Small Business

  • Listening could be the success of NZ business Newstalk ZB - Mon, Apr 21, 2014 7:21 AM NZST

    Being willing to listen, learn and follow through could be behind the success of many New Zealand business owners and managers.

  • Why high oil prices are good for airlines AAP - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 4:01 PM NZST

    These changes, along with high oil prices, have created an insurmountable roadblock to startup airlines that hope to undercut established carriers. Last year, they paid an average of $US3.03 a gallon, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. High oil prices forced the major airlines to do business differently. Now - since fuel is such a great expense - that doesn't happen, said Scott Kirby, president of American Airlines, at a recent aviation symposium in Phoenix.

  • ECB, BoE want more lenient loan rules AAP - Sat, Apr 12, 2014 1:40 AM NZST

    The European Central Bank and the Bank of England have called for easier rules regarding certain securities so as to get credit flowing again in the eurozone economy. In a joint declaration issued on Friday at the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund, the ECB and the BoE complained that the market for securitised loans - widely blamed for causing the financial crisis in single currency area - was impaired and shrinking. And with inflation running at 0.5 per cent - way below the ECB's target of just under 2.0 per cent - the central bank is looking into using "unconventional instruments" to avert possible deflation. Among these measures, the ECB has found itself under pressure to resort to quantitative easing, or asset buying.

  • Positive future for NZ businesses Newstalk ZB - Fri, Apr 11, 2014 6:21 AM NZST

    More confirmation that New Zealand businesses are steaming ahead of the rest of the world.

  • Aussie shares up on China stimulus talk AAP - Wed, Apr 9, 2014 12:42 PM NZST

    The share market is higher as resource stocks rally on talk of more stimulus in China. An overnight rally in commodity markets followed by a widespread sell off of the US dollar has boosted mining shares, ...

  • SMEs warming towards Abbott govt AAP - Wed, Apr 9, 2014 9:11 AM NZST

    Small businesses appear to be warming to the Abbott government but they want it to keep tax breaks that are destined to go when the mining tax is abolished. Research commissioned by software provider MYOB found satisfaction with the federal government is at its highest level since 2009 - but that's not very high. The survey of 1032 small and medium sized enterprises (SME) conducted by Colmar Burton found dissatisfaction with the federal government fell to 32 per cent compared with 50 per cent in September. "In particular, the drop in dissatisfaction could mean small business owners like what they are hearing from the government but may need to see more action to lift their levels of satisfaction," he said releasing the report on Wednesday.

  • Online room-sharing sites expanding AAP - Fri, Apr 4, 2014 5:01 PM NZDT

    The online vehicles include VRBO, FlipKey and the behemoth of the bunch, Airbnb. The business was founded six years ago by two young roommates who made their rent by charging people to sleep on air mattresses in their San Francisco loft and now boasts 600,000 listings in private homes in 34,000 cities worldwide. Taking in boarders is nothing new, but offering space in your home to travellers, not just in tourist hot spots like New York or San Francisco, is a more recent phenomenon.

  • NAB boss Clyne puts family before career AAP - Thu, Apr 3, 2014 5:37 PM NZDT
    NAB boss Clyne puts family before career

    National Australia Bank boss Cameron Clyne is walking away from a multi million dollar paypacket in the name of marital bliss. After five and a half years as chief executive, Mr Clyne will forgo a lucrative pay packet that has seen him take home cash and shares worth as much as $8.8 million in one year. He will be replaced by Andrew Thorburn, who has headed NAB's Bank of New Zealand since 2008. Mr Clyne said his stint as CEO had taken a personal toll, and he wanted to spend more time with his wife and two children.

  • Govt seeks comment on franchise reforms AAP - Wed, Apr 2, 2014 3:15 PM NZDT
    Govt seeks comment on franchise reforms

    The federal government wants to arm the consumer watchdog with new powers to deal with unethical behaviour in the franchising industry. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson on Wednesday released draft changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct and competition law for public comment. In 2013, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission received almost 600 complaints relating to franchising. A review of the code in 2013 by Alan Wein, which reported to government in April last year, recommended 18 changes to improve its performance and cut red tape.

  • ATO takes over super clearing house AAP - Tue, Apr 1, 2014 8:21 PM NZDT

    The Australian Taxation Office has taken over the responsibility of assisting small business with their superannuation arrangements in a further move by the federal government to streamline regulation, Small Business Minister Bruce Billson says. The Department of Human Services had previously overseen the free online clearing house service that helps businesses cut down on the time and paperwork involved in paying super contributions to employees' different funds. The clearing house caters for businesses with 19 or fewer employees. There were 58,000 employers registered with the clearing house, but the government wanted the other 700,00 that were eligible to use it to sign up.

  • Business urges caution on rates AAP - Tue, Apr 1, 2014 7:20 PM NZDT

    Business groups are urging the Reserve Bank to exercise caution before considering raising interest rates, given improving signs in the economy are not yet widespread. The central bank left the cash rate at an all-time low of 2.5 per cent at Tuesday's monthly board meeting, as widely expected by economists. Bookies expect at least another month of stable rates in May so the central bank board can see what Treasurer Joe Hockey serves up in his first budget. RBA governor Glenn Stevens believes interest rate policy is appropriately configured to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes that are consistent with its two to three per cent inflation target.

  • Bitcoin investors are fans; public is cool AAP - Tue, Apr 1, 2014 3:01 PM NZDT

    Most Americans remain distrustful of bitcoin, the digital currency that is not controlled by any government or bank. According to a survey by market research firm Harris Interactive, just more than one-tenth of the adults in the US who know about bitcoin say they would choose to invest in it. But at CoinSummit, a two-day conference in San Francisco to discuss bitcoin and its future, enthusiasm for the digital currency was everywhere. "It's as bulletproof as anything I have ever seen," said Marc Andreessen, founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

  • IPO seeks new way to trade star athletes AAP - Mon, Mar 31, 2014 3:01 PM NZDT

    Professional athletes frequently get traded to other teams, but San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis is about to be the first to be traded like a stock. Davis, an eight-year veteran of the National Football League, is serving as the litmus test for a risky concept: Whether sports stars should be treated like public companies, whose moneymaking potential can be bought and sold on an exchange by ordinary investors. San Francisco-based Fantex Inc plans to operate the exchange and will orchestrate Davis' initial public offering (IPO) of stock after getting regulatory approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The deal requires Fantex to pay Davis $US4 million ($A4.38 million) in exchange for 10 per cent of his future earnings, including some of his off-field income.

  • Startup scene flourishes in US capital AAP - Fri, Mar 28, 2014 3:01 PM NZDT

    In a large warehouse-type office, software coders work on apps, as "angel" investors and mentors help budding entrepreneurs figure out strategy for their startups. This technology "incubator" called 1776 in downtown Washington has some 200 startup firms, and many more seeking to get in to the collaborative workspace which provides desks, connectivity, technical assistance and, importantly, connections for those with a dream or a mobile app. A few years ago, the notion of Silicon Valley on the Potomac might have evoked ridicule. "The ingredients we need for startups are right in our backyard," says Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776, which opened last April and quickly filled up.

  • Govt seeks review of small business taxes AAP - Fri, Mar 28, 2014 1:31 PM NZDT

    The federal government has asked the board of taxation to review the tax system with an aim of removing barriers that hinder small business. The review will complement a taxation white paper, which the Abbott government has promised to deliver within its first two years in office. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says the government wants to "unshackle" the small business sector from their tax dealings. "We want small business to spend less time on paperwork and more precious time and resources on growing their business," he said in a joint statement with Small Business Minister Bruce Billson on Friday.

  • Millner warns of tough times ahead AAP - Thu, Mar 27, 2014 7:19 PM NZDT

    Experienced businessman Robert Millner warns the nation's economy is not as healthy as the latest figures, and some economists, would have you believe. As Mr Millner announced half year earnings for two companies he chairs - Brickworks and Washington H Soul Pattinson, he said workers living outside of capital city centres were doing it tough. Mr Millner dismissed upbeat assessments of the economy - which have led most economists to alter their interest rate forecasts, with many now expecting the next move to be a rise.

  • Mini ready for another Manly arm wrestle AAP - Thu, Mar 27, 2014 2:09 PM NZDT
    Mini ready for another Manly arm wrestle

    Sydney Roosters skipper Anthony Minichiello believes this week's wet and wild weather in the NSW capital could turn Friday night's NRL grand final rematch with Manly into another low-scoring arm wrestle. The Roosters prevailed on the four occasions the sides met in 2013, including the grand final - each one being an absorbing affair between two outstanding teams. But it was the semi-final clash in September that was arguably the most memorable of the quartet, with the Roosters hanging on for dear life thanks to one of the great defensive performances of modern times in a match that was a throwback to yesteryear. Conditions have been similar over the last four days and, with the stadium being heavily used at this time of the year by Super Rugby side NSW Waratahs and Sydney FC in the A-League, Minichiello is expecting another war of attrition.

  • Worker financial literacy is an asset AAP - Wed, Mar 26, 2014 6:01 PM NZDT

    Sixty-nine per cent of people say that money is their top stressor, according to American Psychological Association surveys, while 65 per cent blame work, 61 per cent point to the economy, and 57 per cent bring up family responsibilities. "Think about it," said Mitchell Weiss, a management consultant, serial entrepreneur and adjunct professor at the University of Hartford. The magnitude of this issue shouldn't really be a surprise, considering how financially tumultuous recent years have been - as well as how shockingly poor financial literacy has become - but it is certainly worth addressing. "From an organisation's perspective, it certainly makes sense to have a financially literate workforce," said Ryan Klinger, professor of management at Old Dominion University.

  • Budget a test for govt leadership: Shorten AAP - Wed, Mar 26, 2014 4:37 PM NZDT
    Budget a test for govt leadership: Shorten

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten believes the May 13 federal budget will be a test of leadership for Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey. Framing a budget requires more than fudging figures and accounting trickery, he told the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday. Independent analysis commissioned by Labor from the Parliamentary Budget Office had shone a light on the government's deception, Mr Shorten said. "It shows Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have tried to doctor the debt and deficit figures to set the scene for severe cuts and broken election promises."

  • Facebook buys virtual reality co Oculus AAP - Wed, Mar 26, 2014 3:54 PM NZDT

    Facebook has agreed to buy Oculus for $US2 billion ($A2.19 billion), betting that its virtual reality technology may be a new way for people to communicate, learn or be entertained. "This is a long-term bet on the future of computing," said Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg in a call with analysts. "I believe Oculus can be one of the platforms of the future." Oculus VR Inc makes the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that's received a lot of attention from video game developers, though it has yet to be released for consumers.

  • Disney Maker buy is a boon for LA startups AAP - Wed, Mar 26, 2014 2:50 PM NZDT

    Disney's $US500 million ($A547.05 million) purchase of YouTube video producer Maker Studios is a sign that the entertainment industry's content and technology startups are coming of age and proving to be as valuable to Hollywood as app makers are to the giants of Silicon Valley. The deal also signals Hollywood's new openness to technological innovation, an acknowledgement that media giants don't have all the answers. The acquisition comes a month after The Walt Disney Co launched a technology startup incubator called Disney Accelerator, which promises to seed 10 companies with $US120,000 each to develop ideas that'll have a big impact on entertainment and technology. Disney's purchase price - which could hit $US950 million if Maker hits performance targets - also validates the increasing value of so-called "multichannel networks".

  • Andreessen skewers Buffett on bitcoin AAP - Wed, Mar 26, 2014 2:46 PM NZDT

    Billionaire Warren Buffett has established his credentials as a savvy money manager, but internet trailblazer Marc Andreessen doubts the stock market sage knows much about financial innovations such as the virtual currency bitcoin. The putdown irked Andreessen, who is now running a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has invested about $US50 million ($A54.70 million) in startups betting that bitcoin will continue to catch on as an alternative payment system around the world. "The historical track record of old white men who don't understand technology crapping on new technology is, I think, 100 per cent," Andreessen quipped to the delight of bitcoin enthusiasts attending a San Francisco conference. Buffett, who has built a $US64 billion fortune through his control of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, didn't respond to requests for comment.

  • Updated business visa on the way Newstalk ZB - Mon, Mar 24, 2014 5:10 PM NZDT

    A new business visa is being set up to replace a version the Government says isn't working the way it should.

  • Nakamoto denies Newsweek bitcoin claim AAP - Tue, Mar 18, 2014 11:38 AM NZDT

    The man Newsweek claimed is the creator of bitcoin has hired a lawyer in an attempt to clear his name, repeating his denial that he's never had anything to do with the digital currency. In a statement issued by his lawyer, Ethan Kirschner, Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto on Monday said he "did not create, invent or otherwise work on" bitcoin. In the magazine's return to print this month after more than a year, Newsweek's cover story declared Nakamoto to be the "face behind bitcoin". Nakamoto, 64, did not say whether he plans to sue the magazine.

  • Govt called on to encourage Chinese money AAP - Mon, Mar 17, 2014 11:33 PM NZDT
    Govt called on to encourage Chinese money

    Business groups want the federal government to do all it can to encourage Chinese investment in Australia to help build much needed infrastructure. The Australia China Business Council met with a number of ministers in Canberra on Monday, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who will lead a trade delegation to China in mid-April. The council's national president Duncan Calder said Australia must do all it can to deliver a level playing field for Chinese investment. His call follows recent University of Sydney/KPMG research which found in 2013 Australia was overtaken by the United States as the preferred destination for China's direct investment.

  • bank loans to US small business on rise AAP - Fri, Mar 14, 2014 5:01 PM NZDT

    Laura Benson got an increase in her small business credit line. A previous request for an increase to meet expenses during a slow sales period for her online basket business, Jeanne Beatrice, was rejected. The logjam in lending to US small businesses is showing signs of clearing. Nearly five years after the recession ended, bankers are lending more and businesses say it's easier to get loans.

  • Moonlighting could make you more valuable AAP - Thu, Mar 13, 2014 3:01 PM NZDT

    For people that already have full-time jobs, launching a new business can raise a lot of questions about avoiding conflicts or irking the boss. QUESTION: I recently launched a side business on top of my full-time job, and I'm worried about the ethical and legal issues that might pose a conflict with my day job. ANSWER: It depends largely on the kind of work you do during the day, and whether or not your boss is likely to have a problem with your side business. You might even be discreet about your extracurricular activities, at least at first, to avoid unnecessarily alarming your boss.

  • $A falls after disappointing US data AAP - Wed, Mar 12, 2014 9:32 AM NZDT

    The Australian dollar has dropped to a one-week low after weak US wholesale sales data gave traders another excuse to sell the currency. At 0700 AEDT on Wednesday, the local unit was trading at 89.64 US ...

  • Hockey confident about economic outlook AAP - Tue, Mar 11, 2014 7:38 PM NZDT
    Hockey confident about economic outlook

    Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey is confident about the medium-term outlook, even though there are conflicting economic gauges at the moment. National Australia Bank's monthly business survey released on Tuesday showed conditions dropping sharply in February, reversing half the gains posted since September's federal election. Mr Hockey also pointed to last week's run of strong data that included "astoundingly good" retail sales numbers and dwelling approvals figures that indicate an enormous pipeline of construction is building. "There are conflicting data sets out there at the moment," Mr Hockey told Macquarie Radio, adding that people should not get distracted by one-off events either domestically or globally.

  • More UK small firms ready to hire AAP - Tue, Mar 11, 2014 2:01 PM NZDT

    An increasing number of UK businesses want to create jobs in the coming months amid signs of continued economic growth, according to a report. A survey of almost 3,000 firms by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) showed that one in seven are optimistic about hiring staff, with one in 10 having recruited employees in the past quarter. John Allan, chairman of the FSB, said: "Once again we see confidence on the up, and small firms leading the way in job creation.

  • SME growth credited to focus on survival Newstalk ZB - Tue, Mar 11, 2014 7:34 AM NZDT

    More confidence from New Zealand's small and medium businesses is being put down to a new laser focus on survival.

  • William Clay Ford dies at 88 AAP - Mon, Mar 10, 2014 12:07 PM NZDT

    William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford and owner of the Detroit Lions football team, has died. Ford Motor Co said, in a statement Sunday, that Ford died of pneumonia at his home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Ford helped steer the family business for more than five decades. "My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community," William Clay Ford Jr, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co and Lions vice chairman, said in a statement.

  • Small businesses look O/S for new markets AAP - Fri, Mar 7, 2014 6:01 PM NZDT

    When Erica Barrett launched her own food company three years ago after winning a cooking contest, she had no idea she'd someday be selling her gourmet pancake mixes in Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Spring-boarding off the domestic economy's recovery since the Great Recession, small firms like Barrett's 20-employee company, Southern Culture Artisan Foods, have been taking the plunge overseas to take advantage of rising incomes and demand for American foods and other products, experts say. Also, many firms in the US are being helped along the way by an array of federal and state government programs that provide market research, advice, loans, insurance, subsidies to attend international trade shows and other aid. Owners of small businesses "have thought for so long that exports are only for the big businesses.

  • Health care reform hitting some diners AAP - Fri, Mar 7, 2014 3:01 PM NZDT

    A French restaurant in Los Angeles and a chain of casual eateries in Florida have stirred yet another tempest in the Affordable Care Act teapot by adding health care surcharges to customers' bills. Proprietors of both restaurants have levied one to three per cent fees to ready themselves for new health care costs on the horizon. By January 2016, small businesses with 50 to 99 employees will have to cover 95 per cent of their full-time employees with health insurance or pay a fine, under the Affordable Care Act. Republique in Los Angeles has added a thee per cent fee it calls "Surcharge Healthy LA".

  • Firms fed-up being unpaid govt pay-clerks AAP - Thu, Mar 6, 2014 8:35 PM NZDT
    Firms fed-up being unpaid govt pay-clerks

    Business groups have hit out at the opposition for blocking the removal of $44 million in red-tape associated with the current paid parental leave scheme. Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief operating officer John Osborn said on Thursday the scheme should be directly funded and administered by government. "Small business people should not be forced to be the unpaid pay-clerks for government schemes," Mr Osborn said in a statement. NSW Business Chamber chief executive Stephen Cartwright agreed, saying the federal government has plenty of public servants to manage the operation.