Business

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NEW YORK — The wildfires that are rampant this time of year in California force small business owners to be prepared in the same way as owners in other parts of the country who deal with tornadoes and other natural disasters. It means being prepared for disruption.

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Hundreds of local newspapers are now under one umbrella company, making it the largest US media company by print circulation and completing a deal that has journalists and advocates for strong local media worried about the future.

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Reconstruction of Maplewood Mall in Germantown is set to begin on Monday, Nov. 18. The renovated mall is expected to attract more people, provide more customers for businesses and create employment opportunities for residents.

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As consumers, we all have “secret scores”: hidden ratings that determine how long each of us waits on hold when calling a business, whether we can return items at a store, and what type of service we receive. A low score sends you to the back of the queue; high scores get you elite treatment.

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Gap outlined a plan to rescue itself in February, and Wall Street was firmly behind it: The company would spin off its popular Old Navy brand in 2020 and focus on its own struggling flagship, as well as its Banana Republic, Athleta and Hill City lines.