Business

Companies Offer Benefits But Not Raises

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Once a staple of the American workplace, the annual raise is turning into a relic of the pre-crisis economy as companies turn to creative — and cheaper — ways to compensate their employees. More businesses are upping their spending on benefits such as one-time bonuses, health care and paid time off, according to recent survey data. Many are rolling out perks such as free gym membership, commuting subsidies, even pet …

Co-op Staff Votes Down Labor Union

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lebanon — Workers at the Lebanon Co-op Food Store on Monday voted, 70-31, against organizing under a Massachusetts-based union, an election brought on by a year’s worth of turmoil surrounding the firings of two employees. Of about 140 workers at the store, 122 full- and part-time personnel were eligible to vote, and 113 ballots were cast. “(I’m) elated — we can be a …

Costs Have Hit State Health Markets Hard

Monday, July 27, 2015

Washington — State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states. Hawaii’s marketplace, the latest cautionary tale, was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million …

U.S. Housing-Market Recovery Hits 8-Year High

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Washington — America’s housing-market recovery is in full swing. Purchases of previously owned homes climbed 3.2 percent in June to a 5.49 million annualized rate, the strongest since February 2007, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Lean inventory pushed prices to an all-time high and listed properties …

Lyme Restaurant Gets Clean Health Inspection Report

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lyme — A state inspection last week found no traces of rodents in Stella’s Italian Kitchen and Market, despite previous reports that rats had been found in the adjoining post office. The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services held an unannounced inspection at the Lyme restaurant on …

Tough Choices as Elder Care Cost Soars

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New York — Doris Ranzman had followed the expert advice, planning ahead in case she wound up unable to care for herself one day. But when a nursing-home bill tops $14,000 a month, the best-laid plans get tossed …

Social Security Q&A: How to Report Address Change for SSI Benefits

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Question: My father receives Supplemental Security Income. He recently moved, but he hasn’t reported his new address to Social Security yet. What’s the easiest way to do that? Answer: You can check your address online by using your personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. It is very …

Many Americans One Crisis Away From Ruin

Sunday, July 19, 2015

With people less worried these days about losing their jobs, Americans are feeling much better about their finances. Yet after the bills are paid, many people struggle to keep extra cash in the bank. Roughly one in four, or 29 percent, of Americans don’t have money set aside …

At the Hospitals: July 19, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

VA Names Mental Health Chief White River Junction — Dr. Brett Rusch has joined White River Junction VA Medical Center as chief of mental health and behavioral science service, as well as an assistant professor of psychiatry at …

Wheels: 2015 Passat Is Safe, Reliable and Fuel Efficient

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Volkswagen Passat sedan, now in its eighth generation of service, is passe. You’ll note that I used the word “service” instead of “life” or “existence” in referring to the car’s age. That is because there is nothing …

Steakhouse Sales Lose Some Sizzle

Sunday, July 19, 2015

High-priced U.S. steakhouses are seeing lackluster sales this year as some corporate diners curb their appetite for porterhouse and rib eye. While sales are “running a little bit ahead of last year,” this “incremental improvement is not dramatic,” said Malcolm Knapp, a New York-based consultant who created a …

Business Notes: July 19, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

White River Junction — A new marketing campaign is designed to make it easier to find, buy and prepare foods from Upper Valley farms. Valley Farm Fresh, a program of Vital Communities, includes an improved, mobile-friendly Valley Food & Farm Guide, a calendar of farm-related events, and recipes …

Venezuelans’ Energy Bars Created In U.S. With the Tastes of Home

Sunday, July 19, 2015

St. Louis — Energy bars were Luis Rivero’s go-to meals when he came to the U.S. in 2003 for graduate school. With no time to cook, he quickly got caught up in the eat-on-the-run culture that was not …