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PLANET Green Industry Weekly NewsBrief
May 27, 2009
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Economy


What the Stimulus Package Means for Small Business
from U.S. News and World Report
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the stimulus package, was signed into law by President Obama in February. It amounts to $787 billion in government spending, incentives, and tax cuts designed to kick-start the economy and create or save 3 million to 4 million jobs over the next two years. More

Stimulus Prompts Small Business Loan Scams
from Business Week
It is important for small business owners to realize the government does not give loans directly to small businesses. The government works through commercial lenders, such as banks, by guaranteeing the small business loans of banks that participate in their loan programs. The confusion on this point has unfortunately opened the door to fraudulent operators who charge fees purporting to help small business owners and individuals get government money, says Alison Southwick, spokesperson for the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, Va., "Anytime there's a story dominating the headlines, scammers are going to take advantage of it," she says. "When people hear the word 'stimulus,' they know that's something they heard about in the news, so it must be legitimate." More

Housing Starts, Permits Hit Record Lows in April
from the Wall Street Journal
New construction of single-family homes and apartments plunged 12.8 percent to a record-low annual rate of 458,000, much weaker that the 519,000-rate expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. This is the weakest level since the government began publishing the series in 1959. Starts are now 79.9 percent below their peak in January 2006. More

46 Percent Spike in Gas Price Just Doesn't Make Sense
from The San Diego Union Tribune
In many areas of the economy, there looms the specter of deflation, with consumer prices falling over the past 12 months by their greatest percentage since 1955. But you might not notice that fall in prices next time you fill up your tank with gasoline. Instead of deflating, gasoline is inflating. The big question is why. Last week, gasoline prices rose above $2.50 per gallon in San Diego County for the first time since early November. Prices are now above the $2.25 mark nationwide. More

Business

Small Business Owners get Help from SBA loan
from Chattanooga Times Free Press
Nashville residents Cindy and Mike Ladd fully intended to use their retirement fund to buy the Mayor’s Mansion Inn. But the economy declined in the fall and their accounts started to lose money. The couple began looking for a loan, and found it at the Small Business Administration. More

Credit Card Reform Leaves Out Small Entrepreneurs
from Los Angeles Times
Though U.S. consumers can look forward to some relief under the credit card reform bill signed into law last week by President Obama, small-business owners may not be so lucky. Congress is reining in the penalties that banks can levy on their riskiest borrowers. Card issuers stand to lose billions in revenue. They may seek to make it up from other plastic-wielding customers by raising interest rates, scaling back rewards and imposing annual fees. Small-business cardholders could be prime targets. More

Technology

Beware Social Media Marketing Myths
from Businessweek
Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a suggestion for preparing a Hot Pockets frozen entrée: "Take out of package. Place directly in toilet." Gaffigan is not a big fan of Hot Pockets. He doesn't like exercise, either. But he loves bacon. "Without bacon, no one would even know what a water chestnut is," he says. Gaffigan's also a fan of social networking sites. More

Is it Real or Is It Spam? 5 Ways to Tell
from Manta
Most businesses rely on spam filters to determine the legitimacy of incoming email. Yet filtering technology remains far from perfect, and a good deal of junk email still winds up in users' inboxes. This fact makes it important to be able to visually spot the differences between real email and the digital rubbish spammers generate. More




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