November 30, 2010 - Economic Forecast 2011-2012 — Even housing will improve

Trade War: What Does It Mean for Business and the Economy? By Bill Conerly, Conerly Consulting, Businomics With the latest GDP report I have updated my economic outlook and extended the forecast period through 2012. It maybe looks a little better, but still not wonderful. The key to my cyclical pattern is the Fed’s quantitative easing, which I think will help the economy. Note, however, about a 12-month time lag before we see the benefit of QE2 (as the hipsters call this round of quantitative easing).

November 29, 2010 - Senator Wyden: The facts behind Oregon health care waiver

The Facts about Sen. Wyden’s State Waiver Provision By Senator Ron Wyden In order to empower states to create innovative new approaches for providing quality, affordable health insurance that works best for them, Senator Wyden authored a provision in the Healthy Americans Act and the PPAC Act that would make it possible for states to pursue their own health care solutions. State Waivers: How a State Could Do Health Reform Its Own Way Authored by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – the “Waiver for State Innovation” – will allow states to waive out of some of the requirements of federal health reform if they meet certain standards.

November 28, 2010 - Ad Watch: Oregonian, Seattle Times try new ad techniques

By Oregon Small Business Association We have noticed two types of ads being used by The Oregonian and the Seattle Times that is gaining expansive use. Seattle Times: During the election the Seattle Times used post-it note ads where the ad is a peelable sticker pasted on the front page of the newspaper.  In this case, the sticker is a miniature fold-out brochure. The Oregonian:

November 27, 2010 - Critical Labor Issues Being Settled Across Country

By: J.L. Wilson Associated Oregon Industries While AOI’s federal lawsuit against SB 519 – the “Employer Gag Bill” – ran into initial roadblocks earlier this year, the next state to pass the bill, Wisconsin, saw the law invalidated by a Stipulation for Dismissal filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin on Friday. In the Stipulation, the State of Wisconsin agreed not to bring suit against employers who take action against employees who fail to attend mandatory employer meetings in which union issues are discussed. This legislation, Act 290, was passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in 2009.

November 26, 2010 - Consumer Reports issues good-bad business list

From Consumer Reports on their Nice-Naughty Business List: 1 Southwest. Two pieces of checked luggage, no charge. And that includes bulky freight such as golf clubs and skis. 2 L.L.Bean. 100 percent product satisfaction guarantee. Return anything at any time for any reason. 3 Free shipping and free returns, including prepaid return label. 4 Costco. Open-ended return policy for virtually everything the warehouse retailer sells minus some home electronics, which come with a still-generous 90-day return period. 5 U.S. Cellular. While the FCC is proposing that cell carriers alert consumers who are about to exceed their plans’ monthly minutes allotment, which could lead to significant overage charges, this company is already practicing due diligence and giving its customers a heads up.

November 25, 2010 - 50% of bosses monitor employee internet and email use

Half of Employers Monitor Internet and E-mail Use of Employees — Nearly One-Third of Workers Holiday Shop Online at Work, By Career Builders, CHICAGO  – As Thanksgiving weekend officially kicks off the holiday season, one tradition that is returning this year is online shopping at the office. Cyber Monday, a term coined by the National Retail Federation for the first Monday after Thanksgiving, will likely be a busy day for Internet use at work. Twenty-nine percent of workers say they have holiday shopped online at work, on par with previous years. Of those planning to shop online this year, 27 percent will spend one hour or more. More than one-in-ten (13 percent) said they will spend two hours or more. Workers should be mindful of their companies’ electronic communications policies, […]

November 24, 2010 - Where Black Friday prices are trending

Where Black Friday and holiday prices prices are trending By Oregon Small Business Association, This Black Friday and Holiday season prices have already witnessed huge drops in electronic goods and toys (as the Black Friday chart below shows). At the same time Americans will pay at the holiday dinner table with higher food prices. Black Friday decreases in electronic prices and toys Electronic manufacturers, especially flat screen TVs, are seeing slashing prices much more aggressively than holiday seasons past.

November 23, 2010 - Oregon Employer Gag Law is at risk

Oregon’s “Employer Gag Law” Revisited –Court Finds NLRA Preempts Similar Wisconsin Law Bullard Smith Jernstedt Wilson BULLARD eAlert On November 15, 2010, a federal court in Wisconsin struck down a state law that prohibited employers from taking adverse employment action against employees who refused to attend meetings intended to communicate the employer’s opinion on “religious matters or political matters.” In Metropolitan Association of Commerce v. Doyle (E.D. Wis., Case No. 10-C-0760), the court held that Wisconsin’s law was “preempted by the National Labor Relations Act under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution,” and it permanently enjoined Wisconsin state agencies from enforcing the law where the employer’s meeting concerned the decision whether to support a labor organization. The federal NLRA generally protects the right of employers to hold mandatory […]

November 22, 2010 - 2010 Election: How it may change environmental regulations

The Election – Regulatory Reprieve? By John Ledger Associated Oregon Industries Oregon’s largest business advocate Although this month’s election may herald a period of a slowing regulatory expansion in the Congress and legislature, it may have shifted the whole thing to the executive branch agencies. The implications for manufacturers, and working Oregonians, can be profound. With the Oregon House tied and the Senate all but so, chances of seeing major new environmental legislation detrimental to job growth may have lessened. There is little doubt that efforts such as having Oregon join California’s Cap & Trade Program, successfully opposed by a business and labor coalition in 2009, are much less likely to pass.

November 21, 2010 - Black Friday sales expected to jump 3.8%

Black Friday sales expected to jump 3.8% By BDO USA, LLP Chicago, IL,  – According to BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading accounting and consulting organizations, chief marketing officers (CMOs) at leading U.S. retailers expect Black Friday sales to increase by 3.8 percent and Cyber Monday sales to grow by 2.5 percent this holiday season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday expectations are more bullish this year compared to 2009 when both were expected to rise by 1.8 percent. Discount fever has subsided to some extent this year. Sixty-four percent of CMOs expect to see more discounts and promotions this holiday season, a notable decline from 2009 when 96 percent said they planned more discounts. More than one-third (36%) do not expect to see an uptick in offerings.