Christmas is the time to give, and most often, that also means having to spend. After all, a lot of people equate giving with cash and gifts that have to be bought. When it comes to companies â€“ big or small â€“ it has become a tradition to give gifts or bonuses around Christmastime. While this has been the tradition, things have been changing, especially with the economic crisis that has been prevailing for quite some time.
In fact, AP just released a report on a survey in this regard. The details:
NO BONUS: More small-business employees can expect no end-of-year bonuses or gifts for 2009.
A recent survey of small business owners or managers showed fewer of them planning gifts or cash for their workers. “Business owners are still feeling pinched cash wise,” said American Express business adviser Alice Bredin. AmEx’s small business division conducted the survey.
Last year, 44 percent of those surveyed said employees would get an end-of-year bonus. This year, only 31 percent did. Even fewer are planning raises: 16 percent, compared with 30 percent last year. Meanwhile, in 2008, 46 percent of owners or managers said employees would get holiday gifts. This year, it’s 35 percent.
The business owners or managers surveyed oversaw companies with fewer than 100 employees.
This is definitely bad news for small business employees, but perhaps business owners can find a way to lessen the impact of not being able to give bonuses? What are you planning to do for your employees this Christmas?
Photo courtesy of Acme Climate Action
One of the core activities of any business is to gather information regarding their customers. In order to provide services or products which cater to their target marketâ€™s needs and preferences, a business has to have an accurate gauge of the marketâ€™s pulse, so to speak. As such, market research is one of the most important endeavors of any business.
Any businessman would know that in order to obtain results which are as accurate as can be, market research has to be conducted with as wide a coverage as possible. In order to achieve such a coverage, money has to be expended â€“ a considerable amount. Yet there is another way to conduct market research without having to expend too many resources â€“ both in terms of time, money, and personnel.
A business blog can do just that. Take the example of Stone Creek Coffee, a coffee store chain in the U.S. When they to make their presence felt online, they chose the blog to do the job. Tom Pionek, technology and marketing director, shares that their blog present more opportunities to interact with customers as compared to press releases and similar forms of business communications. Their blog also went on to serve as way of getting feedback from the customers â€“ a form of market research.
According to consultant Dana Vanden Heuvel, blogs are â€œone of the largest free, for what that’s worth, market research test-beds. It goes beyond the focus groups and some of the other market-research vehicles that people have used in the past or companies have used in the past.â€
With more and more people turning to the Internet for information, a business blog could give you the edge that you need.
With nothing but war and combat on their minds, it is only fitting that the US soldiers should be looked after with care especially on the mental aspect of things. It is not surprising to note that most of the soldiers are being attacked mentally as well, seeing nothing but blood and mass destruction in their war plagued countries to which they were assigned.
Barack Obama has observed such a breach in the efforts to uphold the overall well-being of these soldiers and has vouched for such aid in an effort to help the US troops to enjoy some mental benefits rather than spending them on ammunition and other necessary things in line with the impending war in Iraq and Baghdad.
“We cannot expect our young men and women to serve in our armed forces, if we are not making sure they get the treatment they deserve,” Barack Obama, Obama: Improve mental health care
After all the disputes that included Congress and the Democratic front, all seems to be a circus of delaying the spending bill for the Iraq war. The bill was finally passed and approved and will be signed by Bush after months of ill-advised finger pointing and bickering that were obviously for no good reason or intent.
A lot of jousting and question were raised and with regards for the hope being wooed by the families of the casualties of war, it seems like a hopeless case. The war will go on and further lives will surely be claimed. It is just so sad since after all the debate done, it seems everything was just a means of delaying tactics and the issue being used as a campaign tool for presidential candidates on the upcoming elections. For Bush, he gets his wish. Hopefully it would be the right one and for the best of the United States.
Anywhere we go, the rampant growth of terrorist issues has obviously been a cause for alarm and much has been connected to most of the recent events. The United States, the acclaimed world leader, has been the hardest hit by the standing issue. A lot has to do with the so called belief that the US is invincible, making it in its inhabitants sitting targets by countries craving for power. Of course we all know that among these countries include that of Iran and Iraq.
The war on terror has not been restricted towards armies and democratic fronts. It has gone beyond bounds which have gone as far as victimizing local folks who are plainly living their lives and working for survival. Sadly, they have become the unlikely targets, making the country very much vulnerable towards security overall. But hopefully, the US governing bodies can continue their security measures if only to protect the safety of innocent lives who are being caught in the crossfire.
[tags]war on terror, us troops, terrorism, civilians, iran, iraq[/tags]
The mentioning of the Iraq issue is like calling out President Bush into the open to defend his claim with regards to the pullout and budgeting issue concerning the US troops in the war plagued country. While many would expect the sure defense mechanisms that Bush would blare out, it is imminent that Bush will always be at the forefront of the said issue and resort to all means possible to make sure that he is able to defend his claims and decision surrounding the security and offensive issues of Iraq.
Failure is not an option in Iraq. These are the very words that Bush has proclaimed and rightfully so. One falls approach towards the Iraq issue would return costly problems, most of which would include the overall safety of the country and his credibility standing with the democrats and congress today.
Already in lots of hot water, Bush is careful with his every move. It is obvious that he is indeed in a bubble. The best way to handle it is taking everything one step at a time. Otherwise, it may just burst; something that a lot of people have been waiting to happen.
[tags]bush, us politics, us troops, security, terror, iraq war[/tags]
Probably seeing that the issue is getting nowhere, US Democrats have mapped out plans to revise the current $2.9 trillion dollar spending budget that was mainly comprised of a big spending increase in the area of military and domestic programs, something that has put everything on hold and with no recourse.
Budgets are known to be a need, and the need is certainly something that needs to be worked on double time. While most disagreements are a given in the world of politics, it is the country that is suffering from these endless bickering over allocations and budgets.
With the new move of the democratic front, hopefully something concrete would finally come out. There is a need to set the records straight and unless personal interests, if any, are set aside, a whole nation shall continuously suffer from such and this would not be something that maybe a pretty sight.
[tags]us budget, war, military budget, democrats, politics, us news, political news[/tags]
Death threats are only natural for the US president and potential successors of the thrown to receive. But in the case of Barrack Obama, taking the initiative in making the necessary precautions to avoid any untoward mishaps before the actual elections take place is at the top of his partyâ€™s list.
The issue here has a mix or racial issues. It is a fact that Obama hails from a colored race and based on past historical events, the colored candidates have not had a good track record.
Obama will soon step up his campaign drive and this all the more becomes crucial for him since he is as good as a sitting duck. Obama has been placed under a secret service protection to be on the safe side. The additional security precaution was deemed necessary since it is obvious that Obama is one target that people may eventually want to bring down.
[tags]barack obama, presidential elections, us presidency[/tags]
It isnâ€™t really surprising why they the issue between President Bush and the Democrats has not been going anywhere. The crisis on whether or not to pull out the US troops from Iraq is again in the air and as states in previous entries, this will continue to do so as long as both parties stand firm on their principles on this issue.
Both have valid inputs into the issue. One is banking on security of his country while the other is preserving the increasing loss of lives. Both have their points and shortcomings but to this day, who has the upper hand? It is still a stalemate and unless something or someone suddenly enters the fray, nothing will develop from this drama that people have been following for some time now.
Other personalities that have been identified with these issues have shifted their focus on other areas. This makes a person think when these two protagonists would eventually do the same.
[tags]bush, democrats, iraq, us troops[/tags]
As expected, the issue surrounding the war-funding bill is still up in the air as President Bush has obviously rejected the proposal to withdraw the troops from Iraq. The presidential legislation was sent to the White House with hopes of seeing the president sign the bill for the pull out of the US troops.
But even the thought of such is an extreme wish to come true. And such was the case since up to this moment; the presidential legislation has been left there unsigned.
The issues concerning this negotiation are going nowhere. Each group has been justifying the needs. However, it is neither of them who are suffering from this tug of war for the right decision to be handed down.
Each has its own belief and set of principles. The more that this keeps up, the more that the nation will become divided and President Bush and the democrats do not seem to care.
[tags]bush, white house, democrats, iraq, us troops, presidential legislation[/tags]