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Overtime Pay

Employers fear Obama's overtime plan may go too far

WASHINGTON — Don Fox considers himself a good employer. The chief executive of a 896-location sandwich chain called Firehouse Subs gave his employees health-care coverage a year before it was required. But the Obama administration’s new overtime rules — which will make millions more salaried managers eligible for overtime pay — might be too much, even for him. Right now, Fox’s salaried bookkeepers and store managers don’t have to be paid time and a half above 40 hours a week if they make more than $455 per week. The White House said late Monday that it wants to double that threshold by next year. That might force Fox to convert salaried employees to hourly, or tell his salaried workers — from bookkeepers to store managers — not to work more than 40 hours a week. “What’s a real shame is that I’m in a position of having to penalize someone because they’re doing something they judge is best for their career,” Fox said. “Everything in this proposed rule is anti-American work ethic and culture.” In a speech set for Wednesday in Wisconsin, President Barack Obama plans to explain that he’s trying to solve a problem. In 1975, the overtime rule covered 62 percent of the salaried workforce. Since then, inflation has eroded coverage to the point where only 8 percent of salaried workers qualify and the $23,660 a year cutoff is below the poverty line for a family of four. The administration wants to increase eligibility to $50,440 a year, which is where the level would be if the cutoff had kept up with the cost of living. But with business owners such as Fox on the alert, the White House’s bid to directly raise Americans’ pay is running into a brushfire of resistance. Obama signaled his intention to raise the overtime threshold in March 2014, as part of his efforts to go around a gridlocked Congress to bolster middle-class incomes that had remained stubbornly stagnant since the recession. Many employers had been able to load their low-level salaried professionals with extra hours, because it cost them nothing, rather than hire more workers to share the burden. “With hourly workers, you can’t change the number of hours they work without paying them overtime,” said Dana Muir, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “It’s more that middle group that’s borne the pressure of the recession and then the expansion without hiring. So this is a big deal.” Labor unions and progressive groups pushed hard for the change, and hailed the announcement as a step in the right direction. They said it might even prompt more hiring if employers avoid overtime by bringing on more workers. The change also should increase wages for women, minorities, younger people and the less educated, they said. “Millions of America’s workers are one step closer to earning the overtime pay they rightfully deserve but have been systematically denied,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. “Working people called on President Obama to go bold, and his response will provide a much-needed boost to our entire economy.” But business groups campaigned fiercely against the new overtime rule, both publicly and in Congress, with House Republicans holding a hearing in mid-June to criticize the idea. They said employers are likely to cut their managers’ base pay and benefits if they have to grant overtime, to keep compensation costs level without raising prices. They also might centralize oversight responsibilities at higher levels, which would cut down on the number of pathways to upper management and lead to more inequality, not less. “The administration seems to be under the distorted impression that they can build the middle class by government mandate,” said David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation. “There simply isn’t any magic pot of money that lets employers pay more just because the government says so.” In its proposal, the White House appears to have stopped short of imposing a requirement that some employers feared more: specifying the amount of time an employee has to spend on actual managerial duties to become exempt from overtime. That means businesses won’t have to tabulate the time a manager spends wiping tables or stocking shelves. For small businesses especially, counting overtime hours can be more onerous than paying higher wages. “I want to pay my staff for their time,” said Joel Finkelstein, the owner of Qualia Coffee in Washington’s Petworth neighborhood. Two Qualia managers would qualify for overtime under the new policy. “I think the policy makes sense for larger businesses, but for small businesses, adding more documentation requirements is a disproportionate hassle.” The rule will not take effect until after a 60-day comment period, and both sides are gearing up to flood the Labor Department with letters. “It’s very difficult to stop a regulatory change, short of a statutory amendment,” said Lisa A. “Lee” Schreter, co-chairman of the wage and hour group at Littler Mendelson. “If the Labor Department reaches too far, perhaps you could see a coalition develop in Congress around certain changes.”

Economy

Solid hiring, lower unemployment rate, but wages flat

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added jobs at a solid pace in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low. But wages failed to budge, and other barometers of the job market painted a mixed picture. The economy gained 223,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell from 5.5 percent in May, the Labor Department said Thursday. But the rate fell mainly because many people out of work gave up on their job searches and were no longer counted as unemployed, which may reflect rising discouragement. The result is that the proportion of Americans working or looking for work fell to a 38-year low. The government doesn’t count people as unemployed unless they’re actively searching for work. The government also said employers added 60,000 fewer jobs in April and May combined than it had previously estimated. The figures capture the persistently uneven nature of the job market’s recovery from the Great Recession. More people had begun looking for work in May, yet all those gains were reversed in June. And wages, which had shown signs of finally rising earlier this year, have now stalled. They have risen just 2 percent over the past 12 months, down from a 2.3 percent year-over-year gain in May. The flat wage growth suggested that many employers may see no need to raise pay to attract or retain qualified workers and that there are more people available for work than the unemployment rate would otherwise indicate. The sluggish pay gains also raise doubts about when the Federal Reserve will raise rates and end a stimulus effort that dates to 2008. Most economists have been predicting that the Fed would most likely raise rates in September. But last month’s flat pay figure suggested to some that the Fed might delay that move. “After this report, I think it would make sense to wait until December to start that slow rate increase,” said Tara Sinclair, chief economist at the jobs site Indeed and a professor at George Washington University. A Fed rate hike would lead to higher rates for mortgages, auto loans and other borrowing. Some quirks of the jobs report might also explain why wages stagnated last month. The government’s survey for the report ended relatively early in the month on June 12. As a result, it might have excluded some bi-monthly paychecks and arbitrarily reduced earnings, noted John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo. One sour note in the report was that construction companies failed to add any jobs in June after hiring 15,000 in May and 30,000 in April. Manufacturing gained just 4,000 jobs in June. But health care added 53,000 positions and retailers 33,000. Still, over the past three months, hiring has averaged 221,000, a step up from 195,000 in the first three months of the year. That shows that some employers are confident that consumer demand for their goods and services will remain strong enough in coming months to justify more staffers. Their willingness to hire in anticipation of greater demand marks a shift from earlier in the economic recovery, when many businesses tended to hire only when essential. A survey of purchasing executives at manufacturing firms released this week found that factories reported a scant rise in orders in June but ramped up hiring anyway. Patrick Cimerola, senior vice president of human resources at Choice Hotels, says the company is raising pay and adding perks to hire workers in marketing, information technology, and finance jobs. “More people are traveling, because more people have disposable income,” Cimerola said. “And we believe that will continue.” The company, which franchises 5,500 hotels in the U.S. under the Quality Suites, Comfort Inn and other brand names, wants to add 50 employees to its technology center in Phoenix. It is seeking Java developers and other programmers to build its mobile reservation system and hotel management software. Strong hiring has endured this year despite a miserable winter, which helped cause the economy to contract 0.2 percent at an annual rate in the January-March quarter. Yet Americans are finally spending more after boosting their savings earlier this year, in part because they’re growing more confident about the economy. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index reached 101.4, matching March’s figure for the second-highest level since the recession. That’s good news for auto dealers and real estate agents. Auto sales jumped to nearly a 10-year high in May. The National Automobile Dealers Association forecasts that sales will top 17 million this year for the first time since 2001. And home sales are running at an eight-year high and boosting construction. Permits to build homes jumped 11.8 percent in May to the highest level since 2007. Most economists now expect economic growth to reach an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the April-June quarter and 3 percent in the second half of the year.

Arizona Copper Mine

Arizona copper mine stirs debate pitting profits vs religion

SUPERIOR, Ariz. — Outside of an aging mining town in the mountains east of Phoenix, a copper company has burrowed a shaft 1.3 miles into the high desert landscape in what is believed to be the deepest such mine in the U.S. Resolution Copper Mining says the mine will usher in a new era of prosperity for Arizona, bringing in the equivalent of roughly a $1 billion worth of revenue annually for about 60 years in a state still trying to emerge from the housing bust. The mine also will use approximately 18,000 acre feet of water annually, enough to supply about 40,000 homes. And it will claim nearly 5-square miles on the edge of nearby Superior to store mining waste that can be toxic. The plan has angered conservationists, residents and Native American tribes who argue the mine will cause irreparable harm to land coveted for its beauty, biodiversity and sanctity. Tribes say the project could destroy part of a historic ridge where dozens of Apache warriors leapt to their deaths to avoid surrendering to U.S. Calvary during western expansion. The company, business leaders and Republican members of Congress believe they have addressed environmental and tribal concerns while protecting the environment and holy Native American locations. Copper is one of Arizona’s most abundant resources and remains a vital part of the state’s economy. The Arizona Mining Association estimated that if Arizona was a country, it would be the ninth-biggest copper producer in the world. But mining that mineral wealth creates the risk of pollution and a vicious boom-and-bust cycle that the Sierra Club says has resulted in more than 100,000 abandoned mine shafts around the state. A study by Arizona-based Elliot D. Pollack and Company found that Resolution Copper Mine could produce as much as $64.1 billion in economic value over the estimated 60-year mine life, about a third of which will go to local, state and federal tax revenues. Project director Andrew Taplin said the mine will create as many as 1,400 mining jobs and 2,300 contracting positions. “The economic epicenter will be right here in the town of Superior and spread its way out through the state,” Taplin said. The 1.7 billion-ton copper ore deposit sits deep underneath an area called Oak Flats, which the San Carlos Apache tribe believes is the origin of all life on earth. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower protected the Oak Flats campground from future mining activity and reserved the location for recreation including camping, hiking, birding and rock climbing. Conservationists covet Oak Flats and the nearby Devil’s Canyon as a unique habitat home to an endangered type of cactus and the headwaters of a creek. The company plans to tap into the ore using block-cave mining, a technique that involves digging underneath the ore body and setting off explosions to break apart the ore. As miners remove the ore, the land on top is expected to fracture and collapse, creating a two-mile wide, 1,000-foot-deep crater that could swallow the Oak Flats campground and destroy part of the Apache Leap Ridge. To obtain the land, Resolution Copper enlisted the help of Congress, namely Sen. John McCain. McCain attached a provision into a defense bill in December that transferred 2,400 acres of federal land to Resolution Copper in exchange for 5,300 acres of land owned by the company. McCain heralded the bill as a compromise that protects 800 acres of sacred land along Apache Leap, allows access to Oak Flats campgrounds and requires the mine to undergo an Environmental Impact Statement before it receives the land. Access to the campground is contingent on the sinking ground being able to safely hold campers. Critics say the mine’s economic projections are overstated. The San Carlos Apache Tribe enlisted its own economics consultant, Dr. Thomas Power from the University of Montana, who concluded that Pollack’s study ignored volatility in copper’s price and other key numbers. Power’s study said the mine would bring in fewer than 900 jobs and $300,000 in tax revenues. Opponents also point to the foreign owners of Resolution Copper Mining, a subsidiary of British-Australian Rio Tinto and Australian BHP Billiton, saying it’s unclear how much of the profits and the copper will stay in the U.S. They also point out the political influence of the corporation — McCain received $10,000 from Rio Tinto this election cycle. Roy Chavez, a retired miner and former mayor of Superior, has watched the boom-and-bust cycle of the mining town for decades. He watched the old Magma Mine lay off 1,200 workers in one day in 1982, open again in 1989 with less than 400 workers, then close again in 1996. The town was never the same after 1982, he said. Today, the town’s main street remains a row of boarded up, abandoned buildings. “When you talk to some of the people here they will say they need the mine because of the future it promises,” Chavez said. “But the reason these towns suffer is because of the mining industry.” Apaches marched to the Oak Flats campground and have been occupying the location since February. They are planning to head to Washington in July to protest the land transfer coinciding with a bill by Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz, recently introduced to repeal the land transfer. Wendsler Nosie Sr., councilman and former chairman of the San Carlos Apache tribe, said the land transfer is yet another chapter in the history of Manifest Destiny. “To me, this is the spiritual war. Because we are fighting something that is old. Because they want to continue to take from the earth and leave nothing behind,” Nosie said.

happiness

No whiners: In sales, attitude is everything

If I could promise you that by doing one simple thing every day you could be happier, make more money, earn more respect, enjoy more fulfilling relationships, have better physical and emotional health, advance higher in your career and live longer to enjoy it all, would you be interested in this little secret? Dr. Martin Seligman has studied pessimism for the last 30 years and in more than 1,000 studies, involving more than half a million people, he has found that pessimistic people do worse than optimistic people in three ways: First, they get depressed much more often. Second, they achieve less at school, on the job, and on the playing field — much less than their talent would suggest. Third, their physical health is worse than that of optimists. Alan McGinnis stated in his book “The Power of Optimism” that studies have shown that optimists excel in school, have better health, make more money, establish longer and happier marriages and even live to an older age. The secret to a successful, more fulfilling career in sales correlates with the research of Seligman and McGinnis. The secret is a positive optimistic attitude. For the past 30 years I have been involved in training thousands of sales representatives, from retail, inside sales, door to door, business to business and large account management. The common denominator among the top sales reps across the board is maintaining a positive attitude even when things don’t go as expected or get bad. Their optimism pulls and propels them forward to be more effective and efficient. They lean into life rather than away from it. Attitudes are habits of thought that predict or perpetuate our performance. We aren’t born with them — they are acquired. Dr. Victor Frankl, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, wrote in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” that “everything can be taken from man except the last of the human freedoms, his ability to choose his own attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Some sales reps start complaining about their manager, the area they were assigned, unfair quotas or even the weather. They are doomed before they start. I have been able to accurately predict the success or failure of a sales representative by the strength or weakness of their attitude. The characteristics of a winner are these learned and chosen attitudes: 1. Believe they have a say in their future (set goals). 2. Have heightened appreciation and gratitude. 3. Is cheerful and kind even if they can’t be happy. 4. Interrupts negative trains of thought (focus on the possible, not the obstacle). 5. Shares positive stories and experiences. 6. Is seldom surprised by trouble. 7. Continuous learning and improvement (use their imagination). 8. Looks for partial solutions. 9. Contributes to the greater good. 10. Good sense of humor (smile and laugh and generate smiles and laughter). A great example of this winning attitude is that of Scott Wilson, one of the co-owners of HAWX pest control in Ogden. Scott’s attitude has helped him to be successful in sales and business. He trains his representatives to approach all customers with a positive and optimistic attitude, backing up their service 100 percent. He has endured the growing pains of a new business with optimism and hard work. The results are a staggering amount of growth and success. The simple little daily secret of successful sales people is that of a positive, optimistic attitude adjustment every day. If you spell out the word attitude and assign a number to each letter, A-1, T-20, T-20, I-9, T-20, U-21, D-4, E-5, it would total 100. Making attitude measurable is the key. What are you doing daily to move over the 50 percent mark? Go back to the characteristics of a winning attitude and practice them until you see improvement and fulfillment. Then share the secret with others; the world of business will be a better place. Tim Border is an Associate Professor in the Department of Professional Sales. You can become a partner of member at the WSU Sales Center. Email salescenter@weber.edu and follow at www.facebook.com/wsusales or visit the website at www.weber.edu/salescenter.

National Business

Airlines Federal Investigation

US probes possible collusion among airlines to keep fares up

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is investigating possible collusion among major airlines to limit available seats, which keeps airfares high, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press. The civil antitrust investigation by the Justice Department appears to focus on whether airlines illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats. A letter received Tuesday by major U.S. carriers demands copies of all communications the airlines had with each other, Wall Street analysts and major shareholders about their plans for passenger-carrying capacity, or “the undesirability of your company or any other airline increasing capacity.” The Justice Department asked each airline for its passenger-carrying capacity both by region, and overall, since January 2010. Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce confirmed that the department is looking into potential “unlawful coordination” among some airlines. She declined to comment further or say which airlines are being investigated. On a day when the overall stock market was up, stocks of the major U.S. airlines ended the day down 1 to 3 percent on news of the investigation. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines all said they received a letter and are complying. Several smaller carriers, including JetBlue Airways and Frontier Airlines, said they had not been contacted by the government. The airlines publicly discussed capacity early last month in Miami at the International Air Transport Association’s annual meeting. After hearing about that meeting, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., requested a Justice Department investigation. The department had tried to block the most recent merger, the 2013 joining of American Airlines and US Airways, but ultimately agreed to let it proceed after the airlines made minor concessions. Some Wall Street analysts argue that to remain financially strong, airlines should not expand capacity faster than the U.S. economy. And from January 2010 to January 2014, they didn’t. In that 4-year period, capacity on domestic flights was virtually flat while the U.S. economy grew about 2.2 percent per year. From January 2014 to January 2015, however, the airlines expanded by 5.5 percent, topping the economy’s 2.4 percent growth for 2014. Thanks to a series of mergers starting in 2008, America, Delta, Southwest and United now control more than 80 percent of the seats in the domestic travel market. They’ve eliminated unprofitable flights, filled more seats on planes and made a very public effort to slow growth to command higher airfares. It worked. The average domestic airfare rose an inflation-adjusted 13 percent from 2009 to 2014, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And that doesn’t include the billions of dollars airlines collect from new fees. During the past 12 months, the airlines took in $3.6 billion in bag fees and $3 billion in reservation-change fees. That has led to record profits. In the past two years, U.S. airlines earned a combined $19.7 billion. This year could bring even higher profits thanks to a massive drop in the price of jet fuel, airlines’ single highest expense. In April, U.S. airlines paid $1.94 a gallon, down 34 percent from the year before. That worries Wall Street analysts and investors. Cheap fuel has led airlines to make money-losing decisions in the past, rapidly expanding, launching new routes and setting unrealistically low fares to lure passengers. Airlines already flying those routes would match the fare, and all carriers would lose money. Such price wars are long gone, but today’s low fuel costs along with recent comments from airline executives have given the market jitters. Airline stocks plunged in May after the chief financial officer of Southwest said at an industry event that the carrier would increase passenger-carrying capacity by 7 to 8 percent, an increase over an earlier target. Wolfe Research analyst Hunter Keay, who hosted that May 19 conference, told investors in a note afterward that the big airlines are unhappy to be restraining growth while low-cost airlines like Spirit grow much faster. He urged the major airlines to “step up” and cut routes for the good of the industry. On June 1, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said his airline would cap its 2015 growth at 7 percent. That sparked a rally in airline stocks, as investors were more assured that capacity growth would be limited. Keay said Wednesday that he had not been contacted by the government and doesn’t think the airlines have been acting inappropriately. “The analyst community is bringing up the subject. You certainly can’t fault an airline executive for responding to the question,” Keay said. “The capacity continues to grow at the airports people want to fly to and air travel remains a particular good value for the consumer, especially for the utility that it provides.” __ Koenig reported from Dallas, Mayerowitz from New York. __ David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriter, Mayerowitz at http://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott and Tucker at http://twitter.com/etuckerAP.

James Madison

Founding Fathers a supreme leadership example

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." —Margaret Mead Now inscribed on the Library of Congress, James Madison's words are as true today as they were in 1829: "The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world." On July 4, we’ll celebrate the freedoms that our Founding Fathers envisioned for this country and for each individual. We’ll acknowledge their wisdom, forethought, and the sacrifices they and many others have made to win those freedoms for future generations. History teaches us that these brilliant men not only masterminded our independence and freedom as a nation, but were also flawed people struggling with the same search for meaning and purpose that all of us do. They were not only men of vision, integrity, passion and self-determination, but were individuals, husbands, fathers and friends with unique personalities whose experiences and beliefs shaped them. Again, just like you and me. A closer look at the attributes that led them to their ultimate accomplishments provides us with valuable lessons for life and leadership. Here are just a few tips from our esteemed Founding Fathers to inspire you and your team: 1. Start with a vision. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”(Proverbs 29:18). Great achievements are often the result of a bold vision. If you have a vision for your life, team or organization, you have most likely dealt with doubt and ridicule. Take a lesson from the Founding Fathers and never let the odds keep you from pursuing what you were meant to do. Live your dreams, not your fears. 2. Create a legacy. We are often so busy that it becomes challenging to focus on the future and those around us. The choices we make today will have an impact on future generations. The Founding Fathers understood this and undertook the responsibility of creating a nation for all generations. They taught the importance of establishing something that is meaningful beyond the here and now. 3. Make a difference. It was through persecution, hardships and struggles whereby the Founders rallied in declaring our independence. They had a clear purpose and the drive to fulfill that purpose. The challenge today is for us to also make a difference by finding opportunities in the middle of difficulty. We shouldn’t accept things as they are; we must accept the responsibility for changing them. 4. Make sacrifices. Everything worth having comes at a cost and so it is with freedom. Just as blood was shed to earn our independence, people around the globe make sacrifices to protect our freedoms. Often, the greater the vision, the greater the shared sacrifice required to attain it. The Founding Fathers stayed focused on what they were choosing rather than what they were giving up. 5. Stick to your convictions. With their main convictions centering around “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” these brave men clung to their ideals. With years of hindsight and the benefit of our modern comforts, it is hard to comprehend their stick-to-itiveness. Leadership requires this kind of steady conviction in the face of incredible challenges. 6. Value collaboration. They convened the right talent and best minds tasked with generating enduring ideas. They did this by creating an environment based on trust, appreciative inquiry and transparency. Together they set goals and encouraged creative solutions with participation from others. This is how great leaders work. They collaborate. 7. Value faith. The Founders recognized the truth that we are all "created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights." This belief in a higher power or ideals greater than ourselves allows us to see the world and the people entrusted to us in a more meaningful way. Thoughtful leaders seek to be a blessing and to serve causes greater than self. Wise ones remember the source. There are few greater challenges than those that this country faced at its inception. These ordinary individuals worked together to accomplish the extraordinary. Our Founders were leadership pioneers. Let us honor them and learn from their examples as we celebrate our independence. Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from northern Utah. He can be reached at bradlarsen@dailymasterpieces.com.

GOP 2016 Trump

Macy's dumps Trump clothing line in response to comments

NEW YORK — Macy’s is the latest company to end its relationship with Donald Trump as the fallout from the real estate mogul’s remarks about Mexican immigrants continues. Companies have been cutting ties with Trump left and right after his presidential campaign kickoff speech last week in which he declared that some Mexican immigrants bring drugs and crime to the U.S. and are rapists. NBC, Spanish-language station Univision, TV company Ora TV and Mexican TV network Televisa have cut ties with Trump. The developer is suing Univision for $500 million for breach of contract for dropping the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which are a joint venture between NBC and Trump. Macy’s said in a statement that the retailer is “disappointed and distressed” by Trump’s remarks and will end its relationship with him. Macy’s has carried a Donald Trump menswear line since 2004, including $70 button down-shirts and $65 striped ties. Most items were heavily discounted on Macy’s website on Wednesday. “We have no tolerance for discrimination in any form,” the company said in a statement. “We welcome all customers, and respect for the dignity of all people is a cornerstone of our culture.” The move comes after an outcry on social media, including online petitions, for Macy’s to drop the line. The Miss USA pageant, set to take place July 12 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, lost both its co-hosts Tuesday, with “Dancing with the Stars” Cheryl Burke and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts bowing out. The Miss USA pageant had no specifics on who might host in their place but said the proceedings would be live-streamed on its website. Last week, the hosts of the Univision simulcast, Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente, said they wouldn’t take part in the Spanish-language telecast. Elsewhere on Tuesday, the Ricky Martin Foundation announced it would withdraw a golf tournament from a Trump-owned property. .

Mandatory Credit, Local TV Out

'Independents' Week' honors buy-local businesses

OGDEN — As part of the “buy local” movement in Utah, a number of Weber County mayors have issued proclamations declaring July 1-7 as “Independents Week” in their cities. “Independents Week” honors the entrepreneurial spirit of local business owners and the impact they have on our communities and economies. The annual celebration is organized by Local First Utah, and is held in conjunction with other independent business alliances across the nation. Mayor Mike Caldwell of Ogden signed the proclamation for the third year running, recognizing the “buy local” movement in Ogden. Mayor Brent Taylor of North Ogden, Mayor Toby Mileski of Pleasant View and Mayor Mark Allen of Washington Terrace all signed as well, indicating the second straight year that their communities have celebrated Independents Week. They join with Gov. Gary Herbert and the mayors of more than 30 other Utah cities in recognizing the value and vitality of locally owned, independent businesses to their cities. “As we celebrate ‘Independents Week,’ much more than the economic impact of locally owned businesses is recognized.” said Local First Utah Executive Director Kristen Lavelett. “More and more, people are recognizing that independent businesses add to the character of Utah, our economic well-being, and keep the American Dream alive.” For every $100 spent in a national retailer only $13.60 stays in the Utah economy, the group says. But, on average, for every $100 spent in a locally owned business, $55.40 stays in the Utah economy. Locally owned businesses — by doing more business with other locals — keep money circulating through the local economy. “The simple act of buying from a locally owned business is an opportunity for citizens to vote with their dollars.” said Lavelett. “It’s an ordinary action with an extraordinary impact.” For more information regarding “Independents Week” visit www.localfirst.org/independents. Local First Utah is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to empower a movement to recognize the value and vitality of locally owned, independent businesses. Local First Utah business partnerships are open to all Utah businesses that are at least 51 percent locally owned and make their business decisions independently. Business partner registration is free.