Business Briefs for Nov. 27, 2006

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 12:00 am  

• Air travelers entering the U.S. will be required to show passports beginning Jan. 23, including returning Americans and people from Canada, Bermuda and Mexico, according to the Homeland Security Department. Under a separate program, Homeland Security plans to require all travelers, including Americans, entering the U.S. by land or sea to show a passport or an alternative security identification card starting as early as January 2008.
• United Parcel Service Inc. will raise its ground shipments, air express and international shipments rates originating in the U.S. by nearly 5 percent on average beginning Jan. 1. UPS said list rates for ground shipments will go up 4.9 percent on average. The increase for air express and international shipments is based on a 6.9 percent rise in the base rate, minus two percentage points in the current fuel surcharge because of the declining price of oil.
• Jonathan Barnett of Siloam Springs has been elected chairman of the five-person Arkansas State Highway Com-mission. He had been vice chairman. He replaces Mary "Prissy" Hickerson of Texarkana, whose term expires in January. Carl S. Rosenbaum of Little Rock was elected vice chairman.
• The fourth annual National Retail Federation Gift Card Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, said gift card sales will total $24.81 billion this holiday season, a $6 billion increase over 2005 when gift card sales hit $18.48 billion. The average consumer will spend $116.51 on gift cards this year, compared with $88.03 last year. NRF forecasts holiday sales will increase 5.0 percent this year to $457.4 billion.
• Tyson Limited Partnership recently sold more than 6.98 million shares of Tyson Foods Inc. stock. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.34 for a total value of more than $107 million, according to filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Don Tyson, the retired senior chairman and 54 percent owner of the partnership, personally sold 3.78 million shares worth $58 million, included in the partnership totals. The partnership continues to hold 76.8 million shares of class B shares, which do not trade in the open market.
n North Arkansas Regional Medical Center at Harrison was named a recipient of the 2005 Marketing Campaign Diamond Awards presented by the Arkansas Hospital Association and the Arkansas Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations.
• Benchmark Real Estate Inc. of Lowell has opened its first branch office at Bella Vista in the Greenwich Center. Led by Jerry Sala, the branch offers 15 agents to serve northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri clientele. Benchmark is the ninth largest real estate company in northwest Arkansas with 2005 sales of approximately $77 million.
• Tyson Foods Inc.'s "Powered by Tyson'' marketing campaign, developed by Tyson's African-American marketing agency, E. Morris Com-munications, has earned a Multicultural Excellence Award from the Association of National Advertisers. The company won the African American/Multicultural Campaign category. Tyson won a similar award in September - the "Mosaic Award for Multicultural Ad Campaign'' from the Ameri-can Advertising Federation.
• Entergy Arkansas' Office of Economic Development, Teamwork Arkansas, has received four awards for marketing and advertising related to Select Site, a program that en-courages communities to develop strategic plans for marketing themselves to prospective businesses. The awards came from the International Economic Development Council and the Southern Economic Development Council
• Applications for the 2007 Young Entrepreneur Awards are now available online. The scholarships are a program of the National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation. The program for high-school seniors is designed to set teenage small-business owners on the path to entrepreneurship. High school seniors are encouraged to apply. Award recipients get $1,000 to pay for tuition at the college or vo-tech school of their choice. For more information visit:



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