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Polls:Recession not over, let business help not government

RecessionPolls show recession not over, and publis wants business to help not government

82% of Americans think the recession is not over
62% said business will play a larger role in helping the economy recovery than government
45% rated the economy as the most important issue
62% believe economic growth should take priority over environment Read more »

FLIR Hopes to Bring Military Technology into the Home

infrared-gunnerFLIR Hopes to Bring Military Technology into the Home
By Oregon Small Business Association,

Little-known Flir Systems (FLIR), the world leading provider of infrared technology used by militaries across the globe, hopes to bring its technology to motor vehicles.  FLIR’s success booms despite the recession because of the need for infrared technology, especially during a time of war, but if the company can take things one step further, it could become one of the nation’s most successful anti-recession businesses in history. Read more »

Natural gas prices set to go down

natural-gasNatural gas prices set to go down
By Oregon Small Business Association

Some consumers are set to benefit from a poor economy, as all three Oregon natural gas providers requested reduced rates in filings sent to the Oregon Public Utilities Commission.  The companies, Northwest Natural Gas, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista Utilities asked for rate decreases ranging between 12.41 percent and 21 percent.  New rates will go into effect on November 1, 2009.
Read more »

Weyerhaeuser sells Oregon timberland

osba-lumberWeyerhaeuser sells Oregon timberland

Weyerhaeuser Company announced recently that it has agreed to sell approximately 140,000 acres of timberland in Oregon to an entity affiliated with the Campbell Group LLC for around $300 million.

The sale is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009.  The transaction is expected to contribute approximately $100 million after tax to third quarter earnings.  The sale is designed to help Weyerhaeuser’s focus on improving financial flexibility and liquidity.  It is also considering a sale of up to an additional 82,000 acres in southwest Washington.  Read more »

Bush pollution rules overturned

epaBush pollution rules overturned

A federal appeals court recently over turned rules established by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Bush administration that allowed power plants and factories to emit pollution over established limits if those entities bought pollution credits.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that the EPA rules were not in compliance with the Clean Air Act.  Read more »

Media Suffers from Recession

NewspaperMedia Suffers from Recession
By Oregon Small Business Association

As the nation faces one of the worst recessions in its history, media groups feel the affects of lowered spending.  The owner of Portland’s channel 6 KOIN TV station entered chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware, under a financial restructuring plan with debt holders.  In addition, Los Angeles-based New Vision Television, which also owns KBNZ in Bend, will eliminate $400 million in debt and guaranteed obligations and obtain $30 million in new financing.  Both companies deny that the bankruptcies will affect local TV stations. Read more »

Hard times hit Oregon dairy farmers

Ocow-milkregon Small Business Association,

Oregon dairy farmers are in a bind.  The cost of producing a gallon of milk is higher than what farmers can sell it for.  This has forced dairy famers to live on credit and hope milk prices increase soon to stave off potential bankruptcies.

A number of factors have contributed to the current situation.  Increased cost of production beyond the farmer’s control doesn’t allow farmers to cut costs enough to remain profitable.  It is more expensive to feed cows due to competition from ethanol producers for food stock. Read more »

Struggling economy puts the brakes on PC sales growth

Struggling economy puts the brakes on PC sales growth
BY Oregon Small Business Associationkeyboard_scaled

PC sales growth in the U.S. continues to take a beating at the hands of the economic recession.  Yet, one glimmer of hope remains:  laptop computers.

Dell Computer recently announced declining quarterly profit and revenue results.  Hewlett-Packard also announced similar weak results.  And Intel’s four-quarter long growth streak has ended with the world’s largest chipmaker seeing a decline in both sales and market share.
Shipments of PCs during the first quarter were down 7.1 percent from a year ago, according to the research firm IDC.  And it may not be totally behind us: IDC is predicting roughly 8 percent declines in growth for the second quarter.

Read more »

EU fines Intel for being successful

moneygrad_scaledAcccording to the New York Times, the European Commission’s recent antitrust ruling and record $1.45 billion fine of the chip maker was misguided and mistaken and anti-competition. “By any reasonable application of a consumer-harm test, the antitrust claim that Intel is driving down prices—and so making computers less expensive—would be laughed out of U.S. court. The only harm here is to a competitor that can’t match Intel’s prices.”

Intel CEO Paul Otellini responded that the decision was wrong, that there had been no harm to consumers, and that it would appeal the decision.”This is really just a matter of competition at work, which is something I think we all want to see, versus something nefarious,” Otellini said on a conference call with reporters.
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Digital Records receive both accolades and warnings

binary_scaledThe push for digital medical records, fueled by $19 billion from the federal stimulus package, would completely change the way doctors prescribe and practice medicine—by digitizing the entire medical record-keeping process.  Backers say such technology will cut costs and save lives.  But a growing body of research suggests potential challenges

According to The Portland Business Journal, more than 50 percent of the state’s doctors currently use electronic medical records. That’s more than double the national average, meaning the state could receive a disproportionate share of the $19 billion in federal stimulus money allocated to the digital technology switch.
Read more »