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Feb 02

Obama's tech startup plan benefits other small firms, too

Posted by annearf in startupssmall businessKauffman Foundationhigh-potential startups


President Obama's Startup America Partnership, announced earlier this week, will benefit mostly one particular sector of the small business world.

Still it looks like the program has real legs.

Jan 28

Move over BRIC countries, make room for CIVETS

Posted by annearf in emerging marketsChinaBRICBrazil


We all know about the BRIC countries--Brazil, Russia, India and China. But now there's talk about a new set of emerging markets with growth potential. They're the so-called CIVETS countries -- Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa-- with diverse economies, fast-growing populations, and prospects for healthy overall growth, according to Knowledge@Wharton .

The countries will grow at an annual rate of 4.5 percent during the next 20 years, according the forecasting group Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). That's slightly below the 4.9 percent average predicted by the EIU for the BRIC nations and far above the rate of 1.8 percent forecast for the G7 nations.

Jan 26

Goods news about business borrowing

Posted by annearf in loanscommunity banksCash, borrowing


More promising developments in the area of borrowing.

An important just-released indicator of business health and activity reveals some upward trends--specifically, that companies increased their borrowing to invest in operations and more firms are keeping up with payments on loans they've taken out previously.

Jan 21

Small and big businesses live in different worlds

Posted by annearf in smal businessGDPeconomydemand


When it comes to suggesting remedies for the US economy, looks like small and large businesses aren't on the same planet.

 According to a study of 1,224 executives by a researcher at Pepperdine University, 17 percent of whom are business owners, 27.5 percent of company heads with less than $5 million in revenues said the number one impediment to US GDP growth in the next 12 months is limited access to capital. Only 13.3 percent of heads of firms with more than $1 billion in revenues felt the same way.

Jan 19

How can you tell if the CEO is lying?

Posted by annearf in your careerquarterly earningslyingCFOCEO


Wouldn't it be nice to know whether the CEO or CFO is, well, being less than candid?

Well now there may be a way to tell.

Jan 13

Obesity costs employers billions. Now what?

Posted by annearf in productivityoverweightobesity


We all know that obesity causes lots of health problems and, as a result, has substantial economic repercussions. Now a new study by the Society of Actuaries has put an eye-popping priced tag on the cost of overweight and obesity in the US and Canada. It's $300 billion a year, 90 percent of that in the US.

The study defines being overweight as having a BMI of between 25.0 and 29.9 and obesity as a BMI of more than 30. And it breaks down the economic costs according to specific causes. For example, the total cost of excess medical care is $127 billion; for economic loss of productivity caused by disability for active workers, it's $43 billion, and productivity loss from "excess mortality", $49 billion.

Jan 12

Healthiest and weakest small businesses use technology the most

Posted by annearf in web sitesocial mediasnall businessbiztech


There's a striking bifurcation among small businesses regarding how much they value technology and their financial performance.

According to a survey conducted in June, small business owners who expected their revenues for 2010 to increase by more than 25 percent over the prior year, as well as those who thought their revenues would decline by more than 25 percent, value technology (software, web sites, social media)  at the same level of intensity. The survey of 1,200 small business owners was conducted by the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

Jan 06

Lending to small business picks up

Posted by annearf in Small Loan Advantagesmall businesslendingCash


Some good news in the area of small business borrowing.

Specifically it rose 17 percent in November to the highest level in more than two years, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. It was the ninth consecutive monthly increase. The Index measures loans, leases and credit lines given to small businesses.

Jan 05

More companies paying benefits tax for gay couples

Posted by annearf in Taxhealth insuranceFacebookdomestic partnershipsbenefits


Increasingly leading edge companies are adopting benefits policies aimed at gay employees who are in domestic partnerships. The latest wrinkle: addressing a tax on health insurance coverage that gay employees have to pay, but heterosexuals who are married don’t.

Basically companies offering coverage to gay employees with domestic partners face a conundrum. They can’t give such workers equal access to those benefits. The reason: Benefits for domestic partners under federal law have to be taxed as income. The tax owed is based on the value of whatever the employer pays to cover the partner. But married couples don’t pay that tax.

Dec 23

Dodd-Frank compliance rules worry RIAs

Posted by annearf in RIADodd Frankcompliance


Looks like new regulatory requirements for RIAs mandated by Dodd-Frank are causing a lot of agita, as well as confusion, among advisors.

According to a TD Ameritrade study of 500 RIAs, nearly 60 percent say their greatest concern with the regulation is the increase in time and money they'll have to spend to meet the new compliance requirements. A smaller number, 15 percent, worry that regulators won't understand their business. And an even smaller percent, 6, suspect the fiduciary standard will be adversely impacted.

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