September 24, 2009 Past Issues/Subscribe Printer Friendly Version Advertise Join NBMBAA
       
Top News
The recession is profoundly disrupting American life: More people are delaying marriage and home-buying, turning to carpools yet getting stuck in ever-worse traffic, staying put rather than moving to new cities. Demographers said the latest figures were striking confirmation of the social impact of the economic decline as it hit home in 2008.

The SBA and Department of Homeland Security say firms that haven't prepared could be devastated as the threat of H1N1 looms during the fall and winter. They offer guidelines for companies to follow.

Thousands of business professionals descended on New Orleans this week in search of jobs, education and networking opportunities at the NBMBAA 31st Annual Conference & Exposition. Check out the Conference Daily eNewsletter for highlights.

Career
It's always fun to hear hiring managers recall the most boneheaded mistakes they have seen job seekers make during an interview: showing up in flip-flops, say, or taking a cellphone call while meeting the company president.

A select group of interns, dubbed with unfortunate corniness FUNterns, are putting in 15 hours a week with Nestle as ambassadors for the Butterfinger brand while working full-time jobs or keeping busy elsewhere. It's an innovative program which kills two Nestle birds with one stone: using social media (online user-generated videos) to market candy, and providing job experience that potential employees may not get elsewhere.

The list of companies offering resume writing, enhancement, and tracking continues to grow faster than you can say LinkedIn, with new vendors entering the market this summer.

Diversity in the Workplace
It doesn't take much more than a quick glance at the demographics to understand the relationship between minorities and franchising. Ethnic minorities constitute roughly one-third of the U.S. population and are expected to grow to 54 percent of the population by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Diversity is the watchword in most workplaces today. But while a wide variation of color, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation is welcome at work, the sentiment frequently doesn't extend to body size. Overweight and obese people face significant challenges when it comes to getting jobs and moving up the corporate ladder.

Education
As online education grows in popularity – and brand-name B-schools rush to meet the demand – the reputation of online MBA programs is changing for the better.

According to the newly-released Michigan State University 2008-2009 Recruiting Trends Survey, total college hiring will decrease by 10 percent in the coming year. While belt-tightening during an economic downturn is unavoidable, we argue that campus recruiting activities should not be eliminated altogether.

Technology
If a startup can land $3 million in angel investment in a market like this, it's a company worth watching even if it is a close DNA relative to Facebook and LinkedIn and only a gene or two removed from what Jobster once hoped to be.

Twitter, the messaging web site that has become an Internet sensation, is nearing a deal to close as much as $100 million of new funding from as many as seven investors, according to people familiar with the deal.

It's no surprise that Netflix has launched another contest to improve its movie-recommendations system – the $1 million the company gave away for the first Netflix Prize was the steal of the century.

Entrepreneurship
With airline traffic down and hotels working overtime to woo guests, it's surprising to learn that businesses still allocate a whopping 25 percent of their marketing budgets to conferences and trade shows, says Page Ballenger of Exhibit Resources in Raleigh.

Your business isn't going to grow on its own. If you're ready to expand, but you're not sure where to start or how to best use your resources, consider this a primer.

The Economy
The Census Bureau reported last week that the nation's poverty rate rose to 13.2 percent in 2008, the highest level since 1997 and a significant increase from 12.5 percent in 2007. That means that some 40 million people in this country are living below the poverty line, defined as an income of $22,205 for a family of four.

In a dismal and stagnant job market, rosy economic indicators may seem like a rarity – even if they aren't rare at all. Even as recent data, company news and federal announcements suggest the economy is perking up, the sagging labor market continues to weigh on conventional wisdom. "The public is going to worry about the economy until they see the job market pick up," says John Canally, an economist at LPL Financial, a Boston-based network of financial advisors.

Personal Finance
In many ways, the economy has been as tough on credit-card issuers as it has been on their debt-ridden customers. Charge-offs and delinquencies are rising as unemployed credit-card holders are falling behind on their payments. Interchange revenues are declining, as suddenly-frugal consumers are opting to leave their cards at home and pay with cash.

Corporate America
Executive hiring appears to be reemerging at many organizations after being frozen for the last year due to the financial credit crisis based upon the results of the recent Claymore Partners' Labor Day 2009 Executive Talent Market survey with over 640 executive respondents.

Banks are backing off harsh overdraft fees and policies. That's the good news. The bad news is they'll probably look to make up that lost profit elsewhere.

Government
Congress passes measures that would bar federal funds for the community advocacy group, accused by conservatives of voter fraud and assailed over video that surfaced this month.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission will propose rules Monday requiring Internet companies to treat content providers equally, a person familiar with the matter said.

Looking to regain the offensive in the overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory structure, the Obama administration has come out swinging on its effort to push for a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which has been stalled among qualms from moderate Democrats and strong industry opposition.

Lifestyle
Executives who are physically active and maintain a healthy lifestyle can, in some cases, inspire employees to consider their own health. For instance, an executive who takes one hour a day to go biking might consider allowing employees that same hour a few times a week to devote to their health. Permitting these activities is one way a manager can influence and encourage healthy employee behavior.

Make no mistake: You pay a hidden price for shopping at a warehouse club. You race for a parking space. You struggle to navigate the plus-size cart around a maze of merchandise and bargain hunters. You wait in long lines at the register and at the exit as a clerk checks off your receipt.

 
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