Amazon and Texas duking it out over sales tax obligations

Texas has been attempting to bill itself as a friendly place for businesses to operate. This business-friendly facade is being thrown into question by a fight with online retailer Amazon. The Texas Comptroller has ordered the seller to pay $600 million in back sales taxes. The state of state sales tax collections Online retailers present
Small Businesses

Small Businesses to qualify for new small loans

With an estimated cost of $7 billion over 10 years, Congress has passed a package of small business stimulus measures. This package will increase tax cuts, spur lending and provide new equity financing. This bill is in response to the increasing costs of starting a business, and will be overseen by the Treasury’s inspector general.
corporations profiting from shifing health care costs to workers

Companies survive by shifting health care costs to workers

Health care costs are falling … for employers. A study released Thursday shows that employers are shifting a greater portion of total health care costs to workers. While the premiums employees pay for employer-sponsored health insurance rose significantly, the amount their employers contribute declined slightly. Analysts say the shift in health care costs is a
food inflation

Companies try to mask price increases by shrinking food packaging

During the economic downturn, food manufacturers have been quietly shrinking food packaging. As the rate of food inflation has been accelerating, so has the rate of food package shrinkage. As shoppers start to notice they are paying more for less, the spin from food manufacturers is that smaller food packaging is good for the environment
labor market

Small business hiring big reason for drop in unemployment rate

Small business hiring has markedly increased in the past three months. The turnaround in small businesses hiring, which creates a majority of U.S. jobs, is seen as a possible turning point for the weak labor market. While hiring in large companies has been relatively flat, a three-month surge in small business hiring is being credited

SBA lending programs to expand on February 15

On Feb. 15, the Small Business Administration will be expanding lending programs. Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage are both programs aimed at increasing lending to very small businesses. Both programs increase the percentage of the loan the government will guarantee. SBA’s Small Loan Advantage program The Small Business Administration is a government-supported program intended
Urban garden

Doing the math on urban farming

With food costs continually going up, front-yard gardens and urban farming are again in vogue. These city gardens are often touted as a way to save money. Some enterprising farmers, however, are trying to turn backyard gardens into full-fledged, profitable farms. The argument for urban gardens For a variety of reasons, urban gardening is gaining
facebook app farmville violates facebook rules

Facebook apps caught harvesting personal IDs to sell for profit

Facebook apps have been discovered transmitting personal data from Facebook users to advertisers and Internet marketing companies profiting from the information. Tens of millions of users have had their privacy violated by Facebook apps such as Farmville, Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille. In response to the latest Facebook privacy issue, the company said it had

Can bookstores survive financial challenges?

With over $431 million in sales and over 22 million units shipped in 2009, the e-reader market is exploding. This is leaving many wondering — can bookstores survive? The short answer is, with creative marketing and short-term loans, some bookstores might survive, but it won’t be easy. Can bookstores survive major changes? There are dozens
Open sign

Startup America Partnership helps small businesses grow

Being an entrepreneur is tough, but a three-month-old private entity, supported by government partnerships, is aiming to make it a little bit easier. Startup America has announced an additional $400 million in business partnerships. The Startup America Partnership Startup America is a privately funded association that works in partnership with the U.S. federal government. The
Air France-KLM

Air France-KLM to fly on used cooking oil in September

Next September, Air France-KLM, Europe’s largest airline, will begin using a mixture of kerosene and used cooking oil to fuel its planes. It will be a major step toward lessening the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Over 200 flights will use alternative fuels Over 200 scheduled flights between Paris and Amsterdam will be the first
Interior shot of a Bank of America branch.

California short term business loans are drying up

The San Diego Business Journal reports that the California Reinvestment Coalition has released a new report that fails to paint a rosy picture when it comes to California short term business loans. The report, entitled “Small Business Access to Credit,” points out that total number of small business loans issued in the state fell 63
closed sign

Not enough good borrowers for small business loans

A bill designed to help smaller banks make more loans to small businesses is about to be voted on by the U.S. Senate. This bill will help create $300 billion in available capital to help small businesses. Banks in the lending business, though, are saying the extra quick cash advance won’t actually create more small
A Chinese investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information.

China: Technological price for entry in the biggest market

In the news, allegations have surfaced accusing China of forcing various entities in the technology industry to give Chinese establishments technology. Allegedly, this is required as part of their cost to do business in China, although China denies this. China’s increasing integration with the global economy has contributed to sustained growth in international trade. The
search engine results

Google Bing sting catches Microsoft copying search engine results

Google, having suspected Microsoft’s Bing of copying its search engine results, launched a sting operation. Google caught Microsoft red-handed by inserting artificial top results for certain search queries, which showed up on Bing. Bing didn’t deny the charges and spun an explanation, which included calling Google’s sting a stunt. Google smells a rat Google began
An operating room during surgery

Employer health care costs rising despite health care reform bill

Employer health care costs will continue to rise this year and next, but the rate of increasing costs for employer health insurance appears to be slowing down. Despite the health care reform bill, a nine percent employer health care cost increase is projected in 2011 compared to the 9.5 percent jump expected this year. To
A male college graduate hard at work at his internship position.

Parents can help college grads secure internships

Most colleges do not effectively prepare graduates to take on the job market, thanks to under-funded, under-staffed, under-motivated college career centers. Students must find motivation within themselves, but it never hurts to have parents who take an active role. According to Fox Business, parents can be instrumental in helping students obtain internships after college. Internships