Business Briefs – December 26, 2018


‘Tech Addicts’ Seek Solace in 12 Steps and Rehab

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) – The young men sit in chairs in a circle in a small meeting room in suburban Seattle and introduce themselves before they speak. It is much like any other 12-step meeting — but with a twist. “Hi, my name is,” each begins. Then something like, “and I’m an internet and tech addict.” The eight who’ve gathered here are beset by a level of tech obsession that’s different than it is for those of us who like to say we’re addicted to our phones or an app or some new show on a streaming video service. For them, tech gets in the way of daily functioning and self-care.


Potholes, Water Woes: New Orleans Seeks More of Tourist Tax

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A night’s stay at a New Orleans hotel can take as much as a 15 percent bite in taxes and fees. Yet barely more than 1 in 10 of those tax and fee dollars — out of an estimated $166 million collected annually — finds its way into city coffers in this leading Southern tourist destination. That’s according to estimates by an independent research agency that last calculated the figure in 2015. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s still-new administration says the city needs and deserves a bigger share. When Cantrell took office in May, she inherited many lingering infrastructure challenges: potholed streets, drainage problems and a drinking water system plagued by periodic boil-water advisories.

In Volatile Market, Companies Can Plan for Possible Slowdown

NEW YORK (AP) – As the Dow Jones Industrial Average seesaws and mostly drops by hundreds of points a day, Kathy Barnes sees the impact of the volatility on homebuilders and general contractors in the St. Louis area. Barnes, who helps these small business owners manage their projects, says her clients are worried that the bull market that gave customers the confidence to do major work on their homes is at an end. Builders are investing in fewer properties and contractors are handling smaller-scale renovations. “People are holding back for fear of the worst,” Barnes says. Although the overall economy and consumer spending have been strong, some small business owners, particularly those who supply big-ticket items and services like home remodeling, are feeling the effects of volatility in stocks that has persisted for much of this year.