Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
March 7, 2006

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
FER's Customer Choice Dealer Awards
NRA Performance Index, Capital Expenditures Rise
Early Retail Sales Soft In February; Consumer Confidence Edgy
Consumers Fret Interest Rates, Job Prospects
Blue Chip International Forecasts Trend Higher

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products

Consultants' Summit Slated For April
Industry Mourns Fisher Mfg. Co. Chairman
Technical Center For Excellence Closer To Launch
MAFSI, FCSI, CFESA Debut Startup & Demo Packet
Singapore Show Coming Soon

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In This Section:
Kansas Mulls Dumping Equipment Tax
Cameras May Be On Menu For Chicago Restaurants
Maine Businesses Get Gripe Forum
Nantucket The Latest To Consider Banning Chains

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: FER's Customer Choice Dealer Awards |  Industry ReportSponsor: Server Products

Regulatory Report Sponsored by Hotelex Shanghai, April 4-7, 2006

Kansas Mulls Dumping Equipment Tax
Soon you might get a tax break—if you buy new equipment. The Kansas House approved a bill in February that would eliminate property tax on equipment and machinery used by businesses. If approved by the Senate, under the bill you won't have to pay property tax on any equipment you purchase or lease after June 30. Existing equipment will still be subject to taxes until you replace it.

Opponents of the bill expressed concern that it would cause local budget shortfalls. The House-approved version, however, has a mechanism to reimburse local governments up to $177 million through 2013 to make up for lost tax revenue.

The tax incentive will be positive for the state's overall business climate and economy, according to the secretary of revenue.


Section sponsored by Hotelex Shanghai, April 4-7, 2006

Cameras May Be On Menu For Chicago Restaurants
Smile—yous guys are on duh crime camera, over by dere.

That could soon be the story in Chicago restaurants if city politicians get their way. A recently proposed ordinance would require city businesses that operate more than 12 hours a day to install security cameras in stores and parking lots to deter crime.

The proposal has the support of Mayor Richard Daley and some city aldermen.

Alderman Ray Suarez, one of the measure's sponsors, said it is about increasing public safety.

Others call it an imposition on a business community burdened by regulation. Alderman Joe Moore said he wanted more statistical evidence of success before he would vote for it.

The plan is opposed by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicagoland Apartment Association and the Illinois Restaurant Association.

"This is another unfunded government mandate that falls on the business owners' shoulders," said IRA Pres. Colleen McShane."And most restaurants have voluntarily installed or are installing security systems already."

"Restaurants operate on an average 3% to 5% profit margin," McShane added. "Where are these establishments going to come up with the thousands of dollars needed to install and maintain the systems?"

Section sponsored by Hotelex Shanghai, April 4-7, 2006

Maine Businesses Get Gripe Forum
Ever wish your state representative would come to you for advice? Or to listen to your concerns about regulations? Legislators in Maine are doing just that. Maine's Regulatory Fairness Board, created in 2001, finally got off the ground this month, and is holding forums around the state where business people can air their grievances.

The seven-member board comprises business owners, a retired naval shipyard commander, and the legislator who proposed the idea. It will make the rounds three times a year to get input on everything from how to dispose of wastewater to what licenses are needed to open a restaurant.

Lynn Bromley (D-Cumberland County), the senate chairman of the Business, Research and Economic Development Committee, indicated she thinks the plan is a good one, noting she knew of one restaurant that was cited for letting an underage worker use dangerous equipment. "It was a blender," she told Statehouse News Service.

Legislators hope the forums will help them enact better regulations and clarify those that exist for businesses.

Section sponsored by Hotelex Shanghai, April 4-7, 2006

Nantucket The Latest To Consider Banning Chains
An independent bookstore owner in Nantucket, Mass., has proposed a ban on chains on the island. The zoning change, if approved, would ban retailers with more than 14 stores that have "standardized menus, trademarks, uniforms or other homogeneous décor." It wouldn't apply to grocery stores, banks, gas stations or some other service providers.

The business entity that instigated the proposal wasn't from a restaurant, surprisingly. The proposal was on behalf of a Ralph Lauren store. The company paid $6.5 million in 2004 for a building on Main Street and opened last year. The town already has tough zoning laws that require approval on exterior changes on any property on the island, including color. The Ralph Lauren store is an approved "Essex Green."

The proposed ban has to be approved by two-thirds of voters at an April town meeting. If passed, the ban will exempt Ralph Lauren.

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