Tag Archives: Amazon.com

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Amazon looks to fill jobs in Arizona

Amazon.com Inc. is looking to fill 7,000 jobs in 13 states.

The company says it will add 5,000 full-time jobs at its U.S. distribution centers, which currently employ about 20,000 workers who pack and ship customer orders.

The world’s largest online retailer has been spending heavily on order fulfillment, a strategy meant to help the business grow, but one that has also weighed on profits. Amazon said last week it lost money in the second quarter even as revenue increased.

Warehouse jobs are available in Arizona, Delaware, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The company is also adding 2,000 customer service jobs, including full-time, part-time and seasonal, in Kentucky, North Dakota, Washington and West Virginia. Work from home positions are available in Oregon, Washington and Arizona.

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Frutkin Publishes Equity Crowdfunding book

There has been widespread recognition of the emerging power of crowdfunding, the online phenomenon that provided more than $10 million for iPhone-compatible watch creator Pebble and $5.7 million for the upcoming Veronica Mars movie. Valley Attorney Jonathan Frutkin of The Frutkin Law Firm recently published a new book about this new source of finance, known as “equity crowdfunding”. According to Frutkin, the same power of online funding will soon let local companies raise capital online – and more importantly, make customers into owners, increasing the market share of businesses that successfully leverage this new opportunity.

The book, titled Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners, provides insight into how business owners can turn their customers into loyal customers while raising money for their company. It is now available for print and digital purchase on Amazon.com.

“Equity crowdfunding is the single largest marketing opportunity for local businesses to transform mere customers into loyal owners,” Frutkin said when describing the concept. “By resetting the relationship between corporation and patron, the new rules for crowdfunding are going to fundamentally shift the way entrepreneurs think about both raising capital and creating long-term engagements with their customers.”

Interest in crowdfunding drastically increased after President Barack Obama signed the JOBS Act (Jumpstart our Business Startups) in 2012 legalizing equity crowdfunding, subject to new rules being agreed by regulators. A total of $2.7 billion was provided through crowdfunding by individual donors last year, according to reports by research firm Massolution — up 81% from 2011. This space is only going to heat up further when SEC rules for the JOBS Act are released this year, paving the way for equity crowdfunding.

For more information on the book, author Jonathan Frutkin, and The Frutkin Law Firm, visit www.frutkinlaw.com.

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Amazon agrees to collect Arizona sales taxes

Online retailer Amazon has agreed to settle a sales tax dispute with the state of Arizona and will begin collecting the state’s 6.6 percent tax on product sales in the state on Feb. 1 and on digital sales beginning in July.

Amazon disclosed the settlement in a note contained in its quarterly earnings report filed with securities regulators on Friday.

Arizona sent the Seattle-based company a $53 million bill in November 2011 for taxes and interest on sales that it did not collect between March 2006 and Jan. 1, 2011. The company disputed that it was required to collect the tax on behalf of the state and cities.

Its filing said it will pay an undisclosed but “immaterial” amount to settle that claim as part of a settlement it says it signed with the state last month.

A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer, Matthew Benson, said Saturday that she was pleased with the settlement.

“This agreement allows the State of Arizona to settle its dispute with Amazon without resorting to litigation, while securing partial payment and establishing that Amazon will collect and remit this tax going forward,” Benson said in an email to The Associated Press. “Amazon is a quality employer that has invested more than $150 million in Arizona and created thousands of good jobs, and Governor Brewer is proud to have them here.”

Phoenix-Market

Phoenix Market Is Affordable Again

The current state of the Phoenix commercial real estate market can be viewed from two sides. The reality is that we are still pushing through, so to speak, amidst a haze of foreclosures, bank take-backs and monetary defaults.  But through the fog, there is a silver lining in the form of good old-fashioned opportunity.

As REO properties flood the market, there is one truth that has emerged that brightens the hearts of real estate buyers:  The Phoenix market, already a fantastic place to live and do business, has become affordable again.

In This Ring: Investors vs. Owner-Users

Demand is on the rise for all distressed property types in the Phoenix market, based primarily on competitive pricing.  Buyers are ready to invest, and there is an enormous amount of money chasing opportunities in the Phoenix market.  This leads to a highly competitive buying pool where investors and owner-users duke it out over attractively priced distressed properties.

Recently, owner-users have thrown some of the proverbial winning punches, sometimes beating out investors in distressed sale opportunities.  On the other hand income-producing multi-tenant properties remain competitive amidst investors.  This competition is a good sign for the market as a whole, as it is pushing winning bidders into shorter due diligence and closing periods, which moves deals through the market faster.  This positive activity will continue for the next few years, as distressed properties move their way through the system.

The bottom line:  When the price is right, buyers are interested.

Local Businesses: Things Are Looking Up

The recent rise in demand has had a positive impact on the Phoenix business community.  Companies know that now is a good time to buy and lease, taking advantage of current low occupancy costs.  With that in mind, many companies are moving into the Phoenix market, while some other local businesses are absorbing customer base from failing competitors, resulting in local expansions.

In many cases, investors are making deals now which will help local businesses to lease space affordably moving forward.  In the past year, Voit’s Phoenix office has closed a number of large transactions for investors, encompassing all product types.  From land to retail centers to office properties, to a 57,000 square-foot multi-tenant flex project which was acquired as a value-add upon purchasing the distressed note from a special servicer.  In most cases, the investors will be able to deliver these properties to local tenants at competitive lease rates.

Other notable businesses that are taking advantage of today’s affordable Phoenix market include Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is developing a 600,000 square-foot build-to-suit, as well as Amazon.com, which expanded its footprint over the past 24 months in the region by leasing more than two million square feet.

Each of these transactions directly benefits companies throughout the Phoenix market, bringing business opportunities to local architects, engineers, contractors, brokers, and more.

But large corporations are not the only beneficiaries when it comes to the affordability of today’s market.  Local “Mom and Pop” owner/operators are buying buildings at low prices and renovating them.  In addition, SBA financing is readily available from many lenders, offering small business owners an opportunity they may not have had in prior markets:  the chance to own their own space and control future costs.

The Flip Side: Why Local Bank Failures Help The Market

One area of the market that has demonstrated immense improvement in the past few months is the ability to complete real estate transactions.  For a portion of the downturn many companies had difficulty closing deals, but the market has begun to move again, allowing local businesses to relocate and expand.

Some of this new movement may be attributed to the various mid-sized local and regional banks which are failing in the Phoenix market.  While bank failures may appear negative on the surface, these failings actually begin a ripple effect that helps the real estate market.  When a bank fails, it is marketed by the FDIC to be purchased by a healthier bank, which is in a better position to work through distressed assets and bad loans – actions which help move real estate deals forward.

In addition, banks are now able to complete loan-to-value assessments that are based on distressed pricing.  When the market was stagnant, there were very few transactions closing, so banks had no comparable sales to consider when completing appraisals.  Now that real estate transactions are moving again, banks can more easily create valid appraisals based on sales comps from recent deals.

At the same time, banks and life insurance companies are all starting to place more debt in the marketplace. As financing becomes more readily available, transaction activity in the local real estate market will flourish.

What’s Next For the Phoenix Market?

The outlook for the Phoenix commercial real estate market is positive.  There will be a continued supply of distressed properties which will hit the market over the next two to three years as CMBS loans come to maturity and banks work out the properties on their books.  Buyers and tenants will enjoy an affordable Phoenix market for the next few years.

Darren Tappen is Senior Vice President of Voit Real Estate Services.

Green-Tara Spirulina Crunchies

’Green Tara,’ An Arcadia Business, Turns Pond Scum Into A Satisfying Snack

Green Tara’s Spirulina Crunchies, Spirulina Energy Bites and Spirulina Kale Chips has everybody talking and flashing a green smile. All Green Tara products are raw, vegan and gluten-free – no preservatives, nothing artificial, just pure and delicious.

What is spirulina? Created naturally in lakes, ponds and streams, many people refer to fresh water algae as “pond scum,” however, very simply, spirulina, is one of nature’s healthiest, most nutritious superfoods.

Green Tara’s unique spirulina is grown on a sustainable family farm in Costa Rica, in small pristine pools of water supplied by a deep well of pure, high-alkaline water. Absolutely no artificial chemicals, additives or preservatives are used at any time during its production.

Spirulina is a true superfood – some of its many health benefits include nature’s richest source of vitamin B-12, beta-carotene and iron (in a form easily absorbed by our bodies). It is also an extremely high source of (vegetable) protein, containing 400 times more protein than even beef. Dr. Mehmet Oz, the renowned Columbia University professor, touts spirulina as one the most important anti-aging nutritional supplements in existence.
Paul Torok came upon spirulina granules while spending time in Costa Rica. After meeting and becoming friends with the grower and his family, he began bringing back this special spirulina in his luggage to stock up between trips to share with friends and family.

As word started to spread and requests for the spirulina granules meant quantities exceeded the two-bag weight limit allowance of most airlines, he decided it was time to turn a labor of love into a business. In 2010, his better half, Annette Berk, joined the endeavor; they trademarked “Spirulina Crunchies,” formed Green Tara LLC, and opened shop in the Valley of the Sun.

Working together, they began sending samples far and wide to introduce this incredible superfood to one and all. Their passion for making scrumptious healthy food and getting folks to try new foods they wouldn’t ordinarily eat, led to creating treats made with spirulina – especially ones that are kid-friendly.

Green Tara’s products can be found online at Amazon.com, Eco-Bold, Open-Sky and Spencer’s Market, to name a few. In addition, their healthy, tasty products can be purchased directly from their website: www.greentara.biz/Shop.html.

Fathoming Amazon.com

Amazon.com – Its Unprecedented Growth

Seventeen years ago, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com as an online bookstore with inventory in his own garage. Now, Amazon serves 137 million customers a week from 25 million square feet of warehouse inventory. From the garage in Bellevue, Washington to the giant that it is today, here are nine things you need to know about its staggering growth.

These eye-opening facts were compiled and presented by Frugal Dad. Do you shop at Amazon.com? If so, why is it your choice retailer?

Fathoming Amazon

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Fathoming Amazon Infographic Credits, courtesy of Visual.ly:

Source: Visual.ly
Published by: Frugal Dad
Designed by: Unknown

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