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Businesses Grow Wary About Hiring
How To Bounce Back After A Financial Setback
By Joyce M. Rosenberg AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Corri Smith is planning to hire a full-time project manager for her public relations firm and make her part-time assistant full-time. But she has a wary eye on the economy.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had some trouble in the economy. It can’t all be wonderful — something will happen,” says Smith, owner of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Black Wednesday.
Smith, who believes an economic downturn is likely in the next 12 to 18 months, says. “I will be extra cau- tious with hiring alongside also
making plans to stockpile and
save revenue.” She’s aware that
marketing is one of the first
budget items to be slashed
when corporate executives are
anxious about profits.
from the unhappy experiences of others.
Hiring is an ongoing balancing act for Scott Fish and
business partner Sonja Skvarla, co-owners of Off Road, a business consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon. “Businesses are charging ahead, but there is a small element of uncertainty in the economy, and we are noticing that it continues to be on the minds of busi-
ness owners,” says Fish,
So although Fish and Skvarla are considering as many
as five new staffers over the next year, they’re also tread- ing carefully, hoping that their hiring is in sync with the work clients have for them.
“It’s a chicken-before- the-egg thing — do you have enough clients to sup- port the cost of hiring someone great, or do you hire some great people and hope the revenue comes in,” Fish says.
Ethan Segal’s decision to hire freelancers for his internet marketing firm was based partly on the economy. After the Federal
Reserve raised interest rates in December, some of his largest clients put their projects on hold.
“All of them decided to table not just my work but other companies’ as well. It was shocking and sudden,” Segal says. There are currently about 10 freelancers working at Philadelphia-based Segal & Co.
Many small businesses also struggle to find qualified workers. While that can be a problem for companies of all sizes, small businesses generally can’t offer the salaries and benefits that big corporations do, and with an economy that’s looking iffy, the smaller player are at an even greater disadvantage.
Because of competition for staffers from giants like Google, Facebook and Netflix, not only does software maker Gunner Technology not expect to hire in the next year, “we are looking at how we can get by without replacing employees we are sure to lose,” CEO Cody Swann says.
Swann’s solution is to automate some of the work that software developers generally do at his Las Vegas- based company.
Many Americans at one point or another will deal with an unexpected event that has financial implica- tions. As a financial advisor, I’ve witnessed many fam- ilies encounter – and more importantly overcome – financial setbacks. For most families I work with, set- backs occur because of circumstances beyond their con- trol, such as a job layoff, a car accident, a house fire or the onset of an illness. If you find yourself facing a sim- ilar unexpected situation, here are five steps to help you regain your financial footing and confidence:
• Give yourself permission to dip into your emer- gency fund. It can be hard to spend your hard-earned savings, even when you are facing unexpected bills. Remind yourself that the point of having money set aside is to handle unplanned costs with as minimal impact to your usual spending as possible. If you need to use it all, do so without guilt.
• Craft a financial strategy to combat the expenses. If the costs are more than your emergency fund can cover, take the time to plan out how to address them. Your strategy may include:
• Insurance. If your situation involves an expense cov- ered by insurance, contact your company as soon as you can to start the claims process. If you’re unsure of whether an expense is covered by your policy, ask. Doc- ument key details of the situation and remember to keep all receipts.
• Tapping other savings or investments. If you have savings separate from your emergency fund, consider withdrawing from these sources. While it’s likely you have the money earmarked for a more fun purpose (e.g. a second home, a new boat), it may be more important to take care of the unexpected expenses today. What- ever you do, try to avoid withdrawing from your retire-
ment or college savings accounts. You may incur a penalty for using the money for non-qualified expenses and you would miss out on the chance to continue compounding your savings over time.
• Adjusting your spending. Depending on your situ- ation, you can either rework your budget or simply be more mindful of your spending in the near term. If you’re living with a spouse or partner, have a conversa- tion to help set financial priorities over the next few weeks or months. Communicating openly can help you work together to address the unplanned expenses and get back on track.
• Seeking professional help. If you’re unsure which investments to draw down or want a second opinion on the tradeoffs between using various sources of income, consult a financial advisor.
• Prepare for next time. Once you’ve addressed the situation at hand, commit to restoring your financial foundation for the next inevitable unexpected event. Resave your cash reserve and create a plan to rebuild any withdrawn investment savings. Review your insur- ance coverage to make sure you have adequate protec- tion and understand what expenses may be covered and where you may have gaps.
Scott W. Knaffla, CFP®, ChFC®, APMA®, BFATM is a Private Wealth Advisor with Flourish Financial Partners a pri- vate wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Marquette, MI. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 11 years. To contact him, please visit: flourish- or call (906) 226-7526. Office location: 1501 Division St. Marquette, MI 49855. Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and its affiliates do not offer tax or legal advice. Consumers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific situation.
Small business owners, who
have taken a conservative
approach to hiring during the
economic expansion, are
becoming even more careful
amid concerns that the econo-
my is weakening. They’re well
believe the country’s gross domestic product slowed considerably in the second quarter — forecasts give the GDP an annual rate of about 2%, down from 3.1% in the first quarter. Owners’ concerns and caution are increased by the Trump administration’s trade wars.
Some owners are cutting jobs, likely by not filling their open positions as well as by laying off workers. A report from payroll processor ADP released Wednesday showed that its business customers with up to 49 employees cut 23,000 jobs in June on top of a 38,000 reduction in May; this is the first time ADP has report- ed job cuts since September 2017. So far this year, small businesses have added about 25,000 jobs on average each month, compared with an average 52,000 last year and 56,000 in 2017. Their hiring pace has lagged behind that of larger companies, which have fed the hiring boom in the country the past few years.
Although the Great Recession ended 10 years ago, small business hiring never recovered to the levels before the downturn began in 2007. Owners who had laid off workers didn’t want to go through that devas- tating process again, and new entrepreneurs learned
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By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG AP Business Writer
NEW YORK — With the arrival of July 1, many states and municipalities have new laws and regulations in effect affecting small businesses. While statutes in jurisdictions outside a company’s location or operating area may not have a direct impact on the business, leg- islatures often follow the lead of one another — so a new law in one state or city might be the inspiration for a similar law in another state.
A look at some of the new laws:
¯Minimum wages are going up 75 cents to $14 an hour in Washington, D.C., by $1.15 to $10 an hour in New Jersey and 50 cents to $11.25 in Oregon.
¯New York City has joined the list of cities that have prohibited restaurants and other business from using polystyrene foam containers, cups and plates for take- out food, and foam peanuts used as packing material. (The foam stuff will be off-limits to city residents on Jan. 1.)
¯Tennessee is legalizing NCAA basketball tourna- ment bracket pools, which are illegal in many states
even though millions of people take part in them, including pools that are set up where they work. But there is a provision that business owners should be aware of: The pools cannot be managed by a business entity, so bosses may want to steer clear of running March Madness pools themselves. And, there’s a $1,000 limit on the size of the pool.
¯In Minnesota, $40 million in state funds are being given to rural areas to improve their broadband access. ¯Virginia has new laws making it harder for landlords
to evict tenants who are late with their rent.
With thousands of state and local laws and regula- tions going into effect every year, many affecting busi- nesses might not get much publicity. Some business owners might not find out about a law until they’ve been cited for a violation. Keeping up with changes may be difficult. Some suggestions to help owners stay
¯Join local chambers of commerce and trade, indus-
try or professional organizations. These groups often keep an eye on legislative changes.
Small business owners, who have taken a conservative approach to hiring
during the economic expansion, are becoming even more careful amid
concerns that the economy is weakening.
aware that economists
New State, Local Laws Affecting Businesses

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