Press Herald plans to cut 40 jobs as revenue drops

The Portland Press Herald is cutting jobs.

Employees were notified this week that the newspaper plans to reduce its work force by about 40 because of declining revenue. The Portland Newspaper Guild said that represents about 15 percent of the paper’s employees.

Guild Administrative Officer Kathy Munroe said the company is offering voluntary buyouts, followed by layoffs if enough people don’t leave on their own. She said the job cuts will affect managers and union members.

Press Herald Editor and Publisher Richard Connor said the newspaper is “feeling the effect of the economy like everyone else.”

Connor said 40 jobs is a “potential maximum” loss at this point, and the final number may be less.

Affected employees would receive severance payments of as much as 40 weeks of pay, based on years of service.

UMaine grads offer $5,000 for entrepreneur challenge

Three University of Maine graduates have pledged $5,000 to fund the Maine Business Challenge, a competition that will award cash prizes to entrepreneurs who develop winning business plans.

Owen McCarthy of Patten, James Morin of Lewiston and Matt Ciampa of York are helping to fund the competition, which they created in partnership with UMaine’s Business School and the Foster Center for Student Innovation, a media release said. The program, which begins this month, was modeled after a competition at Rice University.

Candidates can submit plans for new businesses, or plans to improve existing businesses. Applicants will be announced in January and judges will evaluate plans in April.

To compete, send an email to [email protected]

Moody’s cuts credit ratings of two major French banks

Moody’s downgraded the credit ratings of French banks Societe Generale and Credit Agricole on Wednesday following a period of huge volatility in the markets as investors fretted about the banks’ exposure to Greece’s debts.

Some sort of move by Moody’s had been widely expected this week since the agency had put them and rival BNP Paribas on review for downgrade in mid-June.

While cutting Societe Generale’s long-term debt rating by one notch to Aa3 and Credit Agricole’s one notch to Aa1, Moody’s warned that both could have their ratings downgraded further.

UPS unveils new service to avoid missed deliveries

UPS is hoping “sorry we missed you” notices will soon be a thing of the past. It’s unveiling a delivery notification service aimed at not missing you at all.

Called My Choice, the basic free membership service allows package recipients to be notified of incoming shipments and provided with an approximate arrival time the night before delivery.

Delivery alerts will be offered through email, text or phone calls. For packages that require signatures, members can sign via computer or mobile phone.

— From staff and news services