Page 8 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- March 2020
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 2020 Brings Higher Labor Costs For Businesses
Pettibone Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Extendo Telehandler
Pettibone/Traverse Lift is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Pettibone Model 88 Extendo, which the company claims is the first telescopic handler ever produced.
Developed in the late 1960s, the first Model 88 Extendo unit was completed and delivered in early 1970, as documented by the original bill of sale from March 24, 1970.
“Pettibone has a rich heritage of which we are extremely proud,” said Scott Raffaelli, vice president and general manager for Pettibone. “For almost 140 years, Pettibone has established a very high standard for rugged, reliable material handling equipment, and that’s a standard we continue to try to exceed today.”
Current Extendo models include the 944X, 1246X, and 1258X, all part of Pettibone’s next gen X-Series lineup. The X-Series also includes the unique Traverse, the only telehandler line currently on the market with an extendable traversing boom that moves loads with a horizontally sliding carriage.
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By Joyce M. Rosenberg AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Small business own- ers have plenty of changes to deal with as 2020 begins — higher labor costs for many companies, and some owners will discover that they have to comply with new laws that aren’t on the books in their own states.
As of Jan. 1, there are higher minimum wages in a quarter of the states, and new fed- eral overtime rules. The IRS has new W-4 forms owners will need to get used to. Plastic bags are on their way out at stores and other businesses in a growing number of places around the country. And California has new laws on freelancers and consumer privacy that can affect out-of-state companies.
A look at a handful of the 2020 changes in federal, state and local laws and regulations:
The minimum wage is higher in 13 states as of Jan. 1, including New York, where the min- imum rose Dec. 31. The increases in Califor- nia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York are steps toward an eventual $15 minimum approved by state leg- islatures.
Increases are planned later in the year in states including Connecticut, New York, Ore- gon and Washington, D.C., and some counties and cities are raising their minimums as well.
While many businesses pay hourly workers above the minimum, when there’s an increase in the wage, many owners give all their staffers a raise to stay competitive amid a tight labor market.
The Labor Department’s long-awaited revamp of its overtime rules are now in effect, giving an estimated 1.3 million workers a raise. Workers earning under $684 per week or $35,568 must now be paid overtime, up from the previous threshold of $455 per week or $23,660 annually.
Retailers, restaurants and manufacturers are most likely to be affected, with shift supervi- sors and assistant managers among the posi- tions that must now be paid overtime after 40 hours a week. While all employers are subject to the rules, the higher threshold is likely to have the greatest impact on small companies that lack the revenue cushion that larger busi- nesses have against higher costs.
Employers are expected to limit the hours of some workers so they don’t incur overtime, or raise some staffers’ pay to a level above the threshold, making them exempt from the new rules.
More information about the overtime rules can be found on the Labor Department’s web- site, time/2019/index.
The IRS has issued new W-4 forms for 2020, changing the way tax is withheld from employees’ pay. The new forms reflect changes required by the tax law that went into effect in late 2017; they do away with the allowances long used to calculate how much money should be withheld from paychecks. Instead, the new forms use information that can be found on employees’ tax returns.
Current employees don’t need to fill out new W-4 forms, but new staffers or employees who want to change their withholding do need to complete them. The IRS has created a cal- culator to help small businesses compute with- holding for the new forms if they don’t use automated payroll software or providers. It can be found on the IRS website, Search for “new Form W-4.”
A growing number of states, counties and cities have passed legislation prohibiting or restricting retailers and other businesses from giving customers single-use plastic bags to carry purchases. Oregon’s ban went into effect Jan. 1, and Maine, New York state and Ver- mont have similar prohibitions going into effect later in the year.
There are variations among the laws and some exceptions — in New York, for exam- ple, pharmacies are exempt if the purchase is for a prescription drug, and restaurants can give diners bags for takeout food. Some of the laws also require a 5 cent charge if a customer wants a paper bag.
While the laws have been passed out of envi- ronmental concerns, small retailers might see a benefit from not having to buy and supply plastic bags. And those that sell reusable shop- ping tote bags could get a small revenue uptick.
A new California law gives consumers more control over the personal information compa- nies collect and share with other businesses. While the law aims to exempt very small com- panies, those that do business with California residents, including out-of-state firms, can find themselves required to comply.
Under the law, companies must be able to tell consumers what information they have and what they do with it.

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