The BI Weekly 5 is a collection of tips, news and data affecting the boating industry this week. Be sure to look for the BI Weekly 5 every Tuesday on BoatingIndustry.com.
1. Increasing resistance to ethanol mandate
As the political and economic climate has changed since the Renewable Fuel Standard first passed, so have feelings about ethanol -- even in Iowa, the New York Times reports as we head into the Iowa caucuses.
Energy policy experts, advocates in the fight on poverty and even other farmers say a law that has been a boon for Iowa has been a boondoggle to the rest of the country. The ethanol mandate has driven up food costs while failing to deliver its promised environmental benefits. Rising domestic oil production and a global energy glut have all but nullified the pitch that ethanol would help wean the country off foreign oil. ...
Even here, as Iowa urbanizes and diversifies, ethanol may be losing its once-powerful hold, some political consultants say. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, one of the Republican front-runners in Iowa, has called for an end to subsidies for all forms of energy, as well as a five-year phasing out of the renewable fuel mandate that created the ethanol economy here.
2. Atlantic City boat dealers hope tax cut drives more sales
With the halving of New Jersey's boat sales tax this year, dealers at the Atlantic City Boat Show are hopeful potential buyers will get off the fence, the Press of Atlantic City reports.
“Making them aware of the reduction of the sales tax might give them that extra push they need to say, ‘You know what? I’m ready to purchase,’” Rick Castellini of Island Marine Center told the paper.
This year's show is expected to be 30 percent larger than in 2015, show organizers said.
3. Mussolini's 'love boat' seized by Italian government
We'll chalk this one up to one of those weird stories that catches the eye ...
A yacht once owned by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini has been seized by Italian police as part of an investigation into an alleged organized crime figure. Mussolini apparently used the vessel for trysts with his mistress.
4. NFIB: Mandatory leave would cost 430,000 jobs
A federal mandate to offer paid leave would cost 430,000 jobs and shrink economic output by $652 billion over 10 years, the National Federation of Independent Businesses said this week.
According to the NFIB's research, mandatory paid leave would impose three major costs on employers: the direct expense of paying wages to absent workers; lost productivity resulting from workers not working; and increased costs for reporting and recordkeeping that the new mandate will require.
5. A timetable for launching on social media
Still haven't gotten your business on social media? (Shame, shame) Social Media Examiner has a great timetable to making your plans to help ensure your launch doesn't go down in flames.