Business Briefs

Tallahassee Business Journal   July-August 2008Business Briefs 

Compiled by Jason Dehart

IN THE NEWSAvast, Ye Consumer Pirates

Pirated consumer goods can do a lot of damage – not just to people, but also to the economy. That’s why Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, state legislators and Florida chambers of commerce joined forces to pass legislation aimed at combating imposter goods. McCollum says counterfeiting creates serious health and safety risks for consumers who may unknowingly buy imposter products. The Anti-Counterfeiting Act includes enhanced penalties for anyone who knowingly makes, possesses or sells these fake goods. “Counterfeited goods are not just inexpensive handbags or pirated DVDs,” McCollum says. “These goods need to be seen for the dangerous threat they truly are – counterfeit, and potentially deadly prescription medicine, defective medical devices and other unregulated products which could cause serious bodily harm.” Not only do they pose health and safety risks, but counterfeiting and piracy cost the U.S. economy between $200 billion and $250 billion a year and are responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 jobs. The new law was based on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s model legislation, which targets those who intentionally manufacture, distribute or possess counterfeit goods for sale as well as those who counterfeit goods causing bodily injury.

Don’t Toss Those Coupons

Consumers can combat the effects of the ongoing economic downturn by becoming Coupon Kings and Queens. A recent survey from ICOM Information & Communications indicates coupon usage could surge in these “hard times.” According to ICOM’s results, of the 1,529 consumers who responded to the survey, 67 percent say they are much more likely, or somewhat more likely, to use coupons during a recession. Delving deeper in the numbers, 45 percent say they were “much more likely” and 22 percent say they were “somewhat more likely.” “Look at it this way: Households of two adults and two children who use coupons wisely can save 25 percent on their grocery bill annually, without cutting purchases,” says Peter Meyers, ICOM’s vice president for marketing. “That saves $2,400 a year based on a typical $800-a-month grocery spend, which outstrips the $1,800 economic stimulus check this family has coming from Washington.”

Some Rules About Like-Kind Exchanges

According to, whenever you sell business or investment property and you have a gain, you generally have to pay tax on the gain at the time of the sale. IRC Section 1031 provides an exception and allows you to postpone paying tax on the gain if you reinvest the proceeds in similar property as part of a qualifying like-kind exchange. Gain deferred in a like-kind exchange under IRC Section 1031 is tax-deferred, but it is not tax-free. Owners of investment and business property may qualify for a Section 1031 deferral. Individuals, C corporations, S corporations, partnerships (general or limited), limited liability companies, trusts and any other taxpaying entity may set up an exchange of business or investment properties for business or investment properties under Section 1031.

Fight Flabby Leadership

Renowned business leader Jim Welch offers a system to pump up your management skills – without intimidation or complexity. He has written a book about the subject – “Grow Now: 8 Essential Steps to Flex Your Leadership Muscles.” Welch, founder and president of The Growth Leader Inc., a well-known leadership consulting firm, is an optimist who touts emotional connections over stern commands. He is more likely to quote George Costanza of “Seinfeld” or Mick Jagger to get his point across. His philosophy? Don’t just lead. Develop a culture of innovation, growth and customer loyalty. “Truly effective leaders understand how to keep and motivate the best people, how to foster a culture of innovation, engender customer loyalty and manage the pace of change and growth,” Welch says. For more information, visit

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