Spring ahead this Sunday

Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. on March 12. You know the drill: Set clocks ahead one hour when going to bed the night before (unless you’re a night owl and will be up when the change comes).

DST will be in effect officially until Nov. 5, when we switch back to Standard Time effective 2 a.m.

As has often been the case in recent years, there is debate again about whether to continue with the twice-yearly switches between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time. In the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, legislation was introduced again March 2 by Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Vern Buchanan, both of Florida, that would make DST permanent year-round. No more “fall back” or “spring ahead.”

The legislation also was before Congress in 2022 and was passed by the Senate. It didn’t reach a vote in the House, however, expiring there.

Proponents of DST-only say the longer daylight promotes safety and active lifestyles. Opponents of it claim there are financial costs and less productivity.

Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that don’t utilize DST. They go with Standard Time, as do more than half of the countries worldwide.

By Barbara Morrison

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are around 28,900 residential care and assisted living facilities in the U.S.. The majority of the facilities contribute greatly to the country’s social and economic fabric. However, despite the importance of these facilities in our society, they often struggle to find affordable financing to expand or improve their services.

Fortunately, the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan program provides an affordable way to obtain funding for building or improving an assisted living facility. The SBA 504 program significantly reduces the amount assisted living facilities have to pay for a down payment and provides a long-term, below-market, fixed interest rate.

The loans enable a business owner to purchase, renovate, construct or refinance commercial real estate with only a 10 percent down payment. With the low down payment, businesses can retain precious working capital so that the company can continue to grow. Renovations, equipment, closing costs and soft costs can be financed as part of the total project cost, and the down payment is only 10 percent of that total.

SBA 504 loans are designed to solve important challenges. Recent Census data indicates there are around 76.4 million baby boomers in the United States. The first boomers were born in 1946, which means those 76 million-plua people are at or quickly approaching the age of 76 years old. As they  get older, they often need assisted-living arrangements to ensure a high quality of life. The SBA 504 loans provide business owners with access to the funding they require to own and manage facilities that help care for the nation’s aging population.

The  loan process streamlines funding and reduces the risk for lenders, as well as assisted-living facility owners.

The structure of an SBA 504 loan is designed to mitigate the risk associated with lending without limiting the amount of capital borrowers gain access to. Here’s how that’s done:

  • The loan can consist of two mortgages. The first mortgage is provided by a conventional lender, representing approximately 50 percent of the total project cost. The SBA 504 second mortgage, representing generally 40 percent of the total project cost, has a long term, up to 25 years, and fixed interest rate, fully amortized for the full term of the loan.
  • The rest of the funds come for the borrower as a down payment, meaning it is possible to borrow as much as 90 percent of the money needed, paying the remaining 10 percent out of pocket.
  • Monthly payments are fixed for the life of the loan, providing small business owners with affordable payments that enable them to control overhead costs for the long term. The interest rate is below-market and to the current market rate for five-year and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes, always being a certain amount above it.

To be eligible, an assisted living facility needs to:


Barbara Morrison is the founder and president of TMC Financing, which provides SBA commercial real estate financing. She’s a former mayor and City Council member for the city of Belvedere, Calif.

Public can meet Pierce library boss finalists

The finalists to be the new executive director of Pierce County Library System will be formally introduced to the public March 7 during a digital presentation that will include an opportunity to learn about them, ask them questions, and hear their ideas for the future of the libraries.

The session is scheduled for 4 to 6:40 p.m. at

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82691088642?pwd=T2RGYnorUXZpdi9WWjNRS2NtSDFJZz09 (Passcode: 816682).

There are three finalists, whose names haven’t yet been released publicly. They will be interviewed March 8 by the PCLS Board of Trustees as one of the final steps in picking a successor to Georgia Lomax, who will retire soon after 14 years as the library system’s executive director.

The board has conducted a nationwide search the last few months for candidates. The process was assisted by an executive search firm, Bradbury Miller Associates. A representative of the Ohio-based firm will be the moderator for the public’s introduction to the finalists.

The PCLS executive director heads an organization with a $43 million budget, 20 library locations, and 334 employees. The position has a hiring salary of $177,000.

Wily entrepreneurs are starting and running businesses in their later or post-retirement years

Seniors are more aware than ever that they need to have enough money to carry them through retirement. Experts put the figure at an estimated 80 percent of pre-retirement income for the average American, who is expected to retire at the age of 63, to live comfortably for the next 18 years.

Unfortunately, many won’t meet this target and will run the risk of running out of money should they retire sooner or live longer. Instead of searching for post-retirement jobs, an option is to start a business to fund their retirement years.

Here are a few tips to ensure a late-in-life business idea ends up being a good investment.

Cindy Corier hasn’t looked back since opening The Collected Home, an antiques and home decor shop. Her advice to anyone thinking of starting a small business: “Have a plan.”

Make use of good resources.

Before investing time and money into a concept, it’s important to consider the things that will form a good foundation for the business. This includes:

  • Creating a business that will allow you to maintain your lifestyle. For instance, if you have a hard time moving around, a business that requires travel may cause frustration. Another thing to consider is that the business may require additional cash-flow from time to time, but shouldn’t affect your standard of living in retirement.
  • Tap into the right market. It will be difficult to sell a snowsuit in a tropical coastal town. Therefore, proper research needs to be done. This would include a feasibility study for startups of a whole new concept. After that, do the business plan. This allows insight into what you’re getting yourself into and provides a blueprint for your business.

Cindy Corier can attest to this. She was semi-retired from corporate sales when she opened The Collected Home in University Place, and hasn’t looked back. Since opening in July 2018, the antiques and home decor shop has moved into a larger space in the Prestige Center on Mountain View.

Corier said anyone planning to launch a small business needs to “have a plan” that includes sound business and marketing approaches.

“Make sure you know what you’re doing,” she advised.

A business plan includes a suitable timeframe for break-even to take place. After that milestone, the business will need to generate a profit to ensure you don’t have to tap into your personal retirement reserves.

  • Form a strong “tribe.” That might be millennialspeak, but it’s important that small-business owners surround themselves with people who add value to the enterprise–business coaches, mentors, a network of business owners, the right accountant and attorney, and great staff.

A no-cost source of support is SCORE, a network of volunteer, expert business mentors that has helped 11 million entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground and grow them since 1964. In 2019 alone, 29,681 new businesses started with advice via SCORE. Annually, about 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring in one-on-one and group sessions, though during the coronavirus outbreak, the services have been done remotely by phone, e-mail and video.

The pandemic has had a large impact on small-business profitability, too. In October, 33 percent of owners described their businesses as profitable, compared to 55 percent before the pandemic, according to SCORE.

Make use of modern business techniques.

There is no reason to rely on traditional methods alone to give businesses a boost. For instance, staffing issues can be resolved by hiring freelancers. This works well for short-term or one-off projects. Remote workers may also add value in the right business environment.

Modern funding options can also boost businesses without relying on traditional funding routes, such as taking out costly loans. Online “crowdfunding” platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe are one option for a cash injection into the business.

According to SCORE, business owners adapting to COVID-19 generally agree that government stimulus checks, free advertising credits, and mentorship are the most helpful forms of assistance to get through this time of business downturn.

Seniors should also allow their passion to dictate the terms of their business. Although starting a business is hard work, it shouldn’t feel like it, and that is what passion for the business achieves.

“We started out with a penny in our pocket and a passion for refurbished furniture and vintage decor,” Corier said. Now The Collected Home is a hub for the University Place community for artists, painting furniture, and unique items for home decorating.

“The customers are happy we’re here and love the items we offer,” she said.

If they’ve dreamed of starting a business, living that dream is a way for seniors and retirees to enjoy extra cash in-flow and to remain an active member of society.


Melissa Clark, who works in marketing and customer relationships for Incfile, a company that advises new entrepreneurs and small-business owners, contributed to this article.



SCORE, ia non-profit partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides free mentoring for startup and existing businesses through volunteer experts. Information about the program, including how to contact local chapters of the organization (Tacoma’s serves clients in Pierce, King and Thurston counties, among others; Seattle’s covers King, Kitsap and Snohomish counties), enlist the help of a volunteer or become one, is available at score.org and 1-800-634-0245.