“Shop Local” This Holiday Season

business (3)As a small business owner you can certainly identify with the efforts the Better Business Bureau is doing in promoting shopping at small business in your communities.  Small business owners in your community have been increasingly fighting the big retailers and online shopping retailers for the holiday season, and thus the BBB is hoping you can join the effort and “shop local” for this holiday season and help the community you live in.

“Shop Small” and Support Small Businesses on November 30th

Small businesses are the cornerstone of any community, creating jobs, spurring local economic growth, and giving back to society. In recent years, small businesses have been overshadowed by the holiday hype of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” which tend to emphasis major retailers. But small businesses have much to offer for holiday shoppers!

For the fourth year in a row, Better Business Bureau is supporting Small Business Saturday and urging consumers to support the small businesses in their communities on November 30th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time to take a break from the crowded shopping mall and instead check out the small stores and businesses in your neighborhood. You’ll find unique gifts, gourmet foods and more to make your holidays distinctive, fresh and fun. You might even discover your new favorite store!

2012 was a huge year for Small Business Saturday. Consumer awareness reached a reported 67% and an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small, independently owned retailers, according to American Express OPEN, which launched SBS.

Health Policy Institute of Ohio advises small businesses to buy health insurance in the next 30 days

CLEVELAND, Ohio — If you run a business or organization with 50 or fewer employees the next 30 days are the best time to shop for health insurance for your staff.

That’s the word from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, a nonprofit, independent organization that provides health policy information to state leaders.

Shopping between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, the Institute says, can make a big difference because insurers can’t deny coverage then to a business that has a large percentage of employees opting out of the health benefit.

“Through this new open enrollment period, small businesses will have the most options,” said Amy Rohling McGee, president of the Institute.

Lockheed’s closure of Akron plant means 500 job cuts

A historic Akron industrial facility with ties to wartime production, aerospace simulators, space exploration and military mission systems will close by 2015.

Lockheed Martin Corp., which took over operations in the city that date to Goodyear Aircraft decades ago, announced plans Thursday to shutter the facility along with four other operations around the country.

One footnote in the announcement widely called “sad news” for Akron was that some work will be continued at the landmark Airdock. The Lockheed Martin operation is spread over buildings nearby.

About 4,000 workers nationwide, including about 500 people in Akron, are expected to lose their jobs starting next year and into 2015, Lockheed Martin said.

Employees and local public officials reacted with sadness and anger, saying the loss of high-paying jobs will be an economic blow to the region. Some, including the property owner, held out hope that new tenants will quickly be found to fill the sizeable property next to Akron Fulton International Airport once Lockheed Martin moves out.