Door & Window Business
Apr. 2, 2014

US construction spending barely up as homebuilding tumbles
U.S. construction spending barely rose in February as outlays on private residential construction projects recorded their biggest decline in seven months, a sign that severe weather continues to hobble the economy. Construction spending edged up 0.1 percent to an annual rate of $945.7 billion, the Commerce Department said on April 1. Construction spending in January was revised to show a 0.2 percent drop instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent gain.More

Tying windows, light bulbs and innovation to consumers
The Chicago Tribune
Successful innovation in business usually doesn’t mean inventing something but rather lining it up with consumer demand. That was the takeaway from two CEOs — one changing the window industry, the other light bulbs — among the panelists featured at the Forbes Reinventing America Summit in Chicago. Rao Mulpuri, CEO of View Inc., pointed out that glass that can change tint has long been in use in car rearview mirrors and in airplanes, and his company aims to make it durable enough and simple enough to operate and maintain for buildings.More

Last-minute small business tax tips for procrastinators
Bloomberg Businessweek
Tax returns are due in less than two weeks on April 15. Are you procrastinating? Small business owners and self-employed individuals who wait until the last minute are prone to silly mistakes: forgetting to sign a return, goofing up on the math or filling in the wrong Social Security number. All those errors will get your 1040 form kicked back and delay any refund you may be owed, says Gloria Birnkrant, a Beverly Hills certified public accountant whose clients include many small and midsize business owners and self-employed individuals. More

Yellen: US economy and job market still far from healthy
The Associated Press via Crain's Chicago Business
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made clear on March 31, that she thinks the still-subpar U.S. job market will continue to need the help of low interest rates "for some time." Yellen's remarks signaled that even after the Fed phases out its monthly bond purchases later this year, it has no plans to raise a key short-term rate anytime soon. The bond purchases have been intended to keep long-term loan rates low. More

Key tax changes for 2014 and beyond
FOX Business
Tax years are like thumbprints or snowflakes — no two ever are alike. The tax code changes ceaselessly, forcing taxpayers to keep on top of what's new in tax law. In both 2014 and 2015, tax changes will impact everything from how much you pay for health care insurance to how much you can deduct for attending college or buying classroom supplies.More

Employers in US boost hiring while China cools: Global economy
Employers in the U.S. took on more workers in March than a month earlier and the jobless rate fell, indicating companies were confident sales will rebound from a weather-related setback, according to economists. The Labor Department’s report caps a week of global economic data that include Japanese business sentiment and euro-area inflation. More

Rising small business sales likely to continue in 2014
The business of selling businesses has long been fickle, but this year is shaping up to be a particularly active year. A growing number of boomers are eying retirement now. Those who own small businesses and want to cash out have had to be patient since the last recession. This is where brokers who match buyers and sellers can help out. More

US Democratic tax credit bill aids poor, cuts corporate breaks
Democatic U.S. Senator Patty Murray recently introduced legislation to expand a tax credit for the working poor as requested by President Barack Obama, proposing to pay for it by closing two tax breaks that aid corporations. With Senate Democrats not pursuing a traditional budget resolution this year, the targeted measure aims to help them draw fiscal contrasts with Republicans, who will consider their own budget plan next month. More

Manufacturing growth accelerates in March
GMA News
U.S. manufacturing growth accelerated for a second straight month in March, an industry report showed recently, as production recovered though employment growth slowed. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 53.7 in March, which was up slightly from February's read of 53.2 but below the median forecast of 54.0 in a Reuters poll of economists. Readings above 50 indicate expansion in the sector.More

How to choose the right apps to manage your small business
At Sage, we meet with small business owners regularly to get a complete picture of how their businesses run. We’ve had countless discussions about the tools these business owners use and why they chose them. These are businesses of all types, sizes and ages; but do you know what is common among them? To some degree, they all use a mix of tools that are either the wrong fit or not connected with each other — or both.More