Weekly 5: Sequester budget cuts “almost certain”

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February 12, 2013
Filed under Weekly 5

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. Sequester budget cuts “almost certain”

It’s appearing more and more likely that automatic budget cuts – or sequestration – will happen as leaders on both sides of the aisle seem unwilling or unable to cut a deal.

The $85 billion in spending cuts, set to begin March 1, would take money from the military, social programs and more. The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund will be one victim of the cuts that would hit the marine industry directly, not to mention the potential fallout of an economic slowdown.

2. Maine bill would ban E15

While court battles and lobbying efforts continue at the national level, one state may take the E15 issue into its own hands. Maine state Rep. Jeff Timberlake has proposed two bills that would limit ethanol’s presence in the state. One cuts the percentage of ethanol in the state’s gas from 10 to 5 percent; the other would allow Maine to create a partnership with other New England states to create an ethanol-free gasoline market.

3. 5 overlooked tax breaks for small businesses

The fiscal cliff deal signed into law last month included many tax provisions, including some benefits for small businesses. Most notably, new depreciation rules could make it more advantageous to buy new capital equipment now. MarketWatch has the full rundown.

4. Remodeling market looks strong through 2013

The residential remodeling market should continue to improve in 2013 as home prices increase and consumers feel more confident, according to the Residential Remodeling Index.

A more robust remodeling market is a mixed blessing for boating, of course. While a more confident consumer is always good, it’s worth noting that remodeling also is a competitor for that discretionary dollar.

5. Avoiding a social media scandal

Two recent human resources decisions that became social media scandals show the importance of having a good handle on who has access to your company’s social media accounts. A recent Harvard Business Review Blog talks about how you can protect your company.

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