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America’s Fastest Growing Cities

America’s Fastest Growing Cities

People-Biking-Sunset-Fort-Myers-FL

Fort Myers, FL is America’s fastest growing city, according to Thrillist. Big surprise, right? This was based on the reports from WalletHub, measuring 515 cities in the U.S. based on size and population.

In sum, the factors measured from these reports include population and economic growth. In this case, Fort Myers, FL took first place, followed by Midland, TX.

After analyzing the past 7 years of data, WalletHub concluded the study with a list based on a total of 15 different criteria. In addition to population growth, growth of median household incomes, housing prices, number of startups, and businesses moving to the area were measured. Declines were also taken into account, such as poverty rates and unemployment.

Why Fort Myers, FL?Tropical-Beach-Palm-Trees-Ocean-2-Chairs

Fort Myers, FL wasn’t always at the top of the list, according to the reports; it didn’t reach the top of the list until 2018. In 2017, the Mayor of Fort Myers, Randy Henderson, told the local News-Press the reason for the boom in economic growth was because of the efforts to attract private investment, build affordable housing for Millennials and young professionals, and update the city’s infrastructure.

Growth in Nearby Cities

Also experiencing high growth is Miami and Lehigh Acres (also on the list of top 15). It’s quite possible that the area in general is experiencing growth, due to the number of families and businesses moving to the same region.

Growth in Other States

What the cities on the list share in common is that many are in the same state. So it may be safe to say that not only cities are growing, but the states too.

Check out the top 20 list of America’s fastest growing cities:San-Antonio-TX-Skyline

  1. Midland, TX
  2. Pearland, TX
  3. Bend, OR
  4. McKinney, TX
  5. College Station, TX
  6. Lehigh Acres, FL
  7. Mount Pleasant, SC
  8. Enterprise, NV
  9. Irvine, CA
  10. Milpitas, CA
  11. Pleasanton, CA
  12. Murfreesboro, TN
  13. Meridian, ID
  14. Redwood City, CA
  15. Frisco, TX
  16. Round Rock, TX
  17. Austin, TX
  18. Miami, FL
  19. Saint George, UT

What to Conclude About these Cities

So what is actually attracting people and businesses to these cities? The weather? For some, it’s true but most commonly, it’s the job opportunities and affordability of housing. While cities like Chicago and Los Angeles continue to become more expensive with taxes and costs of living, others are booming as people flock to the south for an easier, more enjoyable lifestyle.

Looking to Move Your Business?

If you’re looking for a change, always be sure to do your home homework and research all options before moving. Just because it’s growing and there are many opportunities, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your company; what may be right for every other industry may not be for yours.

One of the best ways to research cities to move your business is to research the economic growth as well as any vendors in the area, culture of the city, local leasing or investment rates, and target market. Surely there’s no place for a snow plow company in Fort Myers, FL.

Contact Chicago Office MoversCommercial Moving Services in Naperville, IL

After deciding where you want to relocate your business, rely on the professional services of Chicago Office Movers, based in the Chicagoland area. When working with our experts, you can expect complete care while handling your assets. We have moved everything from desks to machinery to even libraries.

Chicago Office Movers also provides a number of specialty services, including storage, packing, paperwork storage, crating, furniture assembly, office decommissioning, server room moving, and more. Each of our movers is also experienced, trained, background-checked, and insured for your peace of mind.

Get a Free Estimate

To get a free estimate on your next business move, contact Chicago Office Movers at (312) 244-2246.

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Investing in Commercial Properties: Rent or Buy?

Commercial-Property-Office-Interior

Businesses run on money, making a price point the single most significant decision-maker when it comes to buying or leasing a commercial building. While the financial health of a company is chief, a variety of accompanying factors also come into play. The following key points weigh heavily in a business’ choice to either lease or buy a commercial property.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding to rent or buy a commercial property.

How long is the business expected to remain in a specific location?

When deliberating to buy or lease, business owners should consider the length of time the business will remain in that location. Buying the property is optimal when a business plans to stay put for seven years or more. Expecting to inhabit a space for less than seven years warrants leasing.

For example, a technology startup that expects to occupy a property for 15 years will pay 80 percent more to lease the building during that duration rather than buy. However, the same startup that plans to relocate in seven years will pay far less to lease during those few years.

What is the business’ growth potential?

Business-Woman-Packing-Office

Companies that are expected to experience rapid growth ideally will consider leasing a commercial property. The physical space required to accommodate growth will simply increase when businesses prosper, making a new building in the future foreseeable. In such cases, leasing is optimal.

Another benefit of leasing is the flexibility. Since lease terms usually fall between three and ten years, a company expecting to expand its size within this short span of time has no barriers when it comes to relocating to a larger, more suitable property.

On the other hand, businesses that have already seen explosive growth and experience stability in their market sphere will find security in an existing property, making buying a commercial space more practical. Buying commercial property is appealing, since mortgages are more stable than leases.

Can a business afford the upfront costs?

Leasing a commercial building requires hefty upfront costs, such as attorney fees, a substantial security deposit, and the pre-lease inspection. Upfront costs are high in comparison to buying a commercial space. In fact, these initial costs can total one-sixth of the costs of buying real estate.

Buying a commercial property has equally high upfront costs, including the down payment (up to 40 percent), closing costs, repairs, and appraisal fees. Many business owners do not have the significant capital required to cover these initial costs, which can be better applied toward reinvesting in their business.

How do business owners view building maintenance?Modern-Look-Office-Space

Leasing a commercial property comes with less maintenance headaches. The landlord manages all repairs, plumbing, and HVAC maintenance and any issues related to building upkeep. When leasing, business owners can focus on growing their business rather than be distracted by property problems.

The downside to leasing and avoiding maintenance responsibilities is that this perk comes with a monetary price. The rent will include the expenses related to repairs. The leasing manager includes these operating fees as outlined in the Common Area Maintenance expenses.

Buying a property means the owner is responsible for all repairs. Running a business leaves little time to handle maintenance, making hiring a property management company a necessity. Bringing on board a facilities services team is an added expense that digs deep into profits.

How critical to the business is rent control?

Along with the flexibility of renting comes the possibility of the landlord negotiating an increase in the monthly rent. When leasing, tenants are subject to the rent caprices of the landlord, forcing businesses that are unable to pay the rise in rent to either downsize or relocate.

Buying a commercial property offers price stability and control. Mortgage payments are fixed, and property owners have the benefit of growing equity in their building. In the long term, businesses have an opportunity to sell their property or refinance, bringing in substantial equity for the company.

Are renovations beneficial in the long run?

When a tenant makes improvements, like wall finishes or new carpeting, these enhancements directly benefit the landlord in the long run. As a tenant, the business owner temporarily benefits; but, when it is time to relocate, these improvements cannot be shifted to the new office space.

Renovations stay put when a business owns the property and do not have to be redone with every relocation. As an added benefit, any upgrades made to the commercial space only increases its value when it sells, dramatically spiking the financial returns on the sale of the property. 

How important is the opportunity to rent out space?

Renting extra space to various tenants is a financial bonus of owning a building. With the extra monthly cash flow comes the burden of being responsible for managing tenants. Hiring a property management company is a solution, but it comes with a price tag that eats into rental income profits.

When deciding to rent or buy a commercial space, the factors that will influence your decision are many. Despite the dizzying array of buying versus renting pros and cons, one clear advantage to your bottom line is hiring Chicago Office Movers for your upcoming office relocation.

Work with Chicago Office MoversChicago-Office-Movers-Logo-Larger-3-14-17

Chicago Office Movers is a locally based company with a crew of trained, unionized and licensed movers. A reputable commercial mover, Chicago Office Movers are experienced in moving all types of office equipment, including heavy machinery, lab equipment, and the standard office furniture and computers. Included in its comprehensive services are office renovation and remodeling.

A feature that distinguishes Chicago Office Movers from its competitors is the company’s commitment to the environment. The movers utilize only recycled packaging and have made strides in reducing waste and energy consumption.

Whether your business is a small startup or a large corporation, Chicago Office Movers brings the right experience to fulfill your vision of successfully moving your company across the country or just down the street.

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Streamline your company move with Chicago Office Movers. A free estimate is available to jumpstart your relocation efforts. Give us a call at 312-244-2246 to get started!

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Top Reasons Why Companies Move

Business-People-Walking-in-Glass-Building

When business leaders are motivated by the familiar maxim, “The grass is greener on the other side,” they may just literally pick up and relocate to access more nourishing pastures. Companies shift locations for numerous reasons.

Here are the top reasons why companies move:

1. Access to the Best Talent

A company makes great strides when employees make quality contributions to services and products. In order to access talent with specialized skills, companies are willing to relocate. No longer are potential workers moving to where the jobs are. Companies now move to actively seek out top talent.

For example, a tech startup may relocate to San Francisco, a flourishing tech hub, to attract workers skilled in technology. Or, a business operating in the finance sector may shift to New York City, a key player in the financial market, to appeal to the right candidates.

Plus, businesses are willing to relocate to areas near top universities. The reason is clear: Leading companies benefit from continual access to highly qualified recent graduates, who have the skills to make a meaningful dent in the company’s output.

General Electric, for example, shifted its headquarters to Boston, Massachusetts from Fairfield, Connecticut. As a company with a 124-year history, keeping up with advancements requires access to educated workforces and agile tech companies. The relocation made the leaders’ goals possible.

2. Offer Quality of Life

Youthful, creative talent, like Millennials, are attracted to the hustle and bustle of city life. Cities that stay awake 18 to 24 hours a day are peppered with high-end dining options, luxury apartments, streams of entertainment venues and the convenience of public transportation.

Given that happy employees are more productive, companies are relocating their headquarters to where these young, educated, and skilled workers want to live, work, and play. Growing cities, like Denver, Seattle, and Boston, offer lifestyles that entice youthful workforces, making business leaders consider relocation a viable option to stay competitive.

3. Updated Facilities

Expanding companies may outgrow their existing facility, prompting the need to move to a more updated space. Rather than invest in the scarce time and capital necessary to build a brand-new facility, businesses make the practical decision to relocate.

A new office space may feature co-working environments to encourage collaboration, technology resource areas, plenty of glass, moss walls and generous amounts of desk space. Employees also experience rejuvenation when the company relocates. The boost in morale prompts workers to innovate.

4. Improve the Brand

Customers and investors make critical, initial judgments about a brand based on the company’s office. Business leaders jump at the chance to improve the message they want to convey to outsiders. Relocating gives companies an opportunity to enhance their brand’s personality.

Whether a company’s brand is youthful and fun or traditional can be easily inferred from a visit to the office. Business leaders know their brand’s tone can be transformed by shifting to a thriving city or moving to a contemporary office space.

Returning to the example of General Electric’s recent relocation, the traditional company aimed to keep up with society’s progress rather than be seen as an antiquated business. Their move to a major city helped shape their vision for a business that is able to cater to the current needs of its customers.

Similarly, ConAgra relocated its headquarters to Chicago to rebuild its brand. The decision to move was also partially prompted with the goal of attracting the type of new talent that would, in turn, help shape and reinvigorate the company’s existing brand.

The companies who actively seek to re-establish their brands through relocation efforts show customers and business partners that they are invested in staying current and are able to meet the current demands of the marketplace. Rather than stagnate, businesses aim to shine in evolving times.

5. Decrease Operating Expenses

The cost of running a business is extremely high. Hefty recurring expenses include commercial lease costs (which are based on the building’s square footage), high taxes ,and even environmental regulations. Companies have a reason to move when overhead costs skyrocket.

Marriott International’s headquarters, for example, is currently at nearly a million square feet. With the company’s lease expiring in 2022, the company’s CEO is considering relocating for many reasons, among which are to access a higher quality talent pool.

Companies seek to shift to a location where the roads are passable, public services, are ample and the financial stability of local and state communities is high. Leaders choose areas where utility services are dependable and will not interrupt day-to-day business.

Indiana, for instance, incentivizes businesses to move to the state with a credit that reduces corporate income tax liability. Similarly, Kentucky offers businesses an income tax credit. Louisiana, to facilitate relocations, gives companies a rebate that offsets relocation costs up to 25 percent.

With all the advantages surrounding business relocations, shifting a company is a challenge. When business leaders know they have professional office moving help, like from Chicago Office Movers, relocating becomes less of a hassle and more of an event to anticipate.

Choose a Commercial Moving CompanyChicago-Office-Movers-Logo-Larger-3-14-17

The commercial movers at Chicago Office Movers are licensed, background checked and unionized to ensure maximum peace of mind for all business clients. All movers are trained to carefully handle all office properties. Included in our moving services are planning, packing and unpacking.

Chicago Office Movers has earned a stellar reputation among its many clients, which include Northwestern University and Alcatel Lucent, among many other major institutions and companies. Whether your office is small or large, Chicago Office Movers is prepared to offer top-notch service.

We are available to move businesses locally, long distance or internationally. Chicago Office Movers will get business owners started with planning their corporate relocation and provide execution of the moving plan. A free estimate is available to businesses ready to embark on their new venture.

Get a Free Estimate

To request a free estimate with our corporate movers, contact Chicago Office Movers at 312-244-2246.

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Beagle-Dressed-as-Businessman-Watching-Computer

Pros and Cons of Pet Friendly Offices

Beagle-Dressed-as-Businessman-Watching-Computer

Office trends are forever changing, but one that has stayed in the loop for a while includes the number of companies opening their doors to pets. Job site giants like Careerbuilder, Monster, and more have been posting listings with benefits that include “pet friendly.”

Some sites even include lists of the top pet-friendly companies, as well as job opportunities, as a way to attract more job-seekers.

Pet Friendly Companies

In addition to the high percentages of pet-related businesses, giant companies like Amazon, Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, and others all allow employees to bring their pets to work.

But despite this growing trend, this can also bring a number of legal and health risks to the table. Here is a list of pros and cons of pet friendly offices.

Pros of Pet Friendly Offices

1. Reduces stresses and helps with relaxation

Statistics have shown that overall employee satisfaction and morale have increased after companies opened their doors to pets. They are also a point of common interest that can promote teamwork and communication – being that they are great ice breakers.

2. Financial benefitDog-in-Office-with-Businessman

Every pet parent knows that doggie daycare and dog walking services can be expensive, especially on a daily basis. Some just have no choice if they commute long distances or work long hours. But bringing their pet to work can eliminate a lot of these stresses, skipping the rush to get home from work or paying for someone to walk your dog.

3. Boosts Customer Perception

Many customers will react positively when seeing a pet in the office or when they are allowed the chance to interact with the pet; it can decrease their stress and improve their experience with the business. Having pets in the office can also improve the company’s image, giving it an innovative and progressive atmosphere.

4. Recruiting Tool

It’s been proven that pet friendly companies have a higher chance of recruiting and retaining employees long-term than those that are not. These employees also tend to work longer hours and have fewer absences because they don’t have to worry about rushing home to walk the dog or staying home to care for a sick pet.

After reading these pros, making the office pet friendly can really like a good idea. But as with every decision and trend, there are consequences. Making the office pet friendly is certainly not for every business, such as those operating machinery or in a child daycare for example. Make sure to check out this list of the cons before allowing employees to bring in their furry friends.

Cons of Pet Friendly Offices

1. Pets are a Distraction

While some employees may work longer hours and be more productive with pets, others won’t. Pets can be a distraction for both the owner and neighboring coworkers by barking, whining, and needing frequent walks. They can also attract others who want to interact and play with the pet, when they should be working instead.

2. Allergies and Phobias

The number of people with allergies to pet hair and dander will never improve. While some are willing to deal with the sniffles, others may battle severe reactions and even death when exposed. Some employees may have developed phobias of being around certain types of animals due to past experiences. To combat this issue, some offices are able to designate pet-free zones for those in these situations.

3. Damage to Company Property

As all pet parents are aware, pets can destroy anything, especially shoes. If pets are brought to the office, accidents will happen. Chewing the furniture, carpet, or peeing inside are bound to happen at some point. It’s a risk that all companies face the minute they say “yes” to allowing pets.

4. Legal and Insurance Issues

Nobody will know the pet better than the owners, but as they are animals, their behaviors can be unpredictable. An office environment will be foreign to any animal; therefore, all pets will have different reactions. Different reactions can include fear and being nervous, excitement, and even aggression.

In addition to their behaviors, dogs can trip and even bite coworkers, service providers, other pets, and even customers on company property. This opens the door to a number of insurance and legal issues. Before allowing any pets in the office, discuss all possibilities with an attorney as well as your insurance company to best prepare for the worst situations.

Having a Pet Policy

Having a pet-friendly office environment is a great way to retain employees long-term, but there are drawbacks that all companies will face. Thus, the need to have a pet policy is crucial. This should include what types of pets are allowed, stating the frequency and/or which days pets are allowed, how they are to be contained, and placing an animal on probation (or permanently banning them) for destruction or showing aggression.

Becoming Pet Friendly

Many companies may own the building in which they operate, but others may lease from an association. Whether or not that association allows pets is up to them, so the employer may have no say in whether to allow pets or not. If having a pet friendly office is something you believe in, make sure to discuss this with the building manage before signing any lease. Otherwise, you may need to look into owning the property instead.

Help with MovingChicago-Office-Movers-Logo-Larger-3-14-17

Looking to move to a pet friendly building? Allow Chicago Office Movers to help. Our union professionals are each trained, experienced, background-checked, uniformed, and insured to safely relocate your business. Whether moving across town or across the country, our full-service moving company will work with you - regardless of what you need moved – to ensure that everything arrives to your new location safely and on-time.

Chicago Office Movers also has the resources to move a number of specialty items, including industrial equipment, desks, office furniture, lab equipment, and servers.

Free Estimate

For a free estimate on your next commercial move, contact Chicago Office Movers at 312-244-2246.

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Best Corporate Events in Chicago, IL

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Corporate events are a must-have for companies nowadays. Benefits like keeping employees happy, teambuilding, and even improving overall productivity can pay off for companies of any industry. On the other hand, finding an event or activity that everyone will enjoy can be difficult.

Thankfully, Chicago offers a ton of activities for employees with all different interests. Everything from bus tours to escape rooms, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one idea everyone can agree on.

Check out the list of the best corporate events in Chicago, IL:

1. Escape Rooms

One of the best ways to get to know your coworkers and work on those teambuilding skills, escape rooms will give you a challenge, other than work, to focus on. Within each room, you will be racing against the clock to solve multiple puzzles and escape using limited clues.

Escape rooms come in all different challenge levels as well as different themes. Whether you choose to escape from one of the most difficult space rooms or opt for an easier scavenger hunt on a pirate ship, you will definitely have something to talk about on the next business day.

Here are a few highly rated options:

The Escape Game

Fox in a Box Chicago

PanIQ Escape Room Chicago

2. Scavenger Hunt

Weather permitted, scavenger hunts are one of the best opportunities to become familiar with the city. Especially if your company is planning to move or has already moved to Chicago, you’ll find a lot of architecture, unique dining options, and other attractions, even if you don’t find what you are initially looking for.

Scavenger hunts involve various teams to search the city, solving clues that lead them from one location to the next. Race to the finish and you might get a prize!

Here are a few options:

Scavenger Hunt

Stray Boots

Windy City Field House

3. Sporting Events

This idea can seem a little original, but Chicago is known for it’s famous sports teams. Popular teams like the Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls, and even the Bears are what make the harsh winters and expensive rents all worth it! Plus the seating available, such as the rooftops of Wrigley field or the box seats at the United Center offer a whole new experience to watching your favorite teams play.

All inclusive packages for corporate events are common, not to mention suites available for the employees. Load up from the dessert cart!

4. Indoor Skydiving

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rushing adventure, check into indoor skydiving at iFly. Suit up and pop into their indoor wind tunnels. Simply lean forward and up you go. There will be someone to spot you of course, but this option is a great way to take a break from the cubicle.

iFly locations are available in Naperville, Rosemont, and Lincoln Park. Be sure to check one out if you’re looking for something extra exciting!

5. Charity Events

If your team is interested in giving back for the event, volunteering as a group to a local non-profit is a great way to build relationships with your colleagues. Charities are always looking for helping hands (and donations) to help their cause.

Common activities for corporate events can include:

  • Feeding the sick, poor, and others in need
  • Walking dogs
  • Walk to End Alzheimer’s
  • Planting trees
  • Food packing

If you have a favorite charity, you can reach out to them directly to see if they have events coming up that your company can attend. Remember every little bit helps!

6. Bowling

One of the activities that never get old, everyone loves to go bowling! Chicago is littered with bowling alleys, even with some that have different themes and food. Many also have fully stocked bars and kitchens so you can combine dinner and entertainment into one package.

For some companies, some bowling alleys offer private rooms, providing more convenience and fun to your experience.

Here are some options to choose from:

7. Game Shows

Team up against your coworkers to see who’s the fastest on the buzzer! You can choose from any game shows like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right, and more and battle against your friends.

Events like these will have your team laughing, doing physical challenges, and doing some critical thinking that will have the team talking for weeks. Step out of your cubicle comfort zone and up to the plate when facing off your coworkers through fast decision-making and being prepared to fail in front of everyone! This will ultimately build that company spirit that’s hard to accomplish everyday.

Check out these options:

The Game Show Game Show

Game Show Gurus

8. Dinner Cruise

If you have the budget for something a little more fancy, check out one of the cruises on the Chicago River. When cruising, you’ll see some of Chicago’s most prominent, updated buildings, everything from Marina City and Merchandise Mart to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Willis Tower.

If you want to make the experience extra special, you can rent out the whole boat for a private event. Enjoy a 3-course meal and all that Chicago scenery has to offer with the convenience of the company of nobody but your coworkers.

Check out these options:

Odyssey

Mystic Blue

9. Office Party

Looking to save a few bucks? You can always host the party in the office. Order in food, bring some games, music, and drinks, and you have a party of your own!

Need some help moving things around? Chicago Office Movers can help move office furniture to and from your space if needed. With office decommissioning, we can have your furniture professionally moved and returned to the right places while working around your schedule.

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Moving to or from Chicago? Chicago Office Movers is a full-service moving company that can help with anything and everything you need, from packing to crating to furniture assembly. Each of our movers is licensed, experienced, background-checked, and insured for your peace of mind. We are also able to move a number of specialty equipment like machinery, inventory, paperwork, and even lab equipment locally, long distance, and internationally.

You can be as involved or as hands-off as you prefer. We understand that you have work that needs to get done, and moving can easily take time away from operations; so we’ll take care of what you don’t want to deal with. Leave the moving process to us.

Get a Free Estimate

To get a free estimate on your commercial move, contact Chicago Office Movers at 312-244-2246 or fill out a contact form. We will get back to you shortly!

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  • 7 Things to Update After Relocating Your Business

    Shifting to a new office space is a major milestone for a company. The move may signal business growth, or downsizing may be a practical reason to relocate. Moving a company, however, comes with many responsibilities, one of which is to make updates to keep customers and partners in the loop. Companies relocate for many reasons. Expansion is one common cause for business relocations. The need to reduce operational costs can also spur a move. On the other hand, companies may see the value in consolidating offices and seek a lease with less surplus space. Another good reason that companies relocate is to attract top talent. A new location may be closer to prospects, clients, and a skilled talent pool. […]

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    Chicago is one of the most popular and populated cities in the U.S.  It has one of the most recognizable skylines in the world dominated by the Willis Tower (still called the Sears Tower by locals) and is home to many landmarks and attractions that draw visitors from all over the globe. About the City of Chicago Chicago is also a city of historical significance as industry within the city helped develop the western U.S. in the 19th century, and it is a major cultural center as many artists, writers, actors, and musicians have hailed from Chicago.  Many prominent businesses were started in Chicago, including Sears and Marshall Fields (now Macy’s), and many businesses still operate out of Chicago and […]

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