The White House, in advance of a televised summit meeting aimed at reviving revive stalled health care legislation, posted a proposal this morning that is meant to “bridge the differences,” in the words of Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director, between the House and the Senate bills. The White House basically follows the Senate bill, except that in a handful of key instances it weighs in with a Solomonic compromise. “We view this as the opening bid for the health meeting” that will be televised live this Thursday, said Mr. Pfeiffer.
One of those areas is employer responsibility. Recall that in the Senate bill, any firm with more than 50 full-time employees that did not offer insurance would have to pay a $750 penalty multiplied by the number of full-time employees should even one of those employees choose to rely on a public subsidy to buy individual insurance. (The new law would require almost everyone to buy insurance.)
To read more of this New York Times article click here.
A batch of new restrictions aimed at curbing the most egregious credit card practices kick in Monday, but business owners will need to stay alert — the new rules don’t cover cards used for corporate purposes.
The bill Congress passed in May reforms the Truth in Lending Act, which governs only consumer credit. The measure fulfills a wish list of long-sought reforms. Issuers won’t be able to hike the interest rates on existing balances as long as customers pay their bills on time, and they’ll need to notify customers at least 45 days in advance of interest rate increases and most fee changes.
To read more of this CNN article click here.
America’s smallest businesses shed another 12,000 workers last month, extending a two-year streak in which job losses have mounted every month, according to a report released Wednesday by payroll processor ADP.
But the tide could be turning: The pace of losses has slowed, and one segment of the market — companies with 50 to 499 workers — added a net 9,000 positions in January.
And some business owners say President Obama’s recent proposal for a $5,000 per-worker tax credit for new hires this year could help goose the recovery.
“I am personally extremely excited about the tax credit,” said Ryan Millman, president of Nations Photo Lab in Owings Mills, Md.
To read more of this CNN Money article click here.
Nearly 3,000 small U.S. banks could be forced to dramatically curtail their lending because of losses on commercial real-estate loans, a congressional inquiry concluded.
The findings, set to be released Thursday by the Congressional Oversight Panel as part of its scrutiny of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, point to yet another obstacle for the slow-moving economic recovery. The small banks being threatened by loans they made for shopping centers, offices, hotels and apartments represent a major cog in the U.S. credit system, especially to entrepreneurs.
To read more of this Wall Street Journal article click here.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its GOP allies have been busy warning that an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency will hurt small business — but a growing number of small business owners are saying just the opposite.
When asked to speak for themselves, they say a strong CFPA is the only thing that can protect them from the predatory practices of the corporate titans represented by the Chamber.
Small business owners, after all, frequently wind up using personal credit cards to cover their expenses. Consequently, they’re often victimized by the kinds of deceptive interest rates and fee structures that the CFPA could do away with or otherwise regulate. Small business owners may have created two out of three net new jobs in the past decade and a half, but they say that big businesses are strangling their finances and killing those jobs.
To read more of this Huffington Post article click here.
Scroll the more than 7,000 small businesses for sale on a statewide website and Frenchy’s Bistro & Wine Bar pops up alongside the flower shops, manufacturers and other companies that are listed like so many used cars.
Like everything else in this down market, they’re going cheap. Frenchy’s owner and chef Andre Angles, who opened his Long Beach restaurant 14 years ago, is asking $250,000 — less than he’d prefer — and may end up financing part of the sale just to get a deal done.
To read more of this Los Angeles Times article click here.
RENO, Nev., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — As small business decision-makers closed the books on 2009, nearly half (46 percent) said it would require more than 12 months for their businesses to return to pre-recession levels in terms of annual sales, according to the Small Business Opinion Poll commissioned by EMPLOYERS®, America’s small business insurance specialist®. The national poll also reveals that 41 percent of small business decision-makers say it will be more than 10 months before they plan to begin hiring again. The Small Business Poll, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, surveyed 500 small business decision-makers across the country.
Even as key economic indicators such as consumer spending and new home sales are beginning to show signs of recovery, EMPLOYERS’ latest Small Business Opinion Poll reveals small business decision-makers are still apprehensive about 2010. And as credit markets remain tight, 40 percent of small business decision-makers reported the recession negatively impacted their access to credit.
To read more of this PR Newswire article click here.
Credit unions may continue to have an edge over banks when it comes to the growing number of small business owners who say they are frustrated with their financial institution’s service.
The findings come from a new Aite Group LLC report of 283 owners and executives of businesses that generate less than $10 million in annual revenue. Among small businesses that are “disappointed” with their financial institutions, 31% stated they “definitely” or “probably will” switch to a new financial institution over the next two years. Thirty-eight percent of disappointed customers bank with the “Big Four” banks, while 41% bank primarily with regional banks. The big four are Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo/Wachovia.
To read more of this Credit Union Times article click here.