The Small Business Administration is looking to streamline the application process for the 504 and 7(a) programs. Changes would include eliminating the personal-resource test, revising a rule on affiliation and eliminating the "nine-month rule" for 504.
At Deere's annual stockholders meeting, CEO Samuel Allen said, "Deere's domestic manufacturing operations are efficient, profitable and growing -- and we're committed to keeping them that way." He also spoke of finding success in a variety of market conditions and of competing in an array of global markets. Before the meeting, the board of directors agreed to raise the dividend on common stock from 46 cents to 51 cents per share. This marks the 11th dividend increase since 2004.
Businesses are holding back on long-term investment, but the reason is unclear. The "fiscal cliff" is a strong possibility, which is good news if true, Neil Irwin writes. "The executive who didn't buy that machine or truck in October 2012 might instead do so in January or February of 2013, creating a nice bounce for overall growth," Irwin notes. However, there is a possibility that businesses are holding back because of fundamental weakness in the economy.
Small businesses have much to worry about with the "fiscal cliff," writes Kris Roglieri, president and founder of Prime Commercial Lending and Commercial Capital Training Group. Increased taxes on higher-income individuals will affect small businesses that declare profit on the owner's personal tax return. Lower small-business expense limits also will have a negative effect.
Industrial fundamentals are improving to the point where CoStar believes the sector will be returning to positive net absorption soon. "The office and retail sectors saw positive absorption in fourth quarter and it appears industrial is headed in the same direction but with a little bit of a lag," says Jay Spivey, senior director of research and analytics for CoStar.