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Housing starts almost flat in February
Recent housing starts data for February 2014, were almost flat owing to unfavorable weather and lack of lots and skilled labor.
Data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau showed that housing starts in February were 907,000, down from 909,000 in January. Regionally, the combined housing starts data were mixed in February.
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Foggy windows can be cleared or replaced
Akron Beacon Journal Online
Marie Poling thought she was looking at an expense of thousands of dollars to replace all the windows on her Northfield Center Township house.
The insulated glass in the home’s bay window had gotten foggy, and she figured her only option was new windows.
Then she found out about a process that removes the moisture from inside thermal pane windows. So for a few hundred dollars, she has a clear view once again.
US stocks decline with Europe on economy; gold weakens
U.S. stocks fell for a second day as a report showed slowing growth in manufacturing while European shares slid amid concern the Ukraine crisis may escalate. Gold had its biggest drop of the year. Data on March 24, showed the pace of U.S. manufacturing activity slowed this month, while other reports indicated China’s manufacturing industry weakened in March and growth at euro-area factories and service providers held close to the fastest since 2011.
Study: Long-term jobless face a dark future in US
The millions of Americans suffering through long stretches of unemployment could be left behind as the economy strengthens, a study by an influential former White House economist found.
Alan Krueger, a respected labor market economist who led President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said those unemployed long term tended to put less effort into their job hunts than others and were often viewed by employers as undesirable.
Build social media into your marketing
A 2012 survey of small-business owners by the online networking and promotional service Manta.com found that 90 percent are actively engaged in social networking sites, while 74 percent perceive social networking as valuable, if not more so, than networking in-person. What’s more, nearly half of the respondents said gaining and targeting prospective customers is the most valuable benefit of networking online. And 78 percent reported gaining at least a quarter of their new customers through online or social media channels that year.
Forgotten tax deductions for small business owners
The Bellingham Herald
It's that dreaded time of year again. One thing you can't avoid is taxes. But with some sound advice and a few good tips, the weeks before April 15, can be less painful. One deduction that business owners sometimes miss is a bonus depreciation deduction available in the year that new assets are purchased. Businesses are allowed to claim a 50 percent bonus depreciation deduction, in addition to the depreciation deduction you would normally take for the asset.
The power of window treatments
A renovation turned the formal dining room of a 17-year-old Chapel Hill home into an inviting gathering space that is now in constant use. Replacing the formal furnishings was easy. The challenge was to design window treatments that would take advantage of the light and views, yet provide interest and polish.
Economists see US growth pickup this year
The Associated Press via CNBC
With the pace of U.S. economic growth seen speeding up later this year and next, many business economists expect the Federal Reserve to end its bond purchases this fall or even earlier.
The consensus of the 48 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is that bad weather cut first-quarter growth to a weak annual rate of 1.9 percent, but that growth could exceed 3 percent by year's end. NABE's report, released March 24, covered a survey period from Feb. 19, through March 5.
Big marketing ideas for small businesses
The Charlotte Post
From the mom and pop coffee shop to the small bookstore just down the street, people enjoy the personal interactions and convenience small businesses offer. However, small business success requires a strategic balance between face-to-face interactions and the convenience of consumer-focused technology.
A recent Web.com survey about interactions between consumers and small businesses found that more than 8 out of 10 consumers said it's important that a small business is customer-focused and provides personal, face-to-face interaction with its customers.
4 reasons to file for a tax extension
FOX Small Business
Is tax season moving too quickly for you this year? Here’s some good news: you can file for an extension if you just can’t get your act together by the April 15, deadline, says The Hartford’s Barbara Weltman.
But requesting an extension doesn’t get you totally off the hook. Weltman says small business owners looking for extra time will still need to actually submit their extension form by April 15, and pay their estimated taxes for the 2013 year.
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