S. Small Business Administration last April, just as the economic stimulus bill was starting to revive the SBA’s lending programs. Now she is pushing President Barack Obama’s jobs plan, which calls for increased lending to small businesses, tax breaks for hiring and business investment, and programs to help innovative businesses grow.

Mills sat down Feb. 18 with Kent Hoover, the Washington Bureau chief of American City Business Journals, to talk about increasing small businesses’ access to capital...

...We have a program called 504. It’s for owner-occupied real estate, if you expand and create jobs. Temporarily, let’s use 504 to do owner-occupied real estate refinancing -- not the bad stuff, not the speculative portfolios that have been accumulated; but owner-occupied, and you haven’t gone into default. It’s probably less risky than funding an expansion. It looks like we can do it for zero subsidy; we’ll charge a fee to take on the risk, and we’ll need a little administrative oversight. We think we can do $7 billion to $10 billion at very little or no cost to taxpayers.

We have the infrastructure to do that right now. We know the demand is going to be there. (end)

How to get a SBA Guaranteed Loan

Boston Office Space , Office Building Sales , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations , SBA Loan

Are Virtual Offices The Perfect Storm Solution?

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Officing Today February 9, 2010: The US has been experiencing plenty bad weather this winter season. A storm watch alert has been issued in Southern California, where reports of mudslides and flooding dominate the local news. The nation’s capital had 20 inches of snowfall over the weekend, and is expecting more of the same today. These conditions have required schools and offices to shut down in the area.

In other parts of the country, though, many people living in areas with harsh winter weather are finding that virtual offices are the perfect storm solution. Virtual office clients are able to manage their businesses much more easily in winter weather than those who work in traditional office set-ups.

Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson reported in December that Iowans with virtual offices were not affected by the winter weather problems that other people trying to get to work were facing. A virtual office client interviewed for the piece advised that, simply put, a virtual office “allows you to work whenever and wherever you need to.”

Another virtual office client interviewed pointed out other perks of this alternative workplace solution: “She says it gives a tremendous amount of flexibility, as it allows people to work out of their homes and during their own hours, but still have access to the information they need.” The client highlighted the fact that a blizzard earlier in the season had less of an impact on her business, since her employees are able to work without having to come to an office building.

As the winter storms continue to rage on, it is likely that more businesses will find that they can’t afford not to be using a virtual office set-up.

Office Space , Virtual Office Space

Don't Be An Economic Hypochondriac

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A newsletter I received today is a bit more positive on the recovery and does make a good point that despite high unemployment our national office vacancy rate is better that expected.

Monday Morning Outlook

Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist First Trust
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist First Trust

Over the past year, as we have defended our forecast of a V-shaped recovery and the economy has clearly turned upward, two things have happened.  First – slowly and quietly the consensus forecast for economic growth has been lifted – to roughly 3% real GDP growth from an anemic 2%.  We expect this to continue as the consensus forecast continues to move toward our 4%+ forecast.
 
Second – the list of worries over the economy has grown.  Remember credit card fears?  Well, delinquency rates are declining now.  What about Credit Default Swaps (CDS’s)?  Yeah, what about them?  As you read this, AIG is writing the value of these contracts up.  And who could forget Dubai?  Oh, you already did?
 
Well, no matter how many of these economy killers disappear into the mist of history, there are more to take their place.  A commercial real estate collapse, the “real” unemployment rate, housing foreclosures, ARM resets, deficits, government-created uncertainty, the lack of bank lending, universal healthcare, cap and trade, looming tax hikes, China, Greece, and don’t forget the unwinding of economic intervention by the Fed and Treasury and the petering out of stimulus.
 
It’s almost as if the better the economic data, the more things people worry about.
 
We don’t want to say that all these worries are not important, or misplaced.  There are problems and issues, but we do believe they are being overblown.  For example, the national office vacancy rate is 17.5% – high – but still lower than it was in the 1990-91 recession, and lower than one would expect when the unemployment rate is 9.7%.  And now with unemployment declining, vacancy rates should fall as well.
 
Many people fear a “real” unemployment rate of 16.5% (which includes the official unemployment rate plus marginally attached workers).  But this rate is always above the official unemployment rate and moves along with it.  In other words it offers no new information.  Everyone knows unemployment is high, but recoveries always begin when unemployment is high.
 
Government deficits are high, and it is true that government activity is creating uncertainty, but this has stirred political push-back rarely seen in the US.  It is very likely that the awakened and renewed political energy showing up these days will finally force Congress to address the issues of its long-term unfunded liabilities and its out-of-control spending.  In other words, the worry and fear may finally produce action.
 
Finally, bank lending, or the lack of it, is bothering many.  Conventional wisdom suggests that the economy cannot recover (at least strongly) without a pick-up in bank lending.  However, this theory leaves us wanting.  After declining in the past two years, total loans and leases held by commercial banks stood at $6.76 trillion at the end of 2009, which was above year-end 2007 levels or any time before that.  In other words, bank lending is currently at levels above those that existed during what most people call a “bubble” in bank lending.
 
Much of this is about attitude.  If you want to find things to worry about, you always can.  It’s like hypochondria.  But, in the end, with monetary policy accommodative and the panic over, the economy is heading upward.  And it’s funny how so many problems seem to dissolve when growth gets underway.

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Office Space , Office Vacancy Rate

$1.4 trillion in commercial real estate debt is expected to roll over during the next three years

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Washington Post February 19, 2010: Unlike residential mortgages, which often can be paid over 30 years, commercial real estate mortgages typically must be paid off or refinanced within five years. Commercial properties mortgaged in 2005, 2006 and 2007, at the height of the boom, are reaching their maturity date. "Do the math on this," Warren said. "This is a significant problem."

Nationwide, at least $1.4 trillion in commercial real estate debt is expected to roll over during the next three years. Warren said that half of commercial real estate mortgages will be underwater by the beginning of 2011. A fifth of residential mortgages are underwater now, she said.

Unlike residential mortgages, which often can be paid over 30 years, commercial real estate mortgages typically must be paid off or refinanced within five years. Commercial properties mortgaged in 2005, 2006 and 2007, at the height of the boom, are reaching their maturity date. "Do the math on this," Warren said. "This is a significant problem."

 

Buying Office Space , Commercial Real Estate , Office Building Sales , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations