On Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ordered Seattle Tunnel Partners to stop all tunneling activity at the $3.1 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project in Seattle after a 35-foot-long sinkhole appeared earlier this week. Tunnel-borer Bertha had only recently resumed activity. The governor wants STP to determine exactly how the sinkhole was created and assure the state that there will be no new sinkholes in the future. STP has implemented precautions, including manually checking soil quality.
This year has been tough for many small-business owners, and next year doesn't appear to be shaping up much better, according to owners and experts. Credit is still an issue, some say, while others expect higher costs and fewer sales to continue to take a toll. "I guess, sadly, we have more modest expectations for 2011," said Carol Head, owner of California's Oliver's Artisan Breads, who said that though sales increased in 2010, profit margins were hurt as she spent more time and money attracting customers.
Online retailers say the negative reviews customers post on their Web sites do not diminish sales but are more likely to keep customers on their sites shopping because they do not leave to find reviews elsewhere. Use of the reviews has increased as software has become more affordable for small businesses.
Newegg plans to launch an initial public offering as it looks to expand beyond the U.S. The Internet electronics retailer is striving to tap the rebounding stock market to raise about $175 million. Newegg, which had sales last year of $2.1 billion, has been profitable every year since its founding in 2001.