Saturday, December 29, 2007

Small Businesses Lead U.S. Growth

12/20/07 Small businesses continued to lead growth in the U.S. economy in 2006, according to a report issued today by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Today’s report shows that overall, small firms continue to drive a resilient U.S. economy,” said Advocacy Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “In releasing this annual small business research report, we are pleased also to showcase new research by economists in the field of small business and entrepreneurship.”

Moutray released the report at a December 19 meeting of the Rotary Club of Washington, DC. The study, The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President for 2007, is Office of Advocacy’s annual report on the state of small business in America.

The report reviews the economic environment for small businesses in the year 2006, including the financial and federal procurement marketplaces. New research focuses on minority- and veteran-owned businesses, social entrepreneurship, and pre-venture planning. Other chapters and appendices provide data on small business and an update on Office of Advocacy initiatives.
The Office of Advocacy, the “small business watchdog” of the federal government, examines the role and status of small business in the economy and independently represents the views of small business to federal agencies, Congress, and the President. It is the source for small business statistics presented in user-friendly formats, and it funds research into small business issues.

For more information and a complete copy of the report, visit the Office of Advocacy website at www.sba.gov/advo. Print copies are also available upon request to the Office of Advocacy (202) 205-6933.

Friday, December 28, 2007

FedEx Freight, FedEx National LTL Announce General Rate Increase

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FedEx Freight, a leading U.S. provider of regional next-day and second-day less-than-truckload (LTL) service, and a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), will implement a 5.48 percent general rate increase (GRI) effective January 14, 2008. Additionally, FedEx National LTL, the long-haul LTL company, will implement a commensurate increase for its general rates.

Rates for other operating companies within FedEx Corp., specifically FedEx Express and FedEx Ground, are not affected.

“FedEx Freight and FedEx National LTL are committed to providing superior service for regional and long-haul shippers throughout North America,” said Dennie Carey, senior vice president, marketing, FedEx Freight. “Sustained investments in our employees, technology, equipment and facilities will enable us to continue offering what customers expect from FedEx – safe and reliable transportation of their shipments by dedicated professionals.”

In 2007, FedEx Freight improved service standards in key markets throughout the U.S., and reduced transit times in more than 1,000 transportation network lanes. Additionally, FedEx National LTL re-engineered its network to provide long-haul shippers with higher levels of reliability and certainty. FedEx National LTL was created in September 2006 when FedEx acquired the business assets of the former Watkins Motor Lines.

Carey also noted that FedEx Freight and FedEx National LTL have taken a leadership role in the purchase of safe and more environmentally sensitive equipment. “It’s our goal to take necessary steps to benefit our employees, customers and the communities in which we live and work.”

The GRI increase will apply to interstate and intrastate traffic, and certain shipments between the United States and Mexico and Canada. Various additional adjustments will include minimum and accessorial charges, as well as adjustments in fuel surcharges and select lanes and service areas.

After January 14, the new base rate and rules tariffs for FedEx Freight will be available on the company’s Web site, www.fedex.com/us/freight/main/ and new base rates and rules tariffs for FedEx National LTL will be available at http://fedex.com/us/national/main/. Customers may access rate quotes via these sites.

Delta Air Lines’ Board of Directors Announces Annual Meeting Date

Living in Atlanta it's hard not to either be a Delta baby or to be friends with a Delta baby. I grew up in a Delta Air Lines home. Delta employees were part of our extended family. The changes are Delta mirror the changes that have occurred across the country in businesses. Yes, September 11th impacted the airline industry mightily. However, all it did was expedite what was already written in the tea leaves. Despite all the ups and downs, there will always be a soft spot in my psyche for this particular airline. I hope they do well and I'll continue to watch their rise from the coals (didn't quite hit the ash stage) carefully. - TBB

Delta Air Lines’ (NYSE: DAL) Board of Directors has set Delta’s 2008 annual meeting of shareowners for June 3, in New York City. The meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. EDT in the Auditorium at AXA Equitable Center, 787 Seventh Ave., New York.

The record date for determining shareowners entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the annual meeting will be the close of business on April 18, 2008.

To be considered for inclusion in Delta’s proxy statement for the 2008 annual meeting, shareowner proposals must be submitted in writing and received by Delta’s Corporate Secretary no later than 5 p.m. EST, on Jan. 11, 2008, at the following address: Corporate Secretary; Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Dept. No. 981; Post Office Box 20574; Atlanta, Georgia 30320.

Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 324 destinations in 58 countries. Since 2005, Delta has added more international capacity than any other major U.S. airline and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 36 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 650 weekly flights to 61 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 15,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 489 worldwide destinations in 106 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.

NAR Says Terrorism Insurance Law Will Protect Commercial Market

RISMEDIA, Dec. 28, 2007–The commercial real estate market and the health of the nation’s economy as a whole will benefit from the reauthorization of the federal government’s terrorism risk insurance program, which President George W. Bush signed into law yesterday. The National Association of Realtors(R) has long advocated for passage of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision Extension Act to maintain a strong commercial market.

“As the leading advocate for real estate issues, NAR commends President Bush and Congress for enacting the federal terrorism insurance backstop,” said NAR President Richard Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif. “We especially thank Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), the chairmen of the House and Senate banking committees, for their leadership in guiding H.R. 2761 to passage. The potential unavailability of terrorism risk insurance would have had a devastating impact on many commercial financing agreements and could have negatively affected the commercial real estate market.”

The terrorism insurance program, initiated after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has helped stabilize the commercial real estate industry. The new law will extend the program for seven years, covers both foreign and domestic acts of terrorism, retains the “trigger level” at $100 million of damages at which point federal assistance kicks in, and establishes a blue ribbon commission tasked with recommending a long-term private market solution.

“TRIA reauthorization will strengthen the economic security of the commercial real estate market by reducing the uncertainty of terrorism coverage availability and by covering many forms of terrorist activity,” Gaylord said.

According to NAR, the best long-term solution should focus on what private markets have been unwilling or unable to do. “The ideal solution must allow businesses to purchase insurance for the most catastrophic conventional terrorism risks; provide adequate insurance capacity in all major commercial real estate markets, particularly in high-risk urban areas; and provide meaningful insurance against all types of terrorism risks,” said Gaylord. “We believe this law does much of that.”

Information about NAR is available at http://www.realtor.org.