4th Quarter 2008
In this issue:

Virtualization 101
Business Continuity
Economic Stimulus Act
Open-Plan Office
8 Tips to Survive in an Open-Plan Office
reprinted with permission from the HP Small Business Center

While many workers would probably prefer a private office with a door, open-plan seating arrangements are common in businesses worldwide. And the benefits of �cubicle farms� are clear: they�re cost-efficient, improve communication and collaboration between employees, and can increase productivity.

However, the open-plan office worker may find it difficult to concentrate in this environment � with phones ringing, colleagues talking and walking around, and office equipment running, the number of distractions can be overwhelming.

Here are a few tips you and your colleagues can use to help make the most of the open office and improve the environment for everyone.


A Bit of Humor

Quote of the Month

Open your presents at Christmastime
but be thankful year round for the gifts you receive.

 ~Lorinda Ruth Lowen

Virtualization 101

We live in a world that constantly forces us to �do more with less�. Employees are expected to be more efficient. Multi-function devices are becoming the standard on many desktops. We multi-task by answering email, talking on the phone and reviewing a spreadsheet � all at the same time.

We shouldn�t be surprised then that IT departments are asking the same of their fileservers. When server utilization gets measured, we find that many servers have much more capacity than they actually use for the majority of the time. With so much excess capacity � why not run more than one server on a single machine? That�s what virtualization is all about -- one physical machine running more than one server operating system. Virtualization is a �hot and proven� technology right now and here are some of the reasons why

Business Continuity: Business as usual. No matter what.
Five steps every business should take to prepare for a business interruption.

When people think of disasters, they generally envision hurricanes, tornados or floods - catastrophic events that devastate communities. But for a business, a disaster can be something as small as a failed switch or computer virus. These seemingly minor events can have a shocking impact on a business, often bringing operations to a standstill.

�The impacts of an interruption can be stunning,� says Bob Boyd, President and CEO of a Charlotte-based consulting firm. �Statistics indicate that about 60 percent of the businesses affected by a disaster will not survive because they do not have a recovery plan in place.� Creating a basic, executable business continuity plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your organization and assure business as usual � no matter what the scenario.

Here are five key steps to help you get started.

Let the Economic Stimulus Act and Section 179 Help You

With the current news that is all around us it is sometimes hard to justify opening our pocketbooks and investing in our companies. We all know that the best way to improve ourselves and our businesses is to invest time, energy and money in accomplishing our goals. As the year draws to a close take a look and see what can be done to improve your business. The decision to improve may save you money.

With the changes to the Section 179 Deduction made by the Economic Stimulus Act signed in February 2008 there are some exciting benefits for business.

At a basic level, Section 179 is a tax incentive for businesses to deduct the full amount of the purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income, up to a limit. It's an incentive created by the US Government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 - HR 5140 helps small business by improving the limits of the Section 179 Deduction.

  • One provision substantially increases the amount that small businesses can deduct for certain capital equipment expenditures from $128,000 to $250,000.
  • A second provision allows for bonus depreciation in 2008 on certain capital equipment expenditures purchased this year that would normally be depreciated over many years.

Section 179 can change yearly without notice, so it benefits you to take advantage of this generous tax code while it�s available. Section 179 offers small businesses a great opportunity to maximize their purchasing power. In addition, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 has provided the small business owner with generous new (and higher) deduction limits. Most of the equipment your business will purchase or lease qualifies for the deduction, so do your homework and verify that your company is leveraging the Section 179 Deduction this year.

Of course, we recommend you speak with your tax advisor on how these provisions can benefit you directly. For more information online including a Section 179 Deduction calculator and a list of qualifying equipment visit www.Section179.org


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