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Briefs

Tax break, jobs sought in Whitley

A Columbia City marketing firm has invested $500,000 as it seeks a bigger footprint in Whitley County.

Sound Ideas will build a 4,400-square-foot office building at Indiana 14 and County Road 600 East, according to the Whitley County Economic Development Corp. The company presently leases space downtown. Sound Ideas, which employs 12 workers, is seeking a 10-year tax abatement that would save the company $33,643.

Three new jobs will be created. The average annual wage is $55,000.

Sound Ideas specializes in marketing and digital media for the medical device, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries.

Hispanic-owned businesses surge

The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. is expected to nearly double this year from 2002.

That’s the finding of a study released Friday by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Geoscape, a company that provides demographics data. The study, which analyzes U.S. census data and other information, projects there will be nearly 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the country in 2013, up from nearly 1.7 million in 2002.

The study also forecasts that the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the South Atlantic region – Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida – will surpass the number in the Pacific region, which includes the West Coast and Alaska and Hawaii.

The surge in Hispanic-owned businesses reflects the rapid growth of the Hispanic population. The number of Hispanics counted in the U.S. census in 2012 rose 2.2 percent from 2011 to 53 million.

Southwest enforcing new no-show policy

Passengers who fail to cancel bookings on Southwest now face loss of the ticket’s value if they don’t show up.

The new policy took effect with Friday’s flights. Customers who buy nonrefundable tickets such as Wanna Get Away fares must cancel at least 10 minutes before scheduled departure or forfeit the ticket’s value.

In the past, there was little incentive to cancel because Southwest let customers use the value of the unused ticket toward another flight within one year. That meant seats flew empty when Southwest could have sold them to somebody else.

A Southwest Airlines Co. spokesman says there’s been no reaction yet from customers.

Computer glitch spoils JetBlue’s day

Dozens of JetBlue Airways flights were delayed Friday morning after a computer failure limited the airline’s ability to dispatch planes.

The system was restored by 10:30 a.m. but the airline warned that delays would persist throughout the day. As of 11 a.m., there were 40 delayed flights, according to JetBlue.

At New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport – JetBlue’s largest base of operations – about a third of all the airline’s flights were listed as delayed on the flight monitors. The typical delay was about 90 minutes.

The airline blamed “IT network connectivity issues” but did not elaborate.

Computers are used to calculate weight, fuel and other key information needed before a plane can leave the gate.

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