Kevin Smith

Business Editor

Kevin Smith

Phone: (626) 544-0810

Recent articles

  • Automobile repair and maintenance

    High gas prices and auto repair are part of the Southern California culture

    When you’re living in Southern California, cars are a necessary evil.We live in a region that is both sprawling and heavily congested, and getting from Point A to Point B isn’t always easy. Sure, we have public transit systems that include buses and light rail. But those don’t always work when the trips we make — or at least large portions of the trips — aren’t served by public transit. Many of our journeys require taking additional surface...

  • Consumer product manufacturing

    How to buy a guitar made out of old Hollywood Bowl seats or a B-25 bomber

    In the world of custom electric guitars, details matter.High-end components, top-of-the-line pickups, quality woods, hand-wired electronics … all of those factors conspire to create instruments that rise above garden variety guitars you’ll find hanging on the wall at your local music store.But what if you could take it a step further?A unique ideaWhat if you could buy a custom Fender Esquire guitar made from 100-year-old...

  • Real Estate

    How drones are changing the real estate business

    Banking low over the trees, the small quadcopter slows and begins a gradual climb. Rising above the roof, it hovers in place for a moment before flying over a fountain in the courtyard and sweeping along the edge of a swimming pool.Welcome to the modern world of real estate.Drone photography and videos and sophisticated software programs are seeing increased use among Realtors looking to up their game with eye-catching visuals that will help sell homes. “Drones...

  • Business

    Here’s a piece of a business model that’s not working

    Business models.Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. You probably don’t realize it, but you interact with business models of all shapes and sizes every day. You probably don’t think of them as business models, but that’s what they are. In layman’s terms a business model is simply “the way things are done.”When you walk into a grocery store you’ll typically find coolers at the front of several checkout stands,...

  • Business

    Would you order groceries through your phone? Instacart hopes so as service expands in San Gabriel Valley, Riverside, San Bernardino

    Instacart, a San Francisco-based grocery delivery service, is about to expand its footprint in Southern California to serve an additional 1 million households.The company — which already serves nearly 2 million households in the Los Angeles area and more than 49 million nationwide — will begin the expanded service on Tuesday. It will allow residents to shop online at Stater Bros.,

  • Consumer spending

    Back-to-school, college spending expected to hit $83.6 billion

    For many students, heading back to school after a long summer break ranks right up there with getting a root canal.But they’re not the only ones feeling the pain. Newly released figures from the National Retail Federation’s annual back-to-school survey show that families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $687.72 on supplies and clothing.Collectively, that amounts to $29.5 billion, an 8 percent increase from last...

  • Poverty

    More than a third of California households have virtually no savings, are at risk of financial ruin, report says

    More than 37 percent of California households have so little cash saved that they couldn’t live at the poverty level for even three months if they lost a job or suffered another significant loss of income.That’s the grim assessment of the 2017 Prosperity Now Scorecard. The report was compiled by Prosperity Now, a Washington, D.C.-based organization seeking to help people — particularly people of color and those with limited...

  • Home sales

    Pending home sales going up and down, find out where

    Pending home sales in Southern California continued to trend upward in June, but Los Angeles and Riverside counties both posted declines.A report released Monday by the California Association of Realtors shows that pending sales throughout the region were up 2.5 percent compared with June of last year, with San Bernardino County sales rising 10.3 percent and...

  • Business

    LA County, Inland Empire lost jobs in June, according to new data

    California shed 1,400 jobs in June, but the Golden State ranked second in the nation in year-over-year employment growth, according to figures released Friday.Big yearly job gainCalifornia added 261,400 jobs over the last 12 months at a rate of 1.6 percent. That landed behind Texas, which added 319,300 jobs at a more robust rate of 2.7 percent. Florida ranked third with 238,600 jobs, New York followed with 148,300 new jobs and Georgia added...

  • Home sales

    Housing inventories are low in California and prices keep rising

    Sales of existing homes in California hit their highest pace in nearly four years in June — despite extremely tight inventories — and prices continued to rise.That’s the upshot of a report released Monday by the California Association of Realtors.Inventories are tightThe report shows that existing, single-family home sales totaled 443,150 in June, up 3.3 percent from May and up 2.4 percent...