33,000 local homeowners owe more than homes are worth (Virginian-Pilot)
More than 33,000 homeowners in Hampton Roads owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth at the end of 2008 as home prices continued to fall, according to a report released Wednesday by a mortgage research firm.
Cranes Are Ready, Financing Isn’t (Washington Post)
Not a single office building has been started in the District since October, a sign that the slowdown that began in the far-out suburbs has now reached prime city locations.
U.S. Sets Big Incentives to Head Off Foreclosures (NY Times)
People with mortgages as high as $729,750 could qualify for help, and there is no ceiling on how high their income can be as long as they are in danger of losing their homes. Interest rates on loans could go as low as 2 percent for some. Many homeowners could see their mortgage payments drop by several hundred dollars a month, and some could save more than $1,000 a month.
Small Businesses Work Hard to Prevent Layoffs (WSJ)
Some small businesses are determined to buck the layoff trend. For some, it’s a matter of pride: They’ve never had a layoff and they don’t want to start now. But it’s also a matter of necessity. For one thing, unlike big companies, small businesses rely on each individual employee much more to keep their companies running. In addition, many small companies use their history of never firing people as an essential tool to attract and retain workers.Here’s a closer look at how some companies have tried to avoid layoffs.
Entrepreneurs’ lesson #1: Do the math (Fortune)
Every business goes through three stages: start up, throw up and grow up. Right now, with the economy as bad as I’ve seen it, many entrepreneurs in this country are experiencing stage two.For many startups, the throw-up stage arrives in just a few months. But it can also take years. Factors that can mask underlying weakness include a vibrant economy, a great product, an exploding market and a lack of competition. These days, of course, we are not enjoying a vibrant economy. One consequence is that many entrepreneurs find themselves confronting serious issues that should have been resolved years ago. These issues often involve accounting.