Supreme Court Sides With Truckers In Anti-Arbitration Case
The United States Supreme Court today issued a decision in the case of New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira that limits the power of transportation companies to require employees and independent contractors to resolve disputes through arbitration rather than through a court. Dominic Oliveira, a driver who was classified as an independent contractor with New Prime Inc., successfully made his case that employees and independent contractors alike should be able to take disputes over their employment contracts to court, even if the contract includes an arbitration requirement. Teamsters Vice President at Large Fred Potter hailed the decision as “a great victory for all workers in the transportation industry.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Society for Human Resource Management in May filed an amicus brief urging the court against the decision it ultimately made, arguing that it would call into question thousands of arbitration agreements.

New Bill Would Increase Investment Potential For Small Businesses
The Encouraging Small Business Innovation Act was passed by the United States House of Representatives yesterday. Introduced by Harley Rouda, who represents California’s 48th Congressional District, the bill would increase the amount of capital available to small businesses by widening the pool of potential investors for two existing government programs, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). The programs provide incentives for businesses to engage in federal research and development that has potential for commercialization.

Office Space Vacancy Flat In 4th Quarter; Rental Rates Increased
In the fourth quarter of 2018, the vacancy rate of office space in Downtown Long Beach was 17.94%, a 0.46% decrease from the prior quarter, according to the Long Beach office of Cushman & Wakefield. Asking rental rates in downtown increased about 2.1%, as detailed in the firm’s fourth-quarter report. In the suburban office market, the vacancy rate was 7.79% in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 0.28% from the prior quarter. Rental rates in the suburban market increased by 2.6%.

Halbert Hargrove Celebrates 85 Years In Long Beach; Announces New Hires
The Long Beach-headquartered wealth advisory firm Halbert Hargrove celebrates its 85th anniversary this year. In a press release, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer JC Abusaid said that there are plans to expand the firm for decades to come. Halbert Hargrove recently added four new hires to its Long Beach team: Wealth Advisors Samantha Garcia and Vincent Birardi, and Client Service Managers Ariel Bollant and Katie Clapps.

LBCC Named A Finalist For National Bellwether Award
Long Beach City College (LBCC) is one of 10 city colleges nationwide to be named a finalist in the 2019 Bellwether Awards’ planning governance and finance category. The Bellwether Awards recognize the nation’s most innovative community college programs or practices. LBCC is up for consideration because of its role in the Long Beach College Promise program, which enables students to seamlessly transfer to California State University, Long Beach, and provides job and internship opportunities. This is the first time the college has been named a finalist for a Bellwether Award. The winners will be announced this February.