The December 20, 2012 Google doodle on the Brothers Grimm, whose book of fairy tales is celebrating its 200th anniversary, had the Web abuzz with discussion of fairy tales. Inevitably, those conversations must include Disney movies. The conversations about Disney versions of the Grimm stories range from Driscoll’s rosy picture to criticisms of Disney’s sweeter renditions of these weird and sometimes gruesome tales. Although fairy tales may draw a spotlight on Disney movies, the company has much more to celebrate as the year ends, including a new exclusivity agreement for movies on Netflix and a 31% gain on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Continue reading
In what could be a landmark decision, the U.S. House of Representatives made a major tax concession this week in proposing to increase tax rates on millionaires. House Speaker John Boehner made the proposal, which would increase taxes on Americans who earn more than $1 million a year. The deal is far from final but plants the seeds for a new potential resolution. As the clock continues to tick and the House of Representatives nears its fiscal cliff deadline, pundits are questioning what spending cuts will President Obama agree to in return. Continue reading
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti
As fiscal cliff talks continue in the U.S., the announcement this week that Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti will resign in the next few days forced the euro into a two-week low and further plunged the world’s economy into uncertainty.
The euro fell up to .3 percent to $1.2880 in the aftermath of Monti’s announcement. The British pound also hit a three-week low of 79.865 pence. Monti’s surprise announcement is being depicted by political experts as a strategic move against former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who also announced this week that he plans to run for prime minister for the fifth time despite the fact that he was forced out of office more than a year ago due to his inability to get Italy out of the debt crisis. Monti’s resignation forces an earlier election that could take place as early as next February, in which he is expected to run, giving Berlusconi less time to rally his party. Continue reading
While Americans traveled more in 2012 than they did the year before, in business travel news, the U.S. Travel Association reports that slow growth is to be expected in U.S. travel due to unstable economic factors and lower business confidence. Business travel is also expected to trend downward starting in the new year, according to a 2013 forecast, which could mean increased challenges for businesses.
Forecasts for travel in 2013
The state of the economy — and the pending “fiscal cliff” — is just one factor playing into predictions that the travel business will encounter a downward course.
Rising costs of travel may also contribute to decline in the coming year. Continue reading
Black Friday shoppers at Wal-mart
If this year’s Black Friday sales are any indication of a recovering economy, then the U.S. is on its way up. Statistics this year are skewed, however, due to extended shopping hours with record sales starting on Thanksgiving Day. The new five-day sales span stretching into Cyber Monday also provide a wider window of opportunity for both national retailers and small businesses to cash in on the evolving marketing strategies. Continue reading
On Friday, November 16, 2012, Facebook announced the roll-out of a new conversion tool that would allow online retailers to track those who visit their site by first clicking on their Facebook ad. The new customer tracking tool is the latest advertising campaign feature with the aim of boosting Facebook ad revenues and proving its ability as a major marketing force. Currently the tool is being tested; however, Facebook expects that it will be fully implemented by the end of November — just in time for holiday shopping. Continue reading
Now that election 2012 is over, pundits have begun speculating as to what an Obama second term will mean for the small business owner. Many worry about the impending fiscal cliff, which was set in motion last year when the Super Committee failed to reach a consensus on the deficit. Unless an agreement can be reached, tax hikes and spending cuts are scheduled, which will, no doubt, thrust the economy into another recession. Yet, there is still much to be optimistic about as we look ahead. Continue reading
2011 New York City Marathon
Marathons are big business. The sudden cancelation of this week’s New York City Marathon 2012 is certainly a testament to how much is at stake. Some say botched planning is to blame for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s last-minute backpedaling two days before the marathon was set to take place. As a result, sponsors lost money (and face), local businesses throughout all five boroughs lost sales, and charities didn’t receive the support they anticipated. In the end, what are the lessons learned about what went wrong during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, especially in the case of getting a city back on track? Continue reading
Barack Obama reacts to the passing of PPACA
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) known informally as Obamacare, has owners of small businesses worried about costs and compliance issues. As a result, most are delaying expansion and hiring decisions until after the first of the year. Although PPACA largely goes into effect in 2014, well over a year from now, many employers are already concerned about what they see as a looming financial burden. However, others have found that PPACA may offer advantages for small businesses. Continue reading
It’s been a month since California and five other states began the requirement that online retailers collect sales tax from customers who reside in their states. This differs from current online sales tax laws in 45 states that require retailers to collect sales tax only if they have a presence such as a store or headquarters located in that state. New legislation making its way through Congress would impose sales tax requirements on all online sales. The proposed legislation includes a tax exemption that could benefit small businesses. Continue reading