Steven Yoder writes about business, real estate and criminal justice. His work appears in Vice, The American Prospect, Pacific Standard Magazine, Mic.com and elsewhere.Read more at www.stevenyoder.net. On Twitter @syodertweets.
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Recession? What Recession?
Business leaders and economists think the Capital Region will do just fine through at least the first half of this year
Business economists are reporting several warning signs about the national economy. But on a local level, things are looking up. We consider all the factors that will help the Capital Region be able to ride out a recession.
The Race to Harness the Sun
As drought devastates area farms, do agrivoltaics offer a lifeline?
Combining grazing with large-scale solar is one version of the new field of agrivoltaics, which combines panels with farming and ranching. Advocates say it could help farmers adapt to the state’s driest weather in 1,200 years while making space for the thousands more panels needed to hit California’s ambitious zero-carbon targets.
Don’t Let Conflict Wreck the Family Business
Family businesses do better than others — but only if companies plan for disagreements
Managing family business conflict isn’t just about harmony but survival. Disagreements ensure diverse perspectives, but if managed badly, they can take down a company and permanently rend relationships.
More Affordable Housing Can Happen
Lessons from six cities on getting it built
A few cities around the region have affordable housing projects underway that showcase how they’re getting it done, and their success may hold lessons for other jurisdictions.
When the Golden Goose Flies the Coop
Why businesses formerly located in the Capitol Region left for other states
Company decisions about whether to stay or leave
California are often driven by state policies, taxes,
regulations and cost per-square-footage.
The State of the Art of the Deal
Mergers and acquisitions can be big successes or major failures, depending on preparation
Mergers and acquisitions are a great tool for buyers to expand
and for sellers to get working capital or exit to retirement. But
much depends on the timing, preparation and due diligence of both
On the Rebound
How regional leaders are relaunching their local economies after the pandemic
The pressure is on to execute an economic comeback. Local
business and government leaders share their economic development
strategies for moving on from the bruising pandemic
There’s little sign the Capital Region’s spike in home prices will end anytime soon — what does it mean for business?
While the housing boom has led to issues like
limited affordable housing, some see the sizzling
market as a sign of the region’s dynamism. We evaluate how we got
here and what’s on the horizon.
Remote Work Is Here to Stay
So how do you keep your team productive?
In the new world, how supervisors work with their remote teams will be essential to business success, management experts and employers say.
Powering Through the Pandemic
Local governments pull out all the stops to keep their economies rolling
Some solutions Capital Region governments have come up with
will stay around post-pandemic, which could further improve the
How Elk Grove Is Growing Local Startups
In August 2018, Elk Grove launched its Startup Elk Grove
Incentive Program to create local anchor companies that
Is It Time for a Tax Plan?
A proposed capital gains hike could impact family businesses in transition, especially those without a strategy.
As Community Banks Get Acquired, What Happens to Small-Business Lending?
As community banks continue to be swallowed by bigger fish, some bankers and banking experts say small-business lending could be at risk.
Apprenticeships Aren’t Just for Carpenters and Firefighters Anymore
Many experts see apprenticeships as the best way to match people looking for jobs with those that are in demand.
How Sacramento’s Advanced Manufacturers Are Developing a Talent Pipeline
The California Mobility Center was founded to help early-stage mobility companies turn pilots and demonstration projects into viable products.
What Worked in 2020?
Business owners and financial experts weigh in
Capital Region business owners say they’ve learned how to keep their personal and business finances on track during an economic crisis.
Building a Better Board
How to take advantage of a new law to create better oversight and decisions
Here’s how experts say companies can strengthen corporate governance.
Finding Affordable Financing
The flow of money to pay for low-income housing could be slowing just as demand soars
There’s a staggering demand for affordable housing coming just
when there’s less financing available to build it.
Transfer of Power
Some owners who want to sell decide the best buyer is their staff
Research indicates that employee ownership can improve profit margins and company culture, but it may not be the right choice for every seller.
Hospitals on Life Support
As the Capital Region moves into the seventh month of the coronavirus crisis, it’s not just sick patients at risk
Smaller, independent hospitals are at risk of closing due to financial strain exacerbated by the pandemic.
The Cannabis Recession Test
This economic collapse offers the first trial of how the legal recreational weed industry performs in a downturn
Certain product sectors came through the 2008 Great Recession relatively unscathed. Will cannabis get through this one?
Planning During Coronavirus
For young business owners, the time is right to put together a savings and investment plan
Here’s what financial planning experts in the Capital Region say young adults can think about to stay alive financially through 2020 and beyond.
Child Care Crisis
The region’s shortage is at critical levels, and part of the problem is not enough space. Capital Region leaders are looking for ways to get more facilities up and running.
As of 2017, Sacramento County had enough licensed child care slots to accommodate little more than a quarter of children with working parents. State and local officials are spearheading efforts to change that.
Bankers Find Their Niche
Specialization has come to the lending business, but doing it well requires planning for the worst
The recession of 2008 and its aftermath reordered the landscape across industries. In banking, the most obvious effect was to tighten the rules on mortgage lending after passage of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Active-Adult Communities Offer an Alternative
As the baby boomer population ages, more services are being developed to suit their lifestyles. For older adults who don’t yet need assisted-living housing, there are active-adult communities. Some are age-restricted, with homes required to have one resident 55 or older. Others are age-targeted, marketing to those older than 55, but don’t restrict residents by age.
A looming nursing-home shortage and a possible assisted-living glut has forced new thinking on options for taking care of older adults
The baby boom is now the silver tsunami.
By 2030, the state’s over-65 population will almost double from 4.6 million to 8.6 million, according to state figures. For companies that innovate better ways to serve them, that means opportunities — apps to help loved ones coordinate care, products to help older people get around and remote tech support to help with computer challenges.
What If You Don’t Have a Pension?
Only about 13 percent of private-sector workers are covered by a pension, a dramatic fall from the peak of 46 percent in 1980.
How Safe Is Your Pension?
Defined-benefit plans represent a promise, but whether it will be kept depends on the type — and your employer
Pensions put the risk on employers, who are on the hook to pay retirees an agreed amount no matter what happens to the underlying investment.
Rx for Merger Madness
Hospitals and physician practices are consolidating; for businesses covering their workers, that means re-evaluating current plans to keep health care costs from soaring
In the 2019 American economy, the big are getting bigger. Mergers are everywhere — the number of mergers and acquisitions exceeded 15,000 in 2017, a record for a single year, with 2018 a close second.
Will Assembly Bill 5 Destroy the Gig Economy?
An end-of-session legislative fight has huge implications for companies and their contractors
A momentous Supreme Court decision. A presidential candidate weighing in. A noisy late-August demonstration outside the Capitol. Not Washington, but Sacramento. Not abortion or guns — Dynamex.
Teaching the Teachers
With the teacher shortage at crisis levels, education leaders are trying something new — intensive coaching while training on the job
Statewide, the number of people getting into teaching via a county office of education or school district internship doubled in the last five years.
Are You Recession Ready?
In uncertain times, gaming out a recession strategy should be part of every company’s planning
If you’re looking for advice on whether winter is coming, you might do no better than an architect.
Trained in the Trades
Area companies and educators are developing much-needed middle-skill workers, but will low wages make it impossible to fill the void?
Industries around the Capital Region are feeling the pinch of trying to find qualified, skilled workers needed to fill various positions. Some companies are starting to reach out to trade programs to help fill those gaps.
The Herb Column: Could Sacramento Attract Cannabis Tourists?
Inviting visitors who want to sample product could be a boost — but city leaders aren’t yet onboard
Luke and Eliza Maroney want to bring more buzz to Sacramento, and not just the kind they sell. They’re spouses and partners in Lucky Box Club, a subscription service delivering curated cannabis products to customers monthly. But they’re out to fuse weed and other concepts too.
Lost in the Block
Blockchain is poised to oust middlemen across industries — here’s how it works
Bitcoin’s value in the real world derives in part from the fact that it runs on a blockchain, a distributed and transparent online accounting register
The Herb Column: The Elusive Marriage of Cannabis and Crypto
Two emerging industries may one day join forces to solve legal marijuana’s banking problem — but not quite yet
Cash is king in the cannabis world, and no one likes it that way. Because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, only a handful of banks will do business with those in the industry in states where cannabis is legal.
For Women Seeking Corporate Board Positions, It’s Still an Uphill Climb
A new California law is forcing publicly-traded for-profit businesses to get women on their boards. Yet getting tapped for a directorship is no easy feat.
Will SB 826 Survive?
Last August’s law, SB 826, was in part the product of frustration. In 2013, one of its sponsors, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, authored a resolution that urged all publicly held California corporations to ensure one-fifth of their board directors were women by the end of 2016. While adopted by both legislative chambers, the resolution carried no consequences. When the deadline rolled around, fewer than 20 percent of companies had actually hit the target, according to a Senate analysis.
The Herb Column: Is Onsite Smoking on Its Way?
Sacramento City Council could soon decide whether to permit people to light up in smoking lounges and cafes
For proponents of legal cannabis, Prop. 64 will forever be a landmark. But another ballot measure — Prop. 65, passed 30 years earlier in 1986 — gets almost no attention, although it also affects state government’s approach to cannabis.
An Alternative to ‘Deny and Defend’?
One area health system is among a small group of providers nationwide trying something different. In September 2014, Dignity Health implemented a system in four Sacramento-area hospitals designed to bring more satisfaction to patients and families after adverse medical events while boosting patient safety.
Settling For Less
The rising cost of medical malpractice suits has made attorneys who take those cases an endangered species
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be medical malpractice lawyers. That may lack the ring of Waylon Jennings’ original, but area attorneys say it’s a reality given the money-losing proposition of bringing malpractice cases in California.
The Herb Column: Competing With the Underground Market
Licensed operators say they’re barely holding on as their market share gets eaten up by illegal sellers
The underground market is flourishing in Sacramento and across the state. The BCC and city have promised a crackdown. But there’s disagreement in the industry about whether that’s the right move.
Down to the Details
Can fee adjustments incentivize more affordable housing projects?
Fees and permitting are a vital tool for municipalities looking to address the housing shortage on a local level. We take a look at different strategies being employed in the region.
The Herb Column: How Commercial Landlords Protect Their Assets in the Age of Legal Bud
For building owners out to make money in the cannabis space, it’s not all roses
For landlords with the right commercial space, the green premium would seem to be cash-flow heaven.
The Herb Column: Still Unbanked, Cannabis Enterprises Struggle
Federal law deters banks from serving legal cannabis businesses
Eleven months after recreational marijuana use became legal in California and six years on from legalization in Colorado and Washington state, legal pot growers and dealers still can’t use banks the same way other businesses can.
The Edtech Edge
Local edtech startups are less about disruption as they are about enhancing current models
Local edtech innovators aren’t trying to blow up traditional educational models. At a time when edtech funding models are on the decline, local founders are bootstrapping solutions to existing classroom needs.
The growing number of publicly owned CCAs offer cheaper and cleaner electricity than for-profit utilities — so are they viable in the long-term?
Community choice aggregators are the latest test of whether local, publicly run ventures can deliver cheaper and cleaner power than their investor-owned counterparts. But electricity procurement can be a fickle industry.
Mapping the Next Move
Now in its 36th year, accounting firm BFBA has turned its succession-planning expertise inward
Do business advisers practice what they preach? We look at how accounting firm BFBA handles its own succession planning, as its first generation partners approach retirement.
The results are coming in from a multiyear push to increase graduation rates — and they look promising
Delayed college graduation is costly to students, schools and local economies. Both Sac State and Los Rios implemented measures to help students graduate faster. Can they move grads through without diminishing the quality of education? Results look promising.
How to navigate the maze of California’s new rules on overtime and independent contractors
Employee classification is already murky territory for many business owners, and recent changes have further tightened requirements. Yet, with huge penalties attached to mistakes, the laws are critical to understand.