March 29, 2013

Briefcase

Entitlement cuts would hurt aging Maine business owners

The Maine Small Business Coalition has released a report that shows 39 percent of the state's small-business owners are older than 55 and increasingly reliant on social programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

The coalition released the report, "Business is (Baby) Booming," in Boothbay on Wednesday. It was prepared by the national Main Street Alliance using Census Bureau data.

The coalition says that instead of cutting Social Security and Medicare to balance the federal budget, Congress should close tax loopholes and crack down on tax abuse.

The report says a 3 percent cut in Social Security benefits would hurt Maine businesses and take $109 million out of Maine's economy.

Boing CEO says solution on Dreamliner battery is close

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said his company is "very close" to getting its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet back flying again.

Two incidents involving batteries on 787s led the Federal Aviation Administration and regulators in other countries to ground the planes in January. Boeing is testing a redesign of the battery system.

"We have a high degree of confidence in the technical solution we are testing right now with the FAA," McNerney said Thursday at an aviation conference in Washington. "I think it will be sooner than later."

The Chicago-based company conducted a test flight with the redesigned battery Monday. McNerney expects the tests to conclude in a few days.

He called the grounding a "frustrating experience," but said regulators are putting safety first.

Court affirms N.Y. can tax online out-of-state sales

New York's highest court ruled Thursday that the state can collect sales tax from out-of-state retailers, rejecting claims by Amazon.com and Overstock.com that the tax law violates the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause.

The Court of Appeals said in a 4-1 ruling that the 2008 amendment meets the U.S. Supreme Court test that the sellers have "a substantial nexus" with the taxing state. Taxes apply when the online retailers generate at least $10,000 in annual sales to New Yorkers from in-state websites that earn commissions by bringing in potential customers through links to the big retailers.

Google tests delivery service for food that's ordered online

Internet search leader Google is taking another step beyond information retrieval into grocery delivery.

The new service, called Google Shopping Express, will initially provide same-day delivery of food and other products bought online by a small group of consumers in San Francisco and suburbs located south of the city.

If the pilot program goes well, Google Inc. says it will expand delivery service to other markets.

The delivery service announced Thursday is part of Google's effort to increase people's reliance on the Internet so it will have more opportunities to show online ads, which generate most of its revenue.

Bank of America executive's total pay dips to $7.4 million

Bank of America says chief executive Brian Moynihan received a 2012 compensation package worth $7.4 million, down slightly from the year before, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory document filed Thursday.

He collected about $7.5 million in 2011.

Moynihan became CEO at the start of 2010, after predecessor Ken Lewis stepped down amid controversy over the acquisitions of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide. Moynihan has been slimming down the bank's operations, including the sale of its international global wealth investment management business, and improved its balance sheet last year.

--From staff and news services

 

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