Wednesday September 18, 2002

Broker Charles Schwab to cut 10 percent of staff 

SAN JOSE — Charles Schwab Corp. announced Tuesday it will cut about 10 percent of its work force, or roughly 1,880 jobs, as the discount and online brokerage continues to struggle with weak trading volumes. 

In August, the San Francisco-based company hinted it would be making cuts but provided no numbers. At that time, the company had about 18,800 employees. 

It was not immediately known what business units would be targeted by the layoffs, which are expected to be completed by the end of November, said Greg Gable, a Schwab spokesman. 

The layoffs will represent Schwab’s second major payroll purge in two years as the brokerage continues to adjust to a bear market that has spooked investors and pinched the company’s profits. 


HP announces $1.3 billion  

services deal with CIBC 

SAN JOSE — In one of the biggest deals since its Compaq Computer Corp. acquisition, Hewlett-Packard Co. on Tuesday signed a $1.3 billion contract to provide computer services to Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. 

Under the seven-year agreement, HP will manage a large percentage of CIBC’s computer infrastructure, ranging from desktop PCs and software to servers and networking gear. HP also will handle purchasing and program support. 

The services business is the largest and one of most downturn-immune areas in the information technology industry. The potential from combining HP’s and Compaq’s services divisions was a big selling point for their $19 billion marriage. 

“As the third-largest IT services organization in the industry, we are better poised than ever to continue to drive clear business value for our customers,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP services. 


Northern California businesses can seek disaster aid 

SACRAMENTO — Small businesses in Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino and Tehama counties may apply for low-interest loans to offset business they lost because of reduced revenue to farmers and ranchers caused by hail and freezing in March, the Small Business Administration. 

On Monday, the SBA said similar loans for similar reasons and a similar time period are available to small businesses in Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties. 

The businesses could qualify for 30-year, 3.5 percent loans of up to $1.5 million to help meet their financial obligations and operating expenses. Actual property damage from the hail or freeze isn’t necessary to qualify. 

The deadline to apply is April 16 at the SBA’s Sacramento office. 

Farmers or ranchers who suffered damage may be eligible under a different program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Agency. 


On the Net: www.sba.gov