Business

Business
4:29 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Smaller Texas Banks Stand to Gain from Ban on Debit Surcharge

A prohibition on surcharges on debit cards issued by smaller banks takes effect in September.
U.S. Navy/LaTunya Howard

This year the Texas Legislature passed HB 3068, banning the surcharge placed on debit cards. The bill was championed by The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT), an organization that provides resources to the state’s smaller, community banks.

IBAT Executive Vice President Stephen Scurrlock says the law will have a positive impact on Texas’ small businesses – and that by scuttling the additional cost of using a card not affiliated with a giant bank, payment by debit card will no longer discriminate against community banks. 

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Business
10:06 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Austin Slow to Warm to Mobile Pay Apps like Isis, Square

While mobile payment apps make transactions easier for retailers, some Austin business are still waiting for the payment platform to take off.
flickr.com/joeybones

The idea is great: Walk into your local coffee shop, order your usual, and pay with the tap of a finger. No credit cards, no cash, no wallet.

That’s the concept behind mobile payment apps like Isis and Square. Customers download an app to their phones, program their credit card, and pay by giving the cashier their name. Their card is charged instantly.

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Politics
9:47 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Rick Perry's War On The Blue States

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with Illinois media during his April trip to lure businesses.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 8:35 am

Gov. Rick Perry's outsized Texas swagger is coming to the heart of blue state America.

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personal finance
12:04 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Report: Overdraft Protection Puts Customers 'At Greater Risk'

Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 12:44 pm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking at how overdraft fees affect consumers in a detailed report released Tuesday.

One of the stunning finds: "Overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees accounted for 61 percent of total consumer deposit account service charges in 2011 among the banks in the CFPB report."

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Texas
11:11 am
Mon June 10, 2013

With New Ads & Famous Friends, Perry Luring Jobs from NY, Conn.

In a new ad campaign, Austin-based Rodriguez calls Texas the “home of creative renegades.”
.texaswideopenforbusiness.com

Gov. Rick Perry is launching an ad campaign in Connecticut and New York, trying to lure businesses to the Lone Star State.

The move comes after Gov. Perry made similar efforts in California and Illinois. But this time, Perry’s taking his message to television screens instead of radio.

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Business
1:36 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

No Smoking Outside Starbucks Shops Starting Saturday

Don't sit down here and have a smoke with your coffee, Starbucks says.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:17 pm

Starbucks is moving its smoking ban outdoors.

Starting Saturday, according to signs posted in its more than 7,000 shops across the U.S. and Canada, "the no-smoking policy ... will include outdoor areas."

"Smoking will be restricted within 25 feet of the store and within outdoor seating areas," the notices read.

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Business
5:15 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

City of Austin Gets High Marks for Tax Incentive Disclosure

A watchdog group says Austin is exemplary at letting the public know how business tax subsidies are performing.
KUT News

You know those property tax breaks that Austin uses to lure companies like Apple and Visa to town? A Washington, D.C., group says the city is doing a pretty good job of letting us know how those deals pan out.

The nonprofit research center Good Jobs First gave Austin’s program 100 out of 100 for disclosing annual activity online and for providing third-party audits of each company receiving taxpayer incentives. 

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Business
2:41 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

After Apparent Suicide, Austin Financial Advisor Investigated

S. Mark Powell

Financial advisor S. Mark Powell ran the Austin office of money management firm Atlantic Trust until his death on May 16.

Powell's body was found in a cemetery in Mason County, where the cause of death has not been determined.  Sheriff Buster Nixon says that a final ruling will be made after toxicology tests come back, but that "everything (he's) seen is consistent with a self-inflicted wound."

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Texas
9:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

19th Century Windmill Company Seeks 21st Century Customers

The San Angelo company still builds windmills from a 1933 design.
Mark Dewey

Windmill farms that generate electric power are now a familiar site across west Texas. But before the giant turbines took over, their little cousins ruled the plains. Small windmills pumped water to settlers, pioneers, and ranchers in the Lone Star state. The biggest windmill company, Aermotor, started in Chicago in the 1800s, and now pumps out windmills from its San Angelo headquarters and factory.

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Austin
7:18 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

The Mayor's 'Office:' Leffingwell Welcomes Athlead to Austin

Cast members of "The Office." Mayor Lee Leffingwell capitalized on Austin's mention in the series finale.
Chris Haston/NBC

Last Thursday, 5.4 million fans watched the series finale of NBC’s Emmy-winning comedy “The Office.” Who knew that one of those fans was Mayor Lee Leffingwell – and that he would take the finale’s Austin-centric ending so seriously?

The longrunning series ended with Athlead – a fictional sports promotions company lead by John Krasinski’s character Jim Halpert – was moving business to Austin. This revelation earned a humorous backing from Mayor Leffingwell. He released a statement on his Facebook page giving a thumbs up to Austin’s latest corporate relocation.

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Business
9:41 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Pledging Not To 'Screw It Up,' Yahoo Seals Deal For Tumblr

They're coming together: Yahoo will pay $1.1 billion to acquire Tumblr.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 8:06 am

The news that broke Sunday is now official.

Yahoo confirmed early Monday morning that it is buying Tumblr in a deal worth about $1.1 billion. "Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business," Yahoo added.

In its statement announcing the deal, Yahoo says that:

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Business
11:35 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Chamber of Commerce Looks to Sell Austin Internationally

The State Department and Austin Chamber of Commerce welcomed 26 ambassadors this week in an effort to bring more business to the Capital City.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

The Austin Chamber of Commerce is looking to sell Austin abroad.

Yesterday, the chamber and the State Department invited 26 ambassadors from around the world joined top tech companies like Google, Apple, Samsung and AT&T at the Driskill Hotel, in a tour aimed at bringing more international businesses to Austin.

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Business
2:34 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

U.S. Senate Poised To Approve Online Sales Tax Bill

Supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act say it will level the playing field between online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Mike Coppola Getty Images for eBay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:24 pm

Update at 7:00 p.m.:

The Senate has passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69 to 27, The Associated Press reports.

Here's our original post:

The Senate is expected to approve a measure on Monday that would end tax-free shopping for online purchases, a move that concerns many e-retailers but has the support of the states that stand to collect billions in previously lost revenues.

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Austin
10:54 am
Mon April 22, 2013

The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists

The Internet's list makers ceretainly haven't given up on Austin.
flickr.com/dingatx

If you asked the Internet, it might tell you that Austin's a hipster-loving, small business-starting, traffic-riddled, undiscovered yet overrated place that keeps it weird. The web's traffic-baiting list-makers rank Austin as a leader in categories from fitness friendliness to porn consumption per capita.

But you're not asking the Internet, you're asking KUT News. And, as has been done a couple times now, KUT News has compiled a list of lists honoring, tweaking and trashing Austin over the past few months. Here's the third installment of The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists:

  • Big time for small business: Business website Thumbtack.com saluted Austin for business-friendly regulations and low licensing fees, ranking the city tops in the U.S. for small businesses. But the crowning stems partially from the state’s spartan regulation, as the survey also named Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio in its top 10.
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Texas
4:09 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Perry Goes After Illinois Businesses With Radio Campaign

Gov. Rick Perry is trying to get companies to move to Texas.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry is trying to convince more businesses to move to Texas. Now he’s targeting Illinois with aggressive print ads comparing the business climate in that state to a “burning building on the verge of collapse.”

Today, Perry also launched a 30-second radio ad on four stations in Chicago.

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