Business Digest

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2003

Small business center to present seminar

JUNEAU -The Juneau Small Business Development Center will present a seminar on financing a business from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29.

"Financing Your Business" will bring together information on sources of financing for local small businesses. Participants will come away with clear ideas on whether grants, bank loans, loan guarantee programs or investors are appropriate for their business and how to go about getting the funding they need, the center said.

The program will take place in the third-floor conference room of the Juneau Empire building. The cost is $25 and pre-registration is required. Free, confidential business counseling is available at the Juneau SBDC to help with applications and loan proposals after the class.

Call Juneau SBDC at 463-3789 to register or for more information.

Residential construction picks up in September

WASHINGTON - Residential construction picked up in September climbing to the second-highest level seen so far this year, a fresh sign that the housing market is helping to power an economic resurgence.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that builders broke ground on 1.888 million housing units in September, representing a 3.4 percent increase over August's level. September's performance was stronger than the pace of 1.827 million units that economists had forecast.

Housing construction slowed a bit in August, after booming in July. That's when housing starts clocked in at a red-hot rate of 1.890 million units, a 17-year high, and the best performance this year.

Former Rite Aid chief counsel convicted

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal jury convicted Rite Aid Corp.'s former chief counsel Friday of conspiracy, witness tampering and other charges in a scheme to inflate the pharmacy chain's earnings so he and other executives could get big payouts.

The guilty verdict for Franklin C. Brown, 75, marked the first conviction by a jury since a string of high-profile scandals rocked the business world two years ago.

After two-and a half days of deliberations, the jury found Brown guilty of conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of grand jury proceedings, obstruction of government-agency proceedings, witness tampering and five counts of lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He was acquitted of wire fraud.

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