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Job losses have O.C. impact beyond layoffs
By Jan Norman
Small Orange County companies that are not laying off workers are feeling the impact of huge job losses across the local economy. Read about the latest U.S. jobs report.
O.C. numbers will be out later in the month but anecdotes abound.
Here how small businesses see it:
1. “We are not experiencing a drop in profits. However, many of our competitors are,” says Adrienne Escoe, president of Escoe Bliss Professional Staffing in Irvine. “We are being flooded by candidates seeking job opportunities that, in general, we don’t have.”
2. Thomas G. Martin, president of Martin Investigative Services in Newport Beach, says, “2008 was a record year financially and we anticipate no slow-down in 2009. Most first class investigative agencies are actually hiring more people to keep up with the demand.
Martin’s client base is companies, insurers, attorneys and the public. “All have experienced job losses; all four continue to use our services in record numbers. The reasons is …because in these recession times, people do bad things. They steal time, product or money from their employers who then call us to fret out the bad guys.Most security experts agree that about 80% of employees are currently stealing something.”
Martin also gets a lot of work from companies investigating laid-off (or fearful of being laid off) workers are filing fake workers comp claims.
Finally, Martin says, “We have seen an increase in marital surveillance from the public because of financial problems within the marriage.”
3. Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions Inc. in Tustin is doing booming business because it helps companies cut their utility bills, says CEO William Tauber. Many companies are coming to him to take advantage of:
- New utility rebates that pay for as much as 50% of the cost of companies becoming energy efficient
- Newly extended U.S. tax deductions for energy efficiency projects
“Companies reduce fixed operating costs and save jobs, a triple bottom line benefit (social/environmental/financial) for Orange County corporations,” Tauber says.
But some local small businesses feel the impact directly. Here one sad note from Nazar AI-Jamie of A.J. Electric in Tustin: “By Dec. 1, all employees were terminated due to no work.”