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UCI Takes Over as Largest Orange County Employer

Govt, Retail, Health Dominate as Disney Slips

Surpassing Disney, UCI took over the top spot on the Business Journal’s annual list of the largest OC employers by growing 2.6% to 26,182

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Top Shopping Centers Plot Expansion, New Additions

South Coast Brings In $1.6B in Taxable Sales

Many shopping centers are projecting record growth in holiday retail sales this year despite supply chain issues

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OC Banks Report Asset Growth Slowing

Execs See Loan Payoffs, Increase in Digital Use

Assets at Orange County-based commercial banks climbed 3% as growth slowed following a wave of consolidation and payoffs of government-backed loans

OC’s Credit Unions Outpacing Banks in Asset Growth

See 16% Rise to $38.3B; SchoolsFirst Adds $4.25B

Orange County’s credit unions are growing their assets at a far faster pace than the county’s for-profit banks

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OC’s Auto Dealers Adapt and Win

Sales Up 15% To $4.9B; SUVs Lead

SUV segment continues to be a bright spot in an operating environment that’s seeing plenty of retail headwinds for auto dealers

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Inventory Constraints Put the Squeeze on Automakers

Supply Chain Issues, Chip Shortage Woes

Automakers will need to practice stoicism with economists not forecasting a return to any semblance of normality until 2023

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OC’s MBA Enrollment Falls For 5th Straight Year

Traditional MBA programs have been in decline in recent years as students forgo expensive programs for more flexible learning options

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OC Community College Enrollment Continues to Fall

EDUCATION: 10% decline follows 21% drop year ago

Falloff in the combined full and part-time enrollment was widespread as eight of the nine colleges reported declines, five topping 10%

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OC Insurance Brokers Experience ‘Wild Ride’

Say Some Industries Booming Again

OC’s largest insurance brokers as a group saw their revenue climb 7.1% last year, catching up to pre-pandemic levels

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OC’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies Enjoy 56% Growth

Local Employee Count Climbs 18%; 60 Entries

Orange County’s fastest-growing private companies continued to post amazing revenue growth despite the pandemic that slowed down many companies last year

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BioDuro-Sundia Brings Manufacturing to Irvine

Joins Dendreon, Avid Bioservices

BioDuro-Sundia plans for expansion into Orange County with a new facility in the Irvine Spectrum area with commercial service operations starting next year

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Medical Device Makers Boost Headcount, Real Estate Presence

Edwards, Masimo, Inari, Glaukos Adding Space

Employee growth at Orange County’s biggest medical device makers climbed 8.3%, out pacing last year’s 5% increase

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OC Aerospace, Defense Companies Trim Headcount

Boeing, Panasonic Fall; Anduril Up to 400 OC Workers

Despite COVID numbers and fear of air travel, commercial airplane makers and their suppliers are expecting an industry upturn

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Corporate Foundations’ Flexibility Tested During Pandemic

Top Area Groups Scrambled, Pivoted

How to engage with prospective charity grantees proved challenging last year, with corporate foundation teams out of the office as needs also shifted when it came to giving over the course of the pandemic.

Architectural Firms Plot Comeback for Themselves, Clients

Top Firms Indicate Work ‘Picking Up Like Crazy’

The past year wasn’t great in terms of new business for Orange County architects, but they are optimistic about this coming year

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Engineering Firms See 3.1% Rise in Billings

See Boom Coming In Solar, 2028 Olympics

Orange County’s largest engineering firms reported a 3.1% rise in OC billings to $1.2 billion for the 12 months ended June 30

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Blizzard Entertainment Grapples With Harassment, Discrimination Claims

Video Game Maker Stays Atop OC Software Firm Rankings

Blizzard Entertainment has been getting plenty of attention of late, not much of it positive

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Employment at Telecommunications Firms Drops 3%

Verizon, T-Mobile Top List; Mobilitie Dips to No. 8

Employee headcount for the area’s 18 largest wireless and other telecommunications companies dropped 3% this year

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Coworking Companies Look for Growth Opportunities

Operators Tout Flexibility In Wake of COVID-19 kat

Orange County coworking firms are looking to take advantage of current leasing trends, as local employers seek flexible space options and figure out their back-to-work plans

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New Hotels, Expansion Boosts Meeting Space

Local Operators Grab More Business From LA

Hotel developers are making up for lost time after the tourism market shutdown in 2020

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OC Dental Industry Plots Return to Growth

DSOs, Device Makers Expect Sales Rebound This Year

Orange County’s dental industry is still trying to recoup from the pandemic but plans for better days this year

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Orange County’s HMOs Grow Enrollment 0.5% While PPOs Dip

Kaiser Continues Dominance With Rise

Orange County’s largest health maintenance organizations grew last year while their counterparts saw a slight dip

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Women-Owned Businesses Hold Their Own

2020 Revenue for Top 42 Firms Totals $3.8B

Women-owned businesses are holding their own in Orange County, fighting back against pandemic losses with growth and resilience

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After Slow 2020, TI Firms See Business Return

Top 23 Firms: 2020 Work Down 12% YOY

Tenant-improvement contractors are finally starting to see demand return after pandemic disruptions

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OC Hotels Return With Vigor

Trio of New Properties Add 1,250 Rooms to Base

Strong signs of life for Orange County’s hotel sector with lifted restrictions and the return of Disneyland crowds

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Largest Private Companies Report Modest Gains

ECONOMY: $78B for top 35 area businesses

The results of the coronavirus on Orange County’s biggest private companies are in: while many certainly did not thrive, most did not fall apart in 2020.

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Construction Firms: Steady Work Amid Unprecedented Year

Rising Costs Could Hinder Some Projects

Backlog of construction projects helped to buoy Orange County construction firms over the past year, though headwinds caused by the pandemic could still play out in future years

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Office, Hotel Work Boosts Ranks of Developers

Industrial Project Backlog; Anaheim Mega-Sites Await

Property conversions becoming more common as developers find new ways to manage properties and focus on long term projects

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Restaurants Cast A 2021 Growth Story

FOOD: Franchising, digital development

OC restaurant companies are utilizing pandemic experience to push for growth and digital business strategies

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Apparel Brands Maintain Optimism as Spending Up

RETAIL: Consumers shed sweats, ‘dress accordingly’

2021 challenges are keeping brands cautious but determined for successful year

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Quarter-Trillion Dollar Club

OC’s Top Public Companies Overcome Pandemic, Outpace National Market Gains

Orange County’s publicly traded companies had not just a great 12-month run on Wall Street, but one for the ages.

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SBA Loans Jump 63% as Average Size Gets Larger

FINANCE: $207M for top 15 lenders in OC

Loans under the Small Business Administration to local borrowers soared 63% to $206.6 million on the Business Journal’s annual list of lenders.

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CRE’s COVID Impact: Retail Boom, Office in Flux

$30B in Local Deals In 2020, Down 6.3%

Essential retail, e-commerce became clear winners during the pandemic

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Normalcy Looms for Property Managers After Year of Tumult

Construction Continues; Focus on Safety, Sanitization

Employees are slowly returning to work but office space flexibility is to be expected

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Employment Agencies Report 7.3% Revenue Drop

ECONOMY: Industry continues being sluggish

The industry saw a major upheaval amid the pandemic but job availability is rising again

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Ad Agencies See 2021 Business Picking Up

Deferred Work Amid Pandemic; New Wins

Orange County advertising agencies didn’t come out of last year’s pandemic unscathed, but the bounce back in business was already underway for many starting this January.

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Law Firms’ Headcount Holds Up Despite Closures

Tech, Life Sciences See Boost in Work

Even though COVID-19 closed courtrooms and forced employees to work from their homes, Orange County’s biggest law firms found a way to keep their workforce steady.

Homebuilders See 2020 Rebound Continue Into 2021

Attached Homes Up 24%; Lack of New Inventory

Local homebuilders and developers enter 2021 on a wave of optimism, with the biggest challenge finding land in Orange County to build more homes, especially less-expensive offerings

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Bank Deposits Soar 23% to $151B

Pandemic Fears Overblown; Branches Continue Decline

Fears from a year ago that banks in Orange County could face a shellacking because the pandemic would force massive defaults by borrowers proved to be overblown.

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Venture Capitalists Investing in AI, Health, Wellness

VCs Reduce Local Investments to $97M

Venture capital firms with offices in Orange County decreased their local investments last year by about 11%.

Hospital Revenue Dips 1%, Net Income Drops 17%

In-Person vs. Telehealth; Expansion Plans Continue

Orange County hospitals saw mixed financial outcomes in 2020.

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OC’s Thriving Diagnostics Industry Has Breakout Year

COVID-19 Spurs Growth; Investor Interest Abounds

Orange County’s hub of diagnostics firms largely defied healthcare employment trends in 2020.

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Charitable Giving Aimed At Greatest Needs in 2020

PHILANTHROPY: Largest 65 gifts top $204M

Orange County philanthropists met the COVID-19 pandemic with a surge in support for patients, caregivers and students in 2020

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Banner Year for OC’s Upstart Chipmakers

TECHNOLOGY: Funding, new launches, stealth cos.

The future’s now for Orange County’s next generation of chipmakers and semiconductor companies

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OC Nonprofits Boost Revenue 5.3% to $1.8B

Less Help to Needy As Fewer Volunteered

Orange County’s largest nonprofits reported combined revenue increase 5.3% to $1.8 billion

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Disney Takes Pandemic Hit; Others Boost Jobs

Albertsons, Edwards, Allied Universal Climb in Ranks

Despite being battered by COVID-19, a slimmer Walt Disney Co. held onto its spot as the largest employer in Orange County by headcount, while the next two largest employers—University of California-Irvine and the local county administration—managed to increase their staffs.

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Fast Growing Public Cos. Post $15.7B in Revenue

24 Firms Make List; Health, Tech Leads

The ranks of large publicly traded companies in Orange County is increasing as is their market capitalizations, but the rate of growth seen at those businesses is slowing.

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Shopping Centers See Sales Slide During Lockdown

Mixed Outlook For Holiday Selling Period

It was no surprise this year’s list of OC’s largest shopping centers reflects the less-than-stellar physical foot traffic the industry’s seeing.

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OC Banks See Assets Surge 31% to $44.8 Billion

Say PPP Loans Helped Attract New Customers

Assets at Orange County-based banks soared 31% as they benefitted from new clients brought on by the government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small business survive during the shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

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Credit Unions Accelerate Asset Growth 26%

Membership Flat; Net Income Growth Slows

Orange County’s credit unions saw their asset growth increase accelerate with a 26% increase, according to the Business Journal’s annual ranking.

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Hotel Industry’s Lost Momentum

Six Open in 2020; Future Plans in Doubt

2020 has been the hardest time for local hotels in recent history, due to the impact of the pandemic on travel, according to longtime industry observers.

Enrollment Mixed for Local MBA Programs

UCI, Chapman Up; Drop for Online-Only

Business schools serving Orange County are seeing mixed signs this year.

OC Community Colleges See 21% Enrollment Dip

Most Districts Commit To An Online Year of Learning

Student enrollment is down nationally nearly 2% for associate, undergraduate and graduate programs across the country because of the pandemic, according to a recent report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

OC Auto Dealer Sales Down; Automakers Add Jobs

Increased Tesla Competition; Rivian Boosts Ranks

Orange County auto dealers saw their sales continue to slip, amid a rugged year.

Device Makers Grow 5%, Generate 1,000 Local Jobs

INNOVATION: Edwards continues expansion plans

OC’s top medical device makers continue to power a growing workforce in Orange County.

Allergan’s Local Base Continues to Shrink

DRUGMAKERS: Urovant sees largest job boost

2020 has been a year of realignment and redirection for a number of Orange County’s largest drugmakers.

Gallagher Grows OC Sales 60% to $55.5M

OC Exec Bialik Cites M&A, Sales Hires

The Irvine office of Gallagher was the fastest grower on the Business Journal’s annual list of insurance brokers in this week’s issue (see list, page 25).

Orange County’s Fastest Growers: $31.5B in Sales

Report 36% Boost From 2018 Levels

Orange County’s fastest-growing private companies defied the onset of the recession to post another strong year of expansion, albeit not as fast as a year ago.

Corporate Foundations Boost OC Donations by 2.7%

Edwards’ Charity Jumps 31% to $1.9M

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. Chief Executive Mike Mussallem said he was inspired at a young age to give back by his older brother George, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome as a young child.

Civilian Aerospace Firms See Employment Numbers Dip

Raytheon, Other Defense Firms Add to Base

It’s been a tough year for the civilian aviation industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but several area companies with ties to the defense sector were able to boost their local worker counts.

T-Mobile After Sprint Takeover Jumps to No. 1 in OC

Mobilitie Makes Gains With 5G Work

T-Mobile USA Inc. in Irvine moved up two notches to claim the No. 1 spot in this year’s Business Journal ranking of Orange County’s largest telecom and wireless companies by headcount.

Blizzard Stays on Top of OC Software Company Ranking

Alteryx Charges, BlackBerry Slips with Cylance

Maybe you should call it the Blizzard King.

PR Execs Weigh in on Changing Roles for Agencies

Expertise Being Leaned On To Navigate Tough Times

Authenticity again

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Healthcare Insurers See Increase; Delivery Models Shift

Telehealth, Devices See Increased Member Usage

Orange County’s largest health maintenance and primary provider organizations (HMOs and PPOs) saw stable membership levels in the past year, though the disruption to the healthcare industry due to the coronavirus pandemic has kept providers on their toes, implementing new services and embracing innovative delivery models in recent months.

Ranks of OC’s Wealthiest Rise

ECONOMY: 20th edition counts 47; 31 billionaires

Locals, weekenders — $111B

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Women-Owned Companies See 2019 Growth Slow

Figures Don’t Reflect COVID-19’s Impact

The 70 largest women-owned businesses in OC generated a collective $4.2 billion in 2019 sales, up 2% from a year ago.

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TI Trends Expected to Withstand COVID-19

Execs Say Collaborative Offices are Here to Stay

Open, collaborative, modern: buzzwords for office design in recent years have centered on a floor plan that defies a traditional cubicle-based atmosphere for a flexible space that encourages face-to-face interaction.

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OC’s Publicly Traded Companies Boost Market Caps 16%

STOCKS: Gains not widespread, 30 see drop

Orange County’s 50 biggest publicly traded companies reported a combined 16% gain in their market capitalizations for the 12 months ended June 30.

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OC Accounting Firms Grow 3.9% Despite Coronavirus

E&Y Reports 15% Annual Growth Again

Orange County’s accounting firms have managed, thus far, to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

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Increased Consulting Headcount: 3.1% Jump to 1,570

Accenture, Deloitte Exchange Top Spots

Growth slowed at Orange County’s management consulting firms, but didn’t fall off a cliff like other industries because of the coronavirus shutdown.

OC’s Largest Private Companies See 3.1% Sales Increase

Local Jobs Up 1% As of May

Orange County’s largest private companies kept chugging along in 2019 when they increased their revenue. The county’s 41 biggest private firms together had total revenue around $87.9 billion, a respectable 3.1% increase.

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Construction Firms Enjoy Strong 2019. Now What?

Top Firms Prep For COVID-19 Impacts

Orange County’s construction industry enjoyed another year of strong gains in 2019 and initial part of 2020, with higher revenues, more projects and an increase in local employees.

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Irvine Co. Presses on with Development

Nearly 900K SF Of Office Space Underway

Irvine Co. has been Orange County’s most active commercial developer the past year and over the past decade.

Brokers Report 9.4% Increase in Reps

Merrill Lynch Retains Top Spot

Rumors of the deaths of brokers may be slightly exaggerated this year, according to the Business Journal’s annual list.

Restaurants Turn Focus to Post-COVID-19 Operations

Operations Upended; Lessons Quickly Learned

Restaurants chugged along during the first couple months of 2020.

COVID-19 Forces New Solutions, Old Conversations for Apparel

Pandemic Accelerates Push for Change

Apparel companies were perhaps barely getting a handle on the marketplace’s more recent shifts. Then came COVID-19.

Temp Agencies See Growth Stalled

Place 11% Fewer Workers in 2019

Orange County’s largest employment agencies reported no growth in 2019, reflecting an industry that has stalled in the past three years, and is set for an uncertain future as unemployment rates ratchet up.

Top SBA Lenders Boost Production 77%

Irvine’s CDC Wins Title for 2nd Year

The Business Journal’s annual list of lenders in the Small Business Administration program isn’t so much the calm before the storm as it is the storm before the tornado before the hurricane.

CRE Brokers See More Gains, Brace for Fallout

$32B in Local Deals Over Past Year, Up 3%

The coronavirus and its economic implications could serve as the catalyst to bring about a reset to the real estate market, which has been on a bullish tear over the past decade.

Development Boosts Property Managers Portfolios 4%

8 Consecutive Years of Gains; Firms Now Trimming Expenses

Orange County property managers have been wearing different hats of late.

Ad Agencies Mobilize Amid Pandemic, Hope to Maintain Growth

16% Gain for 23 Firms on List

Orange County’s largest advertising agencies were on the up last year, but the disruption to business across industries from the coronavirus pandemic has firms in wait-and-see mode.

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Some Sectors Sparkle for Environmental Consultants

New Projects, Regs, Boost Some; Locals Flat Overall

Environmental consulting firms locally were flat to minimally higher on OC billings and workers for the year ended Dec. 31, with some companies reporting robust work levels because of new regulations or projects—or both.

Law Firms Flat Overall, Volatile One-By-One

Firms Hold, Fold; 91 Bigs Have Some 2,800 OC JDs

The Business Journal’s list of Orange County’s largest law firms is like the first moments after a trial ends: there are winners and there are … opposing counsel.

China, Coronavirus Worries for Biggest Chipmakers

Local Employment Down Nearly 6%

Orange County chipmakers, whose local employee count fell about 6% last year, are bracing for additional fallout from the coronavirus that originated in China and continues to spread across the world.

Bank of America Gains $1B in OC Deposits

Deposits Up, Headcount Down, Branches Move

Bank of America Corp. claimed the top spot on the Business Journal’s annual list of 41 banks operating here; its deposits climbed 5.6% to $24.1 billion as of mid-2019.

Venture Capitalists Investing in Food, Data, Security

13 Groups: $2.1B in Funds, $81M of Local Buying

For venture capital based in OC there’s an 800-pound gorilla and everyone else.

Hospitals: Some Changes in Revenue, Fewer in Ranks

31 Facilities; $9.1 Billion; A Few Double-Digit Swings

To say hospitals are stable is a good thing, especially for people spending time there.

$227M Total, 61 Gifts; OC Steps Up

Total, Average, Donor Count, No. 1: All Rise

Some say “Give Till It Helps,” while others use the old school cry “Give Till It Hurts.”

Home Sales Down as Builders Eye Affordability

Only 8 Builders See Year-Over-Year Gains

A nationwide push for more affordable housing and gaps between phases of development at the area’s largest master-planned communities contributed to a sizeable drop in home sales last year locally.

Meeting Space Totals to Rise 6%

2 Luxe Hotels On Way in Anaheim

Hotel developers in Orange County are committing heavily to groups and convention-goers.

OC’s Largest Nonprofits Grow Revenue Nearly 6%

Generates $1.7B in Revenue; Expenditures of $1.4B

Orange County’s largest nonprofits reported their combined revenue increased 5.6% to $1.7 billion for the 12 months ended June, according to the Business Journal’s annual list.

Employment Surges 3% Among Top Employers

ECONOMY: Disney, UCI, healthcare lead the pack

Orange County’s biggest companies remain on a recruiting push.

OC Retail Buoyed By New in Fashion, Food

Sales of $8.8 Billion Represent 4.5% Gain

Pop ups, first-to-market concepts, beauty and food have helped fuel growth for Orange County’s largest shopping centers, setting the group up nicely as they enter the key holiday selling season.

Pacific Premier Becomes King of OC-Based Banks

Acquisition Helps Pass Banc of California

A new leader tops the Business Journal’s annual ranking of the biggest banks with headquarters in Orange County.

Credit Unions Growth Accelerating Again

Boost OC Memberships 7.5% to 797,620

Orange County’s credit unions saw their asset growth increase again, according to the Business Journal’s annual ranking.

Public Companies’ Fastest Growers Soar 33%

MARKETS: 34 firms report $27B in sales

Orange County has again demonstrated the ability to spur fast-growing publicly traded companies.

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OC Auto Dealers Down Modestly, Carmaker Jobs Up

Mitsubishi Departs OC; Rivian Ramps Up

Sales took a dip among Orange County auto dealers amid an industry landscape that continues to evolve locally.

Aerospace, Defense Firms Boost Employment

Luckey’s Anduril Grows; Top 31 See 4% Push

Aerospace and defense contractors in Orange County pushed up their employment numbers, proving once again in the words of one local flight pioneer, Tustin’s Abe Karem, that “the best place to do aircraft is Southern California.”

MBAs Reflect National Trends: Fresh Choices Rule

Brandman Enrollment Up, Nabs Corporate Partners

Traditional MBAs are in decline across the country.

Community Colleges: Enrollment Mixed, More Grads

Institutions Get Grants, Join With Groups on New Work

Local community colleges saw full- and part-time enrollment drop this year, by 0.6% and 3.5% respectively, for an overall decline of 2.6%.