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Inland Empire Helping To Drive California’s Economic Expansion

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IE Labor Force Edges Up; Median Home Price Appreciation Highest In SoCal


December 19, 2019— RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Like California’s other major metro areas, the Inland Empire’s economy is defying recessionary fears and, in fact, is helping to drive the state’s continued economic expansion, according to an analysis released today by the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. Over the past year, the region has experienced a higher share of job growth than the nation, California as a whole, and neighboring Southern California metros.

“While employment growth in the Inland Empire, and across other geographies, has indeed slowed from previous years, it has not stopped or reversed and shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign of a downturn,” said Adam Fowler, Director of Research at the Center for Economic Forecasting. The Inland Empire’s annual job growth stood at 2% as of October 2019, outstripping growth in the United States (1.4%), California (1.8%), the Los Angeles metro area (1.3%), Orange County (1.2%), and matching San Diego County (2%).

“For the Inland Empire, the key takeaways in these numbers are the region’s overall competitiveness with other urban metros amidst a tight labor market, and that job growth is coming from a wide, healthy range of industries,” said Fowler. Of 15 employment sectors, only five lost positions over the year in the Inland Empire.

Importantly, in addition to job growth, the region’s labor force has expanded, albeit only slightly and at a slower rate than in past years. However, the 0.4% annual increase in the local labor force stands in contrast to contracting labor forces in nearby Orange County (-0.4%) and Los Angeles (-0.1%), as well as in the state as a whole (-0.3%).

“The healthier growth in the Inland Empire’s work force is being driven in part by one of the region’s most compelling competitive advantages – greater home affordability relative to surrounding areas,” said Fowler.

Other Key Findings:

Home Price Climb: As one of the last bastions of relatively affordable real estate in Southern California, home prices in the Inland Empire still have room to grow. The median price of a single-family home in the region rose 4.7% from the 3rd quarter of 2018 to the 3rd quarter of 2019. This surpasses price growth in the state as a whole (2.2%) as well as in every other Southern California metro (Los Angeles 3.1%, Orange County 0.3%, San Diego 0.1%).

Wage Pressure: Driven by a tight labor market, nominal wages continue to steadily increase in the Inland Empire, however not as quickly as in the state overall (3.8% vs 4.2% wage growth from the first half of 2018 to the first half of 2019). But as employers compete for talent from a limited pool, the upward pressure on earnings will continue.

Consumer and Business Spending: Higher wages and gains in employment have boosted spending in the IE. Taxable sales in the region jumped 4.1% on an annual basis compared to 3.7% in the state overall. And while every spending category expanded over this period, Business and Industry receipts, which represent business-to-business spending, topped the list at 4.2% growth.

Trade Stumbles: Trade through the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles totaled $313.1 billion in the first nine months of 2019, a 7.9% decrease from the same period in 2018. Not surprisingly, trade with China saw the steepest decline, but even if the trade war with that nation persists, it won’t end the current expansion in the U.S. or the region. Notably, freight activity through Ontario International Airport increased 3.5% in 2019.

Logistics Space in Demand: Newly added stock rather than declining demand has slightly increased the vacancy rate among warehouse and distribution properties in the Inland Empire. But the 4.4% increase in asking rents among these properties from the 3rd quarter of 2018 to the 3rd quarter of 2019 reaffirms strong demand from the region’s expanding logistics sector. Indeed, rent costs have not grown at the same pace in Orange County (2,3%), Los Angeles (2.9%), or San Diego County (3.1%).

The new Inland Empire Business Activity Index is now available. The Index tracks performance of the Inland Empire regional economy on a quarterly basis and is adjusted for seasonal variations. The composite indicator is estimated using a wide range of economic data including employment, economic output, income, real estate, and other indicators at the national, state, and metropolitan level. The Index is produced entirely by the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

The UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development is the first major university forecasting center in Inland Southern California. The Center produces economic forecasting and policy research focused on the region, state, and nation. Learn more at UCREconomicForecast.org.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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By Press Release

Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™ Opens in Redlands 

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Asurion® Repair Experts Provide Fast Fixes on Phones, Tablets, Laptops, and More

A new electronics repair shop, Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™, has opened in Redlands at 9980 Alabama St. The store offers professional fixes for most consumer electronics, from smartphones, tablets, and computers to game consoles, smart speakers, drones, and more.

While common repairs include cracked screens, battery issues, and water damage, the company’s repair experts have fixed millions of devices and can help with most any tech mishap, and many basic repairs can be completed in 45 minutes or less.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to introduce Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions to Redlands as we continue to serve this region,” said Damon Madison, Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions District Manager. “Our team prioritizes customer satisfaction above all else. By offering free diagnostics on all device issues, matching competitors’ prices, and guaranteeing fast-turnarounds on device repairs, we’re dedicated to making our customers’ experience affordable and convenient.”

The store’s expert repair technicians fix all kinds of technology, regardless of make or model, and the store is an authorized repair provider for Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel smartphones. Customers can book a repair appointment online or stop by the store for walk-in service. The store offers free, no-obligation diagnostics on all gadgets, as well as a 1-year limited warranty on all repairs. It even offers a price match guarantee on any local competitor’s regularly published price for the same repair.

The new Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions store brings the company’s retail footprint to more than 750 locations across the U.S. Formerly known as uBreakiFix®, all U.S. locations will rebrand as Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions throughout 2022.

“We are excited to serve people in Redlands with fast and affordable tech repair,” said Dave Barbuto, CEO of Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions. “We all rely on our phones and laptops more than ever before, and our mission is bigger than repairing shattered screens and broken charge ports. We fix tech because people depend on it to stay connected to things that are important to them. I look forward to serving this community through our new location.”

The new store is located at:

Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions

9980 Alabama St Suite C, Redlands, CA 92374

(909) 801-3008

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New Partnership Announced; Stater Bros. Markets joins Entertainment Giant

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Toyota Arena has announced a new partnership with Stater Bros. Markets effective July 1, 2022.

Guests of the arena will soon be able to experience the new branding of the North Patio, which will include live concerts featuring local bands and up-and-coming professional talent. “We are thrilled to welcome Stater Bros. Markets as a partner to Toyota Arena,” said Michael K. Krouse, President & CEO. “It’s a natural fit – this is our community’s grocery store of choice and the amazing Stater Bros. Charities provides non-profit organizations in our local region with support. We are on board to help as well.”

The marketing amenities this partnership will provide Stater Bros. will include a presence on several assets including the arena’s Interstate 10 marquee, overhead LED scoreboard, television monitors throughout the facility, website, and more. The relationship created through this agreement will also provide benefits for Toyota Arena guests, including new Stater Bros.-inspired food and beverage options.

The benefits to the community will go beyond lifestyle and entertainment, however. Stater Bros. and Toyota Arena recognize the important role they play in the overall development of the City of Ontario. The city’s vigorous commercial and residential growth, and its status as a destination location will result in economic growth, jobs, and a thriving community. The partnership will also open up new opportunities to support the giving efforts of the market’s non-profit charitable arm, Stater Bros. Charities.

“This really is an exciting day for the entire Stater Bros. team. As a company, we work hard to establish great business relationships, and with Toyota Arena, we’ve found an excellent partner,” said Stater Bros. CEO Pete Van Helden. “I look forward to the new opportunities our partnership will bring and its benefits for the City of Ontario and the Inland Empire as a whole.”

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Business

IECE Presents its Inaugural State of Entrepreneur Report on Dec. 9

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The first-ever State of Entrepreneurship Address for the Inland Empire is being held by the Cal State San Bernardino Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 5-8 p.m. at 4th Sector Innovations in Ontario. 

IECE’s goal in producing the State of Entrepreneurship research study is to bring the voice of local entrepreneurs to those who need to hear it most – local and state policymakers, community organizations, lenders, and other resource providers. 

The Voice of the Entrepreneur survey, on which the address is based, sends powerful feedback on the challenges that entrepreneurs and business owners of the Inland Southern California region face. 

Survey results were drawn out earlier this year by reaching out to IECE’s extensive network, consisting of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners representing a diverse group of industries. The IECE will continue to distribute the Voice of the Entrepreneur survey in the spring of each calendar year to find out what Inland Empire entrepreneurs and business owners are going through. 

The report is a potent tool for policymakers, economic impact drivers, and business owners and entrepreneurs to analyze growth potential within the region. Using measurable data, the goal is to identify the challenges and opportunities facing local business owners and obstacles that may be impeding business growth. 

The result is a concise report that gives insight into how we can effectively learn and evolve together with a regional focus. 

The evening will start and end with networking and food; in between, the SOER report will be presented, which includes examining the indicators of entrepreneurial activity and how the IE measures up as a region; learning of the Voice of the Entrepreneur direct survey results and the common themes, as well as an IE Ecosystem assessment; and regional perspectives from influencers that include: 

  • Rod Vandenbos, founder and CEO, buzzbox beverages, Indio; 
  • Mike Napoli, Tech Coast Angels, Palm Springs; 
  • Edward Ornelas, Jr. President, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Ana Karina Suchánek, president, Cask Restaurant Group, Inc., Rancho Cucamonga; and 
  • Pepi Jackson, president and CEO, Riverside Black Chamber of Commerce 

Click the following link – Secure Your Spot for the 2021 State of Entrepreneurship Address – to attend, network and learn more about entrepreneurship in the region. Whether you are a seasoned or soon-to-be entrepreneur, there is a perspective for everyone who wants to know more about how to strengthen the Inland Empire economy.

The presentation will unveil breakthrough metrics and perspectives on the State of Entrepreneurship throughout the Inland Empire, including: 

  • Why a report like this is essential for the collective growth of our region; 
  • What the report consists of: indicators for entrepreneurship and what real entrepreneurs in our communities are telling us through our Voice of the Entrepreneur survey results; and
  • Regional perspectives from influencers and officials that are active in our ecosystem. 

The event will also include food and cocktails while networking within an inspirational setting at 4th Sector Innovations Ontario. 

To learn more, visit the IECE State of Entrepreneurship Report website

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