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What new finger-food trends are replacing cupcakes .. or are they?
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What new finger-food trends are replacing cupcakes .. or are they?

By on Jul 15, 2014

The headline-making saga of the Crumbs Bake Shop company – the cupcake chain that closed all of its stores only to receive a last-minute reprieve from an investor group – suggests a few ideas for localizing food-related business stories. The potential survival of the Crumbs chain is good news for its investors and workers, bad [...]

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As highway fund is debated, how does the local business of road building fare?
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As highway fund is debated, how does the local business of road building fare?

The federal Highway Trust Fund is projected to run out of money on August 1.   Congress is as usual eschewing a long-term, sweeping vision in favor of a short-term patch.   According to Bloomberg, odds are that a House version of a transportation bill will make it to President Obama for signature. With looming funding issues, [...]

Fresh peg on new domain names: “dot-vodka,” “dot-Christmas,” “dot-fail”
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Fresh peg on new domain names: “dot-vodka,” “dot-Christmas,” “dot-fail”

Looking for a business story that spans the corporate world, small companies and even consumers & personal finance? The 2014 rollout of new top-level domain names is underway, but flying surprisingly under most radar screens.   If you haven’t yet written about the upcoming availability of hundreds of alternatives to good old .com and .net, you’ve [...]

Quicktips:  Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents
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Quicktips: Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents

Maybe this column should be called “quirky tips” instead of “quick tips,” because I can’t resist sharing some of the interesting and offbeat jottings from my notebook.  Hopefully you can embrace the oddities and spin an idea or two into a colorful summertime business feature. First off, my ears perked up the other day when [...]

Consumers itch and businesess profit as mosquitos swarm
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Consumers itch and businesess profit as mosquitos swarm

As one of those lucky people generally ignored by stinging and biting insects, it was dismaying a week or two ago to be covered in itchy red welts after just a little while outdoors planting flower pots.  A few days later the graveside rites at a funeral I attended were actually cut short as mourners [...]

Self-publishing industry empowers local authors, service providers
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Self-publishing industry empowers local authors, service providers

Several of the best new books I’ve read lately have had one thing in common: They’ve lacked any sort of publisher’s imprint on the inside cover or title pages. Self-publishing, in either hardcopy or e-book format, is a fast-growing sector, driven by authors too impatient to wait for a traditional publisher’s verdict on their work, or [...]

Spotlight auto repair as a career path and a local economic indicator
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Spotlight auto repair as a career path and a local economic indicator

Today kicks off Automotive Service Professionals Week, an industry observance that runs June 9-15, according to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). In light of last week’s monthly report on U.S. car sales – which in May reflected a sales pace not seen since before the recession, after nearly a decade of consumers [...]

Campers seeking posh digs drive a boom in the business of ‘glamping’
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Campers seeking posh digs drive a boom in the business of ‘glamping’

You know that phenomenon when a certain word or phrase suddenly starts cropping up everywhere you turn?  Sometimes such a buzz can mean that a topic is ripe for a business or financial feature, and for me lately the term has been “glamping.” The trend of luxury camping is not new but for some reason [...]

Around the U.S., June means LGBT pride and profit
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Around the U.S., June means LGBT pride and profit

One of June’s most widespread observances is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, which as this Library of Congress history page notes, commemorates the Stonewall riots in Manhattan which were a milestone in the gay liberation movement in the 1960s. Celebrations in the form of parades, parties, rallies and so on will be [...]

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