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NFIB Weekly News

NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

US Small Business Optimism Soars In December. (01/10/2017)

The NFIB’s latest Small Business Economic Trends report shows small business owners’ optimism increased in December following the presidential election. The index jumped up 7.4 points to 105.8, the highest level since 2004, mostly due to a major jump in the number of small business owners expecting better business conditions, which rose from 12 percent in November to 50 percent in December. NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said, “We haven’t seen numbers like this in a long time. Small business is ready for a breakout and that can only mean very good things for the U.S. economy.” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg added, “The December results confirm the sharp increase that we reported immediately after the election.”

Business Climate

Business Owners To See Changes In Tax Law, Health Insurance In 2017. (01/10/2017)

USA Today (1/7, Rosenberg) reported on changes in tax law and other rules for 2017, highlighting changes for small business owners. Among those changes is a bigger deduction for equipment purchases, changes in health coverage requirements, and a smaller deduction for owners using vehicles for business.

Small Business Marketing

Digiday’s List Of What’s In And Out In 2017: “Memberships,” Not “Ads.” (01/10/2017)

Digiday (12/30) posted its “definitive” but always-fun list of “what’s in and what’s out” for 2017. On the in vs. out list are concepts such as “memberships” vs. “ads,” “artificial intelligence” vs. “big data,” “second-party data” vs. “third party data,” and “blocking ad blockers” vs. “Please turn off your ad blocker,” and “header bidding” vs. “waterfalls.”

For what won’t happen in 2017, Digiday (1/2, Willens) turned to some industry experts for predictions. Tim Mahlman, President of AOL Platforms, said, “Walled gardens will not drop their walls. You’re not going to see the duopoly change the way they’re thinking,” while Charlie Fiordalis, Chief Digital Officer at Media Storm, said, “Twitter isn’t going to regain its position as a preeminent social platform. It pains me to say it, because I’m an avid user, but they’ve lost the cool factor, have stopped growing and haven’t been able to break through as an OTT platform.” Topics included ad blocking, artificial intelligence, content valuation, and others.

Wages and Benefits

Labor Department: US Employers Added 156,000 Jobs In December. (01/10/2017)

The Labor Department released its monthly employment report showing that US employers added 156,000 jobs in December, “capping a year of slower but solid hiring,” the AP (1/6, Rugaber) reported. In addition, the unemployment rate rose to 4.7 percent from a nine-year low of 4.6 percent, while hourly pay “jumped 2.9 percent from a year earlier, the biggest increase in more than seven years.”

On its front page, the Wall Street Journal (1/6, Morath, Subscription Publication) said the gains were down from November and 2016 had the fewest new jobs since 2011. The Journal noted there continues to be slow growth in wages, a low rate of labor force participation, and many in part-time jobs who would like to have full-time work.

Tight Labor Market Could Lead To Shortage Of Skilled Workers. The AP (1/7, Salsberg) reported that some economists “are waving caution flags about an increasingly tight labor market in which key industries are finding it more difficult to secure the highly skilled employees they need to continue flourishing.”

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