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Why Meta and Microsoft are vacating office buildings in Seattle?

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Technology giants Meta and Microsoft have now decided to vacate their office spaces in Seattle and Bellevue in United States. Facebook’s parent Meta announced it was subleasing its offices in Eighth Avenue North in downtown Seattle and Spring District in Bellevue, Seattle Times reported. It has also added the review of leases for other Seattle office buildings is underway.

On the other hand, Microsoft also said it will not renew its lease at the 26-floor City Center Plaza in Bellevue when it ends in June 2024. The move comes at a time when remote work and slowdown resulting in layoffs have been crucial factors in cutting demands for office space in Seattle and other places. Both the companies have adopted remote work in recent times.

In November, Meta had laid off 726 workers from areas around Seattle. The social media giant’s spokesperson said that the decisions were motivated by the company’s move towards remote work. She added that the company was also trying to be financially prudent. Currently, Meta occupies offices in 29 buildings and has a headcount of nearly 8,000 workers in Seattle.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the decision is driven by its ongoing evaluation of the firm’s real estate portfolio.

According to the report, the announcements by the two tech giants has brought more bad news to the office market in Seattle which is already struggling due to sluggish return of remote office workers. In downtown Seattle, the total office vacancy now stands at a low 25 per cent. The non-vacant offices are half empty because of remote work. Since last summer, the area has only seen 40 per cent of the workers present before the pandemic, a cellphone location data from Placer.ai by the Downtown Seattle Association stated.


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‘Inclusive, growth-oriented budget’: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

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PTI | | Posted by Shobhit Gupta

Biotechnology industry veteran Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw on Wednesday called the budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman “inclusive and growth-oriented”.

Read here: Why Budget 2023-2024 passes the BJP’s political test

She said the budget, focused on seven priorities, lays the groundwork for inclusive economic growth to enable all citizens to have access to healthcare, education, a cleaner environment and sustainable livelihoods by the 100th year of the country’s Independence.

“The capex outlay of 10 trillion will help spur higher growth in the backdrop of a weak global economy, while the additional money in the hands of the people due to direct tax revisions will boost consumption. The increase in allocation of funds for pharma and healthcare this year is a step in the right direction,” the executive chairperson of Biocon Limited said in a statement.

Watch here: Modi Govt’s Income Tax Bonanza; No tax for income up to 7 lakh | Check Revised Rates Here

Welcoming the introduction of a new programme for research and innovation in pharma through centres of excellence, she said it would enable the industry invest more in R&D. “With an eye on positioning India for global leadership, the FM has announced key measures for spurring digital transformation, economically empowering women, committing to climate action through a thrust on green economy and energy transition, and improving ‘ease of doing business’,” Mazumdar-Shaw added.

Information technology industry veteran T V Mohandas Pai called the budget “transformative” and the one that would ensure GDP growth stays on the fast lane. He however, said startups have been ignored “big time”.

Watch here: Modi Govt’s Budget 2023: Mission 2024 or Blueprint for India@100 I HT Decodes

“A transformative budget that will ensure India’s GDP growth will stay on the fast lane. Start ups have been ignored big time,” Pai said in a tweet. “Budget 2023 fails to deliver for startups and investors. Very disappointing for startups. PM ⁦Narendra Modi⁩ is the only hope…⁩ young entrepreneur gets a raw deal,” he said in another tweet tagging Modi, PMO and Finance Minister in a tweet.⁦

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Most analysts are sticking with AMD even after ‘partly cloudy’ fourth-quarter earnings

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Budget 2023: Startups incorporated till March 2024 to get income tax benefits

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The government on Wednesday proposed to extend the period of incorporation of eligible startups by one more year till March 31, 2024, for providing tax incentives to encourage budding entrepreneurs.

Read here: Budget 2023: No income tax up to 7 lakh, revised tax slabs for new regime

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also proposed to ease norms for startups by extending the benefit of carrying forward losses to 10 years.

“I propose to extend the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to startups from March 31, 2023, to March 31, 2024. I further propose to provide the benefit of carry forward of losses on change of shareholding of startups from seven years of incorporation to ten years,” she announced.

In the last year’s budget, the government extended this till March 31 this year.

Eligible startups established before March 31, 2023, have been provided with a tax incentive for three consecutive years out of ten years from incorporation.

Startups incorporated on or after April 1, 2016, can apply for income tax exemption.

Watch here: Why India’s middle-class is happy with Modi govt’s Budget | All You Need To Know

The recognised startups that are granted an inter-ministerial board certificate are exempted from income tax for three consecutive years out of 10 years since incorporation.

The government has taken a series of steps to promote startups in the country.

Under the Startup India initiative, the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) scheme, Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) are implemented to provide capital at various stages of the business cycle of a startup.

The government launched the Startup India initiative in January 2016 with the intent to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and encouraging private investments in the startup ecosystem.

The initiative is intended to catalyse startup culture and build a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India.

Over 84,000 startups are registered with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) till November 2022. These startups can avail of certain tax incentives, including income tax announced under the Startup India initiative.

Watch here: Modi govt’s women outreach; New deposit scheme launched | Limits for senior citizens raised

Jatin Kanabar, Partner, Deloitte India, said the Budget has provided for incentivising startups and the MSME sector.

“Proposals for increased credit guarantee, an extension of date of incorporation for the tax holiday, relaxation of carry forward of losses, the enhanced limit for presumptive tax regime and deduction linked to payments for encouraging timely recovery by MSMEs are all welcome provisions,” he said.

KR Sekar, Partner, Deloitte India, too said that the startups have been clamouring for easy compliance and the benefit of an extended period of carry forward of losses.

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