Arizona Passes Prop. 207 to Become the 13th State to Legalize Marijuana

by Raul Molina

At the end of last year, Arizona voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 207, legalizing recreational marijuana in our state. So, what happens next? According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, the law will allow limited marijuana possession, use and cultivation by adults 21 or older; amend criminal penalties for marijuana possession; ban smoking marijuana in … [More]

Customer Benefits Come from Credit Union Acquiring Bank

by Mike Thorell

Arizona Federal is the only Arizona-based credit union with SBA PLP status. We were able to obtain this designation through the acquisition of Pinnacle Bank just one year ago. Pinnacle was a community bank I was proud to stand up back in 2005. Arizona Federal had obtained the designation by exhibiting a successful track record of processing small business loans and by … [More]

Education-Related Businesses Are Addressing the Pandemic

by Paul Fleming

COVID-19 will change how we live -- some of it forever — and education may be one of the more affected areas of life. Out of necessity, K-12 schools, colleges and universities have transitioned to remote “virtual learning.” Teachers and instructors are now communicating with students via personal computers, and lesson plans have been altered to online formats. Despite these … [More]

The R&D Tax Credit: An Overlooked Tax Saving Opportunity for Architects and Engineers

by Jordan Taylor

By designing impressive new buildings and developing solutions for challenging structural issues, architects and engineers serve as beacons of growth and innovation in society. Yet, many architecture and engineering firms do not realize that their routine activities may qualify them for a powerful opportunity to significantly boost their bottom lines: the Research and … [More]

FinTech for Banking and Investing

by Mike Hunter

As technology continues to play an increasingly dominant role in daily life, FinTech has followed suit, equipping the banking industry with tools that makes it more efficient and customer-oriented than ever before, according to Don Garner, CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona. “Although nothing can replace an expert banker who has a close relationship with a customer and understands … [More]

June Personal Income and Disposable Income Decreased due to COVID-19

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Personal income decreased $222.8 billion (1.1 percent) in June according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 3 and 5). Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $255.3 billion (1.4 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $737.7 billion (5.6 percent). Real DPI decreased 1.8 percent in June and Real PCE increased … [More]

Gross Domestic Product, 2nd Quarter 2020 Is Worst Ever

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 (table 1), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 5.0 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the … [More]

Jobless Claims Hit 1.4 Million, Once Again Edging Up from Week Prior

U.S. Department of Labor

In the week ending July 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,434,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 6,000 from 1,416,000 to 1,422,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,368,500, an increase of 6,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was … [More]

A Vegetable’s Journey

by Jim White, Ph.D.

For more than a century, the United States has been a major producer of vegetables and fruits, with total agricultural exports — to Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan and many other countries — valued in 2018 at $140 billion.  Domestic sales aren’t as rosy. As COVID-19 shuttered restaurants, hotels and school districts around the country, farmers in Arizona and around the U.S. … [More]

Mid-Year Outlook: Expect a Bumpy Ride for the Remainder of 2020

Hercules Investments

As America gets closer to the presidential election, the country finds itself still struggling on several fronts: the COVID-19 pandemic, racial unrest, and most recently Chinese sanctions. And yet, the stock market has remained relatively stable over the past couple of months. Stock-market bulls cheered the Tuesday morning after Memorial Day as the S&P 500 traded above its … [More]

Weekly Jobless Claims Up to 1.4 Million, First Rise in Four Months

U.S. Department of Labor

In the week ending July 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,416,000, an increase of 109,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 7,000 from 1,300,000 to 1,307,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,360,250, a decrease of 16,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was … [More]

Five Legislative Priorities Help Ensure Small Businesses Have Necessary Resources and Protection for Recovery

NFIB

As small businesses continue efforts to reopen and Congress and the Administration prepare the next phase of legislation, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, issued a plan, “NFIB Phase Four Legislative Priorities for Small Business Recovery,” today. The plan lays out five legislative priorities to … [More]

Weekly Jobless Claims Up by more than 1 Million, 17th Straight Week

U.S. Department of Labor

In the week ending July 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,300,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 4,000 from 1,314,000 to 1,310,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,375,000, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was … [More]

Small Business Optimism Improves in Anticipation of Better Economic Outlook

NFIB

The Small Business Optimism Index increased 6.2 points in June to 100.6 with eight of the 10 components improving and two declining. Owners anticipate improving sales as the economy continues to re-open with sales expectations rebounding to a net 13% after April’s lowest reading in survey history (a net negative 42%). Small business owners continue to be optimistic about future … [More]

U.S. Consumer Prices Up More Than Expected in June

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.6 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis after falling 0.1 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 0.6 percent before seasonal adjustment. The gasoline index rose sharply in June after recent declines and accounted … [More]

Unemployment Continues Pressure on Economy with 1.3M Claims Last Week

U.S. Department of Labor

In the week ending July 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claimswas 1,314,000, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 14,000 from 1,427,000 to 1,413,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,437,250, a decrease of 63,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was … [More]

What Small Businesses Need to Know about the New USMCA Trade Agreement

by Edgar R. Olivo

As the pandemic reveals the vulnerabilities in the global economy, a new opportunity emerges for small-business owners in the United States who plan to grow their business across the Canadian and Mexican borders with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, which went into effect on July 1, 2020. But, many small businesses in the United States are still unaware of … [More]

1.4M Jobless Claims Last Week as States Ponder Reopening Measures

U.S. Department of Labor

In the week ending June 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,427,000, a decrease of 55,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 1,480,000 to 1,482,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,503,750, a decrease of 117,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was … [More]

Employers Added 4.8 Million Jobs in June, Unemployment Rate at 11.1%

U.S. Department of Labor

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4.8 million in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 11.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In … [More]

How the DACA Program Impacts the U.S. Economy

by Edgar R. Olivo

On June 18, 2020, the United States Supreme Court upheld a decision to extend the DACA program through which hundreds of thousands of Dreamers across the United States can live and work without the fear of deportation. Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has shielded many young undocumented immigrants from deportation.  The Department of … [More]