Scotts names Grassroots Grant recipients
Marysville, Ohio-based The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. named more than 100 non-profit organizations as 2012 GRO1000 Grassroots Grant recipients.
The grants will help build or enhance greenscapes in communities as part of the national GRO1000 initiative to create 1,000 community gardens and green spaces by 2018.
A list of recipients can be found at http://www.grogood.com.
"ScottsMiracle-Gro is excited to connect with our local communities and share the myriad benefits gardens and greenspaces can bring to a neighborhood and its residents, by inspiring local beautification and providing opportunities for learning, recreation and sustainability," said Jim King, ScottsMiracle-Gro’s senior VP of corporate affairs. "We’re honored to do our part in raising awareness for organizations doing good across the country."
The grants, which range from $500 to $1,500, will help non-profit organizations beautify their communities, encourage public service, increase the availability of greenscapes nationwide, and provide fresh produce to underserved communities or local food pantries.
Beige Book provides upbeat report on housing sector
The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book report, which covered the period February 18 – April 2, 2012, was not effusive in its assessment of economic activity, pegging expansion at a “modest to moderate pace.” But a closer look at the report, provided by IHS Global Insight, indicate an uptick in housing demand, residential construction activity, consumer spending, employment and lending. The only dark cloud on the horizon, according to the Federal Reserve’s economic analysis, is gas prices.
The housing market: Unusually warm weather has resulted in improved housing demand in most U.S. districts. Building permits and multifamily housing starts expanded, while home prices were generally down or steady from the last reporting period. Non-residential construction activity showed slight improvement, and builders in five of the 12 districts were optimistic in their outlook for the sector.
• Consumer spending: Upbeat across the board, except for worries about rising fuel costs. People are still buying cars and going on vacations in healthy numbers.
• Employment: Hiring activity improved in most reporting districts, especially in manufacturing, professional services, and IT. Employers in five districts reported difficulty in attracting highly-skilled labor, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Employers in New York are likely to increase payrolls in the coming months.
• Manufacturing: Improved activity in most districts, particularly in the automotive and high-tech industries. Slowing economic activity in Europe and the higher costs of raw materials (especially petroleum) are a concern. Transportation costs are also rising in some districts, and some had difficulty passing these costs on to consumers.
• Lending: The demand for lending improved in the majority of districts, while credit conditions held steady. Real estate lending activity expanded in some districts.
According to the IHS Global outlook, the most recent Beige Book report brought further evidence that “the downtrodden housing market could be on the cusp of a demand-driven recovery.”
Although rising fuel costs were frequently cited by business as a worrisome trend, the warmest March on record (according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) boosted manufacturing, construction, and retail sales across most districts. Unless economic conditions worsen considerably, the Fed has indicated that it is less likely to pursue any more quantitative easing (QE), IHS Global noted.
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Lowe’s marks anniversary of Sanford destruction
Marking the one-year anniversary of the April 16 tornado that destroyed the retailers Sanford, N.C., store, Lowe’s today launched a “Give Back. Pay it Forward” event with American Red Cross.
From April 13-17, Lowe’s has set up collection areas in Sanford and online so people can donate to the relief organization. The American Red Cross will also host a blood drive on April 16 at the store.
On April 14, American Red Cross representatives will distribute disaster preparedness tips and be on hand to answer questions from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sanford store.
The Mooresville, N.C.-based company’s Sanford store that received national attention after its destruction April 16, 2011, reopened Sept. 8.
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