July 22, 2014
AS LAWMAKERS in Washington haggle over the future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Michael Strange has no doubts about where he stands. Strange is owner and president of Bassetts Ice Cream, which has about 25 employees at its Center City headquarters. Exports, mostly to China, account for 20 percent of Bassetts' annual revenue. Ex-Im is an obscure federal agency that helps American businesses, mostly small, sell goods abroad. But some lawmakers - primarily tea party Republicans in the House - want to close down Ex-Im when its authorization ends Sept.
July 7, 2014 |
After 10 years of paying five employees, plus additional "associates," to staff his Old City business, James R. Domenick is looking for space in the suburbs, and thinking about moving out. It's about taxes, and the pressure the city has felt compelled to exert on small businesses such as Domenick's insurance office to raise money for its cash-strapped public schools. "I am not an antitax person," Domenick told me. "I believe people need to pay for the infrastructure and the services they receive.
July 4, 2014 |
Private employers added 281,000 jobs in June, the payroll company ADP reported Wednesday, indicating an economy that seems to be shaking off some of the lingering aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression. "It was a great number," said economist Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, analyzing the report for the New Jersey-based ADP. "The gains were broad-based," he said. "Every industry experienced an increase in employment. " Even so, he said, it will be several years before the economy can create enough jobs to return the many long-term jobless to employment.
July 3, 2014
FOR ALL their innovation, American craft brewers are starting to grow stale. Over-hopped beers? Yeah, they were novel . . . about 15 years ago. Now everyone brews a double IPA. Wacky flavors? Used to be we couldn't wait for pumpkin beer each autumn. Now, because there are so many of them competing for shelf space, the pumpkin season starts in two weeks and you'll be sick of them by Labor Day. Barrel-aged beer? Because it takes months and years to properly age and blend beer, barrel-aged beer was once a rarity.
July 1, 2014 |
That smiling scrubber continues to clean up. With nearly seven million happy-faced pads sold since its national debut in 2012, Scrub Daddy is now the most successful product in the five-year history of Shark Tank , ABC-TV's competition show for entrepreneurs. On QVC alone, more than 2.5 million Scrub Daddys have sold since April 2012. You can find them at Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart, as well as in supermarkets. But consumers told the daddy of Scrub Daddy, Voorhees inventor Aaron Krause, that they want more.
May 31, 2014 |
Pat Gusoff had what Umar Mycka calls "a yard full of trouble" at her Bustleton home. It wasn't so much the honeysuckle, mulberries, bittersweet, chokecherries, and English ivy, although they can be a nasty business. No, it was all those shiny, three-leaf shoots of Toxicodendron radicans, the dreaded poison ivy. Mycka knows this North American scourge intimately from four decades of work as a gardener/groundskeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo. Since 2008, he has also had a small business (idontwantpoisonivy.com)
May 25, 2014 |
For most of an hour Wednesday morning, Ted Trevorrow sat across the desk from small-business owner John F. McGeever III, asking questions about his workers and group health insurance plan. Trevorrow, a certified Affordable Care Act navigator with Resources for Human Development, was trying to learn whether McGeever had missed something in his Small Business Health Options Program application that would qualify him for tax credits to offset group insurance costs. McGeever was all ears.
May 19, 2014
While few major policy differences separate the four Democratic rivals for governor in Tuesday's primary, ROB McCORD 's more than five years as state treasurer make him the best choice. His role in managing more than $120 billion in public funds through the recession has given him an invaluable understanding of fiscal matters that Pennsylvania needs. Bill Green's leaving City Council for the School Reform Commission left a void that MATT WOLFE , an attorney with experience in city and state government, could fill.
May 18, 2014 |
In a gritty industrial park tucked inside a middle-class Bensalem neighborhood, John F. McGeever III is living his dream. Since he was a teenager working for his father in the firm founded by his grandfather in 1929, McGeever wanted nothing more than to own the Charles Schillinger Co. His father sold the company in 1988. Seven years later, McGeever mortgaged everything and bought back the small metal-spinning and fabrication firm. "I always wanted to have the company," said McGeever, 58, a tall, lean, intense man with close-cropped white hair.
April 10, 2014 |
THE WORLD has not forgotten about the plight of Philadelphia artist James Dupree, whose vast Mantua studio has been condemned by the city under eminent domain. So far, four filmmakers are producing documentaries on Dupree and his fight against the city, and his supporters are reaching out to Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee, the artist said. On April 26, the 63-year-old artist will open his Dupree Studios, the massive property at the center of the fight, to the world in an event called "Save Dupree Studios: The Dupree Dream.