Express Milwaukee - The New Economy Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 EST en hourly 1 These Are the Best of Times—For Business Brokers Soaring unemployment. A plummeting stock market. Economic recession with no end in sight. Things don’t get any better for business brokers. “The best years we had were under Jimmy Carter, when unemployment was 12.5%, and mortgages were 20%,” says Jim Kops, owner of A-1 Business Brokers Inc. “[Business brokers] did very, very well, and that’s what I think is right around the corner.” Kops says two factors are driving his business these days: the plunge in stock prices and rising unemployment...]]> Credit Crunch Brings FICO Into Focus Can You Can You Improve Your Credit Score? Homeowners Challenged by More Than Mortgages Stopping the Meltdown Solar Panels Boost Hot Water Products Credit Unions Thriving in the Chaotic Economy Let It Ride When Glenda Carter was growing up barefoot in a small Mississippi Delta town, she and her friends had a favorite expression: “Let it ride.” “It meant, ‘Let it go, move on,’” Carter says. “If someone hurt themselves playing, the other kids would say, ‘Let it ride’—shake it off and move on.” ]]> Intelligent Traffic Signs Rescuing Main Street The financial "bailout" bill will pass Congress and be signed by the president. The only questions are when that will happen and what it will contain. The "when" should be within days of Congress' return this week. The content is obviously more difficult. ]]> Lake Express Ferry Is Still Popular Despite rising diesel prices, regional floods and economic uncertainty, the Lake Express Ferry is on course to match last year’s business performance. The company kicked off its fifth season in May with a 20% fare increase to cover a 76% annual rise in the price of diesel fuel... ]]> Most Business Execs are Climate Change Skeptics Most Wisconsin business executives are skeptical about climate change science, but still favor energy conservation and alternative energy use, according to a survey released by the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. (WECC). ]]> Milwaukee Public Market Set to Expand Can Milwaukee Become a Solar City? Inflation’s Bad, But It Could Be Worse Black Businesses Lack Connections Is It Open Season on the 401(k)? A Great Bargain on a Great Lake When it comes to vacation spending, Milwaukee is the Costco of tourist destinations. Milwaukee’s tourism economy appears well positioned to weather rising fuel prices and a sagging economy with its unique attractions and low costs for shopping, food and recreation. ]]> Brewery Credit Union: Bringing BEER to Work Squandering the Stimulus - Plus Definition of the Week: Credit Crunch Worried Banks More Willing to Negotiate Mortgages A surge in foreclosures is forcing more and more lenders to take a loss on bad loans, giving rise to a speculative real estate practice known as a “short sale.” Here’s how it works: When a homeowner is threatened with foreclosure, an investor negotiates with the lender to buy the mortgage for far less than is owed. If all goes well, the sellers reduce their debt, the buyer gets a good deal and the bank removes a non-producing asset from its books. But, in practice, the deals are notoriously difficult to piece together and too often are oversold as a way to turn a fast buck. ]]> Celebrate Your Independents July 7-13 For every dollar you spend at a locally owned business, more than 68 cents stays in Milwaukee. That means more of your money is used to buy from other local businesses, service providers and farms, further strengthening the local economy and creating more jobs. Supporting local businesses helps create a “living economy,” according to Our Milwaukee, an alliance of 50 local businesses that is raising business awareness the week of July 7-13 with a film, prize drawings and special retail offerings. ]]> Fourth of July “Vishing” Alert Beware of a possible phone scam over the Fourth of July weekend, warns the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA). “Vishing”—a combination of “voice” and “phishing”—involves a recorded voice informing victims that their bank accounts are frozen and also provides a toll-free number to use in reinstating the account... ]]> Truckers Slammed by High Fuel Costs If you think that commuting to work is becoming too costly, consider what truck drivers are facing with $4-plus gas and diesel. “We’re just hanging on; it’s a struggle,” said Kathy Paul, office manager at Badger Freight Service Inc., which operates 12 refrigerator trailers out of Milwaukee. “It’s costing the guys a dollar... ]]> Definition of the Week: - Search Cost Definition of the Week: - Money Illusion Most Businesses Still Waiting To “Go Green” From a market-driven perspective, the fight against global warming hinges on creating demand for both energy-efficient technologies and renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. But these innovations come at a steep price, and cost-conscious businesses, already burdened by rising health care costs, want a relatively quick return on their investment in a facility upgrade or solar panels. If the payback is too long, most won’t commit. ]]> Weak U.S. Dollar Adds To Pain at the Pump Add “weak dollar” to the list of factors that drive up the cost of gasoline for Americans. War, political uncertainty, refinery shutdowns, speculation and rising demand are typically cited for causing our pain at the pump. ]]> The Economic Case for Gay Equality Gay equality is more than just a matter of fairness— it’s also good for the economy. The estimated 15.3 million gay adults in the United States have a combined buying power of more than $660 billion, and it’s estimated to grow to $835 billion by 2011, according to Witeck-Combs ...]]> The Gay and Lesbian Market