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New trends in the small business world.
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Small companies that do business with large corporations have a new standard to meet: environmental acceptability.
A survey of large companies by Deloitte & Touche and Stanford University found that 70% are informally evaluating the environmental performance of suppliers. Charles McGlashan, coauthor of the study, says the new trend is focusing on suppliers of products with ingredients or production processes consumers might object to.

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What would you do if an employee got AIDS? The National Leadership Coalition on AIDS, a business, labor, and nonprofit coalition, has released the first AIDS-in-the-workplace guidelines for small businesses. (One key issue: AIDS is covered by the new Americans with Disabilities Act, which bans workplace discrimination against the disabled.) For a copy of the 12-page guidelines, contact the National Leadership Coalition at (202) 429-0930.

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Banks are in danger of alienating their best middle-market customers. So reports Adele Langie of Greenwich Associates, a consulting firm that last year surveyed more than 20,000 companies with sales of $5 million to $50 million. According to Langie, more of those companies feel neglected -- and are looking for new banks. She says that increased regulatory scrutiny causes loan officers to spend 80% to 90% of their time on a small percentage of problem loans instead of on servicing reliable customers. A probable beneficiary: European banks that aren't having the credit problems of many of their U.S. and Japanese counterparts.

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NASA is taking the lead in establishing a new clearinghouse to link business and all federal technologies.
Details about the National Technology Transfer Center, located at the Wheeling [W. Va.] Jesuit College, are sketchy so far, but officials expect to focus on outreach and on informing the business community about federal technology resources. The center is not expected to be at full operating capacity until 1993 or 1994. NASA is establishing the center because of a congressional mandate; that agency was chosen because of its reputation for working well with the private sector.

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Worried about high health-care costs? Don't move to Massachusetts, California, or New York. Those states have the highest per capita health-care spending in the nation, according to a new study by Families USA Foundation, in Washington, D.C. The study found large variations among states. For example, in Massachusetts, which tops the list, 1990 spending was $3,031 per person. That's 79% more than the $1,689 of South Carolina, state number 50.

-- Martha E. Mangelsdorf

Last updated: Mar 1, 1991




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