Category Archives: Business

AlphaGraphics gives back to small businesses through Make It Happen Makeover Contest

Winners to receive one-of-a-kind package from the global leader in print and marketing solutions

AlphaGraphics, a leading brand in the print and marketing space for over 50 years, understands the impact that small businesses have on their local community as well as the nation overall. In an effort to give back to the small business community, the organization is announcing the AlphaGraphics Make It Happen Makeover Contest.

The franchise and community leaders will select three businesses across the United States to receive an AlphaGraphics business makeover package that will include print, signs, digital marketing and graphic design. These makeovers are valued at over $25,000. The organization will select winners that exemplify values such as resilience, determination, and community involvement, and that stand to benefit most from a makeover designed to help them bounce back in the wake of the pandemic.

“At AlphaGraphics, we understand that small businesses are the backbone to our nation, and we want to do what we can to help this community of business owners that was hit hard by the pandemic,” said Ryan Farris, COO and president of AlphaGraphics. “Every small business started out as a dream that was brought to life through hard work and determination. The pandemic created extreme challenges for many of these businesses, and we want to give them a fresh start and positive outlook on the future with one of our makeovers.”

The franchise and community leaders will select three businesses across the United States to receive an AlphaGraphics business makeover package.

The Make It Happen Makeover Contest gives small businesses an opportunity to revitalize their physical appearance using proven print and design solutions. AlphaGraphics has been providing complete business branding and marketing packages including window, wall, and floor graphics since 2013.  AlphaGraphics has been recognized nationally for two similar makeovers — one for First Slice Pie Café in Chicago in 2019, and one for the Shrine of St. Anne Catholic School in Arvada, Colorado, in 2021.

“These makeovers will completely transform the businesses and create an opportunity to help a local business owner get noticed and get business — notably, revenue that may have been lost during the pandemic,” Farris said. “We know that printed materials are essential to making a great impression and reflecting the quality of service a business offers. In particular, signage can really transform a space and make a huge impact on the customer experience. Paired with graphic design work and digital marketing, these makeovers will take any business to the next level in terms of bringing in new customers.”

To nominate yourself or a local business for the contest, visit AlphaGraphics.com/MakeItHappen. Contest submissions are due by November 21, 2021.


For more information about AlphaGraphics, visit AlphaGraphics.com

AlphaGraphics has announced the launch of its Make It Happen Makeover Contest, which is geared toward helping small businesses revitalize their physical appearance.

Survey: 74% of companies are hiring contract professionals for seasonal and year-end needs

Robert Half reveals what’s driving demand for contract talent

It’s the start of a hectic hiring spree for many companies, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. In a survey of more than 2,800 senior managers in the U.S., 74% of respondents said they are bringing on contract workers to support year-end initiatives. Companies in the technology, finance and healthcare industries have the greatest contract hiring needs.

Hiring from Anywhere
Previous Robert Half research shows nearly 8 in 10 companies (78%) are willing to look outside their city to find skilled job candidates, given talent shortages. In addition, many employers are leveraging outside agencies to help recruit (44%), onboard (33%) and manage (46%) contract workers.

“This time of year, companies have urgent hiring needs and are tapping contract professionals to help with cyclical projects and spikes in business activity,” said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald. “Partnering with an outside agency that has access to remote talent allows companies to hire faster and meet business demands.”

Partnering with an outside agency that has access to remote talent allows companies to hire faster.

Seasonal Job Opportunities Beyond Retail and Hospitality
Robert Half talent solutions professionals throughout the U.S. report strong demand for contract workers to help with:

  • Tax time and budgeting — Accountants are needed to manage heavy workloads and prepare for tax season. AP/AR specialists and payroll managers are sought to process invoices and payments and prepare budgets and financial reports.
  • Open enrollment — Companies seek human resources and administrative professionals to handle an increased volume of work, including HR benefits specialists to answer enrollment and benefits-related questions and data entry specialists to support back-office functions.
  • Back-to-school activities — Education institutions require assistance with pandemic-related tasks such as resuming on-campus operations, creating secure virtual workspaces for remote and hybrid learning, conducting student contact tracing and managing federal funds.
  • IT security — As organizations deploy new applications and digital services, they seek data security analysts and network security administrators to monitor and respond to security incidents.
  • E-commerce — Brands and agencies are engaging marketing professionals, such as copywriters, digital marketing specialists and front-end developers, to execute holiday campaigns and optimize online shopping experiences.
  • Legal priorities — Corporate legal departments are bringing on contract administrators to handle the review, abstraction and negotiation of agreements set to expire or renew at year-end, while law firms are adding litigation support analysts and paralegals to support rising caseloads.
Research from Robert Half shows U.S. companies’ hiring plans for contract talent through year-end.

Planning for Time-Off Requests
Vacation plans may require companies to bring on additional contract talent to ensure projects stay on track during the holiday season. In a separate survey of workers, respondents said they plan to take an average of 7 days off by the end of the year; professionals in the legal and technology fields will request the most time off.

McDonald added, “Companies should anticipate a rush of vacation requests in the final months of the year and plan for staff absences. Adding headcount now can help minimize disruptions, maximize productivity and prevent employee burnout.”

For tips on finding, hiring and onboarding seasonal employees quickly, visit the Robert Half blog.


About the Research
The online surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 2,800 senior managers in finance, technology, marketing, legal, administrative support, human resources and other areas at companies with 20 or more employees (collected June 4 to July 1, 2021), and more than 1,000 workers 18 years of age or older (collected September 24-26, 2021) in the U.S.

About Robert Half
Robert Half (NYSE: RHI) is the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm that connects opportunities at great companies with highly skilled job seekers. Robert Half offers contract, temporary and permanent placement solutions and is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm. Visit roberthalf.com and download our award-winning mobile app.

David’s Bridal Announces Launch of First-Ever Comprehensive Wedding Planning Mobile Application

The launch of the application is the latest addition to the suite of wedding planning tools and resources offered by David’s Bridal, positioning the brand as the premier wedding planning expert.

The planning app is yet another digital solution from David’s Bridal in its strategic effort to respond to the evolving needs of the modern couple. The app not only meets couples where they are in their wedding planning journey but provides them with the tools they need from engagement to “I do”. Available for download in the App Store and Google Play store, the planning app offers comprehensive wedding planning solutions right at the bride’s fingertips. Users can create their own custom wedding website hosted by Blueprint Registry right from the mobile app (for free!) and manage their own universal wedding registry giving coupes the power to add gifts from any retailer, import existing registries, create a cash registry, and so much more powered by Blueprint Registry. In the app, users can generate a robust wedding checklist with customization options specific to a couple’s event as well as a vision board, various style quizzes, and even book an appointment at their local David’s Bridal store or a virtual video appointment.

Since its strategic asset acquisition of Blueprint Registry in 2018, David’s Bridal has been rapidly expanding into the wedding planning space to offer a true one-stop-shop experience for their customers with a focus on growing their omni-channel operations. From its planning toolkit to 24/7 customer support, monthly consumer insights report, the Pearl Report, YouTube Live channel, and their latest asset acquisition of Rustic Wedding Chic, David’s is relentlessly focused on serving their customers throughout their entire wedding journey and beyond. The launch of their planning app is a natural addition to their planning tool offerings.

The launch of the planning app is the latest addition to the suite of wedding planning tools and resources offered by David’s Bridal, positioning the brand as the premier wedding planning expert.

“Our monthly Pearl Report has consistently indicated month over month that roughly 80%+ brides feel stressed or overwhelmed during her planning journey,” said Lizzy Ellingson, Chief Digital Experience Officer for David’s Bridal. “She is looking for on-demand access right at her fingertips, anytime day or night. We have committed to walking alongside her throughout her journey, meeting her where she is and making the planning process easier. Our first-ever mobile app accomplishes exactly that and more. We’re proud to serve her in so many ways.”

The announcement of the planning app is the latest advancement in the transformation for David’s. The bridal retailer continues to unveil innovative solutions to better serve their customer including the launch of Diamond, their industry leading loyalty program, their asset acquisition of premier online wedding destination, Rustic Wedding Chic, the launch of 3D and AR technologies on their website, their exclusive partnership with The Black Tux, and The Bouqs Company Weddings, their added payment solution through Affirm, and their Virtual Stylist and Appointment Experience.

David’s Bridal, and David’s Bridal Planning App.


About David’s Bridal
With 70 years of experience dressing customers for all of life’s special occasions, David’s Bridal is built on the idea that everyone deserves to have the attire of their dreams regardless of style preference, shape, size, or budget. We believe in inclusivity, authenticity, and empowerment, and it is our mission to help anyone, and everyone find the look that will allow them to be the best, most genuine version of themselves on their wedding day or any special occasion. David’s Bridal is dedicated to helping each customer, with the assistance of online planning tools, knowledgeable stylists, and expert tailors who will guide them through the entire purchasing journey. With more than 300 stores located across the US, Canada, UK, and franchise locations in Mexico, we offer the convenience of one-stop shopping for the entire wedding party and beyond. To learn more about David’s Bridal, visit www.DavidsBridal.com, and connect on social media through Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, TwitterTikTok, and LinkedIn.

Four Tips to Help Businesses Engage Customers During Halloween and Beyond

Simple ideas to help businesses of all sizes authentically visualize celebrations in their marketing.

86% of people still look to celebrate the good things in life – and now, more than ever, people are feeling the strain of social distancing, wanting to feel a sense of connection, and belonging with others after many months of isolation. The most common hopes people shared once transmission for the COVID-19 virus is under control and as vaccination availability increases are travel (53%), dining out/going out for drinks (47%), reviving connections with friends and family (39%), return to live events (38%) and kids resuming normal activities (36%).

To create attention-grabbing videos for Halloween or any upcoming holidays—whether you’re announcing a sale, promoting an event, or adding stories to Facebook or Instagram—using the free iStock Video Editor or similar platform, brings your visual storytelling to life.

“Our concept of celebration is nuanced and ever-changing, with the pandemic further impacting the way we gather and spend time with family and friends,” said Claudia Marks, Senior Art Director, iStock. “The fact is that customer preferences and feelings about celebrations and activities outside of our homes continue to evolve, which is why using visuals that depict our modern realities is crucial to connecting with customers on a deeper level.”

iStock reveals four tips to help businesses of all sizes to effectively, and authentically, visualize celebrations for Halloween and beyond in their marketing:

Showcase Connection and Community
The importance of relationships with family, friends, partners, coworkers, neighbors and more has only increased in value and meaning since the pandemic. According to iStock research, 70% of people say that the pandemic made them appreciate their personal relationships more. Not to mention, almost three quarters of people (68%) say they appreciate small/local businesses more as a crucial part of their community and 66% want to continue prioritizing supporting small businesses during this time. By focusing on the significance of community and the positive outcomes of the pandemic, businesses can foster a sense of belonging among their customers and find ways to unite us all through the visual content—imageryvideos and illustrations—they use in their holiday campaigns year-round.

Be Relevant 
With the COVID-19 virus still a risk, businesses should consider a multi-layered approach to appeal to a broad audience. iStock research shows that 31% of people still want to see people wearing masks and 36% want to see people practice social distancing in visual communications. To alleviate differing thoughts on COVID safety measures, focus on showing visuals which depict social distancing and tell stories of security, but also, think about the future and use visuals and messaging which look beyond the pandemic.

Harness the power of video
Statistics shows that video resonates more deeply with customers, with 92% of marketers noting it as an important part of their visual strategy. Though video has traditionally been more expensive and professional quality video creation may seem daunting, businesses can really benefit by integrating video into their marketing strategies, especially during holidays. To ease these barriers, iStock has created a new free, quick and easy video maker that doesn’t require any previous design or editing experience.

Reflect the diversity of your audience
Use visuals that portray real people and real situations. iStock research shows that 72% of people expect businesses to celebrate diversity of all kinds so ensure you are choosing visuals that reflect the broad diversity of people across all ages, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, abilities and body types.

To find more Halloween imagery and video, visit istockphoto.com.


Content Provided by istockphoto.com
Soft Edit karie engels

Small Business Flex Fund raises an additional $40 million to support Washington state small businesses

Heritage Bank, JPMorgan Chase and WaFd Bank commitments bring the Fund’s total to $70 million

The Small Business Flex Fund hit a milestone this week, having now raised a total of $70 million in committed capital that will benefit small businesses and nonprofits, particularly those in underrepresented communities, across the state of Washington.

Launched earlier this summer, the Small Business Flex Fund is a public-private partnership aimed at helping small businesses and nonprofits recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and grow their business again. It began with a $30 million contribution from the Washington State Department of Commerce and has since raised an additional $40 million from Heritage Bank, JPMorgan Chase and WaFd Bank.

Speaking about the impact the banks’ contributions will have, Lisa Brown, Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce said, “Our Small Business Flex Fund is an important tool for providing much-needed growth capital to smaller businesses and nonprofits that are looking at their mid- and long-term recovery from the pandemic. We appreciate the partnerships with Heritage, JPMorgan Chase and WaFd Bank to grow the Fund and ensure this opportunity is available to businesses all around the state, particularly in communities that have historically been underserved.”

The Small Business Flex Fund provides access to flexible, low-interest loans to businesses and nonprofits in WA State.

Bryan McDonald, President & COO of Heritage Bank said, “Programs like the Small Business Flex Fund are crucial to the small businesses in Washington state. As a long-time supporter of these businesses, we recognize the many barriers some of them can face, especially when it comes to accessing the financial resources they need to develop and grow. It’s time to start rebuilding our local economies and these loans will help us get there.”

“The Small Business Flex Fund will provide essential low-cost loans to help small business owners facing challenging circumstances across the State of Washington, particularly those in underrepresented communities. JPMorgan Chase is proud to support their growth in a post-pandemic economy,” said Erin Robert, Head of Impact Finance at JPMorgan Chase.

The Small Business Flex Fund is administered by the National Development Council with funding arranged by Calvert Impact Capital. It was founded with the goal of helping Washington’s smallest businesses and nonprofits get back on their feet post-pandemic and plan for the future. Businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees and annual revenues of less than $3 million can pre-apply online and, if qualified, will be matched with a lender. Once matched, the participating lender will assist the business owner throughout the application process and provide additional advisory support.

Since its launch in June, the Small Business Flex Fund has provided low-interest loans of up to $150,000 to over 110 small businesses and nonprofits in need of economic assistance. The total amount that has been funded since the program’s launch is over $9.5 million. The Fund works with and through local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which serve under resourced communities and underbanked businesses the Small Business Flex Fund aims to help.

Ruth Brown, Executive Preschool Director of Causey’s Learning Center in Seattle, has used the loan to be able to continue paying her team of preschool teachers and make necessary infrastructure updates at her center. She said, “This loan saved my business. When the pandemic hit, I lost half my revenue. I applied for the loan so I could keep my teachers and cover some of the smaller bills. The process of getting the loan was really easy – it was a matter of weeks from applying to receiving the loan. I didn’t have to go through a lot of red tape! I was shocked! It’s not just about keeping your business afloat; it’s about moving forward into the future.”

Brent Beardall, President & CEO of WaFd Bank noted, “As long-term supporters of Washington small businesses and the positive influence they have in their communities, WaFd Bank recognizes the importance of supporting these vital businesses and is proud to promote unique public-private partnerships that assist in the continuing economic recovery from the impact of the pandemic.”

The Flex Fund aims to raise $100 million to continue to support the recovery of small businesses and nonprofits throughout the state. The additional funding announced today, brings the current amount raised to $70 million.

For more information and to apply, visit SmallBusinessFlexFund.org.


About the Small Business Flex Fund
The Small Business Flex Fund provides access to flexible, low-interest loans and business support services to small businesses and nonprofits across Washington. Supported by the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Fund is a collaborative partnership of local and national community finance organizations created to support Washington’s smallest businesses and address the needs of historically under-resourced and underbanked communities. The Fund includes leaders from across sectors, including local community lenders, national and state-based nonprofit organizations, corporations, philanthropic donors, and investors — all of whom are passionate about an equitable recovery across the state.

CEO Confidence Retreated in Q3, but CEOs Remain Optimistic

Labor shortages have increased significantly

The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™  in collaboration with The Business Council retreated in the third quarter of 2021, after hitting an all-time high in Q2. The measure now stands at 67, down from 82. (A reading above 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses.) 

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions declined from last quarter but remained in positive territory. In Q3, 70 percent said conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 94 percent in Q2. CEOs’ view of conditions in their own industries also retreated, with 64 percent reporting better conditions compared to six months ago, down from 89 percent in Q2. Looking ahead, expectations softened in Q3 compared to Q2: 60 percent of CEOs expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, down from 88 percent. Similarly, 65 percent of CEOs anticipate short-term prospects in their own industries to improve, down from 81 percent.

“CEO confidence is down from the all-time peak reached in Q2, when COVID-19 appeared on the verge of defeat,” said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist of The Conference Board. “A summer surge of the highly infectious Delta variant—coupled with slumping vaccination rates—has brought pandemic uncertainty back to the fore in Q3. Nevertheless, optimism remains well above pre-pandemic levels, boding well for employment and investment growth in the months ahead.”

The job market continued to tighten in Q3, as labor shortages grew more pronounced. While the pace of hiring is likely to accelerate over the next 12 months—60 percent of CEOs expect to expand their workforce, up from 54 percent in Q2—filling these open positions may be a struggle: 74 percent of CEOs are now reporting difficulty finding qualified workers, up from 57 percent in Q2. As a result, the outlook for wages rose sharply in Q3, with 66 percent of CEOs expecting to increase wages by 3 percent or more over the next year, up from 37 percent.

“Businesses are out of pandemic survival mode and eager to expand, invest, and hire,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Vice Chairman of The Business Council and Trustee of The Conference Board. “This has accelerated a return to the severe labor shortages seen before the pandemic—now exacerbated by the virus’s stubborn persistence, which has kept many workers unable or reluctant to reenter the workforce. For CEOs, navigating this heightened competition for talent is a core challenge—more than half (55%) now report recruiting difficulties that cut across their entire organization, up from just 27 percent last quarter.”

Current Conditions
CEOs’ assessment of general economic conditions declined in Q3:

  • 70% of CEOs reported economic conditions were better compared to six months ago, down from 94% in Q2.
  • Only 11% said conditions were worse, up from 2%.

CEOs were similarly less optimistic about conditions in their own industries in Q3:

  • 64% of CEOs reported that conditions in their industries were better compared to six months ago, down from 89%.
  • Only 10% said conditions in their own industries were worse, up from 4%.

Future Conditions
Expectations about the short-term economic outlook retreated in Q3:

  • 60% percent of CEOs said they expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, down from 88% in Q2.
  • Only 9% expect conditions to worsen, up from 1%.

CEOs’ expectations regarding short-term prospects in their own industries also moderated in Q3:

  • 65% of CEOs expect conditions in their own industry to improve over the next six months, down from 81%.
  • Only 6% expected conditions to worsen, up from 4%.

Employment, Recruiting, Wages, and Capital Spending
The survey also gauged CEOs’ expectations about four key actions their companies plan on taking over the next 12 months.

  • Employment: 60% of CEOs expect to expand their workforce, up from 54% in Q2.
  • Hiring Qualified People: 74% of CEOs report some problems attracting qualified workers, up from 57% in Q2. Notably, 55% report difficulties that cut across the organization, rather than concentrated in a few key areas—up from 28% in Q2.
  • Wages: 66% of CEOs expect to increase wages by 3% or more over the next year, up from 37% in Q2.
  • Capital Spending: 49% of CEOs expect to increase their capital budgets in the year ahead, up from 47% in Q2.

Quick Bites: How Not To Be Intimidated In Silicon Valley

WELA Shares Discussion Between Founder and Laura Ching, Co-Owner of Tiny Prints

Founder of WELA, Upuia Ahkiong, had a conversation with Laura Ching, co-owner of Tiny Prints, an online stationery store, and discussed how success happens when you stop overanalyzing.

Laura Ching, co-founder of Tiny Prints

So, you decided to become an entrepreneur before you had an idea; what gave you that unique perspective? “I get this question a lot.  I feel like I am not the norm, and that you’re right I decided to become an entrepreneur before I had an idea.  When I graduated from Business School, I didn’t have the confidence to go out on my own.  There are probably several reasons, but as I reflect, several come to mind.  I was taught in Business School to take an idea and overanalyze the heck out of it.  So, whenever I thought of an idea, there would be one reason or another that it wasn’t the perfect idea or it failed some test.”

“Another reason was that I was surrounded by amazingly brilliant classmates whom all seemed much more innovative and more capable than me and who had a lot more experience, so I was intimidated. I didn’t feel like I had what it would take.  Somewhere along the road, I changed my mind.  I concluded that ideas aren’t necessarily what make it happen; it’s more about the team, the cohesiveness of the team in our case.  Tiny prints selling stationery online I obviously loved it, but it’s not a sexy idea, nor a crazy big idea.   We were lucky; we had a team that really believed in execution,” Laura expressed with a sweet smile. 

Let’s leave entrepreneurs reading this with a goal or a boost for their day.  Laura emphasized, “You don’t need a crazy idea big idea to start a business. I think it really depends on modest goals.  You need to focus on the small wins; literally, getting an order a week was a win.  You need to set yourself up to have those early wins because that will give you the confidence to keep going.”

Good Things are Coming to Martha.com

Martha.com is a direct-to-consumer online platform that combines Martha’s beautifully designed products and carefully curated goods with dynamic and engaging content all in one place

Marquee Brands announces today the expansion of Martha.com, a new online platform that includes housewares, kitchen goods, garden essentials, apparel and more from the point of view of the original influencer herself, Martha Stewart. The site brings products to life with the guidance and solution orientation of Martha and her team. As Martha.com is adding more products and experiences every week, consumers can not only shop Martha’s line of beautifully designed products, but also Martha’s personal favorite curated products all in one place, with the mission to inspire people of all ages to make their homes and lives more beautiful, more functional, and more meaningful. Martha.com provides high-quality products at a value, with superior function and innovation, all while having a beautiful design that elevates the home. The online platform will be constantly updated to feature new products, experiences, how-to content, recipes, organizing and planning guides, and classes – all linked to the right tools for the task at hand. 

Martha Stewart

Martha.com will also feature products and brands that are deemed “Good Things” which are an encapsulation of the three tenets of the Martha Stewart brand: function and innovation, quality at a value, and beauty.

Through a unique blend of Martha Stewart’s 30+ years of experience and best-in-class products, Martha.com aims to bring together everyday solutions for gardening, cooking, baking, collecting, decorating, organizing, celebrating, and more all from the woman who does it best. 

“Martha.com is a culmination of my vision for decades. It’s a place to buy products I’ve designed, curated and collected to help get anyone’s home, garden and kitchen tasks done efficiently, beautifully, and purposefully,” says Martha Stewart. “Martha.com is a limitless source of inspiration, all in one place and this is just the beginning. Much more is on the way – new tools, new applications, new products, and new experiences. We are planning to launch new innovations every month for the foreseeable future.” 

“With Martha.com, we are focused on using digital technology to extend and enhance the values that have built Martha Stewart into one of the most trusted brands in the world – bringing together a carefully connected set of Martha’s favorite products, lessons, and simple, practical advice,” said Neil Fiske, CEO of Marquee Brands. “The know how powering this site is more than 30 years in the making and now we’re shaping it to be even more useful and accessible through advanced technology. Martha has challenged us to re-invent digital commerce as she re-invented publishing — and that’s what we are going to do.” 

Martha.com currently has product assortments in the following categories:

  • Books
  • Fashion: Outwear, Footwear
  • Food & Wine: Fruit, Gourmet Gifts, Meat, Seafood, Wine
  • Good Things
  • Home: Indoor Plants, Kid’s Furniture, Rugs
  • Kitchen & Dining: Bakeware, Cookware, Food Prep, Tableware, Barware
  • Outdoor Living: Gardening, Grilling, Décor, Furniture, and Rugs
  • Partners: Amazon, California Closets, Canopy CBD, Easy Spirit, Macy’s, Martha Stewart Kitchen, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, Martha Stewart Wine Co., Pretty Litter QVC, Sur La Table and Wayfair

Stay tuned! In the coming months, Martha.com will expand its product assortment into Kitchen & Dining, Food, Fashion, Bedding & Bath, Gardening, Pet Care and more. A robust Holiday Shop will also launch later in the year, which will include everything consumers need for holiday entertaining, decorating, gifting and more. We can’t wait!!

From the recording booth of John McEnroe: The Art of Reinventing Yourself. A Basil & Salt “did You Know?”

Did you know John McEnroe has gone from tennis legend to voice legend? When you’ve done it all, what could possibly be next?

If you’re old enough to have watched McEnroe play live in his youth, you either love him or you hate him. His passion for outbursts on the court was unmatched, as was his play. The man is a legend.

Fast forward, McEnroe leads in every field with an impressive list of credentials. But it’s not all about what we see on paper, it’s about that spark of creativity, that fiery spirit, which only a few people possess. Stay an extra minute and watch the video below, as McEnroe and Squarespace team up for a bit of fun.

This is about more than just becoming the most recognizable voice in the world. It’s about creating a lifestyle that everyone can be jealous of.

John McEnroe

Accomplishments? Here are just a few…

  • Number one tennis player in the world for 170 weeks
  • Sports commentator
  • Lead singer and guitarist
  • Talk show host
  • Art gallery owner
  • Dad
  • Narrator of Never Have I Ever on Netflix

Redfin Reports Balance is Slowly Returning as Homebuying Demand Recedes

Price drops reached their highest level since 2019

The share of homes for sale with a price drop rose for the fifteenth consecutive week to 4.9%, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Home sellers are also beginning to notice that the market is no longer heating up, and buyers are seeing that homes are staying on the market a little longer—a median 17 days—as more homeowners are listing their homes and at more realistic prices.

Key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. metro areas:

Unless otherwise noted, this data covers the four-week period ending August 8. Redfin’s housing market data goes back through 2012.

  • The median home-sale price increased 17% year over year to $362,642, a record high.
  • Asking prices of newly listed homes were up 11% from the same time a year ago to a median of $355,389. This is down 1.6% from the all-time high set during the four-week period ending June 27, and the lowest since early May.
  • Pending home sales were up 5% year over year, the smallest increase since the four-week period ending June 28, 2020. Pending sales were down 10% from their 2021 peak during the four-week period ending May 30, a faster fall than the 5% decrease over the same period in 2019.
  • New listings of homes for sale were up 0.2% from a year earlier. The number of homes being listed is in a typical seasonal decline, down 9% from the 2021 peak during the four-week period ending June 27, compared to a 10% decline over the same period in 2019.
  • Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 25% from 2020—the smallest decline since the four-week period ending December 6, 2020—and have climbed 15% since their 2021 low during the four week period ending March 7.
  • 50% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, well above the 44% rate during the same period a year ago, but down 7 percentage points from the high point of the year, set during the four-week period ending March 28.
  • 36% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, up from 32% during the same period a year earlier, but down 7 percentage points from the high point of the year, set during the four-week period ending March 28.
  • 53% of homes sold above list price, up from 30% a year earlier. This measure has been falling since the four-week period ending July 11 when it peaked at 55%.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices, decreased to 101.9%. In other words, the average home sold for 1.9% above its asking price. This measure is down 0.4 percentage points from its peak during the four-week period ending July 11, and up 2.9 percentage points from a year earlier.

Other other leading indicators of homebuying activity:

Asking prices have eased back to where they were in May, and while they are still being bid up half of the time, homes are selling for less of a premium above list price than they were last month. Overall, the market is becoming more balanced and following typical seasonal trends. The scales are still tipped in favor of sellers, but not as dramatically as they were in the spring.

“For the first time in over a year, homebuyers don’t need to feel rushed,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Although the market still feels tight and competitive, the number of homes for sale keeps creeping up as more homes are listed. Those home sellers are adjusting their price expectations or seeing their homes sit on the market. There could be even more listings coming on the market as mortgage forbearance ends and homeowners with missed payments decide to sell. And mortgage rates remain near all-time lows with no signs of an increase on the horizon.”

To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit:

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