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They Were on Equal Footing. Then the Ground Shifted.

“You just got to scrape along and gut it out,” he said. “We’re really struggling to get by.”But in Ms. Arnone’s other field, home appraising, her friends and colleagues are reaping rewards from the booming housing market, where January sales were up 23.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. Ultralow mortgage rates have prompted a wave of refinancings, which require fresh appraisals.“I don’t have much to complain about,” said Traci Warner, a friend of Ms. Arnone’s and a home appraiser in Waldorf, Md., south of Washington. After her husband …

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As Buildings’ Life Spans Shrink, Developers Try to Adjust

In 1931, glass bottles of sparkling soda began rolling off the assembly line at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in downtown Indianapolis. It’s unlikely that the factory’s architect gave much thought to the possibility that shifting consumer habits would make the glass bottle a relic within a couple of generations.Instead of slipping into obsolescence, the factory went on to have multiple lives. After the Coke factory closed in 1971, the building was briefly used to house Indy 500 racecars, then spent decades as a school bus garage before becoming a 139-room boutique hotel anchoring a new entertainment district last year.A …

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Hurt by Lockdowns, California’s Small Businesses Push to Recall Newsom

Small businesses across the country have suffered from shutdowns that sometimes seem to flare up as suddenly as surges in the coronavirus itself. Restaurants, gyms, corner stores and spas have closed, some after trying to hang in there for months.The pain in California has been acute. Nearly 40,000 small businesses had closed in the state by September — more than in any other state since the pandemic began, according to a report compiled by Yelp. Half had shut permanently, according to the report, far more than the 6,400 that had closed permanently in New York.Few of the pandemic choices that Mr. …

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Winter Storm Disrupts Automakers, Retailers and Delivery Services

UPS said weather could cause delays in areas not directly hit by the storms. Packages may take longer to get from one place to another, and many delivery services move goods through big sorting hubs in the middle of the country to serve both the East and West Coasts. UPS’s main air hub is in Louisville, Ky., and it also has a hub in Dallas, for example.The winter storm prompted the United States Postal Service to close post offices, processing hubs and other facilities in Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, according to its website.The storm has also affected …

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PPP Aid to Small Businesses: How Much Did $500 Billion Help?

Anecdotes like Mr. Geismann’s, however, aren’t straightforward to interpret. Perhaps Schuchart and companies like it would have found another way to make ends meet, or would have rehired workers quickly once construction projects resumed.Economists have tried to answer that question using data. Mr. Autor compared companies with just under 500 employees — which could qualify for the program’s original version — with those just above that size, which could not. If the loans were a big help, then the smaller companies should have retained many more of their workers. Instead, Mr. Autor found little difference between the two groups. …

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Can a Brash Executive in Kansas Save Movie Theaters?

Most of the time, the 116-year-old movie theater business is rather humdrum.Tickets get sold. Images get projected onto screens, sometimes in 3-D. Every now and then, change-phobic cinema operators get excited about an innovation. The armrest cup holder, for instance, was patented in 1981.But these are not normal times at movie houses. Just ask Adam Aron.A year ago, Mr. Aron, who runs AMC Entertainment, the world’s largest multiplex chain, was feeling unusually invigorated about his antiquated industry. Even with streaming services proliferating — and attendance in North America declining — cinemas worldwide collected $42.5 billion in 2019, a record high. “We …

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It Could Be a Great Year, if Your Business Survives Winter

For Ashlie Ordonez, owner of the Bare Bar Studio, a spa in Denver, vaccinations for the coronavirus can’t come soon enough. While she anticipates better days later this year, surviving until then will be a struggle, and she knows the next few months will be lean ones.“I sold my wedding ring so we could pay the bills and keep the doors open,” she said. “I’m sacrificing everything to make it through this pandemic.”Vinay Patel, who manages a chain of nine hotels in Maryland and Virginia, is looking even further out for a recovery: “2022 is when we’ …

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When Can I Apply for a P.P.P. Loan?

She did not directly mention the Paycheck Protection Program — the largest lending program by far in the agency’s nearly 70-year history — but she acknowledged the turmoil many companies are experiencing.The Second StimulusAnswers to Your Questions About the Stimulus BillUpdated Dec 30, 2020The economic relief package will issue payments of $600 and distribute a federal unemployment benefit of $300 for at least 10 weeks. Find more about the measure and what’s in it for you. For details on how to get assistance, check out our Hub for Help.Will I receive another stimulus payment? Individual adults with adjusted gross income on their 2019 …

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December Jobs Report: Recovery Goes Into Reverse

The already sputtering economic rebound went into reverse last month as employers laid off workers amid rising coronavirus cases and delayed government aid.U.S. employers cut 140,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said Friday. It was the first net decline in payrolls since last spring’s mass layoffs and followed five straight months in which hiring had slowed.The report was a grim capstone to a year in which the economy lost more than nine million jobs, the worst on a percentage basis since World War II. It also means that President Trump will be the first chief executive …

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‘Stay Alive and Survive’: Ski Resorts Brace for a Pandemic Season

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — A trickle of skiers recently zigzagged down the slopes at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Couples and families wandered through the resort’s village, which was decorated with golden Christmas lights and frosted with snow.It looked like the beginning of a merry season. But a closer inspection revealed it was anything but.Restaurant patios were nearly empty as masked workers swept through with lime green disinfectant sprayers strapped to their backs, part of the $1 million that Squaw Valley has spent on sanitizing equipment and other safety measures. At ski lifts, sparse groups waited in socially distant …

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