More Tech Firms in Festive Mood

Silicon Valley’s improving outlook is beginning to manifest itself through local companies’ holiday gifts and parties.

Take Equilar Inc. Last year, the Redwood City-based compensation-research firm handed out pullover fleeces with the company’s logo as an end-of-year gift to its work force. This year, the firm held a Thanksgiving lunch and went one better: It gave out Apple Inc. iPads, which start at $499, to all 74 employees.

“We wanted to thank everyone for a great year,” says David Chun, Equilar’s chief executive. He adds that the 10-year-old company is up 30 to 40 percent in revenue this year.

Equilar is one of dozens of Silicon Valley start-ups ramping up their rewards to employees in a reflection of improving business. While many companies were still recovering from the recession last year, this year has been marked by revenue improvements across much of the technology industry, along with stepped-up hiring and increased venture-capital funding of start-ups.

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