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Small businesses embrace wellness to help retain staffers

Wellness, health insurance

Every month, the 30 staffers at Chris Boehlke’s public relations firm each get $100 to pay for anything that contributes to their wellness. And not just for typical expenditures like gym memberships or yoga classes. “You can get nails done, anything you feel is helping your overall well being,” says Boehlke, co-owner of San Francisco-based Bospar. The company also has ...

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U.S. small businesses are getting upbeat news on the economy

shoe repair, small business

Small business owners have received some upbeat news on the economy this month. Retail sales figures released Friday showed that consumers were inspired by unseasonably warm weather to spend on their homes in January, but that overall sales growth was modest. The Commerce Department reported a 0.3% gain last month following a 0.2% gain in December. Although economists called the ...

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Retailers try clothing rental, but will it be a good fit?

Clothing rentals

Renting clothes could be the future of fashion — or it could just be a fad. But traditional retailers can no longer afford to wait on the sidelines to find out. That’s why a growing number are now offering customers the option to rent clothes for a monthly fee instead of buying them. Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters are ...

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Market for small businesses rebounds after 4 quarterly drops

money stacks

The market for small businesses rebounded in the last three months of 2019 after four straight quarterly declines caused in part by uncertainty about U.S. trade policy. That’s the finding of a report analyzing business sales released by BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace for companies. BizBuySell.com counted 2,340 small businesses sold during October-December, up nearly 2.3% from 2,288 sold in the ...

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New law may encourage small businesses to offer retirement plans

Retirement plan, 401K

A new law expanding retirement plan options for small businesses may encourage more companies to offer the benefits to their workers. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, known as the SECURE Act, won final congressional approval in the Senate last month and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. One of the bill’s features makes it ...

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Succession plans for small businesses assure legacies

Next step concept on green blackboard with coffee cup and paper plane

If you own a successful small business that you’ve nurtured over the years, you may want to leave the legacy of its value to your heirs. To do this, you need a sound, well-thought-out succession plan. One of the greatest values of a successful small business lies in its continued operation after you’re gone, producing perennial profits for your family. ...

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Want to sell on Amazon? Businesses must weigh pros, cons

Marian Nixon

While many small manufacturers and retailers believe Amazon is the place to be, Lyris Autran is forgoing the opportunity. Autran wants to keep the prices on her leashes, bowls and other products for dogs competitive. It costs money to sell on Amazon.com — a 15% fee on each sale and additional charges for shipping — and that would force her ...

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Startups see a market in renting couches by the month

furniture rentals

Zachariah Mohammed’s living room is filled with stuff he doesn’t own. He pays $200 a month for the sofa, side table, bar cart, dining table and four chairs in his living room. It’s worth it, the 27-year-old New Yorker says. If he needs to move, which he’s done twice in the last 12 months, he won’t need to lug a ...

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2020 brings higher labor costs for small businesses

In this 2019 file photo barista Porter Hahn makes an iced coffee drink for a customer in a coffee shop in Seattle. As of Jan. 1, 2020, there are higher minimum wages in a quarter of the states, and new federal overtime rules. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Small business owners have plenty of changes to deal with as 2020 begins — higher labor costs for many companies, and some owners will discover that they have to comply with new laws that aren’t on the books in their own states. As of Jan. 1, there are higher minimum wages in a quarter of the states, and new federal ...

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Businesses facing new overtime rules in new year

money

The new year brings new overtime rules for employers including small businesses and in turn, a pay raise for an estimated 1.3 million workers. The Labor Department rules that go into effect Jan. 1 raise to $684 per week, or $35,568 a year, the threshold at which employees are exempt from being paid overtime. That’s a 50.3 percent increase from the ...

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