Weekly 5: Preparing for disaster
Christopher Gerber (CGerber@BoatingIndustry.com)
September 11, 2012
Filed under Weekly 5
Editor’s Note: The BI Weekly 5 is a collection of tips, news and data affecting the boating industry this week. Be sure to look for the BI Weekly 5 every Tuesday on BoatingIndustry.com.
1. Is your business ready for the worst?
As we sit smack-dab in the middle of hurricane season, it’s a good time to make sure your business is ready for disaster, whether it be a hurricane, a snowstorm, a fire or some other catastrophe. While you can’t save everything, proper planning can get you back up and running sooner. A few things to think about: Do you have customer and employee records backed-up? Do you have ready access to financial account info? Where is your insurance contact info stored?
2. Small businesses (slightly) more optimistic
Owners of small businesses are feeling a little better about economic conditions, but most of the optimism is focused on the time after the election. That’s according to the latest Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business.
The index rose 1.7 points in August to 92.9. While current job growth was negative, 10 percent of owners reported they planned on adding new jobs, up from 5 percent in July. That’s especially important when considering that small businesses have been driving much of the employment growth in the country.
3. Maryland boating tax cap
Boating advocates in Maryland are pushing for a cap on the state’s 5 percent tax on boat sales in an effort to boost the marine industry.
Florida yacht brokers successfully got their state’s law changed in 2010, a move that resulted in more than $13 million in additional tax revenue in 2011. Advocates of the change say it would help Maryland in a similar way, stopping boat owners from moving to Delaware’s tax-free harbors.
The Baltimore Sun recently came out against the change last week, calling it a “tax cut for the super rich.” This week, members of the Marine Trades Association responded, armed with numbers that bolster their case.
4. Most Americans don’t feel their situation has changed in Obama years
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that Americans don’t feel any better or worse off than they did when President Obama took office.
Before the recession began in 2007, 50 percent of Americans rated their financial situation as good or excellent. That number dropped to 38 percent by the time the president was inaugurated, and has hovered around that mark since then, reaching 41 percent earlier this year. Not surprisingly, Republicans and Democrats vary on their views. While Republicans are still more likely to say they are financially stable, the gap has narrowed.
5. Making the most of Google AdWords
Google AdWords can be a great way to drive business to your website, especially if you haven’t been doing a good job with organic search engine optimization. It can also be a good way to make some expensive mistakes. This article from Entrepreneur offers some useful tips on making the most of your AdWords campaign.