Local gym will reopen despite wind damage | NevadaAppeal.com

Local gym will reopen despite wind damage

Becky Bosshart
Appeal staff writer

Silver State Fitness patrons will have their memberships extended for as long as the gym is closed for repairs from damage caused by the Jan. 7 wind storm.

Business owner Craig McEwan said the gym should open in about four weeks. Superior Physical Therapy, which was located inside the 1945 Idaho St. fitness center, will not accept new clients for another month. He is arranging a new site to treat his current patients.

The cost of repairs is undetermined. The building was damaged when high winds blew the porch awning over the top of the building. The awning hit two of the four air-conditioning units, blowing them off the roof.

With the start of the New Year, many people will resolve to improve their financial security by taking advantage of investment opportunities. To steer clear of risky ventures, the Better Business Bureau is urging would-be investors to carefully evaluate the investment product or program, its promoters and its sales pitch.

“Every day, bureaus hear from consumers who invested in what they thought were solid and sure money-makers,” said Steve Cole, president and chief executive officer of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “They abandoned their common sense and succumbed to enticing promotions that were short on details but full of dollar signs.”

According to Pam Morgan, president of the Northern Nevada bureau, investment schemers frequently try to peddle products using sales pitches that are “tied to the headlines.”

Recent suspect promotions include oil-and-gas schemes, bird-flu stock scams, “get-rich-quick” real estate investment seminars to take advantage of soaring housing prices, advance stock notifications for Mexico-based companies, and investment pools, supposedly to help hurricane and tsunami victims.

To avoid falling victim to fraud, the BBB advised investors to be particularly cautious of any of the following red flags:

• If the investment and seller are licensed and registered. Check with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (www.sec.gov) and the state securities agency in the state (www.nasaa.org) where you live.

• If there is a record of complaints about the promoter or the investment company at the BBB, the SEC or the state securities agency.

• The costs to buy, hold and sell the investment.

• The risk that you could lose the money you invest.

• The rate of return to expect on your money and when.

• The company’s headquarters location, how long it has been in business, and its product or service.

• What the promoter is being paid to tout the investment opportunity.

The Internal Revenue Service issued temporary and proposed regulations that will reduce the tax filing burden for about 950,000 small business owners. Beginning Jan. 1, certain employment tax filers are able to file the new Form 944 Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return once a year rather than filing Form 941 Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return four times a year.

The new Form 944 will reduce burden on eligible small employers who file quarterly returns with little or no employment tax due. Most employers who file Form 944 will be able to make a single payment with their annual return.

Eligible employers are those with estimated annual employment tax liability of $1,000 or less. The IRS will begin mailing notification letters between Feb. 1-15, to eligible small employers for calendar year 2006. Employers who do not receive a letter and believe they are eligible to file the new Form 944 can call the IRS at 1-800-829-0115 to find out if they qualify. Taxpayers should contact the IRS by April 1.

The National School and Business Partnerships Award supports and recognizes the efforts of schools and businesses that improve the academic, social or physical well-being of students. Six exemplary school-business partnerships will be selected to receive $10,000 each and attain national recognition. Applications are now available at: http://www.corpschoolpartners.org. They are due by Jan. 30.

Each application is judged on how well the school-business partnership demonstrates success in four categories. The categories include:

• foundation – how the partnership was initially established

• implementation – how the partners work together on an ongoing basis

• sustainability – how the partners work to sustain the partnership over time

• evaluation – the impact the partnership has on the business and school communities

Accor North America, one of the nation’s largest owner/operators of economy lodging, opened a 99-room Motel 6 at Interstate 80 and Highway 93. The franchised property is owned and operated by Sander Brothers Investment Corp., and Sukhi Sander is the general manager.

Gottschalks Inc. (NYSE:GOT) announced same-store sales for December increased 3.7 percent from the prior year. Total sales for the month increased 5 percent to $131.5 million from $125.2 million in December 2004. On a year-to-date basis, same-store sales increased 1.2 percent from the comparable period of fiscal 2004. Total sales on a year-to-date basis increased 2.3 percent to $641 million, compared to $626 million in the same period of fiscal 2004.

Judy Ozment, a professional organizer who operates All Together Now in Reno, is conducting an Extreme Office Makeover Contest. Entries will be accepted until Jan. 25. The winner will receive an office makeover that will boost productivity, time and space management direction. Contest entry forms, rules and information may be found at http://www.sustainedproductivity.com.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.