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Articles filed under Small Business

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  • German beer goes American to regain buzz Oct 4, 2014 7:14 PM
    Germany, home to the world’s oldest active brewery started by Bavarian monks a thousand years ago, is synonymous with beer and the country’s $10 billion industry. Yet consumption and output in Germany — which has beer gardens in cities such as Munich that can seat 8,000, and more than 1,300 breweries — has declined for the past seven years.

  • Empire bar in Naperville growing ‘out from the ashes’ Oct 3, 2014 2:48 PM
    The transformation from old building to new bar is beginning at last for the former Rosebud restaurant at 48 W. Chicago Ave. in downtown Naperville as Ballydoyle owner Phil Cullen turns it into a craft beer bar called Empire. “It’s going to be craft beers, craft burgers and then live music,” Cullen said. “It will have kind of a modern industrial look to it. It embraces the older buildings and industrial aspect of the area.”

  • Leaves just starting to turn, but Santa getting prepped Oct 2, 2014 5:35 AM
    We've been relishing a delightful fall, but winter is on its way. Prospective Santas audition during a casting call at Oakbrook Shopping Center.

  • Glen Ellyn’s McChesney & Miller set to close Saturday Oct 2, 2014 5:07 AM
    Shoppers will say their final goodbyes to a Glen Ellyn landmark Saturday when the McChesney & Miller grocery store closes its doors for the last time. Said to be one of the oldest retail businesses in DuPage County, the store, near the intersection of Crescent Boulevard and Prospect Avenue, will be shuttered after more than 150 years serving the community. Plans already are in the works to redevelop the site.

  • Duckworth, Kaifesh differ on raising minimum wage Oct 1, 2014 11:51 AM
    Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth and her 8th District Republican challenger Larry Kaifesh disagree over many aspects of the business environment in the U.S., not the least of which is whether the minimum wage needs to be higher. Duckworth is calling for an increase in all states to $10.10 per hour. But Kaifesh believes the economy will thrive and wages rise naturally if government reduces — not expands — its regulations.

  • Hotel manager brings international flavor, sustainability to Oak Brook Hills Sep 29, 2014 5:13 AM
    Kukec's People features Stefan Muhle, who was born and raised in Berlin, Germany, an international city that helped feed his spirit for travel. In fact, the new general manager of the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center has traveled to all the continents except one.

  • Businesses scramble as flights continue to be canceled, delayed Sep 29, 2014 1:22 PM
    Bob Chinn’s Crab House in Wheeling, which built its reputation on fresh fish flown in daily, was forced to have seafood sent via truck from the East Coast and other locations. It's just one business experiencing disruptions that continue after major damage at an FAA facility in Aurora on Friday.

  • Loeb Design Group grows in Libertyville Sep 29, 2014 5:11 AM
    CEO Laurie Loeb and COO Jennifer Kraus of Loeb Design Group in Libertyville talk about the growth of their business.

  • Small businesses helping workers buy health plans Sep 28, 2014 6:10 AM
    A growing number of small business owners are forgoing coverage and paying staffers more to compensate for the lost benefits. Health insurer Wellpoint said last month its roster of small businesses has shrunk by 12 percent so far this year. Nearly 3 percent of 1,600 small businesses surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management plan to give employees subsidies next year so they can buy their own coverage on private insurance exchanges.

  • Schaumburg Boomers winning championships, new fans Sep 25, 2014 3:24 PM
    In addition to winning their second consecutive Frontier League championship, the Schaumburg Boomers baseball team also found success at the gate during the 2014 season. The Boomers finished first in the 14-team Frontier League in per game and total attendance, and the team tied for the league’s best overall record.

  • Business group’s Pinewood Derby proves popular again Sep 25, 2014 10:59 PM
    What began as an experimental change of pace for the Schaumburg Business Association last year proved popular enough to become a new annual tradition. The SBA held its second adult Pinewood Derby event for its business membership Thursday night.

  • Tap House Grill celebrates new Palatine location Sep 23, 2014 4:38 PM
    The owners of Tap House Grill will host a grand opening Wednesday night at their new Palatine location, the same building that once housed the Mia Cucina restaurant. Proceeds to benefit JOURNEYS of Palatine.

  • Dick Pond in Carpentersville to close Oct. 31 Sep 23, 2014 8:44 AM
    It's been the go-to store for area runners for the past seven years. But it won't be for much longer. Dick Pond in Carpentersville is set to close its doors for good at the end of October.

  • These companies keep your car, gadgets working Sep 26, 2014 10:41 AM
    Kukec's eBuzz column features The Assembly Show, coming to Rosemont next month. These companies make components that go inside your car, your mobile device, and even your home appliances. They also work for the aerospace, military and medical industries.

  • Tap House Grill grows in the suburbs Sep 25, 2014 9:18 AM
    Scott Ward and Mark Zych own and operate nine Tap House Grills throughout the suburbs. The first Tap House Grill opened Nov. 11, 2006. There are currently nine restaurants in Illinois, including Westmont and Oswego. Plainfield opened in March 2011. Lemont opened in December 2012, Des Plaines in November 2013. The newest location in Palatine in the former Mia Cucina building on Wilson Street opened July 2014.

  • More businesses are closing than starting Sep 21, 2014 7:43 AM
    Americans are starting fewer businesses, new companies are going out of business more quickly, and the new firms that do get off the ground are creating fewer jobs. “America’s entrepreneurs need help,” John Dearie, executive vice president of the Financial Services Forum, a trade organization in Washington, said during a recent hearing before members of the House Small Business Committee. In terms of the start-up economy, he added, all vital signs “are flashing red alert.”

  • 5 things small businesses need to know this fall Sep 22, 2014 7:17 AM
    NEW YORK — What do small business owners need to pay attention to this fall? Heath care, Internet Security and new technology make the list. Here are five things that small businesses need to be on top of over the next several months: Health Care Small business owners who bought employee health insurance policies before the end of 2013, sidestepping the law's requirements for a year, could pay between 10 percent and 20 percent more when it's time to renew, says Michael Stahl, chief marketing officer of HealthMarkets Inc., a broker based in North Richland Hills, Texas. They'll also have to decide on plans. Policies issued under the law have significant changes including the requirement that pre-existing conditions be covered. Some owners may decide it's better if workers purchase their own government-subsidized coverage on health insurance exchanges. Companies whose coverage took effect Jan. 1 of this year and complied with the law could see increases between 5 percent and 10 percent for 2015, Stahl says. Not all small business owners will have to make these decisions this year. Employers with 50 to 99 workers have until 2016. Companies with fewer than 50 workers are exempt. Internet Security Home Depot Inc.'s news that it was hacked should prompt small businesses to improve Internet security, says Charles Tendell, CEO of Azorian Cyber Security in Denver. Small companies tend to be vulnerable to hacking because many don't have strong Internet security. Businesses should install software designed to protect computers from viruses and what's called malware, programs used to harm computers or steal information, Tendell says. If companies offer WiFi to customers or visitors, it should be separate from their operations. Owners should consider hiring an Internet security expert who can show them where their vulnerabilities are and suggest a solution, Tendell says. Owners should also train employees to help avoid hacking attacks. New Technology Businesses interested in accepting Apple Pay, the digital payment system linked to the new iPhone 6, will need to invest in equipment that processes contactless payments. Contactless payments are transactions made by tapping a smartphone, credit card or key fob on an electronic device. The iPhone 6 will be in stores starting Friday. Small business owners should also look ahead to October 2015, when credit and debit cards will be required to have embedded chips rather than magnetic strips, says Denee Carrington, an analyst with Forrester Research. Businesses will need new equipment to accept those cards, but the good news is they can already buy equipment that also processes contactless and swipe transactions. Microsoft is expected to release its Windows 9 operating system for laptop and desktop computers by early next year. But owners shouldn't rush to buy it until they know whether it's compatible with computers, hardware like printers and software they use to run their companies, says David Rosenbaum, president of Real-Time Computer Services, a technology services company in New York. If owners have aging PCs that need to be replaced before there are more answers about Windows 9, they're better off getting machines with the better-known Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, Rosenbaum says. Internet Sales Tax After the November elections, Congress could act on legislation that would force retailers and other companies to collect sales tax in states where they don't have a store or other physical locations. Under current federal law, online, phone and mail-order transactions are exempt from sales tax. The legislation has support in the Senate, which passed a preliminary bill earlier this year. It faces opposition in the House. The legislation is supported by retailers required to collect the tax. They can lose business to out-of-state retailers who don't have to collect it. Small retailers contend it will cost them time and money to collect the tax. Tax Deductions The size of companies' 2014 tax bills will depend on whether Congress raises what's called the Section 179 deduction. It allows small companies to deduct up-front rather than depreciate the cost of equipment like computers, vehicles, furniture and manufacturing machines. The deduction, set at $500,000 during 2013 to help businesses continue their recovery from the recession, fell to $25,000 for 2014. The House has voted to set the deduction permanently at $500,000. Senate leaders have opposed that increase. The House also voted to revive a tax break called bonus depreciation, which allows businesses to immediately deduct up to 50 percent of the cost of property and equipment. It also faces Senate opposition.

  • Glen Ellyn set to welcome three new businesses Sep 20, 2014 7:30 AM
    From European chocolates to Thai food to yoga, Glen Ellyn residents soon will have some new businesses to check out. Here’s a quick look:

  • Farm accidents increase in Illinois Sep 19, 2014 4:34 PM
    Nine of the state’s 21 farm-related deaths over the past year were due to tractor accidents. Roadway collisions and grain bin accidents are also major causes of death.

  • Developers looking to replace Glen Ellyn businesses Sep 19, 2014 5:43 PM
    Developers are seeking to replace two local businesses in Glen Ellyn with additional apartments and new parking spaces.

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