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Middle Blast

The Middle Class hasn’t been doing so well. While the earnings of middle-income Americans have barely budged since the mid 1970s, the new data showed that from 2000 to 2010, they actually regressed. Over the 10-year period, their income is down 7%. According to the census data, losses disproportionately hit the lowest 60% of Americans, while the richest 40% actually gained wealth, relative to the entire U.S. economy. Have bad credit funding a problem? Give us a call at United Capital and we will help you get back on your feet.

A rough 10 years for the middle class.

Food Stamps

An emerging trend in the restaurant business is causing quite a stir. The number of businesses approved to accept food stamps grew by a third from 2005 to 2010. In four states, restaurants can accept food stamps for meals and thereby add to their profits. But there are many support groups to the underprivileged that disagree with the restaurants prepared, not always healthy, fast-food offerings.

More restaurants are targeting customers who use food stamps.

Travel Headache

Travel was suspended on the East Coast in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. Now that the storm has blown through when will the transportation system be up and running? The subway, buses and trains are back online in NYC, but many flights are still suspended. It was estimated that some 10,000 flights were canceled this weekend causing many headaches for travelers and airlines alike. Major airlines are focusing on bringing airplanes back to the East coast – checking equipment, clearing debris from the runways and rescheduling flights.

Irene leaves transportation headache for some.

Durable Goods

Stocks are seeing a spike after it was reported that durable goods are on the rise. Good news for cash flow funding? Maybe. The S&P 500 lost 15 percent between April 29 and yesterday, with the retreat accelerating in July after a debate in Congress on how to cut the budget deficit spurred S&P to strip the government of its AAA credit rating. So we are not out of the woods yet. Yes, the market is hypersensitive and reacts to every bit of good news, but wouldn’t you be after 3 years of negativity?

Stocks Rise After Durable Goods Beat Forecasts.

Retail Sales Up

The economy is still slumping, but according to July retail figures, sales are up. The data for July suggests the economy may be in better shape than some had feared. Layoffs are down, retail sales are up and gas prices are falling. Employers added 117,000 net jobs last month. Is it enough to get us back on track – we’ll see.

Retail sales in July post best gain in 4 months.

Pawn Star success

The secret to Rick Harrison, star of “Pawn Star’, success? Set yourself apart. As a small business owner with big competition, you have to figure out a way to be different. Know how to negotiate. Never fall in love with something when you’re negotiating a price. Follow these simple rules and you too could have a multi-million TV deal worth $80 million dollars.

Rick Harrison of ‘Pawn Stars’ spills success secrets.

Fuel Economy

It’s officially summer and people usually hit the road to vacation at the beach or the mountains. Maybe some even buy a new car for that family trip. How important are gas prices this summer? In fact, 42% of people surveyed say fuel economy is “extremely important” in their decision to purchase new 2011 models. That’s a 13.5% increase compared with 10 years ago. Don’t have the cash flow funding for a new car? Don’t worry, wait until December. That’s when all the dealers post sales to clear inventory. Think of it as a present to yourself!

Buyers cite fuel economy as top factor for first time.

Debit Fees for Small Business

Do you process credit cards? As a merchant accepting credit cards from your customers is crucial for your bottom line. Retailers have been complaining for years that big banks have been gouging them with high fees to process debit card transactions. The Federal Reserve issued a final set of rules on the law setting the cap at 21 cents per transaction. That is better than the 44 cents but, it is also nearly double the 12 cents that small businesses were expecting.

Small business whiplashed in debit fee fight.

Pickup Trucks Fall Off

Another casualty of the rough economy, pickup trucks. The main culprits behind the drop in the popularity, besides high gas prices, include high unemployment and a lull in housing construction — those figures typically run parallel to the rise and fall of demand for pickups. No houses to build and rising gas prices makes consumers less enthusiastic about purchasing gas guzzling vehicles. But as 2011 rolls on, sales will increase as consumers have a little more cash in their pockets.

Pickups see their popularity plummet as the economy recovers.

Clean Energy Jobs

One of the emerging trends in employment is in Clean Energy Manufacturing. Washington D.C. has put its support behind U.S. companies that seek to employ and create new jobs for workers in the Clean Energy sector. Increased manufacturing and development could ease the pain of rising oil prices as we implement new ideas for alternative fuel. Certainly not a short term or quick fix, it will take some major investments and private funding for this sector to gain momentum.

Clean Energy Jobs on the Rise.

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