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Small Business Optimism Attributed To President’s Policies (08/20/2019)

Barron’s (8/14) columnist Gene Epstein wrote, “Memo to President Trump: For solid evidence, worth a tweet or two, that you deserve some economy-boosting bragging rights denied your predecessor, look no further than the third quarter’s Small Business Optimism Index.” Epstein added that NFIB CEO Juanita Duggan was quoted saying, “While many are talking about a slowing economy and possible signs of a recession, the third largest economy in the world continues to defy expectations, generating output, creating value, and expanding the economy.” Additionally, Epstein spoke with NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg via email, with Dunkelberg offering a few reasons why small businesses have been optimistic under Trump’s presidency: “Small business owners strongly supported the campaign promises of tax reform and a reduction in regulatory burdens...two of the most significant problems voiced by small business owners.”

Business Climate

Strong Dollar Straining Corporate Earnings, Commodity Prices (08/20/2019)

The Wall Street Journal (8/18, A1, Iosebashvili, Subscription Publication) reported the strong dollar is putting pressure on domestic corporate earnings, stressing commodity prices, and creating concern about an emerging market sell-off. The dollar is near its highest level in two years against a basket of six major currencies.

Small Business Marketing

Adobe Partnership Increases Microsoft’s CRM Capabilities (08/20/2019)

ZDNet (8/12, Greenberg) contributor Paul Greenberg wrote Microsoft, “another of this year’s CRM Watchlist winners, is perhaps the most complex of all because of the clarity of their vision and because they are dedicated to carrying it out – from products/services and partnerships to corporate social good.” ZDNet said “what increases both the complexity and the value of the business applications is the partnership with Adobe.” What it means “for biz apps (as Microsoft likes to call it) is that Adobe’s Experience Cloud which includes their B2C enterprise grade marketing automation solution is what Microsoft positions at the enterprise level.” On top of that, with the Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo, it is “going to be interesting to see if Microsoft uses that as their B2B enterprise-grade marketing automation platform/solution or they go with their own, which at its current level of development is suited more for the mid-market.”

Wages and Benefits

Senate Committee Has No Plans To Consider $15 Minimum Wage Bill (08/20/2019)

Vox (8/16) reported that the “Senate has no plans to raise the federal minimum wage anytime soon.” The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions “is not considering a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, or any other increase, for that matter.” Though the Congressional Budget Office said the Raise the Wage Act “could trigger 1.3 million job losses for low-paid workers,” the “most recent academic research suggests that’s unlikely and would lead to few if any lost jobs.”

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