OCBJ WEEKLY LISTS

ABOUT THE LISTS: Click on a story headline for analysis of a featured weekly List (paid subscribers)

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%.

Local Insurance Brokers Report 12% Increase in Sales

Epic, Marsh Risk, Burnham Lead Growth

Orange County’s largest insurance brokers as a group saw their revenue grow 12% last year, up from a 6.3% jump in 2017. The 23 biggest brokers with headquarters or significant operations here combined for more than $782 million worth of policies.

Edwards Lifesciences Leads Device Maker List

22% of Workers at 26 Cos. Employed by Edwards

It’s a shorter list this year. Don’t tell Edwards Lifesciences Corp. Orange County’s largest public company (NYSE: EW) by market cap—at $45 billion last week—is also its biggest medical device maker by a wide margin.

OC Drugmakers: Short List, Big Dollars, New Ideas

Local Employment 19% Up to More Than 2,800

To be shortlisted is a good thing. So, too, with Orange County drugmakers. This year’s edition of the annual list ranks 10 companies by employee count topped by Allergan PLC in Irvine, with more than 1,300 workers and some seven decades of work in the county.

Fast Grower Lists Show 48% Sales Rise

No Industry Dominates; Irvine Attracts Most

From electric bikes to dental technologies to customized sandwiches, Orange County’s eclectic mix of private companies continue to thrive.

New No. 1 Among Local Architects in Strong Year

17 Firms See Double Digit Growth; List Tops 8% Up

A strong year for architecture firms may or may not presage more development and construction in the not-too-distant future, but it definitely altered the upper echelons of the Business Journal’s list of top local shops ranked according to OC office billings for 12 months ended June 30.

Two Public Engineering Firms: Triple-Digit Growth

Big Firms Hit High Notes; Salas O’Brien Up 311%

Engineering firms with operations in OC posted 13% growth to $1.2 billion in local annual billings—and only about a third of that expansion came from the perennial big three.

Look North for OC’s Fastest-Growing City

ECONOMY: 22 cities see population drop

Orange County’s new hot spot is Brea, when looking at population growth in the Business Journal’s annual ranking of cities by population.

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PacLife New No. 1 for Local Corporate Giving

Also Up: Edwards, Angels, Broadcom, Sunwest

Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Foundation, affiliated with the largest private company headquartered in OC, Pacific Life Insurance Co. with $10.7 billion in annual revenue, is the biggest cash giver locally, at $4.7 million.

Telecoms, Wireless Employment in OC Down Slightly

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile USA Retain Top 3 Spots

Employment at the top telecommunications and wireless companies in Orange County dipped to about 7,100 workers, a 2.8% decline from year-ago levels.

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TI Contractors Up 11% to $1.3B

Tenant-improvement contractors’ sales last year grew 11% in Orange County to $1.3 billion in billings on 26 million square feet of work, according to Business Journal research.

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SeneGence Tops Women-Owned List

Beauty products distributor SeneGence International in Foothill Ranch topped the Business Journal’s ranking of women-owned businesses with more than $1 billion in companywide revenue last year.

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From Big to Bigger: Private Cos. Grow 7.3%

ECONOMY: $102B of sales for largest operators

The large are getting larger—sometimes much larger—in this year’s snapshot of the biggest private companies in Orange County.

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Commercial Development Activity Ticks Up

4.2M SF in Past Year; Retail Still a Question

Office projects continued to drive commercial development in Orange County last year, and not just in the county’s largest office market.

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Construction Firms Report 6% Jump

Steady Growth Expected to Continue

Revenues for Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies reached a new post-recession high last year.

Broker-Dealers Down Slightly Amid Changes

Merrill Lynch Climbs To No. 1; Wells Fargo Slips

Orange County’s largest broker-dealers trimmed their staffs slightly over the past year amid uncertainties in the financial outlook and changes in the industry.

RIAs Find Their Models Paying Off

Wealth Managers Report Boom; Duran Sells to Goldman Sachs

It turns out being a money manager can be a profitable investment itself.

VC Firms Boost OC Investment 5% After 2017 Drop

14 Firms, 65 Deals, $54.5 Million Invested

Venture capital firms based in Orange County boosted 2018 local investments, led by Adventus Ventures and CerraCap Ventures.

County Hotels: 79% Full; 3,000 Rooms on Way

Starting Rates Still Strong; Coast, Disney-Area Luxe

The more things stay the same, the more they change.

Job Declines Continue for Apparel Companies

Staffing Down Nearly 50% Since 2000

Local employment was down for the third consecutive year among Orange County’s largest apparel companies.

Employment Flat for Consumer Electronics Makers

WD Cuts in Irvine, While ViewSonic Doubles Size

Last year, Orange County’s consumer electronics sector was marked by mergers and acquisitions, relocations and other major corporate developments.

OC’s Chipmakers Grow Amid Buys, New Uses

Marvell, Microchip, And Skyworks See Big Gains

The largest chipmakers in Orange County boosted local employment significantly in the past 12 months, buoyed by big takeovers amid ongoing global consolidation.

SBA Lending Dollars Grow 34%; Rankings Expand

Average Loan Lower; 29 Lenders Join Listings

The Business Journal’s lists of Small Business Administration lenders are in upheaval this year. Not one of the 38 on our dollar value list retained its spot from a year ago. Fourteen reported growth topping 100% and 22 new lenders joined the list (see page 25).

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Employment Agency Revenue Flat; Direct Hires Up

LABOR: 30 Firms Boost Corporate Workers, Too

Orange County’s largest employment agencies hit a speedbump on this week’s Business Journal list.

Ad Agencies See $2.6B, 7% Uptick in Business

52 Companies Employ 3,700 OC Workers

There was some reshuffling to this year’s rankings of Orange County’s largest advertising agencies as some firms reported double-digit growth while others reported a double-digit decline.

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