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BUSINESS
June 25, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
The federal government is making 17,000 more employers eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration. The SBA enabled the expansion by changing the size standards for 70 industries. As a result of the changes, which go into effect in July, more firms will be eligible for SBA loans and grants and will be added to the agency's database for government contracts. Several markets, such as amusement parks, saw their revenue size standards rise to $35.5 million from $7 million.
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OPINION
June 20, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
On the drawing board, enterprise zones were a good idea. The state identified 40 economically distressed parts of the state where businesses would get tax breaks if they located there and hired local workers. They would be good for small companies: Tax credits for them could make the difference between staying in business or failing. They would be good for many workers: Employers who otherwise wouldn't give them a second look would instead give them training and job opportunities. They would be good for disadvantaged communities: Areas that were economically distressed would be able to demonstrate that they were good for business, could attract more employers and move more people from the unemployment rolls to the tax rolls.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court, in its latest ruling to bar class-action claims against big corporations, blocked restaurant owners from joining together to sue American Express Co. over high credit card fees. In a 5-3 decision Thursday, Justice Antonin Scalia said American Express can use its arbitration agreement to squelch the class-action claim from the restaurants, even if the dominant credit card company is violating antitrust laws and the class suit is the only affordable way to raise the claim.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2013 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones wants industry giant Anthem Blue Cross barred from the state's new health exchange for small businesses because he says the company imposes excessive rate hikes. Jones said the state's largest for-profit health insurer should be denied access to the state-run market where thousands of small employers will purchase health coverage for their workers. Covered California, the state agency implementing the federal healthcare law, said it would consider the commissioner's request alongside many other factors in deciding which insurers to pick.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
Small business confidence grew slightly in May, the second highest reading since the recession started, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business. The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism rose 2.3 points to 94.4, edging up for the second consecutive month. However planned job creation fell a point and reported job creation stalled after increasing over the last five months. “Small business confidence rising is always a good thing, but it's tough to be excited by meager growth in an otherwise tepid economy,” Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist, said in a statement.
BUSINESS
June 6, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
Small businesses added 58,000 employees in May with overall private-sector employment increasing by 135,000, according to the ADP National Employment Report. The number of jobs added is up from 49,000 in April, but down from 72,000 in March. Last May the number of jobs added was about 50,000, ADP said. Establishments with one to 19 employees grew by 37,000 and those with 20 to 49 employees grew by 21,000. Most were in the service sector, according to the report. In Los Angeles, small-business owners were optimistic about the future, according to a report from Bank of America released last week.
BUSINESS
June 5, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
More than two-thirds of small businesses believe federal and state laws should prohibit employment discrimination against gay and transgender people, according to a national poll. The survey from the Small Business Majority, a national small business advocacy organization, also found that 63% believe an employer shouldn't be able to fire or refuse to hire someone who is gay, lesbian or transgender if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Another 6 in 10 small business owners said laws that protect against discrimination can improve their revenues because these kinds of laws help employers attract the best and brightest employees.
BUSINESS
June 4, 2013 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
Blue Shield of California owes $24.5 million in rebates to thousands of small-business customers, and rival Anthem Blue Cross will return $12 million to small firms under requirements of the federal healthcare law. The annual rebates were disclosed in reports to state regulators, and the final tally from some companies may change before they are paid out by Aug. 1. The rebate is required under the federal Affordable Care Act when insurers fail...
BUSINESS
June 3, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
Small-business employees in Denver have it best, according to a recent study, enjoying some of the highest wages for new hires and a rising workforce. The Mile-High City topped CardHub's list of the Best Cities to Work for a Small Business . The credit card comparison company used 10 metrics, such as net growth, industry variety and average wages for new hires, to evaluate the state of small businesses in the 30 largest metropolitan areas nationwide. About 97% of employers in Colorado are classified as small businesses, according to the study.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
In the last year, more U.S. small businesses were giving employees the boot rather than hiring, a recent survey found. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey reported a net hiring index of -12 in April, down from -9 for the same period the previous year and down from -10 in January. The quarterly analysis surveyed 603 small business owners. Net hiring has remained at similar levels since January 2011, but is up from the low of -27 reported in January 2010, Dennis Jacobe, Gallup chief economist, said in a statement.
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