Archive for April, 2013

Most people focus very heavily on national issues, and then sometimes state issues. Few people are focused on local issues because they are not readily understood or available to follow unless one follows local news or happens to have a local blogger covering issues specific to one’s town, county, or even school district or neighborhood. Even fewer are aware of how to make changes at the local level. While most people who generally are involved in changing laws will protest, sign petitions, call their elected officials, write letters to the editor, among other things, few think to gather signatures and put issues on the ballots. Getting citizens educated and active is especially important at a time politicians are proposing laws to limit transparency.

The Lucy Burns Institute is one organization dedicated to making sure citizens know about their rights to put issues on the ballot. They are the backers of the website Ballotpedia.org and have a site on Delaware: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Delaware. You can view the different initiatives going on in Delaware, issues which need addressing, and ways to get involved.


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Key Findings:

U.S. small and mid-sized business owners plan to delay hiring new employees or seek new loans amid cautious optimism about the economy, according to the latest findings of the PNC Economic Outlook survey.


Waiting to Hire, Seek Loans
The survey, which gauges the mood and sentiment of small and medium sized business owners, found that only 46 percent expect their sales to increase in the next six months, significantly lower than last spring (58 percent). Profits are also expected to be lower, as only 38 percent expect an increase compared to 43 percent in the spring. Only 23 percent expect to add new employees, lower than in spring (28 percent) but still higher than a year ago (20%).

Housing Rebound to Continue
Building on the dramatic turnaround first seen in PNC’s fall survey, 48 percent expect home prices in their local markets will rise over the coming year compared to 26 percent one year ago. This expected house price rebound is reinforced by sizable house price gains in 2012.

Consumer Spending Supports Price Hikes
One-third plan to raise their selling prices and only five percent intend to cut their prices, signaling potential pricing pressures.

PNC’s chief economist Stuart Hoffman discusses the spring findings of PNC’s biannual survey of U.S. small and mid-sized business owners.

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