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Benjamin Moore launches site for stains

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Montvale, N.J.-based Benjamin Moore launched benmoorestains.com. The site is aimed at supporting homeowners in their quest to match the right stain for their deck or siding. 

Described as an “easy to navigate compendium of all things stain related," the site offers how-tos on stain preparation, project advice, show-and-tell demonstration videos on application techniques. Additionally, the site directs consumers to painting contractors who, having completed a course of study, are certified by Benjamin Moore and qualify as authorities in the category of exterior stains—painting professionals a homeowner can depend upon for any type of stain project. 

“We want consumers to have complete confidence in those who are selling or using Benjamin Moore stains—assured that they are the ultimate experts, fully knowledgeable on how these products perform,” said Rob Sheehan, Benjamin Moore’s director of stain & primer segments.

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Amazon agrees to pay N.J. sales tax

BY Brae Canlen

Gov. Chris Christie has announced an agreement with Amazon, the Internet’s largest retailer, that will levy state sales tax on purchases made by New Jersey residents. Saying it took “months of hard work and good faith discussions,” the governor said it will be Amazon’s “obligation” to track and collect the sales tax starting in July 2013.

A similar agreement was struck with Nevada earlier this month and Texas in April.

The New Jersey accord came sugar-coated in an Amazon promise to build two large “fulfillment centers” in New Jersey, at a cost of $130 million, ultimately creating 1,300 full-time jobs. Construction is expected to start next year, Christie said.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued a statement that said: “Today New Jersey joins 13 other states, including California, Texas and Virginia, who have taken action to close a decades-old loophole that hurts Main Street retailers.  Finally, Governor Christie today joined a broad range of governors who have called on Congress to pass a comprehensive federal solution that gives states the power to enforce their tax laws and ensure that all retailers play by the same rules.”

 

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Getting back to work: A state-by-state analysis

BY Brae Canlen

A recently released report by IHS Global Insight shows how far away U.S. states are from peak employment and the distance each one must travel to reach pre-recession job levels. According to U.S. regional economist Steven Frable of IHS Global, only four states have been able to reach or surpass their previous employment peaks. All four are beneficiaries of the current energy boom: Alaska, North Dakota, Texas and Louisiana. Some states, though — notably New York — are less than 1% away from reaching peak employment.

Other states have a long way to go, according to the analysis: 16 states still have fewer than 95% of their pre-recession job levels. Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Rhode Island and Nevada are behind previous peaks by 7% or more.

Frable expects almost half of the United States to achieve peak employment in 2012 to 2013, while the other half will not recover until 2014 and later. Nevada, Michigan and Rhode Island will not recover until past 2017.

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