The cost of starting a business can be very high. A retail space, storefront or office adds to the overhead costs of a business, especially in the first few years. Several small and mid-size towns are attempting to reinvigorate their downtown areas by offering businesses a year of free rent.
The problem of empty space downtown
Vacancies in downtown retail spaces can be a very difficult problem for cities. Vacant buildings or spaces tend to pull down rent costs, increase property crime and generally contribute to downtown blight. Property that is rented out, however, can help revitalize a failing downtown. With average [...]
As comedian Louis CK points out, when we don’t have enough money in the bank and it triggers built-in bank fees, we are being penalized for being poor. It can make you scream. Here’s a sampling of some of the fees we hate, because sometimes a little commiseration is necessary.
Unlisted phone number fees we hate
MSNBC calls it a “privacy penalty,” while telecom companies no doubt consider it the price of going “off the grid.” Paying $24 per year to keep your telephone number out of the phone book is money that could be better spent. In the age of Facebook, [...]
A home purchase is often one of the largest purchases a person will make. In this depressed housing market, average sales prices of homes have been going down. At the same time, average closing costs for loans are going up.
What is included in a closing cost
The closing costs of a home mortgage loan include several different costs paid to several different individuals. In general, closing costs include (from Wikipedia):
Title search, title insurance and other title services
Recording fees to the city or county government
Commissions to Real Estate Brokers
Mortgage application fees
All of these costs are usually not included directly in [...]
Recent studies by federal auditors found that at current rates, spending on healthcare in America could make up 20 percent of the American economy by 2020. The rise in spending would be because of greater subsidies for insurance under healthcare reform laws.
Economic growth overall slower than growth of health spending
A recently released study by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to Bloomberg, found that spending on healthcare was outpacing the growth of the U.S. economy as a whole. At the projected rate of expansion, healthcare spending could be up to 20 percent of the American gross domestic [...]
There have been a plethora of stories in the past few years about people who scored fantastic deals on houses, as some seriously huge homes have been bought for pennies on the dollar. It’s not impossible, but there are only a few people able to successfully do it.
Developers and real estate companies can score big deals
Anyone who pays attention to financial news has likely seen a story about someone purchasing a house at a jaw-dropping discount. For example, ABC, CNBC and other news sites have a story about a $1.2 million home being purchased for about $10,000. However, that headline [...]
In a move to further bolster its all-in-one online shopping strategy, Walmart is now offering movies, streaming directly from the company website. Streaming video is becoming an increasingly popular way to market visual media.
Walmart launches new service today
A year and a half ago, the world’s largest retailer purchased VUDU, a video streaming service. Tuesday, the company launched the service, now fully integrated into the Walmart website. The site offers 20,000 titles that can be rented on DVD or viewed streaming instantly on internet-ready devices.
Walmart senior Vice President and general manager, Steve Nave, said that making movies available online fits perfectly [...]
The United States Postal Service has been plagued with financial trouble for years, and the last few have been particularly bad. The USPS is looking at privatizing more than 3,000 post offices in order to cut costs and introduce a new business model for postage.
Postal service bleeding cash
The United States Postal Service has been losing cash for years and is entering some of the most dire straights in the organizations’ history. It posted a loss of more than $2 billion last quarter and is likely to not be able to meet any debt obligations this fall, according to Reuters. The [...]
A recently released report from the Federal Reserve shows both good and bad news about colleges and credit cards. Since the 2009 CARD Act put limitations on how credit card companies can market to students, the number of applications has gone down significantly. Despite this drop, credit card companies are still providing $73 million per year to schools whose students have credit card debt.
How the CARD Act changed credit cards for students
For students, the 2009 Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act made significant changes to the availability of credit cards. Rather than considering “household income,” which included parents’ income [...]
The patents for a slate of brand-name prescription medications are going to expire this year, meaning some medicines are about to become a lot cheaper. Some of the best selling medications on the market are included, so Big Pharma’s loss will be the public’s gain.
Exclusivity fleeting for drug makers
Copyright protections are set to expire for a growing list of prescription medications in the United States, and Big Pharma, as the pharmaceutical companies are often collectively referred to, will lose revenue in coming years, according to the Los Angeles Times. Copyrights on prescription drugs last 20 years, according to Wikipedia, and [...]
On Monday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration was gutted by Congress’s failure to pass legislation to keep the agency running. Some air travelers had been looking forward to this because it means no federal taxes on tickets. As of Sunday night, however, most airlines had raised prices to negate this price drop.
The FAA shutdown
As a part of the congressional showdown about federal government funding, the Federal Aviation Administration lost operating authority on Monday. The bill that would continue this operating authority has been held up by a debate over union rights. Air traffic controllers are continuing to report to work, [...]
While retail merchandising may not seem very scientific at first glance, a great deal of thought goes into understanding why we buy and how the psychology of shopping works. Some of the theories make conventional sense, such as retail anthropologist Paco Underhill’s “butt brush factor,” which says women are much less likely to buy if brushed from behind in a narrow retail aisle. But as Time magazine reports, there are stranger factors that influence consumer behavior.
Flexing muscles fights off the urge to buy
If you find yourself being drawn in by a sales pitch, some psychology of shopping experts suggest flexing [...]