Tuesday, March 12, 2019

business proposal

business proposal

Small business owners react to Whitmer's tax proposal - WNEM Saginaw

Posted: 11 Mar 2019 02:25 PM PDT

Small business owners are speaking out in the wake of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's proposal to institute a new tax that affects them directly.

The goal is to provide tax relief for senior citizens.

"We're just a mom and pop business. Basically, we have to pay all the fees and stuff connected to a business – insurances, unemployment taxes, and thins of that nature," said Charles Dixon, owner of Divine Taste of Chicago.

Last week, Whitmer proposed a business tax increase with hopes of it helping to offset the pension tax repeal. This would leave small businesses, like Divine Taste of Chicago, paying the same six percent tax rate as larger corporations.

"If that amount of money, that 6 percent, goes across the board for any type of business, that is not a fair proposal. I think it's not a fair proposal," Dixon said.

As for Flowers by Roman, they have been around for 83 years and say such a tax hike is inconsiderate for small businesses.

"She's not thinking of the small person because we can't afford those road taxes she's talking about. Small businesses can't pay the same as large businesses. We're struggling as it is," said Julie Oliver, owner.

Whitmer believes the plan would provide a way to fund a tax relief for seniors. But many small businesses are saying she needs to find another way.

"There's gotta be other avenues. I'm not sure what they would be, but there's gotta be something else," Oliver said.

In order for the bill to pass, Whitmer would need support from both the Michigan House and Senate.

The proposal would affect an estimated 150,000 entities.

Santa Fe seeks proposals from developers for midtown campus - Santa Fe New Mexican

Posted: 11 Mar 2019 07:00 PM PDT

The city of Santa Fe intends to issue a request for proposals from developers this spring to determine the future of the midtown campus of the defunct Santa Fe University of Art and Design. It's the next step in a redevelopment gestation period that could take half a decade or longer.

The 66.55-acre property on St. Michael's Drive has mostly been a ghost town since the university closed in May, though roughly 15 to 20 percent of it remains in use.

A request for proposals will go out sometime in the second quarter of the year with no clear-cut deadline for responses, said Daniel Hernandez, a city consultant who is the project manager of the midtown property — seen by many as a critical, and perhaps fragile, jewel in the city's future.

"I'm going to give enough time for people to put together good, sound proposals, said Hernandez, owner of Proyecto, a Solvang, Calif., real estate advisory firm. We want to find proposals that are ready to go."

The end game for the property is by no means certain, in part because the implementation stage will be dependent on national economic factors, Hernandez said.

"I would say five to seven years before it's kind of complete," he said.

The city wants a handful of the 32 buildings to remain, such as the Greer Garson Theatre, but acknowledges the rest could be renovated or demolished. Mayor Alan Webber noted something needs to happen to bring the campus, which is tucked off a curve on St. Michael's Drive, more front and center.

"It is cloistered," Webber said. "Where's the front door?"

Webber said the basic vision — vetted through several community input sessions in the past year and a half — calls for reviving the midtown property as a mix of housing, education and economic diversification, with an entertainment/technology module similar to the existing Greer Garson Studios currently used by film production companies.

Webber said he is willing to alter the concept if a compelling proposal comes along that does not fit the housing/education/tech model.

"We gave ourselves flexibility; if somebody appears with a brilliant idea that's hard to pass up, we can bring that idea to the City Council," the mayor said.

The city of Santa Fe purchased what was then the College of Santa Fe campus from the Christian Brothers of New Mexico in 2009 for $29.615 million. The city then brought in the Santa Fe University of Art and Design as a tenant to replace the college, which closed at that time. The city is paying off the purchase at the rate of $2.23 million per year until 2036.

Though the campus is already beginning to show significant signs of going fallow, with weeds taking over some areas, other areas retain signs of life. Buildings remaining in use house The Screen, Green Garson Studios, two apartment dormitories used by the Santa Fe Recovery Center, and the Driscoll Fitness Center, which is operated by the Santa Fe Parks & Recreation Department.

Webber said the campus still has potential to continue to contain some kind of educational component, adding he would like to bring the Santa Fe Higher Education Center, which adjoins the midtown property, into the project. Santa Fe Community College, the University of New Mexico, Highlands University and Northern New Mexico College teach courses at the center.

Webber said Matt Brown, the city's economic development director, has been in discussions with a variety of educational institutions, ranging from Santa Fe Community College to the University of New Mexico to Texas A&M. Brown also has spoken to Triad National Security, the new manager and operator of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, of which the Texas A&M University System is a partner.

"We can have a premier education consortium," Brown said. "There are people who want a think tank, an accelerator, [business] incubators. There are people intrigued by this unique opportunity."

The request for proposals comes after the conceptual stage of the three-stage process to determine a future for the property. Next up: Evaluating developer proposals and determining which direction to go.

The first step would be infrastructure improvements that could be done in 2020, with that year also potentially seeing the first steps in redevelopment, Brown said.

Chris Webster, a veteran Santa Fe real estate broker and development and investment consultant, is having conversations with city officials and developers across the country about the midtown property.

"The potential is extraordinary," said Webster, noting the property's location, infrastructure already in place, zoning density and potential city development incentives. "[The city needs] to intelligently figure out the highest and best use of the property for today."

The midtown campus is at the west end of the city's Midtown Local Innovation Corridor Overlay District, which runs along St. Michael's Drive to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. The overlay district allows for variations to the standard zoning in the city. Specifically, four-story structures will be allowed in the area rather than the standard three-story maximum, said Carol Johnson, the city's land use director.

"We want the property to be more walkable and bikeable and have mixed-use development," Johnson said.

Regardless of what may come, Webber said he wants the new iteration of the property to stand out.

"We need to have an iconic building," Webber said. "Santa Fe has strong rules of who we are. Maybe there can be a contemporary feel that is more walkable and bikeable. … We want to respect the history and tradition of our city. What happens needs to look and feel like Santa Fe."

Labor Department issues proposed regulations on overtime - Washington Post

Posted: 11 Mar 2019 08:07 AM PDT

NEW YORK — The Labor Department has issued its long-awaited proposed regulations on overtime. The proposal would raise the pay threshold at which workers would be exempt from overtime to $35,308 from the current $23,660.

The proposed rules, which the department says would make more than 1 million workers eligible for overtime, are most likely to affect workers with jobs like shift supervisor or assistant manager at restaurants, retailers and manufacturing companies. While they affect workers at companies of all sizes, small businesses that have less of a revenue cushion are likely to more keenly feel the impact of higher overtime costs than larger businesses would.

The proposal revises rules written during the Obama administration that would have doubled the pay threshold at which workers would be exempt from overtime to $47,476. The Trump administration proposal is about halfway between the current threshold, which has been in effect since 2004, and the Obama administration rules, which would have affected an estimated 4.2 million people. The Obama regulations were scheduled to take effect in 2016 but were put on hold by a federal lawsuit.

As part of the federal rule-making process, the Labor Department proposal is posted on the federal website www.regulations.gov where the public can post comments. It can be found in a search for the regulations' docket number, RIN 1235-AA20.

The final regulations are likely to be similar to the proposal, but there may be changes made in response to the comments, says Marty Heller, a labor law attorney with Fisher Phillips in Atlanta.

Small business owners have expected since Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta took office that there would be an increase in the threshold, although they "generally do not like it when the federal government intervenes on wage issues," says Karen Kerrigan, president of the advocacy group Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

But the rules included a provision that owners would be happy with, providing for increases in the exemption threshold every four years via the rule-making process rather than automatic increases in the Obama plan, Kerrigan says.

Business owners who don't want to pay additional overtime have said they were exploring options including giving affected staffers raises to put them into the category of exempt employees. Owners also said they might limit workers to eight-hour shifts.

Such strategies are legal, but owners should think about the impact they could have on morale, Heller says.

"The current job market is demanding that employers not just comply with law but make decisions to be competitive with one another," he says.


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Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

City of Niles has two new medical pot licenses, and a lot of interest - South Bend Tribune

Posted: 11 Mar 2019 12:12 PM PDT

NILES — City Council heard Monday night from several businesses that hope to snag at least one of the two new licenses for a medical marijuana provisioning center in the city.

Six potential business owners briefly introduced themselves to council members, promising they could deliver different things — a "professional" cannabis experience, a family-run business, fresh produce to the area food bank, and even be up and running in just a few months — if they're chosen.

They came from California, Arizona, Michigan, and elsewhere.

The council voted in January to increase the number of medical marijuana provisioning centers that can locate in the city from two to four.

Since then, Niles Community Development Director Sanya Vitale said she has received 10 viable proposals for the two licenses.

Several council members thanked the business owners for their interest in locating in Niles, and for the enthusiasm they expressed.

"That's absolutely fantastic. That's exciting," Mayor Nick Shelton said later.

So many businesses "wanting to take a chance on the city of Niles is what we need," he said.

Council could vote on awarding the licenses March 25.

Under the state's new adult-use marijuana law, provisioning centers likely will be the first recreational marijuana retail sales sites, if the community they're in allows retail sales and the provisioning center owner pursues a retail license.

After Michigan voters approved recreational marijuana in November, City Council voted to opt out of allowing recreational businesses. But city leaders will vote on the issue again and are laying the groundwork for local rules for adult-use enterprises.

The companies under consideration already have received state approval for medical marijuana businesses they operate elsewhere.

In January, the City Council adopted new rules to require that applicants receive state approval before they apply for a city license.

The move helped streamline the city's review process by not duplicating state efforts. And it could help the city avoid spending time and effort to vet a prospective company that ultimately fails to obtain a state license.

That sort of question arose in September when one company to which the city had awarded a preliminary license in 2017 for a medical marijuana provisioning center was denied preliminary approval by the state.

Oasis Wellness, a sister company of Wild Bill's Tobacco, headquartered in Troy, Mich., has plans to locate a provisioning center in a retail strip center on South 11th Street.

But the state Medical Marijuana Licensing Board denied the company's initial application for that site as well as several other medical marijuana business proposals elsewhere. The board cited regulations pertaining to false information on an application, and integrity and moral character.

Oasis' appeal of the denials was heard by an administrative law judge Feb. 26 in Lansing.

The judge will provide findings of fact and a proposal for a decision to the state board, which will then decide whether to affirm, reverse or modify the denial, according to David Harns, communications manager for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Vitale said she's hoping to learn a result in Oasis' appeal in early April.

The other preliminary provisioning center license awarded in 2017 went to MJM Holdings, which plans to put a provisioning center, along with a grow operation and processing site, in the industrial park.

Vitale plans to make a recommendation to the council at its next regular meeting as to which companies to award the two new provisioning center licenses. Business viability will be assessed, and if many appear to have equal prospects, it could come down to who got their application in first, she said.

The next regular meeting starts at 6 p.m. March 25 in council chambers at the fire station on Main Street.

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