HELPING SMALL BUSINESS A RECESSION ANTIDOTE
Small business advocates are urging federal aid to help entrepreneurs help the county out of its recession. Among the recommendations from Gannett News Service: Tax credit or payroll amnesty for hiring a first employee. Income averaging of three to five years for those with less than $1 million in revenue. Permission to accelerate depreciation of start-up expenses. A small-business-only tax credit for technology training and consulting.
ELECTRONICS REPLACING CHECK WRITING
Checks remain the retail payment method of choice, but they are losing ground. U.S. consumers and businesses make 80 billion retail payments annually, and increasingly they are by electronic instruments such as credit cards or debit cards.
Checks account for 60 percent of the total payments, but that share has slid from 85 percent in 1979.
GOVERNMENT SERVICE NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been hammered by irate taxpayers in recent years for poor service, but it didn’t score badly in a customer satisfaction index from the University of Michigan. In fact, the IRS scored 62 out of 100 while McDonald’s score was 59.
Overall, government scored an average of 71, up a bit from 2000 and almost as high as the 72 posted by private industry.
BUSINESS’ BEST FRIEND
Like man, a business could find its best friend is a dog. Shop owners across the country are pleasing customers by having on hand a friendly dog to be petted. The owner of a home-décor shop, Acquisitions, in Winter Park, FL, on his day off still drives to the store to drop off his dog because the customers expect to see him.
According to a recent survey, 73 percent of companies with animals in the workplace credited the pets with increasing productivity.
GOT ANY SPARE CHANGE?
America’s pocket money adds up. The U.S. Mint estimates that Americans have $7.7 billion in spare change at home, and with the economy in the doldrums they are cashing it in causing a glut of new coins. The Federal Reserve reports it is holding $1.5 billion, or double the $748 million it held in June.
Among the coins stacking up at the mint are 2.4 billion pennies and 192 million Sacagawea golden $1 coins.