A single bill in the U.S. Senate will address three issues important to home-based businesses (HBBs): health care, tax deductions and the definition of independent contractors. The bill is expected to top the agenda for the Senate's small-business committee headed by Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO). The health care measure would let the self-employed deduct 100 percent of health care premiums instead of 40 percent now. Sen. Bond also wants to make it easier for home-based business people to be considered independent contractors.
Sleeping on the Job Encouraged
If you're caught nodding-off on the job, just tell your boss about Japan and France where some companies have nap rooms for employees to recharge their batteries. Researchers say napping substantially boosts productivity overall, but don't expect too many U.S. firms to set up nap rooms just yet. Consumers Optimistic
Consumer confidence is at its highest level in seven years, according to the Conference Board. The private research group measures American optimism about jobs, spending plans and general business conditions. Consumer demand will pave the way for a healthy economy during the first half of 1997, the board adds.
Unions Look for Retail Members
As unions push to increase declining membership this year, they will concentrate on service, professional and retail industries. The AFL-CIO says it will spend $30 million to organize workers. Pay increases in union contracts are expected to average three percent, the same as the inflation rate. One of the union targets is proposed comp-time legislation, which would allow compen- satory time off in lieu of overtime pay.