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Jonathan Sweet

Honda emphasizing culture, brand as keys to growth

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I headed down south earlier this week to spend some time at the Honda Marine media event. Honda hosted a group of boating journalists ahead of its dealer meeting on Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta. The company introduced three new models, which I wrote about earlier. Beyond the products, though, what caught my attention was the attention the company continues ...

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Your last chance for your MDCE Early Bird discount

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If you're heading to this year's Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, you'll want to act by Friday to take advantage of the Early Bird discount. MDCE is December 5-8 at the Orange County Convention in Orlando and is produced by Boating Industry and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. Last year more than 1,100 industry professionals attended MDCE and ...

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Study: Latino population growth slowing, still significant

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A new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center shows that the growth of the Latino population in the U.S. has slowed dramatically since the Great Recession. Between 2007 and 2014, the U.S. Hispanic population grew at 2.8 percent annually on average. From 2010 to 2014, it was just 2.4 percent, according to Pew. This was significantly ...

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Millennial borrowing habits could mean big trouble

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As many of you know I spent more than a decade in the housing industry before coming to Boating Industry, so I still keep an eye on what's going on in that market. Not only do I have a personal interest in it, the housing market plays a huge role in our overall economy -- and the boating industry. And ...

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How of Business podcast offers useful tips, advice for owners

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A relatively new podcast for small business owners and entrepreneurs is worth checking out if you're struggling with the challenges of running your business. The How of Business launched in April and now boasts more than 30 episodes in its archives, with topics ranging from customer service to blogging to hiring and more. I discovered it in June and have ...

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2016 Top 100 shaping up to be best in years

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You know what I wish? I wish I could read one Top 100 application where someone had a lousy year. (Not really, of course. I'm not wishing that on anyone.) But I've said a variation of those words to several members of our team and not a few dealers since we started reviewing applications in June. We're deep into the ...

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Have some fun (?) with the election

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I've had plenty of discussions with business leaders in our industry over the last few months about the election. Not surprisingly, many are concerned about either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump (or both) winning and the impact it will have on their business. That's fairly typical -- this is the fifth presidential election cycle where I've been covering businesses and ...

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Have you updated your employee handbook?

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In case you haven't noticed, employee handbooks have been getting plenty of attention from regulators, such as the National Labor Relations Board and others. So if you haven't looked at yours lately, it's probably a good time to consult with an attorney and make sure it's up to snuff. Here's just a few areas you need to worry about: Social ...

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Hitting the road

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One of the best parts of this job is getting a chance to visit dealers and others in the industry to see their operations and get an up-close look at their businesses. This week I'll be in Maine and Massachusetts, visiting several of our Top 100 dealers and others. The best way to keep up on what we're seeing is ...

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Get your voice heard at GOP, Democratic conventions

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This summer will give the boating industry another opportunity to have its voice heard by elected officials of both parties, with the quadrennial political conventions coming up next month. In case you missed the news when we reported it on Tuesday, NMMA and others in the industry will be hosting a "Day on the Water" at both political conventions and ...

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