Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line thoughts on some items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal area: • We were happy to learn that War Memorial Hospital’s 16-bed long-term care unit in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., received the highest rating in the the Best Nursing Homes rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. It was one of only four of the 126 nursing homes in West Virginia to receive an overall rating of five stars for performance in health inspections, nurse staffing and quality of medical care. • Congratulations to Mike Swarner, manager of a specialty Walgreen’s pharmacy in Hagerstown, Md. A […]

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Employee turnover: The silent killer

Excessive employee turnover, like high blood pressure in the human body, is the silent killer of organizations. Revenue, reputation, productivity and profits are negatively impacted when employees leave unexpectedly. To reduce turnover and increase employee retention, organizations must define turnover, quantify the its costs and understand the reasons for it. There are two broad categories of employee turnover: planned and unplanned. Seasonal workers, interns, student workers and retirees are those whose turnover is planned and generally does not cause harm to the organization. Sudden resignations, terminations for cause and no-shows are examples of unplanned turnover. They are damaging to the […]

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Nationally, locally, expect economic growth

The U.S. economy is expected to end 2017 with significantly higher production growth rates and a better unemployment rate than 2016, according to economists, and gross domestic product projections show promise for 2018. At a projection of 3 percent, the GDP will be much improved from the 1.5 percent rate in 2016. The November job report shows the economy added 228,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate held at a 17-year low, signs the economy is growing at a healthy pace. In spite of the official low unemployment rate, broader measures remain higher. The broadest rate, which includes discouraged workers who have […]

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Electric vehicles might charge up business opportunities

GM has announced that it will launch 20 new electric vehicle (EV) models. Volvo Cars announced that, within a few years, every Volvo automobile will have an electric motor. Ford reported significant commitments to all-electric vehicles. Tesla’s order book is swelling beyond half a million EVs. And so the news continues. Few EVs are on the roads now. Chevrolet Volts, Nissan Leafs, Teslas and other EVs represent 0.3 percent of the nation’s car and truck population. In some scenarios, the growth of EVs is considered a threat to traditional business sectors. That worry looks premature. Traditional businesses have time to […]

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Reconsidering a remote workforce

For many business leaders, today’s biggest challenge is not having a enough available, skilled people in the workforce. With the problem growing, it is reasonable to conclude we are not doing enough to respond. Although a low unemployment rate supports workers, it compounds workforce issues for many area businesses that have a growing number of open, unfilled positions. Combatting and mitigating our shrinking available skilled workforce involves a complex multi-pronged approach. Businesses, educational institutions and public agencies all have roles in responding to this critical problem. As a solution provider and consultant, I believe a number of different approaches can […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line thoughts on some items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal area. In the spirit of the season, we’ll hand out: • Our best wishes to those in the retail industry this holiday season. May your cash registers jingle and your bar-code scanners work properly. • Huzzah to BWise Manufacturing in Chambersburg, Pa., for its recent purchase of the building in part of which it has operated for years on Wayne Avenue. The $9.5 million move not only gives the company room and flexibility, it keeps 95 employees in the county seat. • Congrats to Rocky […]

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What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

In today’s world of companies like Amazon, Facebook and Uber, as well as TV shows like Shark Tank and The Profit, starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur is on almost everyone’s mind. Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers alike all dream of running their own business and being the next overnight success.  […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Our bottom-line thoughts on some items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal area: • A sincere thank you to all those involved in agriculture in our region, from the farmers to the processors to the equipment dealers. Without farms, we would have no food. May your pursuits continue to ripen and yield a bountiful harvest. • Congratulations to Innovative Inc. for earning Blue partner status with Datto, a leading provider of data protection solutions for businesses. • We were disappointed to see Maryland rank No. 1 on Kiplinger’s list of the least tax-friendly states. For reference, Wyoming was ranked the […]

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Agriculture’s economic contribution huge to US

The agricultural sector makes an important contribution to the U.S. economy in many aspects, including supply of safe and reliable food; reducing energy dependence; and supporting job growth and economic development, especially in rural communities. […]

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Craft beer brings cheer to economy

Although I am not an expert in the economy of beer breweries, I thought to devote this column to the growth of craft beer, since the cover story of this edition is on craft breweries. […]

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