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Editorial Results (free)

1. Rising home prices, falling sales hurting small businesses -

NEW YORK (AP) — Many small companies tied to the housing market are seeing a slowdown in business, one that's forecast to continue well into 2020.

Reports on home sales, the home remodeling market and sales of furniture and home furnishings show the spreading fallout from rising prices for houses and apartments.

2. Europe's specialty food makers brace for US tariffs -

MILAN (AP) — European producers of premium specialty agricultural products like French wine, Italian Parmesan and Spanish olives are facing a U.S. tariff hike due Friday with a mix of trepidation and indignation at being dragged into a trade war they feel they have little to do with.

3. Survey: Manufacturers, retailers less optimistic -

NEW YORK (AP) — Small manufacturers and retailers are losing confidence in the national economy yet remain upbeat about their own prospects.

That's the finding of a third quarter survey of 1,000 companies released last week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife. Sixty-three percent of manufacturing companies surveyed were optimistic about the economy, down from 69% in a second quarter survey. Fifty-three percent of retailers were optimistic, down from 59%.

4. Trump order on China will hurt us, small businesses say -

NEW YORK (AP) — Although President Donald Trump has told U.S. companies to stop dealing with China, small business owners say complying would hurt, even devastate them.

If Vanessa Topper can't work with a manufacturer in China, "I'm going to have to fold a quarter of my business," she says.

5. Beware of tax scam emails and phone calls, IRS warns -

NEW YORK (AP) — Months after business owners and other taxpayers have filed their returns with the IRS, thieves try to scam people out of money or personal information.

Although scammers operate year-round, the IRS says they step up their activities in the summer, when taxpayers can expect to hear from the agency with questions about returns filed during March and April. Thieves typically use phone calls or emails that sound or look official, and that can sound threatening. The scammers' hope is that people will believe it's really a call from the IRS or that they'll click on a link in the email, allowing cyberthieves to invade their devices and steal personal information.

6. Weaker home sales expected to be drag on remodeling market -

NEW YORK (AP) — Weaker home sales trends are expected to contribute to a sharp slowing in the home remodeling market.

That's the conclusion of a report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. The quarterly report forecasts that spending by homeowners for renovations, expansions and repairs will drop to an annual growth rate of 0.4% by the second quarter of next year from a projected 6.3% in the current quarter.

7. Trade wars cool market for small businesses -

NEW YORK (AP) — The market for small businesses cooled for the third straight quarter during the spring as tariffs from the trade war with China made some sellers and buyers uneasy about making a deal.

8. Businesses, watching economy, play it safe with hiring -

NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners, their eye on the economy, are playing it even safer when it comes to hiring.

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce-MetLife survey released last week found that 28% of small businesses plan to increase their staffs in the next year, down slightly from 29% in the first quarter. The survey, taken between early April and early May, found that hiring was likely to be weaker in some industries; for example, 24% of retailers said the plan to hire, down significantly from 30% three months earlier. That is a likely response to slowing consumer spending. Manufacturers, however, are looking to hire — 35% said they'd create jobs versus 28% in the first quarter.

9. Businesses showing discontent with Trump's trade policies -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's aggressive and wildly unpredictable use of tariffs is spooking American business groups, which have long formed a potent force in his Republican Party.

Corporate America was blindsided last week when Trump threatened to impose crippling taxes on Mexican imports in a push to stop the flow of Central American migrants into the United States.

10. Market for small businesses appears waning, survey says -

NEW YORK (AP) — The boom market in small businesses appears to have reached its peak and is now waning.

That's the finding of a quarterly survey of brokers and advisers who help owners and buyers complete sales of small and mid-size businesses. The survey was conducted by researchers at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and two industry groups, the International Business Brokers Association and the M&A Source.

11. Can a business owner require staffers to get vaccinated? -

NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners worried about the spread of measles may want to be sure their staffers have been vaccinated, but before issuing any orders, they should speak with a labor law attorney or human resources consultant.

12. Time for businesses to set up employee retirement plans? -

NEW YORK (AP) — With 2019 more than one-third over, small business owners without employee retirement plans may want to consider starting one before more time passes.

Businesses get tax deductions for the contributions they make to employee plans, and contributions can be as high as $56,000 per employee for 2019. Plans vary in terms of their complexity and cost to set up. And the IRS offers flexibility for when contributions must be made — it's OK, for example, to make a contribution in 2019 for the 2018 tax year, up until the due date of the owner's tax return. That means owners who filed for extensions of this year's March or April filing deadlines still have time to make contributions and get a deduction for last year. And it's still possible to create one type of plan known as a SEP.

13. State of small business more mixed than administration says -

NEW YORK (AP) — As Small Business Week approaches, the nation's smallest companies in the aggregate are by many accounts doing fairly well. They're not, however, thriving en masse in direct response to Trump administration and Republican policies.

14. Slower manufacturing likely drag on small business optimism -

NEW YORK (AP) — The growing evidence of a slowdown in manufacturing is likely contributing to the dip in small business optimism that began early in the year.

Reports this month from the government and an industry group point to a drop in manufacturing activity. While the manufacturing sector is a relatively small part of the gross domestic product — the government has estimated it at 11.4 percent in the third quarter of last year — most manufacturers are small businesses as are service companies that do business with them.

15. Expectations of weaker economy unites small business owners -

NEW YORK (AP) — Although small businesses vary widely in terms of size, industry and issues, they do appear to be generally united by a growing uneasiness about the economy.

Several surveys and economic reports released in recent weeks show that company owners have more trust in their businesses than the national or local economy, and that they're running their businesses more conservatively in response to uncertainty about overall business conditions.

16. Small business hiring lags behind larger companies, ADP says -

NEW YORK (AP) — New reports from payroll company ADP show that small businesses are lagging behind larger companies in hiring, a trend that's not expected to change anytime soon.

ADP's monthly report on small business employment released last week showed companies with up to 49 employees created 63,000 jobs during January. That's down from an upwardly revised 107,000 in December. ADP counts the jobs at its small business customers in compiling its report.

17. Survey: Small business owners upbeat, looking to expand -

NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners are upbeat, looking to expand and worrying less about financial concerns like health costs.

That's the finding of a survey of 1,067 owners released last week by Bank of America. The survey shows owners are optimistic about the short and long term. Fifty-seven percent said they expect their revenue to increase in the next 12 months, and 56 percent have plans to increase business over the next five years. Two-thirds said they're planning to expand in the coming year.

18. Even small companies may be able to cut Amazon-like deals -

NEW YORK (AP) — A company doesn't need to be as big as Amazon to get a good deal on real estate.

Whether a small business wants to buy or rent, it may have leverage with landlords or local governments to get breaks on rent or taxes. It's especially doable if a company can be a drawing card that helps boost local commerce or has significant job creation plans. The key is often to look for real estate in an area that needs an economic boost.

19. Rising rates, slowing home sales expected to hurt remodelers -

NEW YORK (AP) — General contractors and other small businesses in the home remodeling industry can expect revenue to slow in 2019, the result of rising mortgage rates and sluggish home sales.

20. IRS issues guidance on deductibility of business meals -

NEW YORK (AP) — The IRS is making it simpler for business owners to deduct the cost of meals with customers and clients.

The agency last week issued guidance for the deductibility of food and meals under the tax law enacted in December. The law eliminated a long-standing deduction for business entertainment expenses like tickets to shows and sporting events. But it left some confusion about whether company owners could deduct the cost of taking clients or staffers to a restaurant.

21. Despite strong economy, small business owners stay cautious -

NEW YORK (AP) — Although the economy is strong and consumers are optimistic, many small business owners are holding fast to their cautious approach to expansion.

The government's latest estimate of second-quarter economic growth, released last week, showed that the gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 4.2 percent. Meanwhile, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to an 18-year high last month.

22. Food truck evolution: Owners strategize as novelty wears off -

NEW YORK (AP) — Starting a food truck to sell tacos or barbecue on downtown streets may seem easy or fun, but owners are finding they need more sophisticated plans now that the novelty has worn off.

23. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for April 2018 -

Top residential real estate sales, April 2018, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

24. Retailers hope for certainty as Supreme Court hears tax case -

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are hoping for a resolution this year from the Supreme Court, which hears arguments Tuesday in a decades-old dispute: Whether companies must collect sales tax on items sold in a state where they don't have a store or other building.

25. Middle Tennessee's $1M-plus residential transactions for 2017 -

There were 735 homes selling for $1 million or more in Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Sumner and Wilson counties in 2017, according to Chandler Reports.

Davidson County had the most with 386, followed by Williamson (316), Sumner (21), Wilson (10) and Rutherford (2).

26. Some Walmart employees get raises, others to lose their jobs -

NEW YORK (AP) — For some Walmart employees, the day brought news of a pay raise. Others learned they were out of a job.

Walmart said Thursday that it is boosting its starting salary for U.S. workers and handing out bonuses. The announcement came as the company also confirmed it is closing dozens of Sam's Club warehouse stores — a move that a union-backed group estimated could cost thousands of jobs.

27. 5 things small business owners should know about tax bills -

NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners are awaiting details of a reported Republican deal in principle on a tax overhaul, the details of which could come soon.

The deal, which would reconcile differences in the House and Senate versions of the tax bill, may answer the question of which business owners will pay lower taxes, and how much of a break they'll get. Both bills have raised the possibility that many owners, including professionals like accountants and consultants, wouldn't see a tax cut.

28. As health premiums rise, small businesses seek alternatives -

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses are getting notices about their premium and coverage changes for 2018, and some are making adjustments because of that.

The changes vary depending on the state where a company is located, how many employees it has and how comprehensive its insurance is. But many owners are facing rate increases of double-digit percentages or dramatically reduced coverage — or both.

29. Small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack -

NEW YORK (AP) — Some smaller retailers will tug at shoppers' heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide.

Store owners are going well beyond the usual holiday decorations and music. Among their plans: Parties where the focus is fundraising rather than profits, events with other stores to encourage shoppers to visit them all, and personal services like merchandise deliveries. The retailers are betting that their efforts — which for some are a year-round strategy — will keep customers shopping long after the holiday season.

30. Women who own businesses find bank loans harder to get -

NEW YORK (AP) — Getting a bank loan is still a struggle for many women who own businesses.

Kirsten Curry has had three rejections in the past six months and is waiting to hear from a fourth bank. Curry, owner of Seattle-based Leading Retirement Solutions, has applied to national banks, a regional bank and a credit union. The problem is that her 8-year-old retirement advisory firm lost money last year as it invested in technology to help it expand. Although revenue has consistently risen and her company has no debt, her expenses last year were a red flag.

31. SBA head sees businesses held back by lack of loans, workers -

NEW YORK (AP) — Six months into her tenure as head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon sees a split among small business owners — they are increasingly optimistic, she says, but many are held back by their inability to get loans or find the right workers for jobs that are staying open.

32. Top Midstate residential transactions for second quarter 2017 -

Top residential real estate sales, second quarter 2017, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

33. Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for June 2017 -

Top residential real estate sales, June 2017, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

34. Small businesses in clean energy sector still hope for best -

NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners who install solar panels or help customers use clean energy don't seem fazed by President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, saying they expect demand for their services will still keep growing.

35. When small stores go out of business, owners ask: Now what? -

NEW YORK (AP) — When small or independent retailers post "Going Out of Business" signs, many ask themselves, now what? That may mean trying again — or forging ahead on a completely different career path.

36. Culture shock: Business owners see need to change their ways -

NEW YORK (AP) — The results of a staff survey jolted Alex Slater into realizing how drastically his business needed a culture change.

About half the 19 employees at his Clyde Group public relations firm said they planned to leave in one to two years, and rated the environment as "average" or "needs improvement." No one agreed with the statement: "I am adequately compensated."

37. Trump's budget priorities set small businesses strategizing -

NEW YORK (AP) — The priorities laid out in President Donald Trump's budget message have some small business owners strategizing how they might benefit from a big boost in defense spending, and others thinking about how to make up for revenue they could lose to cuts in grant programs and subsidies.

38. Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for February 2017 -

Top residential real estate sales, February 2017, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

39. Big thaw? Looks like small businesses ending hiring freeze -

NEW YORK (AP) — The hiring freeze at small businesses looks like it's finally thawing.

Recruiting is picking up after being dormant at many companies even years after the recession. The factors behind companies' decisions to hire vary, with some anticipating a big revenue kick from the Trump administration's spending plans for defense and infrastructure. Other are responding to trends such as consumers' shift to online shopping, which means more jobs at internet retailers. And some hires are at companies whose customers are suffering from anxiety in the early days of the new administration.

40. Entrepreneurs: Health law changes may mean finding new jobs -

NEW YORK (AP) — Stay in business for yourself or go back to working for someone else?

That's the choice some small business owners and freelancers are worried they may have to make, depending on what changes Congress makes in the health care law.