signed a letter urging management to be more open to flexible work arrangements. It was a rare show of dissent from the company’s rank-and-file, who historically have been less willing to openly challenge executives on workplace matters.

But as tech companies grapple with offering employees greater work flexibility, the firms are also scaling back some office perks.

cutting back or eliminating free services like laundry and dry cleaning. Google, like some other companies, has said it approved requests from thousands of employees to work remotely or transfer to a different office. But if employees move to a less expensive location, Google is cutting pay, arguing that it has always factored in where a person was hired in setting compensation.

Clio, a legal software company in Burnaby, British Columbia, won’t force its employees back to the office. But last week, it gave a party at its offices.

There was upbeat music. There was an asymmetrical balloon sculpture in Clio’s signature bright blue, dark blue, coral and white — perfect for selfies. One of Clio’s best-known workers donned a safari costume to give tours of the facility. At 2 p.m., the company held a cupcake social.

To make its work spaces feel more like home, the company moved desks to the perimeter, allowing Clions — what the company calls its employees — to gaze out at the office complex’s cherry blossoms while banging out emails. A foosball table was upgraded to a workstation with chairs on either end, “so you could have a meeting while playing foosball with your laptop on it,” said Natalie Archibald, Clio’s vice president of people.

Clio’s Burnaby office, which employs 350, is open at only half capacity. Spaced-out desks must be reserved, and employees got red, yellow and green lanyards to convey their comfort levels with handshakes.

Only around 60 people came in that Monday. “To be able to have an IRL laugh rather than an emoji response,” Ms. Archibald said. “People are just excited for that.”

Karen Weise contributed reporting.

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$37.25 Million Community in Anaheim, CA Sold by The Mogharebi Group

ANAHEIM, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Mogharebi Group, (“TMG”) has completed the sale of Echo116 in Anaheim, a 116-unit community located at 1727 Glenoaks Avenue. The property sold with multiple offers for a Northwest Anaheim area record price of $37,250,000, equating to $321K per unit or a record-setting price per square foot of $494. The buyer is a private investment group out of the San Jose area.

“Echo116 has gone through extensive renovations, with approximately $2.3M spent on the unit and common area renovations. Plus, Northwest Anaheim rents have been rapidly rising, and vacancy has been negligible,” says Otto Ozen, Executive Vice President of TMG. “As a result, there was a high level of interested buyers for this asset with multiple offers. It was our proprietary 1031 exchange platform, of private high net-worth and exchange buyers, that ultimately procured a private investor.”

Alex Mogharebi and Otto Ozen of TMG represented the buyer, a San Jose based private investment group.

Built in 1969 and 1970, Echo116 Apartments is a two-story, 116-unit apartment community that is located on Glenoaks Avenue in Anaheim. The property comprises four residential buildings totaling 75,040 rentable square feet. The complex is situated on a 1.432-acre site. The apartment homes feature spacious two-bedroom and one-bedroom floor plans with an average size of 647 square feet. The property boasts a swimming pool, clubhouse with full kitchen and fireplace, clay tennis court, tot lot, outdoor picnic area with barbeque, community laundry room, fitness center, dog park, and reserved parking.

About The Mogharebi Group (TMG): The Mogharebi Group is a brokerage firm specializing in the multifamily property sector throughout the Western United States. With unparalleled local market knowledge, an extensive global network of top real estate investors, state-of-the-art technology, and direct access to capital with over $800MM in regularly revolving inventory, The Mogharebi Group is the best choice to meet the needs of major private investors and investment funds.

For more information visit: Mogharebi.com

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$23.50 Million Community in Merced, CA Sold by The Mogharebi Group

MERCED, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Mogharebi Group, (“TMG”) has completed the sale of Axis at Compass Pointe in Merced, a 96-unit community located at 3779 Horizon Avenue. The property sold with multiple offers for a record price of $23,500,000 that equates to $244K per unit or $245 per square foot. The buyer is a private investment group out of the San Diego area.

“No inventory has been added in Merced since 2013, apart for Axis at Compass Pointe. Therefore, there was a high level of interest from buyers for this asset,” says Nazli Santana, Senior Investment Advisor of TMG. “Axis at Compass Pointe is the top option for UC Merced off-campus housing, as well as the nearby Medical Center and College.” Ms. Santana concluded, “As a result, the property sold at a record price for the market.”

Nazli Santana and Otto Ozen of TMG represented the buyer, a San Diego based private investment group.

Built in 2019, Axis at Compass Pointe is a two-story, Class A, 96-unit apartment community that is located on Horizon Avenue in Merced, CA. The property comprises 12 residential buildings totaling 95,808 rentable square feet. The complex is situated on a 4.87-acre site. The apartment homes feature spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans with an average size of 1,000 square feet. The property boasts a clubhouse, fitness center, and leasing office. The units feature granite countertops, wood flooring, balconies & patios, and in-unit washer / dryer.

About The Mogharebi Group (TMG): The Mogharebi Group is a brokerage firm specializing in the multifamily property sector throughout the Western United States. With unparalleled local market knowledge, an extensive global network of top real estate investors, state-of-the-art technology, and direct access to capital with over $800MM in regularly revolving inventory, The Mogharebi Group is the best choice to meet the needs of major private investors and investment funds.

For more information visit: Mogharebi.com

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Institutional Property Advisors Closes $80 Million San Bernardino County Apartment Asset Sale

UPLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a division of Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI), announced the sale of The Benson, a 236-unit multifamily property in Upland, California. The asset sold for $80.75 million, or $342,161 per unit.

“The Benson benefits from significant capital expenditures, most of which were spent on systems and common area improvements,” said Joseph Grabiec, IPA executive director. “New ownership has the opportunity to focus on revenue enhancing interior upgrades consistent with the competitive set, thereby immediately adding value.” Grabiec and IPA’s Alexander Garcia, Jr., Kevin Green, Greg Harris and Chris Zorbas represented the seller, an affiliate of Abacus Capital Group, and procured the buyer, New Standard Equities. “Rents in Upland have increased by 13% in the last 12 months and the competitive set’s asking rents are approximately 35% higher than the average in-place rents at The Benson,” added Garcia. “Average occupancy in Upland over the same time period has been 97%.”

Located 1.4 miles from the Los Angeles County border, the property is near Claremont Colleges, the Montclair TransCenter, and extensive retail. The San Bernardino Metrolink line at the Montclair TransCenter, three regional rapid bus service providers, and convenient access to a multitude of freeways offer connectivity to surrounding employment centers in the Inland Empire and the San Gabriel Valley.

“The Inland Empire continues to experience impressive growth and job creation, and this surge in economic activity has intensified the demand for housing,” said Green. “Single-family home prices have increased 13% over the last 12 months and are projected to grow 10% over the next 12 months, further exacerbating the affordability gap to home ownership and fueling strong rent growth.”

The Benson was built in 1973 on a 516,578-square-foot lot. The asset has 32 residential buildings, two resort-style pools with furnished sundecks, a spa, fitness center, dog park, playground, and over 350 onsite parking spots. The unit mix is composed of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Each unit has a private balcony or patio.

About Institutional Property Advisors (IPA)

Institutional Property Advisors (IPA) is a division of Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI), a leading commercial real estate services firm in North America. IPA’s combination of real estate investment and capital markets expertise, industry-leading technology, and acclaimed research offer customized solutions for the acquisition, disposition and financing of institutional properties and portfolios. For more information, please visit www.institutionalpropertyadvisors.com.

About Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI)

With over 2,000 investment sales and financing professionals located throughout the United States and Canada, Marcus & Millichap is a leading specialist in commercial real estate investment sales, financing, research, and advisory services. Founded in 1971, the firm closed 8,954 transactions in 2020 with a value of approximately $43 billion. Marcus & Millichap has perfected a powerful system for marketing properties that combines investment specialization, local market expertise, the industry’s most comprehensive research, state-of-the-art technology, and relationships with the largest pool of qualified investors. To learn more, please visit: www.MarcusMillichap.com.

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Skipping the Olympics Is ‘Not an Option’ for Many Advertisers

The Olympics have long been an almost ideal forum for companies looking to promote themselves, with plenty of opportunities for brands to nestle ads among the pageantry and feel-good stories about athletes overcoming adversity — all for less than the price of a Super Bowl commercial.

But now, as roughly 11,000 competitors from more than 200 countries convene in Tokyo as the coronavirus pandemic lingers, Olympic advertisers are feeling anxious about the more than $1 billion they have spent to run ads on NBC and its Peacock streaming platform.

Calls to cancel the more than $15.4 billion extravaganza have intensified as more athletes test positive for Covid-19. The event is also deeply unpopular with Japanese citizens and many public health experts, who fear a superspreader event. And there will be no spectators in the stands.

“The Olympics are already damaged goods,” said Jules Boykoff, a former Olympic soccer player and an expert in sports politics at Pacific University. “If this situation in Japan goes south fast, then we could see some whipsaw changes in the way that deals are cut and the willingness of multinational companies to get involved.”

blow to the Games on Monday when it said it had abandoned its plans to run Olympics-themed television commercials in Japan.

In the United States, marketing plans are mostly moving ahead.

For NBCUniversal, which has paid billions of dollars for the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States through 2032, the event is a crucial source of revenue. There are more than 140 sponsors for NBC’s coverage on television, on its year-old streaming platform Peacock and online, an increase over the 100 that signed on for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“Not being there with an audience of this size and scale for some of our blue-chip advertisers is not an option,” said Jeremy Carey, the managing director of the sports marketing agency Optimum Sports.

Michelob Ultra commercial, the sprinting star Usain Bolt points joggers toward a bar. Procter & Gamble’s campaign highlights good deeds by athletes and their parents. Sue Bird, a basketball star, promotes the fitness equipment maker Tonal in a spot debuting Friday.

campaign featuring profiles of Olympic athletes.

“We do think people will continue to tune in, even without fans, as they did for all kinds of other sports,” Mr. Brandt said. “It’s going to be a diminishing factor in terms of the excitement, but we also hope that the Olympics are a bit of a unifier at a time when the country can seem to be so divided every day.”

NBCUniversal said it had exceeded the $1.2 billion in U.S. ad revenue it garnered for the 2016 Games in Rio and had sold all of its advertising slots for Friday’s opening ceremony, adding that it was still offering space during the rest of the Games. Buyers estimate that the price for a 30-second prime-time commercial exceeds $1 million.

Television has attracted the bulk of the ad spending, but the amount brought in by digital and streaming ads is on the rise, according to Kantar. Several forecasts predict that TV ratings for the Olympics will lag the Games in Rio and London, while the streaming audience will grow sharply.

NBCUniversal said that during the so-called upfront negotiation sessions this year, when ad buyers reserve spots with media companies, Peacock had received $500 million in commitments for the coming year.

“You won’t find a single legacy media company out there that is not pushing their streaming capabilities for their biggest events,” Mr. Carey, the Optimum Sports executive, said. “That’s the future of where this business is going.”

United Airlines, a sponsor of Team U.S.A., scrapped its original ad campaign, one that promoted flights from the United States to Tokyo. Its new effort, featuring the gymnast Simon Biles and the surfer Kolohe Andino, encourages a broader return to air travel.

showcasing skateboarders. “People are quite fragile at the moment. Advertisers don’t want to be too saccharine or too clever but are trying to find that right tone.”

Many companies advertising during the Games are running campaigns that they had to redesign from scratch after the Olympics were postponed last year.

“We planned it twice,” said Mr. Carey of Optimum Sports. “Think about how much the world has changed in that one year, and think about how much each of our brands have changed what they want to be out there saying or doing or sponsoring. So we crumpled it up, and we started over again.”

FIFA World Cup in Qatar in late 2022 and the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, both of which have put the advertising industry in a difficult position because of China’s and Qatar’s poor records on human rights.

First, though, ad executives just want the Tokyo Games to proceed without incident.

“We’ve been dealing with these Covid updates every day since last March,” said Kevin Collins, an executive at the ad-buying and media intelligence firm Magna. “I’m looking forward to them starting.”

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‘We Always Rise.’ A Black-Owned Bookstore Navigates the Pandemic

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By summer, he closed off half the store and planned an expansion. Sawdust mixed with incense as he knocked down walls, raised the ceiling, transformed an elevator shaft into an office and relocated the cash register from under the stairs. His second-floor tenant, Walm N’Dure, extended the fitness center he runs to the roof, configuring a rock-climbing course replete with netting and a retractable awning.

“It has always been a fight, up and down, a lot of mishaps,” Mr. George said. “Despite all of that we always rise.”

Mr. George never expected to peddle wordsmiths’ wares. Born in Tobago, he grew up going barefoot and sleeping on floors. His grandmother was illiterate and his formal education ended after the fifth grade. At 17, he migrated to East New York with his mother, Brenda, and twin brother, Derrick. It was a hard transition. One morning, Mr. George woke up with a cold and told his mother he was going outside to find herbs in a bush, the place he typically went for natural healing methods, and boil them.

She laughed.

“I have to take you to a drugstore,” she said.

“What is at a drugstore?” he said.

“Medicine,” she said.

He worked as a welder until suffering a slipped disk in his back. He found purpose in selling books on sidewalks in Manhattan before saving money to open a bookstore across the Hudson. His first shop was on Branford Place, where he developed a reputation as reserved. On payday, Masani Barnwell, a kindergarten teacher in Newark, walked in to buy books for students in her classroom with characters that looked like the children in her classroom. She wanted them to be inspired, and purchased copies of the author Fred Crump’s series, which retell traditional fairy tales with Black characters. She saw a different side of Mr. George.

“He wasn’t that doggone quiet,” she said. “He approached me.”

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Stocks Rebound as Wall Street Shakes Off Inflation Worries: Live Updates

manufacturing activity in the United States and Europe showed a rapid pickup, as did retail sales data from Britain.

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6 percent led by gains in consumer companies. One of the biggest gainers was Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods company that owns brands including Cartier and Montblanc. Richemont shares rose after the company reported its full-year results with strong growth in sales in Asia especially for its jewelry and watch brands.

Oil prices rose. Futures of West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, rose 1.4 percent to $63.48 a barrel.

There are many ways to measure how much the economy has reopened after pandemic lockdowns. One offbeat way is to compare the share prices of Clorox to Dave & Buster’s.

Nick Mazing, the director of research at the data provider Sentieo, came up with this metric to gauge shifts in postpandemic activity. The higher Clorox’s share price rises relative to Dave & Buster’s, the more people appear to be staying home and disinfecting everything than going out to crowded bars.

By this measure, the DealBook newsletter reports, conditions have nearly returned to prepandemic levels — indeed, Dave & Buster’s recently lifted its sales forecast, as nearly all of its beer-and-arcade bars have reopened.

Two more ratios that Mr. Mazing suggest comparing are Netflix versus Live Nation and Peloton versus Planet Fitness.

The first is also nearly back to where it was before the pandemic: Live Nation is preparing for a packed concert schedule, selling tickets to people who may have already binge-watched all of “Below Deck.”

The second, however, suggests that people aren’t as eager to get back to huffing and puffing at the gym as they are content to exercise at home. As restrictions lift and people feel safer in crowds, drinking and dancing appear to be higher priorities.

George Greenfield, the founder of CreativeWell, a literary agency in Montclair, N.J., applied for a loan in March with Biz2Credit. The initial amount he was offered was less than a quarter of what he was eligible for.
Credit…Ed Kashi for The New York Times

The government’s $788 billion relief effort for small businesses ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program, is ending as it began, with the initiative’s final days mired in chaos and confusion.

Millions of applicants are seeking money from the scant handful of lenders still making the government-backed loans. Hundreds of thousands of people are stuck in limbo, waiting to find out if they will receive their approved loans — some of which have been stalled for months because of errors or glitches. Lenders are overwhelmed, and borrowers are panicking, The New York Times’s Stacy Cowley reports.

The relief program had been scheduled to keep taking applications until May 31. But two weeks ago, its manager, the Small Business Administration, announced that the program’s $292 billion in financing for forgivable loans this year had nearly run out and that it would immediately stop processing most new applications.

Then the government threw another curveball: The Small Business Administration decided that the remaining money, around $9 billion, would be available only through community financial institutions, a small group of specially designated institutions that focus on underserved communities.

A roll of steel is packaged and labeled.
Credit…Taylor Glascock for The New York Times

The American steel industry is experiencing a comeback that few would have predicted even months ago.

Steel prices are at record highs and demand is surging as businesses step up production amid an easing of pandemic restrictions. Steel makers have consolidated in the past year, allowing them to exert more control over supply. Tariffs on foreign steel imposed by the Trump administration have kept cheaper imports out. And steel companies are hiring again, The New York Times’s Matt Phillips reports.

It’s not clear how long the boom will last. This week, the Biden administration began discussions with European Union trade officials about global steel markets. Some steel workers and executives believe that could lead to an eventual pullback of the Trump-era tariffs, which are widely credited for spurring the turnaround in the steel industry.

Record prices for steel are not going to reverse decades of job losses. Since the early 1960s, employment in the steel industry has fallen more than 75 percent. More than 400,000 jobs disappeared as foreign competition grew and as the industry shifted toward production processes that required fewer workers. But the price surge is delivering some optimism to steel towns across the country, especially after job losses during the pandemic pushed American steel employment to the lowest level on record.

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