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If you’re interested in lowering your property tax burden, Paramount Property Tax Appeal fights to reduce your property taxes, and their services don’t cost you anything unless they’re successful, since they’re paid a portion of the amount you save. They’ve been around since 2008 and have completed over 20,000 appeals, reducing tax assessments by over $1.5 billion in California.

If you think your property might have lost some of its value in the past few years, you could be eligible for a tax reduction.  Hospitality, office, and retail buildings are commonly receiving tax reductions nowadays.

If you’re interested in lowering your taxes, please contact Jon Fleming at Paramount at (858) 245-0949, or email him at [email protected] and tell him that Mike Lin sent you.

Who’s the top-rated fast food restaurant chain?

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) recently conducted a study of the fast-food chains with the highest customer satisfaction level rating several chains across 11 different benchmarks.

Chick-Fil-A once again was on top, ranking #1 for the 5th straight year!

As you can imagine, some of the benchmarks measured include accuracy of the food order, food quality, and speed of checkout.  But what I found interesting is that two of the 11 characteristics were related to the restaurant’s mobile app.  They measured the quality of the mobile app as well as the reliability of the app.  This just shows how important it is these days for fast-food chains to get their apps right since such a significant portion of their business is coming via mobile orders.

The shrinking footprint of many national big box retailers
As retail continues to evolve, one of the changes we’ve seen over the past few years is a decrease in the footprint of many big-box retailers.

The National Retail Federation has boosted its sales growth forecast to 10-13%, the biggest jump in nearly 40 years, predicting that more shoppers will be returning to physical stores in the coming months after mostly ordering online from home over the past year pandemic.

Stores such as Bloomingdales, Target, Macy’s, Nordstrom, are adjusting to this change by experimenting with small-format stores that are only about 10-15% the size of their typical store. Here’s a chart of how small the new stores are, relative to their typical sizes. (No, that’s not a typo for Nordstrom. Some of their stores actually are under 3,000 square feet)

Aside from the obvious benefit of lower overhead, small-format stores allow the retailers to reach a greater number of their customers, as they can open more stores closer to their target market.  Also, these smaller stores will turn over their merchandise more frequently, offering shoppers the ability to pick up bargains and unexpected finds during a shopping trip – kind of like treasure hunting.  This is one reason that stores like TJ Maxx and Ross are so popular and have been relatively immune to online competition.

While this could be more efficient and space saver, it could also pose a risk to these retailers. People tend to change their preferences over the years. The time may come in a few years where shoppers want to go back to the way things were 10 years ago and may prefer to have more space.  It’s going to be a lot tougher for these stores to upsize again after they’ve downsized.

How small businesses could get a refund on wages paid during COVID

If your business or your tenant’s business missed out on getting a PPP loan, there’s a program that can help.

Small businesses that have been paying their employees since the start of COVID may be eligible to get a refund of up to $28,000 per employee per year through the Employee Retention Credit.
To be eligible for the program, businesses have to have 500 or fewer employees and have quarterly revenues less than half of what they were in 2019.

Those businesses can claim up to 70% back on up to $10,000 in wages paid to employees, up to a maximum amount of $7,000 per employee for each quarter, or  $28,000 in cash back per employee annually.

To claim the ERC funds, business owners have to complete form 7200 with the IRS or process it through a payroll company.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!