Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights

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Sound Investment Practices for Contractors

Although the economy is improving and electrical contractors are experiencing more work, be it residential, commercial, and industrial projects, the recent economic downturn has provided good lessons for owners and management to better plan investments for expansion and equipment purchases.

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Implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

An August 8, 2012, Mercer press release, based on a survey of over 1,200 employers on the potential implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on their businesses, reported that 60 percent of employers expect some increase in cost, with one third expecting an increase of five percent or more. One reason is the requirement to provide coverage to a larger percentage of employees than many employers had provided before.

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Cash Flow Management: How Invoice Factoring Can Strengthen Your Business for Growth

The economic challenges of recent years have left a hangover of debt for many firms. Even in today's slow growth economy, the cards are still stacked against many small firms. With an impaired balance sheet as a result of your equity being eaten away by tighter operating margins, rising cost of materials and labor, and the ability to pass on the additional costs means that bank financing is almost impossible to get.

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Communication Keeps Customers

It's always all about the customer. You could write the most persuasive ad, create the most provocative design, purchase the most expensive media - and, no matter what, it always comes back to the customer. Only the customer can see the value in your offer, make the decision to follow through, and stay with you after the sale.

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House Holds Symbolic Vote on Healthcare Repeal Bill

On Thursday, May 16, the House of Representatives held a largely symbolic vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The bill (H.R.45), sponsored by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), passed by a vote of 229 to 195 with only two Democrats, Representatives John Matheson (D-UT) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC), dissenting to vote for repeal with their Republican colleagues. The Senate is not likely to take up a vote on the bill – if it does, the legislation will be struck down by the Democratic majority.

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Second Court Finds NLRB Appointees, Subsequent Board Actions Unconstitutional

On Thursday, a second appeals court joined the D.C. Circuit in ruling that President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) violated the Recess Appointments Clause of the Constitution. In its 2-1 decision on NLRB v. New Vista Nursing & Rehabilitation, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that the presidential recess appointment power is limited to breaks between sessions of Congress – not when the Senate is meeting in a pro form session as it was at the time President Obama appointed three members to the Board in January of 2012.

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Senate Committee Votes to Advance Perez Nomination for DOL Secretary

In an expectedly party-line vote of 12-10, the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, Education and Pensions (HELP) endorsed Thomas Perez for the position of Secretary of Labor, vacated by Hilda Solis in January of this year. The vote brings the White House nominee one step closer to approval for the cabinet position, with the full Senate set to vote on Mr. Perez in the coming weeks.

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IEC Goes to Capitol Hill

May 6-8, IEC members congregated in Washington D.C., for the annual IEC National Legislative Conference.

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Lighting a Path to LEDs

As someone steeped in the world of residential and commercial lighting, Christopher Thompson, principal of Studio Lux, Seattle and Los Angeles, recognizes that lighting accounts for roughly 12 percent of U.S. electricity consumption. So he routinely specifies LEDs to lighten the load. They are a whopping 85 percent more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs and are expected to last 20-some years. Yet the conversion has been bumpy, to say the least. With technology advancements continuing apace, "You have to do a deep dive to understand where [LED technology] has come from and where it's headed," he says.

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Online Transactions

The World is becoming increasingly digitized everyday and it is increasing efficiency and broadening our information intake. I am one of the biggest supporters of online information sharing through interactive websites and social media. Communication that used to be one-way has now evolved to an open dialog thanks to the emergence of online interaction.

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