February 2017 Archives

How oil prices impact commercial real estate

Illinois residents may have noticed that the price of oil dropped from June 2014 to February 2016. At its peak, oil cost $107 a barrel while it only cost $26 a barrel at its lowest point. While a drop in oil prices was good for consumers at the pump, it meant fewer jobs in the energy industry. According to the University of Houston, there were 217,000 job losses during this time period in the United States.

Tips for new entrepreneurs

Some Illinois entrepreneurs may wonder what funding sources might be available to them. It is more difficult to get money for startups than in the past because there are fewer banks and they are less willing to lend money. Entrepreneurs may need to develop different and more flexible strategies in order to get their businesses off the ground.

SBA financing options

Small business owners in Illinois may turn to the U.S. Small Business Administration for some of their financing needs. The SBA does not provide loans directly to small business owners, but it helps to facilitate loans. Small business owners may also use the agency to find venture capital and surety bonds to help their companies grow.

How entrepreneurs can stay ahead of the competition

Entrepreneurs in Illinois may want to keep on eye on what the competition is doing to be certain they are responding appropriately. However, this should drive innovation rather than reactive behavior. For example, in a bid to keep pace with budget airlines, Delta, American and United Airlines are all offering some version of a "basic economy" class. A better approach would be to innovate ahead of the competition instead of in reaction to it.

Federal Reserve concerned about commercial real estate sector

Commercial property values around the country have soared in recent years, and this has prompted fears about investor exuberance and a growing real estate bubble in major cities like Chicago and New York. In December 2016, the U.S. Federal Reserve took action to keep inflation in check by raising interest rates, and experts expect as many as three similar increases in 2017. However, there is concern in the nation's capital that this may not be enough to prevent these markets from overheating.

Areas of Illinois offer home buyers better deals than renting

A detailed analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions compared the cost of renting to buying a home throughout 540 counties nationwide. The company looked at the costs of three-bedroom apartments and median-priced houses, and some parts of Cook County emerged as places where potential home buyers could find housing bargains that offered lower monthly expenses than renting, even when property taxes and insurance were included.

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