Food retail sector set for subdued March quarter

1:59PM | Tuesday, 31 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Australia’s food retail sector will undergo subdued growth in the March quarter, according to the Australian Food and Grocery Council CHEP Retail Index, following stronger sales in December.

Facebook IPO tipped to spark start-up acquisitions

1:09PM | Monday, 30 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Facebook could file for an initial public offering as early as this week, according to reports, which would value the company at up to $US100 billion.

News Corp-backed Beyond Oblivion bankrupt before launch

1:39PM | Friday, 27 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

New York-based digital music start-up Beyond Oblivion has filed for bankruptcy before its launch, despite financial backing from News Corp and nearly $90 million from investors.

Small Business Minister Mark Arbib identifies rents and payroll tax as top SME concerns

1:00PM | Friday, 27 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Newly-appointed Small Business Minister Mark Arbib has downplayed the level of concern among small businesses over the carbon tax, identifying rents and payroll tax as more important.

Putting a price on your value proposition

1:19PM | Friday, 27 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Pricing a product or service can be tricky, especially if it's new to the market. But as Calvin Ng and John Kolenda from 1300 Home Loan found out, you can’t afford to get it wrong. BY MICHELLE HAMMOND.

Small firms put on notice as late bills hit 12-month high

1:00AM | Friday, 27 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Businesses are being urged to prioritise trade payments as they stare down the barrel of another challenging year, with data showing severely delinquent bills are at a 12-month high, jumping 28% over the Christmas period.

Business lobby group ACCI calls for interest rate cut

1:16PM | Wednesday, 25 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Business owners are relying on another interest rate cut to help offset the worst trading conditions in 14 years, according to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

99dresses shuts down amid financial woes

1:46PM | Monday, 23 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Australian start-up 99dresses has temporarily closed its doors after 20-year-old founder Nikki Durkin ran into financial troubles, although the business’ former incubator is confident that Durkin will bounce back.

A GFC-exposed skills crunch

1:42PM | Friday, 20 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Expanding your workforce is imperative if you are to diversify and grow your business, but how do you know the people you’re hiring are up to the job? Davidson Recruitment founder Rob Davidson found this out the hard way. BY MICHELLE HAMMOND.

Business Sales Indicator rose 0.2% in December amid spending recovery

1:58PM | Friday, 20 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator rose by 0.2% in December, following similar gains in November and October, with just four out of 20 sectors contracting during the month.

Economist dismisses dollar-pound exchange strength

1:18PM | Thursday, 19 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Companies looking to do business in the United Kingdom shouldn’t expect any short-term gains, an economist says, despite the Australian dollar hitting a 27-year high against the British pound.

Consumer sentiment edges up

1:38PM | Wednesday, 18 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment increased by 2.4% in January to 97.1 points, but the increase has been described as a “somewhat disappointing” result by a leading economist.

Patent attorneys under fire over “crippling” fees

1:00PM | Tuesday, 17 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Australia’s patent attorneys have come under attack for charging too much for patent filing, with claims that some attorneys charge as much as $150,000 to file patents overseas.

Australian businesses optimistic despite global conditions: Report

1:45PM | Friday, 13 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Australian business owners are “largely optimistic” about 2012, according to a Grant Thornton report, but expect to see a decrease in exports amid global economic uncertainty.

Hospitality sector calls for special treatment over wages

1:06PM | Thursday, 12 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The hospitality sector shouldn’t have to pay penalty rates on weekends and public holidays, a leading industry group says, because businesses in the sector are struggling to keep their doors open.

Start-ups set to be hit by rising credit card costs

1:10PM | Tuesday, 10 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Credit card interest rates will continue to rise despite a drop in the official cash rate, according to research firm Canstar, spelling bad news for start-ups planning to spend on credit this year.

No growth for retail in November: ABS

1:52PM | Monday, 9 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Retail sales remained flat in November, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, after increases of 0.2% and 0.3% in October and September respectively.

Heinz closure prompts renewed call for Supermarket Ombudsman

1:26PM | Friday, 6 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has renewed its call for the Federal Government to appoint a Supermarket Ombusdman, following the closure of a Heinz factory in Victoria.

Only a third of consumers purchase sale items: Report

1:36PM | Friday, 6 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

Only 36% of Australian consumers buy products on sale, according to a new report, while 83% identify quality as the most important factor, suggesting retailers cannot rely on discounting to remedy sluggish sales.

Services sector struggles to enter positive territory

1:00PM | Thursday, 5 January 2012 | Michelle Hammond

The services sector remained in negative territory in December, according to the latest Australian Performance of Services Index, with ongoing weakness across consumer-related sub-sectors.